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Updated: April 9th, 2011 5:47pm
Kevin Slowey not concerned about shoulder, but not elaborating

Kevin Slowey not concerned about shoulder, but not elaborating

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with upper arm soreness.

The team described as a shoulder strain, and manager Ron Gardenhire classified it as biceps tendinitis. But either way, Slowey has a sore arm, and he'll be shut down indefinitely while right-hander Alex Burnett takes his spot on the 25-man roster.

Update: To clarify, general manager Bill Smith said the injury is officially being classified as shoulder bursitis.

"I don't have any concerns it will be lingering," said Slowey, who has never experienced shoulder or biceps soreness in the past.

When asked to elaborate on the nature of his injury, Slowey wasn't exactly forthcoming.

"I think we'll probably just stick with what the release said," he said. "Just go with that for now."

"I'm certainly not a medical professional, so asking me to sort of figure out or extrapolate what caused it, I think wouldn't be very fair to me to say what caused it. All I know is that we had an MRI done, and the doctors said they don't think it's anything serious. They do recommend taking some time and going from there."

Since being notified that Scott Baker would begin the season as the team's fifth starter, Slowey has been pitching exclusively out of the bullpen -- a job that requires a different, and slightly unfamiliar warm-up routine.

"Maybe he didn't loosen up as much as he should have or whatever, but it doesn't matter how it happens," Gardenhire said, when asked about the cause of Slowey's soreness. "It just matters that he has a little bit of tendinitis. And we're going to stop right now and go from there. Either you're going to be in the rotation or in the bullpen, you've got to learn how to pitch out of both of them, especially if you're in the bullpen. It's a learning experience, and we'll move on from there. Right now it's about getting him healthy and getting him back out there."

Gardenhire added, "You can only go so many different guys saying, 'oh well I'll take it easy with it.' You can't do it when you're running a bullpen. If a starter goes two or three innings and you've got to eat up innings, somebody has to pitch.

"And people have to learn to do those jobs, and that's something Slowey's going to have to learn, probably, to warm up a little better, take it a little bit easier, rather than try to rush. A learning experience."

Slowey -- who threw 3 2/3 innings in three relief appearances before landing on the DL -- didn't say whether his transition from starter to bullpen caused the soreness.

"I only threw a couple times, so I think it'd probably be tough for me to tell you in those three outings how well I adjusted," he said. "I felt good throwing in the games, and I felt like I made some pitches I wanted to make while I was in there. Again, it's a very small sample size, so it's pretty tough to draw any significant conclusions from that."

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