Mauer’s grandfather, Jake, a former baseball player himself and someone who has guided and been a fan of his grandson forever, understands the frustration of the team’s fans. Joe is the team’s highest-paid player earning $23 million and batting .271/.342/.353 all of which are by far career-low marks.
“He’s getting a big salary, he should produce,” Jake Mauer said in an interview with David Shama’s Minnesota Sports Headlines. “That’s what the fans think and that’s what the fans want. He’s trying but it just don’t happen (yet). But I don’t blame the people.”
Jake has even thought his struggling grandson needed to be benched at times, but the team couldn’t do that because of the All-Star’s huge salary.
“But they can’t bench him because he’s making so much money. They gotta have him in the lineup.”
Jake Mauer told Shama that he believes the concussion Joe suffered last year threw him off. He says Joe even told him his timing has been off.
Despite the timing problems, Joe was beginning to come out of his season-long slump. Prior to going on the DL with an oblique injury, Mauer was working on a 12-game hitting streak that included six doubles and 12 RBIs. The injury came at a bad time.
Jake Mauer recognizes his grandson has been struggling, but he still believes Joe will end up hitting over .300 as he has most of his time as a career-.320 hitter.
Joe certainly was heading in that direction — and we would have agreed with Jake — but the injury may have thrown things off too much. I still would definitely love to have Mauer on my team, but that $23 million price is definitely high.