Contrite Walters on 15-day DL; Hendriks to be promoted

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 15, 2012 - 6:48 AM
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Twins starting pitcher P.J. Walters

Photo: Duane Burleson, Associated Press

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Twins pitcher P.J. Walters received some good news Thursday, when an MRI exam didn't show any major damage in his right shoulder, but it did show some inflammation, so the team placed him on the 15-day disabled list.

Walters, 27, said he's confident he'll be back as soon as he's eligible in late June.

"I know I can pitch here," Walters said. "I think I've shown I can pitch here, and it's just a matter now of getting healthy and getting back out there and helping the team win some games."

Walters was 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his first four starts for the Twins.

He struggled more in his next two outings and left Wednesday's game after giving up base hits to the first four batters he faced. He didn't get an out and gave up four earned runs, so his ERA swelled to 5.40.

Walters said he's never missed a start, not even as a kid, "and I'm not looking forward to missing the first one."

The Twins were upset that Walters didn't disclose his shoulder injury until it was too late.

"We like people playing hurt," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It happens in this game; it always has. But if you're barking, you can't throw the ball, you've gotta let [the trainers] know these things. We could have even made an adjustment in the rotation and given him extra time here."

Walters was trying to save the bullpen from extra use, but Twins relievers wound up getting all 27 outs anyway. He learned his lesson.

"I go out and put the first four guys on base -- that really doesn't help us," he said. "We wound up losing by one run. If I say something quicker, maybe we win last night."

Oliveros returns

To fill Walters' roster spot, the Twins promoted reliever Lester Oliveros from Class AAA.

The Twins acquired Oliveros last August in the trade that sent Delmon Young to the Tigers. Oliveros posted a 1.69 ERA in his final eight appearances for the Twins last year, but they had him start this season at Class AA New Britain.

He posted a 1.42 ERA in 13 Class AA appearances before heading to Rochester and had a 1.59 ERA for the Red Wings before giving up five earned runs Monday.

"I went to Double-A, did some work on my breaking pitch delivery, my command," Oliveros said. "I think that's what I'm doing better this year."

Oliveros retired the first five batters he faced Thursday before giving up a walk and an RBI double to Carlos Ruiz.

Rotation plans

The Twins currently have three starting pitchers on the roster, but Gardenhire confirmed that they will promote Liam Hendriks from Class AAA Rochester for Saturday's start against the Brewers.

Gardenhire said they'll announce a corresponding move on Friday.

"That looks like the route we're going to for sure now, but we're not announcing that now," Gardenhire said.

With another off day Monday, the Twins won't need a starter to replace Walters until June 23. Gardenhire said there are in-house candidates to make that start and mentioned reliever Jeff Manship specifically.

Pavano update

Carl Pavano hasn't thrown since going on the disabled list with right rotator cuff weakness on June 2, but he said his shoulder is getting stronger. He took a strength test this week and hopes to resume throwing soon.

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