Mauer to play RF vs. Yankees
MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer can now add right field to his list of positions he’s played in his big league career.
Mauer, who also made his debut at first base earlier this year, is scheduled to make his first-ever start in right field tonight against the Yankees.
Mauer was forced to play in the outfield for the first time in his professional career, as the club has seen a recent rash of injuries hit players such as Michael Cuddyer, Matt Tolbert and Denard Span. Outfielder Jason Kubel is also out of action, as he’s attending to a family matter in San Diego.
Span, who is still dealing with concussion symptoms, is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list, but Luke Hughes missed his flight to the Twin Cities, and the roster move has yet to be announced.
Mauer said he never even played outfield in high school, but remembers playing outfield in amateur town ball games in Minnesota.
“I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve played in the outfield ever,” Mauer said. “It’s been an interesting year. Hopefully, it’s just today and we can get some guys in here, and it’s just a one-time deal.”
Mauer, who used Kubel’s glove while catching fly balls during batting practice, said he didn’t find out he’d be playing right field until 3 p.m., and that Justin Morneau was the other alternative.
“I’m just working on catching the ball,” Mauer said. “Once I get the ball I don’t think I’ll have a problem. I don’t think I’ll have a problem throwing. It’s just getting the angles, the wind and way the ball comes off the bat.”