MINNEAPOLIS -- With the surprising, 60-game suspension of starter Michael Pineda still hanging in the air, Nelson Cruz gave Twins fans a bit of good news when he declared he would try to play against the Indians on Saturday night at Target Field.
He didn’t, but manager Rocco Baldelli said it wasn’t because Cruz seriously injured his left wrist in Friday’s 6-2 loss.
“In basketball it would be a coach’s decision,” Baldelli said. “He said he was good to play.”
Cruz, 38, left Friday night’s game early after aggravating his left wrist on a swing and miss, a legitimate scare because Cruz missed 10 games after hurting the same wrist the same way on Aug. 9.
“I’m going to start to swing, and if it feels good, I’ll be ready to go,” Cruz said, one of three Twins players with 90 or more RBIs. In his first season in Minnesota, Cruz is hitting .305 with 92 RBIs in 104 games as the team’s designated hitter.
The Twins have a $12 million option on Cruz for 2020. He’s been playing with a ruptured tendon in the wrist and said he suspects he broke up some scar tissue that game him some temporary pain. He said the wrist only hurts when “I swing awkwardly.”
“He’s going to get treated and spend some time in the training room, making sure he lets this calm down a little bit,” Baldelli said. “He could be available tonight. He may hit for us tonight.”
Miguel Sano was the DH on Saturday, with Willians Astudillo taking his place at third base.
Cave on hold
An MRI exam on Jake Cave revealed the outfielder has a mild groin strain in his left leg, Baldelli said. He was not in Saturday’s lineup.
“We’ll wait and see before we comment on anything going forward,” Baldelli said. “It is relatively mild, but still something he’s not going to play with right now.”
Cave was injured coming out of the batter’s box after singling to lead the fifth inning in Friday’s 6-2 loss to Cleveland. He was replaced in right field by Eddie Rosario, who moved over from left for Saturday’s game. Second baseman Luis Arraez was playing left field and Max Kepler center.
Regular center fielder Byron Buxton has been limited to pinch-running and late-inning defense since Sept. 1. He separated his left shoulder catching a fly ball at the wall on Aug. 1, and Baldelli said Friday he is not close to playing full time.
A week after the Twins set the major league single-season home run mark on Mitch Garver’s homer at Detroit’s Comerica Park, the team’s 268th this season, Garver broke another home run record.
With his one-out solo home run in the first inning Saturday off Cleveland starter Aaron Civale, Garver set the Twins’ single-season mark for a catcher with his 27th. The solo shot that traveled an estimated 401 feet to left-center broke the record of 26 set by Earl Battey in 1963.
Garver also homered in the seventh inning Saturday.
Joe Mauer hit 28 home runs in when he played catcher in 2009, the last season at the Metrodome, but four were hit as a DH and one as a pinch-hitter. All the homers by Garver and Battey came when they played catcher.
Right-hander Kevin Gibson, unavailable since Aug. 30 because of ulcerative colitis, is doing well and likely to rejoin the rotation for a Sept. 10-12 series against the Washington Nationals at Target Field. … Infielder Ehire Adrianza missed his fifth consecutive game because of a sinus infection but said he is on new antibiotics and is hopeful the illness will clear up soon … Right-hander Sam Dyson said his sore right arm is “slowly on the mend” and that he will continue to rest it after leaving Tuesday’s victory in Boston in considerable pain. …