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Mauer's backup doubtful for Opening Day after wrist surgery

Feb 4, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

While the Twins work on a long-term contract extension for Joe Mauer his presumed backup, Jose Morales, recently underwent surgery to “stabilize a tendon in his right wrist.”
Morales is hoping to resume baseball activities in mid-March, but even if he avoids a setback that doesn’t leave much time to be ready for Opening Day. In fact, Morales told MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier that being on the active roster for the start of the season is “a little optimistic.”
The injury dates back to the final few games of last season and perhaps explains why Morales finished 3-for-27 (.111) with 11 strikeouts after previously going 34-for-95 (.358) with just 14 strikeouts. Unfortunately rather than getting treatment immediately he opted to rest the wrist until deciding last month that surgery was needed.
Obviously having Mauer means the Twins’ backup catcher rarely plays, but they let veteran Mike Redmond depart via free agency because they were confident in Morales’ ability to take over the job. Drew Butera is third on the depth chart right now, but he’s a career .214 hitter in the minors and Ron Gardenhire has already made noise about using 22-year-old stud prospect Wilson Ramos as Mauer’s backup until Morales is ready.

  1. BC - Feb 4, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    What happened to Mike Redmond? Did he retire?

  2. Ryan - Feb 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Dayton Moore gave him a 4 year contract.

  3. GimmeSomeSteel - Feb 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Redmond signed with Cleveland. Why the Indians wanted him is the question.

  4. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Unfortunately rather than getting treatment immediately he opted to rest the wrist until deciding last month that surgery was needed.
    – he must be craZy to think this way….

  5. AreYouKiddingMe - Feb 4, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Why the Indians wanted him? Coming from a Twins fan who had the distinct PLEASURE of watching one of the greatest team players/competitors/baseball IQ guys in the history of the game, is why the Indians wanted him. Red will be a coach somewhere after he retires, and it would not surprise me one bit, if he ends up becoming a Skip somewhere down the line. He improves EVERYONE around him. Not to mention he is clutch. He doesn’t get a lot of plate appearances, but the ones he gets, he makes count. Indian fans just got a hell of a ball player.

  6. Missing the Baggie - Feb 4, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Redmond was a great back-up for the Twins. Good hitter for his role and an absolute leader. Mauer most likely benfited from having him around to start of his career. However, I think the Twins made the right decision to let him go. Morales has shown he can be a quality back-up catcher, but then this happened. I’m a little confused why he didn’t get treatment earlier. Either way, the Twins are more than fine at catcher.

  7. Ryne - Feb 4, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    Redmond’s true value lies in his ability to motivate teams through naked batting practice.

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