Friday, November 12, 2010

Mauer's move from catcher

In a recent interviews this week Joe Mauer spoke how beat up he got this season.  This led to him discussing the possibility of moving to a less grueling position than catcher.  He said, "I know that's going to happen at some point.  I'm hoping it's a lot later than sooner.  But there will be a point where I won't be able to play (catcher) anymore, too.  Like I said, I hope I don't have to worry about that for a long time."

There are 13 catchers in the Hall of Fame.  Of those 13 catchers many of them were forced to switch positions towards the end of their careers.  If they didn't switch positions they saw their number of games cut back at the end of their careers.  Here is a look at some of the most famous catchers and how their careers looked in relation to other positions besides catcher.

Johnny Bench-  only played 13 games at catcher during his final three seasons in MLB.  He spent the most time at third base and also first base.

Yogi Berra- spent time throughout much of his career going between catcher and outfield.  This split of time between the two positions probably allowed him to play catcher for longer in his career.

Carlton Fisk- Had the advantage of being able to play DH during his career.  He did also spend time in the outfield, first base, and third base.

Gary Carter- His last three seasons were cut significantly back from the catcher position.  He had a few games at different positions in his career but for the most part he was a catcher.  This might have cost him later in his career when his games got cut back.

With the different issues that Mauer has gone through with his knee there has been speculation as to when this position change will occur.  Will he move to the outfield or a corner infield spot?  Mauer is a good enough athlete and he would be able to make the switch to either of these spots.  It will come down to what the team needs at that point.

If Danny Valencia and Justin Morneau are healthy and performing then the Mauer will find himself in the outfield.  If one of those corner infield spots is open Mauer might be in one of these positions.  Only time will tell.

Will Mauer have to switch positions at some point in his career?  Yes, but like he said hopefully it won't be for a very long time.

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