Breaking ball earns trip to bigs for Samuel Deduno

Sam Deduno

Photo: David Goldman, Associated Press

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS - All Ron Gardenhire remembers about Samuel Deduno is a March 10 outing during a spring training "B" game against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.

"We were able to stand real close and see the ball come out of his hand," the Twins manager said of Deduno. "The ball was coming out real crisp, and his breaking ball was buckling hitters, both a lefty and a righty, with how tight it spun and how hard it snapped. We kind of said, this kid can really wing it. He was still misfiring here and there with his fastball. He had to figure out how to throw it over.

"But just the snap on his breaking ball made me step back a little bit. It kind of made me feel like I was on deck there."

Deduno, who turned 29 Monday, said he also throws a fastball, slider and changeup.

Control has plagued Deduno throughout his career, but a good run of form at Class AAA Rochester has positioned him to be the 11th pitcher to start a game for the Twins this year. The righthander will start Saturday against Texas.

"It's a good chance," Deduno said. "When I was in the big leagues before I didn't pitch much. So it's a good opportunity."

Signed by the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2003, Deduno tried to work his way through Colorado's system until he was claimed off waivers from San Diego last season. His major league career consists of a 3.18 ERA compiled over 2 2/3 innings with the Rockies in 2010 and three innings last year with the Padres.

"I'm not really a power pitcher," said Deduno, who went 1-2 with a 2.14 ERA in nine starts at Rochester, "but I have a pretty good curveball and a pretty good slider. My changeup is pretty good, too. My fastball moves a lot, and it's been around the plate. So it's been good enough."

Revere in center

Denard Span was given a break on Friday as Ben Revere started in center and batted leadoff. It didn't matter that the Rangers started lefthander Martin Perez.

The lefthanded-hitting Revere reached four times in five plate appearances, all five against lefthanders, with two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Revere is hitting .434 against lefties this year, with 23 hits in 53 at-bats. All 23 hits are singles.

"He stays on the ball," Gardenhire said. "He's not afraid. He uses the whole field against them."

Darin Mastroianni started in right field Friday, going 2-for-4 with a walk. He is batting .474 (9-for-19) over the past seven games, with six stolen bases.

Etc.

• Righthander Kyle Gibson won't pitch for the Twins this season as he works his way back from elbow ligament replacement surgery. But he is close to appearing in a game for the Gulf Coast League rookie team. He said on Twitter that his 30 pitches of live batting practice Friday went about as good as he could ask for. "A total of 50-55 pitches and still felt good at the end," he wrote, adding he also threw one inning Tuesday.

• Righthander Deolis Guerra has landed on the disabled list at Rochester because of right shoulder tendinitis.

• Righthander P.J. Walters, during a rehab outing at Rochester on Friday, pitched five scoreless innings, giving up five hits and no walks with two strikeouts. He threw 73 pitches, 47 for strikes.

• Texas star Josh Hamilton is day-to-day after leaving Friday's game because of lower back spasms. The left fielder dropped Brian Dozier's fly ball for a three-base error in the top of the fifth, then reached for his back after making the throw. He was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the inning.

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