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Phil Hughes is back early – but not in his normal role

This is earlier than Hughes was supposed to return to the Twins.

The Twins made a surprising move Wednesday that could bolster their bullpen.

The team announced it cut Phil Hughes' rehab assignment a bit short so he can rejoin the club as part of the bullpen – not the rotation – in time for Wednesday night's game in Cleveland.

Hughes was placed on the DL after his May 21 start.

As Twins insider Aaron Gleeman pointed out via twitter, it "should be interesting."

Why you ask?

Three reasons:

First, as Gleeman eluded to, Hughes had success in the bullpen during his lone season in that role.

Second, it can't hurt the Twins' bullpen; they rank 29th out of 30th in relief-pitcher ERA. Hughes at the very least provides both an additional arm and valuable experience, considering he won a World Series ring as reliever for the New York Yankees in 2009.

And finally, as the Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino tweeted, Hughes wasn't supposed to be anywhere near Cleveland at this point – he was supposed to be throwing 35-40 pitches in Triple-A Wednesday night.

Apparently the Twins' plans have changed.

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