Twins prospect Jordan Balazovic suffers broken jaw in altercation

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Twins pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic was struck during an altercation last Saturday night in Florida, leaving him with a broken jaw that required surgical repair.

“It’s a disappointing situation,” president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. “We were hopeful that after he’s dealt with some things over the last couple of years, physically and trying to get on track, that we were hoping to start camp in a normal way and kind of progress.”

Instead, camp has started without Balazovic, who currently has his jaw wired shut and is not participating in workouts.

After the incident, Falvey said the Twins imparted a message about personal responsibility to the 24-year-old.

“We all have to be aware that the decisions we make, where we go, what we do at different times can have ramifications, and I think we just want to make sure here that we are being clear that we need to prioritize baseball and what’s going on going forward,” Falvey said. “That’s the message that we collectively delivered in this case.”

Falvey said the Twins do not expect Balazovic to be able to do anything for a week to 10 days. After that, he should be able to progress to playing catch, though it’s too early at this point to project a timetable for his throwing program.

The Twins were hoping Balazovic would be able to get back on track after a disastrous 2022 season that started with an injury and never got much better from there. Balazovic showed up to camp last year with a knee injury that the Twins were unaware of because they were unable to communicate with players on their 40-man rosters during the lockout.

He began the season on the injured list with a knee strain, debuting with the Triple-A Saints in May. Balazovic then went 0-7 with a 7.39 earned-run average in 22 games (21 starts) for the Saints. The starter issued 35 walks in 70 2/3 innings pitched (4.5 BB9) and his 1.939 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) at Triple-A was well above his career average.

Instead of potentially debuting last year, Balazovic, a former top-100 prospect, was enduring the toughest season of his career. While the Twins saw some positive signs towards the end of last season, Balazovic was not in position to be competing for a spot on the major league roster out of camp, Falvey said.

Even less so now.

“Our hope was to get him there, get him rolling and hopefully see a little bit more of the upside we saw a couple years ago,” Falvey said. “Ultimately we still hope that, but it’s going to be delayed.”

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