Josh Donaldson's chronic calf problems are proving to be a serious issue once again as he'll miss the best-of-three playoff series between the Twins and Astros because of it.
Donaldson has been left off Minnesota's Wild Card roster due to a right calf injury, which caused him to miss about half of the regular season. He returned to the lineup midway through September but left Friday's game against the Reds due to what the Twins called a cramp in his right calf.
Marwin Gonzalez will start at third base in place of Donaldson to start the series.
The good news for Minnesota is that Byron Buxton, who was hit by a 92 mph fastball in the helmet in Friday's game, is on the playoff roster and poised to start in center field when the Twins take the field for Game 1 against Houston on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Added to the Wild Card roster are outfielder Alex Kirilloff (one of the Twins' best prospects) and utility man Willians Astudillo.
Here's the batting order for Game 1:
- Luis Arraez, 2B
- Byron Buxton, CF
- Max Kepler, RF
- Nelson Cruz, DH
- Eddie Rosario, LF
- Miguel Sano, 1B
- Jorge Polanco, SS
- Ryan Jeffers, C
- Marwin Gonzalez, 3B