8/2/2014 2:13 A.M. ET
Vargas makes big league debut for Twins
By Daniel Kramer / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Double-A All-Star Kennys Vargas made his Major League debut on Friday against the White Sox, hitting sixth and playing first base.
It happened to be his 24th birthday.
Vargas, the No. 11 prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, was called up after the Twins' trade Thursday that sent outfielder Sam Fuld to Oakland for left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone, who will report to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.
Vargas, who struggled defensively in the Minors, will start at first over designated hitter in place of injured Joe Mauer.
"The timing and everything is good with Joe out right now," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "It's an opportunity for Kenny to get his feet wet and to see how he does."
Manager Rob Gardenhire said the opposing pitcher also played a factor installing the switch-hitter Vargas. White Sox starter Chris Sale has held left-handed hitters to a .129 average this season.
Vargas went .281/.360/.482 with 17 homers and 63 RBIs in 97 games with Double-A New Britain.
"If he performs and does everything he's supposed to do, it'll be an extended stay," Antony said.
In his first big league action, Vargas went 1-for-5 with a two-run double and two strikeouts in the 10-8 loss to the White Sox. He also committed an error at first base.
Mauer, Nolasco headed to Cedar Rapids for rehab
CHICAGO -- Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco are headed for rehab assignments with Class A Cedar Rapids and will play in Tuesday's game, Twins assistant general manager Ron Antony said on Friday.
Both are on the 15-day disabled list.
Mauer, who is in Minneapolis, will drive to Cedar Rapids on Sunday, work out Monday, then play Tuesday at first base or designated hitter. Nolasco will stay through this weekend's series in Chicago, work out at Target Field on Monday, then start Tuesday's game at Cedar Rapids.
Antony said the decision to send both to the Cedar Rapids was decided solely on scheduling.
"Everybody was on the road, all of our affiliates, except for Cedar Rapids," Antony said at U.S. Cellular Field before the Twins' three-game series against the White Sox. "This made the most sense, was probably the most convenient. They're home all week."
Mauer has been sidelined with a strained oblique since July 2, but has taken live batting practice in Minneapolis the past two days.
Nolasco, out with an elbow injury since July 7, has tossed a bullpen session each of the last two days, and will throw another Saturday. Antony said Nolasco will likely make two starts on rehab, the second on Sunday, with monitored pitch counts at 50, then 75. He won't return to the Twins between rehab starts.
Antony said there isn't a hard timetable on either, though he expects the pair to remain only with Cedar Rapids for roughly a week, barring any setbacks. There's a chance both could join the Twins in Houston, where the team opens a three-game series a week from Monday.
Mauer's brother, Jake Mauer, is the manager at Cedar Rapids.
Dozier back in lineup for Twins in Chicago
CHICAGO -- Twins ironman Brian Dozier was back in the lineup for Friday's series opener after missing Thursday with a swollen and jammed thumb, sustained sliding into third base during Wednesday's loss to the Royals.
"He talked his way in, wants to play, says he's good to go, hated sitting yesterday," Twins manager Rob Gardenhire said of his second baseman, who batted second. "Trainer says he's fine."
Heading into Friday, Dozier had played in 104 of the Twins' 107 games this year, 14 more than second placed Kurt Suzuki.
Dozier entered the game with 19 homers and 48 RBIs, both team highs. He then went 3-for-4 with three runs scored in the 10-8 setback.
• Milone will join Triple-A Rochester on Saturday. Antony didn't say when Milone would make his first start with Rochester.
• On this day in 1986, the Twins' Bert Blyleven became the third pitcher to join the 3,000 strikeout club in a game against Oakland. That evening, Blyleven fanned 15, which tied a club single-game record that was later eclipsed by Johan Santana, who struck out 17 against the Rangers on Aug. 18, 2007.
Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.