Twins pitcher Cole De Vries' surprising rookie season ended Thursday when a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed a crack in his rib cage.
De Vries got hit with a line drive in the fourth inning of Saturday's 3-0 victory over Cleveland and pitched two more innings. X-rays didn't show the crack, but it turned up on the MRI.
"It's kind of unfortunate, but what are you going to do?" De Vries said.
"I do feel a little sense of relief because now I know there's something wrong. I was wondering why it was continuing to hurt so bad, when it's supposed to be just a bruise."
De Vries, 27, who pitched for Eden Prairie High School and the Gophers before signing with the Twins as an undrafted free agent, began the season at Class AAA Rochester.
He wasn't on the 40-man roster, but with injuries decimating their rotation, the Twins brought him to the majors, where he went 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 17 games, including 16 starts. Even though he doesn't have overpowering stuff, he had 58 strikeouts and 18 walks in 87 2/3 innings.
"I'm not sure anybody expected him to come up here, and he's come up here and competed," General Manager Terry Ryan said.
"He deserves consideration for next year in the rotation. Nothing will be given, but he did a nice job for us this year. It's too bad it ended up like this."
De Vries felt like he proved something to the team this year, as well as to himself.
"I think just the confidence that I can compete and do well at this level -- I think that's one of the hardest things for any rookie because there's that massive mental block," he said.Other injury notes
Chris Parmelee was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive game because of soreness in his right groin, but he delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning before getting replaced by pinch-runner Alexi Casilla.
Ryan Doumit tweaked an oblique muscle on one of his throws from left field in Wednesday's 10-5 loss and is day-to-day. Doumit committed three errors in the eighth inning of that game.
Joe Mauer missed his third consecutive game because of back spasms, but Ryan didn't rule out Mauer returning sometime this weekend.
"He did a lot more today," Ryan said. "He's getting there."
With Doumit and Mauer unavailable Thursday, Drew Butera started at catcher, and manager Ron Gardenhire said infielder Eduardo Escobar was the next backup option.
Escobar was the emergency catcher for the White Sox before coming over in the July 28 trade for Francisco Liriano.German connections
Germany's roster for the World Baseball Classic qualifier includes Twins outfield prospect Max Kepler and former Twins minor leaguer Toby Gardenhire, son of Minnesota's manager.
Gardenhire, who retired as a player after finishing the 2011 season at Class AAA Rochester, is now the head coach at UW-Stout.
Ron Gardenhire was born in Butzbach, West Germany in 1957, while his father -- Toby's grandfather -- was stationed there in the military.