Twins wait to decide Boyer's next step

Right-hander may be activated or go on rehab assignment

Twins wait to decide Boyer's next step

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer threw a bullpen session without any issues on Monday, and the Twins will decide whether he'll be activated from the 15-day disabled list or sent out on a rehab assignment.

Boyer, on the DL retroactive to Aug. 9 with right elbow inflammation, is eligible to be activated, but with rosters expanding on Sept. 1, the Twins could decide to send him on a rehab assignment instead.

"He had a really good day," Twins manager Paul Molitor said Tuesday. "He threw the ball freely, he threw it accurately, he threw it hard. His breaking pitches were sharp. Now it's just a matter of the final piece of when we want to get him back on the 25-man roster. I don't think that's quite been decided."

Molitor said he'll continue to talk with general manager Terry Ryan about how they'll proceed with Boyer, who has posted a 2.98 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 15 walks in 48 1/3 innings this season.

"I think he's been anxious to get on the mound for a while, but he had to go through the right steps of getting back up here at some point," Molitor said. "Everyone knows that Sept. 1 is the around the corner. We have six games until then to kind of measure your need, availability and how it's going to fit best."

WORTH NOTING

• Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who has been out since June 1 with a right ankle impingement, played catch on Monday without any issues. He's also progressed to jogging, according to Molitor. But there's still no timetable for his return.

• Right-hander Phil Hughes, on the 15-day DL retroactive to Aug. 10 with lower back inflammation, is doing better and is scheduled to throw on Wednesday or Thursday, Molitor said. He hasn't thrown since Aug. 11.

• Center fielder Aaron Hicks, on the DL since Wednesday with a left hamstring strain, has been running and hitting in the cages at Target Field, Molitor said. The Twins remain hopeful he'll be ready to activated once he's eligible on Sept. 3.

• Left-hander Tommy Milone, who picked up his first career save in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Orioles in 12 innings, is still on track to make his scheduled start against the Rays on Thursday. He threw a light bullpen session on Tuesday.

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.