Big news for Twins fans. According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, catcher Joe Mauer will return to the starting lineup on Sunday as the designated hitter.
Mauer has missed over a week with a bruised left heel, but is apparently unfazed by swinging a bat and was able to serve as a pinch-hitter on Saturday night. It’s not known when he will return full-time behind the plate, and the Twins should be in no hurry to force the issue because 22-year-old Wilson Ramos is playing so well.
Mauer, 27, will return to a .341/.402/.494 batting line. He had 13 RBI and 10 extra-base hits in 84 at-bats before the injury and should have no trouble getting back on track. The Twins currently stand 20-11, good enough for first place in the American League Central standings by 2.5 games over the Tigers.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.