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Tyler Mahle likely to miss next start but upbeat about shoulder

Mahle is not particularly concerned that his shoulder will be a long-term issue.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Mahle comes off the field with the team trainer during the third inning Aug. 17 against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Becker / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Mahle could tell something was off by the velocity readings lighting up the scoreboard on Wednesday. Thing is, he couldn’t feel anything wrong.

Mahle departed his third start as a Twin early, the velocity on his four-seamer down 4.4 miles per hour from his yearly average. But magnetic resonance imaging came back clean, and Mahle says he does not feel pain in his shoulder. The Twins have called it right shoulder fatigue, and while it seems likely that Mahle will not make his scheduled start early next week in Houston, he is not particularly concerned that this will be a long-term issue.

“My velo is down for whatever reason, but I mean I felt fine. I wasn’t scared of throwing hard. I was locating stuff. I don’t think anything — I think it was just a weird day,” Mahle said.

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Regardless, the Twins are planning on treading cautiously with Mahle, their biggest addition at the trade deadline and an important piece of their rotation.

Manager Rocco Baldelli said Mahle would not pick up a ball for a few days and they would build him back up after that, provided everything appears to be in a good place. In the meantime, he is getting treatment on his shoulder. In July, while still with the Cincinnati Reds, Mahle landed on the injured list with a right shoulder strain.

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“I think in the next three or four days, we’ll know what his path forward is going to be, or we’ll have a lot better idea of where he’s at,” Baldelli said. “… It didn’t seem like there was anything acute going on as far as pain, and it didn’t show anything very noticeable on the MRI.”

And because of all that, Mahle said he is optimistic about avoiding the injured list altogether. Friday, he said he felt really good. He lifted and did everything else as he would, besides throwing. His shoulder, he said, feels normal.

“I don’t really know how to describe it,” he said. “It’s weird but I think everything’s fine.”

HOF weekend

The Twins are set to induct longtime manager Ron Gardenhire as well as former players Dan Gladden and Cesar Tovar into the team Hall of Fame this weekend.

The trio make up the first induction class of at least three people since the inaugural class in 2000 and, upon induction, will become the 35th, 36th and 37th members of the Twins’ Hall of Fame. More than 16 other members are expected to be in attendance over the weekend.

Gardenhire will be inducted on Saturday, while Gladden and Tovar will enter the Hall of Fame pregame on Sunday.

“I think it’s just a proud moment for me,” Gardenhire said. “ … I’m excited. Excited to be out there. My wife and I have been trying to write a script here and make it quick. Not last a long time like (Justin) Morneau did last year.”

Briefly

Jorge Polanco was back in the Twins’ lineup for the first time since Monday after injuring his knee sliding that day. … Former Twins catcher Mitch Garver returned to Target Field for the series despite being on the injured list after undergoing season-ending surgery.

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