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Updated: May 25th, 2012 10:31am
Alex Burnett dealing with elbow soreness; Twins could make roster move

Alex Burnett dealing with elbow soreness; Twins could make roster move

by Phil Mackey
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Following his one-inning outing on Wednesday against the White Sox, Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Burnett told trainers he experienced pain in his elbow while throwing a breaking ball.

Burnett was checked out by White Sox team doctors this week and will be further evaluated by Twins doctors this weekend.

The Twins currently have 12 pitchers on the active roster, so it's possible they could make a roster move. Burnett could be placed on the disabled list, or the Twins could send one of their three bench outfielders to Rochester.

Burnett owns a 2.92 ERA with 11 strikeouts and seven walks in 24 2/3 innings this year.

In an interview with 1500 ESPN on Friday morning, manager Ron Gardenhire said right-handers Deolis Guerra and Lester Oliveros are the two likeliest bullpen candidates to be called up if a move were made.

Guerra owns a 0.92 ERA with 29 strikeouts and six walks in 29 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Oliveros owns a 1.09 ERA with 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 24 2/3 innings between the two levels.

Anthony Slama also has solid numbers -- a 0.44 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 12 walks in 20 1/3 innings -- but Gardenhire said Guerra and Oliveros have "better stuff."

The Twins are skeptical about Slama's ability to succeed consistently in the big leagues because his fastball stays on "one plane," per Gardenhire. "Up here you've got to make it do something."

The Twins host the Detroit Tigers for a three-game series at Target Field this weekend.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd