SEATTLE -- Neil Johnson of Shakopee has been selected by fans to represent the Twins in the Target Presents People All-Star Teachers campaign, MLB, Target and People announced Tuesday.
Johnson, a Twins fan, has more than four decades of teaching experience. He teaches calculus at Shakopee High School and also coaches softball and women's basketball. He has also served as the math department chairman for 20 years, and in 2008, he started a pilot program that allowed calculus students to receive college credit from the University of Minnesota
Johnson will join 29 other winners representing the other Major League clubs at Target Field for an on-field ceremony prior to the All-Star Game. During the ceremony, Tony Award winner Idina Menzel will perform the song "Forever Young," written by 11-time Grammy Award winner Bob Dylan, who is a native of Minnesota.
Fans across the country cast their votes on AllStarTeachers.com, selecting the 30 winners out of a pool of 90 finalists. Several celebrities such as Eric Stonestreet, a Dodgers fan who plays a teacher on the television show Modern Family; Matthew Morrison, who plays a teacher on the show Glee and is a Mets fan; and Extra TV's AJ Calloway, a Yankees fan whose mother is a retired principal and whose sister is currently a principal, joined Carlos Beltran of the Yankees and Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers as "All-Star Teachers" Ambassadors for the program.
For more information, updates and behind-the-scenes access to campaign activities leading up to the All-Star Game, fans can visit AllStarTeachers.com and ABullsEyeView.com/Baseball.
Twins place ailing Nolasco on DL, recall Herrmann
SEATTLE -- The Twins placed right-hander Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow on Tuesday, and recalled catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann from Triple-A Rochester.
Nolasco flew back to Minnesota on Monday, and was examined by team physician Dr. John Steubs on Tuesday. He had an MRI exam that revealed no structural damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, but he has soreness in his flexor-pronator muscle.
Nolasco, 31, has pitched to a 5-7 record and a 5.90 ERA in his first 18 starts for the Twins this season.
"He doesn't think it's going to be something will keep him out a long time," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "Our doctors were pleased everything looked structurally good. Hopefully it won't be a long process to get him right again and get that stiffness out of there."
Nolasco, who joined the club on a four-year, $49 million deal in the offseason, has dealt with the injury off and on this season, but he didn't tell the training staff about his elbow until Monday. He lasted a season-worst two innings on Sunday, giving up six runs.
"When he was asked why he didn't come forward, he said he didn't want to be that guy who signed a big deal and went immediately on the DL," Antony said. "He said if it would've hurt he probably would've, but it was just stiffness and trouble getting loose."
Herrmann batted .122 in 41 at-bats for the Twins earlier this season, and he's a .176 career hitter in 81 games in the big leagues. Herrmann was hitting .314 with a .383 on-base percentage for Rochester, though, and he had 15 extra-base hits in his first 33 games at Triple-A this season.
Top prospect Sano won't play in Minors this year
SEATTLE -- Top prospect Miguel Sano has been cleared to start his throwing program, but will be held out of game action in the Minor Leagues this season, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said.
Sano, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in March, had his checkup with Dr. David Altchek in New York on Monday. Everything came back fine, but the Twins are going to be cautious with Sano and won't allow him to serve as a designated hitter in the Minor League this season.
"He can start throwing, but after talking to Dr. Altchek, I don't think he'll be playing in any games this year," Antony said. "They just don't want to risk any collisions or sliding into second base and hurting his elbow. They don't want him to compete until he gets into the nine-month mark."
Sano, ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by MLB.com, can still start swinging the bat in about a month, Antony said. There's still a chance he'll be able to play late in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, but it doesn't sound like the Twins want to take any chances with the third base prospect.
"The Arizona Fall League is out and Winter Ball, we'll play by ear," Antony said. "It's the right conservative approach. Basically, we're going to keep him in a controlled environment to bring him back up."