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View Full Version : Miller: Escobar Could Be Gardy's 3rd Catcher



John Bonnes
03-13-2013, 09:36 PM
There has been some talk about this, but I don't think it's been this frontal before. I don't know if Gardy is still lobbying for Thome with this kind of talk, or if he's impressed with someone like Colabello, but it seems like this is a serious option:


Escobar spent a half-hour this afternoon catching pitches from a pitching machine, getting ready for the grand super-utility experiment. It's clear Gardenhire is considering Escobar as an emergency catcher, on hand only in case Joe Mauer or Ryan Doumit get hurt during a game. That would free up a roster spot, the one held last year by Drew Butera, for a stronger pinch-hitter, which definitely appeals to the manager. "Another catcher is only a phone call away," he said. "He would only have to get you through nine innings, or whatever."

I have no problem with this plan. I certainly like it better than having Escobar AND Butera on the roster. If he wants a bat, Gardenhire is going to need to make a decision on those guys.

Escobar works at catcher, impresses in infield | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/197860131.html)

East Coast Twin
03-14-2013, 05:58 AM
Interesting quote coming from Gardenhire about a catcher only being a phone call away.

Riverbrian
03-14-2013, 06:20 AM
It makes sense... It's all they have to do... Throw the pads on someone to complete the game in case of injury. Fly someone in from AAA for tomorrow's game and there is no need for a third catcher.

Why they didn't come up with this idea last year... I have no idea.

Glad to hear they are considering it this year.

Going forward... They should be training emergency catchers (plural) throughout the minors... to not put future eggs in one basket in case Hermann doesn't work out.

If they don't start training emergency catchers... They are making a mistake.

We carried three catchers last year making it philosophically necessary and with the tenure of those who hold the philosophy... they should have been prepped for it already.

FrodaddyG
03-14-2013, 06:55 AM
If they don't start training emergency catchers... They are making a mistake.
What does that even mean?

The need for an "emergency catcher" implies that you carry two catchers and both of them go down in the same game. Even if the day's starting catcher goes down on the first pitch of the game and the other is the DH, you're swapping the other catcher behind the plate immediately. Having to mix and match hitting a pitcher in the lineup 3-4 times has way less potential for damage throughout the game than throwing a barely-trained "emergency catcher" behind the plate and hoping that he doesn't colossally **** up somewhere between catching, throwing out runners, communicating with the pitchers while calling the game, etc...

Planning around this non-event by spending any kind of organizational resources to "train emergency catchers" is beyond pointless. In the one-in-a-million chance that both catchers go down, any player on the field would be capable of strapping the pads on and slogging through a couple innings behind the plate even without any kind of preparation or notice. There's no advance licensing component required to wear shin guards.

Riverbrian
03-14-2013, 08:18 AM
I agree with you... I wouldn't give it a second thought personally... I think a third catcher is wrong and wasteful. Always have... Always will.

However... Last year the Twins had a third catcher on the roster... It was Drew Butera... We had a third catcher because???

Gardenhire feels differently... Therefore training emergency catchers in the minors makes sense from that perspective... not mine.

jokin
03-14-2013, 08:35 AM
There has been some talk about this, but I don't think it's been this frontal before. I don't know if Gardy is still lobbying for Thome with this kind of talk, or if he's impressed with someone like Colabello, but it seems like this is a serious option:



I have no problem with this plan. I certainly like it better than having Escobar AND Butera on the roster. If he wants a bat, Gardenhire is going to need to make a decision on those guys.

Escobar works at catcher, impresses in infield | StarTribune.com (http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/197860131.html)

It's refreshing to see that the "professional" has finally discovered what most of this board's amateurs thought was obvious.

Of course, he went on in similar fashion about "no scholarships" and wasted bench players previously, and at the first sign of a catcher with a twinge, Butera retook his place on the bench for the rest of the season...

Badsmerf
03-14-2013, 09:16 AM
That is.... legal?
3508

Brock Beauchamp
03-14-2013, 09:19 AM
But what if Escobar goes down? I'd feel a lot safer if Butera was there to back him up.

FrodaddyG
03-14-2013, 09:34 AM
However... Last year the Twins had a third catcher on the roster... It was Drew Butera... We had a third catcher because???

Gardenhire feels differently... Therefore training emergency catchers in the minors makes sense from that perspective... not mine.
We had a third catcher because of a stupid, misguided notion that the team needed one. Playing along with a stupid, misguided notion only adds to the stupidity of it. It doesn't fix it.

USAFChief
03-14-2013, 09:37 AM
Yeah...we'll see. As I posted somewhere in another thread, they started the year with 2 catchers in 2012, too, until the stress got to Gardy and the warm security blanket of Butera sitting at the end of the bench was summoned.

nicksaviking
03-14-2013, 09:41 AM
Having an emergency catcher is only one way to go about solving this issue.

Moving the remaining catcher behind the plate and losing the DH for a few innings of one game isn't the end of the world either. Having a pitcher hit if it's a low leverage situation is just fine, if not, pinch hit for they guy, what's the huge issue?

With no snark intended, is a pitcher batting that much worse than Butera?

Nick Nelson
03-14-2013, 09:47 AM
We had a third catcher because of a stupid, misguided notion that the team needed one. Playing along with a stupid, misguided notion only adds to the stupidity of it. It doesn't fix it.

You're right, Riverbrian should totally go slap Gardenhire around a little bit and change his outlook on this matter.

