Twins right-hander Joe Nathan made his first minor league rehab appearance on Saturday at Triple-A Rochester and couldn’t have looked better.
According to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the All-Star closer struck out two batters in a perfect inning while touching 93 mph with his fastball. He reported no problems with his surgically-repaired right elbow and will continue progressing toward a late June return.
Nathan will need to appear safely in back-to-back rehab games for Rochester before the Twins feel comfortable activating him from the disabled list. He opened the regular season by allowing 17 hits and 15 runs over his first 15 1/3 innings, but he has the talent to turn it all around in the second half.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.