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Thread: Joe Mauer hurt?

  1. #21
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I don't think it's the back. Max and Souhan are just speculating. If the back is still a problem, the Twins probably would have mentioned it since his last DL trip.

    Maybe it has to do with the concussion, but how can we know?

    How do we know that the reason it took Morneau so many years to get back to form is that he finally recovered? Maybe he had already recovered and just slumped badly in the meantime.

    Maybe Mauer's just playing badly. Until someone in the Twins gives us reason to believe otherwise, that's my assumption.

  2. #22
    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post

    Maybe it has to do with the concussion, but how can we know?

    How do we know that the reason it took Morneau so many years to get back to form is that he finally recovered? Maybe he had already recovered and just slumped badly in the meantime.
    Lots of speculation all around. It seems a mystery. But I think many read this article and thread and started wondering if Joe was going through some of what Morneau did. Whether or not that's the answer is anybody's guess.

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  4. #23
    Everytime they ask about injuries, they say healthy and there would be no reason to hide an injury. Even before the concussion last year, you could start seeing some signs of a decline. It used to seem like he had very few holes in his swing, but last year his strike outs increased and his hitting with RISP dropped from a career average of .340 to .247 (this year it's down to .150). It looks like pitchers have found a weakness. It happens with age and it seems early for Mauer to fall into this, but maybe the expectation should be that of a .280 hitter, not a .320 hitter.

  5. #24
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
    Lots of speculation all around. It seems a mystery. But I think many read this article and thread and started wondering if Joe was going through some of what Morneau did. Whether or not that's the answer is anybody's guess.
    Going into the season, I had the attitude "the Twins can't possibly be that unlucky on the concussion front to see Joe falter like other players have in recent years". In the past decade, they've had three guys go down for obscene amounts of time due to concussion-related symptoms (Koskie, Morneau, Span). I don't follow other teams that closely but the Twins must have the worst luck with concussions in MLB.

    They were due for a typical concussion bounce-back with Mauer. It's pretty damned frustrating that Joe might be suffering from the same ailments previous Twins suffered from in the past ten years.

    Aggravating. This team just can't catch a break.

  6. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Becoming the best player in baseball (2009) happens without passion and is often the result of dumb luck.

    He's better at baseball than anything any of us will do in our lives, period. It's absurd to believe he achieved that lofty mark without passion for the sport.

    A guy doesn't need to yell and scream to have passion for something.
    I shouldn't say he's never had a passion for the game, but I think over time he's gradually losing it. It has nothing to do with him not being a rah rah guy. And I agree with the other poster. Some of it stems from getting paid. It's human nature. I just didn't think he'd succumb to it.

  7. #26
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    Some of it stems from getting paid. It's human nature. I just didn't think he'd succumb to it.
    He signed that massive contract like 4 years ago at this point, and actually had out performed his career averages in 2012 and 2013, it is abundantly clear to me he just got complacent after he got paid....
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald


  8. #27
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    I shouldn't say he's never had a passion for the game, but I think over time he's gradually losing it. It has nothing to do with him not being a rah rah guy. And I agree with the other poster. Some of it stems from getting paid. It's human nature. I just didn't think he'd succumb to it.
    He's had a couple of his better seasons since getting paid (2010 and 2013).

    Catching is really hard. I think it's really unfair to say that a guy who has posted 5 WAR seasons of 5+ - two of those coming since getting paid - doesn't have passion for the game.

    Joe can be a bit of a robot out there. It's a large part of how he prepares for and plays the game of baseball. Let's not confuse that with a lack of passion to win or play the game.

  9. #28
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
    Lots of speculation all around. It seems a mystery. But I think many read this article and thread and started wondering if Joe was going through some of what Morneau did. Whether or not that's the answer is anybody's guess.
    Thanks for the reminder, ChiTown.

    The thing that strikes me is that w/post-concussion syndrome, it isn't necessarily a case of "healthy" vs "not healthy".

    It actually seems to be more of a case of post-concussion syndrome possibly making Joe or Justin (or another ballplayer) more like the rest of us mortals.

    I have to think that part of what makes elite players elite are their reaction times and how they track the ball (From the SI article: When you have post-concussion syndrome, when you're still symptomatic and still haven't completely healed, very commonly reaction times are slow [and] your eyes do not track with the same coordination and speed. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb...#ixzz356a2qQTG)

    It seems to me that we can be talking about very, very small degrees of impairment that might have a significant impact. And that they may, in fact, be hard to measure (or even hard for the player to detect). Yet with an elite player, it may have a big impact.

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  11. #29
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    He signed that massive contract like 4 years ago at this point, and actually had out performed his career averages in 2012 and 2013, it is abundantly clear to me he just got complacent after he got paid....
    2012 was career average almost exactly. (Which is kind of freaky) 2013 he outperformed it, though.

    I hate Mauer conversations, rarely can we go on without someone becoming his cheerleader and someone becoming a character assassin.

    I know this much - 2014 Mauer at 1B has a lot of plates of crow ready to be served at this pace.

  12. #30
    I am in the camp that believes the concussion issue is lingering. With that said, I have to believe the Twins have done extensive work trying to figure that out--Joe is the teams highest paid asset. The fact they haven't said anything could mean the Docs are saying he's good to go.

