Why not bat Joe Mauer first?

The season opener is not far away and in my mind (such as it is) the Twins line-up is pretty well set short of any last-minute injuries. But before spring training ends I would like to see manager Paul Molitor tinker with a few different batting orders to see what might work best.

Mauer, Joe 2016Personally I would like to see the Twins move Joe Mauer to the lead-off spot in the batting order. Mauer has hit in the three hole 1,145 times during his career and he has knocked in less than 53 runs a year from that position if you average it out. You have to be honest, that is a pathetic number, some guys have the knack for getting the runners in, Mauer does not posses that skill. I know that the three hole is usually the teams best hitter but Mauer is not the teams best hitter at this point in his career. Mauer however; has shown a skill for getting on base although his OBP has been dropping the last few years, never the less at this time and with an inexperienced Byron Buxton the time has come to slip Mauer in to the lead-off position. Here is the line-up I would try if I was the Twins manager for a day, I know it is not perfect but I think it is worth a try.

  1. Joe Mauer (L) at 1B
  2. Brian Dozier (R) 2B
  3. Eddie Rosario (L) LF
  4. Miguel Sano (R) RF
  5. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
  6. Byung Ho Park (R) DH
  7. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS
  8. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
  9. Byron Buxton (R) CF

I know I am asking a lot of Eddie Rosario to hit third but I think he has the skills and the patience to hit there. You could swap Dozier and Rosario in the order and have Rosario bat second but the Twins are heavy from the right-side and I like to see the lefty-righty thing for at least the top of the order. Mauer is going to probably be around for several more years, the Twins have to find a way to maximize his skills.

Joe Mauer’s OBP has been dropping but it is still better than most of the Twins hitters so until someone better comes along, why not put Mauer at the top of the batting order? What have you got to lose by at least giving it a shot for a couple of weeks?

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One Response to Why not bat Joe Mauer first?

  1. Oldgoat_MN says:

    I would pull Rosario down after Escobar and move everyone else up one until he can move hi OBP to something respectable.
    Also, having Sano frequently lead off the second inning doesn’t work for me. Hopefully when one of the top 2 get on Sano has a chance to generate some RBI in the first inning.

    Gotta say, I’d be shocked if Molitor batted Mauer first, though I agree that it does make some sense.

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