The Minnesota Twins have been without the services of both Ricky Nolasco and Joe Mauer for a considerable amount of time. Mauer has been dealing with a strained oblique muscle, while the Twins newly signed free agent Ricky Nolasco has been shelved with an elbow injury. They will both be back on the field on Tuesday, but it will be in Iowa.
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The Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Minnesota Twins Single-A affiliate that Byron Buxton made famous last year, will play home to both players in the coming week. Nolasco is set to show up on Monday and start for the Kernels on Tuesday. Joe Mauer is prepared to drive down to Cedar Rapids and be there on Sunday, practice on Monday, and be in the lineup for Monday night’s game.
With the two major league players being added to the roster for the Kernels, ticket sales have gone off the hook. The Kernels box office has changed its our specifically for the occasion.
While Joe Mauer is in the midst of a less than stellar season, he saw a significant uptick in his results at the plate prior to injury. From June 10 to July 1, Mauer was batting .304 with 13 RBIs and a .360 OBP. The strikeout numbers are still higher than where the Twins would like to see them, but there was significant room for hope.
As for Nolasco, after being signed to a four-year deal this offseason, the Twins undoubtedly expected more out of the former Marlins pitcher. With Tommy Milone now on the organizational roster, along with Trevor May and Alex Meyer knocking at the door, there is no room for error.
Both players will work through a rehab stint and look to be back with the big league club in a matter of weeks. Mauer figures to play with the Kernels through the weekend, so if you are down in Iowa, make sure to grab a ticket and check it out.