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Updated: May 15th, 2011 12:40pm
Jose Mijares headed to DL; Twins shuffling bullpen again?

Jose Mijares headed to DL; Twins shuffling bullpen again?

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The musical chairs game continues with the Minnesota Twins bullpen.

After walking two batters and showing a decrease in velocity during Saturday's game, left-hander Jose Mijares revealed some elbow tenderness to trainers on Sunday. Manager Ron Gardenhire said the team will likely place Mijares on the disabled list.

"We looked at his velocity at about 85 or 86 mph so you definitely start worrying about something like that," Gardenhire said. "That's the first time we've heard of it so we're not sure whether he's been pitching with something like this and not letting anybody know. But definitely with the velocity down the way it was, it was definitely a shock."

Mijares, who had problems with the same elbow last April, owns a 5.40 ERA in 11 2/3 innings this season, but the most alarming trend is his 11 walks to only seven strikeouts.

It wasn't immediately clear who the Twins planned to call up from Rochester to replace Mijares, but Gardenhire mentioned "the possibility of another (move) too. New faces."

As for who the new face might be, the manager said, "The next move is going to have to take somebody off (the 40-man roster), no doubt. We'll definitely have to take somebody off."

Possible non-roster pitcher candidates could include hard-throwing right-hander Carlos Gutierrez, who has a 2.74 ERA with 15 strikeouts to 12 walks in 23 innings at Triple-A, and perhaps right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has a 4.14 ERA with 37 strikeouts to just seven walks in 37 innings.

Regarding Gutierrez, who impressed Gardenhire a great deal during spring training, the manager said, "He's working his way through it. For us, we think about him. I like him. I like him a lot. I like power arms. But we're working on a few things."

Gardenhire said Gibson likely wouldn't be called up unless a starting role was made available.

"We're going to keep him starting and stretch him out. Hopefully that young man will move into the rotation, and don't ask me how we're going to do that. That stuff usually shakes itself out.

"But Gutierrez is a guy out of the bullpen that definitely will probably be an easier get right now for us than going and getting another starter."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Ron Gardenhire, Jose Mijares
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