The Minnesota Twins might feature another patchwork lineup when they open a three-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
The Twins have 11 players on the injured list and could add another, depending on how much pain Carlos Correa feels in his left foot when he arrives at the ballpark. Correa was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis earlier in the week, and the two-time All-Star shortstop missed games on Tuesday and Wednesday because of the injury.
The Twins had Thursday off and will make a decision on Correa’s status before the game on Friday.
The Twins are already without outfielders Joey Gallo (hamstring), Trevor Larnach (pneumonia) and Max Kepler (hamstring), and infielders Jorge Polanco (hamstring) and Nick Gordon (fractured tibia).
“No one feels bad for us, and we shouldn’t feel bad for ourselves,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’ve got a lot of good players who are coming back, hopefully soon.”
Kyle Farmer has filled in at shortstop the past two games, but if Correa ends up going on the injured list, Minnesota may soon turn to former No. 1 overall draft pick Royce Lewis, who’s scheduled to come off the 60-day disabled list on Monday after recovering from a knee injury.
Either way, the Twins are eager to win a series after dropping the past three.
“We’ve had a couple of tough games lately,” Twins second baseman Edouard Julien said. “We usually have the lead early, and then we struggle to score runs late in games, and we don’t finish the games.”
The Blue Jays, on the other hand, have been one of the healthiest teams in the MLB this season, but catcher Danny Jansen departed the 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday with tightness in his groin and did not play in the series finale on Thursday, a 6-3 loss.
Alejandro Kirk caught instead and the Rays stole seven bases off him.
Kirk had three of Toronto’s eight hits, however.
“Kirk is so unique, because he has a really good command of the strike zone and can handle a lot of different pitches,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “He’s been so good for us, and we’re never going to ignore that.”
The Blue Jays plan to start right-hander Kevin Gausman in the series opener against the Twins.
Gausman (2-3, 3.14 ERA) is coming off his best outing of the season Sunday — two runs and six hits over eight innings against the Baltimore Orioles – but he did not receive a decision in the 8-3 loss in 11 innings.
In his past three starts, Gausman has allowed four earned runs over 21 innings, striking out 23 and walking four.
The Blue Jays hope Gausman can pitch late into the game after Thursday’s starter, Alek Manoah, went just three innings. Gausman has made nine starts against Minnesota and is 0-4 with a 6.36 ERA.
The Twins plan to counter with right-hander Louie Varland.
Varland (2-0, 4.18) has won his past two starts. He held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs and six hits over five innings in a 6-2 win Saturday.
He has never faced the Blue Jays in his two seasons in the MLB.
–Field Level Media