Mauer rankled by criticism, commits to better conditioning

He called this season a "grind" healthwise, refuted claims that he balked at playing hurt and vowed to step up offseason training.

hide

Joe Mauer sat on the bench and watched Friday's action at Target Field, when the Twins lost to Detroit 8-1.

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

One Twins player looking forward to the offseason is catcher Joe Mauer -- but not because he wants to get away from recent criticism about his ability to play through injuries.

After speaking with the training staff, Mauer is making arrangements to upgrade his offseason conditioning program. The offseason is the best time for players to add strength, and Mauer wants to enter 2012 spring training in the best shape possible.

"The biggest thing is having a regular offseason," Mauer said. "This year has been pretty tough for me, probably the toughest season I've been through, physically. Last year wasn't easy either. I had that heel injury and things kind if trickled down from that.

"It will be nice. Hopefully I'll have somewhat of a normal offseason. I've got things in place. I've learned a lot over the last couple of years. I think I have the right people and program in place to have a good offseason."

Mauer's last offseason was abbreviated because of knee surgery in December. Even after that, Mauer's workouts were geared toward post-surgery rehabilitation. He never built a solid conditioning base, and some Twins personnel believe that's what led to his weak legs early in the season.

And Mauer said his left knee hasn't been 100 percent this season.

"It's been a grind," Mauer said, "but the last couple weeks my knee has felt pretty good. It's starting to almost kind of heal at this time of the season, which is good. I'm excited about that. There's improvement, and hopefully, once the offseason hits, I'll make some big gains.

"Everybody knows that if you don't have your legs you're not going to be able to drive the ball."

Mauer on Saturday didn't start for the third consecutive game because of a stiff neck suffered Tuesday when he chased after a pop-up while playing first base against the Orioles.

He had to see specialists to help with his neck. He took batting practice before Saturday's game but was deemed unavailable to pinch hit.

He admitted that he wasn't happy with recent criticism about his willingness to play when injured. The drama started Thursday when manager Ron Gardenhire revealed that he had warned Mauer that he would need him if there was an emergency. Mauer looked even worse when Michael Cuddyer told Gardenhire he wanted to play one day after getting hit squarely on the left wrist with a pitch. Afterward, Cuddyer spoke of how important it is to play despite being banged up.

Mauer, after that game, said he would have been unable to play and bristled when asked about perceptions that he's soft.

"The next day, Gardy and Cuddy both apologized," Mauer said. "They kind of got blindsided by it, too. Things are going to happen. I thought it was unfair, but it is what it is."

Gardenhire insisted that Mauer has played many games while banged up this season.

"He's playing hurt more than any of these guys," Gardenhire said. "He's not getting enough credit for going out there and playing."

But Gardenhire is encouraged by Mauer's willingness to attack his offseason conditioning.

"He's going to do some different things this winter and really get after it," Gardenhire said. "He realizes he can't sit around and not do anything as you get older. He's going to stay after it. He's going to do some different things this winter and prepare a little bit more and a little bit longer and come to spring training ready to go. That's a plan. That's a good plan."

  • DETROIT 6, TWINS 4 Up next: 1:10 p.m. today vs. Tigers at Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 75 4th Qtr 2:43
Washington 97
Orlando 94 4th Qtr 4:37
Charlotte 84
Memphis 63 3rd Qtr 7:44
Miami 48
Indiana 48 2nd Qtr 2:01
Brooklyn 42
New Orleans 43 2nd Qtr 1:32
Chicago 47
Atlanta 18 1st Qtr 1:11
Milwaukee 8
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 3 3rd Prd 13:56
Buffalo 0
Detroit 1 3rd Prd 19:04
Ottawa 2
Carolina 0 3rd Prd 15:59
Tampa Bay 1
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd 14:08
NY Rangers 2
Boston 2 3rd Prd 19:54
Columbus 5
Winnipeg 1 3rd Prd
Minnesota 1
Washington 1 2nd Prd 4:28
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 2 2nd Prd
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd 18:53
Nashville 1
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 18:14
Arizona 1
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 60 2nd Half 2:50
Virginia Tech 82
Brescia 18 2nd Half 20:00
Western Ky 40
Tennessee St 16 1st Half 4:03
Tennessee 27
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 10 1st Qtr 1:50
(24) USC 10
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 36 2nd Half
Portland 26
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close