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Joe Mauer is the Twins new leadoff hitter

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Last night’s Orioles-Twins game was rained out, but if it hadn’t been it would’ve featured Joe Mauer‘s first ever performance as the Twins’ leadoff hitter. The next time it’s dry in Minnesota — likely today — we’ll get to see it happen.

Mauer has a .420 on-base percentage. No one else on the Twins is higher than .338, and that’s Miguel Sano, who is obviously more of a middle of the order hitter. Mauer is not what you’d conventionally think of as a leadoff guy — he’s a better all-around hitter than that and may be more suited for the second or third slot — but the Twins have to try something given how poor their offense is. No use in having Mauer reserved for a spot where he can better clear the table if no one is setting it for him.

What the Twins do on a day to day basis isn’t all that interesting to me, nor is lineup construction in anything more than a general sense. But I never cease to be fascinated with Mauer’s career arc. He’s been so many different kinds of players in the time he’s been in the bigs, partially because of unfortunate circumstances, partially because of his versatility. Seeing him be all of these different types is just super interesting in my view.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”