Drew Butera is starting over Joe Mauer behind the plate for the second straight day and manager Ron Gardenhire would say only that Mauer is “sore.”
Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Gardenhire “was very adamant about not telling us more about Mauer’s status’ and “said the Twins will ‘re-evaluate’ the catcher tomorrow.”
Mauer got a late start in spring training following offseason knee surgery and has hit just .235 with a .554 OPS in nine games, although that’s still better than Butera’s career .518 OPS.
If the former MVP needs an extended stint on the disabled list, the Twins are in serious trouble because of their utter lack of catching depth behind him. And given the criticism he already receives (wrongly, mostly) from Twins fans for not being durable, Gardenhire keeping the details a secret isn’t doing Mauer any favors.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).