PDA

View Full Version : Christensen: Mauer Needs To Swing



John Bonnes
08-19-2012, 09:39 AM
http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/166676076.html

Christensen looks at Mauer's 9th inning at-bat last night, the one in which he walked to load the bases, and wonders why he never got the bat off his shoulder in six pitches.

I gotta disagree with Joe on this one. I watched that at-bat and I was watching to see if Mauer had anything he could really hit. I concluded that he didn't have anything he could really work with, though one pitch wasn't terrible.

SpiritofVodkaDave
08-19-2012, 09:45 AM
Wow, what a lazy and poor "article" by Joe C. Pretty disappointing as he is one of the actual few newspaper men left that usually puts out quality stuff.

Mauer had 1 pitch to hit that entire at bat, he was sitting on a fastball on the 3-1 count and he was thrown a breaking ball, as I mentioned in the game thread, nothing good can come off of that. "Going up hacking" late in a game is a foolish strategy that someone like Delmon Young or Gomez would employ, Mauer took what the pitcher gave him, got on base and extended the inning/game.

He also had Josh Willingham and his .950 OPS on deck with the bases loaded, give me that match-up any day of the week. People can say "oh, they only needed one run not a grand slam" but that is false as well. It wasn't a walk off situation, it was the top of the 9th, the Twins needed as many runs as they could get.

The sad thing is the rubes will eat this crap right up and we will start hearing boos again at Target Field since "Mauer doesn't care" or "Mauer isn't man enough to swing the bat" or "23 million derp derp derp".

Aaron Gleeman
08-19-2012, 09:46 AM
He also got the basic math of the situation wrong. It's not a comparison between Mauer's batting average and Willingham's batting average, because by walking Mauer made it possible for Willingham to drive in a run with a hit OR a walk (or a passed ball, wild pitch, error, etc.). So it should be Mauer's AVG vs. Willingham's OBP, in which case Willingham's OBP (plus errors, WP, PB, etc.) is much, much higher anyway.

gunnarthor
08-19-2012, 10:00 AM
Without reading the article or watching the game, I understand what Joe C is trying to get at - for 23m, you want a guy in the three hole who is looking to drive in runs when he has the opportunity, esp late in a game, instead of putting it on someone else. Joe's a great hitter but that'll always be the criticism of him. He's not perfect but he is what he is, at this point, and that's probably not going to change.

I'd also bet that Mauer was facing a lefty and Seattle brought in a tough righty to get Willingham, which changes the math a bit.

SpiritofVodkaDave
08-19-2012, 10:05 AM
Without reading the article or watching the game, I understand what Joe C is trying to get at - for 23m, you want a guy in the three hole who is looking to drive in runs when he has the opportunity, esp late in a game, instead of putting it on someone else. Joe's a great hitter but that'll always be the criticism of him. He's not perfect but he is what he is, at this point, and that's probably not going to change.

I'd also bet that Mauer was facing a lefty and Seattle brought in a tough righty to get Willingham, which changes the math a bit.
I know that Mauer can hit LHP pretty well, but it should be noted that Luetge has a .169 average against when facing left handed batters.

gunnarthor
08-19-2012, 10:17 AM
I know that Mauer can hit LHP pretty well, but it should be noted that Luetge has a .169 average against when facing left handed batters.

Well, I guess that's where this conversation is due to go - what is Mauer's line on 3-0 or 3-1 against lefty relievers with RISP vs. Willingham's numbers, etc. It could get sorta silly. I think Joe C and John both make good points (I just read the article) but I do think Joe should be looking to hit and his failure to do so leaves him open to legit criticism. I also think that Joe C's views are probably closer to Gardy's.

It might also be time for Gardy to move Joe up in the batting order to #2.

IdahoPilgrim
08-19-2012, 10:34 AM
As I said on the game thread, I'm not enough of an expert to know whether Mauer handled the at-bat properly or not. I'm just responding as an average, uninformed fan, and to me it felt like "kissing your sister." I understand that Mauer needs to play the game in the way he does it best - which for him means talking walks when offered - and that he has to stick to what has made him as successful as he is. I understand that, over the long term, that will create more success for the team than trying to overhaul his approach on a situation-by-situation basis. I understand that Willingham has a decent OBP, even if he has been slumping lately. If Willingham comes through, the whole discussion is moot, but he didn't.

None of this changes the fact that my emotional reaction to the Mauer at-bat was indifferent. It felt like a tie to me, a bit of a letdown, whatever statistics you use, and left a slightly sour taste in my mouth.

John Bonnes
08-19-2012, 10:34 AM
I can understand, in general, the criticism that Mauer is too patient. But I can't in that at-bat. There just wasn't much there. It was if they were pitching around him.

twinsnorth49
08-19-2012, 10:45 AM
Unfair criticism to me, Mauer was up there looking to hit, not hack. He got a breaking ball on a fastball count and didn't swing, that was his big,let your team down, coward moment according to Joe. C? I agree with Dave, impulsive, lazy writing designed to elicit some kind of manufactured passion.

As Aaron pointed out, the scenarios by which a run could score when Willingham came up increased with Joe's walk.

SpiritofVodkaDave
08-19-2012, 10:59 AM
If people wanted to criticize a Mauer at bat last night, they should have criticized the one where he weekly grounded out to 2nd with the bases loaded and 1 out, or any of the other 3 at bats where he didn't get on base.

IdahoPilgrim
08-19-2012, 11:02 AM
If people wanted to criticize a Mauer at bat last night, they should have criticized the one where he weekly grounded out to 2nd with the bases loaded and 1 out, or any of the other 3 at bats where he didn't get on base.

I can second that - the only bright side of that play was at least he beat the relay to avoid the DP, so they got one. But that also felt like a lost opportunity.

one_eyed_jack
08-19-2012, 11:21 AM
This seems like a really strange place for Joe C to step out of character and rip Mauer. Has he been listening to too much Barreiro lately?

Mauer was looking for a pitch to do something with. He didn't get one. So he took the next best thing, which was a walk to load the bases for Willingham. Not long ago in Fenway, he had a similar situation, took the same, patient approach, and got something to hit, and put it over the Green Monster.

Put it this way, suppose Mauer swings at one of those pitches and either misses or makes an out - I doubt Joe C would be defending his plate approach.

I could see it maybe if it were someone other than Willingham coming up. Yeah, then maybe you could say Mauer needed to deviate from his norm there.

And this whole "well, for $23 million, he needs to try and get a hit there" idea is rube silliness that should be beneath Joe C. What does that have to do with it? What's the salary cut-off for acceptability of what Mauer did there? Would it have been OK for Morneau take a walk there?

twinsnorth49
08-19-2012, 12:00 PM
Would it have been OK for Morneau take a walk there?

Of course, he can 't hit LHP anyway, remember?

kirbyelway
08-19-2012, 12:16 PM
Critical of a guys at bat with an OBP over .400 LOL!!!

YourHouseIsMyHouse
08-19-2012, 12:32 PM
That's an awful article. The Twins would have needed at least two runs and likely more after what Robertson did. Mauer loaded the bases and got two men in scoring position instead of one to increase those chances of getting two. He worked the count and didn't like anything. Joe C loses his credibility card.

Riverbrian
08-19-2012, 12:35 PM
It was a Great professional At-Bat by Joe Mauer facing a guy who has been very tough on left handers and an ump that was consistently giving the outside corner against lefties to the pitcher throughout the game.

Criticizing a player (who did not make an out) in a key situation. Is an impossible situation for the player and completely unfair.

Joe C is running out of things to write about obviously.

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 01:16 PM
You ask a guy to go to the plate and play his game, not the pitcher's game. If he's dealt a walk, you take the walk.

And then you shut up about it because the guy who just walked has the highest OBP in the league. That's who he is. I wish people would appreciate Joe Mauer for what he is instead of trying to make him into the type of streaky player who makes dumb mistakes and is frustrating to watch day in and day out.

darin617
08-19-2012, 01:33 PM
Too bad he cannot just foul off pitches to get one he likes. Kind of like other great batting champs Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs used to do. Heck he could learn a little something from AJ about extending AB's and not being a coward and taking walk to put the pressure on Willingham and Morneau to drive in the runs.

In other words if you want to not swing the bat become the leadoff hitter or #2 hitter and leave the 3 hole to someone who wants to swing the bat.

SpiritofVodkaDave
08-19-2012, 01:39 PM
Too bad he cannot just foul off pitches to get one he likes. Kind of like other great batting champs Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs used to do. Heck he could learn a little something from AJ about extending AB's and not being a coward and taking walk to put the pressure on Willingham and Morneau to drive in the runs.

In other words if you want to not swing the bat become the leadoff hitter or #2 hitter and leave the 3 hole to someone who wants to swing the bat.


2061

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 02:00 PM
Heck he could learn a little something from AJ about extending AB's

Mauer takes 4.31 pitches per plate appearance, good for 3rd in the AL.

Pierzynski takes 3.48 pitches per plate apperance, good for 72nd in the AL.

But hey, we shouldn't allow facts to get in the way of a point.

