The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of a three game series with the Houston Astros. After taking the first game on Monday night, the Twins dropped game two yesterday as Yohan Pino struggled in what was likely his last start. After getting Joe Mauer back on Monday, it looks as if the Twins will welcome back starter Ricky Nolasco on Friday as well.
Nolasco is currently working his way back from an elbow injury that landed him on the disabled list. He pitched for the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels last week as part of his rehab assignment.
At this point, all signs point to Nolasco resuming the rotation spot currently taken by Yohan Pino. He would be Friday’s starter for the opener of the series with the Kansas City Royals.
With Pino having just pitched yesterday, the rotation will likely be shuffled a bit, and Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press has suggested it will look something like this:
Those #mntwins probables should change after tonight, but likely order is: Fri: Nolasco Sat: Hughes Sun: Milone Mon: May Tue: Gibson
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) August 12, 2014
Nolasco returns to the Twins with a 5.90 ERA through 18 starts. He has posted 72 strikeouts while walking 28 batters. While the numbers are underwhelming, a turnaround can be expected for the talented veteran.
As for the Twins rotation, seeing quality pitchers one through five is a big step towards a turnaround. Trevor May will be making his second start after pitching in relief Tuesday night against the Astros. Kyle Gibson and Phil Hughes will look to continue to improve of their season numbers, and Tommy Milone will make his second Twins start on Sunday.
With two years left on his deal, the Twins are going to be hoping that Nolasco can turn his season around and finish strong, propelling him towards a productive 2015. All indications would suggest that being within the realm of possibility.