If it were up to Luis Arraez, he would have played Tuesday at Target Field. But when it comes to concussions, the protocol dictates all.
The Twins' utility man went on the seven-day injured list before Tuesday's game against the Rangers because of a concussion suffered in Monday's game after a collision at home plate. Although Arraez did stay in the game initially, the team pulled him after noticing symptoms. He underwent the league-issued impact test after the game and did another baseline test Monday.
Nick Gordon was called up from St. Paul, flying in from Omaha before the Saints' opener. The 25-year-old infielder was activated April 23 but didn't play for the Twins before being sent down three days later.
As for Arraez, there's a lot more testing before he returns, as he'll have to keep progressing through days without symptoms and slowly increasing activity — such as running on a treadmill up to actual baseball work — before he can return. But seven days is the minimum.
"He likes to play, so he's frustrated," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He just doesn't want to be off the field, and [that's] very understandable knowing him. He thinks he can play with pretty much anything. … Guys are tough and resilient and can deal with stuff, but this is not something that we have very much leeway on. This is very much a Major League Baseball and a doctor decision."
Rookie Alex Kirilloff has become one of the team's hottest players in the past week. But that groove seems about to go on hiatus.
Kirilloff was a late scratch from the lineup, held out because of a right wrist injury. The team took some images, and Kirilloff will head to a specialist Wednesday.
"It doesn't appear to be the most minor of things," Baldelli said. "… We're going to hopefully know more once we talk to the specialist."
After going 0-for-14 in his first regular-season at-bats, he has homered four times and is on a six-game hitting streak while playing a serviceable first base. Willians Astudillo played in that spot Tuesday.
Baldelli said the injury appeared during Monday's win, though Kirilloff played through it. But it stiffened up Tuesday. Baldelli said the injury could have happened on a slide into second base.
The 23-year-old has three doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI during his hot streak while filling in for Miguel Sano at first. Sano has been on the injury list since April 23 because of a right hamstring strain.
Thorpe to start
Lewis Thorpe will start for the Twins against the Rangers on Wednesday. He slots into Michael Pineda's usual spot in the rotation, though Baldelli said Pineda should start Thursday's game with an extra day of rest.
Pineda took a batted ball off his wrist in his most recent start Friday. Matt Shoemaker then will likely start Friday in Detroit.
More Twins vaccinated
Since the Twins' initial opportunity for COVID-19 vaccinations April 8, a couple more players have decided to take the shot. There are about 84 Tier 1 personnel, mostly players on the active and alternate site rosters, and the Twins had been hovering just below the league's 85% threshold for rolling back some protocols.
The Twins will likely achieve that benchmark by early next month, since some of these players had to take a two-dose vaccination instead of the single-dose one given last month. While some players have contracted COVID-19, they do not count toward the threshold. That's because unless the case was severe, the individual usually doesn't have enough antibodies to equal what the vaccine would provide.