The Minnesota Twins currently sit atop the American League Central despite playing without their ace for over two weeks now. Starter Joe Ryan was placed on the COVID-19 list back on May 25, but he is nearing a return to the majors after dominating in his latest rehab assignment start at Triple-A.
Minnesota Twins News
Ryan pitched three innings for the St. Paul Saints on Thursday night and allowed zero runs to cross the plate. He tossed a total of 40 pitches, struck out four batters, and walked none. It was the last hurdle for the 26-year-old to overcome before rejoining the MLB rotation sometime next week.
This is the exact boost the Twins need on the mound. When Ryan went down, Minnesota had the fifth-best team ERA in baseball (3.12). That mark has since ballooned to 3.83 (No. 15 in MLB). There's no understating how important Ryan has become to manager Rocco Baldelli.
Minnesota fans have been used to seeing Ryan make opposing batters look silly ever since he made his debut in September of 2021. Across eight starts in 2022, Ryan has posted a 5-2 record to go along with a 2.28 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He has also racked up 42 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched.
Despite Ryan's success, he remains a dark horse to be named AL Rookie of the Year. His +1500 odds trails three other players as Seattle's Julio Rodriguez leads the way at +145. For now, he'll focus on leading a Twins team that has odds set at +135 to win the division, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
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