Thrylos
08-19-2012, 02:08 PM
I cannot see how anyone gets criticized for getting on base in front of Willingham. If anything needs to be criticized is the bunt attempt with 2 on and no outs that did not work. But I guess people are used to smallball and not to taking walks and waiting for the bomb

JB_Iowa
08-19-2012, 03:05 PM
I wish people would appreciate Joe Mauer for what he is instead of trying to make him into the type of streaky player who makes dumb mistakes and is frustrating to watch day in and day out.

And therein lies my problem with Joe Mauer. Logically, I can appreciate his performance. Emotionally, his performance leaves me stone cold.

I don't anticipate his plate appearances. I could care less whether he wins another batting title. He comes up to bat and I say "meh". I know that he will probably take the first pitch. I know that he will work the count. There is simply no element of surprise or emotion. That's the way he plays -- emotionlessly. And that's the way it leaves me -- emotionless.

I don't dislike him. I don't like him either. I really just don't care about him.

And that is a sad thing to say about your favorite team's "star".

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 03:36 PM
I wish people would appreciate Joe Mauer for what he is instead of trying to make him into the type of streaky player who makes dumb mistakes and is frustrating to watch day in and day out.

And therein lies my problem with Joe Mauer. Logically, I can appreciate his performance. Emotionally, his performance leaves me stone cold.

I don't anticipate his plate appearances. I could care less whether he wins another batting title. He comes up to bat and I say "meh". I know that he will probably take the first pitch. I know that he will work the count. There is simply no element of surprise or emotion. That's the way he plays -- emotionlessly. And that's the way it leaves me -- emotionless.

I don't dislike him. I don't like him either. I really just don't care about him.

And that is a sad thing to say about your favorite team's "star".

Mauer is a pretty emotionless guy. I don't think he's a terribly exciting player to watch either. He never gets upset, never throws anything, just kind of goes about his day at and behind the plate.

On the other hand, while he's not the most exciting guy to watch, he's one of the best players in all of baseball. I'll take the guy who just "goes about his day" and piles up walks and hits compared to the guy who screams, yells, and breaks his bat on the way to a 200 strikeout season.

Joe Mauer is a very good baseball player and might be the greatest hit-for-average catcher in all of MLB history. He's an incredible talent.

And yet people around here want to change the guy and how he approaches hitting. How is that considered smart?

Celebrity Weddings!
08-19-2012, 03:51 PM
White Sox fans used to say the same thing about Frank Thomas. In a few years, he'll be in the Hall of Fame and they'll be finishing fourth in the cornhole tournament their cousin Sean holds in his driveway in Evergreen Park.

I think there's a lesson for all of us there: Don't go to Evergreen Park.

Bark's Lounge
08-19-2012, 03:53 PM
I wish people would appreciate Joe Mauer for what he is instead of trying to make him into the type of streaky player who makes dumb mistakes and is frustrating to watch day in and day out.

And therein lies my problem with Joe Mauer. Logically, I can appreciate his performance. Emotionally, his performance leaves me stone cold.

I don't anticipate his plate appearances. I could care less whether he wins another batting title. He comes up to bat and I say "meh". I know that he will probably take the first pitch. I know that he will work the count. There is simply no element of surprise or emotion. That's the way he plays -- emotionlessly. And that's the way it leaves me -- emotionless.

I don't dislike him. I don't like him either. I really just don't care about him.

And that is a sad thing to say about your favorite team's "star".

Mauer is a pretty emotionless guy. I don't think he's a terribly exciting player to watch either. He never gets upset, never throws anything, just kind of goes about his day at and behind the plate.

On the other hand, while he's not the most exciting guy to watch, he's one of the best players in all of baseball. I'll take the guy who just "goes about his day" and piles up walks and hits compared to the guy who screams, yells, and breaks his bat on the way to a 200 strikeout season.

Joe Mauer is a very good baseball player and might be the greatest hit-for-average catcher in all of MLB history. He's an incredible talent.

And yet people around here want to change the guy and how he approaches hitting. How is that considered smart?

Nice one Brock/RP. Sometimes it takes a player to leave the team for the fans to realize what they had and regret what they lost. It seems like a lot of fans have become jaded with Mauer and expect him to perform acts of unrealistic proportion. He is the best player on this team - bar none. I am assuming someone will throw his salary in my face after posting this.:)

peterb18
08-19-2012, 04:04 PM
[QUOTE=gunnarthor;47173]Without reading the article or watching the game, I understand what Joe C is trying to get at - for 23m, you want a guy in the three hole who is looking to drive in runs when he has the opportunity, esp late in a game, instead of putting it on someone else. Joe's a great hitter but that'll always be the criticism of him. He's not perfect but he is what he is, at this point, and that's probably not going to change.

I agree with the above statement. If Joe were batting in the 2nd position we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Ultima Ratio
08-19-2012, 04:14 PM
Joe Mauer is a very good baseball player and might be the greatest hit-for-average catcher in all of MLB history. He's an incredible talent.

And yet people around here want to change the guy and how he approaches hitting. How is that considered smart?

Don't you think that a good hitter's approach changes with the circumstances of the game? Wanting your best hitter to swing and hit at least one of the two strikes he watches -- to hit to score one run with two outs in the ninth is not the same as wanting him to change his overall approach to hitting.

Willingham's general approach is to put a power swing on any pitch over the plate... swinging for a home run/power every chance he can. I really hope his approach in his final at bat was not that, but to get on base, get that one run home. See the difference?

Kind feel like I have to say that Mauer is the best Twins since Kirby Puckett now -- get the bona fides out there -- to head off silly responses that I hate, am overly critical or just can't say something nice about Joe.

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 04:17 PM
Joe Mauer is a very good baseball player and might be the greatest hit-for-average catcher in all of MLB history. He's an incredible talent.

And yet people around here want to change the guy and how he approaches hitting. How is that considered smart?

Don't you think that a good hitter's approach changes with the circumstances of the game? Wanting you best hitter to swing and hit at least one of the two strikes he watches -- to hit to score one run with two outs in the ninth is not the same as wanting him to change his overall approach to hitting.

Willingham's general approach is to put a power swing on any pitch over the plate... swinging for a home run/power every chance he can. I really hope his approach in his final at bat was not that, but to get on base, get that one run home. See the difference?

Kind feel like I have to say that Mauer is the best Twins since Kirby Puckett now -- get the bona fides out there -- to head off silly responses that I hate, am overly critical or just can't say something nice about Joe.

It's my opinion that when you have a talent like Joe Mauer, you let him decide which pitches to hit. If he had weakly grounded out to second, the board would have been up in arms, yet that's essentially what some were advocating he try to do. If he had been given "his pitch", I really doubt that bat would have stayed on his shoulder. A guy doesn't rack up a career BA of ~.320 by hoping to take a walk in every AB.

It's not as if the guy is a wilting flower who buckles at the first sign of pressure. He has come through in plenty of spots for the team and sometimes, "coming up with the big play" means taking a walk if you don't get the right pitch and giving your masher a favorable situation in which to hit.

one_eyed_jack
08-19-2012, 04:18 PM
I'll take the guy who just "goes about his day" and piles up walks and hits compared to the guy who screams, yells, and breaks his bat on the way to a 200 strikeout season.



---Me too, and so would any rational fan. The Milton Bradley routine of daily tantrums gets old pretty quick.

jokin
08-19-2012, 04:23 PM
I'll take the guy who just "goes about his day" and piles up walks and hits compared to the guy who screams, yells, and breaks his bat on the way to a 200 strikeout season.



---Me too, and so would any rational fan. The Milton Bradley routine of daily tantrums gets old pretty quick.

I looked it up. This wildly veering and swerving "extremes approach" to making a counter-point is the NHS-certified 2nd most likely cause of whiplash.

Ultima Ratio
08-19-2012, 04:27 PM
Joe Mauer is a very good baseball player and might be the greatest hit-for-average catcher in all of MLB history. He's an incredible talent.

And yet people around here want to change the guy and how he approaches hitting. How is that considered smart?

Don't you think that a good hitter's approach changes with the circumstances of the game? Wanting you best hitter to swing and hit at least one of the two strikes he watches -- to hit to score one run with two outs in the ninth is not the same as wanting him to change his overall approach to hitting.

Willingham's general approach is to put a power swing on any pitch over the plate... swinging for a home run/power every chance he can. I really hope his approach in his final at bat was not that, but to get on base, get that one run home. See the difference?

Kind feel like I have to say that Mauer is the best Twins since Kirby Puckett now -- get the bona fides out there -- to head off silly responses that I hate, am overly critical or just can't say something nice about Joe.

It's my opinion that when you have a talent like Joe Mauer, you let him decide which pitches to hit. If he had weakly grounded out to second, the board would have been up in arms, yet that's essentially what some were advocating he try to do. If he had been given "his pitch", I really doubt that bat would have stayed on his shoulder. A guy doesn't rack up a career BA of ~.320 by hoping to take a walk in every AB.

His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 04:34 PM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way. If he saw the pitch he wanted to hit, I'm positive he would have swung at it. Did he get fooled on one or more of those called strikes? It's possible. The guy certainly isn't perfect.

