MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins placed Joe Mauer on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a strained lower back, hoping the short stint combined with the All-Star break can help minimize the number of games he misses.
The team said Mauer has a low back/lumbar strain on his left side. He hurt himself during Tuesday's game with the Los Angeles Angels. Manager Paul Molitor said he hopes Mauer can return in time for next Saturday's game at Houston.
''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,'' Molitor said.
Mauer's time on the DL is retroactive to Wednesday. He is hitting .286 (79 for 276) with 17 doubles in 74 games. It's his first time on the DL since August 2014.
To replace Mauer on the 25-man roster, the Twins recalled first baseman Kennys Vargas from Triple-A Rochester. Vargas has appeared in 44 games for the Twins this season, hitting .231 (36 for 156) with seven doubles and seven home runs.