The Great Mauer Debate
First off, good to see the Twins pull off a nice little win against Cleveland today. Three in a row! Of course, it’ll be back to the AL East starting Tuesday night, so lets home that the home turf (or nice green grass, I guess I should say now!) is the difference-maker.
What I really wanted to comment on in this post, however, is the absolute raging debate here in the state of Minny regarding moving our catcher, Joe Mauer, to another position. I truly believe that this is a move that will have to happen sooner than later. He’s already shown signs (and they are getting worse) of health issues, and all that squatting won’t help anything. However, I also strongly believe that moving him THIS SEASON is out of the question. Here’s why:
The potential places he could move are:
1B- Not an option with Morneau entrenched.
Middle Infield- Nope. Not that kind of player.
3B- The most intriguing option, but there’s no way (I don’t care how much athletic talent Mauer may possess) that he could jump into that position right away and play it well. Remember how long it took Corey Koskie to develop into a vacuum at the hot corner?
OF- We already have too many outfield roamers as is (Kubel, Span, Young, Cuddyer). Cuddyer and Young are not long-term locks, however, so I’d say that moving Joe to the OF may be a future possibility.
DH- We’ve got this guy named Jim Thome right now, who’s doing alright in this slot (!). Another option a season or two down the road (perhaps as early as next year) would be to have Mauer DH more and be behind the plate less. The downside to this is that he wouldn’t be learning a new position, and would be a half-time DH before the age of 30.
So, though I think Mauer will likely have to move somewhere–perhaps as early as next season–moving him anywhere in the present campaign would be too difficult and disruptive. For now, we’ll just have to wait (and hope) that those legs strengthen up and he can come back strong once again.
Preview (9-12, 4th, 2.5 GB DET/KC): Wade Davis (2-2, 2.73) vs. Francisco Liriano (1-3, 7.40) (Tuesday). Weather-permitting, I’ll be attending this contest!