Two weeks into the 2011 season, the Twins have got off to a slow start. Their record is 4-10, which is the worst start for them under the Ron Gardenhire era. Their offense is struggling, as they have scored at least 4 runs in only 4 of their first 14 games. A couple key players, Tsuyoshi Nishioka (cracked fibula) and Joe Mauer (leg weakness/flu-yes, I’m serious!), are injured and on the disabled list. So, the start to the season for the Twins may be alarming to some people.
But, don’t panic. After all, the Twins have won the AL Central division six of the past 9 years and are predicted by many experts to be a serious contender again this year. Former All-Stars Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau are returning from injuries last season and look fully healthy. Oh, and the Twins have 148 regular season games left!
Nishioka’s injury is not good at all, but I’ve heard that the fibula, which is in the leg, is a relatively easy bone to heal. He is likely to miss 4-6 weeks, which is a pretty long time. However, other bones in the leg, like the femur, take much more time to heal.
Mauer’s injury (which sounds more like a half-injury to me!) is about the exact opposite of what people first thought. A couple days ago, Gardenhire announced that Mauer had bilateral leg weakness, which sent everyone into hysterics because it can lead to serious problems and because Mauer is a pretty good player. The Twins then announced Mauer had to go to the hospital with the flu, which seems to be the main cause of his leg weakness. It appears that his “injury” isn’t serious at all. The Twins called up catcher Steve Holm from Class AAA Rochester to replace Mauer on the active roster. The next time I have the flu, I’ll make sure to tell the Twins to put me on the disabled list!
Even though the Twins are not playing well right now, don’t give up on them. Even Boston, who some experts picked to win the World Series this year, is only 3-10! And remember, as Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
Written by: Sam Graves