Gilberto Celestino couldn’t help but be nervous. The 22-year-old was summoned first to Triple-A and then to the majors in a span of a few days, and when he walked into the Twins clubhouse in Baltimore, the nerves and anxiety hit him.
“I thought to myself, ‘I do belong here,’ and I just started breathing. It sounds funny, but I took time to breathe and reflect on all of the things that it took for me to get here,” he said. “And then I realized, ‘OK, I’m here. I’ve got to get ready for a game and start in the big leagues, but it’s the same baseball game that I’ve been playing my entire life.’ ”
Celestino, the Twins’ No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, got the call this week after Rob Refsnyder wound up on the seven-day concussion list.
When he debuted Wednesday, Celestino became the sixth Twin to man center field this season. The first four — Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave and Refsnyder — are all on the injured list. The fifth, Kyle Garlick, had not played the position professionally until Tuesday.
In order to add Celestino to the 26-man roster, the Twins first had to promote him to Triple-A, where he had to clear COVID-19 protocols before they could call him up.
“Being promoted from Double-A to Triple-A, I was really excited. I thought to myself, ‘Well, I don’t know how soon it’s going to be or how long it’s going to take, but this is my chance to prove that I belong here,’” he said. “And then, out of the blue, I got the call to the big leagues. And it’s like, ‘Whoa, this is really fast.’ I know the circumstances are because of everything that’s happening, but still, I was given a chance and I’m here and I’m going to try to take advantage of it.”
Thielbar to IL
Reliever Caleb Thielbar joined nine of his teammates on the injured list Thursday after straining his groin during Wednesday night’s game in Baltimore. The Twins recalled Shaun Anderson to fill his spot on the roster.
“Could it be five days? Could it be 10 days? Could it be 12 days? Who knows. There’s no way to really know that right now,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I don’t consider it a long-term issue, but it’s a muscle strain and something that’s not going to allow him to pitch right now so he would’ve been down for a while.”
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game. Baldelli said Wednesday that Simmons had mentioned some ankle soreness after Tuesday’s game.
Baldelli said there was “not much change” with Buxton’s status on Thursday. The center fielder’s intensity level is “getting to where we want him to be,” Baldelli said.