Minnesota Twins: Why Joe Mauer's Hot Spring Will Translate into Huge Comeback
The spring training Mauer was the Joe of old, the Mauer who won batting titles and the 2009 American League MVP award. The regular season Joe is the Mauer no one likes to talk about, a Mauer that struggles to get a hit. Let’s focus on the spring training Joe.
Mauer ripped the cover off the ball during spring training. He played in 19 games and hit an average of .357, the highest of any active roster players for the Twins. Comparing spring stats to regular-season stats is futile, but .357 is better than his regular-season batting average in 2006 and 2010, years in which he won the AL batting title.
Mauer also finished the spring with 13 RBIs, third on the team behind Luke Hughes (20) and Justin Morneau (14). It’s not a mind-blowing stat by any means, but it shows that Mauer had a hot spring and he’ll bring that into the regular season.
Now, to date, that’s not the case. Through four games, Mauer only has four hits, but it takes a little time to get adjusted. In spring training, many at bats are against non-MLB material. Many teams throw minor league pitchers out on the mound for a large portion of spring, inflating the numbers of the offensive players.
Now that the regular season is upon us, it takes time to adjust to real big-league pitching. If you look at the scores around the league from the first handful of games, you’ll see low scores dominated by pitching. A handful of pitchers have brought no-hitters late into the game already including when the Baltimore Orioles’ Jason Hammel brought a no-no into the eighth against the Twins on Sunday.
Soon enough the bats will come alive including Mauer’s. As soon as the summer sun starts to heat up, so will all of the bats, and once Mauer’s does it's going to be quite the show.
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