Twins claim Wilk off waivers, option Rucinski

Twins claim Wilk off waivers, option Rucinski

CHICAGO -- The Twins added to their bullpen depth on Wednesday, claiming left-hander Adam Wilk off waivers from the Mets. Wilk will join the club on Thursday in Chicago. Minnesota optioned reliever Drew Rucinski to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Wilk.

Wilk, 29, made his only big league start this season on Sunday in place of the suspended Matt Harvey, giving up five earned runs, including three homers, in 3 2/3 innings after flying on a redeye flight from Las Vegas to New York. He was designated for assignment after the game.

For Triple-A Las Vegas, Wilk was 2-3 with a 5.91 ERA with 29 strikeouts and five walks over 32 innings in six starts.

The Twins see him as a reliever, even though he's made only six career relief appearances compared to 153 starts in the Minors. But Wilk, who has a career 7.20 ERA in parts of four seasons in the big leagues with with the Tigers, Angels and Mets, has made six relief appearances in the Majors.

"Adam is someone we feel can provide length for us in the bullpen," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. "We're glad to get him. He's a guy who has started a lot in the Minor Leagues, but for us, we see him as a guy who can help us in the bullpen."

With Wilk out of the rotation mix, the Twins still need a starter for Saturday's game against the Indians. Candidates include right-hander Nick Tepesch and Minor Leaguers Jose Berrios and Adalberto Mejia, but Tepesch appears to have the upper hand because he's on the 25-man roster. Tepesch was scheduled to start Thursday against the White Sox, but with the rainout, Phil Hughes will start then and Ervin Santana will start on Friday.

"We're working through that right now," Falvey said. "You don't anticipate the rain. This isn't the one you sketched out. So we'll go over our options, but we'll stick with Phil Hughes and line up Ervin, but we still have a few things to work out for Saturday."

Rucinski had a 5.40 ERA in one game with the Twins, covering 3 1/3 innings in a May 6 game.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.