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Twins shelve Pineda with knee tendinitis, promote Smeltzer

May 28, 2019
Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 27, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have put pitcher Michael Pineda on the 10-day injured list with right knee tendinitis and promoted Devin Smeltzer to take his place in the rotation.

The move was made Tuesday, with Smeltzer scheduled to make his major league debut against Milwaukee.

Pineda gave up three runs and three hits to the Brewers on Monday night, striking out six without a walk. He left with a lead in a game the Twins eventually lost.

There was no sign of injury during or after the game.

Manager Rocco Baldelli said the decision was a preventative measure. The knee is the same one that Pineda suffered a small tear in the meniscus last August.

“This is more of a maintenance issue for us going forward and for Mike. Something that we knew we would have to talk about at some point. But taking an opportunity and giving him 10-ish days to get this taken care of,” he said. “He’ll continue on with his arm program and throwing. I don’t foresee it being a long-term issue in any way. It’s actually something that was kind of well thought out and something that we knew we’d be looking at.”

Pineda is 4-3 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 starts. This is his first season with the Twins, who had the best record in the majors when they made the move with him.

“It’s not in response to anything that’s happened over the last day or week or anything like that,” Baldelli said. “It’s something that has been on Mike’s mind and our minds and something that we knew we would have to take care of.”

Martín Pérez, originally slated to start Tuesday, had his turn pushed back to Thursday when Minnesota starts a four-game series in Tampa Bay. The Twins have next Monday off before playing six straight games.

“This is more about the opportunity to get really all of our guys an extra day or two to prepare depending on where they line up,” Baldelli said.

The 23-year-old Smeltzer was acquired last season from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the trade for second baseman Brian Dozier. Smeltzer has a 1.15 ERA in nine starts this year between Double-A and Triple-A.

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