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News & Analysis

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins

Tyler Mahle ready for his Twins' debut as Blue Jays await

August 5, 2022, 11:12 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Tyler Mahle will make his Minnesota Twins' debut on Friday night when the American League Central leaders oppose the Toronto Blue Jays in Minneapolis.

Mahle (5-7, 4.40 ERA), who hasn't faced the Blue Jays in his career, was part of a key deadline trade with the Cincinnati Reds.

Minnesota dealt three of its top 25 prospects -- infielders Spencer Steen and Christian Encarnacion-Strand and left-hander Steve Hajjar -- to obtain him.

In his last appearance for the Reds, Mahle earned a 8-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday after allowing two runs on five hits and no walks in six innings. He struck out seven. Mahle has pitched to a 2.83 ERA over his past nine starts, working at least six innings in eight of those outings.

Mahle, 27, arrived in Minnesota on Wednesday and threw a bullpen session. He is reunited in the Twins' rotation with Sonny Gray, who was his teammate for three seasons in Cincinnati.

"As soon as I landed, I kind of felt like this was where I needed to be," Mahle said before the Blue Jays won the series opener 9-3 on Thursday. "I texted my wife and everything. I was like, 'I think you are going to like it here.' We're excited."

The Twins are glad to have him considering they are 3-6 in their past nine games. Minnesota is clinging to a one-game lead in the division over the Cleveland Guardians and a two-game edge on the defending Central champion Chicago White Sox.

"I think (Mahle is) a guy that we know has the stuff and ability to pitch toward the top of the rotation," said Derek Falvey, Minnesota's president of baseball operations. "And hopefully, he's doing that amongst a whole group of his peers over the next couple of seasons for us."

Mahle went 20-15 over the past three seasons with the Reds, and he is averaging 9.83 strikeouts per nine innings this season.

Right-hander Jose Berrios (8-4, 4.96), obtained by the Blue Jays from Minnesota in a 2021 deadline deal, will make his fourth career start against the Twins on Friday. He is 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA against them.

Berrios picked up the win in a June 4 start against the Twins in Toronto when he allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings while setting a career high with 13 strikeouts. He subsequently fanned 13 Philadelphia Phillies on July 12.

The Blue Jays, despite being no-hit over the first 4 2/3 innings by Gray on Thursday, still managed to take the series opener by rolling up nine runs on 12 hits against the Twins' bullpen.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led the way with a double and three-run homer. Bo Bichette added two doubles and a single for Toronto, which blew the game open with a six-run eighth inning. Teoscar Hernandez also homered for the Blue Jays, who hold the first AL wild-card spot.

"If you can line it up, they all have the potential for damage," Toronto interim manager John Schneider said. "If you can put guys on base and put the ball in play like we've been preaching all year -- I know we had six walks, five in the first five innings. Nothing came of it, but when you put that combination of on-base and damage together, it's pretty good."

It was the fourth win in five games for Toronto, which improved to 9-3 since the All-Star break.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

Whit Merrifield says he's vaccinated, can play games in Toronto

August 4, 2022, 10:18 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Whit Merrifield says he's vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and will travel with the Blue Jays to Toronto after the team's current road trip.

"For a couple weeks now I've understood this could be a possibility. I'll be in Toronto when the team goes there," Merrifield said Thursday.

When asked directly if he received the vaccine, Merrifield said, "Yep."

To be eligible to play in Toronto, players are required to have one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 14 days prior to traveling.

The Blue Jays' next home game is Friday, Aug. 12 against the Cleveland Guardians.

Merrifield was one of 10 members of the Kansas City Royals placed on the restricted list ahead of team's series in Toronto last month.

The Royals sent Merrifield to the Blue Jays prior to the trade deadline Tuesday in exchange for right-hander Max Castillo and minor league infielder Samad Taylor.

Merrifield, 33, will make his Blue Jays debut on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis. He is batting eighth in the lineup and starting in center field.

Thursday's game will be Merrifield's first with another team after spending all seven years of his major league career in Kansas City.

Merrifield is a career .286 hitter despite batting a career-low .240 in 95 games this season. He was an All-Star in 2019 and 2021.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics

Twins place OF Kyle Garlick (ribs) on injured list

August 4, 2022, 6:48 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins put outfielder Kyle Garlick on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a right ribcage contusion.

The team also reinstated outfielder Gilberto Celestino from the paternity list, optioned left-hander Jovani Moran to Triple-A St. Paul and activated newly acquired right-hander Tyler Mahle.

