SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Minnesota Twins catcher-turned-first baseman Joe Mauer has some advice for San Francisco Giants All-Star Buster Posey: play catcher as long as you can, and enjoy doing it.
"There will be a day when he can't catch anymore and a day where we can't put the uniform on anymore," Mauer said before the Twins played at San Francisco on Friday night. "He's a special player and he'll be able to make that transition if he wants to. I'd like to see him catch as long as he can."
Minnesota is making a rare visit to San Francisco this weekend for a three-game interleague series, giving fans an even rarer opportunity to see two of the greatest hitting catchers of their generation play against each other, with one major twist: neither started at catcher in the opener.
Mauer, the 2009 AL MVP and a three-time batting champion, moved to first base this year after a concussion last August ended his season. Posey, the 2012 NL MVP and batting champion, is planning to catch for the Giants for the foreseeable future but has spent some time at first base the past couple years to rest his body during the season, including a nerve irritation in his lower back that sidelined him for two games in Colorado this week.
Kurt Suzuki was catching for the Twins, as usual, while backup Hector Sanchez was behind the plate for the Giants.
But make no mistake: Posey has no plans to move to first base permanently, at least not anytime soon. And manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher, reiterated the Giants are paying him to be their starting catcher.
The debate about where Posey should play has still raged on in San Francisco since he suffered violent, season-ending left leg and ankle injuries in May 2011 — a year after winning NL Rookie of the Year honors. He came back better than ever to help San Francisco capture its second World Series championship in three years in 2012.
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