Twins win game, lose Nick Blackburn to quadriceps injury

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Even when the Twins pick up a rare win they still end up losing.

Last night the Twins beat the Tigers to improve their MLB-worst record to 11-26, but in the process they lost starter Nick Blackburn to a quadriceps injury that requires a disabled list stint.

Blackburn admitted afterward that he was in a ton of pain during his pregame bullpen session, but chose to keep that from manager Ron Gardenhire and went on to allow six runs in two innings as his ERA ballooned to 8.37. And since his 2010 he now has a 5.31 ERA in 343 innings overall.

Minnesota also lost catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit to a calf injury and initially announced that he would be placed on the DL, but further tests apparently have them convinced he can rejoin the lineup before 15 days. Instead they put Blackburn on the shelf and called up outfielder Ben Revere from Triple-A.

Joe Mauer will see more action behind the plate for however long Doumit is out and there should be plenty of outfield starts for Revere as well, although Twins fans should also prepare for a whole lot of Drew Butera and his historically inept bat at catcher.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.