Healthy Mauer put in the work to return to All-Star form

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 10, 2012 - 12:12 PM

The Twins catcher has been able to stay on the field this season, and has returned to his place among the game's leading hitters.

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coolhandlukeJul. 9, 12 1:32 AM

Yep he's hitting with the best of 'em all right. He's on pace for about 9 HR and 70 RBI--the exact same numbers Pat Meares had in his last season as a Twin? Remember him? Yeah, me neither. I had to go look him up...Joe is a prolific walker. And a GIDP specialist. Those are the two things he leads the league in. Walking and grounding into double plays. So cut the crap that he's among the game's best hitters. Batting average is the LEAST important offensive stat there is. He drives in fewer runs from the 3 hole, and certainly hits fewer home runs, than just about any other #3 hitter in baseball. Will you guys please start comparing apples to apples?

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Willy53Jul. 9, 12 5:43 AM

I've been one of Joe's harshest critics but as I've said before, the less catcher he plays, the better he hits. IF you get Mauer out from behind the plate and allow his legs to heal there's no telling how high his average will be. I've also felt from the beginning of his career he should hit leadoff or second, get him to the plate as many times as possible and let him hit singles and possibly reduce his number of double play grounders. The fewer games Mauer catches, the better his average will be, simple as that.

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huckfinnJul. 9, 12 7:49 AM

People love home runs...heck, I love home runs. But, Joe Mauer is not a power hitter. If you are going to hit homers at Target Field you are going to be a pull hitter or an all-time monster like Thome. Let's stop holding the lack of homers against Mauer. He might just win his 4th batting title this year. This is a bad team, but Joe is a great player.

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henrikJul. 9, 12 7:56 AM

Mauer is a hitting machine. He hits more balls square than anyone. This does lead into GIDP, some times, but he is the player I would want up and needing a hit to win a game. Much of the criticism of Mauer last year was the Twins not being forthcoming in what was really going on with his injuries. Had they been honest with the fans by saying that his knee had not healed from the off season surgery people would have accepted that. When they came up with the "bilateral leg weakness" it did not sound believable. I do agree that he should be limited to how many times he is the catcher, especially since Doumit is pretty good, and can actually contribute offensively.

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twinsfanwy1Jul. 9, 12 8:37 AM

I think Joe's future is at first base. Keeping Joe healthy and in the lineup has to be the top priority. I still believe Joe's one of the best catchers in the game. But as great a hitter as Joe is, I think he'll become even better when he's permanently removed from backstop duties.

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jpweisserJul. 9, 12 8:52 AM

huckfinn I love home runs & I'm sure the Twins would expect to see more home runs from Mauer for the money they're paying him. Seems kind of funny that in 2009 in what was basically his contract drive year he hits 28 of them(12 on the road), still hits for average(.365) & drives in runs(96 with 43 on the road) while playing in 140 + games. We've got to stop applauding Mauer for hitting .330 while hitting 10 homers & driving in 80 runs. He's not paid for that. He's shown he can hit for power.....we need to hold him accountable for it. Do you think the Twins would have offered $184M if in 2009 he had hit .330 10 home runs & 80 RBI? The answer would be no. I'm only guessing(as that's all we can ever do) but the Twins saw that as a maturing of his power & similar stats would follow. Hey.....I'm happy to see he's healthy & received the big fat contract, now start producing. He did hit with power on the road, so it's not just a Target field power outage. Along with that big contract comes higher expectations. Contrary to what some others post, the $23M/year does play a big part in all this. Not so much for limiting the Twins payroll, the Pohlads chose to cut the payroll this year, but where that ranks him comparable to other players in MLB. just my opinion.

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twinsfan1221Jul. 9, 12 9:20 AM

Gardy talks about how when you get older you can't do the things like you did when you were younger like catching all the time but Mauer keeps talking about that he is a catcher but only catches 1/3 of the time but you see these other catcher's having no problems who are older than Mauer like A.J. who is 35 and Mauer 29 and A.J. catches all the time so Gardy is full of it.

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proute507Jul. 9, 12 9:25 AM

@jpweisser. "We've got to stop applauding Mauer for hitting .330 while hitting 10 homers & driving in 80 runs" So opening day next year/his first plate appearance at home--(if he wins the batting title in '12). We shouldn't applaud him?

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paul44Jul. 9, 12 9:59 AM

It’s been continually noted by baseball writers, commentators, other managers, and other players that Mauer is an excellent hitter and player - for people who know the game, Mauer’s excellence is without doubt. It has also been noted that the Mauer bashers, at best, are irrational in their criticism, and, at worse, are just internet trolls with nothing better to do. The Mauer bashers will continue to be laughed at and ignored by the rest of us who really know the game and continue to appreciate Mauer, the Twins, and Target Field.

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skeeterzx180Jul. 9, 1210:39 AM

As soon as Morneau's contract is up, Mauer will be a full time 1st basemen...

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