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Joe Mauer out of Twins lineup with sprained right thumb

Jun 4, 2012, 4:49 PM EDT

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After an injury wrecked 2011 season Joe Mauer started 51 of the Twins’ first 53 games, but he exited yesterday’s game with a thumb injury and is out of the lineup tonight versus the Royals.

Mauer has been diagnosed with a sprained right thumb and so far there’s no indication that the Twins expect him to miss significant time.

Mauer’s power has been disappointing and he’s grounded into an MLB-leading 14 double plays, but he’s also hitting .298 with more walks (34) than strikeouts (22) and a .407 on-base percentage that ranks fourth in the league.

  1. mungman69 - Jun 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Catching takes its tool on the body and Mauer is no different. Heck, whats he won, three batting titles? If the Twins have another catcher they should put Mauer in the outfield or make him the DH.

    • raindog - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      I was always against this, but I’m starting to come around. He’s and excellent defensive catcher, and his bat provides a ton of value at his position. However, I’m starting to think it’s too much of an injury risk, and that he would hit better if he wasn’t so beat up all the time. I’d love to see the Twins TRY to convert him to 3rd since he’s a such good athlete, but there is no guarantee he could play there. Outfield could work if 3rd doesn’t pan out.

    • Tim OShenko - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      Seems like a good idea, and one that’s been kicked around for years now. But there are two things holding up any sort of transition:

      1) Mauer insists on being the catcher. It’s where he feels he’s most valuable to the team.

      2) While his numbers are spectacular for a catcher, they’d be at or below average pretty much anywhere else on the field. In other words, he’s most valuable to the team behind the plate.

      That said, the Twins have been using him at DH a lot more this year, as well as games at 1B here and there. In fact, he was DHing last night when he sprained his thumb. So who knows, maybe a change is in the works.

    • mplsjoe - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      He hurt his thumb swinging the bat. And he was the DH that day.

    • 7ransponder - Jun 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

      They DID have another catcher they could have done this with (Ramos), but they traded him away for a rage inducing closer for a team that is rarely in a closing situation.

    • tacklemeelmo - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:13 PM

      Mauer’s value comes from being a good offensive player who is also a catcher. Once his position is changed, he loses a bunch of value. I’m not saying the idea of moving him shouldn’t be considered, but all aspects need to be considered.

  2. Cris E - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Catching is quite hard on the body, so it goes without saying that he hurt his hand in a game where he was the DH.

  3. siouxyaya17 - Jun 4, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    #soft

  4. tacklemeelmo - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    The Twins have played 54 games this year (including tonight’s game)

    Joe Mauer has played 52 games this year and put up a 1.4 oWAR.

    Keep bashing him for being injury prone and soft i guess…

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