Nolasco returns to Twins rotation, Milone headed to bullpen

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Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco is coming off the disabled list.

Nolasco will start on Saturday when the Twins face the White Sox at Target Field.

He was placed on the 15 day disabled list nearly three weeks ago with an inflamed pitching elbow. The Pioneer Press reports Nolasco handled Sunday's 67-pitch rehab outing at Class A Cedar Rapids without any issues. He also threw a bullpen session on Tuesday with no problems.

"After much discussion we feel he is ready to perform at this level," Twins manager Paul Molitor told the newspaper. "We're looking forward to having him back."

The decision to bring Nolasco back into the rotation will move Tommy Milone to the bullpen.

Milone is 2-1 on the season, but has a 7.20 ERA in his last three starts and has averaged just five innings per outing. He has also walked nine and allowed five home runs in those 15 innings.

ESPN 1500 notes that Milone's move could help the Twins fledgling bullpen, which allowed seven unanswered runs in Wednesday's 10-7 loss to the Tigers.

"[Tim] Stauffer, 32, has allowed nine earned runs, three home runs and 22 baserunners thus far in 9 2/3 innings. He has only two strikeouts and his average fastball velocity, according to Fangraphs.com, has dipped from 91 mph to 88 mph."

Additionally, the report notes that Rule 5 draftee J.R. Graham hasn't pitched since April 19. But rules require the Twins to keep him on the 25-man roster or offer him back to Atlanta. 33-year-old righty Blaine Boyer might be another option, but he's been knocked around several times already this year.

Milone could be a candidate to start on Monday if Phil Hughes isn't able to make his next scheduled start after leaving Wednesday's game with a strained hip flexor.

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