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Herrmann picking up slack in Mauer's absence

Herrmann picking up slack in Mauer's absence

Herrmann picking up slack in Mauer's absence

CLEVELAND -- With the Twins not receiving Joe Mauer's usual output due to injury, Chris Herrmann is doing his best to carry the load.

Herrmann and Ryan Doumit are sharing the catching duties while Mauer recovers from a concussion. Herrmann has knocked two doubles in each of the last two games before Saturday. Over his last four contests, Herrmann is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with three RBIs.

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Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has noticed a level of fearlessness in his 25-year-old.

"Whether that's by design or just he's still learning and doesn't know any better, I don't know," Gardenhire said. "Those are all the things you have to find out from a young player, whether his veins are ice cool or he's just not really sure about too much, so he just goes about his business."

In 35 games this season, Herrmann is batting .242/.333/.411 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. In 16 contests behind the plate, he has thrown out two of five runners on stolen-base attempts. Herrmann has also spent time at the corner outfield positions, with one game as the designated hitter.

"Right now, he's been a good role player," Gardenhire said. "[He] plays multiple positions. Third catcher, whatever you want to call it. Right now, second or first catcher. [He's] valuable, because he can do so many things for us right now."

The Twins drafted Herrmann in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He played in five games for them last year and began the 2013 season at Triple-A Rochester. He was most recently recalled on July 16.

Gardenhire is hesitant to saddle a player with so little experience at the Major League level with certain expectations.

"It's just way too early to start trying to decide what this guy can and can't do," Gardenhire said. "You've just got to let him play."

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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