The injured plagued Twins could be two players closer to being back to full strength when they arrive at the ballpark in Milwaukee tomorrow. Joe Nathan and Jim Thome could both return from the DL by the start of play on Friday.
The Twins activated Joe Nathan following their 2-1 loss to San Francisco today. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Twins optioned Jim Hoey to the Rochester Red Wings. Nathan has made multiple appearances over the last week with the Red Wings. Those outing have gone very well and he seems to have recovered decently from the right flexor muscle strain that put him on the shelf since May 24.
Jim Thome has yet to be activated from the DL with a strained left quad and sore back. The Twins trainers will evaluate him at the stadium before the game on Friday to see if he is prepared for a return. He has been rehabbing in Florida and took part in a simulated game yesterday. Since Mauer returned, the Twins have been carrying three catchers on the roster. One of those catchers will be making a trip to AAA with the return of Thome.
It will be interesting to see if the Twins activate Thome for the Milwaukee series since he would only be used as a pinch hitter in late inning situations. Mauer was a little sore on Wednesday so it could be beneficial for the Twins to keep the extra catcher until Monday when the Twins return home. That way Thome can fit back into the line-up as the DH but he would be a welcomed addition off the bench against the Brewers.