Injuries & Moves: Polanco reinstated; Contreras optioned

June 28th, 2022

Keep track of the Twins' recent transactions and injury updates throughout the season.

LATEST NEWS

June 28: 2B Jorge Polanco reinstated from 10-day IL; OF Mark Contreras optioned to Triple-A St. Paul
Polanco returned to the Twins between games of the June 28 doubleheader at Progressive Field following a 14-game absence due to low back tightness. It marked the first IL stint of his nine-year Major League career. He had quickly ramped back into action despite feeling slightly more soreness over the weekend after a successful workout day of movement and swinging on June 27.

"I didn’t want to do it, but I did have to go to the IL," Polanco said. "It wasn’t something that I was expecting, but it wasn’t hard. I enjoy watching the guys play."

June 27: OF Trevor Larnach to undergo bilateral surgical repair
The Twins expect to be without Larnach for six weeks due to a bilateral surgical repair procedure he will undergo in Philadelphia on Tuesday as the result of a second opinion he received for the core muscle strain that sent him to the injured list on Saturday.

Larnach hit .127/.191/.238 in June after having posted an .890 OPS through the first two months of the season.

"I’ll never use that as an excuse," Larnach said. "I couldn’t tell you. I can just tell you that it’s affected how some things feel and mostly affected how I’ve been moving, specifically running and changing directions." -- Do-Hyoung Park

INJURY UPDATES

10-day and 15-day IL

LF Trevor Larnach (core muscle strain)
Expected return: Late August
Larnach will undergo a bilateral surgical repair procedure in Philadelphia that will keep him out of action for approximately six weeks, the Twins announced June 27. He was placed on the 10-day IL after having dealt with a core injury for “two or three weeks,” which has progressively gotten worse and affected his ability to move, to the point where he couldn't even get out of bed without intense pain. -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 27)

RHP Joe Smith (upper trap tightness)
Expected Return:
TBD
Smith went on the 15-day IL on June 26 (retroactive to June 24) after working through tightness in his trap for “a few days,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. Smith last appeared on June 23, pitching a scoreless inning against Cleveland. He also pitched the day before. -- Paul Hodowanic (Last updated: June 26)

RHP Bailey Ober (right groin strain)
Expected return: Early July
Ober landed on the IL for the second time with a lingering groin issue following his June 1 start against the Tigers, which he said was later revealed by MRI scans to be an aponeurotic plate injury involving the interaction between the tendon and bone in his pelvic area. That's treated with rest, so after taking a week off of throwing, Ober said he's hoping to throw an initial bullpen session by the end of the week as he continues his ramp-up.

"It was definitely frustrating and more so not being out there for the team, since I tried waiting and tried being patient the first time around, and then that still didn't work," Ober explained. "It's more frustrating on that side, instead of me actually being hurt." -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 22)

RHP Trevor Megill (right shoulder impingement)
Expected return:
TBD
Megill went on the 10-day injured list on June 19 (retroactive to June 16) after he had been dealing with a right shoulder impingement for a bit. Manager Rocco Baldelli said the right-hander felt "some legitimate soreness" during his outing in Seattle on June 14. -- Jake Rill (Last updated: June 19)

LHP (left hip impingement)
Expected return:
TBD
A day after being reinstated from the 15-day Injured List, Coulombe returned to the injured list. The reliever aggravated his hip injury during a May 27 appearance against the Royals, manager Rocco Baldelli said. It was his first appearance after he returned from a rehab assignment. He lasted one-third of an inning and allowed a run on two hits and two walks.

“We obviously thought he was 100 percent and ready to go. But when he was out there, that’s exactly what happened, he aggravated the hip,” Baldelli said. “And once we got postgame and we were talking with him, you could tell it was more than just minor, and something he was not going to be pitching with.” -- Paul Hodowanic (Last updated: May 28)

60-day IL

RHP Jorge Alcala (right elbow inflammation)
Expected return: July
Alcala began his rehab assignment with Single-A Fort Myers with a one-inning appearance on June 1, but his throwing progression was temporarily halted due to stiffness in his right elbow, the Twins said. He continued his strengthening exercises and is expected to resume his throwing progression during the week of June 27.

He previously threw a bullpen session on May 25 and progressed to live batting practice on May 28 as he built back up from the elbow issue that has prevented him from being a key cog in the Twins' bullpen. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Alcala threw 96-97 mph in his last appearance on the mound. -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 22)

1B Miguel Sanó (left knee meniscus)
Expected return: TBD
Sanó has continued his running exercises and has started to hit as of the Twins' update on June 22, and he's expected to begin taking live batting practice during the week of June 27. Sanó underwent surgery to repair meniscus damage in his left knee on May 5 and was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 14. -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 22)

RHP (right middle finger strain)
Expected return:
TBD
Dobnak played catch from 120 feet and threw a 15-pitch fastball-only bullpen session at around 75 percent effort, the Twins announced on June 22. Dobnak had a setback on his strained finger "at one point over the last few weeks," per manager Rocco Baldelli on June 5. The 27-year-old right-hander landed on the 60-day IL due to a continuation of a persistent right middle finger strain. -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 22)

SS Royce Lewis (partially torn ACL in right knee)
Expected return: 2023
Lewis underwent surgery to repair the re-torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on June 21 in the Dallas area with Dr. Steven Singleton, an orthopedic surgeon. He is expected to recover in Texas for one or two weeks before he rejoins the team in the Twin Cities.

Lewis partially tore the ACL again on May 29 while running into the center-field wall at Target Field making a spectacular catch. The estimated timetable for recovery is 12 months, and Lewis will be rehabbing the same knee on which he underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in February 2021. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on June 11. -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 21)

RHP (torn labrum in right shoulder)
Expected return:
2023
A second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles revealed a torn labrum in Stashak's right shoulder, so the 28-year-old underwent season-ending bicep tenodesis surgery to repair the bicep and labrum on June 16. He said the standard recovery timeline for the procedure is 9-12 months, and though he won't be sure of his prognosis until the surgery occurs, he said he doesn't expect to be ready to pitch until May 2023.

Stashak was moved to the 60-day IL on June 13.

"They've got to cut the part off the bicep that split and reattach that and clean up the labrum," Stashak said. "The labrum is not fully torn, it's more the bicep."

Stashak was initially placed on the 15-day IL with a right shoulder impingement on May 22 and will finish his '22 campaign with a 3.86 ERA, 15 strikeouts and no walks in 16 1/3 innings.

"It's kind of been going on since Spring Training," Stashak said. "We called it biceps tendinitis. It just led to throwing through it and trying to throw through it on pain meds. It just gave out." -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 16)

RHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
Possibly September
Maeda rejoined the Twins on this homestand and plans to remain in Minnesota for the remainder of his recovery from Tommy John surgery, he said on June 8. As of that update, he had been throwing flat-ground sessions and from 120 feet, and hoped to progress to throwing off a mound within the next two or three weeks. Everything has gone well with his recovery to this point, he said.

"No hesitation," Maeda said. "Last year, the 2021 year, was just so painful and there was just so much discomfort. Anything after that just feels great. There’s no mind of being worried."

The inclusion of an internal brace to the elbow, a newer development to the surgery, has the potential to cut Maeda's recovery time down to 9-12 months from the date of his procedure last Sept. 1, though he's still not sure if he'll make it back to a big league mound this season.

"I had this discussion with the surgeon -- I don’t want to get too ahead of myself," Maeda said. "Right now, just to focus on what I can do within the rehab program and try not to think about when I can come back. That will come closer as we go forward with the rehab process." -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: June 8)

RHP Jhon Romero (right biceps tendinitis)
Expected return: TBD
The Twins did not have an update as to Romero's condition, following his April 23 placement on the 15-day IL, but they moved the 27-year-old right-hander to the 60-day IL on May 11 to make room on the 40-man roster for right-hander Yennier Cano. -- Do-Hyoung Park (Last updated: May 11)