MINNEAPOLIS -- Taylor Rogers let loose a pitch in the ninth inning on Monday night that Mitch Garver had to stretch for, reaching all the way across his body to catch. The next pitch Rogers threw was so far away from his target that his catcher couldn’t do much more than turn and look.
Immediately, Rogers held out his left hand and looked toward the Minnesota Twins’ dugout. Out came manager Rocco Baldelli and assistant athletic trainer Masa Abe, who looked at the reliever’s left hand while Rogers shook it out. Rogers quickly came out of the game and was diagnosed with a left middle finger sprain. That was the diagnosis after a round of imaging on Wednesday, too.
The Twins will send Rogers to get a second opinion on Wednesday and perhaps a third, as well, as they try to determine the next steps for the all-star.
For now, the Twins have placed Rogers on the 10-day injured list. The timing comes just days before the July 30 trade deadline. Rogers, the Twins’ best reliever, had been widely talked about as a trade candidate, but the injury certainly changes that equation.
“It was definitely an IL scenario. He wasn’t going to be able to get back out there to throw anytime soon,” Baldelli said. “Of course, in a lot of ways, just very disappointing for any of our guys but for such an important piece and person in our clubhouse, a guy we’ve relied on so much over the years and a guy that’s been about as durable of a pitcher as I’ve seen in the game.”
Rogers has been the picture of health throughout his time with the Twins; this is his first trip to the injured list in his six-year major league career.
Baldelli described the sprain as a “just kind of a freak occurrence,” a rare injury that he believed happened on one particular pitch.
“Most of the time it’s just you throw a pitch, you feel something in your finger, you look down, it doesn’t feel right and that’s really the end of it,” Baldelli said. “There’s no real good way to look at it. It’s a difficult situation, and you can probably term it frustrating for everyone involved, especially Rog.”
Starter/reliever Randy Dobnak is dealing with a right middle finger strain, an issue that has kept him out since June 24. Dobnak was recently transferred to the 60-day injured list, meaning he will miss at least two months with the injury.
But Baldelli did not want to draw too many similarities between the two cases until they “find out a lot more” about what Rogers is dealing with.
Wednesday’s visit to the doctor should help go a long way in helping make those determinations.
“The more very good eyes that we can have on Rog helps all of us,” Baldelli said. “It helps Rog confidence-wise as far as knowing what he’s doing next. We don’t know what is to come next. We’re going to wait and see what we find out first before we come up with any sort of judgments.”