During the Twins’ home opener on Thursday, the Bally Sports North camera zoomed into the Twins’ dugout at one point and found Andrelton Simmons, Kyle Garlick and Byron Buxton sitting next to each other, each with an iPad in hand.

Sure, it’s not such an uncommon thing to see a trio of millennials staring at screens, but it did look a bit funny during the middle of a baseball game.

Players have had access to pre-loaded iPads in the dugouts for years. But new this year, those iPads now allow players to access in-game video. Players are welcoming the return of in-game video after last season where in part because of COVID-19 protocols and in part in response to the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, video rooms were not open for players to watch film of themselves from that day’s game.

“It’s super helpful. I mean, I like the way we’re doing it now more than I had in the past, even with the computer upstairs, going to look at the video. I like the way it is right now,” catcher Mitch Garver said. “We have the iPads. It updates every half inning, so you go out to play defense and when you come back in to play defense, you look at your at-bats. Multiple angles. It has all the information on it that you need. It’s very helpful both defensively and offensively.”

Garlick said he uses it primarily to look at where pitches are, hoping to get a gauge of the strike zone and see what a pitcher has been trying to do to him. Every once in a while, he said, he’ll also use it to look at his swing, too.

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Designated hitter Nelson Cruz said in March that last season was difficult for him without the access to video like was used to, and it was a frequent topic of complaint among players.

“In-game video, it’s part of the game. It’s the way that our players have come up in the game. It’s the way they’ve learned how to make adjustments during the game. And it helps them do their job in a very good way,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It helps them learn. It helps them figure things out. So I’m glad that we figured out a way to do this in a way where we don’t have to worry about anything.”

Donaldson runs

Baldelli is never one to publicly reveal injury timetables, but it seems as if third baseman Josh Donaldson is getting very near a return.

Donaldson, who strained his right hamstring during the Twins’ first game of the season, was out on the field running sprints and running the bases before the game, among other on-field activities. Donaldson has been taking batting practice and running on the treadmill throughout the week.

“Hopefully we continue to build and go in the direction we’re shooting for. But with the way he looked today, I think he’s in a very good place,” Baldelli said.

Donaldson is slated to go take at-bats at CHS Field — the Twins’ alternate site — this weekend, and Baldelli said he could possibly come off the injured list when he’s eligible on Monday or it could possibly be a day or two after that. Either way, Baldelli said the medical staff was very encouraged.

Briefly

Matt Shoemaker will get his second start of the season on Sunday. Shoemaker gave up one run in six innings in his season debut. … Shoemaker will be opposed by Chris Flexen, a righty. Flexen will be the first right-handed starter the Twins have faced since Tuesday.