I think people make too much of one AB. There are other times where Joe has come up big late in games and helped the team win. Sometimes, his strategy works. Sometimes, it doesn't. More often than not, it's going to be a more successful strategy than what most other hitters bring to the box. This time it didn't pan out. Against Aroldis Chapman a month or two ago, it did. That's just the game of baseball.

Riverbrian
08-19-2012, 05:06 PM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way.

I am entirely happy with the result. Not making an out is a great at bat. Any thoughts to the contrary is goofy.

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 05:07 PM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way.

I am entirely happy with the result. Not making an out is a great at bat. Any thoughts to the contrary is goofy.

I should have been more clear:

I was not happy with the result of the game. I was totally fine with Mauer's AB.

gunnarthor
08-19-2012, 06:29 PM
Nice one Brock/RP. Sometimes it takes a player to leave the team for the fans to realize what they had and regret what they lost. It seems like a lot of fans have become jaded with Mauer and expect him to perform acts of unrealistic proportion. He is the best player on this team - bar none. I am assuming someone will throw his salary in my face after posting this.:)

Meh. Span and Willingham both have credible claims to being better this year.

Riverbrian
08-19-2012, 06:36 PM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way.

I am entirely happy with the result. Not making an out is a great at bat. Any thoughts to the contrary is goofy.

I should have been more clear:

I was not happy with the result of the game. I was totally fine with Mauer's AB.

I'm with ya.

SpantheMan
08-19-2012, 06:51 PM
In other words if you want to not swing the bat become the leadoff hitter or #2 hitter and leave the 3 hole to someone who wants to swing the bat.


The 3 hole is supposed to be for your best hitters and your best hitters are not the ones who swing the bat just to swing the bat. Would you rather have Mauer switch to Delmon young's plate approach?

StormJH1
08-19-2012, 07:12 PM
Critical of a guys at bat with an OBP over .400 LOL!!!
Article was painfully anecdotal, and used the wrong anecdote at that, but yes, a guy with a .400 OBP can be criticized if there are other areas of his game that don't back him up as an elite player.

First, the good. Mauer's career OBP of .404 would rank him in the mid-40's all-time. He has a skill set particularly attuned for OBP, which is to say that he is very selective at the plate (despite a huge strike zone at 6'5"), does not strike out often, and looks to make solid contact when he does swing, as opposed to trying to murder the ball and swinging over it.

Now, the not-so-good. OBP is just a statistic. Like any statistic, being "elite" in it doesn't necessary mean you are an elite player or dangerous hitter. Looking at the other modern players in the vicinity of Mauer's career OBP, and some of them are likely Hall of Famers (Manny Ramirez, Thome, Rickey Henderson), but many of them are not (John Olerud, Jason Giambi, John Kruk, Bobby Abreu, Jeff Bagwell, and my favorite - Brian Giles). In other words, having a very good OBP probably means you are no worse than a very good player, but as with any stat, you need to know more before concluding how good that hitter really is.

Mauer only led the AL in OBP one year (his 2009 "steroid" year....kidding), and has never led in walks. Olerud really is the best historical comparison, though while Mauer might be a slightly better AVG hitter, Olerud was actually far better at taking walks.

OBP can represent a bunch of singles, unintentional walks, intentional walks, or it can be a bunch of extra base hits that actually produced runs for your team. Mauer's a great player, but he simply isn't in the class of most of the guys I mentioned above because you can name at least one other thing all those guys did exceptionally well (usually HR's, occasionally SB's), which you can't with Mauer. Except for Brian Giles - he's better than Brian Giles.

teekz
08-19-2012, 07:15 PM
In other words if you want to not swing the bat become the leadoff hitter or #2 hitter and leave the 3 hole to someone who wants to swing the bat.


The 3 hole is supposed to be for your best hitters and your best hitters are not the ones who swing the bat just to swing the bat. Would you rather have Mauer switch to Delmon young's plate approach?


Mauer did bat 2nd for this game...

jokin
08-19-2012, 07:19 PM
In other words if you want to not swing the bat become the leadoff hitter or #2 hitter and leave the 3 hole to someone who wants to swing the bat.


The 3 hole is supposed to be for your best hitters and your best hitters are not the ones who swing the bat just to swing the bat. Would you rather have Mauer switch to Delmon young's plate approach?


Mauer did bat 2nd for this game...

Batted 2nd on Friday, Gardy got confused. Joe back to his normal #3 spot on Saturday and today.

jokin
08-19-2012, 07:24 PM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way. If he saw the pitch he wanted to hit, I'm positive he would have swung at it. Did he get fooled on one or more of those called strikes? It's possible. The guy certainly isn't perfect.

I think people make too much of one AB. There are other times where Joe has come up big late in games and helped the team win. Sometimes, his strategy works. Sometimes, it doesn't. More often than not, it's going to be a more successful strategy than what most other hitters bring to the box. This time it didn't pan out. Against Aroldis Chapman a month or two ago, it did. That's just the game of baseball.

"This time it didn't pan out". Wait a minute, what I've been reading here on this thread was that it did pan out.

"Against Aroldis Champan a month or two ago, it did." A great at AB, one of the best this year, seriously, I was in awe of that battle for days afterward. And it actually involved removing the bat from his shoulder.

Brock Beauchamp
08-19-2012, 07:27 PM
"This time it didn't pan out". Wait a minute, what I've been reading here on this thread was that it did pan out.

"Against Aroldis Champan a month or two ago, it did." A great at AB, one of the best this year, seriously, I was in awe of that battle for days afterward. And it actually involved removing the bat from his shoulder.

Again, the game didn't pan out. Mauer put the bat in the hands of the Twins' most prolific hitter this season instead of possibly rolling over on a pitch and ending the game by swinging at a pitch he didn't like. I don't have a problem with that... And I don't see why anyone else would, either. The Chapman AB is an example of him seeing a pitch he liked and going with it. Given Mauer's history, I trust him to make the right decision... He won't do it "right" every time but he'll do it right more often than almost anyone else in baseball.

Seth Stohs
08-19-2012, 07:47 PM
Strange article... A few years ago, just after Mauer signed his contract, I wrote a blog about the similarities between Kevin Garnett and Joe Mauer. One aspect of this was that they are both really good team players and unselfish and willing to let someone else play the hero. I personally think that's a good thing. I do not believe that Joe Mauer should go outside the strike zone just to be the man. I like KG taking the big shot if it's there for him, but if not, pass to the open guy. Of course, passing to Latrell Sprewell or Ray Allen or Paul Pierce is different than passing it to Trenton Hassell or Troy Hudson. Likewise, Mauer being smart, getting on-base, not going outside the zone and trusting Willingham and/or Morneau is absolutely the right thing.

Seth Stohs
08-19-2012, 07:48 PM
I would also add that if Mauer is in a big situation and had a 2-0, 2-1, 3-1 count and gets a pitch down the middle, I do like seeing him take a big swing. He should. But if the pitch isn't there, he should never force it.

twinsnorth49
08-19-2012, 08:06 PM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way. If he saw the pitch he wanted to hit, I'm positive he would have swung at it. Did he get fooled on one or more of those called strikes? It's possible. The guy certainly isn't perfect.

I think people make too much of one AB. There are other times where Joe has come up big late in games and helped the team win. Sometimes, his strategy works. Sometimes, it doesn't. More often than not, it's going to be a more successful strategy than what most other hitters bring to the box. This time it didn't pan out. Against Aroldis Chapman a month or two ago, it did. That's just the game of baseball.

"This time it didn't pan out". Wait a minute, what I've been reading here on this thread was that it did pan out.

"Against Aroldis Champan a month or two ago, it did." A great at AB, one of the best this year, seriously, I was in awe of that battle for days afterward. And it actually involved removing the bat from his shoulder.

It didn't pan out in the sense that, I assume Joe didn't get the pitch he was sitting on, unlike against Chapman. I think Joe hits the ball often enough to give him the benefit of the doubt that he generally know a good pitch to hit. It did pan out in the sense that he kept the inning alive for a player with a .913 OPS.

But, flail away if you prefer.

Bark's Lounge
08-19-2012, 08:33 PM
Nice one Brock/RP. Sometimes it takes a player to leave the team for the fans to realize what they had and regret what they lost. It seems like a lot of fans have become jaded with Mauer and expect him to perform acts of unrealistic proportion. He is the best player on this team - bar none. I am assuming someone will throw his salary in my face after posting this.:)

Meh. Span and Willingham both have credible claims to being better this year.

I think Span and Willingham are excellent. Season wise you might have a good argument for Willingham being better than Mauer - Span, No way. Mauer is their superior career wise.

Nick Nelson
08-19-2012, 08:39 PM
He also got the basic math of the situation wrong. It's not a comparison between Mauer's batting average and Willingham's batting average, because by walking Mauer made it possible for Willingham to drive in a run with a hit OR a walk (or a passed ball, wild pitch, error, etc.). So it should be Mauer's AVG vs. Willingham's OBP, in which case Willingham's OBP (plus errors, WP, PB, etc.) is much, much higher anyway.

Well look who poked his head out.

pipers44
08-19-2012, 08:54 PM
Our # 3 hitter has 60 some RBIs. I want more than that from my #3 hitter. IMO he needs to look to drive the ball more in those favorable count situations. He is an incredible hitter, but with room for improvement.

