I think people's position about Mauer get locked in and they have a hard time looking at the player he is today.He was a great player his first 5 years, with 3 battling titles and an MVP.Expectation were set on those standards and he was rewarded with a $23 million per year contract.But he has not been the same player he was prior to the contract.He was a good player who was injury prone, but not a great player.HIs lifetime average on RISP is ,320, but in 2011 he hit .239 and is hitting .230 this year.You can look at him either by his career average or what you see today.
He appears like a player on the decline and we just need to accept realize that.
.328/.413/.451 9 HR, 85 RBI
.324/.404/.476 11 HR, 47 RBI
Examine the 2 lines. Yes, the 2nd one had 160 less PA. One of them is 2008 when he was a "great" player in his 1st 5 years and the 2nd is last year when he is in his "decline."
I would rather think that Joe started this year in a slump, got hurt and is just now coming out of it than think the slow start is just simple decline.