MINNEAPOLIS -- With Nelson Cruz sidelined, the Twins used three designated hitters in as many days over the weekend and with the exception of two games in Milwaukee on Tuesday and Wednesday, they plan to rotate through the spot to get players off their feet while Cruz is injured.
Cruz ruptured the ECU tendon in his left wrist swinging at a pitch during Thursday night’s game against Cleveland. He will visit a hand specialist on Monday, which should give the Twins a better sense of his timeline.
In the meantime, Miguel Sano served as the team’s DH on Friday, Jorge Polanco — who leads the Twins in games played — was the team’s DH on Saturday and Luis Arraez filled in there Sunday.
Often, players prefer to play the field as it can help with staying engaged, though manager Rocco Baldelli said he thinks anyone can adapt to the role for a couple of days during the season.
“We’re going to use this DH slot as a way to rest guys, get them off their feet. We have a lot of guys that have been playing a bunch. I think it would be helpful for this period of time to do that,” Baldelli said. “Hopefully it’s not too long, but you don’t really know at this point, but that’s what we’re going to use it for.
“I think guys will also make adjustments and learn and hopefully hone their approach when they’re a DH and figure out what they’re going to do and probably enjoy it.”
While Baldelli pointed out that playing DH does not a complete recovery day, there is benefit to spending fewer hours standing, especially at this time of the season.
“As the season goes on, the wear and tear on peoples’ bodies, it’s real,” Baldelli said. “It’s real and guys no matter who you are, you slow down a quarter tick. Over time if you’re playing every single day, sometimes the bat might feel heavy in your hands and things like that and maybe just getting guys a chance to recover even a little bit, sometimes there’s also a mental aspect to it.”
Martin Perez and Kyle Gibson will be the probable starters for this week’s series in Milwaukee. That means Perez will miss starting in Texas against his former team. Michael Pineda (triceps strain) threw a bullpen session Saturday, and Baldelli said Sunday it was “a positive day,” though they still don’t necessarily have a target for his return.