Mauer on Seven Day Concussion Stay, Will He Return?


Aug 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (7) forces Kansas City Royals base runner Mike Moustakas (8) at home during the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Even when he isn’t playing Joe Mauer is still the topic of discussion. Mauer has now started his seven-day concussion stay in his hotel; his future behind the plate was one of the focus points for the pregame talk at Comerica Park.

Mauer is one of many catchers that have been diagnosed with concussions in recent weeks. Alex Avila of the Detroit Tigers is on the concussion DL, Yorvit Torrealba (Colorado), Carlos Corporan (Houston) and John Jaso (Oakland).

“Every team in baseball would like to have Joe Mauer behind the plate, I guarantee you that,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Catcher is a pretty important position. He’s so important back there: calling a game and running a game. Then you have a guy that can hit, too.”

Mauer is a pretty impressive player, who can also play first base. That is something he started doing during his injury plagued season in 2011, when he was limited to playing 82 games because of leg and neck injuries. Unfortunately his recent concussion has renewed that topic of discussion.

Before absorbing a hard foul tip from New York’s Ike Davis off his facemask, Mauer was on track to start 95 games at catcher, which would have been the most since he started 107 in 2010.

How much time Mauer spends at the plate this season boils down to how quickly he’s able to return from his concussion, and if he has any setbacks along the way.

Gardenhire has said that General Manager Terry Ryan could sit down with Mauer and advise him that his catching days are done for the season. Which could be a blow to the Twins who are already hurting.

“That could happen,” Gardenhire said. “If this becomes one of those situations where this affects (Mauer) for any length of time, yeah, it could happen. It’s going to have a lot to do with how Joe thinks about it.”

Mauer has been in contact with Gardenhire during his media session, and the plan remains to have Mauer come to Comerica Park on Thursday for further evaluation.

Once he is deemed fit to fly, Mauer will return to the Twin Cities while the rest of the Twins’ take a two-hour, 40-minute bus ride to Cleveland for a weekend series against the Indians.

Mauer said last month in New York at his sixth All-Star Game that he still loves to catch but realizes he won’t be able to stay there forever.

“I know eventually I won’t be able to catch a whole lot,” he said, “but then again eventually I won’t be able to play this game. Right now I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense for me to move positions.”