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Joe Mauer nearly ready to return for the Minnesota Twins

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As the Minnesota Twins use the remainder of the 2014 season to assess the status of their team and some of their younger players for the seasons to come, they will have their franchise player back in the fold soon.

Joe Mauer has been on the shelf since the beginning of July with an oblique injury. According to Rhett Bollinger of, Mauer is nearing his return for the team, possibly sometime this week.

First baseman Joe Mauer got through his rehab assignment with Class A Cedar Rapids without any issues and remains on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list to rejoin the Twins on Monday in Houston.

The move is set to come immediately after the team’s game on Sunday to reinstate Mauer. With Kendrys Morales gone in a trade to the Seattle Mariners, Mauer will return to take the lion’s share of the playing time at first base.

Already the subject of much criticism and skepticism in his home state of Minnesota, Mauer has done nothing to improve those perceptions for much of the 2014 season. Most of his offensive numbers are solid though unspectacular, as Mauer carries a .271/.342/.353 slash line. That lack of power, however, is enough to stop the conversation for many people.

There is little Mauer can do this season to change the perception of where he stands as the Twins’ franchise player. It would seem that his best bet is to return, play well, and continue his adjustment to playing first base every day in preparation for 2015 and the future beyond. That process will start this week.

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