During an appearance with the Twins’ annual Winter Caravan earlier this week, Joe Mauer told FOX Sports 9 in Minnesota that he “should be OK” for spring training after undergoing minor surgery on his left knee in December.
Seemed innocent enough at the time, but that one Tweet was still enough to send some fans into a small tizzy. Well, Mauer cleared the air today.
According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mauer said he is recovering well from the surgery. He’ll be ready when camp opens on February 17, but much like his teammates Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan, his focus is Opening Day against the Blue Jays on April 1.
“I’m still trying to strengthen my legs and just get in shape. … I’m trying to take it like I’m getting ready for April 1.”
See? Nothing to worry about here.
Mauer, who turns 28 in April, batted .327/.402/.469 with nine home runs, 75 RBI, an .871 OPS and a 53/65 K/BB ratio over 584 plate appearances last season.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.