Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (quadriceps) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, May 6, retroactive to May 5, after an MRI exam revealed he had a strained left quadriceps. He hadn't played since Friday night, May 4, although the injury has been bothering him for most of the season.
Mauer was hitting .353 with one home run, 14 RBI, 18 runs and three steals in 28 games. There is not a specific timetable for his return yet, but Mauer said he hoped he wouldn't miss much more than two weeks.
Mauer has been somewhat fragile at times in his young but stellar career. He was bothered in spring training by a stress reaction in his left leg, although an MRI exam taken at the time revealed nothing more serious. The good news is that he was relatively trouble-free the past two seasons, averaging 505 at-bats in his two full seasons as a starter. However, he tore the medial meniscus in his left knee early in the 2004 season and was limited to just 35 games in his initial season, so there is a history with his left leg.
Catcher Mike Redmond has started two straight contests in place of Mauer, while the team also recalled catcher Chris Heintz from Triple-A Rochester to fill the empty roster spot. Redmond had two hits Sunday, May 6, and is hitting .246 on the season. The 36-year-old is a career .290 hitter who could drive in some runs from the seventh spot in the order, but don't look for any production from him in the home run department, as four home runs marks his career best.
Catcher is a thin fantasy position to begin with, so losing Mauer for at least two weeks puts fantasy owners in a bind. Definitely place him into an available disabled list spot, or bench him if no spots are available, and look to the waiver wire for catching help. Redmond could be a decent short-term option that shouldn't hurt you in the batting average department. Other solid options to cover the position short-term while Mauer is out include Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit or Texas Rangers catcher Gerald Laird.
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