Riddle added to Twins' COVID injured list

Sanó sidelined with hamstring tightness; club seeks defensive versatility

April 21st, 2021

In the past week, the Twins have placed several players on the COVID-19 injured list due to contact tracing and positive cases. Ahead of Wednesday’s series finale in Oakland, was the latest player to be placed on the COVID-19 IL.

Riddle did not test positive for COVID-19 but was potentially exposed to it, according to manager Rocco Baldelli. The potential exposure is believed to be unrelated to fellow teammates on the COVID-19 IL.

"A lot of this is out of our hands at times. There's really not a lot you can do,” Baldelli said. “Once you end up in a situation like this, you really don't know what you're going to see on a given day or what you're going to find out. MLB and us, we have designated very thorough personnel that are just trying to do what's best to keep us healthy, and that's what this is.”

Riddle will quarantine in Minneapolis. He will need a series of negative COVID-19 test results before rejoining the team. Baldelli hopes things will be resolved by the end of the week.

"These are the things that are all around us and we have to deal with,” Baldelli said. “We will take care of it and be able to handle [it]."

Riddle joins fellow Twins players Andrelton Simmons, Max Kepler, Caleb Thielbar and Kyle Garlick on the COVID-19 injured list.

Minnesota selected the contract of catcher from the taxi squad to replace Riddle on the roster. Telis last played in the Majors as a catcher for the Marlins in 2018. During Spring Training, he hit .250 in 16 at-bats across 14 Grapefruit League games.

Sanó dealing with hamstring tightness
Miguel Sanó was notably absent from the lineup in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader as well as Wednesday's finale. The decision to not play in Game 2 of the twin bill came after Sanó was vocal about his pain with right hamstring tightness.

"We're talking about a guy that does not complain, we're talking about a guy that plays through a lot of different things, as much as anybody could possibly play through," Baldelli said. "When he mentions that he's unsure if he can go, and he's having trouble moving, I get a little concerned at that point that it's more than just a very minor strain."

Sanó was removed during Game 1 of the doubleheader after going 0-for-2 with a strikeout in Minnesota’s 7-0 loss.

"He's walking around. That seems to be OK,” Baldelli said. “It didn't seem like there was a major acute time when it happened. … It's something that he's definitely feeling, though."

The Twins will be cautious with the first baseman moving forward before they decide their next move.

"We're going to learn more and see what he's going to be capable of,” Baldelli said. “... [After Wednesday’s game], we can regroup and reassess him."

Sanó is hitting .111 in 15 games (5-for-45) with two home runs and four RBIs.

Defensive strategies
With many players on the injured list, the Twins are getting creative with their defensive assignments.

Luis Arraez has appeared in the outfield in four games this season, though he’s been an infielder for the majority of his career. During the nightcap in Tuesday’s doubleheader, Arraez prevented the Athletics from extending their lead in the fourth with a diving catch in left and threw the runner out at second for an inning-ending double play.

Telis, typically a catcher, will find himself playing first base as Travis Blankenhorn and Willians Astudillo provide versatility around the infield.

"We need those things to happen on days when other guys are down," said Baldelli.