• The Newark Star Ledger ran a story last week on former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson, who transferred to Rutgers, naming him as possibly the best QB on the Scarlet Knights roster. But Nelson is ineligible to play this year because of transfer rules. “I didn’t think it was going to be this tough,” Nelson said. “Seven practices in right now, I’m champing at the bit. I’m not really taking any team reps or anything like that, but I knew what I was getting into [when I transferred].”
• Tanner Vavra, the son of Twins third base coach Joe Vavra, is off to a nice start at Class A Cedar Rapids in the Twins organization, hitting .500 over three games with two doubles. … Two former Gophers are playing for the Twins at Class AA New Britain. Catcher Kyle Knudson is hitting .333 with three RBI in four games, and right fielder Mike Kvasnicka is hitting .182 over seven games. … Former Chaska High School standout Brad Hand is back with the Miami Marlins and has a 3.24 ERA with seven strikeouts in eight innings. Hand had two relief appearances but started Wednesday and is set to start again Monday. … Former Rochester Century pitcher Mitch Brown, a second-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2013, is at Class A Lake County and has made one start, giving up one run in 4⅔ innings.
• The Twins sent 2013 Opening Day starter Vance Worley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash, but the righthander has yet to make an appearance with the organization. He is at extended spring training trying to get his arm ready, and once ready he will start at Class AAA Indianapolis.
• Former Gophers interim men’s basketball coach Jim Molinari resigned as Western Illinois coach on Thursday and then signed on to be an assistant coach under Tim Miles at Nebraska on Friday. Molinari went 79-104 in six seasons with the Leathernecks, including 10-20 this season.