Also, does anyone else think his throwing from behind the plate has deteriorated?

CDog
08-20-2012, 12:15 AM
I would want a player making $23M to do the same thing I would want a player making $1M (or less). I would want my 3-hitter to do the same as I would want my 9-hitter and everyone else to do. I would want him to give the team the best chance to win, every time he can, given the circumstances and situations presented to him. Well done, Kid St. Paul.

Nick Nelson
08-20-2012, 12:24 AM
Also, does anyone else think his throwing from behind the plate has deteriorated?

For sure. I think that's just his body wearing down. He's had some shoulder problems that aren't talked about much.

USAFChief
08-20-2012, 12:57 AM
I would also add that if Mauer is in a big situation and had a 2-0, 2-1, 3-1 count and gets a pitch down the middle, I do like seeing him take a big swing. He should. But if the pitch isn't there, he should never force it.

Uh, he did get a 3-1 pitch down the middle. It wasn't a fastball but it split the plate thigh high.

Sort of an interesting column. If you worship at the alter of OBP, it was a great AB. If you're a dinosaur like me, and still think runs don't materialize out of thin air just because someone reaches first base, then you also think someone has to drive them in. I want my three hole hitter taking a rip at a 3-1 pitch in that situation if it's a hittable pitch. It was.

jokin
08-20-2012, 03:20 AM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way. If he saw the pitch he wanted to hit, I'm positive he would have swung at it. Did he get fooled on one or more of those called strikes? It's possible. The guy certainly isn't perfect.

I think people make too much of one AB. There are other times where Joe has come up big late in games and helped the team win. Sometimes, his strategy works. Sometimes, it doesn't. More often than not, it's going to be a more successful strategy than what most other hitters bring to the box. This time it didn't pan out. Against Aroldis Chapman a month or two ago, it did. That's just the game of baseball.

"This time it didn't pan out". Wait a minute, what I've been reading here on this thread was that it did pan out.

"Against Aroldis Champan a month or two ago, it did." A great at AB, one of the best this year, seriously, I was in awe of that battle for days afterward. And it actually involved removing the bat from his shoulder.

It didn't pan out in the sense that, I assume Joe didn't get the pitch he was sitting on, unlike against Chapman. I think Joe hits the ball often enough to give him the benefit of the doubt that he generally know a good pitch to hit. It did pan out in the sense that he kept the inning alive for a player with a .913 OPS.

But, flail away if you prefer.

No flailing on my part. As I stated when I first posted Christensen's article last night, I am right in the middle on this one. Joe wasn't having a good night at the plate going into the last AB. He has a certain way of going about his business, his business is getting on base and for him, business is always good, even when he is in a short term slump. For how Mauer generally approaches this situation, he did his job and I get where he's coming from. But to insist that Mauer's walk=Mastroianni's walk (which immediately preceded Joe's) is not a credible assertion- there were two very hittable pitches in his AB and having your best hitter taking a chance at swinging on one of them to win the game is arguably a pretty good strategy, in this case, the obligatory strike, low-middle, on the 3-0 count was the pitch that most team's best hitters would likely not pass up with the game literally on the line.

The other side in this debate argues that a walk is as good as a hit, therefore, things did pan out for Mauer, as he maintained his precious OBP average and did his job in loading the bases by which the potential lead run was now only 90 feet away. Mauer continues to maintain his lofty averages by sticking to what has always worked for him, but then things didn't pan out- for the team (not saying Mauer is selfish, it's just who he is and how he does things).

To pretend that the other point of view has no merit at all and isn't worth consideration is just a little close-minded on their part. It certainly appears that Seattle had a plan about the scenario as well, and with Willingham struggling recently, having a tough righty ready to go in Wilhelmsen, and given Mauer's virtual MLB-best-average Lefty/Lefty split, they may have felt the odds were in their favor by not giving Mauer much to hit and defying the "walk is as good as a hit" thinking.

StormJH1
08-20-2012, 04:11 AM
Also, does anyone else think his throwing from behind the plate has deteriorated?

For sure. I think that's just his body wearing down. He's had some shoulder problems that aren't talked about much.
That's the other side of this that tends to get overlooked. A lot of defenses of 26-year-old Mauer's game revolved around the assumption of Mauer as a "plus" defender and and game manager behind the plate. I always thought that was a bit exaggerated to begin with, but he's now decidedly average as a defensive catcher (though certainly not bad).

You keep in mind that only does he only play catcher half the time anyway, but he's effectively "past his prime" defensively. And if you compared him to other positions, there are very few Hall of Fame players that are on their downside defensively by age 29. Nature of the position, too, I know, but still...

twinsnorth49
08-20-2012, 10:50 AM
His at bat was hardly memorable, not something stupid or really disappointing. It was prudent. Some of us are just a little disappointed, and I think that's okay, that his AB was a little too prudent, too safe. And who cares what the board would do with a 4-3 putout to end it. That's a red herring and many would say (irony thick) that that's who you want swinging and since it's more likely to make an out when making contact, we shouldn't be so critical of him unless we expect him to hit over .500. Thus, some on here won't stand for any criticism of Mauer, in any measure, even something as benign as this issue.

And that's fine. I don't think anyone here was entirely happy with the result. All I'm arguing is that Joe Mauer became a .325 hitter with a .400 OBP by playing the game a certain way. If he saw the pitch he wanted to hit, I'm positive he would have swung at it. Did he get fooled on one or more of those called strikes? It's possible. The guy certainly isn't perfect.

I think people make too much of one AB. There are other times where Joe has come up big late in games and helped the team win. Sometimes, his strategy works. Sometimes, it doesn't. More often than not, it's going to be a more successful strategy than what most other hitters bring to the box. This time it didn't pan out. Against Aroldis Chapman a month or two ago, it did. That's just the game of baseball.

"This time it didn't pan out". Wait a minute, what I've been reading here on this thread was that it did pan out.

"Against Aroldis Champan a month or two ago, it did." A great at AB, one of the best this year, seriously, I was in awe of that battle for days afterward. And it actually involved removing the bat from his shoulder.

It didn't pan out in the sense that, I assume Joe didn't get the pitch he was sitting on, unlike against Chapman. I think Joe hits the ball often enough to give him the benefit of the doubt that he generally know a good pitch to hit. It did pan out in the sense that he kept the inning alive for a player with a .913 OPS.

But, flail away if you prefer.

No flailing on my part. As I stated when I first posted Christensen's article last night, I am right in the middle on this one. Joe wasn't having a good night at the plate going into the last AB. He has a certain way of going about his business, his business is getting on base and for him, business is always good, even when he is in a short term slump. For how Mauer generally approaches this situation, he did his job and I get where he's coming from. But to insist that Mauer's walk=Mastroianni's walk (which immediately preceded Joe's) is not a credible assertion- there were two very hittable pitches in his AB and having your best hitter taking a chance at swinging on one of them to win the game is arguably a pretty good strategy, in this case, the obligatory strike, low-middle, on the 3-0 count was the pitch that most team's best hitters would likely not pass up with the game literally on the line.

The other side in this debate argues that a walk is as good as a hit, therefore, things did pan out for Mauer, as he maintained his precious OBP average and did his job in loading the bases by which the potential lead run was now only 90 feet away. Mauer continues to maintain his lofty averages by sticking to what has always worked for him, but then things didn't pan out- for the team (not saying Mauer is selfish, it's just who he is and how he does things).

To pretend that the other point of view has no merit at all and isn't worth consideration is just a little close-minded on their part. It certainly appears that Seattle had a plan about the scenario as well, and with Willingham struggling recently, having a tough righty ready to go in Wilhelmsen, and given Mauer's virtual MLB-best-average Lefty/Lefty split, they may have felt the odds were in their favor by not giving Mauer much to hit and defying the "walk is as good as a hit" thinking.

I'm not saying the other point of view has no merit and I respect your assessment. I'm really just more incredulous that so many people (including Joe Christenson) are making one AB such a talking point and using that at bat to characterize Mauer. Actually what's worse is that it's not even that AB but seemingly only 1 or 2 pitches from that AB this is the source for their vitriol.

I believe good hitters go about their business the same way all the time, it's what makes them good hitters. To change your approach based on the situation is the very thing that will lead most guys to be lousy hitters, in fact that "approach" is a non-approach, it's a make it up as you go along philosophy. "Clutch" hitters are nothing more than good hitters at bat at the right time.

Mauerzy4Prez
08-20-2012, 11:25 AM
I can understand, in general, the criticism that Mauer is too patient. But I can't in that at-bat. There just wasn't much there. It was if they were pitching around him.

Exactly! What would people be saying if Joe swung at the breaking ball on 3-1 and hit a week grounder or eventually struck out? People sometimes just reach for an excuse to criticize Joe, and usually their point surrounds how much money he is making....

I guess I don't see the problem with Joe taking walks... yes he is hitting in the three spot and should drive in runs whenever he can. But another equally important role for a 3 hitter is to get on base for the clean up man (and Morny in the 5 hole), and let them do their sole job... drive in runs!

