TODAY: “Surgery is on the table” for Paddack, Dan Hayes of The Athletic tweets, though Paddack is continuing to explore all options.
MAY 8: Twins starter Chris Paddack left today’s game due to inflammation in his right elbow. Paddack pitched into the third inning, retiring the first batter and then allowing two hits before being pulled, following a mound visit from the team trainer. Acting Twins manager Jayce Tingler told reporters (including Betsy Helfand of The St. Paul Pioneer Press) that Paddack started to feel some tightness in his elbow as he started his final frame of work.
More will be known once Paddack undergoes medical testing, but as Helfand notes, this particular injury is worrisome considering Paddack’s history of elbow issues. The right-hander suffered a slight UCL sprain just last September that prematurely ended his 2021 season, and going further back, Paddack underwent a Tommy John surgery in 2016. If the injury isn’t anything more than just inflammation, the Twins could still skip Paddack’s next start for precautionary reasons, or even put him on the 10-day injured list just to ensure that everything is completely fine.
For a club that had so many questions about its rotation heading into the 2022 season, the Twins now finds itself in a situation where they actually have more than enough depth to accommodate a short-term absence for Paddack. Minnesota’s rotation has been a strength, with Paddack, Joe Ryan, Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Bailey Ober (currently on the 10-day IL with a groin injury), and Josh Winder all pitching well to begin the year. Dylan Bundy also seems to be on the verge of returning from the COVID-IL, so Bundy could slot right into Paddack’s rotation spot if Paddack is indeed sidelined.