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De Vries' exit may have ramifications on rotation

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the first three innings Friday, Cole De Vries was almost perfect, but he then felt some tightness in his right forearm. Suddenly, the Twins are worried about the back end of their starting rotation.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow," manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins' 8-3 win over the Red Sox. "It didn't sound like it was a big deal, but we'll have to see how he feels tomorrow."

De Vries, who left the ballpark and was not available to the media, is scheduled to start the Twins' fifth game of the season April 6 against the Orioles.

De Vries faced just nine Red Sox batters during his abbreviated stint on the mound. He walked one and struck out one. Mike Napoli, the lone Boston hitter to reach base, was erased on a double play.

"He was throwing the ball just fine," Gardenhire said. "When he came into the dugout after the third inning, he said had a little tightness in his right forearm."

Although De Vries was scheduled to throw about 80 pitches and had only thrown 37, Gardenhire immediately removed him from the game.

In seven Grapefruit League appearances, including four starts, De Vries was 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA and allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits. De Vries was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 17 games with Minnesota last year.

It is unclear who might take De Vries' place in the rotation if he is sidelined. Scott Diamond, who won a team-leading 12 games last year, is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow and won't be ready to join the rotation until at least April 12.

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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