The Minnesota Twins are clinging to postseason contention right now, with a 38-44 record after Tuesday night’s win over the Kansas City Royals. The addition of Kendrys Morales in June indicated an organizational belief that the playoffs were a possibility, and Joe Mauer’s recent resurgence offensively helped those hopes remain a faint reality.
But Mauer had to leave Tuesday night’s game with a strained right oblique after hitting a two-run double in the fourth inning, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday morning. Having enough available players for a day game on Wednesday is likely what spurred Mauer being placed on the disabled list so quickly, but it also may speak to the severity of his injury since the Twins don’t usually make such quick decisions with injuries. April offensive hero Chris Colabello was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take Mauer’s place.
Mauer is in the midst of perhaps the worst season of his career, with a .271 batting average, but he had hit safely in 12 straight games (17-for-47; .362 batting average) with 12 RBI and six doubles in that span. He will be eligible to return to action after the All-Star break, but the nature of oblique injuries could bring a much longer absence.
The Twins could have been considered potential buyers at the trade deadline a couple weeks ago, but they are now nine games out in the American League Central and going the wrong direction. General manager Terry Ryan may have already been starting to change course in terms of looking to trade veterans that aren’t part of the future, but Mauer’s injury now makes that plan a definite reality. One of the veterans who could be dealt over the next few weeks is Kevin Correia, who coincidentally can start to bolster his trade value with a solid outing against the Royals on Wednesday.
Watch if Minnesota can overcome this setback and still contend for a Wild Card spot in the AL without Mauer and be sure to head over to RazorGator for great deals on Twins tickets for the rest of the season.