Nick Nelson
08-20-2012, 11:46 AM
It bears noting that when he does swing the bat with RISP, he's been extremely effective, both this year (.351 AVG, .474 SLG) and in his career (.339 AVG, .493 SLG). His plate approach – working the count, waiting for his pitch, refusing to chase borderline offerings – plays a large part in that.

pipers44
08-20-2012, 12:08 PM
It bears noting that when he does swing the bat with RISP, he's been extremely effective, both this year (.351 AVG, .474 SLG) and in his career (.339 AVG, .493 SLG). His plate approach working the count, waiting for his pitch, refusing to chase borderline offerings plays a large part in that.

And his unwillingness to take an aggressive swing when the count is squarely in his favor accounts for the fact that he only has 60 some rbis in spite of these impressive numbers with RISP. He is an incredible hitter, but the teams needs him to do more than just get on base.

Brock Beauchamp
08-20-2012, 12:22 PM
And his unwillingness to take an aggressive swing when the count is squarely in his favor accounts for the fact that he only has 60 some rbis in spite of these impressive numbers with RISP. He is an incredible hitter, but the teams needs him to do more than just get on base.

That doesn't make a lick of sense. His batting average with RISP is .351. His slugging percentage with RISP is .474. Without even factoring in his walks with RISP, that's an OPS of .825.

So he gets a hit 35% of the time runners are in scoring position and is slugging close ~.475 when runners are in scoring position. What more is the guy supposed to do to get these almighty RBIs? Run to the mound and beat up the pitcher while the top of the lineup circles the bags? I'm not familiar with every rule in the MLB handbook but I'm pretty sure those runs wouldn't count even if Joe tried it.

If a guy is OPSing at .938 with RISP, it's not his fault that the RBIs aren't coming. You're letting the tail wag the dog in your analysis. You can't praise a guy for hitting well with RISP and then blame him for his RBI count. It's nonsensical.

jharaldson
08-20-2012, 12:29 PM
I've noticed that this discussion shows the disconnet between Mauers RBI totals (61) and his AVG/OBP/SLG (.354/.468/.478) with RISP. Since the goal of a batter with RISP is to drive them in I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find the following stats:

% of runners on 3rd Driven In
% of runners on 2nd Driven In
% of runners on 1st Driven In

I think it the stats I described above would be a nice intersection between RBI total and RISP performance that would give us a better feel of Joe as a run producer

JB_Iowa
08-20-2012, 12:39 PM
Strange article... A few years ago, just after Mauer signed his contract, I wrote a blog about the similarities between Kevin Garnett and Joe Mauer. One aspect of this was that they are both really good team players and unselfish and willing to let someone else play the hero. I personally think that's a good thing. I do not believe that Joe Mauer should go outside the strike zone just to be the man. I like KG taking the big shot if it's there for him, but if not, pass to the open guy. Of course, passing to Latrell Sprewell or Ray Allen or Paul Pierce is different than passing it to Trenton Hassell or Troy Hudson. Likewise, Mauer being smart, getting on-base, not going outside the zone and trusting Willingham and/or Morneau is absolutely the right thing.

This is interesting to me because what you might view as "unselfishness", others might view as a lack of leadership.

If you are willing to let someone else be the hero, it seems to me that you might also be just as willing to let someone else be the "goat."

pipers44
08-20-2012, 12:44 PM
I will admit I am not a stats geek, but I do know that stats never tell the whole story. So, Brock or anyone else, explain to me why he doesn't drive more runs in. He has never driven in more than 96 in his career. My take is that he typically slaps a single to left which does not result in the runner at second scoring very often. He also does not look to be aggressive enough when the count is in his favor.

Nick Nelson
08-20-2012, 12:53 PM
There are a lot of different factors with Mauer. As a catcher, he doesn't play as much as a lot of high-RBI 1B/OF sluggers because he needs more days off and gets hurt more. He's frequently had very, very bad hitters directly in front of him (the No. 2 spot has been an embarrassment for the Twins many times in the past decade). He doesn't hit a lot of home runs, which are a major source of RBI for many hitters.

Even with all this, Mauer has usually been good for 85-95 RBI in his healthy seasons, and he'll probably finish in that same window this year. Perfectly respectable, especially when you're also getting on base at a .400 clip in front of true sluggers like Willingham and Morneau.

There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

jharaldson
08-20-2012, 01:06 PM
There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

I don't think most people are saying "ineffective", they are more saying why hasn't he been effective as it seems he should be. Here is an counter example to your stats above.

BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

diehardtwinsfan
08-20-2012, 01:32 PM
this conversation is getting ridiculous in a hurry. If Mauer suddenly changed his approach, his RISP numbers would likey drop and his RBIs would drop as well. I'm not sure what people expect out of guys, but to simply get a hit in 35% of your at bats is considered pretty good, and in Mauer's case, that's what he is doing when there are runners in scoring position.

Ultima Ratio
08-20-2012, 01:35 PM
There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

I don't think most people are saying "ineffective", they are more saying why hasn't he been effective as it seems he should be. Here is an counter example to your stats above.

BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

Or, that pitchers are more careful with Mauer when runners are on in front of him. There's really no stat for what you guys are really searching for... it's going to have to be an extrapolation of some sort.

Loosey
08-20-2012, 01:48 PM
Tell me if I am wrong in this analysis of Mauer's game: He isn't going to try and do something he can't or wouldn't normally do. For example in this at bat. There was a pitch that was close but not what he wanted to hit or was looking for. Instead of trying to be a hero and then tapping a roller back to the pitcher or 2nd baseman he was patient and waited for his pitch which never came and yet he got on base to extend the inning (if any other player in baseball were to do this it would celebrated as a good at bat). When he waits for his pitch he is basically waiting for the pitcher to make a mistake. And when the pitcher makes a mistake he is pretty damn good at taking advantage of it. 1 out of 3 times he gets a base hit. If he were to change his game he would become something he isn't and probably would become a worse hitter. I'll take the .330 hitter with the .400+ OBP over the hitter with the .260 average and 30 HR's. Besides, the Twins already have that guy you wish Mauer was and he was the batter right after Joe who ended the game with a swing.

Loosey
08-20-2012, 01:52 PM
There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

I don't think most people are saying "ineffective", they are more saying why hasn't he been effective as it seems he should be. Here is an counter example to your stats above.

BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

Now add back in Willingham's OBP and Batting average and Mauer will be looking much better again. I don't know about you guys but I would rather he gets on base than swing at a pitcher's pitch and make an out.

jharaldson
08-20-2012, 01:58 PM
There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

I don't think most people are saying "ineffective", they are more saying why hasn't he been effective as it seems he should be. Here is an counter example to your stats above.

BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

Or, that pitchers are more careful with Mauer when runners are on in front of him. There's really no stat for what you guys are really searching for... it's going to have to be an extrapolation of some sort.

Why would pitchers be more careful around Mauer this year than Willingham? Willingham has an OPS over 60 points higher than Mauer? Wouldn't they garner similar respect and have similar adjustments to their Walk Rate?

Ultima Ratio
08-20-2012, 02:12 PM
There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

I don't think most people are saying "ineffective", they are more saying why hasn't he been effective as it seems he should be. Here is an counter example to your stats above.

BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

Or, that pitchers are more careful with Mauer when runners are on in front of him. There's really no stat for what you guys are really searching for... it's going to have to be an extrapolation of some sort.

Why would pitchers be more careful around Mauer this year than Willingham? Willingham has an OPS over 60 points higher than Mauer? Wouldn't they garner similar respect and have similar adjustments to their Walk Rate?

Impossible to say for sure. I think the closest, most relevant stat is aveRISP, where Mauer is much higher. Two edged sword: 1) This is why in a one run game we should want Mauer over Hammer to swing for a hit. 2) opossing pitchers know that and may pitch around him.

Now in a 3-run game in the ninth, of course you want Hammer over Mauer at the plate. What makes this situation interesting is that all we needed was one run to take the lead in the ninth. We had our best hitter at the plate to score that run and he didn't swing at two strikes. The only serious argument we can have about that situation is whether Mauer should have swung and/or whether the pitches were so good that it's better that he didn't.

pipers44
08-20-2012, 02:17 PM
There are a lot of different factors with Mauer. As a catcher, he doesn't play as much as a lot of high-RBI 1B/OF sluggers because he needs more days off and gets hurt more. He's frequently had very, very bad hitters directly in front of him (the No. 2 spot has been an embarrassment for the Twins many times in the past decade). He doesn't hit a lot of home runs, which are a major source of RBI for many hitters.

Even with all this, Mauer has usually been good for 85-95 RBI in his healthy seasons, and he'll probably finish in that same window this year. Perfectly respectable, especially when you're also getting on base at a .400 clip in front of true sluggers like Willingham and Morneau.

There's just no way you can argue that a guy who hits .350 with RISP has been ineffective in those situations.

2 seasons that he has had 85 or more rbis, can't call that "usually". IMO he is one of the best hitters in baseball, but he does not drive in enough runs or hit for enough power for this team. I believe he can and should do more even if it means sacrificing some average or OBP.

pipers44
08-20-2012, 02:23 PM
I'll take the .330 hitter with the .400+ OBP over the hitter with the .260 average and 30 HR's. Besides, the Twins already have that guy you wish Mauer was and he was the batter right after Joe who ended the game with a swing.

