Righthander Pino stays in majors for a while longer

Twins pitcher Yohan Pino

Photo: Chris Carlson, Associated Press

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– Righthander Yohan Pino didn’t have to go back to Class AAA Rochester after all.

Pino was optioned to Rochester on Thursday, but that was before the Twins decided to place shortstop Danny Santana on the 15-day disabled list because of the bone bruise near his left knee.

Pino was scheduled to fly back to Rochester around 1 p.m. Friday but was told in the morning that he was going nowhere.

“I was going to take my flight,” Pino said with a smile. “So, this is good.”

Pino now will throw in the bullpen on Saturday in preparation for his start on Monday against Kansas City.

The Twins considered giving Santana a few days off to see if he could recover quickly. General Manager Terry Ryan said he conferred with team trainers on Friday morning and decided it would be best for Santana to give him plenty of time to heal.

“Speed is a big part of his game,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We can’t take a chance. He can’t play.”

Santana said on Friday that the knee was still sore.

Pino, 0-1, with a 6.30 ERA, was supposed to remain in the minors for at least ten days after being optioned but can be recalled at any time if there is an injury.

All-Star selections

Friday was a big day in the visitors’ clubhouse. All-Star Game ballots were handed out to the players, coaches and Gardenhire. The group will help select eight pitchers — five starters and three relievers, plus one backup at each position. The clubhouse resembled a big classroom as ballots were scattered everywhere and players debated over whom to vote for.

“It’s great we get a chance to put in our picks,” reliever Brian Duensing said. “We get to vote for players we see as All-Stars.”

Fans select the All-Star starters in the July 15 Midsummer Classic, as well as the final player on each roster through a special online vote. All-Star managers fill out the roster up to 33 players before the fans’ online vote.

The Twins will have their ballots into the league office by Monday.

Twins assist auction

The Twins are donating a helmet signed by Joe Mauer and baseballs signed by Paul Molitor and Glen Perkins to an auction to benefit the family of sportswriter Richard Durrett, who passed away unexpectedly a couple weeks ago. The benefit will be held on Saturday in Dallas.

Durrett’s career included a stint with the Dallas Morning News. He was working for ESPN at the time of his death.

Injury updates

Third baseman Trevor Plouffe (rib) has join the team in Arlington to work out for three days. If all goes well, he will be activated Monday in time for the Twins’ series opener against the Royals.

Infielder Eduardo Nunez is on the same timetable. He went 0-for-3 on Thursday for Class AA New Britain while playing shortstop. He was scheduled to play third base in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday and, if all goes well, be the designated hitter in the second game. Then he’ll play right field Saturday. Nunez is recovering from a strained right hamstring.


• The two youngest players in the major leagues are on the rosters for Friday’s series opener. Rangers shortstop Rougned Odor (20 years, 144 days) is the youngest; Twins infielder Jorge Polanco (20, 357) is the second youngest.

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