Rocco Baldelli provides huge Max Kepler injury update after 11-1 win over Marlins
By Josh Hill
If someone asks you to pinch them tomorrow, it's probably just a Minnesota Twins fans trying to see if the start to this season is really happening.
Minnesota absolutely obliterated the Miami Marlins on Monday, winning 11-1 and notching the team's fourth straight win of the year. It's just the third time in 40 years that the Twins have gotten off to this hot of a start; Minnesota made the postseason back in 2017 after starting 4-0 and won the World Series back in 1987.
That's a pretty good trend for the Twins to be following this year.
While the team hit four home runs -- including a third in two games for Joey Gallo -- not everything went smoothly. Max Kepler hit the first of those four home runs in the first inning, but left the game with an injury not long after.
Kepler came up wincing after hustling out an infield single in the fourth inning, appearing to have hurt himself after running through the bag. Kyle Farmer came in as a pinch runner and replaced Kepler in the outfield (with the help of Trevor Larnach who moved over to right).
Max Kepler Injury Update
Not long after, the Twins announced that it was right knee soreness that had forced Kepler to be removed. After the game, manager Rocco Baldelli provided more details, and calmed some initial fears about the severity of the injury.
"I don't consider this a long-term issue, I don't think our training staff does at all, and I don't think [Kepler] does," Baldelli said after the game.
Not only did Badelli not seem overly concerned about the injury, but he went as far as to not rule Kepler our for Tuesday's game.
"The plan tomorrow is to see how he's feeling, see how he's moving around. I wouldn't see him likely being in the lineup tomorrow but we'll see if he's going to be available for anything for us."
Well, that's not nearly as bad as some fans were fearing. Kepler didn't appear to be in any serious pain, but we've seen players tear their ACL and be able to jog off the field so it wasn't hard to jump to a worst case scenario.
Not only does it sound like that has been avoided, but Kepler not being ruled out for tomorrow is wildly encouraging. It was wise to pull him from Monday's game, if for no other reason than a precaution, as the the Twins were already winnin 6-0 at that point. Before Kepler could fully make his way to the clubhouse Minnesota had tacked on two more runs, so there was no reason to risk anything.
With a Cy Young winner on the mound Tuesday, and Kepler due for a day off anyway, it might be wise to continue holding him out to ensure the injury bug doesn't bite the Twins and ruin the good thing the team has going to start the season.