Mauer gets the day off

The Twins enter Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Rogers Centre already in a 2-0 hole, and it doesn’t figure to get any easier against the Blue Jays with catcher Joe Mauer out of the lineup.

It’s somewhat of a surprising move, as it’s not a day game after a night game, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t mention anything after yesterday’s loss about sitting Mauer today.

But Mauer, who is coming off minor surgery on his left knee, figured to get days off here and there, as the club plays games on 23 of the first 24 days of April.

And Gardenhire did say before Sunday’s game that Mauer took quite the beating behind the plate yesterday with left-hander Francisco Liriano struggling with control problems.

“Frankie bounced about 50 percent of his pitches,” Gardenhire quipped, “and Joe had to block them. So he got beat around a bit yesterday.”

So maybe it’s as good a time as any for Mauer to get a break, but the Twins certainly don’t want to fall to 0-3 for the first time since the 1981 season.

At least Justin Morneau is in the starting lineup, even though he’s serving as the club’s designated hitter. He hasn’t looked great so far at the plate, but it figures he’ll start to come around with more at-bats, as he obviously got a late start to Spring Training.

Matt Tolbert is also slated to see action at shortstop, as Gardenhire said he wanted to see all of his players play in the first series of the season. So far, only outfielder Jason Repko has yet to get in there, but it’s mostly because center fielder Denard Span is the only one doing any hitting for the club through two games.

Lineups for 12:07 CT start at Rogers Centre:

Twins
1. Denard Span CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2B
3. Delmon Young LF
4. Justin Morneau DH
5. Michael Cuddyer 1B
6. Jason Kubel RF
7. Danny Valencia 3B
8. Drew Butera C
9. Matt Tolbert SS

Nick Blackburn RHP

Blue Jays
1. Yunel Escobar SS
2. Juan Rivera DH
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Adam Lind 1B
5. Aaron Hill 2B
6. Edwin Encarnacion 3B
7. Travis Snider LF
8. J.P. Arencibia C
9. Mike McCoy CF

Brett Cecil LHP

3 Comments

Hey Rhett,

Mauer having a day off is common, get used to it. Especially if it’s a Sunday day game (regardless of the fact that the previous day was a day game).

This is something Gardenhire has done for a long time. The reason he didn’t mention anything was because anyone who has ever followed this team knew Mauer would be out of the lineup today.

Have you made it up to Minny yet Rhett?

I understand it’s common, but it is only the third game of the season. That’s all. And no, I have not had a chance to get up there yet, but will be there for the home opener on April 8.

Rhett!!! Why are people so mean to you? lol You seem so nice.

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