CLEVELAND - Michael Pineda's hopes of pitching in big-league games this September appear dead.
Monday's magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed a small tear in the meniscus of his right knee. Pineda, who had been on track to be activated early next week, reported discomfort in his knee after his most recent bullpen session last week at Triple-A Rochester.
Twins medical staff will huddle with Pineda in the coming days to determine whether surgery is necessary or the condition, which may be left over from a previous injury, can be remedied through rest and rehabilitation. Either way, it no longer makes much sense to put Pineda on the mound as he works back from Tommy John surgery he had July 18, 2017, while with the New York Yankees.
"I think it pretty much eliminates that, which is fine," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's been a productive year. The biggest goal will be trying to figure out how to give him as much of the offseason as we can to be somewhat normal in preparing for next spring."
Pineda is under contract for $8 million plus incentives in 2019, which he will pitch at age 30. Molitor wouldn't rule out a stint in the Dominican Winter League for Pineda, who last faced big-league hitters on July 5, 2017.
While Pineda also overcame shoulder surgery in 2012, he isn't believed to have undergone any knee procedures, Molitor said. Pineda posted a 1.50 earned-run average and nine strikeouts in 12 rehab innings, working his way up from the Gulf Coast League to Triple-A.
The Twins and WCCO-AM have locked up their popular radio team of Cory Provus and two-time World Series winner Dan Gladden through 2021.
With their current deals set to expire at season's end, Provus and Gladden announced their three-year extensions on Monday during a joint appearance at the Minnesota State Fair.
"It was really positive; it was really nice," Provus said of the fans' reaction. "We've had really good feedback. The best compliment that we ever get, and I hear it on (winter) caravan a lot, is, 'It sounds like you guys are having fun.' That's my favorite one. That sticks with me every time. I love it."
Provus, 40, followed Twins Hall of Famer John Gordon as the team's radio play-by-play voice, starting with the 2012 season. Gladden, 61, is in his 19th year in the Twins' radio booth and his 15th as a full-time analyst.
As part of his new contract, Provus will take six regular-season games off each year while scaling back his spring training workload from 20 games to 13. Provus and wife Dana have two young children - Cooper, 5, and Mia, 2.
A rabid fan of the rock band Pearl Jam, Provus joked that this would give him more time to follow Eddie Vedder and Co. on tour.
"That's what I'm working around," he said. "I'm trying to get an advance copy of their '19 European schedule, so I may swing out to Rome and catch a show."
Lefty Adalberto Mejia (nerve traction issue) will not start again this year. "It's going to take more time than what we have left to let the thing get calmed down," Molitor said. Mejia said recently he'd like to pitch in winter ball again after making five starts with a 3.43 ERA for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican last offseason.
Shortstop Jorge Polanco (general cramping) was doing "a lot better" on Tuesday, Molitor said, and was available off the bench. He's expected back in the lineup Wednesday after leaving Sunday's game because of "trouble keeping his legs loose," Molitor said.
According to USA Today, Molitor is tied for 13th among the 30 big-league managers with a $1.5 million salary this season. Molitor, who signed a three-year extension after leading the Twins to the second American League wild-card berth last season, is tied with former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire (Detroit Tigers), Craig Counsell(Milwaukee Brewers) and Bud Black (Colorado Rockies).
Class A Cedar Rapids, under first-year manager Toby Gardenhire, has now qualified for the Midwest League playoffs in all six seasons it has been affiliated with the Twins. The Kernels overcame the midseason promotions of former first-rounders Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis, and fast-rising pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol, to claim a second-half title, due in part to the arrival of the Twins' first two picks this June: right fielder Trevor Larnach and catcher/DH Ryan Jeffers.