Ankle ailment sends Nolasco to DL
Move retroactive to Monday; Milone takes righty's spot
BOSTON -- Though the Twins had hoped otherwise, Ricky Nolasco won't be able to avoid the disabled list after all.
On Thursday, the Twins placed the right-hander on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday with a right ankle impingement. As expected, lefty Tommy Milone was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to fill the vacant rotation spot and start Thursday against the Red Sox.
Nolasco suffered the injury Sunday, when he had to leave the game in the second inning against the Blue Jays. After receiving three days' worth of treatment, he tried to throw a bullpen session Thursday, but continuing pain in the ankle ended the session after about 10 pitches.
"It became apparent rather quickly when he started trying to load off his right side and get some torque created when he needed to push off the rubber, you could see him start to grimace a little bit," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "The session didn't last very long. It's not healed enough to where he can pitch."
To help determine if Sunday's MRI missed any additional damage to the joint, the Twins have arranged for Nolasco to undergo a CAT scan Friday, which would give a better indication of whether he will have to miss more time.
This marks Nolasco's second stint on the DL this year after he was sidelined by right elbow inflammation in April. He said this is the first time the ankle has bothered him.
"I can't risk throwing with no lower body," Nolasco said. "I just got my elbow right for the first time in a long time. I can't go out there and risk blowing that out or something. I'm not going to do the team any favors by not being 100 percent. I've learned that trying to pitch through [injury]. Nothing good can come out of it.
"It was tough to say no, but I think it's the right thing to do."
Nolasco is 5-1 with a 5.51 ERA in seven games with the Twins. In his last start before hurting the ankle, he held the Red Sox to two runs in 7 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking none in perhaps his most complete outing of the season.
"I don't know how the hell it happened," Nolasco said. "It's just kind of a freak thing. Obviously frustrating. Thought I was turning the corner and feeling good. My arm was feeling really good. And then something like this happens."
With Nolasco out of commission, the Twins need to determine who will pitch against Milwaukee on Saturday. Molitor indicated that long reliever J.R. Graham remains the most likely option, with other members of the bullpen assisting in the effort, but added that the decision is contingent on how long Milone's start lasts.
"More than likely, it's going to be one of those games where we're going to have to piece it together with the bullpen," Molitor said.
Graham was made available to pitch out of the bullpen Thursday.