Twins place Walters on DL, recall Oliveros
MINNEAPOLIS — One day after he left his start Wednesday having faced only four batters, Minnesota Twins right-hander P.J. Walters was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation.
Minnesota recalled reliever Lester Oliveros to take Walters' spot on the roster. Oliveros will join the Twins in time for the series finale Thursday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Walters gave up four straight hits to open the game Wednesday before manager Ron Gardenhire and athletic trainer Dave Pruemer met him on the mound. Following a brief discussion, Walters was taken out of the game after 15 pitches and was replaced by Jeff Manship.
Walters' velocity on his fastball was 83-84 mph, a red flag for Gardenhire.
"I thought he threw three changeups the first three pitches," said Gardenhire, who is used to seeing Walters reach the high 80s or low 90s. ". . . He's had no problems that we've known about. When I went out there, he said, 'I'm fine. I've got no problem.' I said, ‘You're not fine. You're throwing 80 mph, 82.' He threw one pitch at 85, so I said, ‘What's going on here?' He said, ‘Skip, I'm fine. I can do this.' He was trying to protect our bullpen."
Walters said he wanted to pitch through it and not tax the Twins' bullpen.
"You never want to leave the field like that," Walters said. "You always want to be healthy and help the team. The last thing you want to do is have the bullpen throw nine innings. The offense puts up eight runs tonight, and we lose. That's pretty much as bad as you could have drawn it up. I didn't do my part tonight."
After an impressive start to his Twins career — 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in four starts — Walters allowed nine runs in 9-1/3 innings during his next two starts for the trouble Wednesday.
In 12 games for Triple-A Rochester this season, Oliveros posted a 4.08 ERA with 22 strikeouts and five walks in 17-2/3 innings. He appeared in 10 games with the Twins last year after Minnesota acquired him from Detroit as part of a trade that sent Delmon Young to the Tigers.
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