Joe Mauer missed his fourth straight game last night, as the former MVP is dealing with a sore neck. If Mauer’s condition doesn’t show improvement today, Minnesota said there’s a good chance that Triple-A catcher Rene Rivera will be added to their roster.
Mauer was last in the lineup for the Twins Tuesday, when he injured his neck attempting to make a play on a popup. While the term hasn’t been used, Minnesota’s manager Ron Gardenhire believes that Mauer is likely dealing with whiplash.
Mauer took swings for the second day in a row Saturday, but said that he didn’t feel ready enough to jump back behind the plate for the Twins.
Banged up for much of the year, Mauer has only played in 70 games for the Twins in 2011. Mauer hit the disabled list early in April and was out of action until the beginning of June. His extended absence was caused by what was termed bilateral leg weakness.
Since returning, Mauer has produced what would be considered by most a solid batting average (.287), though by his standards it’s far below.
Mauer has also experienced a power outage this season. Mauer is currently well below his career slugging percentage of .471, only managing a mark of .349 in 2011.
His injury issues have sparked the debate on whether or not Mauer should move from behind the plate in order to keep his bat in the lineup. But while Mauer has started games at first base, DH and even right field this season, Minnesota still considers him to be their primary catcher.
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