Right-hander Kevin Slowey took over for lefty Brian Duensing in the fourth inning on Sunday after being unavailable on Saturday after he told the team he was quite sore after warming up twice on Wednesday and once on Friday. Ron Gardenhire admitted he was feeling somewhat hamstrung with Slowey in the bullpen because of the former starter's need for a good amount of time to warm up.
"We haven't put him in a game, just warming up and then he gets sore. Where do you go from there? I mean, I can't tell a guy how to go warm up. I can't," Gardenhire said of Slowey's Saturday soreness. "We're guarded, and I know that he's in a long role and we want to stretch him out, but there's a lot involved in there. You have to be able to get up and down a couple times. He's just got to grow into that or we have to do something else."
Gardenhire doesn't want to bring Slowey in in the middle of an inning, and the manager said if Slowey can't get accustomed to relieving, the Twins will have to make a change of some sort. One possibility that Gardenhire isn't keen on but also wouldn't rule out is moving Duensing from the rotation to relief, a role he has filled successfully in the past, and putting Slowey in the rotation.
Duensing has been the Twins' most consistent starter for much of the season, but he stumbled significantly on Sunday, giving up seven runs on eight hits in three innings.
"(Pitching coach Rick Anderson) and I haven't gotten into that. We really like Duensing in the rotation, we set it up that way, but nothing is out of the question. We're not afraid to try anything right now at this point," Gardenhire said. "If it's something that we think becomes absolutely necessary, then yeah, but again I want to reiterate that I really like (Duensing) in the rotation. I like what he does, I like the way he handles himself, he's another lefty, which is a good thing. But like I said, we're going to see what we have to do to make things better."
Slowey, after being told by a team spokesman that the media was hoping to speak to him about his outing on Sunday and his soreness the day before, told the spokesman that he was unavailable for comment. But last week in Boston, after returning from a disabled list stint caused by right shoulder bursitis, Slowey said he simply might not be built for use on back-to-back days as a reliever.
"Maybe someday I'll be able to do that, but certainly not any time in the near future," Slowey said. "I would love to be a guy that can throw three out of four days or four out of five days, but at the moment that's something I'm going to have to learn how to do and work into and physically kind of get ready to do."
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