Twins get healthier: Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins come off DL

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Tsuyoshi Nishioka was back in Minnesota’s lineup today for the first time since breaking his leg on April 7 and after finishing off a two-game sweep of the White Sox the Twins activated Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins from the disabled list as well.

Mauer has been out since mid-April, but because of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the strength of his surgically repaired knee the Twins have decided to keep three catchers on the roster for a while. Instead of demoting Drew Butera or Rene Rivera, they outrighted career minor leaguer Brian Dinkelman back to Triple-A.

Chuck James was also optioned to Triple-A to make room in the bullpen for Perkins, who was emerging as the Twins’ most reliable reliever before suffering an oblique injury last month.

Minnesota still has Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, Jim Thome, Denard Span, Joe Nathan, and Kevin Slowey on the DL, but the Twins have turned things around by going 11-3 so far this month.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: