NEW YORK (Reuters) - Minnesota's early season injury woes continued on Saturday when Twins reliever Jose Mijares was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left elbow.

The 25-year-old Venezuelan, a contender to take charge of eighth-inning duties, has struggled in his first five games, giving up six hits in three innings with two walks and two strikeouts. He has a 6.00 ERA.

"We are going to try and let him get healthy," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com). "Maybe we can get his arm straightened out and we will go from there."

Right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett has been recalled from Triple-A Rochester to replace Mijares on the 25-man roster.

The Twins, who are 8-3, have already lost closer Joe Nathan for the entire season, the four-times All-Star having had surgery last month on his right elbow.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)