Twins catcher Joe Mauer switches to first base, citing concussion

Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Gold Glove catcher Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins is moving to first base after missing time this past season with a concussion, the team said Monday.

The Twins said Mauer -- who won three straight Gold Glove awards behind the plate from 2008-10 -- will switch to first base on a permanent basis after playing there sporadically during the past two seasons.

The 30-year-old three-time American League batting champion and 2009 American Leaue Most Valuable Player missed the final six weeks of the 2013 season after being concussed by a foul tip.

He has long resisted a move from behind the plate, but told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the concussion had prompted him to reconsider.

"All it takes is one," he said. "That's one of the things I had to realize -- if I said 'no, I'm catching,' all it would take is one foul tip in batting practice and I'm out again. I don't want to put myself in that position. I think it's the right decision not only for myself, but for my teammates and the organization."

The switch was made easier when Minnesota traded long-time first baseman Justin Morneau to Pittsburgh in August. Coincidentally, Morneau also was sidelined by concussions that limited his play during his time in Minnesota.

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