Twins Reinforcements En Route, Not Maeda

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn - Minnesota Twins / Getty Images

September is nearly upon us and the Minnesota Twins, entering Monday night, were two games behind the Cleveland Guardians for first place in the American League Central and three games back of a wild card spot. To make the postseason tournament, they’ll have to be much better than they were for most of August.

But there’s good news. They have injured list reinforcements on the way and most should make immediate impacts upon return. The list starts with Byron Buxton, who Rocco Baldelli said will not travel to Chicago for the upcoming road trip vs the White Sox, but who could fly there mid-series to join the team, if he’s feeling up to it. Buck is eligible to come off the IL on Friday.

Pitching Reinforcements a Plenty

Next on the list of priority returnees is newly acquired starting pitcher, Tyler Mahle, who was shut down after his last start for shoulder fatigue. His fastball velocity had dropped under 90 MPH so the Twins put him on the IL, got his shoulder checked out and gave Tyler some much-needed rest. Now, he’s feeling fresh and ready to go. The hope is that Mahle will pitch vs the White Sox over the weekend.

But Tyler Mahle isn’t the only Minnesota Twins pitcher who is ready to pitch-in on a playoff run. Josh Winder is starting a rehab stint in St. Paul and, should things go well, he’ll be up with the big club sooner, rather than later.

Randy Dobnak, too, is on his way back. He has already thrown four times out of minor league bullpens. Though his first appearance in St. Paul did not go well, surrendering 4 hits and 3 runs, in just two innings. Bailey Ober, too, has been throwing live bullpen sessions and will start a rehab stint in Fort Myers on Thursday.

Trevor Larnach Also on His Way

But there’s one more bat, who could really help the Minnesota Twins in September, should he be healthy and get into his groove at the right time. Trevor Larnach, who has been out with a core muscle injury since June, is starting a rehab stint that is expected to last one to two weeks. He could be a huge addition to an injury riddled outfield.

Maeda Giving Up on 2022 Return

There was some bad news that came along with all of these injury updates. Kenta Maeda, who the Twins hoped could be a late edition to the bullpen after undergoing Tommy John surgery a year ago, will not be ready in time to help this season. His rehab continues and is reportedly going well, but they’re officially giving up hope on his chances to play in 2022.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan