Injuries & Moves: Larnach activated; Buxton to IL
June 6: DH Byron Buxton (left rib contusion) placed on 10-day IL; OF Trevor Larnach (pneumonia) activated from 10-day IL
Though the Twins had been hopeful that Buxton could be available for Tuesday's series opener against the Rays, his ribs were still sore enough that they had to finally move him to the injured list for the first time this season, five days after he was struck in the ribs by a 96.7 mph fastball by Guardians right-hander Tanner Bibee. Buxton had played in 50 of the Twins' first 57 games before the hit by pitch. Larnach returned to the team after missing 13 games with a bout of pneumonia.
10-day IL and 15-day IL
DH Byron Buxton (left rib contusion)
Expected return: Possibly June 13-15
Buxton's X-rays did not reveal any fractures in his ribs after he was struck by a 96.7 mph fastball from Guardians right-hander Tanner Bibee on June 1, so it might not be too long before he's able to rejoin the team once the pain in his ribs subsides. He is eligible to rejoin the team on June 13, when the Twins begin their next homestand with a game against the Brewers. (Last updated: June 6)
RHP Cole Sands (right shoulder impingement)
Expected return: TBD
Sands was placed on the IL with a right shoulder issue on June 4 after he'd been with the team in a long-relief role since May 13, a stretch in which he'd thrown 8 1/3 scoreless frames with 10 strikeouts. The Twins expect to have more information about his condition in the following days.
"Cole has been able to go out there and do his job and pitch, but he’s been a little sore on certain days," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "It’s something he’s been dealing with a little bit. I think it’s probably just gotten a little worse. It’s probably progressed to the point he can’t pitch." (Last updated: June 4)
OF/1B Joey Gallo (left hamstring strain)
Expected return: Possibly mid-June
Gallo had been trying to play through a mild strain to his left hamstring since May 26, but he aggravated the injury during his pregame work ahead of the game on June 2 against the Guardians, which led the Twins to make the decision to get him off his feet for some time to get the issue more fully under control. He had been playing mostly first base instead of outfield while dealing with the hamstring pain. (Last updated: June 3)
RHP Kenta Maeda (right triceps strain)
Expected return: Possibly June
Maeda tossed two scoreless innings in his first rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul on May 30, striking out four batters with no hits. Manager Rocco Baldelli said the club would continue to build up Maeda's workload at Triple-A on May 31. He threw a bullpen session on May 26 after a 35-pitch bullpen session on May 23, where he got up to 88 mph with his fastball without fully ramping up the intensity. Maeda said he has been trying to make mechanical adjustments throughout the season, which he felt impacted him both physically and mentally as he struggled before he hit the IL.
"Any time I'm throwing 88 with the fastball, that's a little bit concerning," Maeda said. "And the fact that there were some mechanical adjustments that I have to make in order to regain my velocity and the fact that I was able to throw with some velocity today was encouraging."
"Kenta looked good. His splitter was up to 85-86 [mph]," pitching coach Pete Maki said on May 31. "He's looking healthy and athletic and looked really good." (Last updated: May 31)
RHP Jorge Alcala (right radial stress fracture)
Expected return: TBD
The Twins placed Alcala on the IL after he was unable to participate in his throwing program without discomfort, and further tests revealed a stress fracture to the radius bone in his right forearm, an injury without much precedent among pitchers, according to head athletic trainer Nick Paparesta. Alcala will be reevaluated in 10-14 days and will remain shut down until the symptoms subside. The Twins do not have an estimate on his timeline.
"It’s more of a chronic, ongoing condition and again, nothing to do with his previous elbow surgery," Paparesta said. (Last updated: May 20)
RHP Chris Paddack (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: Possibly September
Paddack began throwing bullpen sessions at the Twins' spring complex in Fort Myers, Fla., at the beginning of June, and he joined the team to throw a bullpen session ahead of their June 6 series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field, a 20-pitch session at about 70-75 percent effort. He expects his throwing progression to take roughly three months -- including live batting practice and a rehab assignment -- and he still hopes to return to Minnesota in a starting or relief role in early to mid-September.
"There's just no point in jumping the gun this early," Paddack said. "But when I hit that 100 percent mark, it's going to be full go. I'm going put some stress on the elbow and make sure I'm ready to go for hopefully 20, 30 to 40 innings September into October." (Last updated: June 6)
OF Gilberto Celestino (ruptured UCL in left thumb)
Expected return: Potentially June
Celestino began a rehab assignment with Single-A Fort Myers on May 30. He underwent successful surgery on March 7 in Dayton, Ohio, to address the ligament that he ruptured on a headfirst slide into second base during the Twins’ Feb. 28 Spring Training game against the Braves. The original recovery timeline was stated to be 6-8 weeks. (Last updated: June 4)
OF/INF Nick Gordon (right tibia fracture)
Expected return: TBD
Gordon flew back to Minneapolis on May 19, with the expectation that he'll undergo more imaging on the area around his fractured right tibia, sustained when he fouled a ball off his leg during the Twins' loss to the Dodgers on May 17. The Twins have not stated a possible timeline for Gordon's return, but he's expected to be down for a significant amount of time. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 29 to make room on the roster for the return of Royce Lewis. (Last updated: May 29)
RHP Tyler Mahle (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: 2024
Mahle, who was removed from his start on April 27 vs. Kansas City with noticeably diminished velocity, underwent Tommy John surgery on May 22 with Dr. Keith Meister, the Twins announced. The club’s original plan was to shut Mahle down for at least four weeks and seek a second opinion upon transferring him to the 60-day injured list. The right-hander was acquired by the Twins from the Reds in a Trade Deadline deal last Aug. 2 and is set to become a free agent after this season. (Last updated: May 22)