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Nick Nelson
03-12-2013, 07:30 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1450-Position-Analysis-Catcher

Kwak
03-12-2013, 08:19 PM
Free Mauer!!--Let him catch as much as he wants. There is no need to put a 1B glove on Joe, the position is well-staffed. Limiting his catching starts like last season wastes much of the value Mauer brings to the team--lots of offense at a position most teams (and all too often the Twins) simply grin-and-bear-it and hope for anything positive. Use the DH position as it was intended--for someone who hits a great deal, but often is a liability in the field.

Nick Nelson
03-12-2013, 08:33 PM
Free Mauer!!--Let him catch as much as he wants. There is no need to put a 1B glove on Joe, the position is well-staffed. Limiting his catching starts like last season wastes much of the value Mauer brings to the team--lots of offense at a position most teams (and all too often the Twins) simply grin-and-bear-it and hope for anything positive. Use the DH position as it was intended--for someone who hits a great deal, but often is a liability in the field.

The flip side to that question is this: what do you accomplish by wearing down Mauer's already beaten legs with a heavier catching workload in a season where the team's going nowhere? Keep in mind they've got Mauer under contract for another five years after this.

I say have him catch often early, but once the team inevitably falls out of realistic contention, cut back significantly. More starts at 1B/DH than catcher late in the year.

Brad Swanson
03-12-2013, 08:38 PM
The flip side to that question is this: what do you accomplish by wearing down Mauer's already beaten legs with a heavier catching workload in a season where the team's going nowhere? Keep in mind they've got Mauer under contract for another five years after this.

I say have him catch often early, but once the team inevitably falls out of realistic contention, cut back significantly. More starts at 1B/DH than catcher late in the year.

I totally agree. If the Twins aren't winning, there is no sense in wasting games behind the plate. If Mauer is still able to catch 100 or so games in a couple seasons, say 2015 and 2016, we'll all be happy he didn't wear down during these "down" years.

glunn
03-12-2013, 09:41 PM
I wonder how much longer Joe will be effective as a catcher.

Joe started in the minors in 2001, and he caught roughly 300 games in the minors. Joe has has caught in another 845 or so games in the majors. He is a big guy who has had to overcome a major knee injury. And his caught stealing percentage last year was only 14%.

It seems to me that there is a significant probability that Joe may need to catch less in the future.

jm3319
03-12-2013, 10:19 PM
Free Mauer!!--Let him catch as much as he wants. There is no need to put a 1B glove on Joe, the position is well-staffed. Limiting his catching starts like last season wastes much of the value Mauer brings to the team--lots of offense at a position most teams (and all too often the Twins) simply grin-and-bear-it and hope for anything positive. Use the DH position as it was intended--for someone who hits a great deal, but often is a liability in the field.


*facepalm*

Basically the same responses to this as the people posting above me. Yes, Mauer is most valuable as a catcher, but he has no value if he isn't on the field at all or worn out from catching everyday. I'd rather see him have a longer career with slightly less "value" by DH/1B more often than grind him into the ground on what's most likely going to be a terrible Twins team this year, and hopefully slightly less sucky next year. If we were actually contending this year, I'd be all for pushing him to catch as much as possible, but would still like to see him rest at 1B/DH.

jokin
03-12-2013, 10:40 PM
I wonder how much longer Joe will be effective as a catcher.

Joe started in the minors in 2001, and he caught roughly 300 games in the minors. Joe has has caught in another 845 or so games in the majors. He is a big guy who has had to overcome a major knee injury. And his caught stealing percentage last year was only 14%.

It seems to me that there is a significant probability that Joe may need to catch less in the future.

If Harmon Killebrew and Miguel Cabrera (6'4" 240#) can play Third Base, why not Mauer?

Kwak
03-12-2013, 10:50 PM
When/if Mauer needs to move from Catcher--then that can be done.

Oh my, all the scsred Sallys--Mauer might get hurt. Anybody can get hurt. That factor was included in the evaluation to extend him that 8-year contract. He truly wants to play catcher, he is able to do so at a high level, and that's where his value lies. You people sound like the Twins should just use Mauer to wave to the crowd before the game, and lead the 7th inning stretch's "Take me out to the ballgame". Maybe we should just build a statue of him and permanently display his picture on the scoreboard--so he won't get hurt?

glunn
03-12-2013, 10:51 PM
If Harmon Killebrew and Miguel Cabrera (6'4" 240#) can play Third Base, why not Mauer?

