The Twins are placing righty Kenta Maeda on the injured list with what’s been diagnosed as a strained right triceps, per Dan Hayes of The Athletic (Twitter links). He’ll be shut down for three to seven days. Twins trainer Nick Paparesta tells Hayes and others that examinations did not reveal anything related to Maeda’s 2021 Tommy John surgery and that he’s being treated only for the muscle strain.
The team also offered some insight into righty Tyler Mahle, who was lifted from yesterday’s blowout of the Royals after throwing just 66 pitches through four innings of one-run ball. Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com tweets that Mahle is dealing with an impingement in the back of his elbow, which contributed to his drop in velocity during yesterday’s fourth inning. The Twins aren’t yet sure whether he’ll make his start and will reevaluate him in 48 to 72 hours, after he’s been treated with anti-inflammatories.
There’s no clear timetable on when Maeda will return, but for now the Twins will turn to 6’9″ right-hander Bailey Ober in his place. The towering righty has made a full season’s worth of starts for Minnesota dating back to 2021, including one earlier this year. In those 32 trips to the hill, he’s pitched to a 3.74 ERA with a strong 24.1% strikeout rate against an even better 5.3% walk rate. Ober allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings during a spot start in place of Maeda earlier this season and has a 2.55 ERA in four starts with Triple-A St. Paul to begin the season.
If it’s determined that Mahle also requires a trip to the injured list, the Twins’ depth will be tested further, though they’re well-stocked in that regard. Right-hander Louie Varland, who’s also made a spot start already this season, owns a 3.94 ERA in six big league starts and has a 2.72 ERA with a 52-to-7 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 career innings at the Triple-A level. He’s widely regarded as one of the team’s ten best prospects.
Beyond Ober and Varland, the Twins have options on the 40-man, including righty Simeon Woods Richardson and lefty Brent Headrick, both of whom have made their big league debuts already. Headrick was in a long relief role with the Twins for a chunk of April but worked a three-inning outing against the Red Sox in his debut appearance and tossed 84 pitches over five innings of two-run ball in relief of Maeda after his early exit against the Yankees this week. Given those pitch counts, he’d be an option to start at the MLB level, should the need arise.
He done; Time for Kenta Maeda to use that college degree.
For a guy once described as “meat and potatoes style,” there hasn’t been much to beef about.
Maybe he could become Minnesota governor. The current guy can’t find the plate.
Meat and potatoes done been tenderized and mashed.
Minnesota’s governor keeps getting easy wins without much competition. Twins have to face competition that’s good and Walz has to face the Oakland As of state politics?
Tough break for Maeda. He’s obviously not healthy and he isn’t going to be effective with an 88mph fastball. How much of the “forearm” issue is indirectly related to the bruised ankle is open to debate, but I suspect the Twins will move him to the bullpen as a swing arm when he comes back if Ober has success.
A lot of fans and posters here have suggested Maeda be used in the swing or long relief role, and while I didn’t support it initially, eventually players need to run out of chances. He was absolutely crushed in his last outing.