Back injury sends Jason Motte to the disabled list again

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Jason Motte’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery is on hold, as the Cardinals have placed the 32-year-old reliever on the disabled list with a lower back injury.

Motte has looked nothing like his former dominant self after missing all of last season, striking out just 16 batters in 22 innings while serving up seven homers on the way to a 4.91 ERA. His average fastball has clocked in at 93.9 miles per hour, compared to 96.8 mph in 2012.

Prior to blowing out his elbow Motte had a lifetime 2.87 ERA and 273 strikeouts in 260 innings and saved a league-leading 42 games for the Cardinals in 2012.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.