Joe Mauer won’t require another knee surgery

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Twins catcher Joe Mauer underwent an MRI this week on his surgically-repaired left knee that showed only inflammation.  That means that he will not need another procedure this offseason and that only “rest and rehab” will be required for a full recovery.

Twins GM Bill Smith relayed this information to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier on Thursday afternoon.

Mauer missed 10 games in September alone and hit only .250 with zero extra-base hits during the postseason this year, all due in large part to his sore left knee.  He should get better stamina out of his joint and ligament in 2011, a full year removed from the first knee surgery.

The 27-year-old turned in a .327/.402/.469 overall batting line in 2010 with nine home runs and 75 RBI over 510 at-bats.

Twins players Micheal Cuddyer, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Jason Repko have also undergone surgeries this offseason.  They’re all expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.