Twins lefthander Adalberto Mejia looks to be trending upward after a pair five-inning shutout starts against Cleveland.
"He's throwing a lot of strikes, and I think that's really helping him," Twins catcher Mitch Garver said. "He's pounding the zone with his fastball and his change up is really improving. And I think both his breaking balls are also getting better. It's something we have been utilizing a lot. Just making his fastball better when he's throwing his off speed for strikes."
So the hope is that Mejia can make his next start on Sunday and not miss any time because of a left wrist strain suffered when he threw his last pitch of the fifth inning.
"My last pitch was a slider, and I felt like a shock in there," Mejia said. "The trainer checked me. It’s just a little tension in my wrist."
The area is in the forearm but more toward the wrist than the elbow. Mejia underwent treatment afterward and felt better, so everyone feels it's a minor issue. They won't know for sure until he throws a bullpen session later this week, but they weren't too worried after the game.
"He said the last pitch he threw kind of had a stinging effect in the lower left forearm, closer to the wrist, that radiated up to the elbow," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There was some swelling in the area we kind of checked out. We think it’s a mild strain. We’re going to see how it reacts tomorrow, see if we can get it under control. I don’t think we’ll make any decision on his next start until we get a look at him tomorrow."
As of now, there are no plans for Mejia to have X-Rays or an MRI taken. It would not surprise me if they did as a precaution.
"It was lower forearm," Molitor said. "I don’t really know the medical term for it. Not accustomed to seeing that in a pitcher, especially one pitch effect like that. Mejía said he’s feeling a lot better postgame than he did right after it occurred. We’ll give him a chance to respond tonight with treatment and see tomorrow."
After throwing 10 shutout innings over his last two starts - and retiring the final 12 batters he faced Tuesday - Mejia looks like he's getting on a roll. He worked quickly and attacked the strike zone on Tuesday, and you could see that his confidence is growing. He's far from the guy who would give up a lot of foul balls then get frustrated for not putting away hitters.
Actually, that could have happened in the first inning Tuesday. Michael Brantley fouled off four pitches and pushed Mejia into an eight pitch encounter than ended with him being hit by a pitch to put two men on. But Mejia got a force out and two fly balls to get out of the inning.
I asked Garver if he could tell that Mejia's confidence is growing from how more quickly he's working.
"I think it's a little bit of that, a little bit of me and him being on the same page and I think he's starting to trust me little bit and we're not fighting to get on the same page," Garver said. "Just working together over the past few starts. Hopefully it will continue and we'll keep that pace up."
Nothing wrong with a pitcher and catcher gaining experience together - especially in a game in which the catcher's three-run homer was the game-winning hit.