Now, however, in a span of just a few days, the Twins have had to place two players on the disabled list. Second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka was the first to hit the DL, with a fracture in his lower left leg suffered on Thursday. Then, right-hander Kevin Slowey was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder bursitis before Saturday's game against the A's.
Slowey underwent an MRI on Friday after feeling soreness in his right bicep while warming up before his appearance against the Yankees on Monday, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. But, despite the soreness, Slowey pitched a scoreless inning and was only supposed to be held out a few days. The club ultimately opted to place him on the disabled list after it was discovered he is suffering from tendinitis in his throwing arm.
Slowey declined to state whether the tendinitis was in his biceps, as Gardenhire said, or in his shoulder, as the press release issued by the team stated.
"I think we'll probably just go with what the release said and stick with that for now," Slowey said. "I'm certainly not a medical professional, so it would be difficult for me to extrapolate what caused it. I don't think it would be very fair for me to say what caused it.
"All I know is that we got an MRI done and the doctors said they don't think it's anything serious but they do recommend taking some time and then going from there."
Slowey, who lost out on the battle for the fifth starter spot to fellow right-hander Scott Baker in Spring Training, made three appearance in relief this season, compiling a 2.45 ERA over 3 2/3 innings.
The move to the bullpen was a new role for Slowey, who served as a starter the past four seasons, but Gardenhire wasn't sure if that's what caused the injury.
"Maybe he didn't loosen up enough as much as he should've or whatever, but it doesn't matter how it happened," Gardenhire said. "It just matters he stops [throwing] right now and we'll go from there."
The Twins recalled right-hander Alex Burnett from Triple-A Rochester to take Slowey's place on the active roster.
Thursday night at Pawtucket, Burnett made his only appearance for Rochester, retiring the one batter he faced on just two pitches. He made 41 appearances with the Twins last season, posting a 5.29 ERA over 47 1/3 innings with 23 walks and 37 strikeouts.
Burnett, who will wear uniform No. 31, was activated in time for Saturday night's game with the A's.