MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received good news on catcher Joe Mauer on Tuesday when an MRI of Mauer's injured left heel revealed no structural damage, just a deep soft tissue bruise. Prior to the results of the MRI, there had been concerns within the organization that perhaps Mauer might have to go on the 15-day disabled list due to the injury. It was a move that would have been considered if the MRI had shown a deep bone bruise or something else more concerning in the heel -- such as a slight fracture -- that might have sidelined the All-Star catcher for a longer period of time. Instead Mauer, who was out of the lineup for a fourth consecutive game on Tuesday, remains day-to-day.
The Twins waited until learning the results of Mauer's MRI before making a roster move to reinstate Nick Blackburn from the Family Medical Emergency List on Tuesday. With the good news on Mauer, the Twins optioned right-hander Jeff Manship to Triple-A Rochester in order to open up a spot for Blackburn, who was set to start against the Tigers on Tuesday night. "We needed to hear that the MRI said he didn't have a crack in his foot or anything like that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Now we know it's a tissue bruise. It's not something where we need to sit him down for a couple weeks. Now it's just let it improve and go from there." And while there is still no timetable for his return, the decision not to put Mauer on the DL is a sign that the club doesn't expect Mauer to be out for a prolonged period of time. As for when Mauer might return, Gardenhire said it will be up to the catcher to let his skipper know when he feels like he can get back on the field. A positive sign for the club is that Mauer appears to be showing improvement each day. "He feels better today," Gardenhire said. "He went to go get the MRI. But he has told everybody it feels better."