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.

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.