Josh Donaldson (calf) not on Minnesota Twins roster for AL wild-card series – ESPN

Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson is not on the club’s roster for the American League wild-card series against the Houston Astros because of a calf injury.

The reigning AL Central champion Twins released their 28-man roster Tuesday, hours before their series opener in Minnesota against the defending league champion Astros.

Donaldson missed Minnesota’s last two games of the regular season this past weekend because of cramping in his right calf. But the former AL MVP took batting practice Monday at Target Field, providing optimism that he would be in the lineup for Tuesday afternoon’s game.

Donaldson, 34, is listed on Minnesota’s taxi squad, meaning he could rejoin the Twins for this best-of-three series as a replacement for an injured player.

“Didn’t want him to push if he was feeling something that he could potentially do some long-term damage to,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said, adding: “He wasn’t ready to go this series, and we felt the best thing to do was to continue to get him treatment and see where hopefully it is after this series if we’re lucky enough to move on.”

The Twins also included rookie Alex Kirilloff, ESPN’s No. 63 overall prospect for the 2020 season, to the roster. He would become just the third player ever to make his MLB debut in the postseason.

Kirilloff was the team’s first-round amateur draft pick in 2016. He has never played above Double-A but showed the club he was ready with strong performances at the team’s alternate training site this summer.

Kirilloff can play the corner outfield positions and first base, giving manager Rocco Baldelli additional flexibility with Donaldson out. The Twins kept 15 position players and 13 pitchers on their 28-man roster.

Twins utility man Marwin Gonzalez will start at third base Tuesday and bat ninth against his former club.

Donaldson struggled through an injury-plagued first season with the Twins, batting .222 with six home runs and 11 RBIs in just 28 games. The three-time All-Star is in the first year of a four-year, $92 million deal with Minnesota.

Astros outfielder Chas McCormick, who also has yet to make his MLB debut, is included on Houston’s roster.

ESPN’s David Schoenfield and The Associated Press contributed to this report.