CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Kernels have hit the rehabilitation jackpot.
The parent Minnesota Twins announced Friday that injured first baseman Joe Mauer and pitcher Ricky Nolasco will play games next week with the Kernels as the players continue comebacks from injuries.
“We kind of had some inklings this might happen,” Kernels General Manager Doug Nelson said.
Mauer will hit and work out with the club Monday afternoon, then plans to play Tuesday night against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. If all goes well physically, he will continue to play games for Cedar Rapids, eyeing a return to the big leagues the following week.
The Kernels have a weeklong homestand that begins Monday evening. Mauer — whose brother, Jake, is the club’s manager — has been out of the Twins lineup since early July because of a strained oblique muscle.
“We already have a good three-hole hitter,” Jake Mauer kidded, when asked last week about the possibility of his brother joining his team. “But I think I could find room for him in the lineup.”
Nolasco, who has been out with a sore elbow, is scheduled to throw 50 pitches in Tuesday night’s game against Wisconsin, then 75 in a game Aug. 10 against Kane County.
The Kernels announced that their ticket office at Veterans Memorial Stadium will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday. Tickets are available online at www.kernels.com.
The ballpark gates will open Monday and Tuesday at 3 p.m. for fans who want to watch Mauer take batting practice. The Kernels stretch at 3:15 p.m., take fielding practice from 3:30 to 3:45, then have batting practice at 4.
Major league pitcher Mike Pelfrey made an injury rehab appearance last season in Cedar Rapids.
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