Inside Pitch- Bullpen Changes May Come Soon

In this edition of Twins' Inside Pitch, Dennys Reyes may be promoted to Minnesota to bolster the bullpen, the Twins lose another game to their rival White Sox, Carlos Silva continues to struggle, and so much more.

Despite the fact his team owns the second-worst team ERA in the major leagues, manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not ready to start making changes on his staff yet.

But he also suggested he might not wait much longer if the downward trend continues.

"You like to give them a month into the season to see what happens," said Gardenhire, whose starting staff has a major league-worst 6.98 ERA and whose bullpen's ERA has crept up to 4.20 over the past week.

The Twins are on the road for one more week until opening their second month of the season with a seven-game homestand (May 1-7).

Starters Kyle Lohse (1-1, 11.57), Brad Radke (2-2, 7.50) and Carlos Silva (1-3, 8.33), along with relievers Jesse Crain (8.68) and Matt Guerrier (8.22) have struggled in particular this month.

The starting rotation doesn't figure to be in line for a redesign anytime soon, but bullpen parts could be moved, especially with Dennys Reyes doing well at Triple-A Rochester.

For now, though, Gardenhire is talking more about trying to get relievers such as the hard-throwing Crain back on track by getting him more innings.

"But if guys aren't even close, you've got to start looking at maybe making changes," he said. "You definitely like to give them at least a month into the season and see where we're at."

REPLAY: Struggling right-hander Carlos Silva still has not found the kind of command on his sinker -- or any other pitch for that matter -- that led to a 2005 season with only nine walks. He lasted just 5 2/3 rocky innings Sunday in a 7-3 loss to the White Sox that gave Chicago a weekend sweep at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox outscored the Twins 23-6 in the series. The Twins suffered their fourth straight loss, and their road record fell to 1-8.


  • DH/OF Rondell White, who has been mired in a deep slump to open the season, got the desired result out of playing in the outfield this weekend for the first time this season -- putting together progressively better at-bats until producing hits in three of his final five at-bats of the series (raising his average to a high-water mark of .149). "I got my feel back," said White, who said he thinks he can carry that over when he returns to the DH role this week in Kansas City.

  • OF Ruben Sierra was back in the Twins' lineup Sunday, batting cleanup as the designated hitter, after sitting out Saturday with a badly bruised left shin, the result of fouling a ball off his leg Friday night.

  • 2B Luis Castillo's jammed left knee continued to show improvement, and he remains on track to rejoin the lineup Tuesday in Kansas City after missing all three games in Chicago.

  • LF Shannon Stewart is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday after missing the past four games to return home to Miami for the birth of his daughter. The Twins lost all four games he missed.

  • The Twins have lost seven straight road games, including all six games they've played this season against their top two AL Central rivals, Cleveland and Chicago. "I think we're fine," manager Ron Gardenhire said of the team's 7-11 start over their brutal 18-game opening stretch against AL contenders Toronto, Cleveland, Oakland, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. "Health-wise we're not where we need to be. We're 7-11 and played without our top two guys (Shannon Stewart and Luis Castillo) for four games now. ... Of course, we haven't played worth a flip on the road, and that's what's disturbing. You're not going to get anywhere doing that."
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