Twins thinking about using Joe Mauer in the leadoff spot


Joe Mauer has been hitting well to start the season, batting .308 coming into Sunday’s action, but he has yet to homer and is slugging just .396. The Twins have written him into the number three spot in the lineup all season, but they’re considering a change. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Twins are discussing moving Mauer to the leadoff spot.

“You can go to your sabermetrics experts and a lot of them have him high in the order,” Molitor said. “How that would play in terms of him getting chances to get hits with men in scoring position and do some other things he’s been doing pretty well, I’m not sure. There are some things about that as a consideration. I don’t know if it is something that will happen or not, but we’re looking at various options.’’

Indeed, a Sabermetrically-optimized lineup would likely have Mauer batting first. For instance, using this lineup analysis tool from Baseball Musings (using Twins’ stats entering Sunday), all of the lineup variations that result in the highest runs scored average have Mauer first. There’s no doubt Mauer can hit for a high average, but he hasn’t shown his power stroke since 2013. Without power, the Twins would get the most use out of Mauer moving him from third to first in the lineup. Then, he could use his high on-base percentage to set the table for those who do have power, like Trevor Plouffe.

Doubleheader between Cardinals and Tigers postponed

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.

MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.

The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.

St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.


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