La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Mauer returns as the Twins try to solve Scherzer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 10, 2014 - 11:15 AM

The Twins have a new DH today. His name is Joe Mauer.

Mauer has recovered from his back injury enough to return to the lineup. Usually, a player has to get out and run the bases as a final test before returning to action. That was impossible yesterday because of rain and this morning because of an outreach event (with several player testimonials) and a clinic) before the game. But Mauer assured Twins manager Ron Gardenhire that he can get around the bases.

Mauer is a career .308 hitter against Max Scherzer, the Tigers' starter today.

Commenters took aim at the Twins and Mauer all week for how this situation was handled. It happens with every team. Key players are given a few days to see if they can recover and return to the lineup. If it doesn't work out, they are placed on the DL. Mauer missed five-plus games. That's better than putting him on the 15-day DL. Cleveland just carried Michael Bourn on their roster until he recovered from a strained hamstring.

The Twins just happened to get hit with other unexpected developments, like Oswaldo Arcia reporting with a sore wrist the day he was going to be called up, and Sam Fuld showing up to the park with a concussion. It made the Twins look bad, but most of it was unavoidable.

Now watch Mauer go out and tweak his back today.....

Trevor Plouffe and Jason Kubel are out of the lineup today. Now that there's a bigger bench. Gardy said that Kubel has been, ``fighting it,'' lately. And Plouffe needs a day after playing in every game this season. Plouffe is 1 for 13 against Scherzer anyway.

Jim Leyland will be honored by the club today. He stopped by Gardy's office this morning,

Chris Parmelee is back in the lineup after getting two hits last night. Gardy said Parmelee was on every pitch he swung at, but just got under a couple.

Twins (16-18)

Brian Dozier, 2B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Joe Mauer, DH
Chris Colabello, 1B
Chris Parmelee, RF
Eduardo Nunez, LF
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Aaron Hicks, CF
Danny Santana, SS

Kyle Gibson, RHP

Tigers (20-11)

Ian Kinsler, 2B
Torii Hunter, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Austin Jackson, CF
Don Kelly, LF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Austin Romine, SS

Max Scherzer, RHP

8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
MinnesotaK. Gibson (8-8)000
Kansas CityJ. Shields (9-5)000
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