MILWAUKEE -- Had they been playing by American League rules, Joe Mauer likely would have been in the Twins lineup on Sunday as the designated hitter.
With DH not an option in the Twins' final Interleague road game of the season, Mauer was out of the lineup for the day game after Saturday's night game. And that's part of the reason why Twins manager Ron Gardenhire would like Mauer to get comfortable at first base.
"Yeah, definitely, if he could play first base, he probably would be playing first base today," Gardenhire said. "Or third base, or somewhere. That's why I want to explore all the options we have to keep his bat in the lineup as much as we possibly can, especially when all these people are hurting."
When the Twins return home after their series with the Brewers, Mauer will put in some work at first base to get comfortable with the new position.
Gardenhire said Mauer is still working his way back behind the plate, but should have more time to get acclimated to first base when the Twins are back home. He also said he'd like to have Mauer work with special assistant to the GM -- and former Twins manager -- Tom Kelly at first base, but has no plans for that as of yet.
"I'd love to, but I don't think Joe's ready for that one," Gardenhire said. "TK's as good ... as I've ever been around, as far as teaching people at first base -- absolutely."