Minnesota Twins continue to roll, even without Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill
By Greg Simbeck
The Minnesota Twins have lost two of their top three starters to the injured list, yet they continue to roll.
The Minnesota Twins have started this season in a grand fashion with a 9-2 record. This can be attributed to some clutch hitting from their lineup and excellent work from their bullpen. Their record is especially incredible, given that they are without three of the five starting pitchers that they had penciled in for their rotation at the beginning of the season.
Puckett’s Pond has already provided an update on Homer Bailey, who who went on the injured list for biceps tendinitis. The diagnosis was just mild tendinitis in his right biceps, and he could be ready as soon as this Saturday, but the situations with fellow starters Jake Odorizzi and Rich Hill are more problematic.
Let’s start with Odorizzi. Jake was hopeful that this would be a repeat of his stellar All-Star performance from last year. Just as this season was starting, Odorizzi was placed on the 10-day injured list due to mild soreness in his upper back. At the time, Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli said he should be back to the team by the end of July.
The most recent update is that Jake looked good after throwing yesterday and should return to the rotation sometime this weekend in the series against the Royals in Kansas City. With the spike of injuries to MLB pitchers this year, the Twins are being very careful as they return him to the rotation.
Lefty Rich Hill was placed on the injured list after the Twins game Monday night against the Pirates. He was diagnosed with shoulder fatigue and will not pitch a bullpen session until at least Friday. The Twins don’t expect Hill to return to the lineup until sometime next week, although a definite return date has not been set.
Hill was excellent in his Twins debut against the Cardinals, going 5 innings while only surrendering 2 hits and a walk, at the same time not giving up a run. He also added 2 strikeouts to his record. Not too shabby for the oldest active pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Even with their torrid start, the Minnesota Twins will be anxious to get their three starters back. Until then, Jose Berrios, Kenta Maeda, and the rest of the patchwork rotation will try to keep the Twins on a roll in this young MLB season. Come on along for the ride.