I caught up with Joe Mauer on the Twins caravan today, following him to two stops, and came away thinking he's very close to his peak physical condition again.
Apologies for not getting into more detail here, as I need to get a couple things written before tonight's Diamond Awards Banquet, but here are a couple highlights:
Mauer wouldn't confirm reports that he's gained 30 pounds this winter, but he said, "I’m at my playing weight right now, and I’m actually trying to gain a little bit more before spring [training] hits because it comes off pretty quickly.”
Last January, Mauer was a month removed from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
The real measure of where Mauer is at is strength. As he stressed last year, there’s a difference between adding good weight and bad weight.
“I’m getting there,” Mauer said of his strength. “I’m still two months from Opening Day. [Compared to this time last year], I feel 100 times better. You know, night and day. And I’m excited about that.”
Check out the rest of the story in tonight's first editions.