MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins came up with a plan last season to keep Joe Mauer's bat in the lineup. They stopped using him almost exclusively at catcher and mixed in games at first base and designated hitter to reduce the wear and tear on his body.
It worked like a charm. Mauer played in a career-high 147 games and returned to form as one of the best hitters in the American League after a disastrous 2011 season.
Now that he is completely healthy as the Twins prepare for spring training, Mauer says he hopes to be behind the plate more this season.
General manager Terry Ryan agrees. Ryan says the target is 120 games at catcher for Mauer. That would be a dramatic increase over the 74 he caught last season.
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