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  • Covid Hits Twins Clubhouse

    Seth Stohs

    Former San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler will take the reigns for the Minnesota Twins tonight in Baltimore and for at least the next several games. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli tested positive for Covid earlier on Thursday. Later in the afternoon, Tingler announced that Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy have also tested postiive for Covid. 

    Image courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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    A year ago, the Twins were doing a little West Coast swing. While in Anaheim, several players including Max Kepler, Kyle Garlick, and Caleb Thielbar tested positive for Covid. The Twins were in the early part of a delayed season that was already going south quickly. Losing players and the stress of that situation only contributed to the Twins early-season demise in 2021. 

    Obviously the hope this time around is that the affected players (and manager) are feeling alright and can return to the game in quick fashion, hopefully within a week. That said, we may not have heard the end of this. Players have been testing today, and with more positive tests, it is likely that they will continue to test in the coming days. We know that Covid's incubation period can be several days, so the Twins could find more positives for the next few days as well. 

    Max Kepler has felt under the weather for a couple of days. He left Wednesday night's game early. He has taken a few Covid tests and they have been negative to this point. GM Thad Levine said other players are also feeling a little under the weather. 

    We shall see where this takes us, but it could be a very interesting weekend for the Twins. 

    The Twins entered play on Thursday with a 15-10 record and a 3 1/2 game lead over the White Sox and Guardians in the AL Central. 

    Levine told reporters in Baltimore, "This is why you built out a lot of versatility and experience in your coaching staff and go get several people on our bench who have had managerial experience whether it be in the big leagues or winter leagues or in the minor league,"

    That is equally important when considering how the Twins built their roster, with several players able to play multiple positions. 

    Speculation is that the Twins personnel may have contracted Covid while in Tampa as several members of the Rays coaching staff are also currently out for the same reason. 

    Bundy and Arraez were both placed on the Covid-IL. Per MLB Trade Rumors: 

    "As per the 2022 version of the league’s COVID protocols, Arraez and Bundy will miss at least the next 10 days, though they may make an earlier return if they meet three criteria — two negative PCR tests, at least 24 hours without a fever, and approval from a team doctor and a MLB/MLBPA joint committee of two other physicians."

    With that in mind, the Twins will likely need to add a couple of players to their active roster on Friday. To replace Luis Arraez, the team will likely want a 40-man roster guy who could play multiple positions if needed. They will also want to add a pitcher to replace Bundy. Sonny Gray is making a start for the Saints this weekend. Josh Winder, Chris Paddack and Joe Ryan are scheduled to start for the Twins this weekend at Target Field against the A's. So the Twins could go with a long reliever or a starter. It will be interesting to see what direction the team goes with a pitcher. It would seem that Alex Kirilloff would be the hitter to return. 

    We will continue to update this as more information becomes available. 


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    Due to the artificially politicized nature of Covid, this comments section will be zero-tolerance. Any refuting of the existence of Covid, its impact, or political statements minimizing the danger of the virus will automatically receive three points and a brief vacation from the Twins Daily comments section.

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    I suppose Bundy doesn't matter for a day considering he pitched yesterday, but will the Twins be able to bring up a guy to fill in for Arraez?   Is this how Royce Lewis makes his debut? 

    I like how they updated the protocol for returning:  two negative PCR tests, at least 24 hours without a fever, and approval from a team doctor and a MLB/MLBPA joint committee of two other physicians.  That's better than a blanket number of days for everyone.

    Edited by MMMordabito
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    Looking forward to seeing a different experienced former manager run this team for a few games as I try to comment using the phone. 



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    Losing Arreaz for 10 days won’t kill the Twins from a position standpoint since Miranda plays the same positions, but that also assumes no one else gets hurt.


    From the starting pitcher stand point things will get interesting if Gray and Ober are not ready. They could call Sands up again but with options limited per year they may want to hold off.  Enlow, Jordan and Villamont aren’t ready.  They could try Henriquez or Strotmam but neither of the. Seem ready either.  Do they outright Villamont or Godoy and put Smeltzer on the 40 man?  Can Sano go on the 60 day IL?  Can they do a bullpen game with Jax going 3 innings and Duran going 2 plus?

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    I should know this answer, but I believe if Sano is moved to the 60day IL, Twins could put Smeltzer on the 40 man roster.  Other than a poor start the other night, Smeltzer has pitched very well for the Saints and was fantastic in ST.  As for the hittter, I'm not sold on Kirilloff getting the promotion as I think mgmt may want to see more ABs and production at SP.  Saying that, it seems to me Lewis would be the call.  Will be interesting to see what happens.

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    Is there really any reason to not bring up Sonny Gray now rather than give him a start with the Saints?  He pitched Sunday, he's going to go 4-5 innings...why not for the Twins?  I suppose they don't want to expose him to what could be a Covid-ridden clubhouse, but pitching him Saturday in St. Paul makes him unavailable until Thursday.

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    Here in NJ, cases are above where they were in February when the Omicron variant first swept the country.  Being that MLB no longer tests on a daily basis and that people are infectious 1 to 2 days before showing symptoms, there is the potential to have more than a few players infected. 

    if I am reading this article correctly, the Covid IL and replacement policy is the same as last year, including the ability to have a taxi squad. As far as I know, the Twins do not currently have a taxi squad, is this correct. 


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    9 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

    Sanó is not on the 60-day list yet. Players brought up for COVID list players do not have to be on the 40-man roster. If the don’t want to mess with Lewis, Palacios could be a good choice. Smeltzer Ft Bundy makes sense. 

    Thanks for clarifying that.  No issues then.  I am thinking Smeltzer or Rodriguez for SP.  the. For a position player Palacios or Robertson.

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    1 hour ago, stringer bell said:

    Sanó is not on the 60-day list yet. Players brought up for COVID list players do not have to be on the 40-man roster. If the don’t want to mess with Lewis, Palacios could be a good choice. Smeltzer for Bundy makes sense. 

    Okay, I was wrong and they will have to go with 40-man guys. That will limit the replacements. There is a possibility that they might move Sano to the 60-day list or maybe take Vallimont off the 40-man and add someone from off the current list. 

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    Hopefully, this gives us an opportunity to see Royce Lewis, while members of the current Twins roster wait out their time period of contagiousness. 

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    It seems St. Paul is carrying an abundance of players (over 30 "ACTIVE" at the moment) and just added Cole Sturgeon and Ernie Yake to the mix.

    Also, players replacing COVID players don't necessarily have to be on he 40-man roster, right? Why use an option if you really don't have to use an option? That would speak well for guys like Curtis Terry or Devon Smeltzer or any number of AAA arms (Chi Chi time!).

    Correa having swollen fingers may create the opportunity we all want to see for Lewis, although I would hate to be without Correa for 10-15 days.

    The great news is that Winder looks to get another start. Gray gets a rehab in St. Paul. And Balazovic is close to returning to St. Paul.



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    That’s really a shame. I hope everyone who got hit with the virus makes a full recovery. I also hope that this doesn’t cost the Twins wins.

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    I understand there are lots of questions surrounding what a team can and cannot do this year when hit with COVID.   Adding players not on the 40-man may only apply when/if the number of cases are higher than the current situation.

    Expect we will see Lewis tonight at short as Correa's replacement.  May he get off to a great start, please?

    Is it possible Bundy was a bit under the weather on Wednesday which led to some of his problems on the hill?  I certainly hope so.

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    Yikes, depth is certainly going to be tested already. I wouldn't have a problem with Smeltzer making a start but he's not on the 40 man so I'd prefer not to bump anyone else off. We will need Godoy later in the year. 

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