Twins grab lefty reliever Flores off waivers

Twins grab lefty reliever Flores off waivers

ARLINGTON -- Following injuries to Jose Mijares and Ron Mahay, the Twins were down to just Glen Perkins as the lone left-hander in their bullpen.

But on Wednesday the Twins added a second lefty to their relief corps, claiming left-hander Randy Flores off waivers from the Rockies.

Flores, 35, was 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with Colorado this season. Opponents are hitting just .224 off of Flores this season, but he has allowed 22 hits and 13 walks in 47 appearances.

The Twins had been scouring the waiver wire for left-handed relief help due to the injuries. Flores was designated for assignment by the Rockies on Friday. He's making $650,000 this season and will be a free agent at year's end.

"You would like to have situational lefties that can come in," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Flores. "We believe in our righties, and our righties should be able to get lefties out. In some of these circumstances, you're still going to see Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Jon Rauch in the eighth inning, and they're going to face lefties and righties. But when you lead up to it, there might be a big at-bat here or there where you might want a lefty to face a guy."

Perkins had spent the majority of the season in a starting role at Triple-A Rochester for the Twins and is not necessarily a prototypical fit for the left-handed specialist role. Flores provides the team someone with experience in that type of role, and he is no stranger to pitching in the midst of pennant races either. He was a member of the 2006 Cardinals team that won the World Series, going 1-0 while pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings for St. Louis in the postseason that year.

"He knows how to pitch," Gardenhire said. "He can spin the ball. I've watched video of him today already, he can locate. He can pitch inside on lefties, and he can spin it. He knows what he's doing; he's got a track record."

To make room for Flores on the 40-man roster, the Twins moved Mahay from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Mahay suffered a tear in the rotator cuff in his right shoulder last Saturday when he stumbled off the mound to field a grounder. He will likely need surgery to repair it

Flores didn't arrive in time for Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Rangers. So a corresponding move on the 25-man roster waited until after the game. Right-handed reliever Anthony Slama was sent back to Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins faced Flores back in June when the Rockies played the Twins at Target Field. Jim Thome has three career plate appearances against the lefty, going 0-for-1 with a walk and sac fly, and he had positive things to say about Flores' stuff.

"He's been effective against me, I know that," Thome said. "He's your left-handed guy that can come in, and he throws strikes. I remember facing him and he had a good slider, very good arm angle and good arm action. And he's a veteran guy. Hopefully he can come over and fit in well, that we can make him feel comfortable. That's the main thing."