Joe Mauer takes live BP for first time in six months

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Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has the story:

Before he stepped into the box against Vance Worley and Logan Darnell on Saturday, Joe Mauer hadn’t faced professional pitching in just over six months.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Mauer didn’t do much swinging on this day, but afterwards he sounded pleased to cross off another milestone in his return from that career-altering concussion of Aug. 19.

“Just like every first spring training day ever,” Mauer said after the workout. “It seems like that ball is coming in there a lot quicker than it normally does, but it was good. It was good to get out there. Everything went well today.”

The 30-year-old is being moved permanently to first base this season to preserve his health.

He hit .324/.404/.476 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 113 games last year for the 66-96 Twins.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.