I agree that eventually third base might be a good home for him, but it would be nice if the Twins had someone really good to take Joe's place at catcher. I suspect that they will want to keep him mainly at catcher until they have a better replacement than Doumit/Butera, or at least until one of the prospects proves himself.

jokin
03-12-2013, 10:59 PM
I agree that eventually third base might be a good home for him, but it would be nice if the Twins had someone really good to take Joe's place at catcher. I suspect that they will want to keep him mainly at catcher until they have a better replacement than Doumit/Butera, or at least until one of the prospects proves himself.

That might be a longer wait than Mauer's knees can handle. Hermann certainly had a short-term setback this spring and Pinto's been around for 7 years and still only in AA.

Brian McCann is a free agent next year- with another $20M likely coming off the Twins payroll. The Twins love getting a cheap rehab reclamation project...

h2oface
03-12-2013, 11:43 PM
Maybe they could trade for a young up and comer at catcher......... Wilson Ramos.

Mauer's eye at the plate amazes me. Watching the WBC, and his "called strikeouts".......... that aren't strikes........... it becomes so obvious. The umpires are horrible on the close pitches on the outside of the plate. Mauer lets them go, but gets called out. The replay shows that it barely missed the plate. Mauer is right. The umpires are WRONG. The worst part of baseball, to me, has always been how inaccurate the plate umpires are at calling a consistent strike zone within the rules from umpire to umpire. They should just let Joe Mauer call them if they don't go electronic.

So many armchair slugs know baseball better than Joe Mauer. They think. Let the guy catch if he wants to catch. All the money that your opinion is not spending has no real say in the matter.

jokin
03-12-2013, 11:47 PM
Maybe they could trade for a young up and comer at catcher......... Wilson Ramos.

Mauer's eye at the plate amazes me. Watching the WBC, and his "called strikeouts".......... that aren't strikes........... it becomes so obvious. The umpires are horrible on the close pitches on the outside of the plate. Mauer lets them go, but gets called out. The replay shows that it barely missed the plate. Mauer is right. The umpires are WRONG. The worst part of baseball, to me, has always been how inaccurate the plate umpires are at calling a consistent strike zone within the rules from umpire to umpire. They should just let Joe Mauer call them if they don't go electronic.

The announcers praised the umpire in the face of the obvious miscalls. "Mauer passed the word to his (new pitcher) about the 'generous' strike zone, and as Mauer himself found out, the (umpire) is consistently calling it both ways!"

Yeah right, buddy, consistently bad.

Shane Wahl
03-13-2013, 12:17 AM
If Joe averages 74 games catching for the 5 years while playing 140 or so games total, that has to be a big positive. Catching too much is going to hurt him. FULL STOP. So, don't do that, especially with Doumit and Herrmann (and Pinto starting in 2014 or so) who are capable of sharing the load. Mauer can DH and play first base, especially in the post-Morneau era as Parmelee is going to be relegated to the bench or will be gone with the arrival of Sano and Vargas.

Mauer can catch 100 games but he is going to require many more days off if he does that. I don't think 2012 was that egregious in terms of the value they got out of him. In fact, it was about spot on.

Shane Wahl
03-13-2013, 12:25 AM
That might be a longer wait than Mauer's knees can handle. Hermann certainly had a short-term setback this spring and Pinto's been around for 7 years and still only in AA.

Brian McCann is a free agent next year- with another $20M likely coming off the Twins payroll. The Twins love getting a cheap rehab reclamation project...

Herrmann: spring training means very little. One can see that in case after case throughout baseball. Herrmann will be fine. And Pinto turns 24 if a few weeks, so calm down.

Teflon
03-13-2013, 03:36 AM
The loopy logic of having what amounts to a 24 man roster and a minor league catcher all season long just so the Twins can avoid the possibility of losing the DH for a couple at-bats in one game should both other catchers be playing and one gets injured -drives me freakin' crazy. The last time I looked, baseball still lets you pinch hit and do double switches in the batting order - so even the chance of a pitcher having to hit in that situation is minimal. This is like making your kids share a bed room even though you have another one unoccupied on the off-chance that the Pope will move in with you when he retires.

jokin
03-13-2013, 05:04 AM
If Joe averages 74 games catching for the 5 years while playing 140 or so games total, that has to be a big positive. Catching too much is going to hurt him. FULL STOP. So, don't do that, especially with Doumit and Herrmann (and Pinto starting in 2014 or so) who are capable of sharing the load. Mauer can DH and play first base, especially in the post-Morneau era as Parmelee is going to be relegated to the bench or will be gone with the arrival of Sano and Vargas.