I don't believe he has to be a .260 hitter. I think he is capable of being a .300, 20HR 100rbi with a slight adjustment in approach.

CDog
08-20-2012, 03:09 PM
Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

I don't think you know what "must" means.

jharaldson
08-20-2012, 03:18 PM
Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

I don't think you know what "must" means.

Fixed it for you.

Mauer's differential is so much greater that it seems likely his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

Other than grammer issues do you have any explanation why Mauer is almost %55 more likely to take a walk when men are on base as opposed to when the bases are empty? Especially when given a direct comp that shows different behavior?

IdahoPilgrim
08-20-2012, 03:20 PM
Why would pitchers be more careful around Mauer this year than Willingham? Willingham has an OPS over 60 points higher than Mauer? Wouldn't they garner similar respect and have similar adjustments to their Walk Rate?

Because Willingham's numbers are inflated by a fantastic start, and Mauer's are deflated by a terrible start.

Look at their stats over the past two weeks - Willingham has an OPS about .690 and OBP of .277. Managers and pitchers know who's hot and who's slumping. Given their recent performance, I'd rather pitch to Willingham than Mauer. That's exactly what Seattle did, and it worked for them.

CDog
08-20-2012, 03:23 PM
Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

I don't think you know what "must" means.

Fixed it for you.

Mauer's differential is so much greater that it seems likely his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.

Other than grammer issues do you have any explanation why Mauer is almost %55 more likely to take a walk when men are on base as opposed to when the bases are empty? Especially when given a direct comp that shows different behavior?

Ummm...different pitches and stuff? It wasn't a grammar issue, it was a lack of thought issue to be unable to come up with another explanation. Which makes your correction almost as incorrect as your original. Analyze some pitches and baseless assumptions can fall out of the discussion.

Willihammer
08-20-2012, 04:19 PM
Not every situation with men on base is a game winning / 9th inning situation as referred to by artical in the OP. In the bottom of the 3rd with runners on, taking a walk can lead to a crooked inning and blow the SP out of the game. This is a strategically sounder approach to winning games and series than swinging at breaking pitches in the zone, or any balls out of the zone when the hitter's ahead in the count (and men are on base). Sure you can drive in runs via fielder's choice but its better to get more runners on first anyway if that's your goal. The only downside to this strategy is that in a handful of cases where the runner is on 2nd or third and taking a walk opens an inning ending double play - or possibly a late game situation where the game is on the line. However Willihammer is among league leaders in WPA so from an opponents standpoint, you merely pitch to whoever gives the platoon advantage as either hitter is a pretty potent poison. This of course means that a righthander would sooner pitch around Mauer when men are on base to get to Williamhammmer.

Nick Nelson
08-20-2012, 04:40 PM
BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.
Of course, with men on Willingham also strikes out 21% of the time and hits .272, whereas Mauer strikes out 14% and hits .335. Willingham is more aggressive and comes up with more XBH, to be sure, but he also makes more outs. I think we can all agree that making an out is a lot more damaging to a rally than walking to first, right?

I mean, clearly any time Mauer drew a walk it means he was thrown four balls. I'm sure he could chase more, strike out more, lower his average and maybe increase his power output, but why? Not everyone has to be that type of hitter. The Twins lineup already has guys like that, and there are lots of guys around the league with that approach. Few do what Mauer does as well as he does.

Brock Beauchamp
08-20-2012, 04:48 PM
Other than grammer issues do you have any explanation why Mauer is almost %55 more likely to take a walk when men are on base as opposed to when the bases are empty? Especially when given a direct comp that shows different behavior?

The entire league walks about 25% more often with RISP. Bad pitchers put runners in scoring position often. Bad pitchers usually walk guys more often, too. Players tend to have more success against bad pitchers.

Too many assumptions are being made in this thread. Does Mauer walk a little more often than most with RISP? Yeah. He's also near the top of the league in pitches per AB, too. Guys who take a lot of pitches tend to get walked, especially against bad pitchers who walk a lot of guys (ie. put runners in scoring position in the first place).

BeefMaster
08-20-2012, 04:57 PM
Thought experiment: Would the folks who are complaining about Mauer's approach be making the same complaints if Span took a walk in that situation? If not, why not?

SeanS7921
08-20-2012, 05:22 PM
All Joe C wanted was to rip on Mauer as that gets the Mob going. I totally dislike him because of that, but that's what he did. A large group of Twins fans loath Mauer because of the money he makes. He got hurt last year so now is soft. Now in 2012 he is not clutch. A lot think he isn't playing that great this year either. If you did a poll you would see a large percentage say Plouffe is having a better year that Joe Mauer. 19HR is a lot better than a 317AVE, 412OBP and 3.8WAR.

one_eyed_jack
08-20-2012, 05:33 PM
Thought experiment: Would the folks who are complaining about Mauer's approach be making the same complaints if Span took a walk in that situation? If not, why not?

---Of course not, silly, because Span is not being paid $23 million per year. And that's apparently what should be the primary controlling factor here. When presented with the question of what a guy should do in a particular hitting situation, before you get to questions about things like the count, the score, the runners on base, etc., the first thing you ask is what his salary is. That's right, you can't really discuss what a guy's approach in a particular plate appearance should be until you know how much money he makes.

But seriously, good question. I asked the same thing about Morneau earlier.

Another thought experiment. Would the people ripping on Mauer for taking a walk there be defending him had he swung and made an out? Would they be praising his uncharacteristic aggressiveness? Or would they point to that as a sign of him getting jittery in the clutch?

Alex
08-20-2012, 06:01 PM
I think this topic, and thus the original article, is preposterous. I really like Joe C., but this was one of his more disappointing articles.

Mauer, first and foremost, doesn't make outs, and he's one of the best in the league at that. That's because of his approach at the plate and that approach at the plate is why he has a high average; he swings at pitches that he knows he can either hit well or are strike 3. You can't separate those two things. Those of you that say he should have swung because he has a high average with RISP are missing. He changes this approach and he's less likely to get a hit.

Now focusing on the at-bat, assuming we agree that he had one pitch to hit, we really don't know what he was looking for. I'd personally give Mauer the benefit of the doubt due to his success and assume that it wasn't the pitch he was looking for.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 06:33 PM
I will admit I am not a stats geek, but I do know that stats never tell the whole story. So, Brock or anyone else, explain to me why he doesn't drive more runs in. He has never driven in more than 96 in his career. My take is that he typically slaps a single to left which does not result in the runner at second scoring very often. He also does not look to be aggressive enough when the count is in his favor.

He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs.

pipers44
08-20-2012, 06:44 PM
I will admit I am not a stats geek, but I do know that stats never tell the whole story. So, Brock or anyone else, explain to me why he doesn't drive more runs in. He has never driven in more than 96 in his career. My take is that he typically slaps a single to left which does not result in the runner at second scoring very often. He also does not look to be aggressive enough when the count is in his favor.

He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs.

He doesn't often for sure, but is he capable? I believe he is and should look to drive the ball more. I believe he can drive a ball more (by the way, driving the ball and taking aggressive swings doesn't have to result in a HR, more doubles/triples are perfectly acceptable and will result in more rbis)without making a huge sacrifice in avg and OBP.

scottz
08-20-2012, 06:48 PM
Next exit: impasse.

The OBP-stat guys look at it from a stats point of view, and I can totally see their view. I love stats myself.
The more traditional/older/emotional (RBI-stat) guys look at it from the emotional point of view, and I can see their view as well.

I think I land more in the emotional park on this point. You want your best hitter to strike fear into your opponent. If your best hitter is in the on deck circle, you want the pitcher aching to get out of the inning before he comes up. When he steps into the batters' box, you want the pitcher sweating. Mauer is clearly the Twins best hitter. Clearly. But I don't think opposing teams are afraid of him. They are "careful", for sure. But that's a totally different mindset.

I think that is what Joe C. was tapping into. And it was mentioned earlier in this thread as well, that situations can and do dictate your approach (except they don't seem to with Mauer - he just does what he does and he's very good at it).

I don't think there is a right answer here. But I would absolutely love it if Joe went up there one time and took one, just one, I'm-gonna-hit-this-ball-to-the-moon swing on the first pitch, even if he missed it by a foot and a half. Do what you will for the rest of the at bat. But let the other team know you have it in you.

New topic: Do you marry the very cute, very sweet girl who likes to listen to you talk about your golf game or do you marry the super hot chick who is the life of the party and occasionally goes a little crazy if you don't pay enough attention to her. Both love you equally.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 06:54 PM
He doesn't often for sure, but is he capable? I believe he is and should look to drive the ball more. I believe he can drive a ball more (by the way, driving the ball and taking aggressive swings doesn't have to result in a HR, more doubles/triples are perfectly acceptable and will result in more rbis)without making a huge sacrifice in avg and OBP.

Guys with a lot of RBI hit home runs. You know why? They get one for every home run. They also get one for every guy on base when they hit said home run.

Stop complaining that Joe Mauer is Joe Mauer.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 06:58 PM
I think I land more in the emotional park on this point. You want your best hitter to strike fear into your opponent. If your best hitter is in the on deck circle, you want the pitcher aching to get out of the inning before he comes up. When he steps into the batters' box, you want the pitcher sweating. Mauer is clearly the Twins best hitter. Clearly. But I don't think opposing teams are afraid of him. They are "careful", for sure. But that's a totally different mindset.

