The Minnesota Twins continue to baffle everyone with the way they deal with injured players, with outfielder Denard Span now slated to miss his seventh straight game on Monday night with a right shoulder issue suffered while making a diving catch attempt on August 12. Further news suggests he underwent an MRI on his collarbone on Monday and will undergo another on his shoulder on Tuesday. Still the team apparently has no plans to put him on the disabled list and expects him to return to the lineup soon.
Assuming Span remains inactive for the early part of this week, the Twins can still backdate a 15-day DL stint to 10 days after he was last active. Under that timetable they could place him on the disabled list on Wednesday and still theoretically be without him for only the required 15 days. But why play with a short bench for that long? Especially when the team lacks potent options on the bench in the first place most of the time?
It’s fair to wonder who has the ultimate say on how the Twins handle injuries, but the first potential concern is the team simply being too trusting of players. No self-respecting athlete is going to say they can’t play unless it’s an extreme circumstance, so doctors and team on-field personnel have to be smart enough to see through the facade and make tough decisions. Some digging was done by others on heels of the injury-plagued season the Twins had in 2011 suggesting they have been behind the curve in terms of treatment and prevention of injuries, to the point of lacking the type of full-time medical personnel to deal with such issues.
Injuries have hit the Twins in full force througout the roster over the past two seasons, but every team deals with injuries and has to overcome them when key players are sidelined. The Twins seem to be one of the only teams, if not the only, that let players linger under the status of “day-to-day” for longer than a few days before making a decision to put someone on the disabled list and call up a healthy player from the minors. As former ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann used to say regarding an injured player being “day-to-day”-aren’t we all? It’s time for the Twins to re-evaluate and refurbish their entire system for dealing with injuries, and not letting players brainwash them into thinking they can play when their injuries show otherwise looks like a big first step.