As well as the season has gone so far for the Minnesota Twins, the 11-7 start to the year hasn’t been without some pretty serious hiccups.
Specially, the injury bug has already begun nibbling at the Twins roster and took another bite out of it on Thursday afternoon in Boston.
With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Jerran Duran hit a line drive back at Twins starter Kenta Maeda that bounced right off the pitcher’s ankle. It was a direct hit, sending Maeda to the grass in a heap after contact was made. Somehow he managed to pull himself together long enough to make a miraculous play.
Despite getting hit square in the ankle by the ball and being in ov, Maeda recovered long enough to throw out Duran out. It was a gutsy play, but was also the last we saw of Maeda in the game.
Not only did Maeda record the out to end the inning, but he managed to walk off the field largely under his own power. Trainers were close by and Maeda was walking gingerly, but it was an incredible sight to see given how serious the injury initially looked.
Unsurprisingly, Maeda didn’t come back out for the third inning, and was replaced by Emilio Pagan.
This marks the second time a Twins player has been struck by a live ball and needed to leave the game as a result. Kyle Farmer was struck in the face by a Lucas Giolito fastball during Minneosta’s first home stand of the season, an injury that required surgery to realign his teeth.
Maeda’s injury, in comparison, isn’t as serious but it’s nonetheless troubling. Twins fans already endured an injury scare earlier this year with Maeda after he left his first start back from Tommy John surgery with arm fatigue. That turned out to be nothing more than a precaution as he made his next start, but the knee-jerk reaction to this might be that he heads to the 10-day IL to make sure he has time to rest.
In that scenario, Bailey Ober will likely get called up from Triple-A St. Paul, or the Twins could lean on Louie Varland who was called up during the Yankees series to fill-in for a start.