UPDATE: It’s official — the Twins have named Rocco Baldelli their new manager. A press conference is scheduled for 4PM this afternoon. Baldelli, 37, will be the youngest manager in baseball.
7:51 AM: Jon Heyman reports that the Twins will name Rocco Baldelli their new manager. This follows a report from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune late last night which suggested that the Twins were leaning in that direction.
Baldelli, 37, has emerged as a hot managerial prospect in recent weeks. In addition to the Twins, he also interviewed for the Blue Jays and Rangers vacancies. At present Baldelli is the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Field Coordinator and spent the previous three seasons as their first base coach. He, of course, is known for his eight-year big league career, mostly with the Rays.
Baldelli would replace Paul Molitor, last year’s Manager of the Year, who was dismissed after the Twins finished with a 78–84 record, coming in 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians.
Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.
Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.
Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.
In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.