There's nothing anyone here can do to "fix" the problem. RB was simply commenting on the best approach given the circumstances we face. The team's manager embraces that "stupid, misguided notion" and that's just reality. I don't see anything wrong with posing scenarios that might make Gardy's affinity for a third catching option more palatable as opposed to redundant complaints about it.

FrodaddyG
03-14-2013, 09:56 AM
You're right, Riverbrian should totally go slap Gardenhire around a little bit and change his outlook on this matter.

There's nothing anyone here can do to "fix" the problem. RB was simply commenting on the best approach given the circumstances we face. The team's manager embraces that "stupid, misguided notion" and that's just reality. I don't see anything wrong with posing scenarios that might make Gardy's affinity for a third catching option more palatable as opposed to redundant complaints about it.
I'd say the priority for "emergency catcher training" should fall somewhere around "teaching all pitchers to throw with both hands, in case the last pitcher available in a game takes a liner off his primary throwing hand" in the hierarchy of things a bad team should be focusing their players on. It's an absolute non-issue, and merits as much discussion as recommending carrying a lightning rod every minute of every day, to avoid an inconvenient electrical strike "just in case" you keel over with a heart attack in the midst of a thunderstorm.

JB_Iowa
03-14-2013, 10:00 AM
I understand the frustration over Butera (and have expressed it a few times myself) but given Joe Mauer's health in 2011, it is quite arguable that the Twins started the year in 2012 with about 2 1/3 catchers. And frankly, Mauer is still probably only about 1/2 a catcher if you want to keep him on the field.

Now, if you believe that Doumit is easily a full 1/2 catcher (or better), there's obviously no need for a third catcher. But Gardenhire's need for a security blanket has a lot to do with both Joe Mauer's durability and his flexibility in terms of positions.

I hope that Gardenhire is confident enough in Mauer and Doumit that he doesn't need a Sweet Drew blanket this season. From my standpoint, that would be a very good thing because it would indicate some pretty strong confidence in both Mauer's and Doumit's health (and a little bit of "risk taking" on Gardenhire's part).

twinsnorth49
03-14-2013, 10:18 AM
I'd say the priority for "emergency catcher training" should fall somewhere around "teaching all pitchers to throw with both hands, in case the last pitcher available in a game takes a liner off his primary throwing hand" in the hierarchy of things a bad team should be focusing their players on. It's an absolute non-issue, and merits as much discussion as recommending carrying a lightning rod every minute of every day, to avoid an inconvenient electrical strike "just in case" you keel over with a heart attack in the midst of a thunderstorm.

Yet, you're 3 posts into this non-issue, maybe this lightning rod thing needs further discussion after all.

USAFChief
03-14-2013, 10:37 AM
I understand the frustration over Butera (and have expressed it a few times myself) but given Joe Mauer's health in 2011, it is quite arguable that the Twins started the year in 2012 with about 2 1/3 catchers. Butera was in Rochester to start the season last year. So by that logic, the Twins started the year with 1 1/3 catchers in 2012.

JB_Iowa
03-14-2013, 10:44 AM
I forgot that.

And, actually, that's about what they started with.

SpiritofVodkaDave
03-14-2013, 10:45 AM
I agree with Fro, there is zero reason to be training emergency catchers throughout the minors, its a one in a million chance.

Let's put it this way, you would be much better served teaching your position players how to pitch then to worry about having a glut of emergency catchers in the org, seeing how position players pitching occurs about 20x more then the whole 3rd catcher being "needed"

Anyone can go behind the plate for a few innings and catch a few balls, yeah, its probably going to be ugly but it is what it is.

SpiritofVodkaDave
03-14-2013, 10:46 AM
Butera was in Rochester to start the season last year. So by that logic, the Twins started the year with 1 1/3 catchers in 2012.

To be fair though, the Twins had NOBODY who deserved that 25th roster spot last year.

Willihammer
03-14-2013, 10:51 AM
They called up Butera about the time they called up Diamond. I assume the two had been working together in AAA but I don't know that for sure. In any case, immediately Butera started catching Pavano and Diamond.

So I believe the Twins' reasoning for bringing Butera onto the roster was less about having a redundant backup and more about his knack (however real or imagined) for handling some pitchers. At least, handling them better than Doumit. But now that Diamond has established that he can pitch effectively to whoever is catching, and Pavano and Liriano are not on the team, then Gardy has no reason to break camp with him. I will be curious to watch however, if Gibson gets on track, if they bring up Butera again when they call up Gibson.

CDog
03-14-2013, 10:53 AM
Yeah...we'll see. As I posted somewhere in another thread, they started the year with 2 catchers in 2012, too, until the stress got to Gardy and the warm security blanket of Butera sitting at the end of the bench was summoned.

The roster/lineup underwent a fairly significant change as discussed in the "Gardy wants some pop on the bench" thread. (Short version: Morneau became a first-baseman again, making Doumit/Mauer the DH.) I'm not saying it makes it "right," but there was more to it than just "Gardy wanted Butera."

Han Joelo
03-14-2013, 11:05 AM
Reusse is right. Some fans will be angry regardless of any decision the Twins make. This is a pretty easy "told you so. "

CDog
03-14-2013, 11:10 AM
They called up Butera about the time they called up Diamond. I assume the two had been working together in AAA but I don't know that for sure. In any case, immediately Butera started catching Pavano and Diamond.

