Twins catcher Joe Mauer took batting practice with the rest of his teammates Thursday at Target Field, according to the Associated Press, but is still not in the starting lineup due to a tissue bruise in his left heel.
Wilson Ramos, batting .438 since his May 2 call-up, will continue to fill in at catcher for the Twins until Mauer is fully comfortable with spending nine innings in a crouched position.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire isn’t revealing a whole lot of information, but it would seem sensible for Mauer to be eased back into the starting lineup at DH. Ramos is hitting well enough to deserve an extended look in the big leagues and not having to crouch should help the long-term health of Mauer’s left heel.
The Twins are 19-9 this season and have won four straight games in Mauer’s absence. Good teams will do that. The superstar catcher was batting .345/.406/.500 with 10 extra-base hits before the injury.
Marlins third baseman Martin Prado was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s game after sustaining a left hamstring injury in the sixth inning. Prado sprinted down the first base line to beat out a grounder, but came up limping and had to be helped off of the field and down the steps of the dugout. His recovery timetable has yet to be determined, though he’s considered day-to-day for the time being.
Prior to the incident, Prado went 3-for-4 with two doubles against the Nationals’ Max Scherzer — his first game with multiple extra-base hits since July 2017. It was a rare lucky break for the infielder, who entered Friday’s game with a .169/.221/.180 batting line, one double and three RBI in 95 plate appearances in 2018. The injury appears to be an aggravation of the left hamstring strain he sustained in March, which forced the club to bench him for just over a month this spring.
Prado was replaced on the field by Brian Anderson, who shifted over from right field so the team could bring in pinch-hitter/corner outfielder J.B. Shuck. The Marlins currently trail the Nationals 7-5 in the top of the eighth inning.