CLEVELAND – The Twins initially hoped that catcher Joe Mauer would overcome his concussion symptoms and return to the lineup in about a week, which was how long teammate Ryan Doumit was out earlier this month with the same condition.
That doesn’t appear to be the case now.
Mauer is not expected to start any kind of exercises until Tuesday — which will be one week after the Twins placed him on the seven-day concussion DL. Doctors, in fact, have told Mauer just to get plenty of rest before then.
So Mauer will need a few days of workouts — and pass all the tests along the way — before he can return to action. That pretty much rules him out for a three-game homestand against the Royals that starts Tuesday.
“If he’s not going to come in until Tuesday, I don’t see a scenario where he can come in and they are like. ‘OK, let’s run you through all this stuff and let’s go,’ ” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “So it is probably unlikely that he would play in that brief homestand.’’
Before alarms go off all over Twins Territory, Antony said the doctors have not “found anything unusual’’ with Mauer since he’s returned to the Twin Cities. And this town has watched Twin after Twin come down with concussions. Doumit and Trevor Plouffe didn’t miss much more than a week. Justin Morneau, Denard Span and others needed more time.
“Joe is at home,’’ Antony said. “They advise him just to lay low and rest right now. They think the best thing he can use is rest. Rather than going in and seeing rehab coordinator Lanning [Tucker] and talking to Lanning about what they might do — since they really didn’t have any plans for him to start exercising for a few days — they said come in Tuesday and we will go from there.’’
Mauer took a foul ball off his facemask on Monday against the Mets and has not played since.
Gibson starts today
Righthander Kyle Gibson on Sunday will make his first start for Class AAA Rochester since being demoted — and his clock is ticking.
The Twins plan to piggyback Gibson with righthander Virgil Vasquez, meaning one will start and pitch around five innings before being relieved by the other. Gibson has thrown 143⅔ innings between Rochester and the majors in his first full season since recovering from Tommy John surgery, so he is very close to being shut down.
“He can make two or three more starts and not blow up his innings,’’ Antony said. “It keeps his innings in shape.’’
Doubt on Guerrero
The Twins should not be considered among the favorites to land Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero.
Guerrero, 26, reportedly defected from Cuba in January and is still waiting to be unblocked by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control before he can sign with a major league team. The Twins have scouted Guerrero and have had conversations with his agent. But indications are that other teams are prepared to spend much more money to sign him.
Outfielder Aaron Hicks returned to the lineup for Class AAA Rochester on Saturday after missing three days because of a sore left wrist. He suffered the injury while diving for a ball — in his first game back after missing more than a week with sore heel. Hicks will have to finish strong in order to earn a call-up in September.