Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/22/12

The Minnesota Twins will use their 10th starter of the season Saturday when left-hander Brian Duensing pitches against the Reds in Cincinnati.

"We're in June," manager Ron Gardenhire noted, "so it hasn't been easy."

Since Gardenhire became manager for the 2002 season, he has used as many as 10 starters only twice, in 2006 (10) and 2009 (11). He's on pace to shatter those levels if the Twins continue to slide -- especially if Minnesota is a seller at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Of the projected rotation coming out of spring training, three have hit the disabled list, including Scott Baker, out for the season after having Tommy John surgery in April. Nick Blackburn went down with a quadriceps injury, and Carl Pavano is on the DL with a shoulder problem. Jason Marquis was released after going 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA, and Francisco Liriano was demoted to the bullpen for the second half of May after starting 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA.

Twins relievers have thrown 241 2/3 innings this season, behind only Colorado (242 2/3) and Kansas City (260 2/3), the result of a rotation that has been wracked by injury and ineffectiveness. It's the primary reason the Twins are 27-41 record and last in the American League Central after a 9-1 loss to the Pirates on Thursday.

Duensing is technically starting in the spot vacated by P.J. Walters, who is on the DL due to shoulder inflammation. He is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 30 relief appearances this season. Duensing made 28 starts for the Twins last year, going 9-13 with a 5.24 ERA.

"You've got to keep shuffling and re-juggling it," Gardenhire said. "We've gone through just about everything that we have. I don't think too many organizations have enough depth to replace all those pitchers."

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