Randy Dobnak’s recent struggles cost him a place on the Twins’ 28-man roster for now. The team reinstated righthanded starter Jake Odorizzi and catcher Alex Avila from the 10-day injured list before the Twins’ 5-1 win over the White Sox on Wednesday and optioned Dobnak and infielder Travis Blankenhorn to their alternate training site in St. Paul.
Odorizzi, who has made two trips to the injured list this season and only started three games, started the game and gave up one run and two hits in 3.2 innings before leaving because of a blister on his pitching hand. Dobnak and Blankenhorn will remain with the Twins as part of the Taxi Squad during this trip to Chicago. The Twins will complete their four-game series against the White Sox on Thursday and then play a weekend series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Dobnak went 5-1 in his first six starts with a 1.78 ERA, but he’s 1-3 with an 8.27 ERA in his past four starts. Dobnak gave up four runs and eight hits in 4.1 innings in a 6-2 loss on Tuesday to the White Sox and five runs and two hits with two walks in 2.2 innings in a 6-4 loss on Aug. 8 in St. Louis. He also gave up six runs and 12 hits in 4.1 innings in an 8-2 loss on Aug. 29 at Detroit. Dobnak hit a combined four batters in his past two starts.
Odorizzi, who made the AL All-Star team last season, opened the year on the 10-day IL because of a right intercostal strain before returning on Aug. 8. He went 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in three starts in August before going back on the IL because of a chest contusion after being stuck by a line drive Aug. 21 in Kansas City.
Avila, who missed the last 10 games because of lower back tightness, was slashing .167/.352/.262 with one home run and two RBIs in 20 games this season. He leads the team in games started at catcher, and has a catcher ERA of 3.09, fourth-lowest in the American League and sixth-lowest in baseball.
Blankenhorn was recalled by the Twins on Monday and made his major league debut on Tuesday. Blankenhorn plaeyd second base and went 1-for-3, hitting a two-out double in the ninth inning.