Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 1 Day

Nolasco says he can feel a noticeable improvement with his elbow in bullpen sessions this spring compared to last year's injury-plagued season, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "It's been good these last couple weeks, just kind of toning things up a little bit, being able to let things go a tad bit more (with) a little more extension," Nolasco said.

Nolasco struggled at the start of last season with a 5.90 ERA and .330 BAA before he landed on the DL in July with a sore right elbow. He was better when he returned in August, with a 4.39 ERA and 43:10 K:BB ratio in 55.1 innings over the final two months. He's a bounce-back candidate as along with improved health he had a career-high .351 BABIP and was a frequent victim of Minnesota's poor outfield defense.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 5 Months

Nolasco crashed back to earth Monday, allowing five runs in 4.2 innings agains the Diamondbacks.

Nolasco had been rolling before Monday's dud, allowing just three earned runs in his last three starts. The righty's first year in Minnesota has been troublesome. Nolasco holds a 5.47 ERA going into his final start this weekend against the Tigers.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 5 Months

Nolasco was superb Tuesday, pitching eight shutout innings while allowing five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in eight innings against the Tigers.

Sadly, Nolasco was not awarded a win for this dominant effort, as Glen Perkins lost the lead in the ninth inning. This was just the second time this season that Nolasco didn't allow a run in a start, and since he only went seven innings on the other occasion (Aug. 26), there's no debating that this was his best start of the season. He'll look to continue his strong finish to the season Monday against the Diamondbacks and then he'll make his last start of the season Sept. 27 in Detroit.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 6 Months

Nolasco (5-11) delivered seven strong innings Thursday in Cleveland, allowing just a run on six hits while striking out five, but was stuck with the loss.

The lone blemish on his record was a Carlos Santana solo homer, but that was enough to send him to his fifth consecutive losing decision; in fact, he hasn't won a game since July 1. Nolasco and the Twins are just trying to find some positive notes at the end of what's been an atrocious season for the 31-year-old righty, and in that vein, he's given up two or fewer earned runs in three of his last four outings. However, in the other one, he gave up eight. Nolasco's allowed five or more runs nine times this season; for comparison, he's allowed two or fewer runs seven times. He'll continue looking for reasons to be optimistic Wednesday against the White Sox.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 6 Months

Nolasco pitched a solid game on Friday against the Angels as he allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits in five innings, while striking out five hitters and only allowing one free pass in a no decision.

The Twins had some timely hits to keep Nolasco in the game, but in the end he threw too many pitches to go any further (98 pitches) than five innings. Nolasco (5.87 ERA) has had a poor season, but has pitched well in two of his last three starts. Still, he's someone you want to leave on free agency.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 6 Months

Nolasco was tagged for 12 hits and eight runs over five innings in a loss to Baltimore on Sunday.

Nolasco has an ugly 7.76 ERA over his last five starts and has failed to get a winning decision in any of the outings. He'll take a 5.96 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 89:33 K:BB ratio into Friday's scheduled assignment at home versus the Angels.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 6 Months

Nolasco stymied the Royals over seven shutout innings Tuesday, yielding three hits and a walk while striking out six batters. He didn't factor into the decision in the 2-1 loss.

Nolasco's finest outing as a Twin ultimately went for naught, as closer Glen Perkins surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Alex Gordon, spoiling the shutout bid. The 31-year-old is still sitting on a disastrous 5.62 ERA on the season, but with a few more solid outings down the stretch, the Twins will probably feel a little better about their $49 million investment heading into 2015.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 6 Months

Nolasco gave up four runs over 6.2 innings on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk to fall to 5-9 in Wednesday's loss to Cleveland.

Nolaso saw his ERA fall slightly, but it's still a staggering 5.96. He's continued to struggle since returning from the DL with nine earned runs in 12.2 innings. He has a 9:2 K:BB ratio in those two outings, so at least there's some hope he can improve the final month of the season.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 7 Months

Nolasco (5-8) gave up five runs on seven hits over six full innings on Friday facing the Royals as he took the loss.

The recent activation for Nolasco off the DL means that he'll at least get another start or two to prove himself. Nolasco has seen his ERA balloon to 5.99 on the year.

Ricky Nolasco SP MIN 7 Months

Nolasco was activated from the disabled list and confirmed as the starter Friday, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reports.

Nolasco will rejoin the rotation Friday following two rehab starts with Low-A Cedar Rapids. He allowed three runs over 9.1 innings between the starts, and pitched 5.2 innings in his most recent outing. Nolasco likely won't be on a strict pitch count, but it wouldn't be surprising if the staff has a shorter leash for him in his first outing back from the disabled list.