By Matt Snyder
Apparently Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka would blend in perfectly with the guys currently suiting up for the Twins. The hobbled duo suited up and played in an extended spring training game Thursday and went hitless. Mauer was able to catch three innings but failed to gather a hit in five at-bats. Nishioka played nine innings in the field and is now reportedly 1-14 in the work he's gotten at extended spring. Only the Mariners have a worse team batting average in the AL than the Twins (.238).
The good news is that Mauer was able to come through his catching with seemingly no issues, and after the game he reiterated his desire to stay behind the plate.
"I've been asked that question ever since I was 20 years old. My answer hasn't changed. I'm 28 years old, I signed for eight years to play catcher. I don't see any reason to change now." (David Dorsey via Twitter)
Dorsey also reported that Nishioka looked good in the field and doesn't seem to be suffering any lingering effects from the injury. He broke his leg within one week of the season's beginning and is working his way back.
Neither can be considered close to a return until they start a rehab assignment. It's slow progress until that happens.
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