The Twins have placed right-hander Joe Ryan on their COVID-related injury list. Left-hander Devin Smeltzer was called up to take Ryan’s spot on the active roster, and Smeltzer will start for Minnesota against the Royals on Thursday (Ryan’s next scheduled outing).
Manager Rocco Baldelli told the Associated Press and other reporters that Ryan was “doing okay,” but didn’t provide any details about Ryan’s health. If Ryan has only been sidelined due to symptoms or due to being a close contact, he could be activated from the COVID list as soon as tomorrow, though obviously that would be cutting it too close to make his scheduled start. If Ryan has indeed tested positive, he’ll miss at least the next 10 days, unless he meets the three criteria for early activation — 24 hours without a fever, two negative tests, and clearance from a panel of the team doctor, a league-appointed physician, and a union-appointed physician.
Acquired from the Rays as part of the Nelson Cruz trade last July, Ryan has emerged as a force in his rookie season. The righty has a 2.28 ERA and an above-average 24.3% strikeout rate, thanks in large part to a four-seam fastball that has been one of the most devastating pitches in baseball this season. Some secondary metrics (4.30 xFIP, 3.93 SIERA, .234 BABIP, 83.7% strand rate) indicate some good fortune, but Ryan has also done well to limit damage by allowing very little hard contact.
Minnesota had plenty of questions about its rotation heading into the season, but the starters have generally performed quite well, despite some injuries. Ryan and Josh Winder (shoulder impingement) are on the IL, while Chris Paddack has already been lost for the year due to Tommy John surgery.