Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Joe Mauer's return to the lineup:
First baseman Joe Mauer got through his rehab assignment with Class A Cedar Rapids without any issues and remains on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list to rejoin the Twins on Monday in Houston.
Mauer, who has been on the DL with a strained right oblique since July 2, went 2-for-4 Saturday while playing nine innings at first base for a second straight game. Mauer hit .400 (6-for-15) in four games with Cedar Rapids and wasn't in the lineup Sunday, as he was traveling to Houston.
Bollinger continued with a statement from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "We'll get to Houston and see which way we're going."
Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 5
MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger has an update on Mauer's return:
Joe Mauer is likely to rehab with Class A Cedar Rapids through the weekend before joining Twins in Houston next week, per Gardenhire.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 5, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, July 22
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com has the latest on Joe Mauer's rehab from an oblique injury:
Joe Mauer (oblique) has progressed to hitting off a tee. But still timetable for return until he faces live pitching.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 22, 2014
Updates from Sunday, July 20
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Joe Mauer's latest rehab drill:
Mauer took dry swings today— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 20, 2014
In terms of injuries to star players at the major league and minor league levels, the Minnesota Twins have been hit as hard as any team in baseball.
Joe Mauer is the latest victim of the injury bug, leaving Tuesday's game against Kansas City with a strained right oblique after hitting an RBI double. The 2009 American League MVP has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, via MLB Roster Moves.
The @Twins place 1B Joe Mauer on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) July 2, 2014
Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com noted the Twins were bringing Chris Colabello up from Triple-A Rochester to fill Mauer's roster spot.
Mauer later discussed his health following the move to the disabled list (via Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press):
Joe Mauer said he sneezed while he was sleeping last night and his right oblique "felt like the time I did it."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 2, 2014
Joe Mauer said he has no history of oblique strains. "I know it’s kind of a tricky thing." #MNTwins— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 2, 2014
Mauer said right side had bothered him for "probably the last week, two weeks. Nothing crazy." Had been taking treatment.— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 2, 2014
Mauer: "I was coming in and trying to take care of it. Nothing more than the usual nicks and things you acquire throughout a season."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 2, 2014
The Twins star also discussed the frustration of the injury with Berardino:
Adding to the frustration, Mauer said he "felt like things were going, I guess, my way, turning my direction." #MNTwins— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 2, 2014
Mauer on missing ASG: "It’s disappointing. Anytime you get a chance to go ... it’s an exciting time, especially one in your hometown."— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 2, 2014
After being taken out of the game, Mauer told reporters (via Derek Wetmore of ESPN Radio 1500) that the injury "felt like somebody hit me pretty hard right there."
Injuries have been a big part of Mauer's career, which is one of the main reasons Minnesota moved him to first base full time this season to keep his bat in the lineup. He's only played in more than 113 games once since 2011.
Despite giving Mauer's body a break, his bat hasn't been as potent this season. The 31-year-old was hitting .271/.342/.353 in 76 games before getting hurt. All three slash stats represent career lows for him, though they are Hall of Fame caliber compared to Colabello's .232/.280/.377 line in 40 games this season at the MLB level before being sent down.
The Twins need Mauer, who is signed through 2018 and will make $23 million every year until the end of his deal, to be the offensive weapon he has been throughout his career. An oblique injury is tricky to forecast because the hips and sides are so crucial to rotating through a swing, so it could be more than 15 days before he's back in the lineup.