If it weren't for Tommy John surgery, it's likely that the Twins would have picked up Joe Nathan's 2012 option.
If you dropped by this morning, then you'll have read that Alex Wimmers has a slight tear in his UCL that, for the moment, the Twins are hoping can be dealt with through rest. When the tear fills with scar tissue, theoretically Wimmers would be good to go.
I am in no way stating that the Twins could have done something to avoid these players needing to under go Tommy John surgery. Some of them may have waited longer than we would have liked them to, if only because in some of the situations the surgery seemed inevitable, but avoiding the injury altogether seems impossible.
And yet in the last eight seasons, going back to 2006, six Minnesota pitchers have required this exact option. If we limit our search to 2010, then in the last 26 or 27 months there have been four pitchers. Alex Wimmers would make number five.
Here's your list of Twins pitchers who have required Tommy John surgery since 2006:
Francisco Liriano, 2006
Interestingly, only Nathan could be qualified as a surprise on this list. Liriano and Neshek had well-documented hiccups in their deliveries that could only end in an injury of some kind. Gibson had health issues with his arm. Zumaya was a combination of bad mechanics and bad health history. Baker has had health problems on and off for almost his entire career, although nothing ever quite this severe.
Hopefully for Wimmers rest is enough. Some time off, keeping the arm immobile, could allow that scar tissue to build up and, maybe, keep him healthy and able to pitch for years. But knowing this team's recent bad luck when it comes to health of their players, I'm not counting on that happening. And personally, I'd rather see him just get the surgery done now than to limp along for another six, twelve, eighteen months and then finally not have a choice about it.