Twins GM Terry Ryan announced today that starter Ricky Nolasco will undergo surgery on his right ankle, as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger was among those to report. Nolasco has missed the last five weeks with an ankle impingement, and had been attempting to avoid a procedure.
While Nolasco’s timeline remains unclear, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that a six-to-eight week absence seems to be the best-case scenario. It’s not clear whether that estimate would include the necessary rehab period, but regardless, it seems that Nolasco won’t have much of an impact until the tail end of the year — if at all.
That’s obviously disappointing news for a Minnesota club that was expecting to get steady, if unspectacular, production out of Nolasco when they signed him to a four-year, $49MM deal before the 2014 campaign. Now 32, Nolasco has contributed 191 2/3 innings of 5.40 ERA pitching to the organization.
The Twins have lagged a bit over the last several weeks since peaking at 11 games over .500, but are very much still in the postseason picture as the trade deadline nears. Particularly with Nolasco down, the rotation contains some questions. Mike Pelfrey has faded of late, while hurlers such as Kyle Gibson and Tommy Milone have outperformed their peripherals by notable margins.
While there surely is some impetus for an addition, the club did just plug Ervin Santana back into the staff. The veteran returned from his PED suspension yesterday and turned in quite a strong outing.