MINNEAPOLIS —Nelson Cruz’s wrist injury might not be as bad as many initially feared after the Minnesota Twins’ designated hitter started grimacing in pain on Thursday night, Aug. 8, after swinging at a pitch.
Testing revealed a ruptured ECU tendon in the left wrist, the same one Cruz strained earlier in the year. While he landed on the 10-day injured list and will see a specialist on Monday, he was joking around and said he was pain-free on Friday.
“Yesterday, it was pretty painful. I guess when the tendon tore, that’s what I felt,” Cruz said. “I wasn’t able to grab anything. Once I got some tape and they checked it out, it started feeling normal. It feels good now.”
Cruz said he didn’t have any pain on Friday and expressed optimism that he could be ready to go in 10 days. He said he grabbed a bat and swung a little bit on Friday, having no problems with that.
In the previous 15 games before the injury, Cruz had slashed .415/.492/1.151 with 12 home runs and 25 driven in and while the Twins’ lineup is deep, Cruz missing an extended period of time would be a big blow for a team in a division chase.
“The initial news was not what you were looking for. The interesting part about the last 12 hours was that we found out that this is an injury you can actually, potentially work through,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “When you hear about any sort of a tendon injury the first thought is very, very long term and there are no guarantees, but … other players have dealt with similar injuries and have been able to work their way back.”
For context, Justin Morneau played through the injury after rupturing his tendon in 2012. His wrist had hurt swinging before the rupture, but when it ruptured, he said the pain went away.
“It’s not common to hear of an injury like that when the player is not discussing being in pain or being in discomfort in any way,” Baldelli said. “And so you take it for what it’s worth. You rely on people who know more than you. You rely the doctors to also lead the way. He’s obviously has been looked at but we are going to have him looked at again and maybe even again, once more after that, to make sure we all are in agreement of what’s going on here.”
Dobnak joins Twins, might have to reschedule wedding
Randy Dobnak’s quick rise through the Twins’ system was so fast that even the new reliever and his fiancée weren’t quite expecting it.
Exhibit A: Their wedding is scheduled for Sept. 28.
There’s a good chance Dobnak will have a conflict that day, as the Twins will be playing in Kansas City.
“When we first picked the date, I was like, ‘You might want to maybe look in October or something like that,’” Dobnak said he told his fiancé, Aerial Munson. “She’s like ‘Nah, I think we’ll be fine.’ And I was like, ‘All right, whatever you say.’ Happy wife, happy life, right?”
That conversation was about a year and a half ago. Since then, Dobnak has risen all the way through the system, jumping from Class-A Advanced Fort Myers to the majors just this year. That after playing at a Division II school, going undrafted and winding up in a small independent league.
Dobnak arrived in Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon but his bags didn’t make it with him. His pitching glasses — for the first time ever, he said — were put in his checked luggage instead of his carry on so he had to wait at the airport for his bags to land before heading to Target Field. He arrived about an hour before game time Thursday and has yet to make his debut.
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet, really. I’m still kind of in shock. Eventually when I get out there on the mound, it’s all going to come crashing down on me at once. But I’m prepared for it,” he said. “It’s what everybody works for for their whole life. And then I’m finally here, it’s unbelievable.”
Reliever Cody Stashak was called up to replace Cruz on the 25-man roster. Michael Pineda (triceps strain) has been playing catch. Baldelli said he is doing well and hasn’t had any setbacks but he was unsure of when Pineda would throw a bullpen session. Baldelli said both Pineda and reliever Sam Dyson (biceps tendinitis) were “getting close to the point where they’re going to be kind of letting it go a little bit more.”