MLB

Twins rotation bit by injury bug as Sonny Gray lands on injured list with pec strain

The Minnesota Twins have placed right-handed starting pitcher Sonny Gray on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 30, with a right pectoral strain, the ballclub announced Thursday afternoon. As a corresponding move, the Twins are calling up right-handed pitcher Yennier Cano

Gray was pulled in the seventh inning on his Memorial Day start with the issue and the hope was he wouldn’t miss a turn in the rotation. It appears things didn’t improve enough in the days since, hence the move to the IL. 

This is the second IL stint this season for Gray, who has otherwise been excellent. In seven starts, he’s 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA (155 ERA+), 0.98 WHIP and 39 strikeouts against 10 walks in 33 2/3 innings. 

Bigger picture, the move is another test on the Twins’ rotation depth. Going back to last season, they lost Kenta Maeda to Tommy John surgery. A few weeks ago, Chris Paddack had the same procedure. Joe Ryan, who was pitching like a Cy Young candidate, is out. Josh Winder has been a rotation fill-in and he’s also on the injured list, with a shoulder injury. 

That leaves the Twins with Dylan Bundy, Bailey Ober, Chris Archer and Devin Smeltzer in the rotation. 

The Twins do have a day off on Monday, but they’ll still need a starter for Gray’s spot on Saturday, unless they want to use Bundy on short rest. Ryan is on the IL as it relates to COVID, so perhaps he’ll be back soon. 

Regardless, the Twins are in a bit of a bind with their rotation, as Gray and Ryan are their two best pitchers and the depth as a whole is depleted. 

The Twins have also lost six of their last nine games. Of course, the good news is no one seems to want to challenge them in the AL Central, as they still have a five-game lead over both the White Sox and Guardians



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