Duensing, Slowey off their games

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 15, 2011 - 11:21 PM

The slumping team might consider moving Brian Duensing back to the bullpen, so Kevin Slowey can move into the rotation.


Twins lefthander Brian Duensing

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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Twins manager Ron Gardenhire tried to make it clear that reporters were the ones bringing it up, not him, but the slumping team might consider moving Brian Duensing back to the bullpen, so Kevin Slowey can move into the rotation.

"Everybody's asking me about that," Gardenhire said. "[Pitching coach Rick Anderson] and I haven't talked about that. We really like Duensing in the rotation, but nothing's out of the question. We're not afraid to try anything at this point."

Slowey, who is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA, is having a tough time adjusting to long relief. Gardenhire said the righthander was sore and unavailable during Saturday's 11-inning loss to Toronto.

Duensing, who is 2-3 with a 4.61 ERA, had his first poor start of the season Sunday, allowing seven runs in three innings, and Slowey finished up by allowing four runs over six innings.

Last year, Duensing thrived in a relief role, posting a 1.67 ERA in 40 appearances, before entering the rotation.

"If it's something we have to do, we'd talk to [Duensing] about it before anyone else," Gardenhire said. "But again, I want to reiterate that I like him in the rotation. It's not easy, but we'll see what's best for us, see how the next group [of relievers does] and go from there."

Asked about a potential move to the bullpen, Duensing said: "I want to be a starter, but whatever they decide, that's their call. I'll do whatever they want. I feel like I'm in no position to demand anything, demand to be a starter or demand to be in the bullpen."

After Sunday's loss, Slowey declined an interview request through a team spokesman.

Mijares to DL, Hoey to AAA

The Twins placed lefthander Jose Mijares on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left elbow and optioned righthander Jim Hoey to Class AAA Rochester.

Hoey has a 9.72 ERA in 10 appearances. Mijares, who spent nearly a month on the DL because of a strained elbow last season, has a 5.40 ERA in 18 appearances. Those two allowed seven consecutive batters to reach in the 11th inning Saturday, as Toronto pulled away for a 9-3 victory.

To fill their spots, the Twins promoted righthander Anthony Swarzak and lefthander Phil Dumatrait from Rochester. To make room for Dumatrait on the 40-man roster, they designated catcher Steve Holm for assignment.

Swarzak is 2-1 with a 3.90 ERA for Rochester and also made a start for the Twins earlier this season. Dumatrait is 0-1 with a 1.15 ERA in 15 appearances for Rochester and has 42 games of big-league experience with the Pirates.

Young struggles

Gardenhire spoke to left fielder Delmon Young about a play in the second inning Sunday, when Yunel Escobar hit a ball over Young's head, off the wall. Young went back for the ball but didn't go after the rebound, pointing instead for center fielder Denard Span to get it.

"He made an effort to try to catch the ball, but you can't just stand there and watch it bounce back," Gardenhire said. "He had to go get the ball, and he knew it. He knew he screwed up."

Young, who returned from the disabled list Friday, went 1-for-12 in the series. He had six consecutive strikeouts at one point.


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