August 12, 2010

Joe Mauer on historic doubles pace

Games like last night's aren't much fun to write about, but it seems like forever since I've done anything Twins-related in this space and I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing pictures of me and my fellow nerds as the top entry, so ...

Joe Mauer had two more hits in the loss, making him 39-for-89 (.438) with 17 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs in 22 games since the All-Star break. One of those hits was his 38th double of the year, which ties Mauer for the AL lead with Nick Markakis and puts him on pace to break both the all-time record by a catcher and the Twins' team record. Ivan Rodriguez holds the catcher mark with 47 doubles in 1996:

Ivan Rodriguez      1999     47
Brian McCann        2008     42
Jorge Posada        2007     42
Brian Harper        1990     42
Lance Parrish       1983     42
Terry Kennedy       1982     42
Mickey Cochrane     1930     42

A couple things. First, a Brian Harper sighting! He's the 25th-best player in Twins history for a reason, after all. Second, it seems weird that six different catchers have 42 doubles, but none have 43-46 doubles and only one has more than 42 doubles. Coincidentally, 47 doubles is also the Twins' record:

Justin Morneau      2008     47
Marty Cordova       1996     46
Torii Hunter        2007     45
Chuck Knoblauch     1994     45
Kirby Puckett       1989     45
Zoilo Versalles     1965     45

It's worth noting that Chuck Knoblauch hit 45 doubles in a strike-shortened season. Prorated to a full schedule he'd have 65, which is amazing given that the MLB record is 68 by Earl Webb in 1931. Mauer isn't on quite that pace, but with 38 doubles through 114 games he's on track for 54. In four weeks he's raised his average from .293 to .327 and his OPS from .792 to .886, both of which lead the team now that Justin Morneau no longer qualifies for the batting title.


  1. first

    Comment by bob — August 11, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  2. It sure is nice to be talking about Mauer on another historic pace.

    Comment by neil — August 11, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  3. Gardenhire deserves a lot of credit for the way he managed Mauer into this hot streak. Mauer was not only slumping by his standards but also banged up, and Gardenhire gave him a steady mix of off days and DH days when he could afford to during a stretch of AL bottom feeders. Now, Mauer is once again performing great instead of really, really good. It’s impossible not to give Gardenhire’s management credit in that.

    Comment by doug — August 11, 2010 @ 11:48 pm

  4. Rumors of Joe Mauer’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Shock!

    Comment by Zack — August 12, 2010 @ 12:10 am

  5. I am not giving credit to Gardenhire for his lineup management this series.

    His only option to redeem himself is to start Mauer at catcher against the right hander Floyd tonight. This is the only way he gets all of his big left handed boppers in the lineup (Mauer, Kubel, Thome).

    Why not sit Kubel yesterday (he is not very good against lefties) and DH Mauer yesterday. It keeps him fresh and I don’t think Butera would have done any worse than Kubel.

    One simple change solves a problem in lineup construction for two days.

    Now the problem must be solved by starting Mauer at catcher tonight. Butera is going to start on Friday as Pavanastachio’s personal catcher.

    Comment by Andy H — August 12, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  6. Now the problem must be solved by starting Mauer at catcher tonight. Butera is going to start on Friday as Pavanastachio’s personal catcher.

    Why does Pavano like throwing to Butera anyway?

    Comment by Patrick — August 12, 2010 @ 8:17 am

  7. “Second, it seems weird that six different catchers have 42 doubles, but none have 43-46 doubles and only one has more than 42 doubles.”

    Steroids Era

    Comment by DC — August 12, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  8. Why not sit Kubel yesterday (he is not very good against lefties)

    Kubel has had success against Danks (OPS of 0.873 in about 30PA), so it made sense to have him in the lineup.

    Comment by Mike M. — August 12, 2010 @ 8:30 am

  9. I still think when you look at the two days combined … it was better to have Butera in the lineup yesterday than tonight.

