Twins to activate Stauffer; Bernier optioned

Right-handed reliever expected to return on Friday after straining intercostal

Twins to activate Stauffer; Bernier optioned

PITTSBURGH -- The Twins will activate right-handed reliever Tim Stauffer from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game against the White Sox, the club announced on Thursday. Infielder Doug Bernier was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Stauffer on the roster.

Stauffer, who was placed on the DL with a right intercostal strain on May 1, retroactive to April 30, made four rehab appearances with Triple-A Rochester. He posted a 5.40 ERA in five innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He recorded two outs on Wednesday, giving up a run on two hits in his final rehab appearance.

It was a continuation of Stauffer's struggles before he was placed on the DL, as he had an 8.38 ERA in eight appearances with the Twins. He's been a slow starter throughout his career and is still looking to regain his velocity from the last two seasons.

Stauffer was signed to a one-year deal worth $2.2 million this past offseason after two strong years in San Diego's bullpen. Stauffer, 32, had a 3.63 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 134 innings from 2013-14 with the Padres.

Bernier's two-run double

Stauffer is expected to be used in a long-relief role, as the Twins are now at 13 pitchers and need relief help after a 4-3, 13-inning win over the Pirates on Wednesday.

Bernier, 34, appeared in four games since having his contract purchased on May 6. He hit .200/.333/.400 with two RBIs, a double and a walk in six plate appearances.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, 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.