    Most concerning to me are the strikeouts and what appears to be an unwillingness on Joe's part to make pitchers pay for throwing strike 1 right down the middle of the plate. He's 6'5" 225 and he can't turn on an inside fastball and drive it out of the park? The shift has hurt him a lot, but I think he needs to modify his game plan before he'll see better results.

  13. #31
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I believe there are 3 things to blame for Mauer's season:

    Hard BABIP regression on liners

    He's hitting more ground balls as a result of trying to pull the ball

    Career high 1st pitch strike% is putting him behind in the count and forcing him to swing at pitchers pitches more frequently.

  14. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty74 View Post
    I am in the camp that believes the concussion issue is lingering. With that said, I have to believe the Twins have done extensive work trying to figure that out--Joe is the teams highest paid asset. The fact they haven't said anything could mean the Docs are saying he's good to go.

    Most concerning to me are the strikeouts and what appears to be an unwillingness on Joe's part to make pitchers pay for throwing strike 1 right down the middle of the plate. He's 6'5" 225 and he can't turn on an inside fastball and drive it out of the park? The shift has hurt him a lot, but I think he needs to modify his game plan before he'll see better results.
    I don't watch every game, but it seems like he has been swinging at that 1st pitch a little more often over the last few weeks (I'll be the first to admit that I don't have statistical backup on that). That said, his swing seems like it needs some tweaks to drive that pitch to right. He seems to miss it or make poor contact, even when he swings at a middle/in 1st pitch FB.

    Concussions are tough. I know some friends that fought through them in high school sports (lacrosse/hockey), and they had a tough time looking at screens/driving/reading books/etc, even months after the concussion. Tracking ML fastballs at 95 mph and reacting....it's easy to imagine it being problematic. Then again, not all concussions are made the same, not all athletes are made the same, and none of us are qualified to evaluate athletes, concussions, or athletes with concussions. My own anecdotal experience just leads me to a convenient (true or not) explanation for how a player on a potential HoF track could precipitously drop to statistics that say "needs to be platooned against LH and is replacement-level against RH."

  15. #33
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I believe there are 3 things to blame for Mauer's season:

    Hard BABIP regression on liners

    He's hitting more ground balls as a result of trying to pull the ball

    Career high 1st pitch strike% is putting him behind in the count and forcing him to swing at pitchers pitches more frequently.
    I would add in potential lingering concussion effects, but this is good.

  16. #34
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    If the issue is concussion related then shouldn't he be getting better as the year goes on? His average has dropped each month from April->May->June.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statsplits....=C&season=2014

  17. #35
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Kirby_Waved_At_Me's Avatar
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    I hesitated in posting at all in this thread because there's no way to know if Mauer's season is related to natural decline or injury. It doesn't seem productive to speculate which one it is, but the thing that can be deduced from the first half of 2014 is that he is not the player he was last year (or for much of his career).
    The "why" is what a lot of us want to know, but I think the more important piece is "what" as in what are the Twins going to do about it? The expectation that Mauer will bounce back is one I still have, but my optimism is waning as the season progresses. Will he get the benefit of the doubt for the whole year, or at some point in the near future do the Twins make a move to replace him in the lineup.
    My guess is that Mauer will be given every possible opportunity to show he still has the skills that have made him one of the best hitters of his generation.

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  19. #36
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I haven't ruled out the possibility that there is nothing wrong with Mauer physically at all. I think we're all so surprised with how far he's fallen off that we're grasping and reaching for explanations. Sometimes players just don't perform.

    Occam's razor and all that.

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  21. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I believe there are 3 things to blame for Mauer's season:

    Hard BABIP regression on liners

    He's hitting more ground balls as a result of trying to pull the ball

    Career high 1st pitch strike% is putting him behind in the count and forcing him to swing at pitchers pitches more frequently.
    Average BABIP in the majors is around .300, right? Is it different for line drives?

  22. #38
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beezer07 View Post
    Average BABIP in the majors is around .300, right? Is it different for line drives?
    Leaguewide its around .700 for linedrives IIRC. For Mauer's career, he has done better.

    According to ESPN Stats & Info, between 2009 and 2013 Mauer had an .803 average on line drives to the outfield (.744 when going to left field). This year that rate has tumbled to .579 (.450 when going the other way).
    http://twinsdaily.com/entry.php/5300...er-s-Struggles

  23. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Leaguewide its around .700 for linedrives IIRC. For Mauer's career, he has done better.

    According to ESPN Stats & Info, between 2009 and 2013 Mauer had an .803 average on line drives to the outfield (.744 when going to left field). This year that rate has tumbled to .579 (.450 when going the other way).

    http://twinsdaily.com/entry.php/5300...er-s-Struggles
    I don't know how to pull up those stats but I am suspicious that the range they used included the outlier 2009 year. I would be more comfortable looking at 2010-2013 when he reverted to his normal output for the most part.

  24. #40
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    I haven't ruled out the possibility that there is nothing wrong with Mauer physically at all. I think we're all so surprised with how far he's fallen off that we're grasping and reaching for explanations. Sometimes players just don't perform.

    Occam's razor and all that.
    I think the injury hypothesis requires fewer assumptions and thus fits the Occam's razor rule better. I don't know a lot of things that can turn a .320 hitter into a .260 hitter, but a concussion can do it. Guys don't suddenly forget how to hit.

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