Thursday, April 06, 2017

Mauer and Buxton

The Twins three and four hitters, Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer, both struggled offensively in the first three games. Its a small sample size and I suspect most people aren't over-worried about Mauer. That could be a mistake, but Mauer didn't strike out in half his plate appearances as Buxton did. Buxton's lone hit came from beating out an infield grounder. This is not really what you want from a number three hitter.

The other difference is Mauer actually has a long track record of hitting major league pitching. Buxton doesn't. In fact he has never been successful at that task for more than a week at a time. The sports writers keep talking about his September performance last year. He actually had one hot week when he was first recalled from Rochester. After that his performance was pretty much the same as it was the rest of the year. On September 7th he had raised his season batting average to .225 and that is how he finished the year. He did manage to increase his OBP with a late surge of walks.

That was very similar to his performance when he was recalled the first time last year. He had a hot week and then went stone cold until they sent him back to Rochester. Its way too early to start thinking that will happen again, but his cold start certainly is not reassuring.

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