MILWAUKEE — Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson will miss at least 10 days with a strained right hamstring. He’s hopeful it won’t be any longer than that.
The Twins placed Donaldson on the injured list on Saturday, retroactive to April 2, after he injured himself running the bases during Thursday’s opener. Brent Rooker was recalled from the taxi squad to take Donaldson’s place on the roster.
Donaldson's injury came while rounding first on a double in his first at-bat of the season. Though he stayed in for the rest of the half inning, the Twins removed him from the game immediately after that, before he even had a chance to play in the field.
“When it hit me, I was like, ‘Oh, what was that?’ kind of ordeal,” Donaldson said. “I haven’t really felt anything in my hamstring like that before, and then as I kept running, it loosened up to where I was like ‘OK, maybe it’s nothing.’”
But the Twins weren’t taking any chances. Manager Rocco Baldelli made the decision to remove him from the game immediately. Donaldson came to the park on the Twins’ off day on Friday for a couple hours, and he was encouraged by how he felt on Friday and again on Saturday.
He has been doing some electrical stimulation as well as some isometric work to see where his hamstring is with encouraging results. He got an upper-body lift in on Saturday as well as some throwing on the field. On Sunday, he’s hopeful that he’ll be able to start hitting in the cage, get in a lower-body workout and start doing plyo movement. If all goes well — and the weather in Detroit, where the Twins head next, is alright — he hopes to start getting on the field and doing some running.
“The telltale sign is going to be when I start to run and sprint,” Donaldson said. “That’s kind of where we’re at with that. I feel good about where it’s at right now. But at the end of the day we’re going to have to see where it goes when I’m running. I’m trying to stay as positive as I can with that.”
Donaldson missed half of last year’s shortened season — plus the playoffs — with an injured calf. He has a history of calf issues and as a result, the Twins were planning on easing him into action this season.
Donaldson remained healthy throughout the spring and felt like he was locked in at the plate when he was forced off the field again.
“Part of the frustrating part is my swing, from spring training you could probably see it, that’s as dialed in early on as I’ve felt in a long time,” he said. “For me to have this and in my first at-bat get 99 and be able to turn it around into the gap, obviously it kind of shows you what I was feeling at the plate.”
In his absence, Luis Arraez will likely see the bulk of the time at third base, though Baldelli said Miguel Sano could slide over to third base and Willians Astudillo could also see playing time there.
Twins talk ASG
Baldelli said Saturday he was happy to see Major League Baseball take a stance after the league moved the upcoming All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to a new Georgia voting law that some believe will make it hard for citizens — especially those of color — to vote.
“I don’t think it’s meant to be a straight political move. I think it’s MLB trying to do what they believe is right,” Baldelli said. “… I will say that looking at it, there does appear to be a big difference between making sure voter rolls are up to date, and what’s in this law. And Major League Baseball obviously felt the same way in making this call. This is something that appears to be aimed at accomplishing certain things, and those things don’t just appear to be holding free and fair elections. I will leave it at that right now.”
Byron Buxton, a Georgia resident, said he would prefer not to comment until he knew a little bit more about what was going on.
The league has not announced where it will move the game, though Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has publicly pitched American Family Field as an alternative, especially as the league pays tribute to the late Hank Aaron, who played in both Milwaukee and Atlanta.