Minnesota Twins: Tyler Mahle heads to the IL, Devin Smeltzer recalled

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Mahle comes off the field with the team trainer. (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Mahle comes off the field with the team trainer. (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /

Just when the Minnesota Twins were starting to pull it together, reeling off four wins in a  row (against bad teams, but wins all the same), the team’s rotten injury luck continues to hit them hard.

This time the team is losing newly acquired starter Tyler Mahle with right shoulder inflammation. Mahle threw two and one-third innings in his last start, but his velocity was clearly down, and when he looked to be in pain, Rocco smartly gave him the early hook.

After undergoing an MRI, the Twins determined that there wasn’t any serious injury, but the team felt best letting Mahle rest. Given that the team wanted to rest him for at least a couple starts, the team placed him on on the injured list, retroactive to August 18th.

Tyler Mahle is headed to the IL, so the Minnesota Twins recalled lefty Devin Smeltzer.

While it’s good that Mahle doesn’t seem to be seriously injured, it’s a bit concerning that Mahle was placed on the injured list just over a month ago with a similar injury. On July 6th, the Cincinnati Reds placed Mahle on the Injured List with a right shoulder strain, so it’s really not ideal that he’s dealing inflammation again.

To take his spot, they called up Devin Smeltzer. Smeltzer went 4-2 with a solid 4.07 ERA over his first twelve starts this season, but his Baseball Savant page shows a better picture of the story. He’s not an extremely reliable starter, but hopefully he can continue to be lucky.

Smeltzer is expected to piggyback Chris Archer’s start today, which could be a good plan, seeing as the former is a lefty and the righty and neither is well-equipped to to handle pitching more than four innings. Using some combination of Archer, Smeltzer, Cole Sands, and Aaron Sanchez, should get the Twins by without MAhle.

In the meantime though, the Mahle issue is a bit of a more serious question. The Minnesota Twins gave up a lot to get Mahle, so if he’s damaged goods (like Sam Dyson was), the Twins are in trouble. Let’s hope that he comes back strong for the key September stretch .

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