Might Mauer play in infield?

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 25, 2011 - 12:43 AM

Joe Mauer could see time at first or third, manager Ron Gardenhire said.

MILWAUKEE - Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Friday that Joe Mauer could see time at first base or even third base as the team looks for ways to keep Mauer's bat in the lineup with Justin Morneau expected to be on the disabled list until at least mid-August.

Mauer took ground balls at third base during batting practice, and Gardenhire said he told the four-time All-Star catcher to get a first baseman's glove, too.

"We might look at Joe Mauer playing other positions, mixing in the infield somewhere," Gardenhire said. "I mean possibilities -- I'm trying everything. I've talked to Joe about it. I've talked to everybody about it. We're not afraid to move people around and keep his bat in the lineup on more of an every-day basis."

The goal is giving Mauer another way to get in the lineup -- besides designated hitter -- on days he isn't catching. Mauer went 0-for-4 in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Brewers, lowering his average to .186.

"It's just a casual conversation," Gardenhire said. "It was nothing in-depth, believe me, and he says he'll do whatever it takes. That's all I wanted."

Thome back, Tosoni down

After Friday's game, the Twins activated Jim Thome from the disabled list and optioned outfielder Rene Tosoni to Class AAA Rochester.

The decision leaves three catchers on the roster -- Mauer, Drew Butera and Rene Rivera.

Etc.

• Outfielder Denard Span played catch and took swings off a batting tee for the first time in nearly three weeks and reported no concussion symptoms.

• Jason Kubel (sprained left foot) ran without pain, and trainer Rick McWane said Kubel is close to being game-ready. The Twins plan to have him run the bases this weekend and then re-evaluate him Monday.

• Kevin Slowey (strained abdomen) is scheduled to pitch two or three innings for Class A Fort Myers on Saturday.

• Twins prospect Shooter Hunt had another rough night for Fort Myers, walking seven in two-thirds of an inning.

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