Ricky Nolasco has been officially reinstated from the disabled list and is available out of the bullpen. Nolasco, who hasn't pitched since June 1 because of a right ankle impingement that led to surgery, will likely be used in long relief. It will be hard to the Twins to use him in any highly-leveraged situations because he's been out for so long and his only recently action was a couple innings of instructional league play.

But, he's here.

``At least it gives us another healthy arm out there,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Nolasco, the Twins placed lefthander Logan Darnell on the 60-day DL. Darnell came down with pneumonia shortly after being called up from Class AAA Rochester and never pitched for the Twins.

Tommy Milone will throw in the bullpen tomorrow to see if he's gotten rid of the arm fatigue that led to his departure from the starting rotation. Milone maintains it's fatigue moreso than having a dead arm. If he doesn't come back, the plan is for him to pitch out of the bullpen, too. 

Suddenly, all the options the Twins thought they had for the rotation are no longer options. When asked who is stretched out enough to start a game, Molitor paused before saying, ``Nolasco.'' That means the current starting five is the group that is going to have to get it done for the Twins.

Molitor said he plans on getting Kurt Suzuki a day off sometime this weekend, ``he's been getting beat up,'' Molitor said. He continues to check with Torii Hunter to make sure he feels good. He said nothing about getting Trevor Plouffe a break. And he said Joe Mauer, who has reached base in 43 straight games feels good should play the rest of the way.

Kansas City plays host to Cleveland tonight in the first of three games, and they have their hangover lineup going. Paulo Orlando is batting cleanup. Drew Butera is playing first base. You get the idea.

Houston opens a three-game series at home against Texas with the AL West, and the second wild card spot, on the line,


Aaron Hicks, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, DH
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Torii Hunter, RF
Eddie Rosario, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, SS

Mike Pelfrey, RHP


Anthony Gose, CF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Miggy, 1B
V-Mart, DH
J.D. Martinez, RF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
James McCann, C
Austin Romine, SS
Rajai Davis, LF

Matt Boyd, LHP

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Daily Wild Card Watch: Big showdown begins in Texas

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Postgame: Thoughts on Pelfrey, Fien, May and Rosario after a poor start to road trip