With Baker on DL, Slowey will return

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 10, 2011 - 12:26 AM

The Twins returned Scott Baker to the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of a strained flexor muscle in his right elbow and announced that they'll recall Kevin Slowey from Class AAA Rochester.

Slowey will join the team in Cleveland on Friday and start Sunday's game against the Indians. It will be his first major league start since Sept. 27, 2010.

Manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson met with Anthony Swarzak to let him know he'll be staying in long relief for now. Swarzak is 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA in five starts this year but also has been a valuable reliever.

Slowey landed on the disabled list twice after stints in the bullpen and made it clear he'd rather start. In 82 career starts, he is 39-21 with a 4.41 ERA.

"Honestly, when you've got a pitcher down there like Slowey, who's throwing the ball well and healthy ... this is the right thing," Gardenhire said. "Just bring Slowey up, slide him into the rotation, keep Swarzy where he's done really well."

Baker, who was on the disabled list because of the same injury last month, won't do any throwing until at least Aug. 18, when the Twins return home from their next road trip.

Rehab for Gibson, Slama

Class AAA Rochester pitchers Kyle Gibson and Anthony Slama will be rehabbing their respective right elbow injuries and avoiding surgery -- for now.

With Gibson, the Twins diagnosed a strained flexor muscle and a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. Slama got a diagnosis of a strained flexor muscle.

"Both players will report to the Twins rehab program in Fort Myers this week to begin strengthening and flexibility exercises of the right shoulder and elbow," General Manager Bill Smith said in an e-mail. "Estimated return for both players will be determined after the initial phase of the rehab program."

Span still 'not perfect'

With one hit in his first 24 at-bats since returning from the disabled list, Denard Span got the night off Tuesday, with Ben Revere leading off and playing center field.

"[Span's] still coming back from that [concussion]," Gardenhire said. "It's not perfect. He still has his moments. I talk to him daily, and today was a good day. Seeing the ball -- he talked about not really seeing the spin real good yet ... We'll back him off and see where we go from there."

Casilla on track

Alexi Casilla (strained hamstring) sprinted around the bases with no problems Tuesday, saying he would have been ready to play a game if he weren't on the disabled list. He's eligible to return Friday, so the Twins plan to activate him in time for that night's game in Cleveland.

Morneau progressing

Justin Morneau (neck surgery) was 8-for-14 with four doubles over the past three days for Class AAA Rochester. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles Tuesday night in Durham, N.C. The Twins want to wait until Monday to activate Morneau, but he's pushing to speed that up.

"Everybody who's come up here not ready hasn't helped us, so we're going to try to make sure he's ready," Gardenhire said. "I know he's champing at the bit. He texted [Bill Smith] that he's going to be here [Wednesday] to face Lester. Billy told him see you in Detroit [next Monday]."

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