Twins activate reliever Haley from 10-day DL

Twins activate reliever Haley from 10-day DL

MINNEAPOLIS -- A day after designating reliever Michael Tonkin for assignment, the Twins activated Rule 5 Draft pick Justin Haley from the 10-day disabled list on Sunday.

Haley, who had been on the DL since April 22 with a strained right biceps, was recalled from a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester earlier than scheduled, as he had made just one appearance. But it was a solid one, as the right-hander threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts on Friday.

"Ideally, we would've liked to see him get stretched out a little bit more," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He was scheduled to pitch a couple innings today. We were going to talk about the possibility about when the best time for him was to return, but given our issues with pitching recently, it expedited what we had to do."

The Twins didn't have many options for relief help, as Double-A Chattanooga lefty Mason Melotakis was the only reliever on the 40-man roster eligible to be recalled, but they want him to see action at Triple-A before he reaches the Majors. They could've added a reliever to the 40-man roster in the spot vacated by Tonkin, but Molitor said Haley made the most sense.

Haley had a 4.15 ERA with 11 strikeouts and three walks in 13 innings before the injury, but he allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk in one-third of an inning in the Twins' 17-6 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday.

"His outing and how good he feels without much of a layoff allowed us to make the decision," Molitor said before Sunday's game. "I think we're all happy with what Haley has done so far. The fact he was ready and was coming off a good outing and is 100 percent, we went that direction."

While Haley fills a need as a bullpen arm, the Twins still need to recall a starter for either Thursday or Saturday. One option would be to stick with right-hander Nick Tepesch on Thursday and recall Jose Berrios to start Saturday. Adalberto Mejia is in the mix as well, but he is coming off a rough outing with Rochester.

"We're looking at timing and how it'll line up," Molitor said. "We've obviously got Berrios and Mejia down there. And we have Tep, and yesterday was a difficult one to judge based on how it unfolded."

Worth noting
• Second baseman Brian Dozier remained out of the lineup on Sunday with a mild left ankle sprain, but he said he expects to return to the lineup on Tuesday after Monday's off-day. An X-ray and an ultrasound revealed no structural damage.

"There's peace of mind," Dozier said. "We just have to get the swelling out, and we're good."

• Center fielder Byron Buxton, who had missed the previous two games after colliding into the outfield wall twice on Thursday, returned to the lineup on Sunday.

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.