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Mauer’s Flexibility Opens Many Doors

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Thursday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox might seem ordinary from the box score.

But it wasn’t.

It was the night Joe Mauer made his first base debut, in hopes that on days he isn’t able to catch, he can still be in the lineup.

Mauer played flawless defense, even making a few spectacular scoops on low throws throughout the game. But one thing I noticed — and so did former manager Tom Kelly — was that Mauer seemed to finally be having fun, even managing to crack a few smiles along the way.

I’m not sure if this is the answer for keeping Mauer in the lineup on a daily basis, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.

And the Twins would be wise to take note of the Detroit Tigers and their use of catchers Victor Martinez and Alex Avila. While Martinez spends a bulk of his time as the designated hitter, he still catches a few games a week, with Avila doing most of the catching.

Sure, moving Mauer to DH would pull at bats away from Jim Thome, which is why I think Mauer playing first base is a move that will help the team in the long run. Flexibility has never hurt a team.

This combination will be more difficult when Justin Morneau returns in August, but especially with the way Mauer played defense last night, why not let him have some fun?


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