SEATTLE - Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco is being sent back to Minnesota because of a sore right elbow.
Nolasco is scheduled to have his elbow examined on Tuesday and undergo an MRI.
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said Nolasco (5-7) met with manager Ron Gardenhire on Monday before the series opener against the Seattle Mariners and told him he had felt pain all season.
Antony said Nolasco believed he could pitch through the soreness, but he couldn't get loose on Sunday and then allowed six runs in two innings against the New York Yankees.
"Velocity was down. He hasn't been as effective with his pitches. He hasn't had the same command that he's had," Antony said. "Basically, everything he's done this year is nothing like the reports we had, or he's not pitching the same way he did last year."
Nolasco, who agreed to a four-year contract with the Twins before this season, is 5-7 with a 5.90 ERA in 18 starts this season.
Gardenhire said the Twins won't make adjustments to the rotation until after Nolasco's exam. He added that the club has options at the major and minor league levels.