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Joe Mauer taking reps at first base with Justin Morneau out

Jun 27, 2011, 4:49 PM EDT

joe mauer twins first base

Justin Morneau‘s third major injury in three years has the Twins talking about using Joe Mauer somewhere other than catcher for the first time and he took some reps at first base prior to tonight’s game.

Jordan Schelling of MLB.com snapped the attached photo and Mauer got some personal instruction from manager Ron Gardenhire.

When he’ll see game action at first base and how often he’ll be used there remains to be seen, as both Mauer and the Twins continue to indicate that they have no plans to move him out from behind the plate permanently.

And rightfully so, as he deserves one more chance to get healthy and stay healthy before a career-altering move down the defensive spectrum. Mauer’s career .880 OPS leads all active catchers with at least 1,500 plate appearances, but would rank just 10th among active first basemen. As a way to get his bat into the lineup one or two extra times per week it’s certainly worth a try, though.

  1. minnesconsin - Jun 27, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    How many at-bats does the guy get this year while we stand patiently by, reserving our judgement like nice Minnesotans? What does the sample size need to be for the criticisms to be validated?

    I’m not prone to hyperbole, and a terrible year this season doesn’t mean Mauer can’t bounce back next year, catch 140 games and win another batting crown. Given what he’s shown in the past, why not?

    But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been garbage this year. his OPS is half what it should be and I don’t think it’s unfair for people to expect more from him.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      I think criticism is starting. Read Souhan’s article from Monday and Mijares’s comments over the weekend and the shine has started to wear off on Joe’s halo.

  2. bigtrav425 - Jun 27, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    didnt the Ron G say a month or so ago he will not or would not switch positions??….my my how things can change fast when you forget you have one of the top 10 players in the league on your team

    • ThatGuy - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      A month ago Morneau wasn’t on the DL and Cuddyer could play first if he wasnt in the game, Now Kubel, and Young are both on the DL forcing Cuddy to stay in the OF and forcing Luke Hughes to play first. Now instead of Mauer getting a full days, he may just get a spot start at first.

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