Elbow issue may limit Schafer to pinch-running role

Twins outfielder remains out of starting lineup

Elbow issue may limit Schafer to pinch-running role

DETROIT -- Twins outfielder Jordan Schafer has been dealing with a nerve issue in his right elbow after hyperextending it and could be held out of the starting lineup for the rest of the season.

Friday marked the fourth time in five games he began the game on the bench. He suffered the injury while swinging a weighted bat in the on-deck circle Sept. 15, but tried to play through it, as the injury was to his non-throwing elbow.

Schafer struggled since, hitting just .174 (4-for-23) with no extra-base hits. He's available to pinch-run, but still has trouble swinging the bat, making his return to the lineup before the last game of the season Sunday questionable. With Schafer out, Chris Herrmann made his second straight start in left field against the Tigers.

"He's day to day," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "He's been getting treatment but it's whatever he can withstand. He's available to pinch-run and all that. But will be able to get him to the swing the bat in the next couple days? I don't know about that."

Ryan added that Schafer's injury isn't deemed serious and will not warrant an MRI exam. Schafer, 28, has hit .285/.345/.362 with one homer, five doubles, one triple and 15 stolen bases in 41 games with the Twins since being claimed off waivers from the Braves on Aug. 3.

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.