So I believe the Twins' reasoning for bringing Butera onto the roster was less about having a redundant backup and more about his knack (however real or imagined) for handling some pitchers. At least, handling them better than Doumit. But now that Diamond has established that he can pitch effectively to whoever is catching, and Pavano and Liriano are not on the team, then Gardy has no reason to break camp with him. I will be curious to watch however, if Gibson gets on track, if they bring up Butera again when they call up Gibson.

Butera actually came up first. He started in Diamond's first two starts which was during the time Mauer was out from behind the plate for a short while after taking the foul tip off the knee. After those first two starts, Butera didn't start along with Diamond again until the final game of the season.

spycake
03-14-2013, 11:10 AM
But what if Escobar goes down? I'd feel a lot safer if Butera was there to back him up.
Agreed. And for the first month of the season, we should get Corky Miller back on the roster too, just so we can ease into this arrangement.

Forget catching back-to-back games -- heck, these guys may not even have to catch back-to-back innings!

USAFChief
03-14-2013, 11:19 AM
They called up Butera about the time they called up Diamond. I assume the two had been working together in AAA but I don't know that for sure. In any case, immediately Butera started catching Pavano and Diamond.

So I believe the Twins' reasoning for bringing Butera onto the roster was less about having a redundant backup and more about his knack (however real or imagined) for handling some pitchers. At least, handling them better than Doumit. But now that Diamond has established that he can pitch effectively to whoever is catching, and Pavano and Liriano are not on the team, then Gardy has no reason to break camp with him. I will be curious to watch however, if Gibson gets on track, if they bring up Butera again when they call up Gibson. They called up Butera because Mauer took one off a kneecap and couldn't catch for a few days. Diamond was called up a week after Butera was called up, and that was because starting pitching was in short supply, it had nothing to do with Butera. Morneau went on the DL around the time Diamond was called up, so Mauer started playing more 1B. In any case, why did Butera spend the rest of the season in the big leagues, if not for Gardy's love of 3 catchers?

CDog
03-14-2013, 11:33 AM
They called up Butera because Mauer took one off a kneecap and couldn't catch for a few days. Diamond was called up a week after Butera was called up, and that was because starting pitching was in short supply, it had nothing to do with Butera. Morneau went on the DL around the time Diamond was called up, so Mauer started playing more 1B. In any case, why did Butera spend the rest of the season in the big leagues, if not for Gardy's love of 3 catchers?

As stated before, a more complete version is in the "Gardy wants pop on the bench" thread, but before Morneau went out he was the DH almost always, and when he came back, he was the DH almost never. That shifted Doumit or Mauer to DH almost always (when it had been rare before Morneau went out for a while because he--Morneau--was usually in the DH slot). It sure seems like the third catcher became "necessary" when one or the other of the first two catchers were turned to DH'ing full time.

In that previous thread, I surmised that it would be tough to think they would replace Butera on the roster with "some pop" because Doumit still figures to be the most common DH. But another player that can catch in a pinch (Escobar) would do the trick also, maybe.

Riverbrian
03-14-2013, 11:47 AM
I thought I was clear but in case I wasn't... To Clarify... If I was in charge... I wouldn't be as concerned about having a third player who can play the catcher position on the roster.

However... Since it seems to be important to Gardy... I think a better solution would be to train some players for emergency fill in at the position for in game injury and therefore having a roster spot available for a big bench bat.

I also believe that since Gardy has had this worry of running out of catchers during the course of a game for quite some time now. The Escobar training makes perfect sense even if I believe that the need for Escobar doesn't make sense overall.

I'm also thinking that since Gardy has been here awhile.

I think it's possible that the organization has made a mistake not trying to devolop an Escobar or two or three over the past decade. Just working with Hermann is short sighted in my opinion in consideration of what Gardy has been requiring over the years. The organization should have been planning for this scenerio in some way.

Arguing weather Gardy should feel that way... Isn't what I'm discussing. I'm trying to discuss under what seems to be Gardy's preference... Which is more realistic than Gardy changing his mindset on the subject.

kab21
03-14-2013, 12:21 PM
The reason to carry a 3rd catcher should have nothing to do with a potential injury occurring during a game.

The reason to carry a catcher is if he is going to be included in the regular catching rotation. Mauer shouldn't catch >100 games this year. 72 last year. Do you want Doumit behind the plate for 60-100 games? He's awful at catching and butera is awful at hitting. Pick your poison. I think the board would unanimously pick Doumit and so would I but it really comes down to how many games Mauer catches.

Willihammer
03-14-2013, 12:39 PM
why did Butera spend the rest of the season in the big leagues, if not for Gardy's love of 3 catchers?

In fairness, they haven't carried 3 catchers for most of Gardy's tenure. That only started in 2009 after Mauer was activated late after coming back from injury. And even then, Morales was as much a (switch hitting) pinch hitter as he was the 3rd catcher. Next year, Pavano started requesting a personal catcher, then 2011 happened. 2012 Butera caught Liriano during his renaissance.

Everything we've read from Gardy this offseason has been he wants more pop off the bench. He knows that Butera isn't doing him any good when the team is down 4-1 going into the 6th every day.

John Bonnes
03-14-2013, 02:13 PM
Not to beat the Butera thing into the ground, but it seems that last year the approach was reasonable:
1) Start the year without him
2) Call him up when Mauer is banged up (fulfilling the "just a phone call away" strategy) and
3) Keep him because, really, why the hell not? It's not like he was keeping a great pinch-hiter off the roster.

