Big Mike will be a sight for sore eyes as the Twins get one of their top starting pitchers back from injury Thursday night.
Michael Pineda has been activated from the 10-day injured list and will be on the mound as the Twins open a four-game series in Texas against the Rangers.
Pineda was placed in the IL with a triceps strain in his pitching arm and missed one of his scheduled starts, and getting him back for the stretch run could be huge if he's able to pitch the way he was prior to sustaining the injury.
Pineda's month-by-month ERA:
- April: 7.20 ERA
- May: 4.50 ERA
- June: 3.58 ERA
- July: 2.59 ERA
In his last 14 starts, Pineda is 5-2 with a 3.36 ERA. That includes a really good 2.72 ERA in his last nine outings.
The 6-foot-7, 30-year-old right-hander was once regarded as one of the top young pitchers in the MLB before injuries derailed his progress. He was an All-Star as a 22-year-old rookie with the Mariners in 2011, and as recently as 2016 he finished sixth in the American League in strikeouts (206) with the Yankees.
Devin Smeltzer was scheduled to start Thursday for the Twins, so he's been bumped for now.