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Crazy Joe Mauer Theory???

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#1 zwiefz

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:14 AM

Was watching the game last night(and admittedly consuming some beverages). Someone suggested a reason for Mauer's struggles this year. I thought it was crazy, but the more I thought about is(as the beverages have been known to cause) the more it made a little bit of sense. In the daylight I still think it's makes a little sense and thought I'd see what other people thought of it.

The bottom line is this: Mauer's legs are too fresh.

I'm not saying this is the entire problem, but am wondering if it may be a part of it. In the offseason everyone assumed that his numbers would go up without the fatigue/wear and tear caused by catching. But could the opposite be true as well? After all Mauer has spent his entire career hitting and catching. Maybe he got used to hitting with fatigued legs.

With the lower body being such a key part of hitting and batting mechanics being so finicky it makes some sense that anything that alters those mechanics would have a trickle down effect. It's like the nagging injury in reverse.

I couldn't help but think of an article I read a long time ago(I think it was about Nick Blackburn) where it talked about how early in games his sinker(I think,again I blame the beverages) didn't have as much movement on it because he was too fresh, had too much velocity and the pitch straightened out. But as the game went on and he got tired, his velocity dropped and movement increased.

So if he could 'pitch better'(although with Blackburn that was/is a relative term) when slightly fatigued, in theory couldn't Mauer hit better when he was slightly fatigued? At the very least I think there is some truth in my buddy's statement that Mauer is going to have to adjust his swing/approach to having a stronger lower body and he just maybe hasn't made all those adjustments yet.

Thoughts? Is this one of those dumb beverage nights or a genius beverage night?

#2 cmathewson

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:28 AM

The theory was, he would hit better and with more power with fresher hands and legs. Weakness rarely creates better results.

I like to think he still struggles with concussion symptoms, which manifest themselves in not seeing the ball as well. His K rate is way up. And looking at some of his Ks in video, he's missed some balls that I've never seen him miss before.
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#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:29 AM

Weakness rarely creates better results.


Sinkerballers.

Past that, yeah. Not so much.

#4 zwiefz

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:36 AM

I definitely don't think that weakness creates better results. I just wonder if the adjustment to stronger legs is harder than we thought it was going to be. But I also agree with thoughts about the lingering effects of the concussion. A lot of the swings he taken and pitches he has swung at just don't seem like swings he would have taken in previous years.

#5 Willihammer

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:39 AM

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#6 Beezer07

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:56 AM

If this were true, wouldn't Mauer have started really slowly every year until his legs reached the optimum level of weakness?

#7 zwiefz

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:17 PM

Dang it. It appears it was a dumb beverage night. Was really hoping we had a genius beverage night :)

Anyway, thought it might be a fun topic to talk about for a few hours

#8 glanzer

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:25 PM

I don't buy that. But I do buy that Mauer having infant twins is preoccupying his mind and he's no longer able to focus 100% on baseball.

#9 twinsin17

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:41 PM

So you're telling me the solution to his hitting woes is a simple induction of bi-lateral leg weakness? I'm sold!

#10 jharaldson

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:53 PM

I like to think he still struggles with concussion symptoms, which manifest themselves in not seeing the ball as well. His K rate is way up. And looking at some of his Ks in video, he's missed some balls that I've never seen him miss before.


His K% in 2013 before the concussion was 17.5%. After the concussion his 2014 K% is 18.1%. The majority of the growth of his historical K% (11%) happened prior to the concussion and I would be hesitant to link the two.

#11 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 01:07 PM

Sinkerballers.Past that, yeah. Not so much.

I don't buy it for sinkerballers either.

#12 zchrz

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 01:55 PM

My conspiracy theory is that his struggles are the result of him trying to adjust and failing. Mauer has always been a patient hitter that lets the ball get deep on him and then slashes it the other way, but I remember a couple quotes and some in game announcer chatter about him attempting to pull the ball a lot more and change his approach.

It seems like he got himself way out of whack with that, add learning a new position on the fly, being absurdly unlucky on line drives going right at people, coming back from a concussion, dealing with new wear and tear, and dealing with the resurgence of the blame Mauer crowd and I think it has snowballed.

His last 3 big hits have been classic Mauer, 2 doubles and a single slashed the other way so maybe he is going back to the old approach.
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#13 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 01:59 PM

I was expecting this thread to focus on whether Joe had stopped using Head and Shoulders shampoo.

#14 pierre75275

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 02:17 PM

I think its because he keeps hitting into shifts. Somebody help me out here. His line drive rate is similar to what it has always been correct? but isnt his BABIP like 40 points below what his careere numbers are? It just seems to me every night that he has one atbat where he lines to left or to center and is out

#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:22 PM

I was expecting this thread to focus on whether Joe had stopped using Head and Shoulders shampoo.


I was expecting this thread to suggest that Joe not be DLed but institutionalized.

#16 D. Hocking

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:34 PM

I was expecting this thread to suggest that Joe not be DLed but institutionalized.


I am guessing that has been suggested in complete seriousness and sincerity in the Strib comments (although I guess if anyone would know about needing institutionalization -- it would be some posters there).

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:16 PM

I don't buy it for sinkerballers either.


What about bad sinkerballers?

#18 Thrylos

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:06 PM

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#19 Tibs

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:33 PM

I don't buy it for sinkerballers either.

The faster a pitch goes, the less movement it has.
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#20 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 06:56 AM

The faster a pitch goes, the less movement it has.

I don't think there's much, if any evidence for that.