Mauer Not the First Future Hall of Famer to Move to First Base
The Twins announced this week that Joe Mauer will move from catcher to first base starting in 2014. Mauer joins some elite players who moved to first base late in their careers.
Some of the others include Billy Williams of the Cubs, Al Kaline of the Tigers, Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox, Eddie Mathews from the Braves, Pete Rose of the Reds and Phillies, Stan Musial of the Cardinals, Mickey Mantle of the Yankees, Mike Piazza of the Mets and Dodgers, Paul Molitor of the Brewers, Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians and Rod Carew of the Twins and Angels.
Mauer is just 30 years old and has lots of baseball left in him. The move to first base isn't likely going to change his home run total much but it could increase his games played and at-bats each year. Mauer has played some first base over the past 2 seasons and has shown an ability to do a solid job there. Because of his athleticism it wouldn't be surprising to see him become a gold glove winner at first base before too long.
This move also clears the way for a combination of prospect Josmil Pinto to get regular at-bats at catcher in the Major Leagues and to keep Chris Herrmann on the Major League roster as the backup.