The Twins will be without second baseman Luis Arraez a bit longer than hoped after he sprained his left ankle while playing in an intrasquad game at their alternate training site, writes La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Arraez, on the IL due to tendinitis in his left knee, was eligible to return this week but will now be “reassessed” in the coming days, per skipper Rocco Baldelli, who termed the sprain as “mild.” The 23-year-old Arraez hasn’t come close to last year’s quietly excellent .334/.399/.439 output at the plate, but his .288/.336/.337 slash through 113 plate appearances this year remains respectable. He’s also still one of the hardest people in MLB to strike out, having fanned in just 9.7 percent of his plate appearances. Overall, Arraez is a .323/.384/.414 hitter with more walks (44) than strikeouts (40) through his first 479 MLB plate appearances. Veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez will likely continue to man second base in Arraez’s absence.
More out of the Twin Cities…
- The Athletic’s Dan Hayes profiles breakout Twins reliever Matt Wisler, whom the organization claimed off waivers from the Mariners early last offseason. Hayes notes that the Twins had Wisler atop their wishlist of potential minor league free agents but were happy to be able to claim him instead when he hit waivers. Pitching coach Wes Johnson tells Hayes he was “ecstatic” when the Twins, who were near the bottom of the waiver pecking order, were awarded the claim. Johnson attributed the Wisler interest to Minnesota’s “phenomenal” team of developers, who helped to identify him as a breakout candidate. “We get a lot of information,” said Johnson. “…What you see is you see Matt Wisler has tremendous vertical depth up and down and he has late movement on that.” Wisler has thrown his slider at an outrageous 86 percent clip en route to a 1.11 ERA and a 34-to-14 K/BB ratio through 24 1/3 frames with Minnesota. Hayes also chatted with Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and Wisler himself about the right-hander’s turnaround.
- The Twins have yet to determine whether right-hander Homer Bailey will be on their postseason roster, but the veteran helped his case in last night’s return from the injured list. The 34-year-old, who’d made just one start in 2020 thanks to a lengthy bout of biceps tendinitis, returned with three innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits and a walk with a hit batter and three strikeouts. Via MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, Baldelli offered praise for Bailey but wouldn’t commit to the composition of the team’s playoff roster just yet. “We’re going to need — especially in this year’s playoff situation — a number of guys, especially as we move forward in the playoffs and you have the possibility of playing in these five or seven-game series with no days off,” said Baldelli. Kenta Maeda, Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda and Rich Hill seem likely to get starting nods as needed, but both Bailey and a hopefully healthy Jake Odorizzi will provide alternative options or at the very least some long relief potential.