Mejia (wrist) diagnosed with nerve irritation

August 17th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Twins left-hander was diagnosed with nerve irritation in his left wrist. There is no timetable for him to start rehabbing the injury, which means there's a chance he doesn't return this season.

Mejia underwent an MRI on his left wrist on Monday and then further testing at the Mayo Clinic on Thursday because the issue is nerve-related and not ligament-related. The plan for him is to rest without a timetable for a return.

"His status is he's shut down from throwing and he's at a point now where until he hopefully somehow shows improvement or calming down enough to consider whenever any type of rehab will begin," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I don't want to get too speculative on when or how much he'll be able to throw. At this point, moving forward, we're just going to have to monitor and run some more tests after he's shut down and see if he's getting better results as far as the imaging."

Mejia felt the injury on the last pitch of his outing against the Indians on Aug. 7, when he threw five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. He had the exact same line against Cleveland in the start before that and had been pitching well, with a 2.01 ERA in 22 1/3 innings this season. He hasn't given up a run in 14 consecutive innings, allowing just three hits over that span.

"He's frustrated," Molitor said. "He worked hard to get an opportunity up here and when he did, he pitched fairly well. I think we saw glimpses last year. I think he's just learned how to use his pitches to be most effective. Trusting the catcher. Not shaking off as much. Being able to not try to strike everybody out. I think that's big for him. As far as being more economical with pitches to go deeper into games will be the next progression for him."

With Mejia out, rookie right-hander Kohl Stewart currently is the club's No. 5 starter and will make his second career start against the Tigers on Saturday.

Worth noting

• Right-hander made his second start with Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Thursday, as he continues his recovery from last year's Tommy John surgery. Pineda gave up one run on two hits over three innings. He'll make three more starts with Triple-A Rochester and then is expected to be activated by the Twins in early September after his final Triple-A outing scheduled for Aug. 31.

• Reliever has impressed Molitor in his return from Tommy John surgery, as the right-hander has posted a 1.35 ERA in six appearances, including picking up his first win since 2016 on Thursday.

"Probably better than I thought it was going to be, given both reports and the fact the layoff from this level has been fairly substantial," Molitor said. "I think he's throwing all four pitches. Last night, he had a little trouble commanding the curve and the slider, and that forced him to deal with a lot of three ball counts. But he's thrown some good ones, too. And I think the velocity for the most part has been effective."