Duensing's rehab starts with successful catch session

Duensing's rehab starts with successful catch session

KANSAS CITY -- Twins reliever Brian Duensing, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right intercostal, started his throwing program on Wednesday at Target Field.

Duensing, on the DL since Friday, played catch without any issues. He'll continue playing catch and then will move onto long toss before ultimately getting back on a mound. He's eligible to come off the DL on May 2, but there's no timetable for his return until he throws his first bullpen session.

"Duensing played catch and everything went fine," assistant general manager Rob Antony said.

• Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, is also still on track to make a rehab start with Class A Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Antony said. Nolasco threw 60 pitches in a bullpen session on Wednesday.

Suzuki's on-deck circle injury

• Twins pitchers have combined to throw eight wild pitches, which ranks as the second-highest mark in the Majors. Three of those have come since catcher Kurt Suzuki suffered a bruised right foot after being hit by a foul ball from Oswaldo Arcia while on the on-deck circle. But manager Paul Molitor said he's not worried about Suzuki's ability to block pitches. Minnesota ranked tied for 19th in the Majors last year with 50 wild pitches.

"I don't think it's affecting his ability to block the ball," Molitor said of Suzuki's foot injury. "I thought it was an obvious strength of him last year with all the balls he's kept in front. We've had a few get by this year, but that's going to happen from time to time. If you watch him, you can see he's doing the right thing. There's a lot of ways the ball can get by you."

• Designated hitter Kennys Vargas has been in an early season slump and Molitor offered an interesting take on why he thinks Vargas struggled early this year.

"He's really hungry to get consistent, but if I have any fears for him it's that he hits too much," Molitor said. "Whenever we hit extra, he's always in the cage. He's trying to always repeat swings to take it into the game. He's a strong enough man to handle, but when you talk about over the course of the year, it's going to add up for him. So we might have to back him off."

• With Twins general manager Terry Ryan in attendance, catcher Josmil Pinto and outfielders Aaron Hicks and Eddie Rosario had strong performances for Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday. Hicks went 3-for-5 with two doubles, Rosario went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and Pinto went 2-for-5 with two RBIs in an 11-7 win over Syracuse.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.