MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins announced Friday that left-handed reliever Brian Duensing has landed on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain.
To take Duensing’s place on the 25-man roster, the Twins recalled left-hander Caleb Thielbar from Triple-A Rochester. Duensing suffered the injury during Thursday’s game against Kansas City in which he allowed two runs in the ninth inning of Minnesota’s 8-5 win.
Duensing said Friday that he felt something in Monday’s home opener but figured a few days of rest would alleviate the problem. It acted up again, though, in Thursday’s game, and a DL stint followed.
"I just kind of kept it at bay, doing some treatments. I felt fine," Duensing said. "Then yesterday when I threw, it was the first time I felt a pinch, I guess, is the best way to explain it. That’s when I knew it was a little more serious than I thought it was."
This marks the first time in Duensing’s seven-year major-league career that he’s been placed on the DL. Duensing has pitched in a team-high six games, which is tied for the high in the American League. In 3 2/3 innings, the left-hander allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with one strikeout. He has been more of a specialist for the Twins, often called upon to retire opposing left-handed batters.
"He gets valuable outs," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We’re going to have to make some adjustments."
Duensing said Friday that he’s hopeful to only be on the disabled list for the 15-day minimum.
Thielbar pitched with the Twins the last two seasons and made a combined 103 appearances. He posted a 3.40 ERA in 54 games in 2014. A Randolph, Minn., native, Thielbar will be available for Friday’s game against Cleveland.
Molitor acknowledged that the Twins had several options for pitchers to call up from Rochester but ultimately chose Thielbar to maintain three left-handers in the bullpen.
"Some of the righties are throwing the ball well also, but Caleb’s gotten off to a good start," Molitor said. "We’ve seen Caleb enough the last couple years to know that as far as work ethic and preparation and knowing who you might face in a given inning, he’s got a good plan about how he goes about his business. It didn’t work coming out of spring training, but like we tell everybody, be ready."