Versatility lands Bernier a spot on Twins

Journeyman can play all over infield and both corner-outfield spots

Versatility lands Bernier a spot on Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Paul Molitor explained the rationale for the club purchasing the contract of infielder Doug Bernier with utility man Eduardo Nunez going on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique.

Bernier, 34, was hitting .250/.299/.319 at Triple-A Rochester, but Molitor liked the versatility he brings, as he can play all four infield spots and both corner-outfield spots. He's not expected to see much action, but Bernier gives the Twins depth and versatility on their bench.

"Dougie is just one of those guys who is a joy to have on your team," Molitor said. "He's one of the most professional guys you'll be around in terms of attitude and all of the intangibles. But the guy can play. He's a journeyman without a lot of big league time, but I think we're fortunate to have him for protection here. Given the way the roster is right now with Nunez down, I thought it was an obvious choice."

Bernier has played in just 42 career Major League games, with 40 of those coming over the last two seasons with the Twins. He found out he was going to be called up during the second inning of Rochester's game on Tuesday, and Bernier flew to Minneapolis from Indianapolis on Wednesday morning.

"It's always a special feeling," Bernier said. "I know how hard it is to get up here and stay up here. So every day is special."

Molitor also gave more detail on Nunez's injury, which wasn't disclosed until after Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the A's. Nunez suffered the oblique strain while taking batting practice on Thursday, and the Twins were hoping he'd be able to avoid going on the DL. But it worsened during batting practice on Tuesday, so the decision was made to place him on the DL and bring up Bernier. The DL move is retroactive to April 30.

"It goes back six or seven days," Molitor said. "When it happened we all saw it. He took a couple swings and got out of the cage. We were hoping a couple days would give him an opportunity to get back without being disabled and he was on course for that, but for whatever reason last night was a big setback for him."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.