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Updated: June 23rd, 2013 9:13am
Mike Pelfrey strains back while running, lands on 15-day disabled list

Mike Pelfrey strains back while running, lands on 15-day disabled list

by Phil Mackey
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In a surprise move, the Minnesota Twins placed Mike Pelfrey on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning with a strained back. The team announced left-hander Pedro Hernandez has been recalled to take his place. 

Here's the catch: Pelfrey was supposed to start Sunday for the Twins, who are already in a bind bullpen-wise after P.J. Walters was bounced early on Saturday.

"Pelf was out running yesterday in the outfield and he told (pitching coach Rick Anderson) he felt something in his back -- his back got stiff on him," manager Ron Gardenhire said on his weekly Sunday morning radio show.

Gardenhire and Anderson talked to assistant GM Rob Antony during Saturday's game to prep for an emergency starter. Hernandez wound up driving from Louisville -- where Rochester was playing -- to Cleveland on Saturday night. 

Hernandez will make the emergency start on short rest instead. He last pitched on Wednesday, allowing three earned runs in five innings to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Hernandez threw only 62 pitches in the outing. 

Hernandez -- with his 4.50 ERA in Rochester -- isn't the ideal candidate to fill the gap, but the Twins don't have a choice. Kyle Gibson has pitched extremely well as of late, but his next scheduled day to pitch is Tuesday. Vance Worley pitched a complete game on Saturday, so he can't go until Friday.

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