I reported on July 22 that Mauer, who has been out since the beginning of July with a right oblique strain, took swings for the second straight day and fielded grounders and made throws. There was no timetable for his return.
An update on Mauer, as reported by Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, is that Mauer starting hitting soft toss on Friday, but there is still no timetable for when he'll start facing live pitching.
Mauer, in his 11th Major League season, is batting .271 with two home runs and 28 RBI this season. Mauer's best season was in 2009 when he batted .365 with 28 home runs and 96 RBI. Injuries have hampered him the last several seasons, holding him under 120 games in two of the past three seasons. Mauer has a career batting average of .320 with 107 home runs and 662 RBI.
As for Hughes, our own Rose Ingberman reported that he left Thursdays game against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning after being hit in the right leg by a ball off the bat of Adam Dunn.
The good news is that Hughes felt better than expected yesterday and the Twins don't expect that he will miss a start. With the off-day on Monday, Hughes will get an additional day to recover.
As for Stewart, he was placed on the 7-day Minor League disabled list with right shoulder impingement. He's the Twins' fourth ranked prospect ant 31st overall by MLB.com. He last started for Class A Cedar Rapids on July 17. Stewart is 3-5 with a 2.42 ERA in 17 starts this year. In 81 2/3 innings, he's struck out 58 and walked 23.
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