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Twins’ Josh Donaldson returns to injured list, this time because of hamstring strain

Josh Donaldson
Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson throws out Chicago White Sox’s Luis Robert at first during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Josh Donaldson might not be battling a calf issue this time, but his continued problems with leg injuries again have landed him on the 10-day injured list. This time it’s what the Twins are calling “a mild right hamstring strain,” that sent the third baseman to the IL on Saturday and resulted in outfielder Brent Rooker being promoted from the Taxi Squad.

Donaldson, who played in only 28 games in his first year with the Twins last season, injured his hamstring as he ran to second base in the opener on Monday in Milwaukee. He remained in the game, but was pulled after the top of the first and replaced by Luis Arraez at third.

Donaldson, 35, dealt with calf problems that cost him substantial playing time in 2017, 2018 and last season. The Twins signed him to a four-year, $92 million free agent deal in January 2020.

Rooker hit .316 with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs in seven games with the Twins last year. His season came to an end on Sept. 13 when he suffered a broken arm after being hit by a pitch. Rooker was among the Twins’ final cuts of spring training but was with the team as a member of the Taxi Squad.

Rooker is mainly an outfielder but did play some first base in the minor leagues. While Arraez is likely to see the majority of the time at third, the Twins could consider using Miguel Sano at third and Rooker at first to provide more power in the lineup.