7/27/2014 2:47 P.M. ET
Mauer to face live pitching this week
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer is slated to start taking batting practice in the cages on Monday before progressing to hitting on the field on Wednesday.
Mauer, who has been on 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique since July 2, has been taking soft toss in the cages but will progress to hitting live pitching for the first time on Monday.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it's a big step for Mauer, who could start a rehab assignment while the team is on the road next weekend.
"By the time we get back from this road trip, he'll be on a rehab assignment," Gardenhire said. "That's the hope. If everything goes good and he's feeling good we'll get him on a rehab by the time we get back. And by the next week he'll be ready to play for us."
Hughes, Gibson cleared for starts
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-handers Kyle Gibson and Phil Hughes were both cleared to make their next starts, as Gibson will take the mound Tuesday against the Royals, followed by Hughes on Wednesday.
Gibson, who has been dealing with lower back stiffness, threw a bullpen without any issues on Saturday. He hasn't started since July 18, when he gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings.
Hughes was hit on his right shin on a comebacker from Adam Dunn on Thursday, causing him to leave his start after just three-plus innings. But Hughes threw his bullpen on Sunday without any problems and was cleared to make his next start.
"Gibby threw a bullpen and he's fine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "And Hughsie is on track to start."
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain, also threw his first bullpen on Sunday. He's joining the Twins on their road trip and is scheduled to throw every other day. He'll also need a rehab assignment before rejoining the rotation.
Twins celebrate anniversary of Little Big League
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins celebrated the 20th anniversary of the movie Little Big League on Sunday at Target Field.
Actor Luke Edwards, who played manager Billy Heywood in the movie, was on hand for the festivities along with former Twins broadcaster John Gordon, who played the part of play-by-play man Wally Holland.
They were joined by Ryan Lueschen, who served as the honorary manager on Sunday with the help of Ronald McDonald House. The 14-year-old from Lakeville was born with a rare heart condition and has undergone four heart surgeries.
Edwards and Lueschen both got behind-the-scenes tours of Target Field and were able to meet with players and manager Ron Gardenhire. Lueschen brought out the lineup card to the umpires before Sunday's game.
"This is awesome," Lueschen said. "Not a lot of people get this opportunity to see the clubhouse and the locker room and meet players. It's kind of my dream."
As part of the festivities, the Twins played Little Big League on the video boards at Target Field.
"It's really surreal," said Edwards, who was 13 when the movie was filmed. "It makes me feel old. I'm so stoked that people watch it and still enjoy it. It's very strange to me."