Twins: How about Mauer, Buxton, Dozier to start the batting order?

Regardless, the Twins will have a deadly lineup.
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In exactly 30 days the Twins will open the regular season on the road against the Baltimore Orioles and fans want to know what the batting order will look like. 

First, Miguel Sano's inclusion is a big deal. We still don't know if he'll be 100 percent healthy and ready for the opener since he's still working his way back into shape after offseason leg surgery. 

Second, Sano's legal situation remains foggy. Will he be suspended once MLB officials complete their investigation into alleged sexual harassment against Sano? 

If Sano is in the opening day lineup, it has the potential to be as good as almost any other lineup in the big leagues. 

Here are three lineup combinations worth considering, all of them featuring a different leadoff hitter.

The Dozier lineup

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

This lineup is very similar to the one manager Paul Molitor went with late last season. Polanco did a great hitting third for most of September, and if he flashes the power and average that he did the last two months of 2017, he could be back in the middle of the order again. 

The Mauer lineup

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

Mauer batting second drives me crazy because he grounds into more double plays than just about anyone. Put Buxton behind him and suddenly the double plays are probably cut in half, at a minimum. 

This lineup also gets Dozier to the plate more often with men on base, versus wasting an at-bat once every night with nobody on base as the leadoff hitter. 

The Buxton lineup

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

If Buxton gets on base to lead off a game or start an inning, he'll have three RBI machines behind him to drive him in, and sometimes it only takes a single to do so. 

This lineup, of course, only works if Buxton cuts down on his strikeouts and draws more walks. 

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