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Unvaccinated Twins players upset they can't play in Toronto: 'It's sad'

·Writer
·3-min read
Max Kepler is among the Twins players absent for their weekend series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. (Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Max Kepler is among the Twins players absent for their weekend series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. (Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Twins placed four players on Major League Baseball’s restricted list ahead of a weekend series in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

Those players include outfielder Max Kepler and pitchers Caleb Thielbar, Emilio Pagán and Trevor Megill. All four individuals are reportedly unvaccinated and would therefore be subject to a 14-day quarantine period upon crossing the border into Canada.

Kepler shared his thoughts with Pioneer Press reporter Betsy Helfand about not travelling with the team to Toronto, saying it's “sad” he won’t be able to make the trip. The 29-year-old will be forced to remain at home in Minnesota while his club attempts to snap its current three-game losing streak.

Along those same lines, Pagán also came forward and discussed his decision to be unvaccinated, saying it’s best for himself and his family. The 31-year-old also added that he’s been upfront with everyone since the Twins acquired him in April from the San Diego Padres.

Per Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Thielbar said a reaction to a flu vaccine led him to his decision not to take the COVID-19 shot. He expressed frustration that rules about crossing the border have changed since last season.

The Twins aren’t the only franchise that has had to travel to Toronto without a full roster. Earlier this week, the Chicago White Sox placed Dylan Cease and Kendall Graveman on the restricted list. The Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds have also been impacted.

Forced to travel without four of its regulars, Minnesota is expected to make additional roster moves prior to first pitch of Friday’s series opener against Toronto.

The Twins currently hold a 4.5-game lead over the Cleveland Guardians for first place in the American League Central Division with a 30-23 record. The Blue Jays are riding an eight-game winning streak and have climbed to second place in the AL East at 30-20.

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