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Twins pitcher Chris Archer lands on injured list; Josh Winder returns to majors

The starter is eligible to come off the IL on Sept. 26, an off day, and he said he thinks he will be able to make two healthy starts before the season ends.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Chris Archer throws to the Cleveland Guardians in on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at Target Field. On Sunday, Archer was placed on the disabled list.
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The list of Minnesota Twins players on the injured list — which seems almost never-ending at this point — grew by one on Sunday.

This time, it was starting pitcher Chris Archer, who left Saturday night’s game early with pectoral tightness. Archer was placed on the 15-day IL on Sunday morning, with the Twins selecting the contract of reliever Jharel Cotton as the corresponding move.

“Yesterday, I just felt a little tight in my chest area, but we did every clinical exam possible. We even did an MRI that wasn’t necessary but just to clarify. I’m really happy with all of it,” Archer said. “Yesterday, I really just didn’t have it. It might just be some general fatigue, some general tightness, just because we’re at this point of the season, but overall, I feel really good about the exam, and I’m very confident that I’ll be back to full health very soon.”

Archer expressed confidence in a return later this season, saying he “100%” believes he’ll be back before the regular season ends on Oct. 5. The starter is eligible to come off the IL on Sept. 26, an off day, and he said he thinks he will be able to make two healthy starts before the season ends.

“I do think that this isn’t a long-term type of injury,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.

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But it’s an injury nonetheless, one that leaves the Twins now without two of their starters; trade deadline acquisition Tyler Mahle is already on the IL with shoulder inflammation.

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The Twins did welcome back another starter — Josh Winder — on Sunday after a lengthy stay of his own on the injured list combined with a short stint in Triple-A. Cole Sands was optioned as the corresponding move. Winder, who started on Sunday, last pitched in the majors on July 12 before landing on the IL for the second time this season with a shoulder impingement. In his first start back, Winder gave up a pair of home runs in his four-inning start.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been up here, so it was nice to get my feet wet again and remember what it feels like and looks like, all that stuff,” Winder said. “I’m hoping to get into a nice rhythm here in the coming weeks, and hopefully I can make some adjustments and put in a little better performance next time out.”

Winder has pitched both as a starter and in relief for the Twins this season, and Baldelli said he expected the rookie to pitch again in the big leagues this season, though he didn’t specify in what role.

“I can’t say exactly what our rotation is going to be,” he said. “We have a little work to do to sit down and sort that out. We have a doubleheader next Saturday, so there’s some things to consider. But he put himself in a good spot.”

Kepler leaves early

Right fielder Max Kepler left Sunday’s game early after fouling a pitch off his right leg during his first-inning at-bat. Though he stayed in initially, he was subbed out before the third inning began.

“He had X-rays. There was a baseball-sized knot on his upper shin kind of towards his knee. I think it’s going down by now, but he was having trouble just walking,” Baldelli said. “I don’t think he was going to be playing, and that’s what it came down to. He’s doing better right now, treated for last couple of hours.”

Briefly

The Twins plan to send Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray and Dylan Bundy to the mound during this week’s upcoming series against the Kansas City Royals. … Lefty Austin Davis, whom the Twins designated for assignment earlier this week, has cleared waivers and accepted free agency.

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