Joe Mauer: signs of offensive life

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It’s been a mostly-lost season for Joe Mauer, what with injury and ineffectiveness and all of that.  But July has been much kinder to the former MVP. Yesterday Mauer went 6 for 8 in the doubleheader against Cleveland, with a double and an RBI.  That day raised his average 30 points, from .260 to .290.

For the month of July he’s at .333/.448/.354. Which, yeah, is a funny-looking line, bereft of power.  Which is something that could be even more worrisome when one realizes that there’s a distinct possibility that his future is at first base rather than behind the plate.

It’s far too early to say whether Joe Mauer is looking at more of a Wally Joyner future instead of a Johnny Bench future, however, and for now I think the Twins will take the hits as they come and hope that the power soon follows.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.