Twins place Mauer on DL, recall Vargas

July 7th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the All-Star break looming on Monday and first baseman Joe Mauer's back slow to heal, the Twins decided to place him on the 10-day disabled list on Friday, and recalled fellow first baseman from Triple-A Rochester to take his place on the roster.

Mauer was diagnosed with a lower back/lumbar strain, and the move is retroactive to Wednesday, which allows him to return on July 15, so he'd only miss the first game back from the break in Houston.

"The timing of Joe coming down with a lower lumbar strain is that we can take advantage of the break and use the disabled list to get him ready and strong and recharged for the second half," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He's doing better today than yesterday, and hopefully he continues to do better than he was, and we can get him ready for Houston with a good workout on Friday and he'll be eligible for the second game."

Mauer missed the last two games after a torrid 19-for-55 stretch in his previous 15 games, and he is slashing .286/.360/.402 with five homers and 34 RBIs in 74 games this season. It's the first time he has gone on the DL since 2014.

Vargas, 26, will be making his third stint with the Twins this year. He is hitting .231/.271/.410 with seven homers in 166 plate appearances. He started at first base on Friday.

"I just think that we're looking for just a little bit more high quality across the board in how he goes about each and every at-bat," Molitor said. "I love that he might run into one every now and then, but I think he understands that he has to be a little bit more consistent, maybe be a better overall hitter than just a power threat."