Jake Mauer hones new skills for a shot at the majors

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 5, 2012 - 7:59 AM

Jake Mauer's playing days are over, but he has demonstrated a knack for developing talent as manager of the Fort Myers Miracle for the past three seasons.


Miracle manager Jake Mauer, older brother of that other Mauer, had an elbow injury end his playing career after five years in the Twins organization. “This is still competing, just in a different way,” he said.

Photo: Leah Millis, Special to the Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

FORT MYERS, FLA. - Jake Mauer has a lot in common with his players. He's young and talented. He's adding baseball knowledge and experience every day.

And one more thing: "I'd like to get to the big leagues, one way or another," he said.

He never got there as an infielder, walking away at 26 after an elbow injury made it clear he would never rise above Class AA. But Mauer, now 33, kept his baseball career alive in the dugout, first by instructing the Twins' youngest prospects in the Gulf Coast League and for the past three years by managing the Fort Myers Miracle.

"I wish I could still play. I miss that part of it," said Mauer, who retired in 2005 after five seasons in the Twins organization. "But this is still competing, just in a different way. It's been a good fit."

He would fit in a major-league dugout, too, as a coach, perhaps, or maybe someday as a manager. For now, though, he's busy developing his persona as a leader.

"I'm not a screamer," Mauer said. "I'll drop the hammer if I have to, but I'll never criticize a player for trying, for doing something he thought was right. We'll talk about it and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Hmm, soft-spoken and deliberate. Sound like a Mauer you know?

"Well, I'm probably a little more emotional than Joe is, but not a lot. Maybe more talkative, a little more outgoing," Mauer said, referring to his younger brother, who was chosen only 676 spots before Jake in the 2001 draft. "People say we look and sound alike. I'm not going to say that's a bad thing."

He also has the same calm, soothing way of working with pitchers, his players say -- including a pair of Minnesotans. Cole Nelson, the Edina lefthander acquired from Detroit in last year's Delmon Young trade, and Madison Boer, a righthander from Eden Prairie who was the Twins' second-round pick a year ago, are in the Miracle's rotation.

After losing his first six decisions and posting an 11.22 ERA, Boer started telling himself "that I'm not horrible. That I can play baseball. That I shouldn't just quit and go back to school," he said. By making a few changes in his mechanics, he has won his past four decisions.

Nelson is gradually stretching himself out after opening the season in the bullpen, though he didn't survive the third inning in his past two starts. "In college, you play three games a week, but here, it's every single day, so your arm doesn't bounce back as quick as it used to," Nelson said.

Boer said it helps to have so many Minnesotans, including Mauer and former Gophers catcher Kyle Knudson, around the clubhouse. Well, usually.

"There's no special treatment from Jake," Boer said. "I'm an Eden Prairie native, he went to Cretin. My sister was at the [2000 football state championship game] when we beat Joe Mauer. So we're rivals."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)


San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Carolina 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Montreal 7:30 PM
Arizona 8:00 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Is Paul Molitor the best choice to manage Twins?

Weekly Question