Strained oblique muscle sends Joe Mauer to the disabled list

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Joe Mauer was finally beginning to look like his old self following last year’s season-ending concussion and a terrible start to this season, hitting .320 over his last 20 games, but last night he suffered a strained oblique muscle while hitting a double to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

That’s almost never a quick-healing injury and Mauer revealed after the game that he’s actually been playing through discomfort for about a week, so the Twins have already placed him on the disabled list and called up first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.

Mauer’s move from catcher to first base had Twins fans hopeful that his already strong production would increase, but instead he’s hit a career-worst .271 with two homers and a career-worst .695 OPS in 76 games while striking out more than ever. His recent hot streak was reason for optimism, but now Mauer will be out for at least two weeks and probably closer to a month.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.