Mauer can catch 100 games but he is going to require many more days off if he does that. I don't think 2012 was that egregious in terms of the value they got out of him. In fact, it was about spot on.

The earliest projection I've seen for Pinto is 2015.

The value for Mauer goes up significantly with time spent at third and fills a spot that still remains in question. First base looks like it's going to have plenty of other options for players who have few other options to get themselves in the lineup.

jokin
03-13-2013, 05:21 AM
Herrmann: spring training means very little. One can see that in case after case throughout baseball. Herrmann will be fine. And Pinto turns 24 if a few weeks, so calm down.

On my second cup of coffee, even calmer than when I first posted. Agree about ST meaning little in the long run, that's why I wrote that Hermann "certainly had a short-term setback." Can we agree that Hermann is an athletic, versatile player who became a catcher as a second position? Can we also agree that Hermann has achieved a slightly above modest .754 OPS in two years at AA? Further, has he demonstrated in his brief major league appearances that he has a way to go to master major league pitching? The Twins hedged their bets heavily on Hermann's arrival date by extending Doumit through 2014.

Pinto is a very good-hitting catcher, who doesn't come with much reputation behind the plate. While it's exciting to have a potential toy cannon on the roster versus the likes of a Butera, it's probably important to note that Pinto DHd nearly half of his games played last year.

I get that the Twins have made a major commitment to Pinto and Hermann. I would just hope that rather than making them the Designated-Duo-by-Default to the Mauer legacy, they at least consider the option of jump-starting by a couple years the return to legitimate contention by considering filling one of the catcher spots with a proven veteran, proven bat, a winner, willing field captain, and leader for all the young pitching talent about to hit the Majors. They certainly will have carved out the payroll space by the end of this season to do so.

worm33
03-13-2013, 06:11 AM
Its funny how you took the 2012 BA and coupled it with the 2009 OBP and SLG?

Boom Boom
03-13-2013, 07:28 AM
.319/.444/.587?

Nick Nelson
03-13-2013, 08:10 AM
Its funny how you took the 2012 BA and coupled it with the 2009 OBP and SLG?

Yikes, dunno how that happened. Dreaming, I guess...

birdwatcher
03-13-2013, 08:12 AM
Teflon, I love your description of Gardy's loopy logic on Butera. The Butera decision is Gardy at his worst.

I agree that the Twins will probably have to go outside the organization for a catcher in a year or so. This means I agreed with jokin, who probably spit his coffee on his keyboard.

ericchri
03-13-2013, 08:14 AM
If we do get the 2-man catching crew this season (and they stick to it), and assuming no significant injuries to Mauer or Doumit, wouldn't you have to expect Joe to catch around 90 games, possibly even more? He'd catch more often than Doumit, they're not going to split the games half and half between those two. Someone would be up in September to take maybe 15-20 games away from those two, but they're gonna split 140+ games if they can stick to those two for the season, and I would guess they'd go around 60% Mauer, 40% Doumit.

Old Twins Cap
03-13-2013, 08:58 AM
Has anyone on here seen Herrman try to catch? If not, realize this: he is not MLB worthy at that position. Not even close. He might be an emergency catcher, but he is not a back-up catcher. Not at this point.

Shane Wahl
03-13-2013, 10:50 AM
This is just a weird discussion. Seth might need to chime in about the defensive capabilities of both Herrmann and Pinto, but they certainly have caught a fair number of games if they are so damn bad behind the plate. They both have been called average defensively, though both of them have been pretty successful at throwing runners out.

Pinto caught 56 of his 93 games at Fort Myers. Does one really want to quibble with that? In the minors, that's what catchers do--they often split time behind the plate. After his promotion to New Britain he barely caught. I wonder why? Oh, yeah, Chris Herrmann was there catching.

As far as Herrmann's .754 OPS at AA . . . yeah, that's a good thing. For a backup catcher to have an upper .600-lower .700 OPS is very good. That's basically Mike Redmond's average .OPS with the Twins. Herrmann should be a bit better.

Butera's defense is overrated. His presence with pitchers is not overrated, for sure.

ashburyjohn
03-13-2013, 02:18 PM
Mauer's eye at the plate amazes me. Watching the WBC

This.

