We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Recently acquired pitcher Tyler Mahle leaves third Twins start with ‘shoulder fatigue’

Right-hander who came to team at trade deadline left after getting the first out in the third inning.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Mahle comes off the field with the team trainer during the third inning Wednesday, Aug. 17, against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Becker / USA Today Sports
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins knew almost immediately that something was off with Tyler Mahle on Wednesday. His velocity was noticeably off in the first inning, and during his 2⅓ innings, the big right-hander was conspicuously trying to loosen his right shoulder.

But after Mahle induced two foul balls from Royals shortstop Maikel Garcia, manager Rocco Baldelli had seen enough.

“He was probably on the border of coming out of the game sooner than that,” Baldelli said. “We didn’t leave him in the game because of this, but truthfully, it would have been a very challenging game for us to finish if he had to come out in, say, the first inning.”

Fortunately, the Twins got a combined 6⅔ scoreless innings of relief from five pitchers, starting with two innings from Emilio Pagan, who earned the win in the Twins’ 4-0, sweep-clinching victory at Target Field.

Unfortunately, the Twins left the park on Wednesday evening not knowing what exactly Mahle is facing. The team has initially called it “right shoulder fatigue.” After the game, he was scheduled for a magnetic resonance imaging exam.


Acquired from Cincinnati for prospects Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer and Steve Hajjar, Mahle was 1-0 with a 3.00 earned-run average in two starts for the Twins and isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until 2024.

Mahle had an MRI in early July when he was with the Reds and was limited to three starts in July because of what he called “irritation and inflammation” in the shoulder. It’s something he’s been working through since joining the Twins.

“There’s some maintenance that’s involved in his program related to his arm,” Baldelli said, “but nothing, I think, drastic. I think we’re thinking it’s more along the lines of what guys deal with over the course of the season. Guys do deal with things like this, maybe not quite to this extent, but guys do pitch through a lot of different soreness, and tight(ness) here and there.

“He didn’t really want to come out of the game, to be honest, even after everything that was going on,” the manager added. “If that’s a good sign, it’s a good sign, but we’ll wait and see until we know more.”

The two Minnesotans — Varland from Maplewood, Wallner from Forest Lake — gave hometown fans plenty to cheer about this season, both in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Both started the year with Double-A Wichita before earning a pair of promotions and debuting in September.
The Twins led the Central division for 108 days during the season. The last came on Sept. 4, when they pulled back into a tie with the Guardians atop the division. They finished the season in third place with a 78-84 record, 14 games behind Cleveland and three behind Chicago.
Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine have some heavy lifting ahead of them. The first task is deciding whether to offer Carlos Correa a long-term contract.
Correa, who played in 136 games in 2022, finished his year hitting .291 with a .834 OPS. His 139 OPS+ (100 is league average) is the second-highest in his career. His 5.4 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement per Baseball Reference) leads the Twins, and he quickly became a leader within the Twins’ clubhouse.
The infielder joined an exclusive club Wednesday, becoming the fifth Twins player to win an American League batting title, joining Rod Carew (seven times), Joe Mauer (three), Tony Oliva (three) and Kirby Puckett.
Duran, 24, entered Tuesday with a 4.6 Win Probability Added, a statistic that credits a player for how much his appearance impacted his team’s chance of winning, per Baseball Reference.
Minnesota hitter goes 1-for-4 and maintains lead on Judge
The White Sox rallied against Twins reliever Griffin Jax, who fell to 7-4 after yielding one run on two hits in the seventh.
Arraez entered Monday’s play with a .315 to .311 edge over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who would win the first Triple Crown since 2012 if he surpassed the Minnesota Twins’ infielder.
With three games remaining for the Twins (and four for the Yankees), Twins infielder Luis Arrraez and New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge remain locked in a tight race for the American League batting title.

Mahle’s go-to, four-seam fastball was conspicuously off on Wednesday, down as low as 86.4 mph, per mlb.com pitching tracking, after averaging 93.4 mph this season and topping out at 97-plus.

“I think he always starts a little slow when it comes to velocity,” said Wednesday’s catcher Gary Sanchez. “I didn’t think anything of it right away. It’s my first time catching him at this level, obviously. Just didn’t think anything of it. But I did notice after that inning that his velocity was a little down.”

Miranda’s hot start

Infielder Jose Miranda went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer on Wednesday to raise his batting average to .286 with 12 home runs and 51 RBIs, tying him with Byron Buxton for second on the team in RBIs behind Jorge Polanco, in 273 major-league at-bats.

For comparison purposes, 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau hit .252 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs through his first 270 at-bats with the Twins (2003-04). Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Oliva hit .339 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs in his first 271 at-bats with the Twins (1962-64).


Jose Miranda

Primarily a third baseman in the minor leagues, Miranda has mostly played first with the Twins, for two reasons: Gio Urshela has been so good defensively at third, and injuries to Miguel Sano (knee) and Alex Kirilloff (wrist), both of whom have been lost for the season.

That doesn’t mean he’s locked in at first.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily the case,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said this week. “Could he play it? Sure. He started a little bit more at short and second (in the minors) but he’s gotten stronger. He’s one of those guys whose legs have gotten a little bit thicker, so third and first. Jose can play third, for sure.”

Miranda has played at first for at least part of 43 games this season, and at least 28 games at third.


Luis Arraez, who started Wednesday as the major leagues’ batting leader, went 1 for 4 and is batting .335. … The Twins beat Kansas City 9-0 on Tuesday, which with Wednesday’s victory gave them consecutive shutouts for the first time since Sept. 7-8, 2021, at Cleveland.



This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
“He should get (a chain) for sure,’’ Darrisaw quipped. “He looked good in it.”
Asked about what he expects heading into this season, Leipold refused to get too far ahead of himself. He doesn’t know if the Wild will top their franchise-record 113 points from last season.
New coach Matt Daniels stresses camaraderie among players on units
The Loons’ kit men are responsible for setting up the team’s oval-shaped locker room at Allianz Field, with everything players need to perform — from emergency headgear down to their socked toes.