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Healthy Guerrier back with Twins after recovery

CLEVELAND -- Matt Guerrier got back to his hometown Wednesday night, and the next morning, he had a locker in the Twins' clubhouse.

By the end of the afternoon, he had logged his first big league inning of the season.

A native of Cleveland, Guerrier has spent the majority of his career with Minnesota. Thursday was the deadline for the Twins to add Guerrier to the big league roster before his opt-out clause triggered, and Minnesota did just that, optioning Logan Darnell to Triple-A to open up a spot on the active roster.

The Angels claimed pitcher Brooks Raley off waivers from the Twins, making room on the 40-man roster for Guerrier.

With the opt-out date looming, Guerrier was pleased Minnesota brought him on.

"This is where I wanted to be," Guerrier said. "I signed here hoping to get a chance to come back."

Guerrier had surgery in August to repair a flexor mass in his right arm. He played parts of 2013 with the Dodgers and Cubs. The Twins signed Guerrier after releasing him at the end of Spring Training, giving him a chance to rehab his arm.

Making seven appearances for Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester, Guerrier allowed four runs in nine innings. He debuted with the Twins in 2004 and pitched with the club through '10.

"The biggest thing is to stay healthy," Guerrier said. "The past two years, I've battled this injury. It's a frustrating thing. You want to stay healthy. At this point, that's the biggest thing."

In building up his strength and shortening his recovery time between appearances, Guerrier has incorporated additional stretching techniques and regular massages.

"I was getting tight because of where the surgery was," Guerrier said. "[Pitching] was making my forearm tight. Trying to figure out what would make it feel the best. I was realizing that when I stretched it out, it would feel better every day."

Guerrier's role in the bullpen has yet to be defined, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire isn't going to hesitate calling on No. 54.

"It's got to be situational," Gardenhire said. "He's got plenty of experience. He's throwing fine."

Thursday was a long day for the bullpen, and Guerrier wound up getting back on the mound in his hometown as Gardenhire brought him in to pitch the eighth inning. Guerrier allowed a run on two hits during the Twins' 9-4 loss to the Indians.

Stephen Elsesser is a contributor to
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