Skip to content

Twins move Joe Mauer from catcher to first base following concussion

Nov 11, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

joe mauer twins AP

For the past two months the Twins have repeatedly insisted that they plan to have Joe Mauer remain at catcher next season despite sitting out the final 40 games following a concussion, but today the team announced that Mauer is moving to first base.

Mauer spent 10 seasons at catcher, hitting .323 with an .873 OPS while making six All-Star teams and winning three batting titles, three Gold Glove awards, five Silver Slugger awards, and one MVP. Among all catchers in baseball history through age 30 he ranks sixth in Wins Above Replacement, behind only Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Ivan Rodriguez, Joe Torre, and Ted Simmons. Mauer was an amazing all-around catcher.

Back in August when Mauer suffered the concussion I wrote a lengthy article breaking down how a position switch would impact his all-around value. The short version is that big batting averages and on-base percentages would continue to make him a very good-hitting first baseman, but his lack of power would keep him from remaining as elite there as he was at catcher. Instead of being a top-three catcher every season, he projected to be in the 5-10 range among first basemen.

However, at some point this issue became less about value and more about health, and given how he struggled with post-concussion symptoms and given how many catchers spent time on the concussion disabled list this season the move makes sense for both Mauer and the Twins. He needs to be healthy and in the lineup, which is far more likely at first base than catcher.

Minnesota will likely turn to Josmil Pinto as their primary catcher following an impressive September debut, with Ryan Doumit and Chris Herrmann also in the mix to catch.

Latest Posts
  1. HBT Daily: The rookie of the year races are pretty clear cut

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT

    Jose Abreu Jose Abreu

    The AL it’s clear cut because there is a monster candidate. In the NL it’s because one guys is the least bad of many bad options.

  2. Adam Jones says his favorite place in Baltimore is the airport, so he can fly home

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT

    Adam Jones AP

    Commandment Number One of being a professional athlete: don’t let anyone know you’re not a fan of your team’s city.

  3. Justin Masterson to pitch exclusively out of the stretch for his next start

    Aug 29, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

    Justin Masterson Cardinals AP

    Which, in all likelihood, will be his last start for the Cardinals this year.

  4. Wanna buy Randy Johnson’s house?

    Aug 29, 2014, 8:47 AM EDT

    Randy Johnson House

    A big housing unit for the Big Unit.

  5. Mariners scout heckles Jesus Montero, Montero allegedly tries to go after him with a bat

    Aug 29, 2014, 7:35 AM EDT

    Jesus Montero Getty Getty Images

    And an ice cream sandwich — used for taunting purposes — was involved.

  6. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:58 AM EDT

    Obstruction

    Yet another protested game in a week full of protests. This one isn’t going anywhere, though.

  7. Mets place Daniel Murphy on DL with calf strain; calling up prospect Dilson Herrera

    Aug 28, 2014, 11:02 PM EDT

    da086bda1a87f127ee653bdba48ff774 Getty Images

    Herrera, who was acquired from the Pirates in the Marlon Byrd deal last August, was batting .340/.406/.560 with 10 homers and 48 RBI over 61 games in Double-A this season.

  8. Yankees acquire left-hander Josh Outman from Indians

    Aug 28, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT

    Josh Outman Getty Getty Images

    Outman had a 3.28 ERA and 24/16 K/BB ratio over 24 2/3 innings with the Indians this season.

  9. Alex Gordon and the M-V-P chants

    Aug 28, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT

    Alex Gordon Getty Getty Images

    Every time Alex Gordon steps to the plate at Kauffman Stadium these days, fans chant, “M-V-P, M-V-P,” which is fascinating on so many levels.

  10. Mets place Vic Black on disabled list with herniated disk in neck

    Aug 28, 2014, 8:57 PM EDT

    Vic Black Getty Getty Images

    Vic Black has emerged as an effective late-inning bridge for the Mets this season, but now he’s headed to the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck.

  11. Rusney Castillo could play in a minor league game this weekend

    Aug 28, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT

    Rusney Castillo AP AP

    The expectation is that Castillo will get some major league experience in September.

  12. Yan Gomes on pace to return from concussion DL on Friday

    Aug 28, 2014, 7:09 PM EDT

    Yan Gomes AP AP

    Gomes suffered the concussion last Thursday when he was hit in the catcher’s mask by a deflected ball.

  13. David Wright back in Mets’ lineup Thursday

    Aug 28, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

    David Wright Getty Images

    The struggling Wright hasn’t played since leaving Sunday’s game with neck spasms.

  14. Diamondbacks claim Nolan Reimold off waivers from Blue Jays

    Aug 28, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT

    Nolan Reimold AP AP

    Nolan Reimold has been claimed off waivers for the second time in a month, going from the Orioles to the Blue Jays and now to the Diamondbacks.

  15. Could women play major league baseball? Sure. Right now, though, the deck is stacked against them.

    Aug 28, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Woman baseball

    It’s five o’clock. Let’s end the work day with a big bunch of arguing, ok?

  16. Yusmeiro Petit sets all-time MLB record with 46 consecutive batters retired

    Aug 28, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT

    Yusmeiro Petit AP

    There was no perfect game involved and in fact the 46 batters stretched over the course of eight appearances. Mark Buehrle held the previous record of 45 back in 2009.

  17. No timetable for Joakim Soria’s return to the Tigers

    Aug 28, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Joakim Soria Tigers AP

    Soria made just six appearances for the Tigers after being acquired from the Rangers in July.

  18. Billy Hamilton is the youngest player with 50 steals since 2007

    Aug 28, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Billy Hamilton Getty Images

    Not many rookies in recent MLB history have done as much running as The Fastest Man In Baseball.

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3470)
  2. Y. Molina (2961)
  3. J. Soler (2875)
  4. D. Ortiz (2316)
  5. B. Colon (2273)
  1. D. Wright (2145)
  2. S. Doolittle (2065)
  3. Y. Darvish (2024)
  4. R. Cano (1965)
  5. T. Lincecum (1927)