But this could be different. I'd love to see a real pinch-hitter added IF they can identify one or bring one in. I don't know if Colabello qualifies or not. Thome certainly would. Then, when Mauer gets banged up and needs to sit for a while, bring up Butera and send down Escobar.

Riverbrian
03-14-2013, 03:13 PM
The reason to carry a 3rd catcher should have nothing to do with a potential injury occurring during a game.

The reason to carry a catcher is if he is going to be included in the regular catching rotation. Mauer shouldn't catch >100 games this year. 72 last year. Do you want Doumit behind the plate for 60-100 games? He's awful at catching and butera is awful at hitting. Pick your poison. I think the board would unanimously pick Doumit and so would I but it really comes down to how many games Mauer catches.

That could be... I'm pretty sure I've read some quotes from Gardy where he specifically talked about needing the third catcher so Joe and Ryan could do some worry free DH'ing. Gardy specifically talked about the potential injury issue in those quotes... Not that I'm a big believer in any quotes because decisions and situations are always deeper than soundbites can provide.

As far as team context and what Gardy and TR want... Who knows... I'm sure there is a reason for everything.

The only thing I know is that very rarely does any other team carry 3 catchers. The Twins have been doing it... and the Tigers might do it this year with V-Mart manning the DH spot. The Mariners may be another team to watch with Jesus Montero doing DH work.

To me it just makes sense to experiment with Escobar. Hopefully he will never play back there because Mauer and Doumit stay healthy.

I'd rather have a better bench bat than a 3rd Catcher.

edavis0308
03-14-2013, 03:41 PM
Not to beat the Butera thing into the ground, but it seems that last year the approach was reasonable:
1) Start the year without him
2) Call him up when Mauer is banged up (fulfilling the "just a phone call away" strategy) and
3) Keep him because, really, why the hell not? It's not like he was keeping a great pinch-hiter off the roster.

But this could be different. I'd love to see a real pinch-hitter added IF they can identify one or bring one in. I don't know if Colabello qualifies or not. Thome certainly would. Then, when Mauer gets banged up and needs to sit for a while, bring up Butera and send down Escobar.

Whoa whoa whoa, what happens in the case of a needed 7th middle infielder?

70charger
03-14-2013, 03:53 PM
Whoa whoa whoa, what happens in the case of a needed 7th middle infielder?

Well, if Florimon's arm falls off, his batting average might go down slightly. Who says we need a 7th?

cmathewson
03-14-2013, 04:33 PM
Mauer is healthier than he's been since 2009, and healthier at this stage of the season for "as long as I can remember" according to Joe. So there's less concern about him catching five times a week than in past years. Couple that with Gardy's stated desire to get a real bat on the bench, and this move makes perfect sense. The question, then, is who? My money is on Boggs, but Ramirez has a shot as well.

USAFChief
03-14-2013, 04:35 PM
Not to beat the Butera thing into the ground, but it seems that last year the approach was reasonable:
1) Start the year without him
2) Call him up when Mauer is banged up (fulfilling the "just a phone call away" strategy) and
3) Keep him because, really, why the hell not? It's not like he was keeping a great pinch-hiter off the roster.

But this could be different. I'd love to see a real pinch-hitter added IF they can identify one or bring one in. I don't know if Colabello qualifies or not. Thome certainly would. Then, when Mauer gets banged up and needs to sit for a while, bring up Butera and send down Escobar.
3) makes no sense whatsoever. Let's hope the team's management thinks things through deeper than "why the hell not?"

USAFChief
03-14-2013, 04:37 PM
The reason to carry a 3rd catcher should have nothing to do with a potential injury occurring during a game.

The reason to carry a catcher is if he is going to be included in the regular catching rotation. Mauer shouldn't catch >100 games this year. 72 last year. Do you want Doumit behind the plate for 60-100 games? He's awful at catching and butera is awful at hitting. Pick your poison. I think the board would unanimously pick Doumit and so would I but it really comes down to how many games Mauer catches.
If we've truly reached the point where the Twins enter a season expecting Mauer to be unable to catch more than 100 games, that's just more evidence Mauer should have been moved to a new permanent position years ago.

cmathewson
03-14-2013, 04:37 PM
In fairness, they haven't carried 3 catchers for most of Gardy's tenure. That only started in 2009 after Mauer was activated late after coming back from injury. And even then, Morales was as much a (switch hitting) pinch hitter as he was the 3rd catcher. Next year, Pavano started requesting a personal catcher, then 2011 happened. 2012 Butera caught Liriano during his renaissance.

Everything we've read from Gardy this offseason has been he wants more pop off the bench. He knows that Butera isn't doing him any good when the team is down 4-1 going into the 6th every day.

Two words: Corky Miller, who was the FOURTH catcher on the team (counting LeCroy), who pushed Restovich off the roster for good. Gardy has gradually abandoned the desire for so many catchers since that year, when we had like two pinch hits all year or something. But this is a new attitude for him. It's refreshing that he's maybe not as set in his ways as we thought.

Willihammer
03-14-2013, 08:29 PM
Toushay about the 2005 team


since that year, when we had like two pinch hits all year or something..

This comment sort of opened up a can of worms for me. I started looking into what meager pinch hitting statistics are easily available and it appears that pinch hitting is, generally speaking, pretty small peanuts. Exceedingly small, and actually detrimental in some cases.

