Kenta Maeda wasn’t shocked to wake up two weeks ago and find out he had undergone Tommy John surgery. While he wasn’t sure what procedure he would have when he went under, Tommy John was what he was expecting.

Plus, he couldn’t focus on much else besides the surgery’s side effects.

“(The) anesthesia really knocked me out,” Maeda said.

Two weeks later, Maeda is feeling good and said he is “optimistic,” about where he’s at. His stitches have been removed, and he’s been given the go-ahead to start to sweat, as he put it, on Wednesday, meaning he can resume a cardio program. His rehab process has gotten underway with simple, easy movements.

How long that rehab process will take remains to be seen. While conventional wisdom would suggest that Maeda will be out for all of the 2022 season, the starter had an internal brace inserted during his ulnar collateral ligament repair, which could cut down on his rehab time.

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“I have no expectation to rush myself going back to the mound,” he said. “I want to take my time to rehab and come back stronger than ever, so strength is one of the parts that was mentioned by (surgeon) Dr. (Keith) Meister. I think in collaboration with Tommy John, the brace will only strengthen the ligament. So, I think that’ll take an effect once I’m really back to the throwing program.”

Shortly after the elbow surgery, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said he was hopeful that Maeda might be able to pitch at some point late in the 2022 season.

But Maeda will be careful not to rush the process. At 33, he said he still believes he has several years left in the tank, so making sure he completes his rehab process correctly is his first and biggest priority.

“If I can pitch in 2022, that’d be great, but is that a must?” Maeda said. “I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think what’s important here is to fully recover, and if I’m in a condition to be able to pitch, I’ll pitch.”


Tyler Duffey wasn’t the only Twins reliever wearing No. 21 on Wednesday night. For one day, rookie Jovani Moran, swapped out his usual 71 for 21.

That’s because as part of Major League Baseball’s celebration of Roberto Clemente Day, the league has allowed Puerto Rican players to don Clemente’s number in his honor. Moran, who is from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, jumped at the opportunity.

“I feel happy to wear that number,” he said. “It represents a lot to me, wearing the 21. He’s an idol to me. He’s a role model to follow.”

The late Hall of Famer died in a plane crash in 1972 while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Moran wasn’t born until 1997 but is well aware of Clemente’s impact and legacy, making Wednesday all the more special for him.

“I know about Roberto Clemente from when I started playing baseball,” he said. “In Puerto Rico, you just hear Roberto Clemente everywhere, and I’m just born listening to that name and I feel very happy to be in the big leagues and wearing that number.”


Mitch Garver is nearly ready to head out on a rehab assignment.

The Twins catcher, who has been on the injured list since Aug. 27 with low back tightness, has been taking part in baseball activities, and manager Rocco Baldelli said the team has been looking at potential rehab games and travel for him.

Baldelli said they were targeting the Triple-A Saints’ series in Indianapolis. The Saints are in Indianapolis through the weekend, and the Twins have Thursday off before heading to Toronto.

“I don’t have anything firm yet as far as dates or exactly what that plan is going to be,” Baldelli said, “but we’re at that point now because he’s progressed well.”


Baldelli said pitcher Joe Ryan, hit on the wrist by a comebacker on Tuesday, came in on Wednesday “feeling pretty good.” The Twins will continue to assess him over the next couple of days and then should have a good sense whether he will make his next start on time.