Taylor Rogers is hoping to avoid a season-ending surgery in the wake of his recent finger injury, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Phil Miller and other reporters. Baldelli initially thought that Rogers’ injury would indeed keep the left-hander out of action for the remainder of the 2021 season, though Rogers received a second opinion that could allow him to heal his tendon problem without surgery.
Rogers seems to be considering that second option for now, but it isn’t clear whether or not this non-surgical rehab route might take too long for Rogers to get back on the mound before the season is through. The other factor could be the Twins themselves perhaps stepping in to shut Rogers down for the season, considering the team is out of the pennant race and might not want to risk Rogers coming back for meaningless games in late September.
The injury was officially termed a left middle finger sprain, though Miller notes that the injury specifically involved the pulley tendon within Rogers’ finger. While the extent of the tendon damage isn’t known, the fact that surgery appears to be a consideration isn’t a good sign, and there could possibly even be some uncertainty about Rogers’ readiness for the start of the 2022 season. Given how finger surgeries can often carry unclear timelines, it isn’t surprising that Rogers would prefer to explore any possible avenues to avoid going under the knife.
Were it not for this finger issue, it is quite possible Rogers might no longer be a Minnesota Twin, as the southpaw was drawing a lot of attention prior to the trade deadline. Given how the Twins are reportedly planning to reload and attempt a return to contention in 2022, it doesn’t seem like Rogers will be shopped this offseason, regardless or whether or not he is healthy.
Rogers has been generally excellent over his six years with Minnesota, and his performance this season (3.35 ERA, 35.5% strikeout rate, 4.8% walk rate over 40 1/3 innings) earned him his first career All-Star nod. Rogers has one remaining year of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency in the 2022-23 offseason.