APRIL 27: The MRI results aligned with expectations. Baldelli told reporters that imaging revealed a muscle strain but no structural damage (via Aaron Gleeman of the Athletic). Maeda is likely to go on the 15-day IL but seems to have avoided a serious issue.
APRIL 26: Twins starter Kenta Maeda is going for an MRI after feeling elbow soreness during this afternoon’s start against the Yankees, manager Rocco Baldelli told the team’s beat (video relayed by Alec Ausmus of KSTP TV). Baldelli indicated the right-hander would “need some time off” but downplayed any major concern.
According to Baldelli, the discomfort appears to be muscular as opposed to indicative of a structural concern. He suggested the team doesn’t believe the issue related to the Tommy John surgery that sidelined Maeda for the entire 2022 campaign. Nevertheless, the suggestion of Maeda taking some time to rest points to a likely trip to the 15-day injured list.
The 35-year-old hurler has had a rough few weeks to open the year. Maeda has been tagged for 16 runs in as many innings. Much of that damage came in today’s loss at the hands of the Yankees, who teed off for ten runs in the first three frames. Given that the veteran hurler was bothered by elbow discomfort for at least part of today’s start, it’s tough to know how much stock to put into his early-season production.
Maeda has spent parts of four seasons with the Twins. He was the AL Cy Young runner-up during the shortened 2020 campaign, the result of a sterling 2.70 ERA across 66 2/3 frames. He’d compiled a 4.66 ERA, albeit with better peripherals, over 21 starts the following year before going under the knife in September 2021.
The rotation had been a problem in the Twin Cities for the past couple seasons. They’d been off to a much better start in 2023 to help the club to a 14-11 first few weeks. Minnesota starters entered play Wednesday with the game’s best ERA (2.62) and most innings pitched (137 1/3), though Maeda’s tough outing today didn’t do them any favors.
Each of Pablo López, Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan is off to a fantastic start to the season. Tyler Mahle hasn’t quite been at that level but he’s had a strong first month in his own right. If Maeda hits the IL, Bailey Ober would seem the top candidate to step into the rotation. A member of the starting five for the past couple seasons, the towering right-hander has spent the bulk of this year with Triple-A St. Paul. Ober came up for a spot start against the Nationals on Sunday; he was promptly optioned back out, though he could be recalled to replace a player going on the IL without spending the otherwise required 15 days in the minor leagues.
“Maeda’s on the wire? Shoot, his stuff has been electric so far, I’m gonna start him”
-SODOMOJO at 9 am this morning. Nice move!
Would explain why he got cooked today by a slumping Yankees lineup
Over compensating for the bad ankle perhaps
That’s a good way to look at it. I hope he returns healthy.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Over compensating – Ober replacement
I liked Maeda in LA, but he’s just not durable enough. He always faltered down the stretch and was put in the Pen for the playoffs. He’d do better on a team with a 6-man rotation
Also when LA used him out of the pen he complained and told them he wanted to start which is why he eventually left.
You mean because he was traded?
Yips? Ankiel did the same thing in a test throw when his pitching career ended. A pitch that flew to the backstop then he couldn’t hit the zone really until being pulled.
Only joking, but it does seem to beyond just physical limitations. Might just need some reps in triple-A or long relief just to build him up.
It’s not the yips, his control is pretty good until he breaks. Even after this afternoon’s disaster he’s got 14 K and 3 BB in 16 IP, which is not too bad. Of course he’s also allowed 16 runs on 3 HR and about a hundred hits, so it hasn’t been good.
Let’s face it, 2023 has not been kind to Mr Maeda. In four starts he’s come out of one start shaking his hand to regain feeling (Rocco: “Aw, he’ll be fine tomorrow”) and there was that line drive off his leg (Rocco: “OK, got to admit I though he was crippled after that one”) and today’s short start (“Might need a reset.”) I may be paraphrasing on some of those, but he hasn’t been impressive. The one start he didn’t end up in the trainer’s room was 6.0 IP with 4 ER and 8 hits. Color me happy we waited on the contract extension talks.
Yips can happen in between a pitch. Again it was clear he was way off after the first visit. He had much better control in his early outings.
I still like him, even early results this season, but he looks seriously off the last few. His cy young runner up was right there.
Isn’t working him into a long reliever with ober slotted in as option something people can get behind?
Thought it made sense from the beginning of the season.
Stick a fork in him. He’s done.
Ober should be a starter and Maeda should be in triple A trying to prove he should be at the MLB level
BS that they left Kenta out to take a beating.
Best ERA and most innings pitched! The Twins? You sure? They’ve taken a complete 180 from last year and I’m not sure if the Twins rotation has been anything to be especially proud of since Johan
Ober, and a few behind him, are more than ready to step in for Maeda. Though he does have his own injury history
Would be nice if Maeda can accept the bullpen role going forward. He’s got bonuses for being a start, or maybe innings. Is a buyout or handshake agreement possible? Similar to CC getting his bonus after a late season brawl defending his team
Hope he is okay and can contribute in some capacity but he does not belong in their rotation.
Great job by the manager making a guy start who was clearly injured