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Updated: June 4th, 2012 3:37pm
Twins place Carl Pavano on 15-day DL; Nick Blackburn reinstated

Twins place Carl Pavano on 15-day DL; Nick Blackburn reinstated

by Judd Zulgad
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The Minnesota Twins were forced to make yet another move with their starting rotation on Monday when righthander Carl Pavano was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of an anterior capsular strain in his pitching shoulder.

The Twins replaced Pavano on their roster by reinstating righthander Nick Blackburn, who had been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.

Pavano was scheduled to undergo a second MRI on Monday after he had another rough outing on Friday in the Twins' 7-1 loss in Cleveland. He gave up seven runs (six earned), nine hits, two home runs and walked one with two strikeouts in only 3.2 innings.

That dropped Pavano's record to 2-5 and increased his ERA to 6.00.

Pavano, 36, has been bothered by a shoulder issue since spring training and an MRI last month showed a strain in the front capsule and weakness in some of his muscles.

Despite this, Pavano continued to pitch and has made a team-leading 11 starts. But in his past five starts, Pavano went 1-4 with an 8.25 ERA.

This is his first trip to the disabled list since 2008, when he was with the New York Yankees.

Pavano had been scheduled to start on Wednesday in Kansas City but that assignment now will go to Blackburn.

Blackburn, who went on the disabled list in mid-May because of a strained left quadriceps, gave up four runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 3.2 innings in his first rehab start for Rochester.

His second rehab start was postponed because of rain, after he gave up one run on two hits, with one walk in 2.1 innings.

The Twins entered spring training with a projected rotation that included Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Blackburn and Jason Marquis.

Liriano was removed twice from the rotation because of his ineffectiveness but now is back starting. Baker's season ended when he underwent Tommy John surgery. Marquis went 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA before being released last month.

Meanwhile, Joe Mauer was not in the lineup for Monday's opening game of a three-game series at Kansas City because of sprained right thumb he suffered on Sunday in Cleveland.

Mauer played in only 82 games in 2011 because of injuries, but entering Monday the 29-year-old had appeared in 52 of the Twins' 53 games this season.

The Twins have called the catcher's injury a mild sprain and listed him as day-to-day.

Mauer served as the designated hitter Sunday and went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and a run in the Twins' 6-3 victory over Cleveland.

He said he was injured in his final at-bat of the game when he struck out against Indians lefthander Nick Hagadone. In addition to catching, Mauer has played first base and served as a DH this season because of the Twins' desire to keep him healthy.

He is hitting .298 with three home runs and 25 RBI. Mauer homered on Saturday in the Twins' 7-4 victory over the Indians. 

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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