Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana missed Saturday’s start with a stiff back. It’s unclear when he will return to the field.

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Latest on Santana’s Playing Status

Monday, April 25

Phil Miller of the Star Tribune reported that Santana did not throw on Monday, noting that the team is being “careful.”

Duffey to Replace Santana’s Solid Production in Starting Rotation

Right-hander Tyler Duffey will be recalled from Triple-A to start in Santana’s place against the Washington Nationals. The 25-year-old made 10 starts for the Twins last year with a 3.10 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 58 innings.

The Twins dug themselves a hole right out of the gate this season, losing their first nine games, and have been trying to climb out of it with five wins in their last seven games entering play Saturday.

Santana has been solid through four starts, posting a 3.15 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 20 hits allowed in 20 innings. The Twins are looking to him for a strong bounce-back season after he only made 17 starts in 2015, as he was suspended for 80 games due to a failed performance-enhancing drug test.

Rotation depth is not an area of strength for the Twins. Santana and Ricky Nolasco are the team’s only starters with an ERA under 4.42 in the early stages of 2016. A prolonged absence from the 33-year-old Santana would really hurt Minnesota’s chances of competing in the American League Central.

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