Twins outfielder Max Kepler has been placed on the injured list with a groin strain, the club said Friday morning. To take his place on the active roster, the team will select the contract of Brent Rooker, who finished last season at Class AAA Rochester.
Rooker, manager Rocco Baldelli said, will play in Friday’s doubleheader against Detroit at Target Field.
Kepler was injured after legging out an infield single in Wednesday’s 8-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. His official diagnosis is a left adductor strain.
“With a muscle injury, even a very minor muscle injury, the last thing we’re going to do is rush a guy out there,” Baldelli said.
Willians Astudillo will be the Twins’ 29th man for Friday’s doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Luis Arraez, who left Wednesday’s game with a sore left patella, avoided the injured list. He’s been working through the injury most of the season.
Next step for Odorizzi
The Twins are sending right-hander Jake Odorizzi to St. Paul to face live batting at the minor league camp at CHS Field, pitching coach Wes Johnson said.
Odorizzi hasn’t pitched since he was hit in the chest by a come-backer on Aug. 21 at Kansas City. Playing on a one-year, $17.8 million contract, the veteran starter was previously limited by a right intercostal strain that sidelined him after two starts. Overall, he’s 0-1 with an 8.10 earned-run average.
“We’re just being extra, over-the-top cautious with him,” Johnson said. “It’s like I’ve been telling a couple of these guys, you very seldom hear a guy say, ‘Man, I came back too late.’ Right? You hear all the time, ‘Well, maybe this guy came back too early.’ So, for us we’re just trying to make sure. It’s a very unique year, we all know that. We’re seeing guys go down with different things, and we’re just trying to be cautious.”
Odorizzi threw a bullpen session on Wednesday.
“Jake threw the ball fine, really encouraged,” Johnson said. “We’re going to let him go over and see some hitters in St. Paul and build him up so that when he gets back out there, a) he feels good about himself and then b) we feel good about where he’s at from a health and recovery standpoint.”
Catcher Mitch Garver, out since straining an intercostals muscle during an at-bat in an Aug. 19 loss to Milwaukee, is doing some light baseball activity but doesn’t appear close to returning.
“These are very particular kinds of muscle issues, and intercostals and obliques are generally things that there’s no way around taking the time to allow them to heal,” Baldelli said. “I’m going to be honest: They’re not always the injuries that heal the fastest.”
Garver, who hit 31 homers and drove in 67 runs in 93 games last season, was hitting .154 with a homer and two RBIs in 17 games before being hurt. Rookie Ryan Jeffers has taken over the regular catching duties, hitting .250 with an RBI in 11 games.
“All that being said, Garv’s doing well. He’s had no setbacks,” Baldelli said. “He’s continually working his way back. I believe I saw him throwing the other day, as well. I think he’s getting to the point where we’re starting some baseball activity and he can tolerate that just fine.”