7/22/2014 12:06 A.M. ET
Twins will recall Pino to start against Indians
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Yohan Pino will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start for the Twins Tuesday night against the Indians, the club announced after Monday's 4-3 win over Cleveland. Left-hander Kris Johnson was optioned to Rochester after his start to make room for Pino.
Johnson, 29, gave up two runs on five hits and three walks over five innings in a no-decision against the Indians on Tuesday. The Twins will now need a starter for Saturday's game against the White Sox.
"I'll go down and work on attacking the strike zone more," said Johnson, who has a 4.73 ERA in three starts with the Twins this year. "Hopefully, next time I come up, I'll carry it up here."
Pino, 30, was optioned to Rochester after his last start with the Twins on July 10, as the club didn't need a fifth starter on its roster before the All-Star break. Pino picked up his first Major League win that night, giving up one run on seven hits over five innings against the Mariners.
But he struggled in his one start with Rochester, allowing five runs on three hits and seven walks over five innings on Thursday. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, however, said he's not worried about Pino's subpar outing at Triple-A. Pino has a 4.39 ERA in five starts with the Twins, and a 2.45 ERA in 15 appearances with Rochester.
"He told me he was just working on a few things, so we'll leave it at that," Gardenhire said. "We're excited to have him back up here. He really competes hard and changes speeds. It's nice to have him back up here for another start. We'll throw that one out from the Minor Leagues."
Injured Mauer ramps up baseball activities
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer continued to take ground balls before Monday's game against the Indians, and he started swinging the bat on Sunday.
Mauer, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique since July 2, is starting to ramp up his baseball activities, but there's still no timetable for his return.
"He did fine today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He took some ground balls and threw to second base. Yesterday, he did a little bit of both with swinging and doing that. We'll let him do that again tomorrow with some dry swings, as they say."
Gardenhire has been encouraged by his first baseman's progress in recent days, as swinging the bat was a big step for Mauer, who will move on to hitting balls off a tee and soft toss before hitting live pitching.
"He gets a little sore after these things but it's progressing good," Gardenhire said. "He's coming along."
Ryan says Twins will listen to all trade offers
MINNEAPOLIS -- After getting swept by the Rays over the weekend, the Twins are looking more and more like they'll be sellers before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.
The Twins are in last place in the American League Central and trail the division-leading Tigers by double digits.
General manager Terry Ryan said he'll listen to all offers before the Trade Deadline, and he acknowledged the Twins have been struggling.
"We're in a tough spot right now and we've been in a tough spot for four years," Ryan said. "So you have to listen. And that's what we do."
Several Twins veterans such as outfielder Josh Willingham, right-hander Kevin Correia, designated hitter Kendrys Morales and catcher Kurt Suzuki have had their names pop up in trade rumors. So Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is doing his best to keep some normalcy in the clubhouse despite the trade rumors surrounding the club.
"We all know they're talking about it," Gardenhire said. "If you watch TV and all these shows, they're talking about all these moves and all sorts of names get thrown out there. It's the same way every year. You just have to put it on the backburner. It's easy for me to say but it's tougher for the guys in the clubhouse because they know what's at stake."