2015 Twins: 6 Keys To Relevance

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Sep 1, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) hits a two run triple during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Return Of Joe Mauer

Very few things in baseball are givens, the sport is designed to humble even the most talented of athletes. Joe Mauer moved from behind the plate to play first base full-time last season. The thought was that his legs would benefit and all other aspects of his game would follow suit; that didn’t take place.

Not only did Mauer miss plenty of time due to an oblique injury, but his batting average dipped below .280 and he spent much of the season fighting to bring it back up. That should change in 2015, and the Twins need it to.

Having a full season under his belt at first base, Mauer knows what to expect from the position. He can more adequately tailor his approach at the plate, and train for the defensive rigors of the position. Without the benefit of being behind the plate, Mauer had to learn the zone from a new perspective, and that’s something that likely contributed to the dropoff as well.

Minnesota doesn’t need MVP Mauer, and they don’t even need him to be an All-Star. The Twins should expect to get their .300 hitting first basemen back, and in the lineup they have crafted, that’s an asset.