Just six days from Opening Day at Target Field and Joe Mauer is once against batting fourth for today's Twins-Rays game at spring training.
Brian Dozier is leading off, followed by Max Kepler, Byron Buxton and then Mauer. Miguel Sano is fifth, followed by Eddie Rosario, Byung Ho Park and Jorge Polanco. John Ryan Murphy is ninth and catching, but he’s the third catcher behind Jason Castro and Chris Gimenez, so he's unlikely to be on the roster for the opener Monday against the Royals.
John Bonnes thinks today's lineup is a "strong contender" to be the regular lineup against right-handed pitchers.
If you're wondering why the Twins would use Mauer in the cleanup spot, you're not alone. Typically, cleanup hitters are big RBI guys with a lot of power. But according to Twins Daily, Mauer batting fourth makes sense because he's a high on-base percentage hitter who can get on base for Sano and protect Buxton.
Mauer has batted fourth in just eight of his 1,590 career games.