Twins starting pitcher Bailey Ober feeling ‘great’ physically as he passes previous season high in innings

DETROIT — When Bailey Ober first reached the major leagues in 2021, the Twins were very careful about limiting his workload, being mindful of his injury history.

Ober pitched six innings once and topped 90 pitches just once, too, in 20 starts in the majors that season. Between 92 1/3 innings pitched at the major-league level and another 16 innings in the minors, it marked a new career high for him as a professional.

The right-hander eclipsed that number for the 2023 season on Thursday and has now thrown 108 2/3 innings this season, posting a 3.40 earned-run average in the process. While the results of late haven’t been what he’s been looking for, he says he has no physical concerns.

“The last three outings, I’ve felt great,” Ober said. “I’ve probably felt the best I’ve felt since spring training, and it’s probably been my toughest three outings of the entire year. I’m trying to not think too much out of it just because I’m feeling really, good, the body feels great.”

Ober gave up five runs in five innings pitched on Wednesday. Two starts before that, he gave up six runs. Before that, he hadn’t given up more than four runs in a start all season.

But his command has been there as he reaches a new innings threshold, as has his velocity, which was right near his season average on Wednesday.

“Maybe it’s a little bit execution, maybe it’s a little bit pitch mix,” manager Rocco Baldelli said of Ober’s recent hiccup. “It can be a lot of different things in this game, and it’s not always the easiest thing to figure out, but nothing that I’m worried about before his next start. We’re just going to give him the ball.”

Keuchel ready

Dallas Keuchel threw five innings and surrendered one run on Sunday in his Twins debut. He’ll take the ball again on Friday in Philadelphia, the first time all season he has made a start on normal rest.

The veteran typically had an extra day in between starts in St. Paul and he had nine days in between his last start with the Saints and his first in the majors this season.

“It’ll be a good little test, but at the same time, I’m going to have my hands full with Philly and their lineup in Philly,” Keuchel said. “That’s never a fun place to play. They’ll let you know quick how good you’re doing or how bad you’re doing. I know I’m going to have my hands full, but I’m definitely excited.”


The Twins will send Keuchel, Pablo López and Sonny Gray to the mound this upcoming weekend against Philadelphia. … Ryan Jeffers went 0 for 4 in Thursday’s loss, snapping his 14-game hitting streak, which was a career best and the longest by a Twins player since Jorge Polanco did the same in 2019. It was the second-longest active streak in the major leagues this season. … After Thursday, the Twins only have nine more games remaining against divisional opponents. Twelve of their next 14 will be against teams outside the AL Central.

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