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Joe Mauer hits disabled list with bilateral leg weakness

Apr 14, 2011, 10:13 PM EDT

mauer batting Getty Images

From LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune comes some unfortunate news.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who was held out of the Minnesota starting lineup on Wednesday and Thursday, has now been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to bilateral leg weakness.

The Twins aren’t giving out too much information at the moment, but the condition is often related to nerve or spinal cord issues and can be very serious. Mauer will visit a specialist in Baltimore Friday.

Drew Butera, who owns a brutal .193/.231/.287 career batting line in the major leagues, is likely to draw most of the starts behind the plate while Mauer is out. The Twins are very short on catching depth.

Steve Holm has been promoted from Triple-A Rochester to serve as Butera’s backup. A career minor leaguer, the 31-year-old Holm has only 107 major leauge plate appearances to his name.

  1. sknut - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    This is awful news, hopefully its not too serious. I wonder why they waited till after the game to DL him, seems they knew this before the game and this would explain Gardy’s testiness when answering Mauer was ‘sore’.

    • cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:23 PM

      It could be very serious. His spinalcord is being compressed. Probably a bulging or slipped lumbar disk; to get both legs at once suggests higher up the nervous system than mere nerve compression which would tend to be either one leg or the other. Man this sucks. I think Gardy’s very worried about his player’s health, hence the terseness.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 15, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        This is another thing that needs another name to make it sound as serious as it is/could be. “Bilateral leg weakness” sounds like what I have after a night of boozing it up.

      • cur68 - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        I think the term we are looking for here is something like “Done as catcher” or “Get thee to DH”. I’m not au fait with the spinal cord stuff but I’m going to sneak out on a thick limb and guess this has a lot to do with crouching behind a plate and/or getting smacked into from the side by guys coming home.

  2. mac065 - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Can Minnesota sports fans ever catch a break? Wolves…worse team in the NBA. Wild…Can’t make the playoffs. Vikings…continue to break hearts. Now Mauer? Seriously…One time it would be nice to have a team that would give us hope. Maybe I’m asking too much.

    • marinersnate - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:36 AM

      “Wolves…worse team in the NBA.”

      Who are the “Wolves”? And what is an “NBA”?

    • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:55 AM

      The Wild? What is that? One of the professional staged ice fighting league teams? Cheer up though Minnesota fan; I hear that Rickey Rubio is coming to save you!!

      • BC - Apr 15, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        The NHL is still in existence?
        Sorry, it ceased to exist in 1997 when my Hartford Whalers disappeared. I wasn’t aware the NHL was still around.

      • bcjim - Apr 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        shouldn’t you two be in school at this time of day?

      • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        BC: As far as I know, the NHL took their puck, folded their tents and went back up north of the border a few years ago, eh?! The NHL was replaced by a new attraction that uses the same previous NHL team names and colors that’s basically MMA on ice skates and the hillbillies, trailer trash and displaced NASCAR fans absolutely are WILD about it!

      • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 9:52 AM

        bcjim: I can see by your post that you thought you could avoid the truant officer again today, but the reason that the faculty and I haven’t reported you absent is because you went through all that trouble for nothing because there is no school today because we are preparing for semi-annual state testing… you know, though tests that you always come out at the bottom on?

  3. cusoman - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    That Wilson Ramos trade is looking pretty terrible right about now. I’m with mac065 in that this past year has been the absolute WORST time to be a Minnesota sports fan. We all had hope that the Twins, a perennial playoff candidate in recent years, would pull us out of the slump, but that’s not looking very promising right now with news like this and deflating losses like the ones to the Rays tonight.

  4. tjwilliams - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    It’s a good thing the Twins didn’t trade away their two catchers who could hit and keep the one catcher who can’t. Oh, wait.

    • dluxxx - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:54 PM

      Pretty sure you mean traded away their two *backup* catchers who can hit. Joe can hit.

  5. purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    When the always dangerous Twins get bad news, it’s of course good news for the White Sox and Tigers; such is the way of sports.

