It's a sight that Minnesota Twins fans are starting to get tired of seeing. For the second time this year, a player needed to leave the game with an injury after being struck by a live ball which adds to the growing heap of players who have been bitten by the injury bug.
This time it was starting pitcher Kenta Maeda.
Maeda was struck in the ankle by a line drive off the bat of Red Sox center fielder Jarren Duran, forcing him to leave the game. To his credit, Maeda finished the inning by throwing Duran out at first but it was clear and obvious that he was in a tremendous amount of pain.
The radar gun clocked Duran's line drive at 111 MPH, which hurts to just hear let alone actually experience getting hit by.
Emilio Pagán replaced Maeda the following inning and proceeded to get blown up for six runs. The Twins lost a blowout to Boston, but the game was pretty quickly conceded once Maeda was lost and the lead grew to what it did.
The loss is the least of anyone's concern, though. There will be time to litigate what in GOd's name happened to Pagán, but the main thing to worry about is the health of Maeda.
Kenta Maeda news: Latest injury update after leaving game vs. Red Sox
The good news is that Maeda seems to have avoided serious injury. He noted to reporters after the game that X-rays were negative, and he wasn't seen in a walking boot or an ankle wrap.
So after all of that, there's a possibility that Maeda doesn't even miss a start.
Realistically, it's likely that the Twins skip Maeda's next start to give him time to rest up and heal. Lest we forget he's coming back from Tommy John surgery, so there's ample reason to give him some time off.
If he does miss a start or two, the Twins have more than enough help to make up for his absence. Bailey Ober has yet to make a start at the Major League level this year but seems like the next man up, while Louie Varland already did a tour of duty after having started the second of a four-game series against the Yankees.