Mauer remains out of Twins' starting lineup

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mauer hitting.jpgTwins catcher Joe Mauer took batting practice with the rest of his teammates Thursday at Target Field, according to the Associated Press, but is still not in the starting lineup due to a tissue bruise in his left heel.

Wilson Ramos, batting .438 since his May 2 call-up, will continue to fill in at catcher for the Twins until Mauer is fully comfortable with spending nine innings in a crouched position. 

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire isn’t revealing a whole lot of information, but it would seem sensible for Mauer to be eased back into the starting lineup at DH.  Ramos is hitting well enough to deserve an extended look in the big leagues and not having to crouch should help the long-term health of Mauer’s left heel.

The Twins are 19-9 this season and have won four straight games in Mauer’s absence.  Good teams will do that.  The superstar catcher was batting .345/.406/.500 with 10 extra-base hits before the injury.

Brandon Finnegan exits start with apparent injury

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Reds lefty Brandon Finnegan exited Monday afternoon’s start against the Cardinals in the fourth inning with an apparent shoulder injury. He grimaced after throwing a pitch and promptly walked off the field without even trying to throw a warmup pitch. In three-plus innings, Finnegan allowed three runs on three hits and four walks with two strikeouts on 58 pitches.

Finnegan, 24, was making his first start since April 15. He had been dealing with a strained left trapezius muscle.

The Reds should have more information on Finnegan’s status later tonight. Given how Finnegan acted after throwing his final pitch, a stint on the disabled list looks likely.

Rays acquire Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins

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The Rays have acquired shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins will receive minor league outfielder Braxton Lee and pitcher Ethan Clark. The Rays are expected to assume the remainder of Hechavarria’s $4.35 million salary for the 2017 season.

Hechavarria, 28, has only played in 20 games this season due to an oblique injury. He has mustered a meager .277/.288/.385 triple-slash line with four extra-base hits and six RBI across 67 plate appearances. He still plays decent defense, though, so that may be enough for him to take the everyday shortstop job in Tampa.

Lee, 23, was selected by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2014 draft. This season with Double-A Montgomery, his second stint there, Lee hit .318/.387/.391 over 296 PA.

Clark, 22, was taken in the 15th round of the 2015 draft by the Rays. In his first stint at Single-A in Bowling Green, Clark has a 3.11 ERA with a 50/18 K/BB ratio in 55 innings of work.