MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins optioned right-hander Yohan Pino to Triple-A Rochester to make room for right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list to start Friday's game against the Royals.
Pino, 30, last started on Tuesday against the Astros, giving up seven runs on seven hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander is 1-5 with a 5.37 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 12 walks over 55 1/3 innings in 10 starts with the Twins this season.
The tentative plan is to bring Pino back up to start a game in a doubleheader against the Tigers on Aug. 23, as the Twins are allowed to bring up a 26th player for the twin bill.
"He'll pitch a game down there and then we have a doubleheader against the Motown Tigers a week from tomorrow," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So if it works out right, and he pitches well, we can bring him back to start that ballgame. So we'll let him go down there and pitch."
Nolasco, meanwhile, made his return to the mound after missing 32 games with a right elbow strain. He was originally placed on the 15-day DL on July 7.
"He's healthy," Gardenhire said. "He said it's the best his arm has felt in two years."
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.