Each spring fans are entertained by non-news news from the southern camps in Florida relating to how great of shape a player is in, how re-dedicated they are, etc, etc. Early February brings a lot of "I feel great" moments from players who were injured the previous season and, of course, wealthy catcher Joe Mauer is one such player who draws this kind of attention from the media.

In January, right around TwinsFest when Mauer made a quick circuit of local appearances, reports spread that the catcher had put on nearly 30 pounds - some of which was weight that needed to be replaced after supposedly losing so much over the course of the 2011 season. Mauer, who has a home in the Ft Myers area, has joined in with some of the early arrivals to get back into game shape. Reporters, milling around for a story, inquired about the added weight to which Mauer said:

“I heard that, too, and I couldn’t believe it,” the 6-foot-5 Mauer said. “It’s just how rumors start. There were a lot of things out there last year that weren’t true. I’m about 220, 225. I need to add a little more weight before we start.”
His reply neither confirmed nor denied whether or not he added 30 pounds or exactly what his weight was after the brutal 2011 campaign. Not that it is important from a baseball perspective but it is an interesting nonetheless. He realizes that his name is affixed to plenty of rumors and tall-tales yet he rarely takes the opportunity to address them head-on (not that he obligated to dispel every rumor that comes floating by).

What may be important to the baseball-side of this quote is that according to the Twins roster, Mauer is listed at 235 pounds - roughly 10-15 pounds from where he is now. Since his marvelous 2009 season in which he slugged 28 home runs in 606 plate appearances, Mauer has tagged just 12 in his last 917 plate appearances dating back to 2010. So putting 10-to-15 pounds of muscle on his 6-foot-5 frame would be a good start towards hitting those 2009-type numbers again. Unfortunately, with the season a little over a month-and-a-half away, adding poundage seems like a tall task given the amount of conditioning and weight-loss players typically encounter in the spring.