The Twins' 4-8 start might be easier to handle if their starting second baseman hadn't broken his leg and their MVP catcher wasn't on the disabled list. Here's the latest on the Twins, with a heavy focus on Joe Mauer, who went on the DL yesterday with bilateral leg weakness:
- Tom Verducci of SI.com runs through the list of ailments Mauer has suffered as a big leaguer and suggests the Twins may have to consider moving Mauer to a new position to keep his bat in the lineup.
- So when would the position switch occur and where would Mauer go? Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests it could happen next offseason and argues that the outfield is the most logical alternative to catching for Mauer. Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel will become free agents after the season, so the Twins' outfield will likely have a different look next year. Delmon Young could cost $7.5MM or more through arbitration, so the Twins could consider trading him or Denard Span. Alternatively, the Twins could try Mauer in center field, a position scouts believe he could handle, according to Rosenthal. I don't see that happening if the Twins want to reduce the wear and tear on Mauer's body.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs points out that learning a new position midseason won't be easy for Mauer and suggests that he may have to DH when he comes back this year, even if that means Jim Thome gets pushed from the everyday lineup.