The Twins introduced Monday that they’ve positioned righty Michael Pineda (proper elbow irritation) and infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder (hamstring pressure) on the 10-day injured checklist. In a pair of corresponding strikes, they’ve reinstated Kenta Maeda and Luis Arraez from the injured checklist. Heart fielder Byron Buxton has not but been activated, although Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that he traveled with the staff to Seattle, which suggests a return is close to.
The lack of Pineda is notable on a number of ranges. The large righty has been one of many Twins’ few efficient starters up to now in 2021. He additionally stands out as one of many extra apparent commerce candidates on the roster for a disappointing Minnesota membership that appears increasingly more prone to promote veteran items because the summer season wears on.
Pineda, 32, was terrific for the primary two months of the season, pitching to a 2.62 ERA with a 26.7 p.c strikeout fee and a 6.8 p.c strikeout fee. Nonetheless, Pineda had one begin pushed again this month, and he exited one other — his most up-to-date outing — with elbow discomfort after simply 4 innings. He’s adopted up that terrific April/Might run with a three-start stretch that has seen him complete simply 11 1/3 innings whereas yielding 10 runs.
On the entire, Pineda nonetheless has a lot respectable numbers. He’s collected 56 innings on the 12 months and posted a 3.70 earned run common with a 22.1 p.c strikeout fee, a 6.5 p.c stroll fee and a 38.1 p.c ground-ball fee. That kind of manufacturing would assist to bolster nearly any rotation in baseball, and provided that Pineda is taking part in out the second season of a two-year, $20MM contract, his wage is manageable sufficient for almost all of contenders. The Twins might not wish to decide to promoting simply but, however at 26-39 and 15 video games again of the division lead, that’s the likeliest consequence.
Refsnyder, 30, was a nice shock for an injury-ravaged Twins membership. The journeyman utilityman signed a minor league deal over the winter however unexpectedly gave the Twins a .321/.371/.500 batting line in 62 journeys to the plate earlier than taking place together with his personal harm. He’s taken on a very good little bit of the workload in middle area whereas Buxton has recovered from a hip flexor pressure.
In Maeda and Arraez, the Twins can be getting again a pair who have been anticipated to play important roles on a division contender. Maeda completed runner-up to Shane Bieber in final summer season’s Cy Younger voting, however he hasn’t appeared proper in any respect this season.
In 9 begins earlier than touchdown on the injured checklist with a groin harm, he pitched to a 5.27 ERA that was almost double final season’s 2.70 mark. Maeda’s strikeout fee plummeted from 32.3 p.c final 12 months to twenty.5 p.c in 2021, whereas his stroll fee has jumped from 4 p.c to five.8 p.c. Most problematically, he’s given up house runs on the highest fee of his profession (1.90 HR/9). Time will inform whether or not the keep on the IL can get the righty again on observe.
Arraez, in the meantime, received out to a blistering begin however noticed his bat go ice-cold for a number of weeks earlier than injuring his shoulder on a slide into second base. The versatile Arraez hit .331/.390/.429 with extra walks than strikeouts in 487 plate appearances from 2019-20, however that output has slipped to .278/.358/.333 up to now in 2021.