CHICAGO -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is hoping to get at least five innings out of Anthony Swarzak on Friday, when the right-hander starts Minnesota's series opener against the Tigers.
After that, the Twins will simply play it by ear.
"We haven't extended him out that much, but he's thrown a lot of baseball," Gardenhire said. "I won't put a pitch count on it, we'll just go inning by inning. I think if we can get five innings out of him, we'll just go inning by inning after that and see what happens."
Swarzak, 26, will make his fourth start of the year after spending the last month in the bullpen, in place of Nick Blackburn, who is on the disabled list with a left quad strain. He's pitched well in relief, allowing zero runs in three of his last four outings, but struggled in the starting rotation to open the season, losing all three of his starts.
Although Swarzak hasn't started since April 19, he threw 97 pitches in his second start and is fully stretched out. Gardenhire said he isn't concerned about Swarzak's ability to pitch deep enough into the game to avoid burning through the bullpen.