UPDATE: Mauer "week-to-week" with bruised heel

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mauer smiling.jpgUPDATE: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Mauer is more “week-to-week” than he is “day-to-day.”  It sure sounds like he could hit the 15-day disabled list.

SATURDAY, 5:34pm: According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Twins catcher Joe Mauer has been scratched from Saturday’s lineup against the Indians with a bruised left heel.  Drew Butera will start behind the plate, making his fourth career major league start.

The Twins have also recalled catcher Wilson Ramos from Triple-A Rochester, which might be an indication that Mauer’s injury is rather serious.  Not serious in that he will need DL time, but enough so that he could miss the next two or three games.

Mauer, who inked a massive $184 million contract extension this spring to remain in the Twin Cities long-term, has a .345/.406/.500 batting line through 84 at-bats this season, but has hit just one home run and has collected only 13 RBI.  By his other-worldly standards — and solely from a power standpoint — it’s been a slow start.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.