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Updated: July 22nd, 2013 8:33pm
Joe Mauer is back to throwing out would-be base stealers at high rate

Joe Mauer is back to throwing out would-be base stealers at high rate

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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Any chatter about Joe Mauer's demise as a catcher, or imminent move to first base, should probably take a back seat. Mauer has re-emerged as a catcher teams don't want to run on.

After throwing out only nine out of 65 potential base stealers in 2012 (14%, which marked a career low), Mauer has gunned down 14 out of 29 heading into Monday (48%), which ranks him sixth among players who have caught at least 200 innings this year.

Now, it helps to have pitchers who get the ball to home plate in a timely manner - something Carl Pavano, among others, was horrible at. Kevin Correia, for example, historically has been one of the best at controlling the running game (and yes, he has had a lot of practice in his career...). This year has been no different, as only five men have even attempted to steal a base off Correia (three successfully).

New bench coach Terry Steinbach has made it a point since the beginning of spring training to shore up this area, although Ryan Doumit has shown only slight improvement (27%, which is up from 21% last year).

Mauer has caught 61 games this year and remains on pace for somewhere around 100 games behind the plate - his most since 2010 if the pace holds true. 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Ryan Doumit, Joe Mauer, Carl Pavano
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