Strobe specs have fixed Joe Mauer

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Well, not by themselves. Recovering from brain injuries takes time and care, not just new glasses, and it’s been a long road back to productivity and health for Joe Mauer. But Joe Mauer is back this year, hitting .328/.452/.448. His batting eye is back, with his strikeouts down and his walks up and he looks like the old Joe Mauer in the early going.

As Mike Berardino reports in the Pioneer Press, part of that recovery involves some new glasses for training. Training with friggin’ strobe lights:

For that resurgence, at least some of the credit must go to the discontinued, goggle-like glasses Nike sent him this offseason. Mauer brought them to spring training and showed them to hitting coach Tom Brunansky, who became an instant believer.

Young Twins hitters such as Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario have been using the dark, wraparound glasses that include a small control switch on the frame to alter the speed at which the internal strobe light flashes. Korean slugger Byung Ho Park has tried the technique, as well.

It’s hard to get an idea of how that all works, but basically, it seems, the strobe is just causing you to get less visual information about the incoming pitch and requires you to either anticipate where the ball is or to just respond more quickly. Sort of like the blast shield on Luke’s helmet when he’s training with his light saber on the Millennium Falcon or something.

Either way, it’s cool to see Mauer hitting again.