Twins’ star hitter Joe Mauer, hobbled by injuries for most of the 2011 season, has been diagnosed with pneumonia resulting from a respiratory tract infection that has plagued the catcher for most of September. Upon doctors’ orders, Mauer will not play in the last 14 games of the season.
The announcement means little to the Twins’ plans for this season. The team entered play Friday 30 games under .500, and it was eliminated from playoff contention more than a week ago. Even had Mauer been able to play the last two weeks, there would have been little value to doing so.
With Mauer out and regular first baseman Justin Morneau battling concussion symptoms, we will likely see much more of rookie Chris Parmelee over the next two weeks. The 2006 first round draft pick has hit .286 in 21 at bats since his September callup.
Mauer’s final stat line for the season is .287/.360/.368 – pretty good offensive numbers for most catchers, but far below what was expected from the career .323/.403/.471 hitter, especially in the first year of a contract paying him $23 million per year. In 296 plate appearances, Mauer accumulated 15 doubles, three home runs, and 30 runs batted in.