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Phil Hughes to disabled list, rotation gets a shuffle

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Lower back inflammation sends veteran right-hander to the disabled list.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After feeling something in his bullpen session on Tuesday, Phil Hughes has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation of his lower back. If it seems like this came out of nowhere, that's because it did. Hughes' back was fine, but the bullpen was shut down quickly when Hughes felt that something wasn't right. An MRI revealed the inflammation. He's scheduled for a cortisone shot.

Trevor May will start for Hughes, who was due to pitch on Friday. May will likely be limited in his pitch count. The Twins, who had been running on a four-man rotation since sending Tyler Duffey down following his Major League debut, will turn to Duffey again for a spot start on Saturday. Tommy Milone is eligible to return from his own trip to the disabled list on Sunday, which is when he'll be activated in time for that day's game. Duffey, I should imagine, would be optioned back to Rochester to make the roster spot.

All of this means that the Twins' rotation for the next few days shakes out like so:

Friday vs Indians, 8/14: Trevor May
Saturday vs Indians, 8/15: Tyler Duffey
Sunday vs Indians, 8/16: Tommy Milone
Monday at Yankees, 8/17: Kyle Gibson
Tuesday at Yankees, 8/18: Mike Pelfrey
Wednesday at Yankees, 8/19: Ervin Santana
Thursday at Orioles, 8/20: Trevor May
Friday at Orioles, 8/21: Tommy Milone
Saturday at Orioles, 8/22: Kyle Gibson
Sunday at Orioles, 8/23: Mike Pelfrey
Monday, 8/24: Off Day

If Hughes is healthy after his 15-day stint on the DL, he could be activated in time for the Twins' game in Tampa Bay on Tuesday the 25th. May is scheduled to make just the two starts at this point. Molitor has admitted that he doesn't want to "yo-yo" his young right-hander, but it's pretty clear that May is the default option to slip back into the bullpen when Hughes is ready to come back.