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Joe Nathan likely headed for minor league rehab assignment

Jun 15, 2011, 10:24 PM EST

nathan getty Getty Images

According to MLB.com beat writers Rhett Bollinger and Jordan Schelling, right-hander Joe Nathan told reporters in Fort Myers, Florida on Wednesday that he is ready to return to the major leagues.

Nathan has been building the strength of his arm with semi-daily throwing sessions since the beginning of June and even tossed a live batting practice session Wednesday morning to catcher Joe Mauer and top infield prospect Miguel Sano.

But the Twins’ coaching staff isn’t quite convinced. They’re still disheartened by the 15 runs that Nathan allowed in his first 15 1/3 innings and probably second-guessing his early return from Tommy John surgery.

Here’s manager Ron Gardenhire, speaking to MLB.com:

“I read a report that he’s really close, but that’s to be decided,” Gardenhire said. “Our plan is for him to go to Triple-A and face hitters in a game situation two or three times. I guess there’s a discrepancy. He believes he’s ready to go. I heard that, I read that. So we’ll have a conversation with him.”

That conversation will probably go something like this:

GARDENHIRE: “Hey, Joe, how’s the arm feeling? How’s the elbow?”

NATHAN: “All good, skip. Ready to get back at it.”

GARDENHIRE: “Great, we’re sending you out on a rehab assignment. Pack your things for Rochester.”

Sorry if you were expecting comedy there. In my defense, minor league rehab assignments aren’t very funny. I suppose I could’ve added a “fire it through the internet” line to Gardy’s dialogue. For Aaron.

  1. purdueman - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    When broadcaster Hawk Harrelson heard about this, he said: “He Gone!”….

  2. zidanevalor - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    Is it okay if I get excited about this since I live in Rochester? The Red Wings are only 1.5 games ahead of having the worst record in the International League right now, so at least maybe I can watch Nathan play a game or 2.

    I never got to see Nishioka since the Red Wings were on the road the past 3 games.

  3. whatagreatfootballmind - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    best place for him. any day he will land on the dl with whiplash in the neck from all the homers.

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