Baseball was officially back at Target Field on Friday, with the Minnesota Twins playing their 14th home opener at their new ballpark.
Ca we still call Target Field ‘new’ even though it’s been open since 2010? It feels like just yesterday that the Twins were breaking the field in, and it’s hard to believe fans have already been watching baseball there for over a decade.
One thing fans were looking forward to watching at this year’s home opener was Joey Gallo. He was signed back in December without a ton of fanfare, having flamed out with the New York Yankees before finishing his season last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It didn’t take long for Gallo to pick up where he left off after departing Texas back in 2021 as he instantly looked like the slugger Minnesota was hoping he’d be.
Fans didn’t get to see Gallo for long, though. In the sixth inning with two runners on, Nick Gordon stepped up to pitch hit for Gallo. It wasn’t clear at first why Gallo had been pulled, as it was the exact situation the team needed him.
Joey Gallo injury update: Twins reveal reason for early exit from home opener
Initial optimism was hoping that Gallo had been pulled for strategy, even if it would have been a baffling decision to make. As it turns out, the reason nobody wanted to hear was the one Gallo got yanked out of the lineup.
Before the game was over, the Twins revealed that it right side soreness that caused Gallo to exit.
This is the second potential injury the Twins might have to navigate around in the first three series of the season. Max Kepler blasted a home run for his first hit of the season back in the series opener against Miami, but exited later in the game after coming up wincing after hustling out an infield single.
It was revealed that Kepler was dealing with right knee soreness, something that has kept him out of the lineup ever since. The good news is that Kepler didn’t need to go to the IL, and there’s hope that a similar situation is all the Twins will have to deal with after pulling Gallo on Friday.