Twins starter Tyler Mahle might not be back this season

Megan Ryan

By Megan Ryan

Starter Tyler Mahle hasn’t yet started throwing again after going on the injured list for the second time since coming to the Twins ahead of the trade deadline.

Mahle left his third start for the Twins early with right shoulder fatigue and inflammation back on Aug. 17. He recovered and tried to pitch again Sept. 3 but departed again with the same issues, including his pitch velocity, which dipped into the 80s.

“The scenarios that Tyler pitches again in the regular season might be pretty limited right now,” Baldelli said. “But I do think that there are some scenarios where he actually does still pitch for us this year. But we have to make those games relevant is what we have to do. And then I think we have a chance.”

That basically means if the Twins are still in the playoff race, Mahle could be back to help with that push. But if not, there wouldn’t be a reason to rush him. Baldelli said something similar for center fielder Byron Buxton, who is out with right knee and hip issues.

“There’s no bigger part of this team when it comes to winning ballgames then Byron Buxton and having him on the field. We know that. We know how much he matters here,” Baldelli said. “If that decision goes on [to shut him down], I’m sure I would end up being a part of it in some form. But I’ll let someone else tell me that that’s going to be the case. In the meantime, I’ll be pumping, trying to get him back in any way possible. And that’ll go down even to the very last moment of this season for us, whenever that comes.”

But Baldelli did point to second baseman Jorge Polanco (left knee) and starter Bailey Ober (groin) as players that could return in the next week, with Buxton likely a little behind that. Baldelli added that catcher Ryan Jeffers (broken right thumb) and Trevor Larnach (abdominal surgery) should also come back before the season ends.

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