Twins’ Sanchez supports former teammate Andujar’s trade request

TORONTO – As the Twins ready to play the New York Yankees at Target Field on Tuesday, Gary Sanchez spoke out in support of one of his former New York teammates.

Miguel Andujar reportedly asked the Yankees to trade him after the team sent him back to the Class AAA level this past Friday. Andujar, primarily a third baseman and left fielder, had been filling in for some injured starters in recent weeks but has not solidified a spot in the majors since his rookie 2018 season, when he finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting .

Sanchez said he and Andujar have been friends since well before they became teammates on the Yankees, as both are Dominican Republic natives. Both were top prospects in the organization, though Sanchez made his debut a bit earlier in 2015 while Andujar first came up in 2017.

“My opinion, it’s time for them or any other team to give him an opportunity,” Sanchez said in Spanish through an interpreter. “He deserves to play in the big leagues. He’s done a good job, offensively, but also defensively. He’s come a long way defensively, and he’s shown that he’s capable of staying in the big leagues. Maybe he deserves an opportunity on another team . “

Since Andujar played 149 games in 2018, he’s appeared in just 90 games. Sanchez said it’s hard to see his friend struggle for playing time from so far away.

“If I was in his shoes, I’d probably be thinking about the same thing, asking for a trade, for a different scenario,” Sanchez said. “Because it’s really difficult when you’re ready, and when you have shown that you’re ready at this level, to be sent down to Triple-A and play Triple-A when you deserve to be in the big leagues.

“… But at the same time, none of us make those decisions. We are just here to do our job. Front offices decide that. But I support him and hopefully everything works out.”

Pending returns

The Twins will regain the services of several sidelined players after Monday’s off day. Starting pitcher Joe Ryan threw a light bullpen after finishing his COVID-19 quarantine and should throw a more intense one either Monday or Tuesday. But Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said a rehab start might be necessary before Ryan takes the MLB mound again.

Shortstop Carlos Correa, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Detroit this past week, made it back to Minnesota in a medevac plane and is in the process of testing out of quarantine. Baldelli said Correa will surely need a couple days to regain game form, but he’s hopeful that won’t take too long.

Starter Josh Winder also seems to be nearing coming off the Injured List after dealing with a right shoulder impingement for the past two weeks. Baldelli said Winder has another bullpen scheduled soon that will tell the team a lot about his future availability.

Gio Urshela started Sunday’s game at third base after rolling his ankle in Friday’s game, but outfielder Kyle Garlick is still facing a potential IL stay after straining his left hamstring in the same game. Baldelli said the team will make that decision ahead of Tuesday’s game.

Long-term updates

Starter Kenta Maeda has been rehabbing from fall 2021 Tommy John surgery in Fort Myers, Fla., For several months but recently made trips back to Dallas – where he had his surgery – and Minnesota. Maeda is tracking to return to the Twins’ mound late this season.

“Being able to see him [in Minnesota]one, it’s good for him mentally to get around his teammates and get to be in the dugout and spend some time with us, “Baldelli said.”… The check up and mental side of it for him, seeing everyone, is good. “

Maeda had the company of fellow pitcher Randy Dobnak plus reliever Jorge Alcala, who began a rehab stint for the Class A Mighty Mussels recently. But Baldelli said Dobnak endured another setback to his right middle finger injury in the past few weeks.

Dobnak first partially tore his A4 pulley in June 2021 before completely tearing it that September. After recovering from that, he ruptured his A2 pulley shortly before spring training. There is a surgery option that would repair the damage, but Dobnak said this spring he would rather wait and let it heal on its own instead of having a surgery that is uncommon for baseball players.

“I’m sure it’s frustrating for him,” Baldelli said. “I know we feel for him, too. We could really use him, and we want him back here.”

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