When Tian Jiantai was undergoing surgery on Wednesday morning, the starting pitcher was still not sure what surgery he would have.
Although he fully expected this to be Tommy John’s operation, Maeda and the twins had to wait until Dr. Keithmeister cut into Maeda’s elbow to fully assess the damage to his ulnar collateral ligament to find out the answer.
Meister determined that he needed Tommy John surgery, which involved removing the tendon from another part of the body and using it to replace the damaged tendon, in this case the ulnar collateral ligament. As part of the operation, Meister added an internal stent, which may speed Maeda’s recovery, said twins manager Rocco Baldelli, shortening it to 9 to 12 months instead of the typical 12-16 months.
“I’m hopeful,” Derek Falvey, president of twins baseball operations, said of Maeda’s return next season. “Obviously (and) these things you have to look at the recovery. If everything goes according to plan, I hope he can pitch at some point next year. But we won’t know it in a few months.”
Falvey said Maeda will stay in the Dallas area where the surgery is taking place for the next six to eight weeks to begin the recovery process. He will then continue to recover at a facility near his home during the offseason, and is expected to eventually go to the Twins Complex in Fort Myers, Florida.
Regardless of when Maeda returns, whether at the end of the 2022 season or until 2023, the Twins will face a situation where there is no best starter for a long time. This is for a team that needs to rebuild the rotation during the offseason. A difficult situation.
“It’s better for us to use Kenta, but I will tell you this: it’s better for us to use healthy Kenta, and that’s what we need to focus on,” Baldelli said. “In any season, regardless of the arrangement, you will experience a period of time without your best players on the court.”
Falvi said that Maeda’s injury was not acute, but the result of years of wear and tear. When the starter first signed with the Dodgers before the 2016 season, his elbow showed an “irregular” body.
Nonetheless, Falvey stated that the twins were “not worried” that Maeda would need him when they acquired Tommy John before the 2020 season, and pointed out that pitchers often made their UCL nervous and then returned to pitch.
Last year’s Cy Young runner-up in the American League, Maeda was healthy throughout the season and began to show discomfort at the end of April. Baldelli said that he hopes that when Tian returns, the twins will see a better version than they have seen in the past.
After all, for the first time in his major league career, he will pitch with a perfectly healthy elbow.
“This is not just a simple acute injury he is dealing with,” Bardelli said. “He has been selling these things for some time. This gives him the opportunity to go all out.”
Michael Pineda (Oblique) Throw 50 balls in a live batting practice at Target Field on Wednesday.catcher Mickey Garver (Backwards) Standing inside… the twins cried Joe Ryan, Who made his debut on Wednesday and activated Randy Dobnak (Finger) When the list of injuries has been expanded to 28 people. Dobnak will face Tampa Bay on Friday. To make room on the 40-person roster, the twins transferred Maeda to the 60-day IL. … The reliever Edgar Garcia Clear the exemption and be assigned to São Paulo.