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Ailing back still sidelines Minnesota's Joe Mauer

The catcher hasn't played at all in spring training.


Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer will see a doctor in Baltimore today to get a second opinion on his ailing back.

Mauer, the two-time American League batting champion who hit .328 last season, has not played at all in spring training. He had surgery on Dec. 22 to remove a blockage from his kidney.

The Twins expected Mauer to miss the first two weeks of spring training, but recent setbacks have prolonged his return.

Bedard setback

Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard canceled a bullpen session for the second consecutive day, raising concerns that the Mariners' ace may be hurt more than he's letting on.


Right-hander Julian Tavarez has agreed to a non-guaranteed, minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. . . . Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (back tightness) and reliever Damaso Marte (chest tightness) are scheduled to be examined by doctors and won't immediately play after rejoining New York following the World Baseball Classic. . . . Outfielder Jay Gibbons was released by the Florida Marlins, a setback in his bid to revive his career after admitting he used human growth hormone. . . . Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron could be swinging a bat as soon as today and is expected to return in a few days from a strained ribcage muscle.

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