MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - INSIDE PITCH
CHICAGO -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasted no time getting rookie first baseman Kennys Vargas his major-league debut.
A day after Vargas was called up from Double-A New Britain of the Eastern League, he started at first base on his 24th birthday in a 10-8 loss to start a series against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Vargas went 1-for-5 with a two-run double and got the nod despite Chicago starting ace left-hander Chris Sale.
"This is not the way you envision sticking somebody in there, but he is a switch hitter and this guy's pretty tough, so you put him in there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Vargas. "He's chomping at the bit to play. The more you leave him on the bench, the more anxious he'll get, so (we got) him in there."
In his first at-bat against Sale, Vargas looked overmatched. His second time up was different, slugging a ground-rule double that scored two runs and made it 4-2 Twins in the third inning.
"That was fun," Gardenhire said. "It was fun to watch him go up there for his first at-bat and you might know it's going to be a bases-loaded (situation) off that guy and I guess a little school was (in session). (Sale) got some change-ups in there and he kind of misfired, but he came up with a big one later for us and drove in a couple of runs. He competed well out there."
Vargas, who hit .281 with 17 home runs, 17 doubles and 63 RBIs for New Britain in 97 games (356 at-bats), did get charged with a throwing error in a two-run second for Chicago. He also was off-target on a relay throw to the plate that scored a run, but made up for it by throwing out right fielder Moises Sierra at second on a pick-off play.
"He's played against major leaguers, he's played in spring training, but you don't know," Gardenhire said prior to the game. "When you put a kid out there for the first time in the big leagues, there's an element out there that none of us really know what's going to happen, and everybody goes through this."
MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost three
NEXT: Twins (RHP Yohan Pino, 1-3, 4.38 ERA) at White Sox (RHP Scott Carroll, 4-6, 4.29 ERA)
--RHP Yohan Pino will start Saturday for the Twins in the second of a three-game series this weekend against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Pino, who made his major league debut June 19 against Chicago, will be making his third career start against the White Sox. He didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start against them, July 27, going six innings and allowing two runs on four hits and a walk.
--1B Kennys Vargas made his major league debut Friday night against the Chicago White Sox on his 24th birthday. Vargas, who started at first base, went 1-for-5 with a two-run double in the Twins' 10-8 loss at U.S. Cellular Field. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound rookie is a switch hitter, which is part of the reason manager Ron Gardenhire gave him the nod despite Chicago starting ace LHP Chris Sale.
--1B Joe Mauer is nearing the start of an injury-rehab stint for the Twins. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Friday in Chicago that Mauer would likely begin his rehab stint next week, which should be telling about how much longer he'll have to stay on the 15-day disabled list. Mauer went on the DL July 2 with a right oblique strain and has been taking swings off a tee. He also had an indoor batting practice session July 30.
--RHP Ricky Nolasco is nearing the start of an injury-rehab stint in the minor leagues, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on Friday. Nolasco, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow, retroactive to July 7, might begin his rehab assignment sometime next week. He and 1B Joe Mauer (right oblique strain) are expected to start their rehab stints around the same time. "They're feeling good and doing everything we've thrown at 'em so far," Gardenhire said. "The final test will be getting in games and taking live swings with adrenaline flowing and all those things, and fortunately that will happen this next week. We'll see where they're both at."
--2B Brian Dozier "talked his way" into the starting lineup for the Twins on Friday night to start a three-game weekend series at the Chicago White Sox. Dozier, who jammed his left thumb July 30, missed a game July 31. Missing a second straight game wasn't an option for Dozier, who went 3-for-4 and scored three runs in the 10-8 loss. "He talked his way in, wants to play, says he's good to go," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Just a little swelling (in the thumb), a little jam, is what (the medical staff) told me. He's got a little wrap on it."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's about making pitches and those are some veteran guys." -- Twins RHP Casey Fien, who allowed two runs in the eighth inning Friday and took the loss.
MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - ROSTER REPORT
--2B Brian Dozier (jammed left thumb) was held out of the Twins lineup July 31 after getting hurt July 30. He returned to the starting lineup Aug. 1.
--RHP Ricky Nolasco (strained right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 7. He threw a bullpen session July 27 and is scheduled to throw three more bullpen sessions before going on a rehab assignment. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Aug. 1 that Nolasco would begin his rehab assignment sometime during the week of Aug. 4-10.
--1B Joe Mauer (right oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 2. He took dry swings in the cage before the July 20 game, then fielded grounders and threw the ball July 21. He hit off a tee July 22 and July 27. He took indoor batting practice July 30 and will likely begin a rehab assignment sometime during the week of Aug. 4-10.
--RHP Mike Pelfrey (strained left groin, right elbow surgery in June 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 2, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 19. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on May 16. He returned from Rochester on May 28 after experiencing elbow soreness. He underwent surgery June 10 to clean up scar tissue in his right elbow that was causing pressure on his ulnar nerve. He began a throwing program in late July. He is expected to be out until at least mid-August.
RHP Kevin Correia
RHP Phil Hughes
RHP Kyle Gibson
RHP Yohan Pino
LHP Logan Darnell
LHP Glen Perkins (closer)
LHP Caleb Thielbar
RHP Anthony Swarzak
LHP Brian Duensing
RHP Casey Fien
RHP Jared Burton
RHP Sam Deduno
RHP Ryan Pressly
1B Chris Parmelee
2B Brian Dozier
SS Eduardo Nunez
3B Trevor Plouffe
INF Eduardo Escobar
INF Kennys Vargas
LF Josh Willingham
CF Danny Santana
RF Oswaldo Arcia
OF/INF Chris Colabello