MILWAUKEE — The saga of Ricky Nolasco’s ankle injury took another turn Friday when the righthander had to abort a bullpen session when the discomfort returned.
Nolasco, out since June 1 because of an impingement in his right ankle, was fitted with orthotics that Twins doctors hoped would solve the problem. It didn’t.
“That was disappointing to hear, given how much he’s been through already,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said, “We just can’t find the solution to get him heading back in the right direction. It didn’t take long before they realized the symptoms were still the same.”
Nolasco, 5-1 with a 5.51 ERA, has tried rehabilitation and has taken a cortisone shot with no success. The Twins aren’t sure what path to take now and will reassess the situation.
“I’m not prepared to say exactly what our next step is,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said.
The Twins have not considered surgery to this point, but they might be running out of options.
It does put off a tough decision. Ervin Santana is expected to join the rotation on July 5 after serving his suspension for testing positive for a steroid. The Twins were staring at tough decisions to get him and Nolasco back in the rotation, but Nolasco looks to be out indefinitely.
Santana in center?
Danny Santana was called up when Byron Buxton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained thumb. But he did not return as the Twins starting shortstop.
Santana, batting .218 with 12 errors went sent to Class AAA Rochester on June 7, will be in the mix with Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar for playing time at short.
And Santana could wind up in center field, where he played 69 games last season
“As it is right now with the personnel we have and the people that are playing well, just be ready to play wherever I write you down,” Molitor said. “I might have to put [him] out there to get some at-bats.”
Santana started one game in center while at Rochester and took fly balls out there before Friday’s game.
Molitor said he told Santana: “I need you to work twice as hard in your pregame because you need to have two positions ready to play at this level, which isn’t easy to do. He said, ‘Whatever I’ve got to do to play.’ We might see him out there at some point, depending on how long this [center fielder] situation goes and when Aaron [Hicks] comes back and if he comes back in the short term.”
Hicks was the designated hitter on Friday for Class AAA Rochester as he begins a rehabilitation assignment after recovering from a sore forearm.
Mollie and Bud
Molitor spent part of Friday checking out an exhibit at Miller Park on the history of baseball in Milwaukee. The exhibit includes a hologram of former owner Bud Selig, and a replica of his office desk to reflect his humble beginnings.
Molitor had a tour guide for the visit — Selig himself.
It was the start of an emotional weekend for the longtime Brewer, as he returned for the first time as manager of the Twins. He received a warm reception from the crowd during pregame introductions, and the Brewers are handing out Molitor bobbleheads on Sunday.
“Surprisingly, it was emotional for me,” Molitor said of seeing the exhibit. “It touches a lot of things that had to do with my time here. I told Mr. Selig, ‘I hope that I made clear to you how much you meant to me in my life and also my gratitude for his role in the game.’ ”