Liam Hendriks was supposed to sub for the injured Scott Baker as the No. 3 starter in the Twins’ rotation, but he was scratched from his scheduled Sunday start and hospitalized with food poisoning.
Anthony Swarzak did a nice job filling in for the guy who was supposed to be filling in, but Hendriks’ availability for this week is now in question because as manager Ron Gardenhire put it: “I don’t think it would be a good idea for him to get on an airplane.”
Minnesota had hoped Baker would miss just one start, in which case Hendriks would likely be headed back to Triple-A, but now Baker is expected to be out for a significant chunk of time and if the 23-year-old prospect can shake the food poisoning he should have ample opportunity to show he belongs in the majors.
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.