MINNEAPOLIS -- After throwing out a career-worst 14 percent of attempted basestealers last season, Joe Mauer has bounced back this year to throw out 43 percent.
Entering Monday, the mark ranks sixth in the Majors among catchers with at least 50 games behind the plate, ranking only behind the Reds' Ryan Hanigan (52 percent), the Indians' Yan Gomes (50 percent), the Dodgers' A.J. Ellis (48 percent), the Pirates' Russell Martin (45 percent) and the Cardinals' Yadier Molina (44 percent).
It's also tied for the second-best mark of Mauer's career, behind his league-leading 53 percent in 2007. The league average for throwing out basestealers is 25 percent this year.
"It starts with the pitcher giving him a chance," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Our pitchers are doing a better job getting him the ball and giving him a chance. So it starts with that, but his legs are also really underneath him right now. He's healthy. And his arm feels good. He's always been able to throw and has been accurate."
Gardenhire added that bench coach Terry Steinbach, who played 14 years in the Majors as a catcher, has also helped out with the catchers this year.
"He works mechanics with all our catchers," Gardenhire said. "He notices if they stand straight up or use their legs better. But Joe is a big, tall guy, so he's unique in that situation. He's going to stand up and throw. But he still has to use his legs and he's actually driving toward second a little better right now. And that's from Steiny, and that's why we brought him over here."
Deduno has shoulder examined, may miss start
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Samuel Deduno had his right shoulder examined by team doctors after his start against the White Sox on Sunday, according to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony.
Deduno struggled for a third straight start, giving up five runs on eight hits over five innings while hitting three batters. He complained of shoulder soreness after the game, but he checked out OK and remains tentatively penciled in to make his next start on Friday against the Indians.
"The doctors are just going to keep an eye on him," Antony said. "We're not going to rule him out for his start on Friday. But that's subject to change. We'll keep an eye on him and see how he is this week."
Deduno had a 3.17 ERA through his first 13 starts this season, but has a 7.02 ERA over his last three starts to see his ERA for the season rise to 3.82. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's noticed a difference in the effectiveness of Deduno's curveball in recent starts.
"It's getting to a certain point and just hanging there right now," Gardenhire said. "And when his arm speed is good, it's snapping pretty good."
• Aaron Hicks, who is on the seven-day Minor League disabled list with a sore heel, is expected to be activated at Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, according to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony. Hicks, 23, is hitting .209/.292/.233 in 12 games with Rochester this year. He was optioned by the Twins on Aug. 1, but he could be recalled when rosters expand in September.
• Center fielder Byron Buxton, baseball's No. 1 overall prospect according to MLB.com, is expected to remain with Class A Advanced Fort Myers the rest of the year. The Twins want Buxton to get playoff experience in the Florida State League, as Double-A New Britain is out of the playoff race. Buxton, 19, is hitting .314/.389/.474 in 42 games at Fort Myers since being promoted from Class A Cedar Rapids in late June.
• Twins fans can get a chance to watch prospect Miguel Sano after Monday's game against the Mets, as Fox Sports North will televise Double-A New Britain's game against the Trenton Thunder at 6 p.m. CT. Sano, 20, is ranked as baseball's No. 3 overall prospect, according to MLB.com.