DETROIT – Reliever Michael Tonkin rejoined the Twins on Tuesday after making one appearance for them during his first stint with the club in July. Tonkin pitched 1⅓ innings in his debut appearance on July 11 at Tampa Bay.
“It was a little different,” he said of the butterflies he experienced in his debut, “especially when I fell behind [Evan] Longoria.”
But Tonkin fought back to strike out the Rays star with a 96-miles-per-hour fastball. Tonkin is replacing Kyle Gibson on the roster until the Twins decide who will start Saturday, so his visit could be another short one. Whether he stays or goes, at least Tonkin has his big-league baptism out of the way and he can focus on making a case to stick around.
“I got to experience everything and see how the clubhouse works and see how everything works,” he said. “I wish I could say I got a huge taste of it, but to see it for the first time was nice.”
The Twins aren’t sure who will start for them Saturday, after Gibson was demoted to Class AAA Rochester, but they also aren’t sure who will start Friday.
That’s Samuel Deduno’s turn in the rotation, but the righthander has reported soreness in his shoulder, putting his next start in jeopardy.
Deduno is expected to throw in the bullpen Wednesday. If he gets through that OK, he will start, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said.
“It’s a little tricky,” Antony said. “He’s not giving straight answers as to when he can go or not, so we are going to see how things go [Wednesday] and make our call on how things go.”
The problem is that Deduno had some soreness before he mentioned it to team officials after struggling Sunday, so the Twins still are trying to get a read on how sore he is. They feel a little awkward because they aren’t sure if they are getting the full story.
Antony said the language barrier isn’t a factor.
“He wants to pitch, but I think he’s a little unsure just because it’s sore and he’s not sure how it’s going to feel come Friday,” Antony said.
Righthander Anthony Swarzak, who gave up one run over three innings in relief of Gibson on Monday, is a candidate to get the ball Friday or Saturday.
“I have not heard anything,” said Swarzak, who would like another chance to start.
Righthander Liam Hendriks and lefthander Scott Diamond could be options at Rochester. The Twins definitely are looking at Hendriks, who threw eight shutout innings Monday.
The Twins medical staff is disappointed in outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who could miss multiple games because of a sore left wrist.
Arcia initially was injured last week against the White Sox when he dived for a ball, but indicated to the staff he was fine. But he has aggravated the injury since then. With catcher Joe Mauer being put on the seven-day concussion disabled list, the Twins only had infielder Doug Bernier available off the bench Tuesday.