Twins activate right-hander Joe Nathan from disabled list

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As reported Thursday by Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 AM, the Twins have activated Joe Nathan from the disabled list and will have him available for Friday’s series-opener against the Brewers.

Jim Hoey, who has surrendered 22 hits and 17 runs in 14 innings of relief this season, was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester to make room.

Nathan returned a bit too quickly this year from Tommy John surgery and posted a 7.63 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 17 appearances before landing on the disabled list in late May with inflammation in his elbow. He made three rehab appearances with Rochester this week, allowing only two hits and an unearned run while striking out five.

Matt Capps has done a fine job as Minnesota’s closer since Nathan’s early struggles got him removed from the role, and the current setup isn’t likely to change unless Nathan begins mowing batters down with great frequency. For now, the 36-year-old will simply try to get back to basics in setup duty.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”