Joe Mauer back in Twins’ lineup after sprained right thumb

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According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com, Joe Mauer is back in the Twins’ starting lineup this afternoon against the Cubs. He’ll catch left-hander Scott Diamond and bat third against right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

Mauer has missed the last four games with a sprained right thumb, but it was never a major concern. He made it through batting practice yesterday with no issues.

Injuries and illness limited Mauer to just 82 games last year, but he has played in 52 of the Twins’ 56 games this season. The 29-year-old backstop is hitting .298/.407/.419 with three home runs, 25 RBI and an .826 OPS through 226 plate appearances.

Angels sign Chris Young to one-year deal

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The Angels went on a Chris binge yesterday. In addition to signing Chris Carter to a minor league deal they signed Chris Young — the outfielder Chris Young, not the pitcher Chris Young — to a one-year contract. Young will make $2 million with incentives that could make the pact more valuable.

Young, 34, hit .235/.322/.387 with seven home runs in a part-time role last season with the Red Sox. He’s historically been a plus defender and has handled all three outfield positions in the past, but he’s really a corner guy/platoon DH these days. Not that the Angels need a center fielder. Rumor has it that they have a pretty decent one.