Just a couple of quick things here before the second game of today's double-header with the Red Sox.
Twins recall Tommy Milone
To alleviate the pressure of running a five-man rotation on a five-day schedule, the Twins will call up Tommy Milone to start Thursday's series finale in Boston. In five starts for the Red Wings, Milone pitched 38.2 innings (more than seven innings per start), striking out a whopping 47 batters while walking just three en route to an incredible 0.70 ERA. Two of the three runs he allowed were the result of a home run. As far as performances go, it really can't realistically get better than that.
Milone starting tomorrow will push Kyle Gibson back to Friday, which would potentially push Ricky Nolasco to Saturday. Whether or not Milone stays will likely depend on whether or not Nolasco needs to hit the disabled list. Speaking of Ricky...
Ricky Nolasco to throw bullpen session Thursday
The Twins are clearly giving Nolasco every chance to be ready to go and avoid the disabled list. He's throwing his bullpen session tomorrow instead of today, allowing him a full day off before what would be his start on Saturday. As Paul Molitor notes, Nolasco's chances of making the start as of today are about 50-50.
If he's unable to pitch, the best thing the Twins could do would be to put him on the disabled list retroactive to his start on Sunday. That would make him eligible to come off on June 15th, meaning that he'd likely miss a start on Saturday - but potentially that would be all. Minnesota plays four games after Saturday, have next Thursday off, and would play three games before he's be eligible to return to the Twins. Should the Twins not call up a starter and just use J.R. Graham and the bullpen on Saturday, Minnesota could realistically get by with four starters until Nolasco's return.
At any rate, we may not know the fate of Nolasco until Friday.
Oswaldo Arcia optioned to Triple-A
Now officially healthy, the Twins have activated slugging outfielder Oswaldo Arcia and optioned him to Triple-A. He struggled in four rehab games with the Red Wings, going 0-for-11 with a walk and four strikeouts. It's disappointing that he won't be back with the Twins immediately, because the team desperately needs another hitter, but for the time being it appears that the front office and managerial teams really do want him to hit his way back onto the roster.
To be fair, even a struggling Arcia in the Twins lineup would be better than the 5-6-7-8-9 options the Major League team ran out in game one today.
Impending roster moves
Michael Tonkin was the 26th man that the Twins were allowed for today's double-header, but he'll naturally be optioned back to Triple-A once tonight's game concludes. This means that Minnesota still needs to clear another roster spot for Tommy Milone.
Moving Nolasco to the disabled list is one way to go, but Paul Molitor has been running a three-man bench and an eight-man bullpen for a couple of weeks now. Aaron Thompson or Ryan Pressly could be optioned, but Brian Duensing and Tim Stauffer have both been very ineffective. Other than the pain of breaking ties with a veteran, the Twins could break with one (or both) of them without missing a beat.
Unless the Twins get news early on Nolasco that prompts them to move him to the disabled list, I anticipate a member of the bullpen making way. It will be interesting to see which way the club takes it.