    Joe though is a real stand up guy and a credit to baseball. While signing Joe to that monster long term deal seemed to be the right thing to do at the time, the two things that are now starting to make that move questionable are:

    1) Joe’s ability to continue to catch much longer (much less long term; bad knees and now apparently fatigued legs, something not good when you’re a catcher by trade); and
    2) The Twins not tailoring Target Field more towards their core offensive strength (Mauer, Morneau and Thome). Just as Wright’s power disappeared when the Mets moved into Citifield, Mauer’s power has all but disappeared at Target Field. Such an unfortunate (and carelessly stupid), mistake!

    The Padres new owner (former super-agent Jeffrey Morad), is being much smarter; he’s now ordered his scouts and GM to focus on drafting and trading only for players whose skills match up to the cavernous dimensions of Petco Park.

    That means focusing on a lot of gap hitters and being able to take chances on fly ball pitchers. Much smarter than pouring more than a half a billion dollars into a new stadium that kills your highest paid hitter and most popular player!

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      Why would you build a stadium to suit a line-up? Players come and go. Stadiums are there for decades. I agree it’s smart to taylor your line-up to your stadium, but not the other way around.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      “Starting to make that move look questionable” – no it was questionable the day they inked the deal. An injury prone catcher who’s a glorified singles hitter, better suited to hit in the 2 spot than the 3.

      Also, Thome doesn’t have a problem hitting home runs at Target Field, talk about moon shots. Mauer’s “power” numbers were down last year home & away.

      • schrutebeetfarms - Apr 15, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Also, left handed hitters can hit home runs in Target Field, each year when the Yankees come, they have to reroute airplanes.

      • kulserd - Apr 15, 2011 at 4:36 PM

        How was the deal questionable? He is still the only AL catcher to win a batting title, let alone two… he is a yearly MVP candidate… good clubhouse guy… puts butts in the seats at Target Field because he is a homegrown talent… and while yes has had his share of injuries, I wouldn’t call him injury prone.

  6. notdumb - Apr 15, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    well fellow twins fans it was fun while it lasted. get ready for the next decade of missing the playoffs, i love mauer but hes the most overpaid player in the league even when healthy. we got the classic contract year surge in 09 guaranteed to be his best year, paid like he was going to do it repeatedly when if he had achieved his career avg. that year he would be getting 14 mil tops. sorry to say but maybe the best we can hope for is the injury being severe enough for insurance to kick in, because its obvious he cant catch anymore and hes worthless as a DH or 1B

    • purdueman - Apr 15, 2011 at 9:27 AM

      notdumb… Joe Mauer… a regular Adrian Beltre! (only good years are contract years?!). Difference is, Beltre can still actually field his position! Your Twins looking to corner the market on DH types that no longer field their positions or something?

      Per an earlier post of mine, what boggles the mind is how after seeing the Mets spend over $800M erecting a new yard that totally neutralizes their left handed power the Twins turn right around and spend over $500M on their new yard that, yup, neutralizes most of their left handed power. It’s not that Mauer can’t hit anymore so much as it is he just can’t hit at Target Field.

      Thank God though that there aren’t any more major league baseball games being played at the Rollerdome downtown (although without a roof it would have been a slight improvement!).

  7. notdumb - Apr 15, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    and yes target field did kill mauers power he probably would have had 25HR last year if we were playing in the metrodome

  8. BC - Apr 15, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    I’m betting he has some type of lower back problem. Wow, he’s gonna be an awful expensive DH if this turns out badly.

  9. sportsdrenched - Apr 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    I’m a Royals fan and I hate to see this.

    and Twin Cities fan has nothing on Kansas City sports fan.

  10. kulserd - Apr 15, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Update from Lavelle’s twitter

    No. 7 update: Mauer has a viral infection, which they think is why he’s been so sore lately

    Very well could be nothing folks… way to put the cart before the horse…

    And about the David Wright comparison, yes his power numbers went down the first year in Citi Field… second year they rebounded to normal… sometimes it takes a little time to adjust and yes, for a major league power hitter, that can take a year.

    Settle down.

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