Now Commenting On:

{"event":["opening_day" ] }

Nolasco excited to take ball in opener

Nolasco excited to take ball in opener play video for Nolasco excited to take ball in opener

CHICAGO -- After making Opening Day starts with the Marlins in 2009 and '13, Ricky Nolasco said he's ready for his first such honor with the Twins on Monday against the White Sox at 3:10 p.m. CT.

Nolasco, who joined the Twins on a four-year deal worth $49 million this offseason, attended Sunday's optional workout at U.S. Cellular Field and said he's ready for the season to get started.

"I think everybody is," Nolasco said. "We've been at it for a long time in spring. We're excited to get out of Fort Myers. It's a beautiful day today, and hopefully this continues tomorrow. Everybody is excited to get started, and Opening Day is always exciting."

Nolasco, 31, added that he's looking forward to taking the mound in the regular-season opener, and he wants to help the Twins get out on the right foot after their struggles the last three seasons.

"Opening Day is special," Nolasco said. "For some guys, it's their first Opening Day or whatnot. So it's not just another start. But mentally, I'm going to take it as another start and do what I can to make not too big of a deal out of it. But with the flyovers and the fans, it kind of gets you to another level. But once you cross the lines into the field, everything starts to feel natural. So it's important for us to get off to a good start."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Nolasco will have no pitch-count limitations in his first start after giving up just one hit over four innings in his final Grapefruit League start against the Pirates on Wednesday.

"Ricky is game on," Gardenhire said. "He's ready. I'm not worried about him one bit. He'll go until he says he's tired."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español