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Swarzak lending mileage to Twins' bullpen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak has been a workhorse this season, but even after extended innings, the right-hander doesn't take long to recover.

With 52 2/3 innings in 23 appearances entering Sunday, Swarzak has had six outings of three or more innings -- throwing four frames on three occasions. He's given up 18 runs on 52 hits for a 3.08 ERA, but Swarzak has embodied the ideal of a rubber arm, never timid to let the club know he's ready to go any given day.

"He'll tell you he wants to throw 100 [pitches]," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He would like to start and that's a good thing. You should always want more. He'll throw and he'll tell you a day later, 'I'm good, if you need me, I'm good.' Definitely one of the horses out there that gets it done. And he's ate up a lot of big innings for us."

Swarzak served as a starter for the Twins in 2009, part-time in 2011 and starting the 2012 season before permanently moving to the bullpen. While Swarzak has grown into his relief role, he's itching to get back into a starting job -- a role Gardenhire wouldn't hesitate to put him in.

"He's really grown as a pitcher," Gardenhire said. "His fastball, his breaking ball has gotten better. ... He has a mix [of pitches] that, who knows, he could be a starter. He could definitely be a starter. He's so valuable where he's at right now, but if we had issues and we don't like our other choices, I would not be afraid to put him out there in the starting rotation."

Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for
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