Joe Mauer hits disabled list with bilateral leg weakness

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From LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune comes some unfortunate news.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who was held out of the Minnesota starting lineup on Wednesday and Thursday, has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to bilateral leg weakness.

The Twins aren’t giving out too much information at the moment, but the condition is often related to nerve or spinal cord issues and can be very serious. Mauer will visit a specialist in Baltimore Friday.

Drew Butera, who owns a brutal .193/.231/.287 career batting line in the major leagues, is likely to draw most of the starts behind the plate while Mauer is out. The Twins are very short on catching depth.

Steve Holm has been promoted from Triple-A Rochester to serve as Butera’s backup. A career minor leaguer, the 31-year-old Holm has only 107 major leauge plate appearances to his name.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.