When Joe Mauer returns to the Twins, he will be behind the plate, manager Ron Gardenhire said on Tuesday.
Asked if Mauer, who is currently DHing in extended spring training in Florida, would play any other position than catcher when he returns, Gardenhire said no.
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No, Joe’s a catcher. He’s coming back as a catcher. He signed an eight-year deal to catch in the big leagues for the Minnesota Twins, so we’re trying to get him back as a catcher. If it doesn’t work out when he comes back, then we’re going to have to figure somewhere else, and that’s a lot harder than everybody makes it out to be. We have some corner people who are pretty good baseball players, and (we) try not to fire the really good players that we have.
He could play anywhere. Joe could probably move around pretty good. He played in the infield as a young player; we could probably make him the tallest shortstop since Cal Ripken. But right now he’s a catcher -- until Joe deems that he can’t do it anymore, or we deem that he’s not physically able to do that. But we believe he is, if he just gets healthy.