SEATTLE – Class AAA Rochester lefthander Kris Johnson will be called up in time to start on Friday against Colorado, replacing righthander Ricky Nolasco, who landed on te 15-day disabled list because of a strained elbow muscle.
Johnson, 29, is 8-4 with a 2.75 ERA for the Red Wings, holding opponents to a .214 batting average.
“He’s been throwing great like a lot of those guys down there,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s who they recommended. That’s who is on line. I’m happy with it. Good to see him back up here.”
Johnson was slated to start on the same day Nolasco would have, making the switch simple. Top prospect Trevor May is recovering from a right calf strain and might be out until right after the Class AAA All-Star break next week. Alex Meyer, another top prospect, pitched well in his most recent outing, but his pitch counts are being watched after he had shoulder problems last season. Meyer also has been inconsistent.
Calling up Johnson made the most sense to the Twins.
Johnson was called up for a spot start against the Dodgers on May 1 and pitched 4 ⅓ scoreless innings despite giving up four hits and walking six.
Twins trainer Dave Pruemer is waiting for a flood of messages from trainers across the league with directions on what assistance their players will need during All-Star week.
Pruemer, along with Rangers trainer Kevin Harmon, will take care of the AL All-Stars.
Twins strength and conditioning coordinator Perry Castellano also will work the game. Both Pruemer and Castellano expect to be extremely busy during All-Star week with a 34-man roster to handle for the game and several players competing in the Home Run Derby on Monday.
Also, Twins bullpen catcher Nate Dammann will handle the same duties at the game and will be the catcher for the Home Run Derby.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Jeff Nelson, a graduate of Park High School in Cottage Grove and Bethel University, and Bob Davidson, a Duluth East and Minnesota Duluth graduate, will be part of the umpiring crew for the game.
Shortstop and fill-in center fielder Danny Santana (left knee bone bruise) will not be activated from the disabled list on Friday. The Twins hope to send him to a minor league rehabilitation assignment during the All-Star break and hope to activate him right after the break.
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony would only say that Santana is doing ‘‘well’’ with his recovery.
Antony used the same word to describe first baseman Joe Mauer, who is recovering from a strained right oblique muscle. Both Mauer and Santana have been undergoing treatment at Target Field while the team is on its trip to Seattle and Colorado.
Mauer is eligible to come off the DL on July 18, the first game after the break. But it would surprise no one if Mauer needed more time to recover, given the nature of the injury.
• Oswaldo Arcia took fly balls in center field during the last homestand and did well enough for Gardenhire to consider him as an option for spot duty if needed. Sam Fuld is getting most of the starts in center since Santana landed on the disabled list. “He’s a really good player if you use him the right way,” Gardenhire said of Fuld, who was 3-for-3 with a home run on Wednesday. Chris Parmelee has appeared in center field in three games, starting one. Now Arcia could be an option there, too, as long as Santana is out.