After a long recovery from Tommy John surgery, Chris Paddack was activated from the Twins’ 60-day injured list today and was ready to appear in his first big league game since May 8, 2022. Technically, Paddack did “appear,” though he didn’t actually play. Paddack entered today’s game out of the bullpen prior to the start of the seventh inning, but as he was warming up on the mound, a rain delay halted the action for 50 minutes. As a result, Minnesota brought Louie Varland in to pitch once play resumed, leaving Paddack credited in the official box score with a rare appearance of zero innings pitched and zero batters faced. While it makes for a quirky bit of trivia for Paddack, the righty will probably appreciate it more once he gets a chance to properly complete his comeback with a real pitching appearance, which could happen as early as Tuesday when the AL Central champion Twins begin a series with the Athletics.
Some more from around the AL Central….
- The Royals activated Salvador Perez from the concussion-related injury list today, as the veteran catcher returned free of symptoms after the minimum seven days. Perez returns for a few more games to complete his 13th Major League season, and even after hitting a homer in today’s 6-5 Kansas City win over the Astros, it has been a tough year for the backstop. Beyond the Royals’ struggles, Perez has had a down year at the plate, hitting .252/.291/.419 with 22 homers over 555 plate appearances.
- Prior to today’s rain-shortened 3-2 victory over the Red Sox, the White Sox placed right-hander Jesse Scholtens on the 15-day injured list due to a left calf strain, and called righty Declan Cronin up from Triple-A. The injury officially ends Scholtens’ first MLB season, as he started 11 of 26 games for Chicago after debuting on April 7 and posted a 5.29 ERA, 15.4% strikeout rate and eight percent walk rate. The White Sox moved Scholtens up and down from Triple-A on a few occasions, using him primarily as a reliever before giving him a longer look as a starter over the last couple of months.
- While Terry Francona and the Guardians have stopped short of making it entirely official, all signs are pointing to Francona retiring at the end of the 2023 season. As the winningest manager in franchise history, Francona leaves a high bar for the Guards’ next skipper to reach, and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that the club is planning “a wide-ranging managerial search.” The implication seems to be that the Guardians will look outside the organization for the new hire, though Hoynes pushes back against the perception that the front office is aiming to take a fuller control of in-game duties in the name of analytics. “It would be a mistake to think the next manager will be a human computer/yes man,” Hoynes writes, noting that the front office “want someone who will challenge them, someone they can learn from” as they have during Francona’s 11 seasons in Cleveland.