I think that is what Joe C. was tapping into.

I'd agree. He was clearly tapping into irrational bull****. Go watch a movie about baseball. I think you'd be better served.

jokin
08-20-2012, 06:59 PM
Not every situation with men on base is a game winning / 9th inning situation as referred to by artical in the OP. In the bottom of the 3rd with runners on, taking a walk can lead to a crooked inning and blow the SP out of the game. This is a strategically sounder approach to winning games and series than swinging at breaking pitches in the zone, or any balls out of the zone when the hitter's ahead in the count (and men are on base). Sure you can drive in runs via fielder's choice but its better to get more runners on first anyway if that's your goal. The only downside to this strategy is that in a handful of cases where the runner is on 2nd or third and taking a walk opens an inning ending double play - or possibly a late game situation where the game is on the line. However Willihammer is among league leaders in WPA so from an opponents standpoint, you merely pitch to whoever gives the platoon advantage as either hitter is a pretty potent poison. This of course means that a righthander would sooner pitch around Mauer when men are on base to get to Williamhammmer.

Leutge is a lefty.

USAFChief
08-20-2012, 07:05 PM
I will admit I am not a stats geek, but I do know that stats never tell the whole story. So, Brock or anyone else, explain to me why he doesn't drive more runs in. He has never driven in more than 96 in his career. My take is that he typically slaps a single to left which does not result in the runner at second scoring very often. He also does not look to be aggressive enough when the count is in his favor.

He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs.

I think you meant "he doesn't hit for power."

He hasn't once reached 60 XBHs in a season. Not even 2009. He's currently 5th on the team in XBHs. Never driven in 100 runs in a season, over 90 only once, despite hitting 3rd most of his career. Some of that you can chalk up to things outside his control...some of it you can chalk up to a passive approach and being perfectly content to slap the ball softly to left.

By all means, put your fingers in your ears and your hands over your eyes and sing "la la la" every time a legitimate criticism of Joe Mauer occurs if you wish. That doesn't mean there aren't legitimate criticisms of his approach to hitting, depsite the fact he gets on base a lot.

scottz
08-20-2012, 07:07 PM
I think I land more in the emotional park on this point. You want your best hitter to strike fear into your opponent. If your best hitter is in the on deck circle, you want the pitcher aching to get out of the inning before he comes up. When he steps into the batters' box, you want the pitcher sweating. Mauer is clearly the Twins best hitter. Clearly. But I don't think opposing teams are afraid of him. They are "careful", for sure. But that's a totally different mindset.

I think that is what Joe C. was tapping into.

I'd agree. He was clearly tapping into irrational bull****. Go watch a movie about baseball. I think you'd be better served.

Talk about irrational, bro. Bring it down a notch. You know me not.

It is my opinion that anyone who doesn't, at a minimum, acknowledge that there is an emotional component to baseball, is to my mind, quite irrational. Or at least a bit out of touch with why any sport is played in the first place.

Respectfully,
scottz

Kobs
08-20-2012, 07:13 PM
He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs. He doesn't hit home runs.

I think you meant "he doesn't hit for power."

He hasn't once reached 60 XBHs in a season. Not even 2009. He's currently 5th on the team in XBHs. Never driven in 100 runs in a season, over 90 only once, despite hitting 3rd most of his career. Some of that you can chalk up to things outside his control...some of it you can chalk up to a passive approach and being perfectly content to slap the ball softly to left.

By all means, put your fingers in your ears and your hands over your eyes and sing "la la la" every time a legitimate criticism of Joe Mauer occurs if you wish. That doesn't mean there aren't legitimate criticisms of his approach to hitting, depsite the fact he gets on base a lot.

No, I meant that he doesn't hit home runs. High RBI numbers come from home runs, almost exclusively.

I don't see how that is outside his control.

USAFChief
08-20-2012, 07:20 PM
I don't see how that is outside his control.

I didn't say it was outside his control...that's the point. He could hit for more power--and knock in more runs--if he chose to alter his approach slightly. Or at least I think he could, and it would benefit the team more than a few extra walks and/or soft singles. I don't think anybody is suggesting he turn into Delmon Young at the plate.

BTW, I think it's a mistake to look at this through the prism of one PA in one game. It's one data point in a much larger issue.

jokin
08-20-2012, 07:51 PM
BB% With Bases Empty
Mauer - %11.0
Willingham - %11.7

Both guys seem to be equally patient as batters when nobody is on.

BB% With Men on Base
Mauer - %17.0
Willingham - %13.6

When runners get on it appears that Willingham is able accept a few extra walks when he gets pitched around but seems to keep the same approach. Mauer's differential is so much greater that one must assume his approach at the plates changes and he becomes more passive.
Of course, with men on Willingham also strikes out 21% of the time and hits .272, whereas Mauer strikes out 14% and hits .335. Willingham is more aggressive and comes up with more XBH, to be sure, but he also makes more outs. I think we can all agree that making an out is a lot more damaging to a rally than walking to first, right?

I mean, clearly any time Mauer drew a walk it means he was thrown four balls. I'm sure he could chase more, strike out more, lower his average and maybe increase his power output, but why? Not everyone has to be that type of hitter. The Twins lineup already has guys like that, and there are lots of guys around the league with that approach. Few do what Mauer does as well as he does.

I'd argue that nobody does what he does as well. but no one has, as of yet answered the challenge that more often than not:

a team's best hitter-
with the game literally on the line-
who is clearly being pitched around-
who presents clearly higher probability of producing than his successor-at-bat-
will at least consider swinging at the obligatory 3-0 pitch if it's in the zone (as Luetge's pitch clearly was).

Mauer's career stats on 3-0 pitches:

PA- 205
BB- 201
BA- .500 (2-4) The last time he swung at a 3-0 pitch and put a BBIP was 2008. His career contact/BB rate on 3-0 is 2.9%.


There are 4MLB players with OBP over .400 from 2009-12 and their stats on 3-0:


Joey Votto OBP 426/PA 94/BA 750/SLG 1500/BB 86 Votto was 6-8 (9.3% contact/BB rate) when successfully swinging and putting BBIP

Miguel Cabrera OBP 416/PA 122/BA 500/SLG 1000/BB 116 Cabrera was 3-6 (5.2% contact/BB rate) when successfully swinging and putting BBIP.

Joe Mauer OBP 410/PA 92/BA 000/SLG 000/BB 92 Mauer was 0-0 (0% contact/BB rate).

Prince Fielder OBP 408/PA 163/BA 444/SLG 1444/BB 154 Fielder was 4/9 (5.8% contact/BB rate) when successfully swinging and putting BBIP.

diehardtwinsfan
08-20-2012, 08:15 PM
speaking of RBI totals, just what has been the OBP of the #2 spot in the linup when Mauer is batting 3rd during Mauer's career? I wouldn't be surprised if it was under .250

jharaldson
08-20-2012, 09:58 PM
I mean, clearly any time Mauer drew a walk it means he was thrown four balls. I'm sure he could chase more, strike out more, lower his average and maybe increase his power output, but why? Not everyone has to be that type of hitter. The Twins lineup already has guys like that, and there are lots of guys around the league with that approach. Few do what Mauer does as well as he does.

I agree that anytime he gets a walk he is thrown 4 balls but it is also highly likely that he was thrown a strike as well. Last night he was thrown 2 strikes he opted not swing at. Also, I think there is a miscommunication here. I am not asking Joe Mauer to change his approach to hitting, I am asking him to apply the same approach he does when the bases are empty. Maintain a good batting eye and a walk rate around %11-13 (there will obviously be situations he is pitched around when first is open). When strikes are thrown don't be afraid to swing at them.

Here are some more interesting stats:

Mauer's K% goes from %12.6 to %13.9 when men are on.
Mauer's BB% goes from %11 %17 when men are on.
Mauer's Balls in Play% goes from %76.4 to %69.1 when men are on.
Mauer's GB% goes from %52.6 to %58 when men are on which makes him more likely to GIDP.

I am not sure where all of this leads but I think the old debate of "Mauer's RBI totals suck" vs "Mauer's RISP numbers are awesome" is getting stale and there is probablly a middle ground. Some of it probablly is Gardy's use of sub-standard players in the 2 hole of the lineup but I think some of it is due to the fact that Joe swings the bat less in these situations as evidenced by his reduced ball in play numbers. If Joe keeps his same ball in play percentage that he does with the bases empty and maintains his good AVG/OPS numbers I bet his RBI totals would jump from the 60's to the 70's.

PS: Anyone know where I can get "Swings per AB" number with splits? Thanks!

Nick Nelson
08-20-2012, 10:06 PM
Also, I think there is a miscommunication here. I am not asking Joe Mauer to change his approach to hitting, I am asking him to apply the same approach he does when the bases are empty.

