Michael Pineda returns to Twins, who are trying to turn corner after dismal start


Wednesday, the Twins announced that they had reinstated right-handed starting pitcher Michael Pineda from the injured list. He’ll get the start Wednesday afternoon against the Orioles

Pineda, 32, has been the Twins’ best pitcher this season. In seven starts, he’s 2-2 with a 2.79 ERA (154 ERA+), 1.01 WHIP and 39 strikeouts against 10 walks in 38 2/3 innings. 

The timing of getting Pineda back should turn heads a bit, even if only slowly. The Twins have had a horrific 2021 season to date and are 9 1/2 games out of first place in the AL Central. They sit 10 games under .500 and would have to go 71-43 — a 162-game pace of 101 wins — the rest of the way in order to win 90 games. Even if they did that, would 90 wins get them to the playoffs when we’re back to the three division winners and two wild cards playoff format? 

It’s a tall order, for sure. 

The Twins are, however, showing signs of life in the midst of a portion of the schedule that is workable. They’ve won five of their last six games with the one loss in there coming in extra innings. They have Wednesday’s game against the Orioles before three against the Royals

They then hit the road for three against the Orioles and four more against the Royals. If they go something like 8-3 in these next 11 games against what would’ve been considered inferior competition heading into the year, we’d probably have to allow for the possibility that they could climb back into contention. 

Before that happens, they have to win a lot of games. Getting Pineda back is a good start. 

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