MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins announced their roster Tuesday morning for the American League Wild Card Playoffs against the Houston Astros, and third baseman Josh D onaldson is not listed.
Donaldson, the team’s biggest acquisition in free agency, played just 28 of 60 games in the regular season as he battled a calf injury. Donaldson, who hit .222 with six homers and 11 RBI in those 28 games, participated in the team’s workout at Target Field on Monday.
Donaldson won’t play in the series at all. Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said Tuesday Donaldson couldn’t fully push off his right calf during workouts, and didn’t want to risk a long-term injury.
"He worked out over the last few days, he tried to get himself as ready as possible. He went out and hit, did some fielding and then did some jogging but couldn’t push it to full tilt. Our view of it is day to day. He wasn’t ready to go for this series," Falvey said before Tuesday's game.
"The conversation with Josh was very team-oriented. The question was if we were going to have Josh on the roster as a pinch hit option. We could not take that risk that something was going to happen and set him back," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Byron Buxton is on the playoff roster, and he’ll bat second and play in center field. Buxton was experiencing mild concussion symptoms after being hit in the head by a pitch over the weekend against the Cincinnati Reds. He also worked out on Monday, taking batting practice and shagging fly balls.
In 39 regular season games, Buxton hit .254 with 13 homers and 27 RBI.
Kenta Maedea, who went 6-1 in the regular season with a 2.70 earned run average, will get the Game 1 start on the mound for the Twins. Luis Arraez will lead off and bat second, Buxton will hit second and play center, Max Kepler will hit third and play in right field, Nelson Cruz will be the designated hitter and bat clean-up, Eddie Rosario will be in left and hit fifth, Miguel Sano is at first and hitting sixth, Jorge Polanco is seventh and at shortstop, Ryan Jeffers is catching and batting eighth and Marwin Gonzalez is playing third and batting ninth.
The Twins are the No. 3 seed for the American League Wild Card Playoffs after winning the AL Central with a 36-24 record in the shortened season. Game 1 against the Astros is set for 1 p.m., and all games will be played at Target Field.