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E. Andrew
08-07-2013, 09:59 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2195-Mauer-and-the-Monster

John Bonnes
08-07-2013, 10:05 PM
To me, this raises two points:

1. I'm not nearly as concerned about whether Mauer bats 2nd or 3rd as I am about whether he has someone in front of him that can get on base.

2. His skills are being wasted on this team right now. I'm not sure how important that is and I'm not sure there is an easy solution, but I would sure love to see him hitting with some better hitters in front of him.

troyhobbs
08-07-2013, 10:58 PM
I know the Twins won't trade Mauer nor would I want to see that but why pay him all that money if you're not going to put better talent around him?

E. Andrew
08-08-2013, 09:15 AM
And without better talent, it'd be nice to see a couple more timely attempts to make something out of nothing. I know there are more than a few here that have a firm grasp of the base-out situations, and know that a bad bunter is a dumb man to have bunt. But in the right situation with a decent bunter, you can keep the defense/pitcher on their toes.

I happened to watch last night's ninth inning on MLB network (they went to the game for Dozier's attempt at the cycle). Harold Reynolds was hammering on the fact that you should bunt at a guy like Greg Holland who falls WAY off toward first base... With guys that struggle against righties, try bunting at a guy like that. Florimon's at 44% (bunt-hit %) against RHPs, which is about what Gomez had in his first year here. That move never bothered me.

Haha anyway, our problems are way bigger than that, but the little stuff could nudge things in the right direction.

Lonestar
08-08-2013, 09:45 AM
Sign Sin-Soo-Choo 5 Years/$105M

StormJH1
08-08-2013, 11:24 AM
Two things really summed up the enlightened fanbase coming full circle on Mauer and appreciating him as an all-time great talent, whose abilities are being wasted on this team.

First, just watching Mauer in the 9th with 2 outs (I think). Team is down by multiple runs, there's no one on base. Mauer takes several pitches and then just laces one down the left field line for a single. Like Dick said, he swings one time and that's what happens. He can't hit a 3-run homer with nobody on-base, but did exactly what they needed, and of course the rally goes nowhere.

Second was Perkins' tweet after the game. There was a hashtag meme about voicing unpopular opinions (could be about anything). Unsolicited, Perkins tweeted:

Glen Perkins ‏@glen_perkins (https://twitter.com/glen_perkins) 12h (https://twitter.com/glen_perkins/status/365324713356038145) Joe Mauer doesn't need to hit home runs to be a great hitter. #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinions (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ConfessYourUnpopularOpinions&src=hash)

That contract was not looking great when Mauer had...whatever he had in 2011. Yet, agree or disagree with the wisdom of the deal, he really has become everything you realistically could have hoped for.

It's sad watching him waste away on a terrible team, but less so because I don't think Mauer's the type of "Alpha Dog" competitor who is tearing himself up apart inside because he's not in the Playoffs every year. As the star of a basketball team, that lack of "killer instinct" and ego might be a problem. But as one of 9 guys in a lineup, he just shows up for work and does his job extremely well, probably enjoys playing in his hometown, and that may be enough for him.

StormJH1
08-08-2013, 11:27 AM
I know the Twins won't trade Mauer nor would I want to see that but why pay him all that money if you're not going to put better talent around him?

I think they are trying, but the farm system was poor, and you really can't do that in free agency quickly unless you WAY overspend on a Fielder-type player, in which case they probably are beyond what their budget allows. It's tough to fans to grasp, but their current struggles were caused by what they did in their drafts and developmental system from 2004-09, which happened to be years when the MLB product was quite good. Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.

drjim
08-08-2013, 11:32 AM
Mauer is far from the only great player on a lousy team. I suspect if the future didn't hold as much promise there would be more rumblings of a trade.

Ultima Ratio
08-08-2013, 11:44 AM
If he bats first, an RBI is impossible.

I chuckled.

Seriously, if 9 and 1 aren't getting on base, then wouldn't it make more sense to bat Mauer leading off? Either way he will have limited RBI opportunities, but then you get a 1) a few more ABs from him and 2) a guy on base for the 2-4 hitters.

Try: Mauer, Dozier, Morneau, Hammer*, Arcia, Doumit, whatever...


*When healthy again.

ThePuck
08-08-2013, 11:57 AM
Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.

The Royals? When did they try to buy their way out of terribleness? I know the Mets have in the past, but they aren't now and I don't know when the Royals did.

I agree with the premise of your post for the most part, not all, but most. Can you give some example years for the Royals? You talking this year when they finally aren't bottom feeding with their payroll? I mean I know they are above the Twins, but that's hardly an accomplishment...and they are in the playoff hunt...so they aren't exactly terrible.

troyhobbs
08-08-2013, 01:35 PM
I think they are trying, but the farm system was poor, and you really can't do that in free agency quickly unless you WAY overspend on a Fielder-type player, in which case they probably are beyond what their budget allows. It's tough to fans to grasp, but their current struggles were caused by what they did in their drafts and developmental system from 2004-09, which happened to be years when the MLB product was quite good. Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.

