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Twins’ Ervin Santana out 10-12 weeks with broken hand

Minnesota needs another arm to fill ace’s role.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins have lost their ace right-hander Ervin Santana for 10-12 weeks after he underwent surgery on the MCP joint of his broken middle finger on his throwing hand, the team announced.

Santana’s injury was caused by “repeated cumulative stress from pitching,” according to the news release. Santana experienced “discomfort” with his finger last week for the second time after “ramping up his bullpen sessions” ahead of spring training. The club said Santana had previously felt discomfort in the past and underwent an MRI and X-ray at the end of last season to check it out. At the time, the doctors determined there was “no injury to the tendon” and they gave Santana an injection. But, because he felt discomfort again, Santana and the Twins opted for surgery.

The timetable for Santana’s return to baseball activities puts him around May. This is a big blow to the Twins because they going to be without an arm who helped them go 85-77 and earn their first postseason appearance since 2010 after they grabbed the second AL wild card spot.

Santana posted a 16-8 record with a 3.28 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a 4.8 WAR in 211 13 innings of work. The 35-year-old veteran earned his second All-Star appearance and finished seventh in the AL Cy Young voting.

The Twins were looking for pitching help before Santana’s injury. They signed Michael Pineda early in the offseason and have been in the mix for Yu Darvish, but this puts pressure on them to have to go find another arm before the season starts.