The Minnesota Twins made a dramatic move ahead of Tuesday’s Wild Card showdown against the Houston Astros.
Josh Donaldson, the team’s third baseman, is officially out with a right calf issue. It initially cramped up on Friday night and forced him to exit the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Reds early. Apparently, it has worsened since then.
Donaldson strained his right calf earlier this year and needed to miss an entire month as a result. In the past, he had issues with both of his calves.
In his last 21 games of September, Donaldson bounced back strong from a slow start to the year and recorded a .925 OPS.
It is not all bad news for Minnesota, though.
The team will get center fielder Byron Buxton back after he suffered a concussion in that same Reds game. In the month of September the 26-year-old recorded eight homers and a 1.022 OPS.
Not surprising. https://t.co/WLcM4GhrSH
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 28, 2020
Despite the last minute Donaldson issue, most odds makers still have the Twins as the favorite to beat out the Astros.
This week Kenta Maeda, who was previously a member of the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers, was asked if there was any extra motivation for him facing off against Houston.
“Not really,” he replied.
“I try not to let anything affect what’s going on right now. I’m no longer with the Dodgers. I’m a Twin. I think my main focus right now is to go out there and pitch well to contribute to our team win.”
Instead, both he and the team are focused on dealing with Zack Greinke.
“Greinke is as tough as they come,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
NBA ratings and NFL ratings have one thing in common. https://t.co/bxZOa6b5LE
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 29, 2020
“Tremendously talented guy. Can do some really funny things with the baseball and play tricks on people in ways you normally don’t see on a major league baseball field.”
It will be interesting to see how Minnesota ultimately responds to the pressure Houston can put on teams in the postseason.
Game 1 is set for 11:08 am PT and will air on ABC.