The Minnesota Twins are having another disappointing season and things just got much worse. Joe Mauer, the face of the Twins franchise, was diagnosed with a concussion on Tuesday and has landed on the disabled list as a result.
Mauer took a few foul balls off the mask during Monday’s game and reportedly experienced dizziness during batting practice on Tuesday. He was scratched from the lineup as a result. The 30-year-old was then given a concussion test and subsequently moved to the seven-day concussion disabled list.
While the six-time All-Star catcher could return in a week, I sincerely doubt the Twins will rush their franchise player back quickly. After dropping Tuesday night’s game 6-3 to the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota is now 55-69 on the season and sits 17.5 games behind the Tigers for first place in the American League Central.
While the Twins are struggling, Mauer is having another outstanding season. He is hitting .324, with 11 home runs, 47 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .404 and an OPS of .880. In 113 games he has 144 hits and 35 doubles. His WAR of 5.3 is sixth in the American League.
Mauer is also fourth in the AL in batting, third in doubles, eighth in OPS, ninth in hits, ninth in walks (with 61) and his WAR leads all big league catchers.
This is a lost season for the Twins, so it might be best to sit Mauer for a while and make sure this concussion issue doesn’t pop up again. Minnesota signed the 2009 AL MVP to an eight-year, $184 million contract in March of 2010. He has five years and $115 million left on that deal after this season. Expect them to protect that investment as much as they can.