Joe Mauer on verge of being fifth catcher in baseball history with 1,000 career hits by age 27


Joe Mauer is one hit away from 1,000 for his career, which would be the fifth-most ever by a catcher through age 27:

Ivan Rodriguez      1333
Ted Simmons         1279
Johnny Bench        1246
Joe Torre           1087
JOE MAUER            999

He’ll likely end up with around 1,020 hits by season’s end.
Missing most of his rookie season with a knee injury hurts Mauer’s through-age-27 hit total, and his excellent patience at the plate also means he’s traded some hits for walks. He’s drawn 430 free passes, which is the fourth-most ever by a catcher through age 27:

Johnny Bench         516
Darrell Porter       510
Butch Wynegar        450
JOE MAUER            430
Ted Simmons          427

Mauer has hit .355 in 53 games since the Twins lost Justin Morneau to a concussion on July 7, raising his season mark to .324, but because of a mediocre (for him, at least) first half and Josh Hamilton hitting .361 he’ll need a miracle to win his fourth batting title in five seasons.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.