When Joe Mauer first landed on the disabled list back in April, I tweeted that if he "can't get healthy and productive, this situation has potential to turn into one of the biggest catastrophes in franchise history." A lot of people accused me of hyperbolizing.
Up to this point, however, that potential has been fully realized. Mauer spent a whopping two months on the DL trying to strengthen his legs and the entire ordeal hasn't yielded any apparent benefits.
After sitting out yesterday's game due to "general soreness," the backstop shared with reporters that he was "pretty beat up" after catching three consecutive days, while also acknowledging that he's still not generating any power with his back leg (the same affliction that bothered Mauer last year, and which December's surgery and multiple lubricant injections during spring training were supposed to alleviate).
If you read Phil Mackey's somber piece linked above, you can find three separate instances in which Mauer refers to what a "grind" he expects the rest of the season to be, basically letting fans know that we probably won't be seeing him at 100 percent the rest of the way, which unfortunately is what the Twins need more than anything to jolt their patchy offense and make a surge in the standings.
Unlike a certain local columnist, I'm not angry at Mauer and I'm not going to belittle him for being unable to get on the field. More than anything, I feel sorry for him. His body is inexplicably breaking down on him at the age of 28, and he's letting a lot of people down.
That can't be a good feeling.