This is a good but old BP arti (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5404)cle on the topic:


Considering only pinch hitting situations in which the player being replaced is not a pitcher, our worst fears appear to be confirmed. In 2005, the average player being replaced hit .250/.315/.392, and the average pinch hitter had season stats of .257/.322/.402. So, on the surface, managers are bringing in superior hitters to help the offense. However, the pinch hitters averaged just .224/.306/.328 in these situations, which is significantly worse than the season averages of the players they were replacing.

and further on, this:


The remaining 9025 pinch hit chances have been broken into those that created a platoon advantage (i.e., a switch hitter or lefty replacing a righty when facing a RHP, or vice versa), and the rest. Let's first look at the moves designed to create a platoon advantage, which accounts for 78% of these chances. On average, the model predicts a modest improvement of 19 points in wOBA for the pinch hitter, compared with the player he is replacing. Again, this is less than what one would expect if ignoring the "pinch hitting penalty," but it still amounts to an extra run being created every 60 or so times that such a move is made.

1 run per 60 PAs on average - when replacing a lefty with a righty, or vice versa.

To put that in perspective, the Twins averaged 70 PH ABs since 2010 (unfortunately ESPN's PH tracker doesn't track walks and PAs). Call it 100 PH PAs on average. Assume Gardy is doing a LHB-RHB or RHB-LHB swap 90% of the time (which would be difficult to do if he is replacing a switch-hitter, eg. Florimon), and you have around 1.8 runs gained in those situations.

Further on, the BP author writes that in the 20% (10% in AL) of PH appearances where a PH replaces a same-handed hitter, the PHer can be expecte to perform worse than the player he's replacing around a third of the time (after accounting for the PH penalty). But, there's still a small gain overall.

So, based on this, we're looking at something like 2 whole runs over the course of a hundred PH PAs in a year, as an estimate. An argument could definitely be made that there about a hundred ways to better use that 25th roster spot besides carrying a Colabello or even a Thome.

jokin
03-14-2013, 08:38 PM
Toushay about the 2005 team



This comment sort of opened up a can of worms for me. I started looking into what meager pinch hitting statistics are easily available and it appears that pinch hitting is, generally speaking, pretty small peanuts. Exceedingly small, and actually detrimental in some cases.

This is a good but old BP arti (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5404)cle on the topic:



and further on, this:



1 run per 60 PAs on average - when replacing a lefty with a righty, or vice versa.

To put that in perspective, the Twins averaged 70 PH ABs since 2010 (unfortunately ESPN's PH tracker doesn't track walks and PAs). Call it 100 PH PAs on average. Assume Gardy is doing a LHB-RHB or RHB-LHB swap 90% of the time (which would be difficult to do if he is replacing a switch-hitter, eg. Florimon), and you have around 1.8 runs gained in those situations.

Further on, the BP author writes that in the 20% (10% in AL) of PH appearances where a PH replaces a same-handed hitter, the PHer can be expecte to perform worse than the player he's replacing around a third of the time (after accounting for the PH penalty). But, there's still a small gain overall.

So, based on this, we're looking at something like 2 whole runs over the course of a hundred PH PAs in a year, as an estimate. An argument could definitely be made that there about a hundred ways to better use that 25th roster spot besides carrying a Colabello or even a Thome.

(scratches chin)....Pondering using Thome in the 9th inning with the bases loaded or Butera....

Thrylos
03-14-2013, 09:35 PM
So..... why again did the Twins offer arbitration to Butera and doubled his salary, instead of signing him to a MiLB contact (which is what he deserves?)

Nick Nelson
03-14-2013, 10:00 PM
So..... why again did the Twins offer arbitration to Butera and doubled his salary, instead of signing him to a MiLB contact (which is what he deserves?)

The better question is: why do you care so much about $200k? It's nothing.

Thrylos
03-14-2013, 10:25 PM
The better question is: why do you care so much about $200k? It's nothing.

If it's nothing. I'll tell you where to wire it :)

It is more that the $ (which, yes, in the MLB realm is nothing, on one hand, but it is everything on the other, if you are one of those players who are stuck at AAA and bypassed for others as far as promotions go. And if you don't believe me, just ask some of them...) It is the 40-man roster spot and it is the statement as well...

The Wise One
03-14-2013, 10:42 PM
If it's nothing. I'll tell you where to wire it :)

It is more that the $ (which, yes, in the MLB realm is nothing, on one hand, but it is everything on the other, if you are one of those players who are stuck at AAA and bypassed for others as far as promotions go. And if you don't believe me, just ask some of them...) It is the 40-man roster spot and it is the statement as well...

Enlighten me. Did the Twins lose someone important from the demotions from the 40 man roster this winter? Was there a decent catcher in Rochester last year?. Was ther somebody who killed the league in hitting that did not make it up?
$200000 out of 120 million dollar budget is nothing especially considering the 40 million not yet spent. At least somebody got the exra nickel.

Brock Beauchamp
03-14-2013, 10:43 PM
The better question is: why do you care so much about $200k? It's nothing.

Particularly in a season where the Twins payroll is maddeningly low.

jokin
03-14-2013, 11:04 PM
Particularly in a season where the Twins payroll is maddeningly low.

