Swarzak lending mileage to Twins' bullpen

Swarzak lending mileage to Twins' bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak has been a workhorse this season, but even after extended innings, the right-hander doesn't take long to recover.

With 52 2/3 innings in 23 appearances entering Sunday, Swarzak has had six outings of three or more innings -- throwing four frames on three occasions. He's given up 18 runs on 52 hits for a 3.08 ERA, but Swarzak has embodied the ideal of a rubber arm, never timid to let the club know he's ready to go any given day.

"He'll tell you he wants to throw 100 [pitches]," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He would like to start and that's a good thing. You should always want more. He'll throw and he'll tell you a day later, 'I'm good, if you need me, I'm good.' Definitely one of the horses out there that gets it done. And he's ate up a lot of big innings for us."

Swarzak served as a starter for the Twins in 2009, part-time in 2011 and starting the 2012 season before permanently moving to the bullpen. While Swarzak has grown into his relief role, he's itching to get back into a starting job -- a role Gardenhire wouldn't hesitate to put him in.

"He's really grown as a pitcher," Gardenhire said. "His fastball, his breaking ball has gotten better. ... He has a mix [of pitches] that, who knows, he could be a starter. He could definitely be a starter. He's so valuable where he's at right now, but if we had issues and we don't like our other choices, I would not be afraid to put him out there in the starting rotation."

Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.