He does. The difference is that when runners are on, pitchers are less likely to throw him strikes because contrary to some of the things you're reading on this thread he's a feared hitter that pitchers don't like facing in scoring opportunities, and he pretty much doesn't swing at balls. It baffles me that some people view his elevated walk rate with men on as a sign that he is not an imposing figure in the lineup.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 10:57 PM
He could hit for more power--and knock in more runs--if he chose to alter his approach slightly. Or at least I think he could

Okay.

Willihammer
08-20-2012, 10:59 PM
Leutge is a lefty.

Fine, preferably even to burn a lefty liike Leutge (sic) against a selective lefthander like Mauer in order to invoke a RHP. Again, either poison (Mauer or Willihammer) is potent, esp. in a late relief situation.

USAFChief
08-20-2012, 10:59 PM
He could hit for more power--and knock in more runs--if he chose to alter his approach slightly. Or at least I think he could

Okay.

Hey, I'm just agreeing with your post. You're the one who said it's not outside his control.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 11:13 PM
He could hit for more power--and knock in more runs--if he chose to alter his approach slightly. Or at least I think he could

Okay.

Hey, I'm just agreeing with your post. You're the one who said it's not outside his control.

It's inside his control in that it's reflective of his ability. It's not an outside factor imposed upon him. I don't mean to imply that he could hit 30 home runs with a minor swing adjustment, Mr. Walters. If Mauer could hit more home runs or extra base hits, he would. I have no evidence for this, but I think he would like to hit more home runs, and I also think he knows what he is doing, because he seems to be pretty good.

USAFChief
08-20-2012, 11:20 PM
If Mauer could hit more home runs or extra base hits, he would.

Wait...so it IS outside his control? You seem confused.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 11:24 PM
If Mauer could hit more home runs or extra base hits, he would.

Wait...so it IS outside his control? You seem confused.

No, FoxNews, I don't.

twinsnorth49
08-20-2012, 11:28 PM
He could hit for more power--and knock in more runs--if he chose to alter his approach slightly. Or at least I think he could

Okay.

Hey, I'm just agreeing with your post. You're the one who said it's not outside his control.

It's inside his control in that it's reflective of his ability. It's not an outside factor imposed upon him. I don't mean to imply that he could hit 30 home runs with a minor swing adjustment, Mr. Walters. If Mauer could hit more home runs or extra base hits, he would. I have no evidence for this, but I think he would like to hit more home runs, and I also think he knows what he is doing, because he seems to be pretty good.

I have no idea wtf you're talking about but I'm not alone, you don't either.

USAFChief
08-20-2012, 11:28 PM
If Mauer could hit more home runs or extra base hits, he would.

Wait...so it IS outside his control? You seem confused.

No, FoxNews, I don't.

Two consecutive posts that resort to personal insults.

I'll take that as a concession.

Kobs
08-20-2012, 11:43 PM
If Mauer could hit more home runs or extra base hits, he would.

Wait...so it IS outside his control? You seem confused.

No, FoxNews, I don't.

Two consecutive posts that resort to personal insults.

I'll take that as a concession.

I'll take that as an apology.

B Richard
08-21-2012, 12:09 AM
I'm not saying the other point of view has no merit and I respect your assessment. I'm really just more incredulous that so many people (including Joe Christenson) are making one AB such a talking point and using that at bat to characterize Mauer. Actually what's worse is that it's not even that AB but seemingly only 1 or 2 pitches from that AB this is the source for their vitriol.

I believe good hitters go about their business the same way all the time, it's what makes them good hitters. To change your approach based on the situation is the very thing that will lead most guys to be lousy hitters, in fact that "approach" is a non-approach, it's a make it up as you go along philosophy. "Clutch" hitters are nothing more than good hitters at bat at the right time.


No. Hitters change their approach at the plate all the time based on situation, whether it's getting a ball to the outfield for a sac-fly, grounding out to the right side of the infield to advance the runner, or even doing something as simple as making their swing more compact with 2 strikes. What level did you stop playing ball?

I personally didn't mind Mauer staying within himself and having a positive AB, especially considering the pitches he was given.

twinsnorth49
08-21-2012, 12:25 AM
No. Hitters change their approach at the plate all the time based on situation, whether it's getting a ball to the outfield for a sac-fly, grounding out to the right side of the infield to advance the runner, or even doing something as simple as making their swing more compact with 2 strikes. What level did you stop playing ball?

I personally didn't mind Mauer staying within himself and having a positive AB, especially considering the pitches he was given.

That's not changing you're approach, it's executing a given plan. In any of those scenarios you still don't go flailing away at bad pitches. And, I'm not sure what level you played ball until but the level I played used three outs, if Mauer changed his approach to any of the above suggestions we
wouldn't be talking about this, the game would have ended.

Riverbrian
08-21-2012, 12:29 AM
This will do absolutely no good... But... I want to point out that Joe hits in the 3 hole because the manager writes his name in the 3 slot when he makes out the lineup card.

His approach and results seem to suggest that the 2 hole is a better fit but I think it's important to point out that Joe doesn't make out the lineup. The manager does. Taking that out on Joe is a little unreasonable.

Now if Joe was moved to the two... Revere would be moved to the 9. If Ben is hitting in the nine... Joe will still have the same two hitters in front of him... Just switched around and it will be just like he's hitting in the 3 hole again after the 1st inning.

In the end... Mauer will bat when he bats. Sometimes In big moments and sometimes in routine moments.

So I guess when you sort it all out. The prototypcial 3 hole hitter argument is a load of crap. When the game is tied or you are down with two outs in the 9th.

Your job is NOT TO MAKE THE LAST OUT. Job done!!! Plus one for Joe.

It was Willingham who made THE LAST OUT. Where's the article or thread asking why Willingham wasn't more patient instead of going up there hacking at two pitches before ending the Twins half of the inning. Couldn't Josh have changed his approach since a walk would have plated the go ahead run. A single would have been better obviously.

My statement about Willingham was ridiculous but it fits this general theme of this thread.

B Richard
08-21-2012, 12:44 AM
That's not changing you're approach, it's executing a given plan. In any of those scenarios you still don't go flailing away at bad pitches. And, I'm not sure what level you played ball until but the level I played used three outs, if Mauer changed his approach to any of the above suggestions we
wouldn't be talking about this, the game would have ended.


What you try to do with your AB is your approach; good hitters still adjust their approach with 2 strikes. This is merely semantics, though. I do agree with you on Mauer in this situation, but by all means please continue pontificating for your phantom dissenters.

Riverbrian
08-21-2012, 01:03 AM
What you try to do with your AB is your approach; good hitters still adjust their approach with 2 strikes. This is merely semantics, though. I do agree with you on Mauer in this situation, but by all means please continue pontificating for your phantom dissenters.

I just want to quote you... Just to see how many blue rectangles will pile up until it explodes. Ratio's original quoted post in the center is starting to look like... I don't know... Something long and skinny.

How bout... Manute Bol... That'll work.

twinstalker
08-21-2012, 02:09 AM
What's up with Joe C.? He followed that lame one up with one on five pitchers on their way to help that basically illustrated entirely too clearly that the Twins have nothing to be waiting for, at least compared to other teams. I actually wonder whether Dave St. Peter wrote it.

jokin
08-21-2012, 03:11 AM
Leutge is a lefty.

Fine, preferably even to burn a lefty liike Leutge (sic) against a selective lefthander like Mauer in order to invoke a RHP. Again, either poison (Mauer or Willihammer) is potent, esp. in a late relief situation.

I'd say the Mariners won this chess game of poison-picking and the Twins were out-thought on the percentages when all they needed was a single:

Willingham
BA: .258
BA v RHP: .269
BA w/ RISP: .295
BA w/ RISP/2out: .229

Mauer
BA: .319
BA v LHP: .308
BA w/ RISP: .353
BA w/ RISP/2out: .413

Luetge
OBA v L: .169
OBA w/ RISP: .258
OBA w/ RISP/2out: .167

Wilhelmsen
OBA v R: .175
OBA w/ RISP: .175
OBA w/ RISP/2out: .167

Brock Beauchamp
08-21-2012, 07:27 AM
PLEASE EDIT YOUR OWN EMBEDDED QUOTES. IF YOU DO NOT, WE WILL BE FORCED TO REMOVE THE PLUG-IN AND RETURN TO THE OLD SYSTEM OF ONE QUOTE PER POST.

It only takes a few seconds to edit down your quotes, guys. Please do so in the future.

Brock Beauchamp
08-21-2012, 08:05 AM
He does. The difference is that when runners are on, pitchers are less likely to throw him strikes because – contrary to some of the things you're reading on this thread – he's a feared hitter that pitchers don't like facing in scoring opportunities, and he pretty much doesn't swing at balls. It baffles me that some people view his elevated walk rate with men on as a sign that he is not an imposing figure in the lineup.

Albert Pujols walks around 90% more often with RISP than he does with the bases empty.

Joey Votto walks nearly 50% more often with RISP than he does with the bases empty.

Joe Mauer walks around 55% more often with RISP than he does with the bases empty.

Prince Fielder walks around 70% more often with RISP than he does with the bases empty.

Did it occur to anyone that people who are good at taking walks tend to walk more with RISP? This "phenomena" is certainly not unique to one Mr. Joseph Mauer. Pitchers don't like giving up game-winning or go-ahead hits to the best hitters in any given lineup.