WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is beginning the season on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said before an exhibition game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday that the 31-year-old Hughes is "still in the mix" to pitch April 11, the first time Minnesota will need a fifth starter.

Hughes had been on track to be at the end of Minnesota's rotation before hurting himself last week.

With Hughes to be put on the DL by opening day, winter meeting draft pick Tyler Kinley and Gabriel Moya both are expected to be part of the bullpen for the initial 25-man roster.

Last season, Hughes went 4-3 with a 5.87 ERA in 14 appearances, including nine starts, before his season ended in July because of surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, an issue involving the compression of nerves or blood vessels.

Minnesota opens at Baltimore on Thursday.