Twins pitcher Maeda’s MRI returns promising results

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A MRI taken of Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda's right throwing arm found a muscle strain and some inflammation that both he and manager Rocco Baldelli called good news and unrelated to elbow surgery that caused him to miss the 2022 season.

He's still expected to miss his next start, although Baldelli said no decision had been made Thursday to put Maeda on the injured list.

Maeda left Wednesday's game against the Yankees after he allowed 10 runs in three innings and left citing discomfort in his throwing arm.

Maeda had the MRI taken but had not talked to the doctor yet about it when he talked to reporters before Thursday's home game against Kansas City.

"It seems like it's not anything severe going on, at least in the elbow structure," Maeda said in Japanese through his interpreter. "So that's good news."

He said the pain is "hard to pinpoint where exactly — it's more like the general area in the arm," he said rubbing his hand from the upper arm to his forearm.

"I think he's going to have some time down," Baldelli said. "I think that's fair to say and we're going to evaluate him again today to see how he woke up this morning and see how it looks. … When we left the ballpark (Wednesday) and sent him get the testing, this was likely what we were hoping to see because we figured we would see something. We were hoping it was nothing worse than this and that's what we got."

Winding up for a comeback

On Thursday, the Twins returned righthanded pitcher Josh Winder from rehab assignment and reinstated him from the 15-day injured list. He pitched five games combined during his rehab at Class AAA St. Paul and Class A Fort Myers. They also optioned out Brent Headrick, who pitched in relief Wednesday.

Baldelli was asked how it will affect his rotation. Big righthander Bailey Ober is the most likely starter to step into the five-man rotation.

"It could — I'm not ready to announce anything on that right now," Baldelli said. "It's certainly possible we could shuffle our guys around and insert someone. Just when and how that's going to work, that's for the coming days."

Saints shut down Red Wings

Louie Varland was stellar on Thursday morning at Innovative Field, the bullpen was even better and the St. Paul Saints rode a first inning home run by Mark Contreras to a 5-1 victory over the Rochester Red Wings. The win improves the Saints to 15-8.

The Saints grabbed the lead in the first with one big smash. Edouard Julien led off the game with a walk and, with one out, Michael Helman walked. With two outs Mark Contreras muscled the ball just over the wall in right, his fourth of the season, giving the Saints a 3-0 lead. Contreras went 2-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.