Duensing, Swarzak candidates for spot-start duty

Duensing, Swarzak candidates for spot-start duty

Duensing, Swarzak candidates for spot-start duty
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's stretching out left-hander Brian Duensing in case he needs to join the rotation, but that he's staying in the bullpen for now.

Duensing tossed three hitless innings in relief against the Angels on Wednesday to lower his ERA to 2.45 in 14 2/3 innings this season. He threw 45 pitches in that outing, so Gardenhire said he wouldn't need to be stretched out too much more to make a start.

"Duensing's been a starter around here," Gardenhire said. "He can pitch and he can get people out. He's really good in the 'pen, and I love him right where he's at. But if we can't get to the bullpen, then what good does it do out there? So we're trying to figure some things out."

Gardenhire added that right-hander Anthony Swarzak is also a candidate to be a spot starter, but that he'd rather keep him in the bullpen as a long reliever.

Swarzak threw three scoreless innings against the Angels on Thursday. He has a 3.09 ERA in 11 2/3 innings as a reliever this season and a 6.75 ERA in 14 2/3 innings as a starter.

"We like him in the 'pen," Gardenhire said. "He's been fantastic. He's in control of the game. We like him there. But can we spot start him? Absolutely. He's stretched out. But I really like him because he can come in and settle the game down."