Twins batting order: Dozier leading off? Buxton batting 3rd?

It looks like Paul Molitor is thinking about letting Byron Buxton bat third.

The countdown to Opening Day is on as the Twins and Royals will get the regular season started at Target Field next Monday, April 3.

Manager Paul Molitor has been toying with different batting orders for more than a month now, and it appears he's starting to settle on some regularity.

Brian Dozier looks like a good bet to bat leadoff and Byron Buxton, at the very least, must have a chance in Molitor's mind to bat third. Remember, he had an explosive September to end the 2016 season, hitting .277 with 7 homers, 5 doubles, 2 triples and 18 RBI.

Per usual, expect the Twins to have a different regular batting order against left-handed pitchers compared to right-handed pitchers. Here's the right-handed lineup Molitor used Friday against Baltimore.

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B
  2. Max Kepler, RF
  3. Byron Buxton, CF
  4. Joe Mauer, 1B
  5. Miguel Sano, 3B
  6. Jason Castro, C
  7. Jorge Polanco, SS
  8. Kennys Vargas, DH
  9. Eddie Rosario, LF

The spring lineups aren't exactly great indicators of what the Twins will do in the regular season. Clearly, Mauer wouldn't be a prototypical cleanup hitter.

Sunday against Boston left-hander Chris Sale, the Twins went with:

  1. Brian Dozier, 2B
  2. Jorge Polanco, SS
  3. Byron Buxton, CF
  4. Miguel Sano, 3B
  5. Joe Mauer, 1B
  6. Byung Ho Park, DH
  7. Max Kepler, RF
  8. Chris Gimenez, C
  9. Eddie Rosario, LF

Park was the DH on Sunday after Vargas injured his foot on a foul ball in Friday night's game, so Vargas might be out for a bit. Robbie Grossman's name isn't in either lineup, but he could be a regular option against lefties, platooning with Kepler and Rosario or filling in as the DH. Grossman is dealing with a mild hamstring injury.

Twins Daily predicts the Twins will showcase regular season-like lineups Tuesday-Thursday this week to get some rhythm before Monday's opener.

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