Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The news doesn't come as a surprise, but it's still good to know that Mauer won't be forced back into action at risk to himself.
On Sunday, MLB.com reported that Joe Mauer was unlikely to return for the season. While he had been progressing, Terry Ryan didn't sound like he was in any rush to get his catcher back into the field.
Ryan said Mauer has been progressing enough that he may get outside to begin light baseball activities sooner rather than later. There's very little chance of him returning to the lineup this season.
"He's been symptom-free the last couple of days," Ryan said. "Unfortunately we are running out of schedule. If he takes batting practice, fine. If not, so be it."
Ryan hopes the rehab can progress to the point Mauer can begin to prepare for Spring Training as he would normally.
Yesterday, the news was confirmed by ESPN 1500's Brandon Warne:
The Twins have seven games remaining in the season, and ultimately, the medical staff and front office determined that Mauer wouldn't be ready in that time frame.
"He's making steady progress, and there are a lot of favorable things going on," Ryan said. "But with the calendar and schedule and so forth about ready to run out, it's unrealistic for us to think we're going to get him on the field this year. So ultimately, just so everyone knows, we're going to work toward the 2014 season."
As Ryan goes on to say, Mauer hasn't experienced any setbacks recently and all signs are pointing in the right direction.
In a season with nothing to gain, there was little use in pressing Mauer through ever more intense workouts in order to get him back into the lineup. At best maybe he would have been able to play for a game or two. At worst, the increased work load brings on his concussion symptoms once again and the situation becomes that much worse. Mauer's personal health far outweigh any short term positives for the team.
Minnesota was never likely to push Mauer that far, of course. More than anything It's just good to see it acknowledged that they're willing to be as patient as they should be, because it's in both party's mutual interest.
In his place, Josmil Pinto and Eric Fryer will continue to get the reps at catcher. Pinto should get four or five starts in the season's final six games. It's invaluable experience for the guy who has more or less locked in his place as Minnesota's backup catcher for next year.
See you in February, Joe.