Minnesota Twins’ Nick Gordon (1) is checked out for injury after he was hit by a foul ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
LOS ANGELES — Nick Gordon fouled a ball off his right shin and crumpled to the dirt in pain. Four innings later, Joey Gallo did the same.
Gallo was still dealing with considerable swelling after the game, but he avoided a fracture. Gordon wasn’t quite as lucky. The utilityman suffered a fractured shin, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said, and is expected to miss a considerable time.
To top things off, second baseman Jorge Polanco also left early, straining his hamstring while running to first on a groundball in the fourth inning of what became a quite painful 7-3 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon. That makes Thursday’s off day in Southern California particularly well-timed as the Twins assess the injuries and sift through potential roster replacements.
Polanco said after the game that his hamstring felt tight, but he and the team would see how it feels on Friday and go from there.
“What happened to me last year (with injuries), it made me more aware,” Polanco said. “Stuff like this, I got tight. I don’t want it to get worse, so I just told them, ‘I feel tight,’ and I just take care.”
The Twins will be in wait-and-see mode with Gallo, as well, focusing first on calming his inflammation and swelling. The first baseman/outfielder, who was thinking the worst after he hit the ball off his leg in the ninth inning, was relieved after the game.
“That’s probably the worst I’ve fouled a ball off my shin since I’ve been playing,” Gallo said. “… It was immediately just swollen up through my pants so that’s why they’re just kind of like, ‘We might want to be cautious with this and see what happens.’ ”
Gallo exited immediately, and Ryan Jeffers entered to finish the at-bat, striking out to conclude the game. Gordon managed to talk Baldelli and head athletic trainer Nick Paparesta into letting him finish his fifth-inning at-bat. He struck out and immediately exited to get a Fluoroscan, which revealed the break.
“Those two guys, you’re not going to pull them out unless there’s something seriously wrong with them,” Baldelli said. “… There’s almost nothing that can take them out of the game, and sometimes we have to step in and take them out. I wish Nick didn’t have to take that last swing, knowing now that his leg was fractured. Doesn’t look like it’s displaced, or he further hurt himself talking that extra swing, but I’ll bet it was painful as hell.”
While the Twins sort through the injuries and how many replacements will be necessary and who exactly they will be flying to California, they have a number of options on the 40-man roster, including but not limited to outfielders Kyle Garlick and Matt Wallner and second baseman Edouard Julien.
One player who isn’t an option? Infielder Royce Lewis, who is currently rehabbing with the Triple-A Saints. Lewis is on the 60-day injured list and will not be eligible to return until late May.