MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins breathed a little sigh of relief on Saturday when they got good news on the status of both Josh Donaldson and Byron Buxton, who both appear to have avoided more significant injuries.
Donaldson left Friday night’s game against the Reds with a right calf cramp — the same calf that he strained earlier in the season, forcing him to miss a month of play — and Buxton left later in the contest after getting drilled on the helmet with a pitch. Both were out of the lineup Saturday night.
President of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Donaldson came in Saturday and said he had been feeling better. The Twins are treating him as day-to-day.
“I would say that because he has a history there, even just this year, so when he had that symptom and that issue, we wanted to make sure he went home, took good care of it last night,” Falvey said. “ … He came in and first time I saw him was when he walked into (manager Rocco Baldelli’s) office, and he was bouncing around like he normally would. There were no real signs or symptoms if you just watched him walk around. I think the key here, though, is we’re going to treat it a little carefully, because we want to try to get him ready for Tuesday for sure.”
The Twins are also optimistic that Buxton will be ready for Tuesday — the first game of the wild card series. Buxton, who has had concussion issues in the past, came in Saturday with some symptoms that Falvey said were consistent with a mild concussion. Falvey said Buxton had been in the clubhouse and moving around.
“The process from this point forward is, he’s got to go down to zero of those symptoms. Once you get to that point, you feel like you’re in a good spot. We just need to see how that goes over the next couple days, but I’m optimistic right now for sure,” Falvey said of Buxton’s chances of playing Tuesday.
The Twins did get one big roster reinforcement Saturday as second baseman Luis Arraez returned from the injured list. Arraez was originally placed on the IL with knee tendinitis, but he also suffered a minor ankle sprain during an intrasquad game during his rehab process.
Arraez was first placed on the injured list on Sept. 11, retroactive to Sept. 9, though he had been battling the knee pain on and off throughout the season.
“Every day he walks in, he gives the thumb’s up, but I think he’s feeling a lot better,” Baldelli said. “He was able to get out there, run around, get some at-bats, run around again over here at Target Field and come back feeling pretty good.”
In addition to Arraez, the Twins made another roster move on Saturday, recalling pitcher Devin Smeltzer. To make room on the 28-man roster, the Twins optioned utility player LaMonte Wade Jr. and pitcher Edwar Colina. … Falvey said Jake Odorizzi (finger) threw an extended side and they are planning on having him throw “an extended sim slash bullpen.” He said they feel it’s likely that Odorizzi will be available in the playoffs. The Twins have Kenta Maeda set to start Game 1, Jose Berrios for Game 2 and Michael Pineda lined up for Game 3.