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Updated: May 29th, 2011 2:06am
Chuck James called up from Rochester; Nishioka moved to 60-day DL

Chuck James called up from Rochester; Nishioka moved to 60-day DL

by Nate Sandell
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Following the decision to put Joe Nathan on the disabled list, reliever Chuck James was called up from Class-AAA Rochester on Saturday to fill Nathan's spot.

To clear room for James on the Twins' 40-man roster, infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka moved to the 60-day disabled list. The move makes sense since Nishioka is nearing the two-month mark anyway. The Twins have been happy with his progress and appear confident he can return to Minnesota some time in early June.

James is set to join the team for Sunday's game. It will be his first time up to majors in three years. The 29-year-old lefty and former starter spent nearly two full seasons with the Atlanta Braves (2006, 2007) before being demoted to the minors in 2008 with an 9.10 ERA. The Twins picked James up as minor league free agent in December after he spent last year in the Washington Nationals' farm system.

Signing with the Twins has given James a fresh start. He has been solid for the Red Wings, posting a 1.57 ERA and .942 WHIP in 19 appearances this season.

"He's been throwing the ball well," Gardenhire said after Saturday's game. "Chuck James gets them out. It's not always pretty. He's up in the zone a little bit, but he knows how to get them out. He's pitched in the big leagues, so hopefully he'll continue that here."

Nathan's move to the DL was the latest shake-up to an already struggling bullpen. The addition of James pushes the Twins' total number of lefty relievers to three.

"It's an interesting situation," Gardenhire said. "I've never had that many lefties out in the bullpen... We're going to have to kind of get away from that lefty specialist role. They are going to have to give us innings. We're going to find out who can give us those innings to get us carried on to the eighth and ninth inning.

The Twins received good news from the MRI that Nathan underwent on Saturday night. No structural damage was found in the elbow, with only minor inflammation present. The results were sent to the Dr. David Altchek -- the doctor who performed Nathan's surgery last season -- to ensure the team didn't miss anything of significance.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
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In this story: Joe Nathan, Tsuyoshi Nishioka