The injury designation for Garlick is retroactive to Tuesday. He sustained the injury colliding with the left-field wall at San Diego on July 29.

Garlick, 30, is batting .257 with eight homers and 17 RBIs in 51 games this season.

Celestino, 23, went on the paternity list Monday to attend the birth of his son. He is hitting .270 with nine RBIs in 69 games.

Moran, 25, is 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA and one save in 20 relief appearances this season for the Twins.

Mahle, 27, was acquired Tuesday in a trade with Cincinnati. He was 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 19 starts for the Reds and is expected to start Friday night's game against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins

Twins reinstate RHP Caleb Thielbar, promote C Sandy Leon

August 3, 2022, 5:29 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins reinstated left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar from the 15-day injured list on Wednesday and promoted catcher Sandy Leon from Triple-A St. Paul.

The Twins optioned catcher Caleb Hamilton to the Saints and designated right-hander Joe Smith for release or assignment to make room on the 26- and 40-man rosters.

Thielbar has been sidelined with a left hamstring strain. He struck out one batter in one scoreless inning of relief against Iowa on Sunday in his lone rehab appearance for St. Paul.

Thielbar, 35, owns a 2-0 record with one save and a 4.84 ERA in a team-leading 40 relief appearances this season.

He is 16-4 with one save and a 3.18 ERA in 225 career relief appearances with the Twins.

Leon was acquired by Minnesota from the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Ian Hamilton.

Leon, 33, is 2-for-15 in eight games with the Guardians this season.

He is a career .211 hitter with 31 homers and 141 RBIs in 508 career games with the Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins and Guardians.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays place RHP Ross Stripling (hip) on 15-day IL

August 3, 2022, 4:18 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays placed right-hander Ross Stripling on the 15-day injured list Wednesday with a right hip strain.

The move is retroactive to Sunday, one day after he sustained the injury in a game against the Detroit Tigers.

Also on Wednesday, the Blue Jays recalled Matt Peacock and optioned fellow right-hander Mitch White to Triple-A Buffalo.

Stripling, 32, is 5-3 with one save and a 3.16 ERA in 23 appearances (15 starts) this season. He owns a 33-37 record with four saves and a 3.86 ERA in 195 career appearances (95 starts) with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Blue Jays.

Peacock, 28, has a 5.40 ERA over nine appearances split with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals this season. Toronto claimed him off waivers from the Royals on July 6.

He has a career record of 5-7 with a 4.95 ERA over 44 games.

White, who was acquired from the Dodgers on Tuesday, was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

The 27-year-old is 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 15 appearances (10 starts) this season. He is 3-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 38 career appearances (14 starts) with the Dodgers.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals

Blue Jays acquire Whit Merrifield, Mitch White

August 2, 2022, 10:58 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired two-time All-Star Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals and right-hander Mitch White from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

To the Royals, the Blue Jays are sending prospect Samad Taylor and right-hander Max Castillo. The Royals assigned Taylor to Triple-A Omaha and added Castillo to their 40-man roster and optioned him to Omaha.

To the Dodgers, the Blue Jays are sending minor league pitching prospects Nick Frasso and Moises Brito. The Blue Jays also get minor league infielder Alex De Jesus in the deal.

Merrifield, 33, has spent all seven years of his major league career in Kansas City. He's a career .286 hitter despite batting a career-low .240 in 95 games this season. Merrifield was an All-Star in 2019 and 2021.

Merrifield had been unvaccinated with the Royals, something that will need to change given Canada's health requirements against COVID-19.

White, 27, had been something of a revelation for the pitching-rich Dodgers this season. He is 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 15 appearances, including a career-high 10 starts. He's 3-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 38 career games (14 starts) since being taken in the second round of the 2016 draft.

Taylor, 24, is an infielder/outfielder who's batting .258 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs in Triple-A Buffalo this season.

Castillo, 23, made nine appearances (two starts) and had a 3.05 ERA for the Blue Jays this season.

Brito, 20, is 2-4 with a 1.86 ERA in 12 games (two starts) for the Blue Jays in the Dominican Summer League.

Frasso, 23, sports a 0.74 ERA without a decision in 10 total games (all starts) in Class-A and High-A. The Jays selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 draft.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Guardians

Twins acquire RHP Michael Fulmer, put Alex Kirilloff on IL

August 2, 2022, 10:29 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins acquired right-hander Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday in exchange for minor league right-hander Sawyer Gipson-Long.

Fulmer, 29, is 3-4 with a 3.20 ERA and two saves this season for the Twins' American League Central rivals. Fulmer is already in the Twin Cities as the Tigers and Twins are in the midst of a three-game series. Fulmer pitched 1/3 of an inning in Monday night's game, giving up two runs on four hits.

To make room for Fulmer on the roster, the Twins on Tuesday designated right-hander Aaron Sanchez for assignment.

Fulmer is 32-43 with a 3.90 ERA in 178 career appearances (89 starts) for the Tigers over six seasons. He made the AL All-Star team in 2017 when he was exclusively a starter in Detroit.

Gipson-Long, 24, split the 2022 season between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita, going 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA in 18 games (17 starts).

Earlier in the day, the Twins added right-handed closer Jorge Lopez in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles and right-hander Tyler Mahle in a deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Minnesota also placed starting left fielder Alex Kirilloff on the 10-day injured list with wrist inflammation and moved Miguel Sano to the 60-day IL.

Kirilloff, 24, is batting .250 with three home runs and 21 RBIs this season for the Twins.

It's the second time Kirilloff has missed time on the IL this season with wrist issues. He missed nearly a month on the IL in April and May.

Sano had surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee earlier this season. The Twins found something in a recent MRI that led them to transfer Sano to the 60-day list.

In a corresponding move, the Twins recalled outfielder Jake Cave from Triple-A St. Paul. Cave has 28 career HRs for the Twins but has not played for the big-league club yet this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds

Twins land RHP Tyler Mahle from Reds

August 2, 2022, 8:34 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The first-place Minnesota Twins moved to bolster their starting rotation Tuesday, acquiring right-hander Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds will receive a package of prospects in return that includes infielders Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, as well as left-hander Steven Hajjar.

Mahle, 27, is 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 19 starts this season and has 114 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. A former seventh-round pick by the Reds in 2013, Mahle is 31-38 in 114 appearances (113 starts) with the Reds over six seasons.

Encarnacion-Strand, 22, was drafted in the fourth round by the Twins in 2021 and has seen time at Double-A this season. Steer, a third-round pick in 2019, has played in 48 games at Triple-A. Hajjar, a second-round draft pick in 2021, is at the Class-A level.

The Twins entered play Tuesday atop the American League Central but were just one game ahead of the Cleveland Guardians and three ahead of the talent-laden Chicago White Sox.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays

Blue Jays land RHPs Zach Pop, Anthony Bass from Marlins

August 2, 2022, 6:19 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired right-handed relievers Zach Pop and Anthony Bass from the Miami Marlins on Tuesday for infield prospect Jordan Groshans, multiple outlets reported.

The Blue Jays are bolstering a bullpen that ranked 10th in the American League with a 3.89 ERA heading into play Tuesday.

Pop, a 25-year-old native of Canada, has a 3.60 ERA in 18 relief appearances this season for the Marlins. He is 3-0 with a 3.98 ERA in 68 outings with the Marlins over the past two seasons.

Bass, 34, has a 1.41 ERA in 45 relief appearances this season for the Marlins. He is 14-28 with a 3.98 ERA and 15 saves over 11 seasons with seven different clubs.

Groshans, 22, was considered the Blue Jays' No. 4 overall prospect by He reached Triple-A for the first time this season and is batting .247 with one home run and 24 RBIs over 72 games on two separate minor league levels. He was the No. 12 overall draft pick by Toronto in 2018.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles

Reports: Twins acquire closer Jorge Lopez from Orioles

August 2, 2022, 2:56 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles closer Jorge Lopez was traded to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

MLB Network reported Lopez, who had 19 saves and an ERA of 1.68 with Baltimore in 2022, was one of multiple arms on the radar of the Twins.

Per ESPN, the Orioles will receive four minor league pitchers: left-handers Cade Povich and Juan Rojas as well as right-handers Yennier Cano and Juan Nunez.

Lopez, 29, has a 4-6 record in 44 games this season. He's in his third season with the Orioles after breaking into the league with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Lopez also spent time with the Kansas City Royals, starting 25 games total in 2019 and 2020 with a combined 6-13 record.

He went 3-14 as a starting pitcher with the Orioles last season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs

Twins place Max Kepler, Miguel Sano on 10-day IL

July 30, 2022, 9:27 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins placed outfielder Max Kepler and infielder Miguel Sano on the 10-day injured list Saturday.

