It's been 15 months since Chris Paddack pitched in a baseball game at any level, but a best-case scenario could make him an option for the bullpen in the postseason.

Paddack, who is planning to begin a rehabilitation assignment next week after recovering from the second Tommy John surgery in his career, is hopeful about his chances of contributing to the Twins this season.

"Especially during these moments when guys are in first place, you're itching to get back," said Paddack, who visited Target Field this week because he didn't want a tropical storm in Florida to interrupt his throwing schedule. "You put on the TV, and you see your boys out there dominating, and you want to be a part of it."

Paddack, who has been rehabbing at the Twins' spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., has impressed team officials with the way he's thrown in live batting practice sessions. The next step will be receiving clearance from his surgeon, Dr. Keith Meister, to pitch in games.

"That's what's been kind of fun about this whole thing is there's a lot of people that have forgotten about me," said Paddack, who was acquired alongside Emilio Pagán in a 2022 trade for Taylor Rogers and Brent Rooker. "I make that stuff personal. That's just who I am. That's what I enjoy. I'm about to show the world here in four weeks what Chris Paddack's been doing for the past 15 months."

Paddack remains under contract through the 2025 season, and he will likely compete for a spot in the starting rotation next year.

"Like I said at the beginning of the season, my goal is to help this team win this year, whether that was starting, coming out for an out or trying to throw 105 mph like [Jhoan] Duran," he said.

Gray's delay? A rock

During the seventh inning in Wednesday's loss to the Guardians, Sonny Gray received a visit from head trainer Nick Paparesta after he issued a seven-pitch walk to Kole Calhoun. It was Gray's lone walk and Paparesta saw the 33-year-old pitcher shaking his left foot.

"Nick was like 'What's wrong?'" Gray said. "I said, 'I've got a rock in my shoe.' He said, 'What?' I said, 'I've got a rock in my shoe.' I thought that would be it. But he said, 'Well, take it out.' I said, 'Oh, OK, yeah, that's a good idea.'"

Gray knelt on the mound and removed his New Balance spike to shake out the rock. Then he stranded Calhoun after a foul out and two groundouts. The crowd of 20,169 responded with a standing ovation as he returned to the dugout.

Could the Twins add to roster?

Multiple teams, particularly the Angels, placed players on irrevocable waivers Tuesday in an attempt to receive salary relief.

The players reportedly on waivers include starting pitcher Lucas Giolito (Angels), relievers Reynaldo López (Angels), José Cisnero (Tigers) and Matt Moore (Angels), and outfielders Harrison Bader (Yankees), Randal Grichuk (Angels) and Hunter Renfroe (Angels).

The cost for teams to claim a player is just picking up their prorated salary for September, a late twist to give contenders a chance to fortify their rosters after the trade deadline. The waiver order is determined by the reverse standings, which could give the Twins an edge because their record is worse than other division leaders.

The deadline to submit waivers for those players is Thursday.


• Jordan Luplow, a righthanded batter, pinch hit for Joey Gallo in the fifth inning Wednesday with two runners on base and one out against a righthander. "We're looking for contact," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "Sometimes, we'll hit a right-on-right matchup to give ourselves a little bit of that advantage."

The Twins' 4-2 loss to the Guardians on Tuesday was their 5,000th loss since the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961.