Results tagged ‘ Joe Mauer ’

Mauer out for season with mild pneumonia

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer’s season is over.

The catcher visited the Mayo Clinic yesterday and was diagnosed with mild pneumonia, as the symptoms from his upper respiratory infection that caused him to miss two games early this month never went away.

“On Sept. 2 he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, and despite medication symptoms have not resolved,” Twins trainer Rick McWane said. “In Kansas City, he complained of a consistent cough. Yesterday, he went to the Mayo Clinic and was diagnosed with mild pneumonia. The recommendation is medication and rest for two weeks.”

It ends a tumultuous year for Mauer, who played in just 82 games this year, as he dealt with various injuries ranging from bilateral leg weakness to a stiff neck and finally his bout with pneumonia.

Mauer, who started only 47 games behind the plate, finishes the season with career lows in batting average (.287), on-base percentage (.369), slugging percentage (.368) and home runs (three).

Mauer, in the first year of an eight-year, $184 million deal signed before last season, wasn’t happy about the diagnosis, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

“He’s pretty upset,” Gardenhire said. “He’s sick right now, but in talking with him today, he’s not very happy. He’s pretty upset about it. He’s going to have to do with the doctors say and take care of himself physically. But he really is not happy about the situation and wants to be out there and be here with the guys.”

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.”

Mauer chooses first base (Game 97 vs. Indians)

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gave Joe Mauer the option of catching or playing first base against the Indians today.

Mauer had the choice to start at his natural position behind the plate or play first base for just the fourth time in his career but for the third straight day, including the first game of Monday’s double-header.

“He said, ‘First base sounds great,’” Gardenhire said.

So while the decision to play first base seemed like somewhat of a surprise, Gardenhire said he was perfectly fine with the decision because the Twins are in the midst of a stretch in which they play 19 games in 18 days coming out of the All-Star break.

Mauer also could see time at first base again tomorrow– or at designated hitter — as right-hander Carl Pavano is scheduled to start against the Tigers and has Drew Butera as his personal backstop.

“He’s played every game, every inning so I kinda expected that,” Gardenhire said. “The original plan was to catch him today because Pav is out there tomorrow, but I’m kinda happy he’s going play first base today because it’s going to be hot. And it gives him a couple days for him to get away from the squatting. We’re playing a lot of games in a row here so we need his bat in there every day and first base is a breather.”

Lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Indians (51-45)

1. Ezequiel Carrera, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Travis Hafner, DH
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Matt LaPorta, 1B
6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
8. Austin Kearns, RF
9. Luis Valbuena, LF

RHP Josh Tomlin (11-4, 4.03 ERA, 4.22 FIP, 4.53 K/BB)

Twins (45-51)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Drew Butera, C

RHP Nick Blackburn (7-6, 3.99 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 1.85 K/BB)

Mauer back at catcher (Game 87 vs. White Sox)

CHICAGO — Joe Mauer is back at catcher tonight after playing first base yesterday.

And Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to clarify comments made by Joe Mauer after last night’s game, when he reiterated he’s still a catcher despite impressing in his first career start at first base.

Gardenhire simply wanted to make it clear that Mauer will remain the club’s catcher moving forward, but that the four-time All-Star has no problems with playing first base to get his bat in the lineup with Justin Morneau out until mid-August.

“He’s a catcher and he’ll do whatever we ask,” Gardenhire said. “But he wants it known he’s a catcher and he feels really good behind the plate and loves running the game. But we can use him at first base and we’ll be able to do that in the second half to keep his bat in the lineup and also give him those days from getting beat up from behind the plate.”

Gardenhire then dropped a hint that Mauer could even play the outfield, but later said it was just a statement to show that Mauer is willing to do whatever is asked of him.

“If [Jim] Thome can play, you can put Mauer at first, and it’s not even an issue, which is really cool,” Gardenhire said. “And if Morny comes back, like he’s going to do in August, we might have him play in the outfield somewhere too. Oh, write that one. Look at the Tweets right now. Look at the bloggers firing it through now. Who knows? He’ll do whatever we want him to do just to keep his bat in the lineup.”

Gardenhire then was asked if his comments were tongue in cheek, and confirmed it was more of a hypothetical situation than anything else.

“I love it. I absolutely love it. I’m trying to explain to you that he’ll play wherever and if I ask Joe to play right field or left field, he’ll say, “OK, if that’s what you need.’” Gardenhire said. “That’s the point I’m trying to get across. If I ask him to do that, he’ll give it a go.”

Twins (39-47)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, DH
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Tsuysho Nishioka, SS
9. Matt Tolbert, 3B

RHP Nick Blackburn (6-6, 4.02 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 1.86 K/BB)

White Sox (43-46)

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
3. Paul Konerko, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, DH
5. Carlos Quentin, RF
6. Alex Rios, CF
7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
8. Gordon Beckham, 2B
9. Brent Morel, 3B

RHP Gavin Floyd (6-8, 4.17 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 2.75 K/BB)

Mauer starts at first (Game 86 vs. White Sox)

CHICAGO — After playing in 863 games, including 741 behind the plate, Joe Mauer will be making his first career start at first base tonight against the White Sox.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced the move yesterday, but made it official today, batting Mauer third and starting him at first base with Drew Butera getting the nod at catcher, as he’s Carl Pavano’s personal catcher.

“Mauer is playing first base,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “With [Jim] Thome in the lineup, this is a good thing, and with Butera catching Pavano it’s a normal thing. So the way to keep his bat in the lineup, as we talked about a number of times, is to have him at first base. It gives him a chance to rest his legs a little bit and get away from squatting.”

Mauer, who started taking ground balls at first base during batting practice on June 27, hasn’t played the position since appearing in one game there with Class A Fort Myers in 2003. He last saw extended time at first back when he played 13 games there with Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

“I think he’s got a little anxiety about playing first base, but I think that’s normal,” Gardenhire said. “It’s been a long time since he’s done that. But I told him, once he gets out to first base, he’s going to see it’s easy compared to what he’s been doing all these years.”

Mauer, who is borrowing one of Michael Cuddyer’s gloves, took grounders during early batting practice before tonight’s game, as Gardenhire gave him pointers about positioning, holding on runners and how to handle bunts and slow rollers.

“Just all the little things to make sure even though we’ve talked about it all before to reiterate it,” Gardenhire said of his talk with Mauer. “I don’t want him to get killed over there. A ball up the line he needs to catch the ball and get off the line and do a catcher sweep tag. I don’t want him jumping into the basepaths or anything like that.”

Lineups for the 7:10 p.m. CT start at U.S. Cellular Field:

Twins (38-47)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Rene Tosoni, LF
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Drew Butera, C

RHP Carl Pavano (5-6, 4.19 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 2.23 K/BB)

White Sox (43-45)

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Omar Vizquel, 3B
3. Paul Konerko, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, DH
5. Alex Rios, CF
6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
8. Mark Teahen, RF
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

RHP Phil Humber (8-4, 2.69 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 2.42 K/BB)

Mauer likely to play first tomorrow (Game 85 vs. Rays)

MINNEAPOLIS — Catcher Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup today against the Rays after taking a foul tip to his shoulder, but is expected to return to action tomorrow in Chicago and will likely play first base for the first time in his big league career.

Mauer, who has been taking ground balls at first base during batting practice since June 27, hasn’t played first base since playing one game there with Class A Fort Myers in 2003.

“Joe Mauer will probably play first base with Jim Thome at DH and Drew Butera catching,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Joe’s not going to play today. He’s a little beat up, which is understandable. I saw his swing last night and looked a little sore. That’s going to be expected.”

Mauer is being called to action at first with Justin Morneau out until at least mid-August after undergoing surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment from his neck last week. It will be a change of pace for Mauer, who last saw extended time at first when he played 13 games there with Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

“He’s fine,” Gardenhire said. “But you won’t really know until you get him into a game. He’s pretty fluid over there to tell you the truth. He has soft hands and moves around pretty good. All the fundamental parts of it will be a learning experience for him.”

With Mauer out of the lineup today, Rene Rivera makes the start, as he has worked well with left-hander Francisco Liriano this season. Liriano entered Wednesday with a 1.91 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33 innings with Rivera behind the plate this season.

Lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Rays (47-39)

1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Ben Zobrist, RF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Justin Ruggiano, LF
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Eliot Johnson, SS

RHP Wade Davis (7-6, 4.20 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 1.31 K/BB)

TWINS (38-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Jason Repko, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (5-7, 4.76 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.66 K/BB)

Happy Fourth of July (Game 83 vs. Rays)

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer is back behind the plate against the Rays, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hinted Mauer is getting closer and closer to making his first career start at first base.

Gardenhire said it could happen as soon as some point during their four-game series with the White Sox this weekend.

“I haven’t decided, but maybe in Chicago,” Gardenhire said. “Who knows? We’ll just see. I know we have a lot of right-handers coming up after today.”

Lineups for Monday’s 1:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field on the Fourth of July:

Rays (47-37)

1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Justin Ruggiano, LF
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. KellY Shoppach, C
8. Matt Joyce, RF
9. Elliot Johnson, SS

LHP David Price (8-6, 3.43 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 5.27 K/BB)

Twins (36-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, DH
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Jason Repko, LF
8. Matt Tolbert, 3B
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Brian Duensing (5-7, 4.69 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 1.97 K/BB)

WAR leaders at halfway point (Game 82 vs Brewers)

MINNEAPOLIS — After last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Brewers in which the Twins blew a seven-run lead — tied for the fourth-worst blown lead in franchise history — the Twins are at the halfway point of the season.

