Twins GM: Mauer can be a .300 hitter again, will play 1B

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan says he believes Joe Mauer can return to .300 hitting after one of the worst offensive seasons of his career.

Ryan addressed the media on Tuesday after the Twins wrapped up the season. He says Mauer will remain the first baseman going into the 2016 season after Mauer hit a career-worst .265 and struck out a career-high 112 times.

Mauer won three American League batting titles as a catcher. But injuries have contributed to his struggles the last two seasons. He hit .277 in 2014.

Mauer will turn 33 in April and is under contract through 2018.

Ryan stopped short of saying he can become the annual batting title contender he was in his younger days. But he says he believes hitting .300 again is a realistic expectation.