Pinto activated from Minors disabled list

Twins catcher working way back after second concussion, could be September callup

Pinto activated from Minors disabled list

NEW YORK -- Catcher Josmil Pinto, who has been out for more than two months after suffering a concussion in early June, was activated from the Minor League disabled list on Monday and reassigned to Class A Advanced Fort Myers to continue his rehabilitation process.

Pinto entered the season as the frontrunner to be the club's backup catcher, but he missed time in Spring Training with a concussion and started the season at Triple-A Rochester. He hit .232/.310/.379 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 49 games before suffering a second concussion that kept him out of action for two months.

He played four rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Twins, beginning Tuesday, as the designated hitter, batting .286 with a homer and three RBIs. He moved up to Fort Myers on Monday, and the plan is for him to work his way back to Triple-A Rochester.

"He hasn't played in a long time, so we have to get him ramped back up," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We'll get him some at-bats down there, and then we'll move him up top [to Rochester]."

Ryan added that Pinto has a chance to be brought up by the Twins as a September callup depending on how he fares. But that likely wouldn't happen until Rochester's season ends on Sept. 7.

"There's a chance if we ramp him up," Ryan said. "He'd be one of those guys where it would probably be: let's see how he's doing once the [Minor League] season concludes."

Pinto, 26, is a career .257/.339/.445 hitter with 11 homers, 13 doubles and 30 RBIs in 78 games with the Twins.

Worth noting

• Right-handers Phil Hughes and Blaine Boyer, who are both on the 15-day disabled list, are making progress with their injuries, according to Ryan. Hughes, on the DL retroactive to Aug. 10 with lower back inflammation, received an epidural shot, which has helped his back. Boyer, on the DL retroactive to Aug. 9 with right elbow inflammation, has already started his throwing program.

Eduardo Nunez started at shortstop for the fourth time over the Twins' last six games on Monday against the Yankees, but Twins manager Paul Molitor said he'll continue to use a combination of Eduardo Escobar and Nunez at shortstop going forward. Escobar has seen more time at shortstop than Nunez of late, starting 11 of Minnesota's last 16 games, including a stretch of six in a row. But Molitor said there's still no regular shortstop, and that he'll continue to start Escobar and Nunez based on matchups.

Nunez's strong throw

"We know this is a position that has bounced around this year," Molitor said. "But I told Nunez and Esky, 'Don't worry about the days you're not playing. Think of the days you're playing as an opportunity.' But they both have high skill sets. Nunie matches up against a few guys better than Esco, and so that's part of the mix."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for 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.