The Twins announced Monday that they’ve placed righty Michael Pineda (right elbow inflammation) and infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder (hamstring strain) on the 10-day injured list. In a pair of corresponding moves, they’ve reinstated Kenta Maeda and Luis Arraez from the injured list. Center fielder Byron Buxton has not yet been activated, though Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that he traveled with the team to Seattle, which suggests a return is near.
The loss of Pineda is notable on multiple levels. The big righty has been one of the Twins’ few effective starters so far in 2021. He also stands out as one of the more obvious trade candidates on the roster for a disappointing Minnesota club that looks more and more likely to sell veteran pieces as the summer wears on.
Pineda, 32, was terrific for the first two months of the season, pitching to a 2.62 ERA with a 26.7 percent strikeout rate and a 6.8 percent strikeout rate. However, Pineda had one start pushed back this month, and he exited another — his most recent outing — with elbow discomfort after just four innings. He’s followed up that terrific April/May run with a three-start stretch that has seen him total just 11 1/3 innings while yielding 10 runs.
On the whole, Pineda still has plenty respectable numbers. He’s accumulated 56 innings on the year and posted a 3.70 earned run average with a 22.1 percent strikeout rate, a 6.5 percent walk rate and a 38.1 percent ground-ball rate. That type of production would help to bolster just about any rotation in baseball, and given that Pineda is playing out the second season of a two-year, $20MM contract, his salary is manageable enough for the majority of contenders. The Twins may not want to commit to selling just yet, but at 26-39 and 15 games back of the division lead, that’s the likeliest outcome.
Refsnyder, 30, was a pleasant surprise for an injury-ravaged Twins club. The journeyman utilityman signed a minor league deal over the winter but unexpectedly gave the Twins a .321/.371/.500 batting line in 62 trips to the plate before going down with his own injury. He’s taken on a good bit of the workload in center field while Buxton has recovered from a hip flexor strain.
In Maeda and Arraez, the Twins will be getting back a pair who were expected to play significant roles on a division contender. Maeda finished runner-up to Shane Bieber in last summer’s Cy Young voting, but he hasn’t looked right at all this season.
In nine starts before landing on the injured list with a groin injury, he pitched to a 5.27 ERA that was nearly double last season’s 2.70 mark. Maeda’s strikeout rate plummeted from 32.3 percent last year to 20.5 percent in 2021, while his walk rate has jumped from four percent to 5.8 percent. Most problematically, he’s given up home runs at the highest rate of his career (1.90 HR/9). Time will tell whether the stay on the IL can get the righty back on track.
Arraez, meanwhile, got out to a blistering start but saw his bat go ice-cold for several weeks before injuring his shoulder on a slide into second base. The versatile Arraez hit .331/.390/.429 with more walks than strikeouts in 487 plate appearances from 2019-20, but that output has slipped to .278/.358/.333 so far in 2021.
RIP he will be missed
Fever Pitch Guy
Thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.
He’s gotta take time off to redo his sticky substance location now that they gonna crack down
Totally did not see this before my post…
Rocking the pine tar
Pine tar Pineda!!
Down with OBP
I think we missed some Detroit roster moves today.
Hopefully Refsnyder’s IL stint won’t affect his HOF chances.
He’s rocking the 38 that he wore on the Yankees too !
Where’s ‘ol Mike Leake (Mr.reliable) when you need ”m?
Cus alot of rotations could use him.
Someone who’ll take the ball every 5th game
My Red Sox could use a Mike Leake type pitcher.
Baseball needs “Big Sexy” back. There is not a rotation in the league, the Red Sox included, that could not use his 3-1 record and 3.56 ERA over his first 30 innings in the very hitter friendly Mexican League
He should actually try to get in shape one year to see if he could actually finish a season. It’s amazing how some baseball players put zero effort into conditioning.
Right, because losing some weight would have prevented a forearm strain.
Maybe strained it supporting his weight in bed?
The guy is hurt every year and is a fat slob despite getting paid millions to use his body. I think proper conditioning and lower body training takes stress of the arm. That’s baseball 101 pal.
Extra weight certainly could contribute to a forearm strain. Accelerating and decelerating mass takes force. Less mass equals less force equals lower chance of muscle strain.
That said, weight loss is often accompanied by conditioning and the right kind of conditioning can and does reduce the likelihood of injuries.
It’s tough to say how much Pineda having improved conditioning would impact how frequently he’s injured.
There goes any idea of trading Pineda.
The number of injuries this year is crazy. Twins looked good to start the year. Been a snowball since Kepler and the others went down with covid.
It’ll be nice to see Maeda, Buxton and Arraez back on the field. It might have come with a couple guys going to the IL, but a 3:2 ratio of guys coming back is still a step in the right direction!
Twins are Done. Pull the plug.
This has become a joke. Every time a pitcher gets roughed up they put him on the 10-day.
Hi Twins fans, Orioles fan from CO here. I went to a game in Aug ’19 at your beautiful stadium and had a great (although more expensive than I guessed) time. Kind of stunned how much the Twins have struggled this year and figure you are in line for an “everything must go” trade deadline stance (Orioles fans are used to this). Sorry to see it, the 2019 Twins were a fun team to watch. Best of luck!