    Comment by Andy H — August 12, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  10. Hey skipper, I know it’s getting late in the season and we’re going to Chicago to fight for first place, but could I get an extra day off here please? Sometimes I have to pitch twice in one week, sometimes going six or even seven innings!!!! Maybe we could go to a seven man rotation. How about a little help here. It’s been a whole month since the all-star break.

    Comment by fenring — August 12, 2010 @ 9:12 am

  11. Is that a Top 40 Twins of all time reference??? God, I miss that series. Can I put in a request that you get back to that, Aaron? You’re not busy, right?

    Comment by The Common Man — August 12, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  12. fenring, so, if they are sore/tired/hurt, they should just go out and pitch, effectiveness now and in a month be damned?

    Comment by mike wants wins — August 12, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  13. Not terribly surprising that the Twins would lose the Danks v. Perkins match-up. Hopefully Frankie bounces back tonight and we get out of there in first place.

    And I don’t much care about stinking doubles. Who’s going to replace Mijares? Neshek? Delaney? Will Gardy throw Mahay every game now that he’s the last lefty standing? And how’s Slowey for that matter?

    Even if we win this series, the injuries are mounting…

    Comment by Neil — August 12, 2010 @ 9:43 am

  14. No one can predict what will happen a month from now. I have never seen players ask for an extra day off when they are closing in on the lead. Ask the Indy Colts how giving up the perfect season for something a month away worked out for them. You’re going nowhere if you don’t have people saying ‘give me the ball’.

    Comment by fenring — August 12, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  15. Its strange that the barreiros/souhans of the world are so silent when Joe is rolling or giving backhanded compliments “This is what he’s supposed to be doing” but so willing to jump on his grave when he’s having a down day/week.

    The Twins have only played 20 games since “the bunt” and low and behold Joe Mauer’s 2010 stats show him to be one of the 5-10 best position players in the AL (where he’s now been 4 of the last 5 years)

    He only has been a Twin for 7 seasons, but you could make an argument that Mauer all ready in that short time would be one of the 5 greatest Twins ever (if Gleeman re-did his top40 list).

    Comment by NTR — August 12, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  16. Andy H,

    With another night game today, I don’t think it will be a problem for Mauer to be behind the plate for a third straight game given the off day on Monday and the fact that Butera will catch tomorrow as you pointed out. I’m confident we’ll see Kubel AND Thome in the lineup tonight vs. Floyd. Let’s hope that means a victory.

    Comment by Scott — August 12, 2010 @ 10:36 am

  17. Andy H — just another Gardy hater. What, you think a lineup with Butera in it is better than what we had yesterday?? Your anti-Gardy point of view is blinding you to the obvious fact that Butera can’t hit. You want to give Mauer a few more days off, fine. Not against Chicago.

    Comment by Dave T — August 12, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  18. Barreiro is stuck on old-school stats like RBIs and probably doesn’t even know what OPS is. He’s also much more interested in “clutch hitting” and thinks that Mauer needs to repeat his MVP season every year to be worth the money. But the reality is Barreiro doesn’t like Mauer much because he doesn’t do his show and say interesting and provocative things like his favorite Twin in recent years, Torii Hunter.

    Souhan is a proven moron, so ’nuff said about him.

    It would be cool if Mauer could break the doubles record for the franchise. Doubles are cool.

    Comment by Josh — August 12, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  19. Glen Perkins was awesome yesterday. Lets keep him around.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — August 12, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

  20. I don’t mind pitchers being cautious if they feel like they might be wearing down a bit…but call me skeptical that pushing their starts back one whole day is really going to make that much of a difference. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d rather have seen them match up Pavano and Liriano against Chicago…

    Comment by Dome Dogs — August 12, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  21. pedant alert!

    Technically, Morneau still leads Mauer in batting average if you use the rule where you add outs until a person gets enough plate appearances.

    pedant off

    Comment by DavidRF — August 12, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  22. heh, haven’t heard from you in a while, Pedro Munoz. Gladden sounded a little bitter about you, even after all these years.

    Comment by neil — August 12, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

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