A worst case scenario is already playing out for Anthony DeSclafani

There's a chance his season might already be over.
2024 Minnesota Twins Spring Training
2024 Minnesota Twins Spring Training / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

A rather dark and omnious cloud rolled over the Minnesota Twins on Monday, as the team was hit with a barrage of injury news.

The day started with Byron Buxton getting scratched from Minnesota's lineup against Boston, although the team is deeming whatever is going on with him a 'minor' setback. Things only got worse from there, as Derek Falvey revealed that three MLB pitchers and a minor leaguer would begin the season on the IL.

Matt Canterino is the only non-MLB pitcher involved, but given his injury history hearing that he's starting the season hurt isn't ideal. Even less ideal was hearing that flame-throwing closer Jhoan Duran would begin the year on the injured list, as will setup man Caleb Thielbar.

Perhaps the worst news was hearing that not only will Anthony DeSclafani begin the year on the IL but his season might already be over.

A worst case scenario is already playing out for Anthony DeSclafani

The Twins didn't give timetables for the return of anybody hitting the IL, but there is reportedly fear that DeSclafani will need season-ending surgery on his forearm.

Minnesota knew he was an injury risk when it acquired him from Seattle as part of the Jorge Polanco trade. DeSclafani has put up very solid numbers in the past but has battled injuries over the last few seasons that have completely bogged him down.

It now appears that the forearm that gave him trouble last year, and has held up his Spring Training, is going to end his season before it even starts.

Even with knowing he was an injury risk, losing DeSclafani is a bit of a nightmare scenario for Minnesota. The biggest offseason need was replacing Sonny Gray's production, something the team failed to do via free agency or trade.

Rather than flip Polanco for a frontline starter, which had been teased all winter, he was traded for Justin Topa and Gabriel Gonzalez -- a hard-throwing reliever and a Top 100 prospect. DeSclafani was a throw-in, and was used more as a way of getting money back than actually filling a hole in the rotation.

He had upside, as he posting a 3.17 ERA over 167.2 innings back in 2021. That season he threw two shutouts, and his 1.091 WHIP and 152 strikeouts was the type of production the Twins were hoping he could tap back into. He threw over 180 innings for the Reds back in 2015, which is more along the lines of what the Twins needed to replace Gray, but those days seem to be very much behind DeSclafani.

Now Minnesota is back where it started, needing to not only know how to account for Gray's absence but Kenta Maeda's. That was the role it seemed DeSclafani would fill, but now the Twins will look to guys like Louie Varland and rookie David Festa to potentially fill that role.

Varland was already a fringe candidate to make the roster and naturally slots in as DeSclafani's replacement. He's earned another shot at becoming a part of the rotation, but to have the already painfully thin and half-baked plan to address needs in the rotation come crashing down is not the way anyone wanted to start the season.

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