The Minnesota Twins were forced to place second baseman Brian Dozier in the leadoff spot after Aaron Hicks struggled and Darin Mastroianni was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his ankle. Considering Dozier is simply not getting the job done, should the Twins find someone else to hit leadoff?
Hicks batted a dismal .047 with three RBI, three runs, 20 strikeouts and a meager .109 on-base percentage in 43 at-bats as the leadoff hitter. Meanwhile, Mastroianni actually somewhat succeeded in the brief time he spent in the role before he got hurt. He batted .222 with a .300 on-base percentage in nine at-bats.
Dozier has seen the most action as the No. 1 hitter in the batting order. He has posted a .256 batting average with one home run, seven RBI, two doubles, one triple, nine runs and a .280 on-base percentage in 78 at-bats. Unfortunately, his on-base percentage is the third worst on the team. Not to mention, it is far below the American league average for leadoff hitters, which is .329.
Minnesota could just hang in there and hope Dozier can be good enough until Mastroianni returns from the disabled list. Unfortunately, he has made little progress in his recovery, and there is a strong possibility he could be moved to the 60-day disabled list.
With that being said, the best option is clearly to switch Dozier with someone else in the batting order. One option would be to flip Joe Mauer and him. That means Mauer would become the new leadoff hitter while Dozier would bat second.
As crazy as it sounds to use someone with proven power in that role, it actually makes plenty of sense. Mauer has the highest batting average (.349) and on-base percentage (.431) in the most at-bats (146) on the team. In fact, the 30-year-old has the third highest batting average as well as on-base percentage among hitters in the AL with at least 100 at-bats.
Another option would be to place rookie right fielder Oswaldo Arcia in the leadoff spot in front of Mauer. The 22-year-old is batting .286 with three home runs, 13 RBI, five doubles, one triple, nine runs and a .318 on-base percentage in 84 at-bats. It might be a tall task for an inexperienced player, but Arcia could be up for the job.