Twins recall infielder Jose Miranda for some added offensive firepower

Jose Miranda is back in the big leagues, and he finds himself in a familiar spot. After being called up by the Twins on Monday afternoon, Miranda was penciled in to start at third base in the series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Target Field.

Though he has played some third base throughout his time in the majors, Miranda has spent most of his time at first base as of late. The decision to try Miranda at the hot corner comes with everyday third baseman Royce Lewis out with a right quad strain.

Asked if Miranda will play that position regularly, manager Rocco Baldelli left the door open for him to play elsewhere in the infield.

“I see him playing some third base,” Baldelli said. “He’s not going to be, say, the everyday third baseman.”

If he isn’t playing third base, Miranda will either slot in at first base in a pinch, or serve as the designated hitter against lefties. The hope is that Miranda’s prowess at the plate will help the Twins bust out of their recent slump. He will get his first chance to prove himself against Dodgers starter James Paxton.

“He’s very talented with the bat,” Baldelli said. “We like what we’ve seen, and we think it’s a good opportunity for him to face the lefty today and maybe some lefties going forward.”

After battling through a lingering right shoulder injury for most of last season, Miranda is looking to gain some traction with the Twins in the early stages of this season. He said he has felt good about his approach down in Triple A so far this season, hitting a home run during a short stint with the St. Paul Saints.

“I’ve been super satisfied,” Miranda said. “I feel ready to go.”

As for the pressure that comes with this type of opportunity, shortstop Carlos Correa has encouraged Miranda not to think too much about that part.

“We know what he’s capable of doing when he’s healthy,” Correa said. “I’m expecting a lot from him. I know he can contribute to this team in big way with his bat. I’m very excited that he gets to be in this clubhouse once again.”

Duarte on injured list

In a corresponding move, relief pitcher Daniel Duarte was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right triceps strain. He started experiencing some tightness in the tendon last week shortly after returning from the road trip. He was initially worried the discomfort might be related to his elbow, so he was relieved to learn it was something different.

“Nothing with the ligament,” Duarte said. “Thank god.”

The plan is for Duarte to take a few days off to rest before re-evaluating how he’s feeling. He said he hopes to resume throwing at some point this week, if possible.

Lopez starts new initiative

In a press conference on Monday afternoon, ace Pablo Lopez announced a new initiative designed to help a few nonprofits around the Twin Cities.

The special “Pablo Day” ticket package lines up with each time Lopez takes the mound at Target Field from May to September. It includes a ticket to the next Twins home game that Lopez starts, plus a Venezuelan themed jersey designed to pay homage to Lopez’s roots.

The ticket package will be available for purchase online beginning approximately 48 hours before Lopez’s next scheduled home start.

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