Apart from whether the two strikeouts in the Mexico game were questionable or not, Joe has a real "notion" up there at the plate, every time. As I mentioned in another thread, I was there in Phoenix last weekend, and one of our running jokes was "bet Mauer swings on the first pitch?" each time he was up. I can't remember if he ever crossed me up on that; and most times, he'd make the pitcher throw him one strike looking, sometimes two, before picking out something to take a good whack at. I sat there griping, when he'd look at a strike on 2-0, "this is *why* you work the count to 2-0, to get a pitch like that." And yet, he had a really good WBC first-round series, and more times than not he made a monkey out of me and my petty griping. Maybe the line-drive foul he sent one seat down and to the right of me was a message. :)

At least, I wasn't "that guy" yelling Sterrr-roids! Cheeea-ter! to Braun in left field or when he was up to bat. By the second game, some lady a few rows down from him complained, and either he shut up or was escorted elsewhere, I don't know which.

ashburyjohn
03-13-2013, 02:24 PM
This is like making your kids share a bed room even though you have another one unoccupied on the off-chance that the Pope will move in with you when he retires.

[Joke involving a pope in a bedroom with kids deleted before the moderators get a chance to.] :whacky028:

worm33
03-13-2013, 06:47 PM
Yikes, dunno how that happened. Dreaming, I guess...

Dont blame you, that was 1 amazing season.

jokin
03-14-2013, 12:15 AM
This is just a weird discussion. Seth might need to chime in about the defensive capabilities of both Herrmann and Pinto, but they certainly have caught a fair number of games if they are so damn bad behind the plate. They both have been called average defensively, though both of them have been pretty successful at throwing runners out.

Pinto caught 56 of his 93 games at Fort Myers. Does one really want to quibble with that? In the minors, that's what catchers do--they often split time behind the plate. After his promotion to New Britain he barely caught. I wonder why? Oh, yeah, Chris Herrmann was there catching.

As far as Herrmann's .754 OPS at AA . . . yeah, that's a good thing. For a backup catcher to have an upper .600-lower .700 OPS is very good. That's basically Mike Redmond's average .OPS with the Twins. Herrmann should be a bit better.

Butera's defense is overrated. His presence with pitchers is not overrated, for sure.

At this point, we seem to agree then that Herrmann projects to be a career back-up catcher/5th OF. Pinto is a little younger (a year and a half) and will have to show more behind the plate to match his projected above-average-to- decent MLB bat to qualify as a solid #1 catcher. I'd still feel better looking outside the organization.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 03:48 PM
Has anyone on here seen Herrman try to catch? If not, realize this: he is not MLB worthy at that position. Not even close. He might be an emergency catcher, but he is not a back-up catcher. Not at this point.

For the most part I've heard below average regarding Hermann's defense behind the plate. I'm not sure I've heard anyone who follows the minor leagues or the organization describe it as being so terrible he should only be used in an emergency capacity.

If this is true it is quite an indictment on the organization.

Shane Wahl
03-15-2013, 05:59 PM
At this point, we seem to agree then that Herrmann projects to be a career back-up catcher/5th OF. Pinto is a little younger (a year and a half) and will have to show more behind the plate to match his projected above-average-to- decent MLB bat to qualify as a solid #1 catcher. I'd still feel better looking outside the organization.

I don't think of Pinto as being a starter. Neither one is going to be the primary catcher as long as Joe Mauer is around.

Jim H
03-16-2013, 10:33 AM
Last year, Butera was used to catch about 30 games. The 130 AB's he got didn't really come out of either Mauer or Doumit's AB's. Most of those 30 games, either Mauer or Doumit or sometimes both, were in the lineup at DH or some other position. Largely, Butera's AB's come at the expense of some other backup. While that hurts the offense, it is not nearly as much as some people suggest.

A second thing to keep in mind is that Butera doesn't really take catching appearances from Mauer either. Mauer is going to catch as many games as his health and productivity allow. So, since Butera's defensive appearances come at the expense of Doumit or some other 3rd catcher, the real question is this--Does Butera superior defensive skills to Doumit or some other 3rd catcher such as Herrman, make up for the rather small loss of offense you get by having Butera on the roster over some other backup?

I don't really know the answer to that question. Clearly, Butera is better at most catching skills than Doumit and Herrman at this stage of their careers. Whether his defense is enough better to make up for the dozen or so hits you are going lose by having Butera on the roster, is a rather interesting question.

Nick Nelson
03-16-2013, 11:35 AM
Well said, Jim. I personally tend to think his defense doesn't make up for his horrendous bat, but the other side of that opinion has more merit than a lot of people suggest.