13 Years Of Joe Mauer

13 Years Of Joe Mauer

Minnesota native and a fan favorite, Joe Mauer has given over a decade of his life to the Minnesota Twins and we've loved every minute of it.

Minnesota's own Joe Mauer, born and raised in St. Paul, is a baseball favorite around the country. He's made a name for himself and keeps people talking about him. Spring of 2018 will mark Mauer's 14th year with the Minnesota Twins.

Mauer was a standout baseball player in high school, at Cretin Derham Hall, the same high school current Twins manager Paul Molitor attended. He was the only high school athlete to be selected as the USA Today high school player of the year in two sports, football and baseball. After high school, Mauer committed to play football at Florida State University, but instead decided to join the Major League Baseball Draft and was the Minnesota Twins first overall pick in the 2001 draft.

Mauer's started his professional career off with a bang, hitting 2-3. Hitting his first hit against the Cleveland Indians.

In 2009, Mauer became the first catcher to lead the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage in a single year and the first player to lead the American League in all three since 1901 and the highest by a Twin since Rod Carew in 1977. Before the season started, he was diagnosed with inflammation in the sacroiliac joint which forced him to sit out during the teams spring training due to the pain in his lower back and missed the beginning of the season. After returning, he had the best month of his career, hitting 11 home runs and drove in 32 RBI's, becoming the first Twin to ever reach that mark in a month.

In 2010, Mauer agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Twins worth $184 million, which took into effect in 2011 and will run through the 2018 season.

2013 was a big year for Mauer. Slowly transitioning from catcher to first base, testing the waters, the Twins announced that Mauer would permanently move to first base and would no longer be catching for the Twins. This change was made to protect Mauer from gaining further injuries, keeping him healthy for longer.

Most recently, Mauer helped the Twins clinch the wild card spot in the 2017 season and was the only Twins player to have over a .300 batting average. This was the first time the Twins have made the playoffs since 2010, which was the inaugural season for Target Field. Mauer is the only player currently still on the team since the last time the Twins made the playoffs.

"It's been awesome watching this team come together all season, it's been one of the most fun years that I've ever had," said Mauer

Joe, his wife Maddie and his twin daughters, Emily and Maren, currently reside in the Twin Cities area.

Cover Image Credit: Twins Pics

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MLB 2018 Projections As Told By My Grandmother

"I'm just going based on how they're playing right now, and they ain't playing too good."

It is officially the first day of Spring, and what kind of article is best to write about on this day you may ask? A BASEBALL ARTICLE Y'ALL. You're in for a treat because this just isn't any kind of Baseball article, it's an article I asked my 88 year old, die hard MLB fan, grandmother to help me out with. Below are her predictions for the 2018 season rankings, based on the standings right now.

American League:

AL East

1. Orioles

2. Yankees

3. Rays

4. Red Socks

5. Blue Jays

AL Central

1. Indians

2. Twins

3. White Socks

4. Tigers

5. Royals

AL West

1. Astros

2. Angels

3. Athletics

4. Mariners

5. Rangers

National League

NL East

1. Nationals

2. Phillies

3. Braves

4. Mets

5. Marlins

NL Cenrtal

1. Cardinals

2. Brewers

3. Cubs

4. Pirates

5. Reds

NL West

1. Diamondbacks

2. Rockies

3. Giants

4. Padres

5. Dodgers

If you're doing any kind of bracket, bet, or fantasy league.. you're welcome.

Cover Image Credit: Arturo Pardavila III

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What Jason Vargas' Injury Means For Zack Wheeler

Injuries continue to shape the Mets.

Yesterday, the Mets announced that newcomer and rotation hopeful Jason Vargas sustained a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, his non-throwing hand. Vargas suffered the injury after being struck by a line drive during a Spring Training start on Saturday, effectively sidelining the starter until June, at the earliest.

On Sunday, the club announced that Vargas will undergo surgery to repair the fracture, the recovery of which could take anywhere between three and four months. However, the loss of Vargas might be a blessing in disguise for the Mets, as the team has been trying for years to cultivate starting opportunities for a “perfect rotation” that has been in the works since as early as 2012. Now, the “five aces” of the Mets might finally have the opportunity to make 2018 a dream season.

The lethal combination of Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler has never started five consecutive games for the Mets, as it feels like each and every member of the Mets’ “dream rotation” has had their own moment in the spotlight without another pitcher to compliment them. Matt Harvey was the star of 2012 and 2013, starting an All-Star Game and nearly winning a Cy Young Award. 2014 belonged to Jacob DeGrom as he lit up the National League en route to a Rookie of the Year Award. 2015, however, was the year where both Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz made their Major League debuts, as they carried the Mets to a World Series appearance, with Harvey and DeGrom by their side.

And yet, despite 2 playoff appearances in the past 3 years, Zack Wheeler has been a missing link for the Mets throughout all of it. Although the starter showed signs of triumph during the 2014 season, constant injuries have plagued his career, allowing him to throw only 86.1 innings over the past three years. Wheeler missed all of 2015 and 2016 following Tommy John surgery, and had his 2017 season cut short after sustaining a stress reaction in his right arm.

But now, with Vargas taking a step to the side following an injury, the door has swung wide open for Wheeler, as a chance at redemption could be on the horizon. Although Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman could pose as potential threats to Wheeler’s rotation spot, the Mets organization has had faith in their 5-man “dream rotation” for years now, and with a perfect opportunity in front of them, it would only make sense for the Mets to reap the long-awaited fruits of their labor by giving the fifth and final rotation spot to Zack Wheeler.

Finally, it seems as if this long-structured plan is coming to fruition, and with Jason Vargas out of the picture for the time being, Wheeler has the ultimate chance to reclaim what was once his. For the Mets, the dream of creating a “perfect rotation” could finally come true as soon as next month, with Wheeler rounding things out, just like the organization planned over 6 years ago.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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