Pelfrey headed to DL, Deduno to take place in rotation

UPDATE: Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony confirmed shortstop Danny Santana will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester.

MINNEAPOLIS — Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin after Friday’s game against the Orioles, and will be replaced in the rotation by right-hander Samuel Deduno. The Twins will announce a corresponding roster move after the game.

Pelfrey has struggled so far this season with a 7.99 ERA in five starts, including another subpar outing in Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers, giving up five runs over four innings.

Pelfrey maintained after his start that he was healthy but told Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on Friday that he was dealing with a groin injury. The Twins are hopeful it’ll help Pelfrey regain his velocity, as his fastball is averaging 91 mph this year after averaging 92.4 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com. Pelfrey has also struggled with his control with 18 walks in 23 2/3 innings.

“He came in today saying his groin was bothering him,” Gardenhire said. “He tweaked it yesterday and didn’t want to make any excuses. He came in today sore. We told him this might give him an opportunity to get his leg well. And then he can go on a rehab assignment and try to get it straightened out. So it’s two-fold, get healthy and also figure out why his velocity has dropped down.”

Deduno will move from long relief into the rotation to take Pelfrey’s place. Deduno has a 2.89 ERA with 18 strikeouts and nine walks in 18 1/2 innings this season. He also threw 64 pitches in relief on Pelfrey on Friday. Deduno made 18 starts last year, posting a 3.83 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 41 walks over 108 innings.

“We like what he did last year at times so we’ll see what happens and go from there,” Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire added that outfielder Oswaldo Arcia will not be recalled from Triple-A Rochester, as he’s still on his rehab assignment. Arcia has been on the DL with a right wrist strain since April 5. Infielder Eduardo Nunez is also still out with an oblique strain at Rochester.

Shortstop Danny Santana is considered the most likely player to be recalled, as he’s on the 40-man roster and is ranked as the club’s No. 10 overall prospect, according to MLB.com. He’s hitting .268/.311/.381 with seven doubles and four stolen bases in 24 games at Rochester

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