MINNEAPOLIS — Nelson Cruz’s troublesome left wrist forced him to leave the Twins’ 6-2, 11-inning loss to Cleveland on Friday at Target Field.
The veteran designated hitter, who has had two stints on the injured list this season because of left wrist strains, aggravated the problem during an at-bat in the fifth inning on a swing. He ended up hitting into a double play. After striking out swinging in the eighth, Cruz was removed for a pinch-hitter in the 10th.
“Nelly was still talking about staying in the game and playing but after looking uncomfortable … we don’t want to send him out there to hit if he’s feeling that soreness or that discomfort,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “So I think we’re going to give it till (Saturday) and see how he’s feeling. It doesn’t seem like any sort of major issue right now, but it is something that we definitely want to take care of.”
Cruz missed 15 games from mid-May until early June after initially straining the wrist and then went back on the IL and missed nine games in August. That came after he ruptured the ECU tendon in his left wrist on Aug. 8 against Cleveland at Target Field. That caused initial concerns that he would be sidelined for an extended period, but the rupture actually relieved the pain Cruz had been experiencing and he was able to return sooner than many expected.
Cruz, 39, said Friday that his theory is that scar tissue is causing his latest round of pain. Cruz is listed as day-to-day but likely won’t play Saturday against the Indians, as he treats the issue with ice and medication.
Signed as a free agent by Minnesota during the offseason, Cruz is hitting .305/.384/.627 with 35 home runs and 92 RBIs.
Cruz wasn’t the only Twins player to leave Friday’s game because of injury. Jake Cave, who started in right field, departed in the fifth inning after feeling tightness in the left side of his groin following a single. Cave will have an MRI on Saturday, he said.
Baldelli called it “a mild strain of some sort.”
“He didn’t really push himself on that play and really do anything else to really hurt himself, which was the smart thing to do and I think we’re pretty lucky,” said Baldelli, who removed Cave from the game after the single. “We’ll have him looked at (Saturday) once we have a little more time and we’ll know a lot more.”
LaMonte Wade Jr. entered the game in the fifth to run for Cave. Wade scored on an RBI base hit from Jorge Polanco to put the Twins in front of the Indians, 2-1.