Not to put words in Thrlos's mouth, the 200k is not the point. The other side of this argument is ignoring the fact that there were options to upgrade their depth at the position and if they wanted to keep Butera, they weren't competing with ANYONE, they easily could have offered him a minor league contract and if by some very strange happenstance that someone actually wanted him, SO WHAT!. It's time to start sending a clear message around the organization that a career performance 5 shades below mediocrity no longer merits a raise and a guaranteed valuable roster spot.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
03-14-2013, 11:19 PM
This is a terrible idea and I really don't like it. There's no way Escobar would ever get the practice needed to play there and I don't really want him to anyway. Catching is not as simple as throwing on a bunch of pads and sitting behind home plate. It's the most difficult fielding position for a variety of reasons. Just roll with Mauer and Doumit with Butera/Herrmann on speed dial in Rochester, please. When Gardy opens his mouth, I'd prefer not to listen.

snepp
03-15-2013, 09:32 AM
So..... why again did the Twins offer arbitration to Butera and doubled his salary, instead of signing him to a MiLB contact (which is what he deserves?)

Would you risk losing such a valuable property on the open market? I think not.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 09:44 AM
This is a terrible idea and I really don't like it. There's no way Escobar would ever get the practice needed to play there and I don't really want him to anyway. Catching is not as simple as throwing on a bunch of pads and sitting behind home plate. It's the most difficult fielding position for a variety of reasons. Just roll with Mauer and Doumit with Butera/Herrmann on speed dial in Rochester, please. When Gardy opens his mouth, I'd prefer not to listen.
They are not going to put him the catching rotation. They want him as an emergency catcher in case Gardy's irrational fear of losing the DH for a few innings ever comes to fruition.

kab21
03-15-2013, 09:59 AM
That could be... I'm pretty sure I've read some quotes from Gardy where he specifically talked about needing the third catcher so Joe and Ryan could do some worry free DH'ing. Gardy specifically talked about the potential injury issue in those quotes... Not that I'm a big believer in any quotes because decisions and situations are always deeper than soundbites can provide.

As far as team context and what Gardy and TR want... Who knows... I'm sure there is a reason for everything.

The only thing I know is that very rarely does any other team carry 3 catchers. The Twins have been doing it... and the Tigers might do it this year with V-Mart manning the DH spot. The Mariners may be another team to watch with Jesus Montero doing DH work.

To me it just makes sense to experiment with Escobar. Hopefully he will never play back there because Mauer and Doumit stay healthy.

I'd rather have a better bench bat than a 3rd Catcher.

We're not talking about Gardy's reason for carrying a 3rd catcher. I am certain that Gardy has publicly said that he needed a 3rd catcher because of the DH/C thing. We're talking about actual baseball reasons.

Imo it makes no sense to work Escobar back there. Regardless of how many times he catches bullpen sessions he will be completely awful at the basics of catching. it would be 1000x better to lose the DH and use a PH'er or two if the starting catcher got injured.

Actually I guess it makes sense. It can ease Gardy's mind enough that he won't be as likely to carry a 3rd catcher on the roster even he never uses him behind the plate.

The downside of course is that it further strengthens the two futility IF portion of the bench. Escobar hits better than butera but there are halfway competent backup options usually available. For example I'm not sure Escobar (or Florimon) will hit much better than Olivo and he was signed as a MiLB FA.

CDog
03-15-2013, 10:18 AM
Not to beat the Butera thing into the ground,

and
3) Keep him because, really, why the hell not?

Hmmm...it seems like there must be more reason than that. Almost as if the lineup (or the positions played) may have changed or something...... Haha.

CDog
03-15-2013, 10:22 AM
This is a terrible idea and I really don't like it. There's no way Escobar would ever get the practice needed to play there and I don't really want him to anyway. Catching is not as simple as throwing on a bunch of pads and sitting behind home plate. It's the most difficult fielding position for a variety of reasons. Just roll with Mauer and Doumit with Butera/Herrmann on speed dial in Rochester, please. When Gardy opens his mouth, I'd prefer not to listen.

Everything I've seen implies that Escobar would only be used there from the time of the loss of Mauer and Doumit in a game and the arrival of Butera/Hermann from Rochester. So the terrible idea is essentially exactly the idea you're thinking is the good one.

Not to mention, it's not like this is teaching the catcher position to someon who has never done it. He was the White Sox emergency catcher last year from what everyone has said (although he never actually played...which I think would be the hope and plan here, too).

USAFChief
03-15-2013, 10:43 AM
Hmmm...it seems like there must be more reason than that. Almost as if the lineup (or the positions played) may have changed or something...... Haha. So Mauer's knee prevented him from catching...for the rest of the season? Morneau never came back from the DL? Pray tell, what was the compelling reason Butera had to be on the roster for the last 5 months of the season?

CDog
03-15-2013, 11:04 AM
So Mauer's knee prevented him from catching...for the rest of the season? Morneau never came back from the DL? Pray tell, what was the compelling reason Butera had to be on the roster for the last 5 months of the season?

Already have. A lot of times (hence the "Haha" in the post you quoted). Once again, though, Morneau came back from the DL playing a different position than he had before going on. And in at least one of the times I mentioned this "compelling reason" I explicitly stated that it wasn't necessarily a reason I agreed with, only one that seems likely to have been the driving factor for those that actually make the decisions.

Riverbrian
03-15-2013, 11:13 AM
We're not talking about Gardy's reason for carrying a 3rd catcher. I am certain that Gardy has publicly said that he needed a 3rd catcher because of the DH/C thing. We're talking about actual baseball reasons.

