Blackburn to ‘pen and Duensing to the rotation

By: Kelly Thesier/

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins addressed their struggling rotation on Wednesday, moving Nick Blackburn to the bullpen temporarily and shifting left-hander Brian Duensing into Blackburn’s spot in the rotation.

Twins acting manager Scott Ullger announced the move
before Wednesday’s afternoon game against the Indians. Manager Ron Gardenhire was
tending to a family matter and was not at Target Field.

The move is considered temporary and will allow the Twins to give
Blackburn a mental break. Duensing, who has a 1.67 ERA in 43 relief innings, will start Friday in Baltimore against the Orioles.

Blackburn is not the only starter to be struggling of late, but his troubles have perhaps been the most pronounced. After going 6-1 with a 4.28 ERA through the first two months of the season, Blackburn has been unable to produce similar results. In his last nine starts, Blackburn is 1-6 with a 9.88 ERA and 11 home runs allowed. Opposing teams are hitting .378 over that stretch with a .426 on-base percentage.

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