31. May: The twins announced that Correa has been added to the Covid-related injuries list. short stop Jermaine Palacios was selected to the roster as a substitute in his place and will make his major league debut in Game 1 of tonight’s doubleheader in Detroit. Minnesota also tapped right Cole Sands as the 27th man for that twin bill, and he will make the first start of his big league career in Game 2 today.
Palacios, 25, was signed by Minnesota from his native Venezuela in 2013 as an amateur free agent. The twins eventually brought him to the Rays in 2018 Jake Odorizzi Trade with Tampa Bay, but Palacios struggled during the majority of his more than two years in the Rays organization. After his sacking in the 2020-21 offseason, Palacios returned to the Twins on a minor league deal and put himself back on the prospect card with a solid performance for 2021. MLB.com currently ranks him the 29th farm hand for the Twins, while Baseball America calls him the best defensive infielder in the Minnesota system. Palacios scored .259/.340/.439 in Triple-A last year and starts 2022 at .262/.325/.379.
Sands, 24, was the Twins’ fifth-seeded pick in 2018 and made his two-seat MLB debut earlier this season. The Florida State product has struggled in Triple-A so far, albeit in just five starts. He’s widely regarded as one of the Twins’ top 15 picks, thanks in large part to a 2.46 ERA and 28.7% strikeout rate in 80 1/3 innings of last year’s double-A ball. Sands hasn’t served more than five innings in an appearance since April 13, so he may have a relatively short game ahead of him today. In his last Triple-A appearance a week ago, he threw three frames without a goal.
May 30: Carlos Correa Didn’t play in the Twins’ 7-5 loss to the Tigers today and Minnesota was manager after the game Rocco Baldelli told reporters that it was learned mid-game that the shortstop had tested positive for COVID-19. Correa will be placed on the COVID injury list sometime before the Twins’ doubleheader in Detroit tomorrow.
There were already some ups and downs in Correa’s first two months with the Twins as he also spent 10 days on the regular IL due to a bruised right middle finger. Correa was also coming off the plate fairly slowly, but is now hitting a lot more than usual, with a .279/.344/.407 overall slash line with three homers in 154 plate appearances. This results in 122 wRC+/123 OPS+, just below Correa’s career average.
However, Correa is now sidelined for at least 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Under league rules, Correa may return earlier if he has not had a fever for 24 hours, tests negative twice, and gets approval from three doctors (the Twins’ team doctor, a league-appointed doctor, and an MLBPA-appointed doctor). .
Correa joins joe ryan and Gilberto Celestino on Minnesota’s COVID list, a subsection of an overall list of the injured that is worryingly long for the twins. Once Correa is officially added, he will become the 13th player in Minnesota IL and the club will also be missing several more unvaccinated players for a series in Toronto from June 3-5.
Former first overall winner Royce Lewis had come on at shortstop during Correa’s previous IL stint, but Lewis himself was only placed on the injured list today after sustaining a bruised right knee following a collision with the midfield wall in yesterday’s game. This leaves Utilityman Nick Gordon or regular second baseman Jorg Polanco as the most likely candidates for shortstop in Correa’s absence and as third baseman Gio Urschel also has experience as a shortstop.