Would Mauer make sense in leadoff spot?
SEATTLE -- Paul Molitor admits he's been fiddling with lineups. The Twins manager, like many skippers around the big leagues, is trying to find the best possible combination to get his offense going.
So naturally the question came up again, the question he's been getting a lot and starting to ponder maybe more than a little: Will he try former American League batting champion and MVP Joe Mauer at the leadoff spot?
Mauer's never started a game in the leadoff spot and only pinch-hit in that position once in his storied career. That took place in 2008. But Mauer seems to always have a high on-base percentage and was a career .319 hitter in the Major Leagues heading into this season. So Molitor's mental wheels have been turning a bit.
"I had him potentially doing that," Molitor said. "I had him also hitting second behind [Brian] Dozier. There were points made regarding Dozier's propensity to be able to score runs last year and Joe hit behind him quite a bit, so we talked about different combinations of how to get those guys in there.
"You can go to your sabermetrics experts and a lot of times they're going to come up with Joe at the top of the lineup, and I understand that. How that would play in terms of him getting a chance to get hits with men in scoring position and do some other things that he's been doing pretty well, I'm not sure.
"I also like the fact that if he ever did that, he's not a guy who two strikes intimidates him. He still has the ability to keep the ball in the zone and foul pitches off. There are some things about that as a consideration. I don't know if it'll happen or not. But obviously it's something … we're looking at various options we have, and that would be one of them at some point."