The Twins placed Alex Avila on the 10-day injured list earlier today, as the catcher is sidelined due to lower back tightness. Utilityman Willians Astudillo and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. were called up from Minnesota’s alternate training site to replace both Avila and righty Sean Poppen, who was optioned down to the alternate site.
Avila has hit .167/.352/.262 over 54 plate appearances this season, getting a more even share of playing time than expected since regular catcher Mitch Garver has himself been on the IL since August 20. With both Garver and Avila out, the Twins’ catching corps consists of rookie Ryan Jeffers and Astudillo, who has played every position except shortstop over his three MLB seasons but has spent the majority of his time behind the plate.
Juan Graterol, Tomas Telis, and Caleb Hamilton are the other catchers at Minnesota’s alternate training site, leaving the club without much catching experience as it fights the White Sox, Indians, and even the surprising Tigers for first place in the AL Central. It isn’t yet known when Garver could return, though manager Rocco Baldelli told MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park and other media that Avila wasn’t expected to miss much or any time beyond the minimum 10 days.