Twins third baseman Luis Arraez’s hot start to the 2021 season was put on pause when he was pulled from Monday’s game against the Tigers at Comerica Park in the bottom of the second inning with non-COVID-related upper gastrointestinal discomfort.
Arraez had appeared uncomfortable in a plate appearance during the top of the second inning during which he did not swing the bat. He was tended to by head athletic trainer Michael Salazar and manager Rocco Baldelli. Arraez stayed in the game at that point and wound up drawing a walk off Tigers starter José Ureña during what turned out to be a five-run inning. But in the bottom of the frame, he was replaced at third base by Willians Astudillo.
“He had an uncomfortable feeling [in his chest],” Baldelli said. “It’s something that makes you concerned, just because you don’t know exactly what it is. But we were able to send him for a couple of tests. He was able to see a doctor, and there was no long-term concern. And Luis was in a much better place later in the day.”
The Twins beat the Tigers, 15-6, despite Arraez’s early departure. But he has keyed their offense early in the season. With Josh Donaldson out with a right hamstring issue, Arraez has started each of the past three games at third base. He’s also been instrumental atop the order, going 7-for-13 with four walks. The walk in the second inning marked the eighth consecutive plate appearance in which he reached base.
Arraez became the second prominent Twins player to leave a game early with an illness in as many days. But Arraez’s condition appeared to be different than the illness that caused Byron Buxton to depart in the third inning Sunday in Milwaukee and miss Monday’s game.
“Kind of an odd set of symptoms for both guys,” Baldelli said. “But both are doing better.”