The Twins activated right-hander Michael Pineda from the injured list Thursday, per Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. He’ll start the team’s game in Texas. The Twins optioned righty Randy Dobnak to Triple-A Rochester in a corresponding move.
Pineda’s back after missing a little over the minimum of 10 days for Minnesota, which placed him on the IL on Aug. 3 because of a strained triceps. That issue aside, this season has largely represented a healthy and successful return from Tommy John surgery for Pineda. He underwent the procedure in July 2017 as a Yankee, but the Twins nonetheless guaranteed the 6-foot-7, 280-pounder a two-year, $10MM contract in the ensuing offseason. While Pineda didn’t take the mound in 2018, the 30-year-old has given the contending Twins 117 innings of 4.15 ERA/4.16 FIP pitching with 7.92 K/9 and 1.77 BB/9 this season. Pineda’s contributions have helped the Twins to a half-game lead over the Indians in the American League Central.
In further good news for Minnesota, utilityman Willians Astudillo is set to begin a rehab assignment at the Double-A level. Astudillo, 27, hasn’t played in the majors since June 26 on account of a left oblique strain, continuing a rough year for the fan favorite. He’s just a .263/.282/.383 hitter in 142 plate appearances this season, though Luis Arraez and Ehire Adrianza have helped make up for that by emerging as extremely useful utility options for the Twins in 2019.