The Twins announced that shortstop Carlos Correa and right-hander Chris Paddack have been placed on the 10-day injured list today. Correa’s placement (due to a right middle finger contusion) is retroactive to May 6, while Paddack’s placement with right elbow inflammation is retroactive to May 9. Minnesota has selected the contracts of outfielder Mark Contreras and righty Jharel Cotton to replace Correa and Paddack on the active roster.
As reported earlier today, Correa needed more time to recover from the deep bruise suffered in Thursday’s game, and the shortstop hasn’t played since. While Correa may have avoided serious injury, things seem more ominous for Paddack, who has a history of elbow problems. Paddack is still considering his next step, and another surgery hasn’t been ruled out.
Royce Lewis will take over for Correa at shortstop, and Sonny Gray’s return from the injured list over the weekend means the Twins still have a full five-man rotation (plus Dylan Bundy on the COVID-related IL). Minnesota is still missing a lot of key personnel on the injured list, so to improve that depth, Contreras and Cotton are joining the roster.
Cotton already appeared in two games with the Twins earlier this season, tossing two innings before being outrighted off the 40-man roster. The former top-100 prospect is trying to revive his career after a number of injuries, and after posting a 3.52 ERA over 30 2/3 innings with the Rangers last season, Cotton was acquired by the Twins on a waiver claim back in November.
Contreras was a ninth-round pick for the Twins in the 2017 draft, and the UC Riverside product is now set to make his Major League debut. The 27-year-old didn’t hit much in his first three pro seasons, but after not playing in 2020 due to the canceled minor league campaign, Contreras returned to action with a flourish, hitting well at Double-A and earning a promotion to Triple-A Rochester. Over 497 plate appearances at Rochester over the last two seasons, Contreras has hit .246/.338/.492 with 23 homers, and 17 steals in 23 chances.
Both Contreras and Gilberto Celestino can play all three outfield positions, and Contreras is a left-handed hitting complement to Celestino’s righty bat. Minnesota now has some flexibility with their outfield bench depth behind starters Max Kepler, Nick Gordon, and Byron Buxton, though with Buxton still day-to-day with a minor hip strain, the Twins can’t afford to lose yet another regular (especially a star like Buxton) when they’re already stretched thin.