Twins turn to Joe Ryan in rematch vs. Cardinals

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Jul 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan (41) throws to the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Target Field.
Jul 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan (41) throws to the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Target Field.
Image: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he expects to see a better version of pitcher Joe Ryan during the last two months of the season

"I have complete faith in Joe Ryan and the way that he can go out there and miss bats and get outs," Baldelli said. "He's going to swing upward from where he's at right now -- that's the way I feel about it.


Ryan (9-7, 4.06 ERA) hopes to start that process Wednesday night when the Twins face the Cardinals in the middle contest of a three-game series in St. Louis

The Twins recorded a 3-2 win in the series opener on Tuesday night

In his last four starts, Ryan has allowed 16 runs on 24 hits and eight walks in 19 1/3 innings. He didn't make it out of the fourth inning in his last start on Wednesday, an 8-7 loss at home to the Seattle Mariners


Ryan threw 95 pitches to get 11 outs in that game. He struck out seven but allowed seven hits (including two homers) and walked two batters

"That was a long outing," Baldelli said. "Joe had to work very hard. He threw a ton of foul balls. He got to throw a lot of pitches. It never felt like anything was easy. It was all hard. That happens. It's not like he was out there walking everybody and that's why his pitch count was high. It's not walks, it's just finishing at-bats

"He threw a lot of pitches that last inning; we just had to get him out of there. That was just too much. We'll be fine. Joe will be fine. He's going to work through everything that he's working through.

This will be Ryan's first career start against the Cardinals

After registering 15 consecutive winning seasons, the Cardinals have struggled in 2023 and became sellers ahead of the trade deadline


The Cardinals sent starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery and relievers Chris Stratton and Jordan Hicks for prospects in respective trades with the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday

Then on Tuesday, they traded shortstop Paul DeJong to the Blue Jays and pitcher Jack Flaherty -- their scheduled Wednesday starter -- to the Baltimore Orioles


"This year has not gone as we planned," Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. "So we wanted to focus on what 2024 and beyond looked like. We had to do this.

The departure of Flaherty and Montgomery will create opportunity for Dakota Hudson (1-0, 4.19 ERA) and Matthew Liberatore to start games. Hudson will start Wednesday against the Twins, and Liberatore will pitch on Thursday


Neither has faced the Twins in their career

Cardinals utility player Brendan Donovan landed on the 10-day injured list with a forearm injury. He will undergo surgical repairs Wednesday and miss the rest of the season


Utility player Tommy Edman returned from the 10-day disabled list after recovering from a wrist injury. He will take over the primary shortstop role after DeJong's departure

Cardinals infielder Nolan Gorman missed Tuesday's game with lower back tightness, but manager Oliver Marmol expects him back at second base for this game


"We want to make sure we don't push through that but actually give him that extra day to recover and make sure he's good to go (on Wednesday)," Marmol said

--Field Level Medi