4/5/2014 6:43 P.M. ET
Gardy sees 'pen settling in after rocky start
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The bullpen was one of the Twins' biggest strengths last season but has struggled so far in the early going this year.
Twins relievers combined to post a respectable 3.50 ERA last year, despite leading the Majors in innings pitched, but have an 8.78 ERA through four games entering Saturday's game against the Indians.
Left-hander Brian Duensing is the only member of the bullpen who hasn't given up a run, entering Saturday. Closer Glen Perkins, who was an All-Star last year, also uncharacteristically blew a save in the club's second game of the year, while Jared Burton and Caleb Thielbar have already served up home runs.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he believes the bullpen will be better moving forward, especially once they start to settle into their normal roles.
"Right now, it's just been hard to get them in their patterns and get them in when they're supposed to get in," Gardenhire said. "They've had their scuffles, and we've had to use people in different ways. I'm just hoping once we can settle things down, and get some guys to go seven, eight innings or whatever, that we can get these guys where we want to use them. But right now, it's been hit or miss."
Gardenhire also said it was easier to call on the bullpen earlier in games last season, because they were carrying 13 pitchers for most of the year. He said he's not ready to abandon a four-man bench, but liked having right-hander Ryan Pressly around last year as an extra reliever.
"It's different when you had that extra guy; it makes a huge difference," Gardenhire said. "Having Pressly out there last year, there were so many times he saved us. Like last night, I would've brought Pressly in. Left-right, I don't care. He just throws gas with a curveball. So I do notice that already. So we'll see how we adjust from it. But we went this way, and until we see that we don't like it. It's just early."
Arcia will rest, but wrist injury not deemed serious
CLEVELAND -- Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was held out of Saturday's lineup against the Indians with a sore right wrist and saw a wrist specialist as a precautionary measure.
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said Arcia saw Dr. Thomas Graham of the Cleveland Clinic, and the injury wasn't deemed serious, but he'll rest for a few days.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Arcia originally injured his wrist while taking swings in the cage before a game at U.S. Cellular Field earlier in the week. Arcia has started out the season slow offensively, going just 2-for-18 with a triple in four games.
Arcia dealt with a similar injury late last season and missed 12 out of 13 games in August as a result.
"He says he's fine to play through it," Gardenhire said. "He just has a little something in his hand. It's not worth it. The cold temperatures aren't helping right now."
Gardenhire added that he could see Arcia grimace in pain after taking swings in Friday's game against the Indians, and wanted to play it safe and take him out of the lineup on Saturday.
"I'm not going to watch a guy kill himself this early in the season," Gardenhire said. "We just can't keep doing this. We have to figure out what's wrong."
With Arcia out of the lineup, Jason Kubel made the start in right field and went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to help lead the Twins to a 7-3 win.
Twins being cautious with top prospect Buxton
CLEVELAND -- Top prospect Byron Buxton remains sidelined with a sprained left wrist sustained in a Minor League Spring Training game on March 16, but he could start baseball activities by mid-to-late next week.
Buxton, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, hasn't swung the bat yet, as he's still resting his wrist. He originally hurt it while diving for a ball in center field.
"He's still kind of in a holding pattern," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "I talked to the doctor when I left [Spring Training on March 29], and he said it was going to be 10 days [of rest]. But he did say he's making improvements."
There's still no official timeline for Buxton's return to action at Double-A New Britain, because the Twins are being cautious with him.
"We don't want this to linger through the whole season," Antony said.