It’s safe to say it’s been a disappointing year for the Twins, who are just 35-46 and enter today trailing the Indians by nine games in the American League Central.

But today was also a positive day for Michael Cuddyer, who was named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his 11-year career.

Cuddyer was certainly a deserving All-Star for his impressive play in the first-half of the season, and his versatility only helped his case. But with that in mind, here’s a look at the leaders for the Twins in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) through 81 games courtesy of FanGraphs.com:

Position players:

1. Denard Span, 2.6
2. Michael Cuddyer, 1.6
3. Jason Kubel, 1.0
4. Alexi Casilla, 0.7
5. Ben Revere, 0.6
6. Jim Thome, 0.5
7. Delmon Young, 0.3
8. Danny Valencia, 0.3
9. Luke Hughes, 0.2

Pitchers:

1. Scott Baker, 2.0
2. Carl Pavano, 1.5
3. Brian Duensing, 1.4
4. Glen Perkins, 0.9
5. Francisco Liriano, 0.8
6. Nick Blackburn, 0.6
7. Alex Burnett, 0.2
8. Anthony Swarzak, 0.1
9. Chuck James, 0.1

Notes: I only included players with positive WARs, so the list didn’t include players such as Joe Mauer (-0.2), Justin Morneau (-0.3), Joe Nathan (-0.3) or Tsuyoshi Nishioka (-0.6). So it really is pretty amazing that Mauer, Morneau and Nathan — with 12 All-Star appearances among them — combined to produce a -0.8 WAR so far this year.

Lineups for the 1:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Brewers (45-39)

1. Rickie Weeks, DH
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Corey Hart, RF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Mat Gamel, 3B
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. Mark Kotsay, LF
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Craig Counsell, 2B

RHP Zack Greinke (7-3, 5.68 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 6.67 K/BB)

Twins (35-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Rene Tosoni, LF
8. Luke Hughes, 1B
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

RHP Nick Blackburn (6-6, 3.64 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.86 K/BB)

The Butera-Pavano connection (Game 81 vs Brewers)

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said yesterday that Drew Butera will continue to be Carl Pavano’s personal catcher, but that will be the only such situation moving forward, as Joe Mauer is expected to work with the other four starters.

Gardenhire stuck to his word today, as Butera is in the lineup against the Brewers and Mauer is serving as designated hitter.

The personal catcher relationship between Pavano and Butera started last year, but Pavano does have similar numbers working with both catchers.

In 28 starts with Butera, Pavano has a 3.89 ERA and 2.55 K/BB ratio, and in 30 outings with Mauer, he has a 4.20 ERA and a 3.62 K/BB. So while Mauer clearly has Butera beat in terms of Pavano’s strikeout-to-walk ration, Pavano has given up 14 homers with Butera behind the plate and 24 when working with Mauer.

Mauer, who is expected to be back at catcher tomorrow, spoke to the media today about how he’s feeling behind the plate and about his timing, as he’s carrying a six-game hit streak into today’s game and picked up three hits last night. The full story on Mauer will be posted later today as part of the Twins Notebook.

UPDATE: As Parker Hageman of Over The Baggy pointed out, there’s also a big difference when it comes to the run game between Butera and Mauer with Pavano. I looked up the stats, and with Butera at backstop, Pavano has allowed 20 stolen bases with eight runners getting caught stealing, while with Mauer, he’s allowed 32 stolen bases with just two runners getting thrown out.

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Brewers (44-39)

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Mat Gamel, DH
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. Mark Kotsay, RF
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Craig Counsell, 3B

LHP Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.42 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 2.05 K/BB)

Twins (35-45)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Jason Repko, LF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

RHP Carl Pavano (5-6, 4.24 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 2.31 K/BB)

Mauer at DH, Thome sits (Game 78 vs Dodgers)

MINNEAPOLIS — With Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly on the mound tonight, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to sit designated hitter Jim Thome to allow Joe Mauer a chance to get some rest by serving as DH.

Mauer, though, will return to catching duty tomorrow afternoon, and Thome will back at DH, as rookie right-hander Rubby De La Rosa will be on the mound for the Dodgers.

“He’ll catch tomorrow,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Just do it tonight so that Thome could get an opportunity to DH tomorrow also. Thome wasn’t going to play today, so Mauer can play tonight and Thome can DH tomorrow while Mauer catches. So this gives us a break one way or another.”

Lineups for tonight’s 7:10 CT start at Target Field:

Dodgers (36-44)

1. Tony Gwynn, Jr., LF
2. Casey Blake, 1B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Matt Kemp, CF
5. Juan Uribe, 3B
6. Marcus Thames, DH
7. Aaron Miles, 2B
8. A.J. Ellis, C
9. Jamey Carroll, SS

LHP Ted Lilly (5-7, 4.63 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 3.78 K/BB)

Twins (32-45)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Jason Repko, LF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Brian Duensing (4-7, 4.54 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 2.15 K/BB)

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