Joe Mauer, who took several foul tips off his mask in Monday’s game against the Mets, was a late scratch for Tuesday’s game against the Tigers after experiencing dizziness during batting practice.
Even before the dizziness struck, manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer probably wouldn’t catch in the series against Detroit, according to the Pioneer Press’s Mike Berardino. Mauer was slated to play first base tonight. His exit resulted in Justin Morneau going from DH to first base, Josh Willingham going from left field to DH and Wilkin Ramirez being inserted into the lineup in left field.
That is what we in the know term a downgrade.
Mauer is riding a seven-game hitting streak and has three homers and 12 RBI in August. If he returns to the lineup on Wednesday, it will probably be at first base or DH. It’s clear the Twins’ plan was to have him catch less down the stretch anyway, figuring it’s not worth putting the stress on his legs in a season in which they’re also-rans once again.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.