In case you somehow haven't heard the news yet, Joe Mauer is making his first trip to the DL this year. Mauer is being sidelined with something called "bilateral weakness in the legs". You're probably asking yourself "What the hell is bilateral weakness of the legs?" A fair question (and if you're Colin, asking me why there isn't a better name* for the condition). From what I've read on the subject (and here's a very nice link about it) and using the education I've decided to go into debt to obtain, there really isn't any way this seems to end well for both Mauer and the Twins. Their $184MM catcher is suffering from fatigue, pain, and weakness of both legs. This weakness has led to overcompensation from other body parts, leading to more weakness. It can also result in paralysis, though hopefully this isn't the case.
The exact cause of this hasn't been revealed yet, but Mauer did suffer from inflammation of the sacroiliac joint during spring training this year. Inflammation in this region could result in extra pressure being applied to the sacral spinal nerves, which would cause these symptoms. This would be a best case scenario. If they can reduce the inflammation quickly, Mauer can recover sooner and have less chance of permanent nerve damage. A herniated disc applying pressure to the nerves is the other likely explanation. Either way, the longer this goes untreated and unsolved, the worse things will end up. This is very bad news for a team who traded away their top catching prospect last season. We won't know anything for certain until he sees the specialist, but Hawk has his theory.
*Seriously, how is an incomplete description of symptoms the name of the condition? Try harder, science. - C.