Twins activate Nunez from 15-day DL

Twins activate Nunez from 15-day DL

PITTSBURGH -- The Twins officially activated utility man Eduardo Nunez from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, two days after they optioned designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Triple-A Rochester.

The move to activate Nunez was announced on Sunday, but didn't become official until before Tuesday's game against the Pirates.

Nunez was on the DL retroactive to April 30 with a left oblique strain. He fared well before going on the DL, hitting .409/.458/.591 with four doubles and two RBIs in eight games, seeing time at third base, left field and designated hitter.

He took batting practice on the field with no issues on Saturday, and worked out again at Target Field on Monday to make sure everything felt fine. He said he was pleased to avoid a rehab assignment, which was a possibility because he hadn't played since April 29.

"I'm happy to be here," Nunez said. "I'm glad I didn't have to go to the Minor Leagues. It would've been more time lost. It would've been another week."

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he was happy to have Nunez back because of his versatility, especially considering they're playing without a designated hitter for their two-game series against the Pirates.

"He's a valuable guy," Molitor said. "With the National League game, the versatility of his defensive positions, pinch-run, pinch-hit, he's a guy I can do a lot of things with. It's good to have him back healthy."

Danny Santana led off for the first time since April 29, as Molitor said he reconfigured the lineup due to Interleague Play. He wanted a more experienced hitter not prone to chasing pitches hitting in front of the pitcher, so he went with left fielder Shane Robinson hitting eighth. He also moved Torii Hunter from second to fourth in the order to try to balance the lineup and have more power in the middle of it.

"It's never going to be perfect but just did some tweaking to bring some meat to the middle of the lineup," Molitor said. "The top of the lineup has been doing fine and it was hard for me to tweak it, but when I looked at options I thought it was the right thing to do here."

• Left-hander Tommy Milone has been lights-out since being optioned to Triple-A Rochester. He threw a six-hit shutout against Durham on Monday night, and has yet to allow a run in 23 1/3 innings at Triple-A.

• Right-hander Casey Fien, on the 15-day disabled list since April 30 with a right shoulder strain, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester if all goes well.

• Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, on the 15-day DL with a right hip flexor strain since May 4, has been swinging the bat without any issues, but is expected to need a rehab assignment before returning, according to assistant general manager Rob Antony.

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