Imo it makes no sense to work Escobar back there. Regardless of how many times he catches bullpen sessions he will be completely awful at the basics of catching. it would be 1000x better to lose the DH and use a PH'er or two if the starting catcher got injured.

Actually I guess it makes sense. It can ease Gardy's mind enough that he won't be as likely to carry a 3rd catcher on the roster even he never uses him behind the plate.

The downside of course is that it further strengthens the two futility IF portion of the bench. Escobar hits better than butera but there are halfway competent backup options usually available. For example I'm not sure Escobar (or Florimon) will hit much better than Olivo and he was signed as a MiLB FA.

I agree with you 100 percent on the first two paragraphs... I will just add... That if Escobar is labeled as the Emergency Catcher... He would only play in an emergency... He would never start.

Paragraph three is exactly my reasoning for the organization training emergency catcher options in the minors over the years. Gardy seems concerned about it... I'm not... but Gardy seems to be concerned. This is a Gardy issue alone and since it's been a Gardy issue for quite some time... The Club should have been working toward this all along on the farm.

Paragraph 4... Yeah... I agree but I think we are gonna end up with a couple utility IF backups... At least Escobar could kill two birds with one stone and keep the 2013 Twins from rostering two utility IF's and a 3rd catcher and that could open up a spot for Colabello or Thome.

BTW... I wish I knew how to break up quotes into sections when replying to them. Most of you guys are so much more skilled than I.

Mr. Brooks
03-15-2013, 11:22 AM
I agree with you 100 percent on the first two paragraphs... I will just add... That if Escobar is labeled as the Emergency Catcher... He would only play in an emergency... He would never start.

Paragraph three is exactly my reasoning for the organization training emergency catcher options in the minors over the years. Gardy seems concerned about it... I'm not... but Gardy seems to be concerned. This is a Gardy issue alone and since it's been a Gardy issue for quite some time... The Club should have been working toward this all along on the farm.

Paragraph 4... Yeah... I agree but I think we are gonna end up with a couple utility IF backups... At least Escobar could kill two birds with one stone and keep the 2013 Twins from rostering two utility IF's and a 3rd catcher and that could open up a spot for Colabello or Thome.

BTW... I wish I knew how to break up quotes into sections when replying to them. Most of you guys are so much more skilled than I.

I understand your reasoning regarding Gardy's peace of mind, but I think any time these kids are practicing/learning in the minors could be better spent on about a thousand more important things than emergency catching.
For example:
How not to try to score from 2nd base on an infield single in the playoffs. (I'm looking at you Nick Punto)

kab21
03-15-2013, 12:30 PM
I agree with you 100 percent on the first two paragraphs... I will just add... That if Escobar is labeled as the Emergency Catcher... He would only play in an emergency... He would never start.


So we are looking at the possibility that both Mauer and Doumit are going to get injured in the same game? And this is why legitimate prospects (making an MLB roster) should divert time away from improving their core skills?

Riverbrian
03-15-2013, 01:59 PM
So we are looking at the possibility that both Mauer and Doumit are going to get injured in the same game? And this is why legitimate prospects (making an MLB roster) should divert time away from improving their core skills?

Technically... Just one has to get hurt while the other is DH. That seems to be the issue that costs us a roster spot.

I'm just the messenger with a weird message.

In a nutshell... I'm just saying the conversation should have happened at some point.

TR: Gardy... You need 3 catchers?

RG: Yes I do. If Joe is going to DH to get his bat in the lineup everyday... If the catcher gets hurt... I need a third catcher like Drew or I have to give up the DH spot and a game may be on the line.

TR: You feel strongly about this? Isn't batting Drew Butera kinda like giving up the DH spot.

RG: I do feel strongly about this... I'm trying to win games here.

TR: I wonder if it makes more sense to get a player or two ready going forward for emergency fill in for a game instead of spending a roster spot? Planning for it... if youmfeel strongly about it... The emergency catcher would only have to play in an emergency. A replacement can be brought up the next day. We are talking about a couple of innings in case of injury... Right?

RG: I suppose. I know that riverbrian would agree with this.

TR: Riverbrian is a good guy... But I don't think riverbrian would agree with the need to plan for this at all. I think he would say that your need for this type of insurance is crazy.

RG: yeah but he knows that I feel strongly about this so... To get that roster spot back... Riverbrian would see it as a sensible compromise.

TR: I'll get a list together of players with some catcher experience and we can start the process there. Maybe by 2010... Some of those guys will be in the majors and be that kind of option for you.

RG: Thanks Terry... Sounds like a plan... BTW... I talked with Bill Smith earlier today... I think he's going to do a great job in your role. He was talking about building for power... Moving into target field and than changing to a speed game. He's got his eye on this Japanese SS.

FrodaddyG
03-15-2013, 09:57 PM
Technically... Just one has to get hurt while the other is DH. That seems to be the issue that costs us a roster spot.
No. Because as was previously stated, the second your catcher goes down, the one DHing shifts behind the plate and you give up the DH for the game without a second thought. Having a pitcher hit or pinch hitting for the spot a couple times is far preferable to hoping an "emergency catcher" doesn't hugely **** up the rest of the game behind the plate.

Rosterman
03-15-2013, 10:16 PM
Well, Mauer is the catcher.
Doumit is designated hitter.
We need a bench DH - Thome or someone
We need a second catcher, wait, we got one if someone else can DH.

