Friday, April 15, 2011
DL Report: Joe Mauer
The Twins placed catcher Joe Mauer on the 15-day DL after Thursday's game with what they call "bilateral leg weakness." ("Bilateral" means both legs.)
The surprise news sent many Twins fans to the internet to find out what "bilateral leg weakness" might be and what causes it. Unfortunately, since it's such a vague term, no one got any real answers. It could be anything from general fatigue, to Lyme disease, to a herniated disk, to a neurological disorder.
Prior to the game, Ron Gardenhire informed reporters that Mauer was not starting because "he was sore." He refused to elaborate further. So it's safe to say that "weakness" is probably accompanied by "pain."
It's important to remember that "bilateral leg weakness" is a symptom, not a diagnosis. At this time, no one knows what's causing it.
According to a radio interview with Bill Smith (on ESPN1500), the reason for the quick decision to put him on the DL has as much to do with the fact that he's one of only two catchers on the team than it does with the actual injury.
On Friday morning, the team announced that Mauer also suffered "flu-like" symptoms and spent some time in the hospital. So, it's entirely possible that some of the weakness could be caused by that. I know how achy I get when I have the flu.
As soon as the flu clears up enough so that he can travel, he'll go see the specialist in Baltimore he saw in 2009 when he had problems with his sacroiliac joint.
I have zero clinical expertise, by my lay-person opinion is that it might be related to his lower back, especially with his history with sacroiliitis. It's my sincere hope that it's not serious or long-lasting. I'll update when we know more.
The Twins purchased the contract of Steve Holm from AAA Rochester to fill the roster spot.
Scratch the back -- for now (well, not literally -- although I'm sure Joe wouldn't mind a nice back scratch). Prior to Friday's game, the Twins announced that Mauer was diagnosed with a viral infection. They believe that the achiness associated with the flu-like symptoms might be greatly magnifying his general "catcher soreness." They'll still need to check him out once he's feeling better; he has a pre-arranged appointment with that specialist in Baltimore on Monday (they schedule it every year when the Twins visit the Orioles).
It sounds like he's pretty sick. LaVelle E. Neal III from the StarTribune hinted that he might not be well enough to fly to Baltimore on Monday. Yuck. I've traveled sick; it's torture.