A bandage stretched across Joey Gallo's left knee Friday in the Twins clubhouse. Considering all the serious injuries the Twins have dealt with already this season, it seemed almost refreshing to see one that could be treated by anyone with a medicine cabinet.
"My knees get banged up, just from sliding on dirt. And they never heal," Gallo said. "And once you slide, they open right back up. It's just part of the season."
Gallo's sore hamstring, though, has healed, or at least improved enough so he can play, though he wasn't in the starting lineup Friday. That too is just part of life amid a 162-game schedule, where every day starts to feel like mid-August. "It's started to get to the dog days, two months in," he said. "You're playing every day and guys are going to get beat up a little bit, and you'll be playing through different types of injuries."
Carlos Correa, too, has recovered enough from the plantar fasciitis that gave him pain on Wednesday, a huge relief to his team. The Twins didn't post a lineup until after 5 p.m. in order to watch the shortstop work out on the field and make sure he was able to move around without pain.
"Plantar fasciitis is a very difficult issue, because it's different for every single person that deals with it. I dealt with it for one year as a player, and never felt it again in my life," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "It was excruciating," but he was able to play with the pain, he said.
Baldelli said he didn't know ahead of time Thursday that his wife, Allie, would be revealing on Instagram that the couple are expecting twin boys in September, but "we've been kind of quietly preparing" for the big arrival since they learned about it during spring training.
"We're really excited. There's going to be a lot going on," especially with the birth due during a possible pennant race, he said. "It's going to be great. We're going to need some help, though."
The couple's first child, Louisa Sunny Baldelli, will turn 2 in September, too.
Maeda, Thielbar to Saints
Kenta Maeda's next two starts have been scheduled — and they are in Buffalo. That's where the St. Paul Saints will be playing next week, when the righthander, who has missed all of May because of a triceps strain in his pitching arm, begins a rehab assignment.
Caleb Thielbar will join Maeda in Buffalo, too, beginning his own rehab from an oblique strain that has kept him out for three weeks.
"Kenta's bullpens have been good. He'd say the ball is coming out of his hand better than it was earlier in the season," said Derek Falvey, the Twins president of baseball operations. Maeda will make two starts in Buffalo, and probably even pitch in St. Paul the following week. "Our focus is building him back to full strength as a starting pitcher," Falvey said.
Waiting on Lewis
The Twins have made a decision about where Royce Lewis will play once his own rehab assignment expires Sunday — meaning where on the field, not where in the system.
"Our focus is on the dirt. That's where we're going to keep him now," Falvey said of the No. 1 draft pick in 2017, who underwent surgery to repair a torn knee ligament last May. "We started his rehab mostly at third base, but he's mixed in a lot more shortstop of late. We'll keep him there," at least this year.
But no decision has been made about whether to reinstate him immediately to the major league roster, or option him to the Saints for awhile, Falvey said.
"The primary determination is going to be how ready, and how good, he feels," Falvey said of Lewis, who is 9-for-28 with three home runs, two stolen bases and nine strikeouts at St. Paul. "Secondarily, it's always about how that intersects with the team. There are things a player can control, and things the player can't control. Ultimately, those two things are going to intersect."
Lewis went 1-for-4 with a walk in the Saints' 6-4 loss to Omaha on Friday night, a loss where the Saints went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.