CLEVELAND — If no longer for Sandy Leon’s achieve, Ronny Henriquez’s first pitch as an reliable major-leaguer would have flown to the backstop. But that is comprehensible — he is new.
Just like such a lot of of his teammates.
Henriquez become the sixtieth participant to take the sector for the Twins this season, the thirty seventh guy to pitch for them, and the twelfth rookie to make his major-league debut in 2022 — all of them franchise records for a unmarried season.
And whilst Rocco Baldelli joked that “I’m a social guy — I don’t mind having all these guys around,” the Twins’ supervisor additionally conceded that the consistent turnover and the ceaseless accidents have been tough to navigate this season.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries and uncertainty at different points of our season. Is that just another challenge along the way? Of course it is,” Baldelli mentioned. “But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something you can’t overcome, or [you can’t] find ways to win with different combinations of players. That’s our job. That’s literally our job, to find ways to succeed regardless of whether it’s the same cast of names and skill sets, or if you’ve got to do it differently every single day.”
It’s been the latter this yr. Baldelli has used 138 other lineups in 147 video games, and 13 other beginning pitchers. Six of the 9 hitters in his Opening Day lineup are lately at the injured checklist, as are every other 13 in their teammates. So the usage of 60 gamers used to be inevitable and unavoidable, he mentioned.
“It has been tough. It is hard when you don’t have your players that you know you’re going to need to rely on for a lot,” Baldelli mentioned. “I would also say you can’t play an entire Major League Baseball season looking for guys that are not currently there. You have to focus on winning. I mean, with everything that’s gone on, we’re still competing. We’re not where we wanted to be at this moment, but we’ve done it without what you would consider anything close to the lineup that you expected.”
Even his “healthy” gamers don’t seem to be in point of fact, Baldelli famous, regardless that that is not atypical for September. But with such a lot of absences, he mentioned he senses gamers’ reluctance so as to add themselves to that checklist.
“Can you play or can you not play becomes the question a lot of the time. That becomes a mentality,” Baldelli mentioned. “The guys on the field right now who are playing regularly that are very beat-up, there would probably be points earlier in the season where they might not be playing. If it were the middle of June, we’d have to get them off their feet because they wouldn’t last.”
Correa remains moderately wholesome
One participant who has most commonly remained wholesome this season is shortstop Carlos Correa, who sat out 24 video games this yr, maximum of them after fouling a ball off his hand in May. Part of the cause of his relative well being, Correa mentioned, is his makes an attempt to keep away from needless scenarios that would get him injured.
That’s why he hasn’t tried to scouse borrow a base since 2019 — “It’s too easy to injure your hands when you’re sliding into a base,” Correa mentioned — and it is why he did not attempt to ranking when the ball simply beat him to house plate final Tuesday in opposition to the Royals. Correa merely ran out of the baseline, previous Royals catcher Salvador Perez, and instantly to the dugout, accepting the out with out a play.
“I was out by a mile. Creating a collision with Salvy could only end badly for me,” Correa defined. “He’s a big boy, and there wasn’t anything I could do.”
That form of risk-reward calculation is the results of a handful of accidents previous in his profession, Correa mentioned.
“Young me might have tried to find a way to get in there, tried to find a way to avoid a tag or knock the ball loose,” Correa mentioned. (*12*)
Baldelli mentioned he understood the calculation, and is assured it simplest comes into play in such excessive scenarios.
“If he has a chance to be safe, he’s going to try to be safe. On that particular play, [Royals center fielder Drew Waters] made a hell of a throw,” the chief mentioned. “I don’t see any upside to a completely unnecessary collision for a shortstop. But something tells me if he had a chance to be safe, he would have done something different.”
- Trevor Megill remained at the COVID-19 checklist Monday as he awaits clearance from Major League Baseball to go back. The righthander has two times examined unfavourable for the virus, Baldelli mentioned.