ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins watches his solo homerun for a 1-1 tie against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 4, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Joe Mauer has been diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia, according to the Associated Press. Doctors have prescribed medication and recommended two weeks' rest. Considering the Twins play their last game on Sept. 28, there's a good chance Mauer has already played his final game of the season.
This has been a season to forget, both for the Twins and Mauer. The Twins are all but guaranteed to finish in the Central Division basement, entering Sunday's action 28 games out of first place with a 59-90 record.
Part of the reason they've struggled is because Mauer has been unable to stay in the lineup; he's appeared in just 82 games all season, the fewest by a wide margin since his rookie season. In that span, he's hit just .287 -- 40 points below his .327 mark last year -- with just three home runs and 30 RBI.
"He’s really, really not happy about the situation," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters Friday. "He wants to be out there. He wants to be here with the guys, so he’s pretty upset."