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Twins reliever Matt Capps

Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file

Capps to be out extended period

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL
  • Star Tribune
  • July 18, 2012 - 11:37 PM

Twins righthander Matt Capps is expected to miss several weeks because of more irritation in his rotator cuff, which eliminates him as a possibility to be dealt before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.

Capps, who came off the disabled list on Friday, came down with more soreness after pitching on Monday -- and it's worse than the soreness he felt when he landed on the disabled list on June 25.

"We did an MRI exam on him, and it did not come out as favorably as I was hoping," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "We're going to have to shut him down for a while."

Capps declared himself pain-free when he came off the disabled list, and the Twins kept him out of save situations so he could work his way back to form. Ryan said indications are that Capps was injured while throwing a pitch.

With the Twins looking to make moves before the deadline, Capps loomed as a possibility to help a contender down the stretch. Ryan was asked if he felt he just lost a trade chip.

"I wouldn't be worried about trade chips when it comes to a guy's health," Ryan said.

Perkins, Burton to close

With Capps back on the disabled list, look for the tag team of righthander Jared Burton and lefthander Glen Perkins to protect late leads and attempt to save games.

Perkins has four saves this season and six for his career. All three of Burton's major league saves have come this season. Burton has the ball from his first one, but he tossed the ball from Tuesday's save to a young female fan sitting behind the Twins dugout.

"The neat thing about this is that both of them have had this opportunity and both of them grabbed it," Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "They're not intimidated with having the ball in the ninth inning. Nothing fazes them. I think it's a nice thing to have."

Rest and matchups will determine which pitcher is used on a daily basis. Burton has had shoulder problems in the past, but the Twins are comfortable using him in back-to-back games if he feels up to it.

"If they are both rested, then it is going to be who is matched up [with hitters]," Anderson said. "The primary thing is who is rested. We have the trust and confidence that they can both do the job."

Duensing to bullpen

It could be looked at as a big setback for lefthander Brian Duensing, who was sent back to the bullpen after posting a 10.13 ERA as a starter.

But the Twins are going to need relievers to step up as Perkins and Burton hold down the late innings. Duensing has a 3.12 ERA as a reliever. He can come in to face lefties and handle short or long relief. And, if the Twins end up trading Francisco Liriano, Duensing could return to the rotation.

"I don't think of this, by any means, as a demotion," Duensing said. "If I had a preference, I'd like to start."

Etc.

• The Twins have extended their player development contract with Class AA New Britain through 2014. They have expiring agreements with both Class AAA Rochester and Class A Beloit that need to be addressed.

• Righthander Kyle Gibson, in his third outing for the Gulf Coast League rookie team, gave up two runs over two innings. Gibson, the Twins' first-round draft pick in 2009, is working his way back from Tommy John surgery last year.

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