Joe Mauer has gone through one of his most troubling seasons as a professional at the major league level. Despite the move from catcher to first base, Mauer experienced a first half that just didn’t really pan out in his favor. Since the All-Star break however, Joe has made strides to turn his 2014 around. Ron Gardenhire has some ideas as to why.
The 2014 Major League Baseball All Star Game was played at Target Field. It was the first All Star game in Minneapolis since 1985 and Mauer was named the All Star Game ambassador, except he didn’t make the team.
Prior to the game this year, Mauer was batting .271/.342/.353 with only 28 runs batted in. Since the All Star break, Joe Mauer has hit .288/.400/.475 with 12 runs batted in across only 17 games. While the average isn’t a massive upgrade, he has struck out only eight times in comparison to walking 11 times.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com caught up with Gardenhire and asked what his thoughts were on the change.
Gardenhire says he sees a difference in Mauer since coming back from injury. Said Mauer was pressing earlier to make the All-Star team.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 29, 2014
Considering the pressure that he very likely could have put on himself, this isn’t that far out of the realm of possibility. Regardless of your feelings on Joe Mauer, and despite the fact that the turnaround hasn’t been extremely drastic, expecting Mauer to hit above .290 by years end isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Joe got his first off day yesterday since coming off the disabled list. Hopefully the success continues to trend upwards.