By Saturday, when right-hander Scott Baker comes off the disabled list to face the Tigers, the number of Twins on the DL will be down to two.
The two are center fielder Denard Span and first baseman Justin Morneau, but Span should return soon and Morneau is perhaps a month away.
In the meantime, the Twins consider themselves buyers, even though they’re six games under .500 and six games out in the AL Central.
Their primary target: A middle-inning reliever.
“We just need depth,” general manager Bill Smith said Friday morning. “We’ve got (Joe) Nathan, (Matt) Capps and (left-hander Glen) Perkins at the back – that’s a good group.
“Capps has struggled a little bit lately, but he has been very, very good for us. We’re fine with those three late in games. We just have some inexperience getting to that point.”
Smith reserved special praise for Nathan, who has a 1.74 ERA in 11 games since returning from a right flexor muscle strain.
“Our pitching coach, Rick Anderson, told him, ‘Go find your fastball,’” Smith said. “Go on a rehab (assignment), throw fastballs, get that back, and everything else will come together.”
Now the Twins will find out if everything can come together for their team, too.
On Thursday, they activated outfielder Jason Kubel, who missed 47 games with a sprained left foot. Span, recovering from a concussion, is on a rehabilitation assignment at Triple A. Morneau, out with a strained left wrist, is expected back in mid to late August.
— Ken Rosenthal