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Hernandez offers depth, but needs innings

CHICAGO -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire admitted he's a little concerned about the layoff lefty Pedro Hernandez is enduring at the back end of Minnesota's rotation.

Hernandez was recalled from the Minors on April 7 when Cole De Vries was placed on the disabled list. He threw five innings in that day's start, then threw 4 1/3 innings in long relief on April 12. But because of the rotation setup and Minnesota's schedule, he's not expected to throw again until probably April 29.

"Ultimately things happen. He'll get innings in, he'll get to pitch," Gardenhire said. "We've got to find innings for him. We can't just let him sit there and expect him to start on the 29th. We've got to be able to, some way or another, get him innings. He's going to maybe have to come in in some different situations rather than just long [relief]."

On the other hand, it does give the Twins a bit of an insurance policy in the bullpen for the time being.

"With Hernandez out there too, because of the fifth-starter situation, we've got plenty of length in our bullpen to protect us if we have issues," Gardenhire said.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.
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