On May 18th, Blayne Enlow struck out ten batters in 5 2/3 innings If there was one thing that Enlow’s “prospect status” needed, it was to bump up the strikeout totals, and he had 23 strikeouts in his first 14 2/3 innings over three starts. Following the game, Enlow discussed how important strikeouts are for him, and it gives us a strong glimpse into his strong and confident mentality. It's a mentality that will certainly help him out through the rehab process.
Unfortunately, days after that performance, he was throwing a bullpen and it wasn’t going well. He wasn’t throwing with the same velocity, so they shut him down. He was put on the Injured List with an elbow strain. He returned to Ft. Myers to start rehabbing, but imagine showed a torn UCL and the decision was quickly made to schedule Tommy John surgery and start the process to get back.
Last week, I mentioned to Enlow that many have been coming back from Tommy John surgery better than ever. His response. “Yeah. I know I will!”
He is excited about the prospect of coming back and being part of what could be a very exciting Twins starting rotation of the future.
While he hasn’t had Tommy John surgery, Enlow is fully aware of it and the process for recovery and return. He and Akil Baddoo were roommates the year that Baddoo had his surgery.
Enlow hasn’t been afraid of work, and now he can work to make his own Return from Tommy John story.
This isn’t the first time that Enlow has had a major injury. When he was a sophomore in high school in Louisiana, he was in a horrible car accident. He broke his ankle and pelvis. However, he returned to play that summer and became a huge prospect. He teamed with fellow Twins prospect Royce Lewis on Team USA’s 18-and-Under team that beat Cuba for a championship.
He committed to LSU, but when the Twins drafted him with the first pick of the third round of the 2017 draft, the Twins were able to meet the $2 million signing bonus that he was looking for. It was able to happen because the Twins were able to sign top overall pick Royce Lewis below slot.
After missing all of the 2020 season (pandemic), Enlow arrived at Instructional League last fall and was hitting 95-96 mph with his fastball. He’s always been known for his ability to spin the ball, and his changeup appeared much improved this season. He remains a top pitching prospect in the organization and I know we all look forward to his return.
More injury updates below, but be sure to watch Blayne Enlow's appearance on Twins Spotlight in February.
A week after Enlow was placed on the Injured List with a right elbow strain, fellow Kernels/Twins top pitching prospect Matt Canterino went on the injured list with a right elbow strain too. Like Enlow, it came immediately following a 10-strikeout game (in four innings). The Twins announced to the media at Target Field on Tuesday night that imaging showed that Canterino has no structural damage.
The same day Enlow was placed on the IL, slugger Matt Wallner was also placed on the Injured List. He suffered a wrist injury on a swing. Wallner noted, “I’m down in Ft. Myers, just starting the rehab process and look forward to getting back to Iowa as quickly, and as responsibly, as possible.”
Hard-throwing right-hander Edwar Colina has been on the 60-Day Injured List since the beginning of the season. On May 26, Colina had an “arthroscopic debridement of his posterior elbow.” Summary? He had some bone chips removed.
He mentioned to me that he still has the stitches, but he’s feeling good. “I hope to be back as soon as I can. I just want to be healthy and come back at 100% to help my team. That’s my goal right now.”
Join us in wishing Enlow and all of these players well upon their rehab and eventual return to the field.