Minnesota Twins: Joe Mauer approaching a career hits milestone
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins have the chance to watch Joe Mauer reach another career milestone this week as Mauer will reach 2,000 career hits.
The Minnesota Twins have seen a resurgence in success in large part due to the emergence of several young players. Mixed into that group has also been one veteran who has experienced a resurgence of his own. That is Joe Mauer and he should reach a career milestone in the coming days.
Mauer has already put himself atop the Twins leaderboards once this season. On Opening Day, Mauer with his 14th consecutive Opening Day start passed Harmon Killebrew for the most consecutive Opening Day starts in Twins history. Mauer is about to follow Killebrew into another area of baseball history, the 2,000 hit club.
After Tuesday nights game, Mauer now sits at 288th on the all-time hits leaderboard with 1,997 hits. That makes it very possible that Mauer could hit that 2,000th hit in the coming week at home as the Twins finish out their series against the Houston Astros and play a series with the Chicago White Sox.
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The Twins are no stranger to hit milestones. In his short stint with the Twins, Jim Thome hit his 600th home run. Both Minnesota natives Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield hit their 3,000th hit as a member of the Twins. Now Molitor as the Twins manager has the opportunity to observe another great hitter in Mauer accomplish his own hitting feat.
With all the head injury struggles Mauer has had it is amazing that he is still in line to finish his career among some of the best hitters in major league history. Depending on how long Mauer is able to continue playing, he still has a shot to join his manager in the 3,000 hit club. Our friend and contributor John Olson did the math for us on that.
It seems conceivable that Mauer could even hit for a higher average of hits than what John uses in his figures since Mauer now appears fully healthy, potentially accelerating that timetable. What will be the bigger hinderance to reaching 3,000 for Mauer is whether or not Mauer will stay in the majors long enough to make it to 3,000. That is another topic for another day.
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What is important for today is that if Mauer wanted to and could find a place to play he could get to 3,000 hits yet in his career. A career that before last season seemed dead in the water. First things first, this week we will be waiting to celebrate as Mauer reaches and passes 2,000 hits. Some series wins would be nice as well.