Jason Heyward, who has missed five starts because of an inflamed right shoulder, took batting practice Sunday in the cage and said he hopes to return Tuesday against the Astros.
Since the soreness is in his non-throwing shoulder, Heyward has made an appearance as a defensive replacement each of the last three games. He said he feels he’ll be ready to pinch-hit Monday if necessary.
Struggling with the injury, Heyward was 2-for-28 with no RBI and 13 strikeouts this month before exiting the lineup.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.