Reigning American League batting champion Joe Mauer is expected to return from the disabled list for the Minnesota Twins in tonight’s game against the Kansas City Royals.
While Mauer’s inability to hit consistently for power – and the occasional 4-6-3 double play ball he does hit - frustrates many Twins fans, his offense should provide a little more consistency to the lineup.
Mauer has done some of his best hitting in tough spots. His career numbers get better as the situation becomes more pressure-packed.
- With the bases empty: .302 BA, .453 SLG
- With RISP: .342 BA, .499 SLG
- With RISP, 2 outs: .352 BA, .519 SLG
With backup catcher Mike Redmond banged up, Jose Morales has been left to assume the duties behind the plate for the Twins.
Morales has done a nice job at the plate for the Twins, sporting a .349 BA so far this season. However, behind the plate is another matter.
I was watching the Twins either Sunday or Monday when one of the announcers said it was the first time all season that a Minnesota catcher had thrown a baserunner out. ALL SEASON!?!?! The 2009 campaign was three weeks old at the time.
And that might be the one area that gets the least attention. The Twins, especially the pitchers, need Mauer to at the very least control the opponent’s running game.
So far, that has been a major struggle for the Twins.