DETROIT - The Twins believe Liam Hendriks will become a good major league pitcher someday, based on the way he has composed himself in the minors, going 34-17 with a 2.69 ERA in five seasons since he signed out of Australia.
But Hendriks, 23, hasn't displayed that composure in the majors. The Twins sent him back to Class AAA Rochester on Tuesday, hoping he can find it again, promoting Cole De Vries from Rochester to make Saturday's start at Texas.
Hendriks is 0-7 in 12 career major league starts and 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA this year. The Twins knew something had to change after the fifth inning Monday, when Hendriks was three outs from qualifying for that elusive first victory and let four consecutive Tigers reach base.
"He did some of the things he cannot do," said Rob Antony, Twins assistant general manager. "He gets staked to a 6-1 lead, and he looked like he was pitching scared.
"And that's not him. When he's effective, he's attacking the hitters, keeping the ball down in the zone and using all four pitches. I think he just mentally needs to go down and regroup."
De Vries is 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts for the Twins, including a six-inning, one-run performance against the Royals in Saturday's doubleheader.
Errors piling up for Sano
Miguel Sano has some impressive power numbers for Class A Beloit -- with 18 home runs, 17 doubles, 57 RBI and an .860 on-base-plus-slugging percentage entering Tuesday -- but he made three errors at third base Monday, giving him 31 errors in 78 games at third base.
"We're always concerned about defense," minor league director Jim Rantz said. "Obviously, the kid is just 19 years old. He's just got to continue to work hard and take ground balls. He's at the stage of his career where he's figuring it out that there's more to the game than hitting; there's fielding, too."
The Twins think Sano has the tools to stay at third base. He's not the first infielder to rack up a high error total in A-ball. Derek Jeter made 56 errors for Class A Greensboro in 1993.
Deduno enters picture
The Twins have used 10 starting pitchers this season, and if the merry-go-round keeps spinning, Sam Deduno could become the 11th.
Deduno, who pitched in two games for the Padres last year, has started to harness his pitches at Rochester, going 1-2 with a 2.14 ERA in nine starts. The hard-throwing righthander has 46 strikeouts, along with 22 walks, in 42 innings pitched.
"If he continues to throw enough strikes, he's going to put himself in the mix," Antony said. "And we've got [P.J.] Walters making another [rehab start Friday]. Hopefully, he'll be ready soon."
• Carl Pavano (rotator cuff weakness) is expected to resume his throwing program later this week. His wife's grandfather recently died, so Pavano missed some time to attend the funeral.
• The Twins signed Lewis Thorpe, 16, a lefthanded pitcher from Australia, for $500,000. Added to the $1.4 million they spent Monday on Dominican shortstop Amaurys Minier, they have spent $1.9 million of the $2.9 million allowed under this year's international spending cap.
• Joe Mauer has agreed to make an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Monday. Mauer has one line to recite during the "Top Ten" segment, along with Jeter, David Ortiz, Josh Hamilton and other All-Stars in Kansas City, Mo.