- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Twins have placed reliever Jesse Crain on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right shoulder, another setback for their unstable bullpen.

The move was made Monday, retroactive to Saturday, after an MRI test showed inflammation in the joint. Left-hander Jose Mijares will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester before Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

Crain was solid in his first six appearances until Friday, when former teammate Torii Hunter worked an 0-and-2 count into a walk to load the bases for the Los Angeles Angels with two outs in the seventh inning. Crain then gave up two consecutive singles and another walk, leaving with four runs charged to him and an ERA that soared to 7.50.

For the season, Crain has allowed three hits and five walks in six innings while striking out seven as the primary setup man to closer Joe Nathan. Crain had season-ending surgery in May 2007 to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder, but assistant general manager Rob Antony said there doesn’t appear to be a correlation with his previous problem.

The team’s medical staff wanted to give Crain a few days of full rest without any throwing, so rather than leave the bullpen short the decision was made to put the right-hander on the DL.

“Hopefully at the end of the two weeks he’ll be ready to go,” Antony said.

Twins relievers have a 7.03 ERA in 39 2-3 innings.

Mijares pitched 6 1-3 scoreless innings in five appearances for the Red Wings, with two hits, one walk and four strikeouts with a fastball up to 93 mph.

“If he throws strikes, he has a chance to do pretty well. That’s what he did last September, and that’s what he didn’t do last spring,” Antony said.

After a dominant performance as a rookie last year, Mijares was in line to be the eighth-inning reliever before struggling with his control and his weight in spring training.

“He let himself down and a lot of other people down coming into spring like he did, not in shape,” manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday, before news of Crain’s injury emerged.

Mijares will likely factor into the setup role, with right-handers Luis Ayala and Matt Guerrier.

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