March 10, 2009 – So what is ailing Joe Mauer? The situation with Joe has been handled very strangely this past off season. First Joe has kidney related surgery about 2 ½ months ago and everyone said no problem; Mauer will be ready to go when the season starts, no worries. Then as we get deeper and deeper into spring training Joe is still working on the back fields and once he starts to swing a bat and catch some bullpen the word is that Joe’s back is bothering him again and now he is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday and Twins management is quickly backing off there “no concern” policy.
So let’s do the hypothetical thing here, what happens to the Twins line-up, bench and roster if Mauer starts the season on the DL? Who would be the starting catcher? Redmond? Mike could probably fill the slot for a couple of weeks but that is about it, he is not a young pup anymore. Even if that was true, who would the Twins use as the back-up catcher? Would it be Jose Morales who has had a taste of the big leagues, or would it be Wilson Ramos the young up and coming stud catcher who still has a lot to learn but who can hit circles around Redmond and Morales. That assumes that Drew Butera does not have a shot at the job and the way I see it and he shouldn’t. Some very interesting decisions would have to be made if Joe is out for any length of time. I am not even going to discuss who the Twins would have to put into the 3 hole in the batting order.
Too early to worry? I don’t think so, and everyone will be waiting for that medical report. Is it just me or does there seem to be something that happens to Joe to keep him from playing a full season every other year or so………. I sure hope I am wrong but I am afraid that where there is smoke there is usually fire.