The last time Jake Odorizzi hopped into the Zoom room to conduct an interview, it was just hours after a comebacker had been rocketed off his chest last Friday.
Odorizzi’s pain was visible as the starter needed to be helped into and out of a chair by Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse.
Odorizzi provided another visual on Saturday, pulling out his phone to reveal a photo of a deep bruise that is black around the edges with a red circle in the middle where the batted ball smacked his abdomen.
Odorizzi has started feeling a bit better, to the point where he played catch both Friday and Saturday. He had tried to throw a couple days earlier but found his mechanics weren’t comfortable and so he shut it down.
He is planning on throwing a bullpen when the Twins return to town. Eventually, he’ll head over to CHS Field, where he will face live hitters at the Twins’ alternate site.
“Right now, it’s catch play, stretching out, long tossing,” he said. “Just getting everything back in order because it took — I had a week off from throwing, so (I’ve) just got to get back into throwing shape and get ready to go again.”
It’s been a fragmented season for Odorizzi, who missed the beginning of the year with an intercostal strain and has only made three starts — all against the same team, a challenge in and of itself — the last of which was cut short by the injury.
“I’ll make a start (in St. Paul), see how it goes, see how I feel and then assess it from there,” he said. “…I haven’t exactly had a lot of time to just work on things or ramp up or anything so pretty much was right into games and that’s tough so just need to use some time to see some hitters, work on my pitches. I haven’t had time to refine anything like you normally would.”
Rocco Baldelli came the closest he has yet to putting a timeline on Josh Donaldson’s return, saying he thought it was possible the third baseman, who has a strained right calf, could come back on this upcoming homestand.
The homestand includes three games against the White Sox, an off day and then a weekend series against the Tigers.
Donaldson is currently rehabbing in St. Paul, and Baldelli said one of the challenges right now is finding ways to get him more at-bats and time in the field.
They don’t have the ability to play seven- or nine-inning games at the alternate site simply because of how many pitchers they have, he said.
Baldelli said Donaldson is feeling good, moving well and able to run and move in “quick mannerisms and become more explosive.”
“Now, we need to build him up. We need to make sure that we don’t rush the last week or so of what he has to do. That’s just a rough, general statement,” Baldelli said. “Again, we need him to get his at-bats, which he’s getting plenty of, but we need him to build up in the field, too, because coming back and playing three or four innings doesn’t exactly give us what we need, and we need to make sure he can handle it physically and recover and come back the next day.”
The day Michael Pineda (suspension) is eligible to return was pushed back a day as a result of the Twins missing a game this weekend. Pineda must sit out 36 games this season. He will be eligible to return during the series against the White Sox. … The Twins opted to move Kenta Maeda back a day rather than have him start on his regular schedule Saturday, for extra rest.
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