Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco is heading back to Minnesota after telling the team he is suffering from elbow soreness. The team is in Seattle as they open their final road trip before the All-Star break.
Nolasco left the team Monday to return to Minnesota, he will have an MRI on Tuesday. According to FOX Sports North, Nolasco did not mention the elbow issue when he met with reporters after Sunday's start.
He allowed six runs in just two innings, as the Yankees built a 9-0 lead in the game, before Minnesota's comeback fell just short.
The Twins became concerned about Nolasco's arm when his fastball velocity was lower in Sunday's outing than it had been previously.
"He hasn't been as effective with his pitches," Twins assistant General Manager Rob Antony told the Pioneer Press. "He hasn't had the same command as he's had. Basically everything he's done this year is nothing like the reports we had. He's not pitching the same way he did last year."
He signed a four-year $49 million contract with the team in the offseason. But after Sunday's start, he has fallen to 5-7 and his ERA has grown to 5.90. Through his first eight seasons in the Majors he is 89-75 with a 4.37 ERA in 229 career games.
Minnesota had been deciding what to do with Nolasco, after Sunday's start.
"After some coaxing, he finally admitted he's been struggling since Spring Training with a bit of a sore elbow," Antony said. "He said he can't get loose more than anything. Said it gets tight. Some days it's better than others."
MLB.com blogger Rhett Bollinger reports that Nolasco's four-seam velocity has dipped.
- 92.39 mph in March
- 91.79 mph in April
- 91.60 mph in May
- 90.97 mph in June
- 90.55 mph in July
- 89.96 mph on Sunday
Nolasco had some elbow trouble in 2007 that held him to just 55 innings. It did not require surgery. Since that year, he has averaged 192 innings and 31 starts over the last six seasons.