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.