Minnesota Twins: Will Moving Up in the Order Help Joe Mauer?

By John Engel
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer has hit in every batting order position since debuting in the major leagues in 2004. For the majority of the 1,073 games of his career, Mauer has hit in the No. 3 spot in the order.

Not anymore.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has moved his superstar catcher up one spot in the batting order to become the No. 2 hitter, and Mauer has started the first eight games of the season there. The last time Mauer started at least eight games as the No. 2 hitter, he won the American League MVP in 2009.

Mauer has consistently hit for a high batting average throughout his career, but has seen a steady dip in his power numbers since is 2009 MVP campaign. By moving Mauer into the No. 2 slot, Gardenhire will be capitalizing his catcher’s high on-base percentage and batting average, while leaving the RBI opportunities to Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau.

Gardenhire may still be playing with the idea of Mauer as his No. 2 hitter and unknown whether things will stay that way. Minnesota’s manager has shown that he is willing to mix up a struggling batting order over the years.

In the end, there really isn’t a poor place to put Mauer in the batting order. Regardless of who he hits in front of, or behind, Mauer will always be a nightmare for pitchers.

John Engel is a Pac-12 basketball writer for Rant Sports and also works for ESPNLA 710 radio in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.

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