Latest Anthony DeSclafani injury update pretty much confirms the worst

He's not out for the season yet, but things are not looking good.

2024 Minnesota Twins Spring Training
2024 Minnesota Twins Spring Training / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

In an offseason where the Minnesota Twins slashed the payroll by $30 million, one of the most valuable pieces of currency the team had was Jorge Polanco. Most of us thought he'd get flipped for starting pitching help, which techincally he did just not the kind we were expecting.

Rather than trading for a front line starter, as was rumored, the Twins dealt Polanco for bullpen depth and tacked on Anthony DeSclafani as part of the return. He came to Minnesota as a classic injury lottery ticket we've seen before -- he could be solid if he stays healthy.

DeSclafani did not stay healthy, and didn't even make it out of Spring Training. He was placed on the IL last week as part of a barrage of injuries that hit the Twins but his status on Opening Day indicates that a worst case scenario is indeed playing out.

Latest Anthony DeSclafani injury update pretty much confirms the worst

Initially it was feared that he'd need season-ending elbow surgery, but that hasn't happened. We're not out of the woods yet, though, as DeSclafani was placed on the 60-day IL with the Twins making a corresponding move to fill his 40-man roster spot.

This isn't a total surprise, but it does seem to suggest that DeSclafani is closer to missing the season than he is playing at any point.

The Twins were prepared for this situation, as Louie Varland made the 26-man roster as the fifth starter in the rotation. It was expected that he'd be the next-man-up if Minnesota needed to make any pitching changes, which is a lifeline the team has already needed to use.

Varland had a really bad start against the Tigers at the end of Spring Training but was really solid before that. It was the sort of performance, posting a 0.640 WHIP with 11 strikeouts and zero runs allowed across 11 innings of work, that suggests he might have ironed out whatever wrinkles there were this time last year when he was trying to get into the rotation.

There's a bigger picture to all of this that Twins fans would rather not have to zoom out on. Varland using this opportunity to follow in Bailey Ober's footsteps as the next young pitcher to come up would be the ideal outcome. If he struggles the Twins will need to go back to the drawing board, because it seems like DeSclafani won't be the option the team thought he'd be when they acquired him back in January.

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