Joe Mauer out of lineup for second straight day, but Twins won’t elaborate on injury

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Drew Butera is starting over Joe Mauer behind the plate for the second straight day and manager Ron Gardenhire would say only that Mauer is “sore.”

Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Gardenhire “was very adamant about not telling us more about Mauer’s status’ and “said the Twins will ‘re-evaluate’ the catcher tomorrow.”

Mauer got a late start in spring training following offseason knee surgery and has hit just .235 with a .554 OPS in nine games, although that’s still better than Butera’s career .518 OPS.

If the former MVP needs an extended stint on the disabled list, the Twins are in serious trouble because of their utter lack of catching depth behind him. And given the criticism he already receives (wrongly, mostly) from Twins fans for not being durable, Gardenhire keeping the details a secret isn’t doing Mauer any favors.

Nationals release Joe Nathan and Matt Albers

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At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.

Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.

This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.

This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.

Six-year old boy reports the Indians want to give Francisco Lindor a seven-year contract

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The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.

That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:

“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”

Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.

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