Central Notes: Twins, Singer, Moustakas, Alzolay

The Twins have been dealt a series of injuries this season, and another pair of notable players departed last night’s game against the Mariners early. Third baseman Josh Donaldson left for precautionary reasons in the second inning with tightness in his right calf. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons came out shortly thereafter with left ankle tightness (relayed by Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune). There’s no indication either player is dealing with anything serious, but each of Donaldson and Simmons landed on the injured list because of issues with those respective areas last season.

Donaldson missed nearly a month with a right calf strain, while Simmons missed a similar amount of time with a sprained left ankle. Given that history, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Twins play things cautiously with their left side infielders. In better news, outfielder Max Kepler, who has been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A St. Paul, could join the big league club by this weekend, manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters (including Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press).

Elsewhere in the Central divisions:

  • Royals right-hander Brady Singer was removed from yesterday’s start after three innings as a precautionary measure after he experienced right posterior shoulder tightness, the team announced. It’s not clear if he’s in jeopardy of missing his next start. The 24-year-old has only managed a 4.76 ERA in 68 innings this season, but Singer’s generally average strikeout and walk numbers (23.3% and 8.2%, respectively) and strong 50.5% groundball rate suggest he’s been a bit unlucky to allow so many runs.
  • Reds manager David Bell told reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that infielder Mike Moustakas has had his minor league rehab assignment halted after experiencing some soreness. It doesn’t seem there’s much cause for concern, but Moustakas’ return looks likely to be delayed a few extra days. The Reds have been without the 32-year-old for just under a month due to a right heel contusion. Before the injury, Moustakas got off to a pretty good start, hitting .241/.337/.437 with four homers over 104 plate appearances.
  • The Cubs have been without starter Adbert Alzolay for the past week-plus due to a blister issue. The 26-year-old tells Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago he expects to return at some point during the Cubs upcoming homestand, which runs from June 18-22. Chicago turned to Robert Stock in Alzolay’s place yesterday, but he allowed five runs and issued six walks in just four innings against the Mets. Alzolay has a solid 4.06 ERA/3.63 SIERA in eleven starts this season.