MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Twins right-hander Kenta Maeda underwent Tommy John surgery in Dallas on Wednesday, the team said.
The 33-year-old Japanese right-hander was placed on the 10-day disabled list on August 24 with a stiff right forearm. Texas Rangers orthopedic surgeon Keith Meister performed the surgery.
Meister added an internal brace to the arm, a recent development in the Tommy John technique that could help speed up the recovery rate, which is traditionally at least a year. The Twins hope Maeda can return in 9-12 months.
“There are never any guarantees, but we are pretty good medically rehabbing these types of injuries and getting the guys back to health,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Maeda was the runner-up in AL Cy Young Award voting last season, when he was 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts. In 21 starts this season, Maeda was 6-5 with a 4.66 ERA.
Baldelli noted that the surgery addressed other problems in Maeda’s arm that had been bothering the pitcher throughout his six-year MLB career, which began with a four-year stint with the Dodgers.
“Hopefully when he’s ready, we could see a better version than any we’ve seen before, because they were able to come in and clean up some of the things he’s been pitching with,” Baldelli said. “It wasn’t just a simple acute injury that he was dealing with. He’s been pitching with some of these things for a while. This gives him the opportunity to be at full strength in the future.”