Mauer gets second day off

The Twins are still searching a bit for offense so far this season, and it might not get any easier on Wednesday night against the Yankees with catcher Joe Mauer getting his second day off of the season.

His off-day comes as no surprise, though, as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expected Mauer to get a day off in Toronto and New York. And right-hander Carl Pavano worked with backup catcher Drew Butera 15 times last season to great results with a 3.65 ERA and a 3.05 K/BB ratio over 105 innings.

Pavano, however, actually had similar numbers with Mauer behind the plate last year, as he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 3.40 K/BB in 17 outings over 106 innings. The difference, however, was with attempting base stealers, as runners were 18-for-20 on stolen base attempts with Mauer behind the plate, and just 13-for-19 when Butera was catching.

So with that in mind, Butera is expected to serve as Pavano’s personal catcher this season, which does give Mauer the comfort of having a schedule of expected off-days throughout the season.

Gardenhire said he understands the outcry when Mauer isn’t starting, but said it’s just something that comes with being a catcher, especially one coming off left knee surgery over the offseason.

“I’m like everybody else, I’d love to have Mauer playing all the time,” Gardenhire said. “I’m no different than any fan sitting out there on their rocking chair or armchair, saying they want Mauer in the lineup. Believe me, I like that too. But catchers need rest, and so we need to make sure we give him one a week when Pavano is pitching.”

Lineups for 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium:

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

RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75 ERA, 13.45 FIP, 1.50 K/BB)

Yankees
1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, DH
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Eric Chavez, 3B
8. Eduardo Nunez, SS
9. Gustavo Molina, C

RHP Freddy Garcia (first start of season)

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