Lee on Twitter suggested he would read any letters we published from fans, particularly those with a far-reaching point of view.
We will see if we truly acquire enough material to post more of these. For now, we're going to kick things off with a letter about Joe Mauer. We do this with the knowledge that we are begging people to advance the discussion on Mauer because we're bored with it. We assure you this letter is 100 percent real. We will only tend to the inaccuracies afterwards.
Subject: Twins and Joe Maurer
Body: How many more rallies will the Twins allow Maurer to kill before they admit he is an average hitter at best (when you consider the content of his hits and number of strikeouts) and well below average with runners in scoring position? His career batting average with runners in scoring position was shown at .179 a couple of weeks ago and it has done nothing but go down since then.
Do the math even with Maurer at his career average his total bases, ( 1 for a single, 2 for a double, etc.), in a season will result in only a handful more, if any, than Brian Dozier hitting .250 with his mix of power hits. Another way to look at it is for the extra 20 million a year Maurer is paid over Dozier you get nothing, maybe less, on offense and far less on defense.
Put Maurer where he deserves to be in the batting order 7, 8, or 9. Have him catch where he might be worth having on the field and, so what, if he goes on the disabled list for his customary 50-70 games a season as we have a far better catcher and hitter in Kurt Suzuki to replace him.
Do this and it would of been worth 8-15 more wins this season.
This really summarizes the Mauer angst brilliantly because it is so real, and it is so misguided.
Let's break this down: Mauer is now hitting .143 with runners in scoring position THIS SEASON, which accounts for roughly five percent of his career plate appearances. He is having a bad year. Very bad. And it's getting worse. But it could get better. His career batting average with runners in scoring position is .326.
Dozier is having a very nice season. He is also in his third season as a pro. He makes what a third-year guy should make. Joe Mauer, in 2006, made $400,000.
Suzuki is having a very nice season. Very nice pickup. His career WAR is 13. Mauer's is 44.8.
Also, and this is the obvious one: Joe still spells his name Mauer, not Maurer.
We're not here to defend Mauer. He's very rippable this year. But discord and discourse is unbelievable.