The move is retroactive to Wednesday for Kepler, who has missed three games with a right pinkie toe fracture.

The 29-year-old is batting .244 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 85 games this season.

Sano, 29, is dealing with left knee inflammation after playing in three games this season. The former All-Star had just returned from the 60-day injured list, a move necessitated after he underwent surgery on his left knee.

Also on Saturday, the Twins selected the contract of infielder Tim Beckham and recalled outfielder Mark Contreras from Triple-A St. Paul.

Beckham, 32, is batting .413 with five homers and 31 RBIs in 33 games this season for the Saints.

Contreras, 27, is 1-for-9 with two RBIs in six games this season for Minnesota.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins

Twins place 3B Gio Urshela on paternity list

July 29, 2022, 7:42 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins placed third baseman Gio Urshela on the paternity list on Friday.

In a corresponding move, the Twins recalled outfielder Gilberto Celestino from Triple-A St. Paul.

Urshela, 30, is batting .265 with 17 doubles, 36 runs, nine homers and 42 RBIs in 86 games this season. He and his wife are expecting a baby girl.

Celestino, 22, was optioned to St. Paul on July 26. Prior to that, he hit .268 with seven doubles and eight RBIs in 66 games with the Twins.

Reports Friday also said the Twins signed veteran reliever Brad Peacock, who pitched sparingly over the past two seasons because of neck and shoulder injuries, to a minor league deal. He will report to St. Paul.

Peacock, 34, has a 34-31 record with a 4.11 ERA in 183 career games (84 starts) with the Washington Nationals (2011), Houston Astros (2013-20) and Boston Red Sox (2021).

He threw just 7 2/3 innings in the majors in 2020-21.

Peacock signed with the Kansas City Royals over the offseason, and the the right-hander was 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings for Triple-A Omaha. He was granted his release this week before singing with the Twins.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals

Twins reinstate 1B Miguel Sano from 60-day IL

July 26, 2022, 4:29 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins reinstated first baseman Miguel Sano from the 60-day injured list on Tuesday.

Sano, 29, missed Minnesota's last 75 games after undergoing knee surgery in early May.

The former All-Star batted .093 with one homer and three RBIs in 17 games with the Twins before the injury.

Sano batted .333 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 12 games on a rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul and the Florida Complex League club.

Over eight seasons with Minnesota, Sano is a career .234 hitter with 162 home runs and 418 RBIs in 691 games. He made the All-Star team in 2017 and slugged a career-high 34 homers in 2019.

In corresponding transactions, the Twins optioned outfielder Gilberto Celestino to St. Paul and transferred left-hander Danny Coulombe (left hip impingement) to the 60-day injured list.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals

Twins place LHP Caleb Thielbar (hamstring) on IL

July 23, 2022, 5:41 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins placed reliever Caleb Thielbar on the 15-day injured list Saturday with a left hamstring strain.

The designation is retroactive to Tuesday for the 35-year-old left-hander.

Thielbar is 2-0 with one save, nine holds and a 4.84 ERA in a team-high 40 appearances this season.

He is 16-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 225 games (no starts) over six seasons with the Twins (2013-15, 2020-22).

In a corresponding move, Minnesota recalled right-hander Yennier Cano from Triple-A St. Paul.

Cano, 28, made his MLB debut on May 11 and is 1-0 with a 9.26 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Twins this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians

Liam Hendriks, Jordan Romano added to AL All-Star roster

July 17, 2022, 3:57 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox right-hander Liam Hendriks and fellow reliever Jordan Romano of the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday were added to the American League roster for the upcoming All-Star Game.

They replace New York Yankees star Gerrit Cole and Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander, both of whom will be inactive for Tuesday's game in Los Angeles.

Also on Sunday, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Devin Williams was named to the National League roster in place of Atlanta Braves left-hander Max Fried, who also will be inactive.

Hendriks, 33, was an All-Star in both 2019 and 2021. He owns a 1-2 record with 18 saves and a 2.35 ERA in 30 appearances this season heading into Sunday's action.

Romano, 29, is headed to his first MLB All-Star Game. He is 3-2 with a league-leading 19 saves and a 2.73 ERA in 34 appearances this season.

Williams, 27, will be an All-Star for the first time in his career. The 2020 NL Rookie of the Year, Williams is 2-0 with six saves and a 1.77 ERA in 39 appearances this season.

--Field Level Media