Good News on Recovering Twins Caleb Thielbar and Jhoan Duran; Royce Lewis… Not So Much

royce lewis, minnesota twins
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Minnesota Twins are not off to the start that they were hoping for the Minnesota Twins. Actually, they started off fine, to the tune of a 2-0 record. But since, they have dropped four of five and suddenly hold a losing 3-4 overall record and they’re in danger Sunday of being swept by their biggest threat in the AL Central, the Cleveland Guardians.

Caleb Thielbar to start rehab assignment before returning to Minnesota Twins

There is some good news. The bullpen is about to get some serious upgrades. Caleb Thielbar (hamstring strain) and Jhoan Duran (oblique strain), who both started the season on the injured list, are surging toward their prospective returns to the Twins bullpen.

Thielbar felt good after a bullpen session where he faced multiple big league hitters. Caleb’s next step is a rehab assignment in St. Paul, which is expected this week.

“He looked great,” Baldelli said. “Exactly what we were hoping for.”

Thielbar will likely join Triple-A St. Paul at some point next week, and figures to make multiple appearances for the Saints before potentially returning to the Twins’ bullpen.

Aaron Gleeman – The Athletic

Jhoan Duran healing too

Duran’s recovery is also on an upward trajectory. He was able to throw from 105 feet without pain this week, but still needs to get on the mound and throw some sort of live session, like Thielbar did, before the Twins will even begin to ponder how they’ll reinsert him back into the bullpen.

Getting Caleb Thielbar and Jhoan Duran back into the mix certainly won’t hurt the Minnesota Twins’ chances of winning games. But the bullpen has been far from their biggest problem, through the first seven games of the season.

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Twins relievers hold a 0.98 ERA and a 0.868 WHIP, entering Sunday’s game vs Cleveland. In only 4.2 less innings, Minnesota’s bullpen has allowed 26 less hits, 18 less runs (and earned runs) and four less home runs than Twins’ starters.

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Given how much the offense has struggled, I’d say the bullpen is currently the least of Rocco Baldelli’s problems. Nonetheless, it’s always a good thing when two of your best relievers take steps toward a return to the staff.

Royce Lewis injury update not as positive

Royce Lewis, minnesota twins
Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the offense, let’s talk about the bat that the Minnesota Twins are so desperately missing from their lineup. Unlike the positive updates we got on the bullpen, the most recent information received on Royce Lewis was not as positive.

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According to multiple reports that have come out over the last 24 hours, Lewis is likely to miss at least two months with this grade two quad strain. Lewis told media members that he got a PRP injection and that he’s about one week into a one-month shutdown. I thought Aaron Gleeman (The Athletic) had the most detailed explanation on Friday’s episode of ‘Gleeman and the Geek’.

“The general idea is he’ll be shut down completely for a month, at which point, they will reassess, ‘how are you, physically’? Are you able to then start rehabbing or start the true process [to return]. The problem with a leg injury is that there’s just not much you can do that doesn’t risk making it worse.

So the one-month game plan, I think, is to let [his quadricep] heal up a little bit and calm down enough that they can then figure out, ‘okay, is it going to be another six weeks, another two months…’?

The expectation seems to be, this is from the Twins, not from Royce [Lewis], a two-month goal. Not that he’s going to be back in the lineup exactly two months from the injury, but a positive outcome would be, at the two-month point, which would be late-May, I guess… he’s perhaps on a rehab assignment, or close enough that they can say ‘he’s 10 days away, or something like that.”

Aaron Gleeman – Gleeman and the Geek Podcast
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