The Twins will move a step closer to getting a pair of regulars back in their lineup when Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka appear in extended spring games this week.
Mauer, who has been on the DL since April 14 with bilateral leg weakness, is set to appear as a DH on Wednesday. Nishioka, who suffered a fractured ribula on April 7, will make his debut Friday as a shortstop.
While Mauer is going to get into a game first, there’s a good chance Nishioka will beat him back to Minnesota. Mauer still needs to regain strength and stamina, whereas Nishioka mainly just needs to find his swing after a month and a half off. Nishioka is expected to play in about 10 minor league games. Ideally, both players would come off the DL in the first half of June.
Rays catcher Wilson Ramos had to exit Monday night’s game against the Orioles in the fifth inning after suffering a head injury. Ruben Tejada broke his bat on a ground out and the barrel hit Ramos in his helmet. Rich Dubroff reports that Ramos needed six staples to close a laceration on his head.
Ramos will continue to be evaluated under MLB’s concussion protocol. He may wind up on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Ramos, 29, entered Monday’s action batting .222/.259/.426 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 59 plate appearances. He was 0-for-2 before being replaced by Jesus Sucre.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop teamed up to turn an impressive 5-4-3 double play in the bottom of the first inning of Monday night’s game against the Rays.
Steven Souza, Jr. led off the frame with a single. Corey Dickerson struck out, bringing Evan Longoria to the dish. Longoria sharply grounded a 1-2 fastball from Kevin Gausman to Machado, who showcased his strong arm with a perfect feed to Schoop at the second base bag despite his momentum taking him towards into territory. Schoop made an off-balance throw to first to complete the twin-killing.
The Orioles took the lead in the top of the third when Adam Jones hit a solo home run off of Ian Snell.