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Joe Mauer diagnosed with pneumonia, done for season

Sep 16, 2011, 6:11 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins Getty Images

Joe Mauer‘s mess of a season is now over prematurely, as he’s been diagnosed with pneumonia and the Twins have shut him down for the final two weeks.

Mauer missed a handful of games late last month with what the Twins called an upper respiratory infection and previously sat out two months with complications following offseason knee surgery.

While not as productive as his usual self Mauer had played fairly well since coming off the disabled list in mid-June, hitting .312 with a .390 on-base percentage and .795 OPS in his last 66 games while seeing significant time at first base in addition to catching.

He finishes the first season of a seven-year, $184 million contract with career-lows in nearly every category, including a .287 batting average and .729 OPS in just 82 games. Mauer has been a lightning rod for criticism in Minnesota all year and this certainly won’t help matters, although the Twins stopped having anything to play for weeks ago.

Now the Twins will just hope that a full offseason of rest and rehab will get the former MVP and three-time batting champ fully healthy for 2012, because with Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span all question marks physically it’ll be tough to count on them turning things around following arguably the worst season in team history.

  1. djpostl - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Man, for a mid-market team they have one truck load of cash tied up in one fragile a** player.

    • patsandsox - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:51 PM

      Djpostl you make a good point. It seems to me that only the big market teams should be paying these kind of contracts, that way if they turn sour its not the kiss of death for the team.

      The Yankees, Red Sox, and Philles can afford to eat a contract if they have to (Lugo, Burnett, etc.) You never see the Rays make this mistake, they let the Red Sox make it with Crawford, and the Sox can afford a mediorcre year from him. Its not going to kill them (other things are doing that just fine).
      Teams without the fat wallets will take years to recover, probably the life of the bad contract.

    • gunner1970 - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:48 PM

      Don’t forget about Morneau too! Two top payed players out most of the season.

  2. patsandsox - Sep 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Why does it seem these huge contracts are the kiss of death?
    I bet whoever pays Pujols will end up regretting it. Same with Fielder.

    I really hope Mauer gets better and comes back strong next season. He sure seems like a good guy, team player and was well on the way to the hall until this season and all the ailments.

  3. Gordon - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    These contracts are the kiss of death because they are usually signed by guys who are starting their decline in skills due to age and wear & tear. The contracts are being based more on past performance instead of expected future production.

  4. bertilfox - Sep 16, 2011 at 7:24 PM

    That’s what he gets for constantly wearing wet towels on his head….and YES, I am making fun of you!

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