Willingham and Morneau were both originally catchers.

Riverbrian
03-15-2013, 10:24 PM
I agree with you... I wouldn't spend a second of time worrying about it.

I'd give up the DH spot and finish the game with pinch hitters or pitchers hitting and send for the AAA guy in the morning.

There is no argument from me on this issue... We are in complete agreement.

but... Since Gardy seems to think differently.

IdahoPilgrim
03-15-2013, 10:31 PM
Let's all not forget Butera's true value - he can also come out of the bullpen and pitch when the Twins are getting shellacked and Gardy doesn't want to waste a reliever.

(I'll let you all decide whether I'm being serious or speaking tongue-in-cheek).

FrodaddyG
03-15-2013, 10:42 PM
but... Since Gardy seems to think differently.
And, as also stated before, he either thinks having a barely-trained catcher catch is better than punting at worst a handful of ABs from the DH, or he's planning around the infinitesimally small chance that both his catchers get hurt. Whichever of those is driving his mindset is far beyond stupid from a baseball standpoint.

Catering to misguided notions is not how you change the mindset behind misguided notions. Informing Gardy of the fact that "planning for this never-going-to-happen scenario is ****ing stupid, your third catcher is a phone call away in Rochester" would be a boon to the roster composition of the team.

Hypothetical "conversation": Person A manages a small warehouse employing 25 people which needs two guys to cover the receiving of shipments. Person B is the owner.

A: "I need a third guy for receiving."
B: "Why? Are we busier?"
A: "No, but what happens if both guys get sick?"
B: "Are both guys sick?"
A: "No."
B: "Is one guy sick?"
A: "No."
B: "But if one guy got sick, the other could cover for him, right?"
A: "Yeah, but what if they both get..."
B: "Why are you expecting them both to get sick?"
A: "Well, you know, what if they do?"
B: "Doesn't just about everyone who works here know enough about receiving shipments to get through a day even if that happened?"
A: "Sure, but it would be nice to have someone who knew it better."
B: "I'm sure it would, but we can only afford to pay so many people. I'd have to fire someone elsewhere. It hurts the company."
A: "Yeah, but I'd feel a little better knowing that guy was there."
B: "So preparing for this situation is more important to you than the company running its best?"
A: "Yes. Yes, it is."
B: "You're fired."

Riverbrian
03-16-2013, 12:03 AM
If I could take one thing out of Gardy's brain, tie it to an anchor and drop it in the middle of the ocean. It would be his desire for a third catcher. It's a fault of his in my opinion.

Years have gone by... It still is what it is... I disagree with Gardy strongly but I welcome a compromise... Escobar taking an emergency catcher role tacked on to his infield duties pleases me because the alternative is Butera taking up a roster spot.

Overall... It's a criticism from me and a solution for this should have been in motion many years ago. Gardy has been here a long time... His philosophy is known or it should be... The issue hasn't been addressed and the philosophy remains.

The solution for a problem that I dont believe exists has been placing a third catcher on the roster year after year... that is shortsighted and lacks creativity... They should have solved this long ago.

BTW... Good job on the script. Well done.

jokin
03-16-2013, 12:09 AM
And, as also stated before, he either thinks having a barely-trained catcher catch is better than punting at worst a handful of ABs from the DH, or he's planning around the infinitesimally small chance that both his catchers get hurt. Whichever of those is driving his mindset is far beyond stupid from a baseball standpoint.

Catering to misguided notions is not how you change the mindset behind misguided notions. Informing Gardy of the fact that "planning for this never-going-to-happen scenario is ****ing stupid, your third catcher is a phone call away in Rochester" would be a boon to the roster composition of the team.

Hypothetical "conversation": Person A manages a small warehouse employing 25 people which needs two guys to cover the receiving of shipments. Person B is the owner.

A: "I need a third guy for receiving."
B: "Why? Are we busier?"
A: "No, but what happens if both guys get sick?"
B: "Are both guys sick?"
A: "No."
B: "Is one guy sick?"
A: "No."
B: "But if one guy got sick, the other could cover for him, right?"
A: "Yeah, but what if they both get..."
B: "Why are you expecting them both to get sick?"
A: "Well, you know, what if they do?"
B: "Doesn't just about everyone who works here know enough about receiving shipments to get through a day even if that happened?"
A: "Sure, but it would be nice to have someone who knew it better."
B: "I'm sure it would, but we can only afford to pay so many people. I'd have to fire someone elsewhere. It hurts the company."
A: "Yeah, but I'd feel a little better knowing that guy was there."
B: "So preparing for this situation is more important to you than the company running its best?"
A: "Yes. Yes, it is."
B: "You're fired."

How soon can we convince Person B to buy the Twins?

PseudoSABR
03-16-2013, 12:45 AM
How soon can we convince Person B to buy the Twins?Unfortunately, money and reason don't go hand and hand.

Kwak
03-16-2013, 06:25 AM
Or, maybe Gardenhire just wanted to see Butera get a MLB paycheck? Now that Drew has an arbitrated contract, I believe he gets the same money whether he's in Minnesota or Rochester. Gardenhire's mission is accomplished--hence he can "let go" of his requirement for 3 catchers.

diehardtwinsfan
03-16-2013, 12:22 PM
To be fair though, the Twins had NOBODY who deserved that 25th roster spot last year.

I disagree. Anthony Slamma did.