Fair enough but the payroll is down $45 million from the inaugural season at Target Field and will probably be even lower next year. You could pick up some serious talent with that kind of cash...or save it and lose 90 games a year consistently

Linus
08-08-2013, 03:37 PM
I think they are trying, but the farm system was poor, and you really can't do that in free agency quickly unless you WAY overspend on a Fielder-type player, in which case they probably are beyond what their budget allows. It's tough to fans to grasp, but their current struggles were caused by what they did in their drafts and developmental system from 2004-09, which happened to be years when the MLB product was quite good. Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.

This.

troyhobbs
08-08-2013, 09:37 PM
This.

So it's impossible to improve via free agency?

benchwarmerjim
08-08-2013, 09:55 PM
The Royals? When did they try to buy their way out of terribleness? I know the Mets have in the past, but they aren't now and I don't know when the Royals did.


They 'overpayed' for Gil Meche a few years back. I dont know if that what the poster was thinking of, but that what comes to mind.

Linus
08-08-2013, 10:04 PM
So it's impossible to improve via free agency?

Its impossible to go from where the Twins are currently at to a legitimate contending team via free agency. When they are a player or two away, then yes, free agency is a viable and necessary option. We are not there yet; in fact we might be two years away before it makes any sense.

troyhobbs
08-08-2013, 10:34 PM
Its impossible to go from where the Twins are currently at to a legitimate contending team via free agency. When they are a player or two away, then yes, free agency is a viable and necessary option. We are not there yet; in fact we might be two years away before it makes any sense.

True. It's still frustrating when management is constantly shedding payroll but then saying "we're not about respectability, we're about winning." Well, they havent been getting much of either the last few years and hoping for wins a few more years down the road isn't a fool proof strategy even given the bright outlook of the future, I'd be disappointed if I was Mauer.

Teflon
08-08-2013, 10:44 PM
On the bright side, not having runners on base means that Joe isn't grounding into his usual 20 double plays a season. Only 5 so far this year in 455 plate appearances. His slightly higher strikeout rate this year is helping in that regard, too.

ThePuck
08-09-2013, 12:49 PM
On the bright side, not having runners on base means that Joe isn't grounding into his usual 20 double plays a season. Only 5 so far this year in 455 plate appearances. His slightly higher strikeout rate this year is helping in that regard, too.

And by 'usual 20 double plays a season' you mean the three seasons he's had 20 or more. His 162 game average for GiDP is 19...his 162 game average for plate appearances is 696. So that's, what, less than 3% of his PAs?

KGB
08-09-2013, 03:10 PM
Another reason for Joe's lack of RBI, would be his .252 average with runner on (career average is .337) and .243 with RISP (career .336)

ThePuck
08-09-2013, 03:52 PM
Another reason for Joe's lack of RBI, would be his .252 average with runner on (career average is .337) and .243 with RISP (career .336)

Mauer bats a little at #3, but mostly at #2 this year. The Twins #1 batters this year have an OBP of .267. That's DEAD LAST in MLB. The next lowest is .281. Our #9 hitters have an OBP of .264. He's had 94 plate appearances with RISP. Who is he supposed to be knocking in? Compare that to Trout who is the Angels #2 batter most of the time and the #1 hitter a little bit. He has 136 plate appearances with RISP.

Mauer is 11th in the AL for runs created (cumulative stat) and 5th in the AL in runs created per 27 outs (an average stat, like batting average). He's creating runs just fine, but he's also batting in the 2 spot with little help in front of him or behind him. MAYBE he's pressing too much with RISP due to the #3 spot's inability to drive in runs themselves this year? I mean our #3 hitter is 20th in RBI this year and that's with Mauer on base 40% of the time...

KGB
08-09-2013, 05:28 PM
Not saying he a bad hitter, he having a great year when nobody is on base. But if you are talking about his decrease in RBI, you can't ignore what he is doing when given the opportunity to drive in runs.

tcarlic
08-09-2013, 05:50 PM
Mauer is a HOF'er. It is not his fault that he makes the money he does. RBI is such an arbitrary stat. Like the posters stated above; he needs to have men on to bat them in. Mauer is the best Twin we have seen in the last 10 years. Give the man some credit.

ThePuck
08-09-2013, 06:03 PM
Not saying he a bad hitter, he having a great year when nobody is on base. But if you are talking about his decrease in RBI, you can't ignore what he is doing when given the opportunity to drive in runs.

You also can't ignore the info I provided, which I believe tells the story in a lot more detail and which you did not address. Did you put any thought into all that info?

You also can't draw too many conclusions on 74 AB. His BA w/RISP was over .300 not too long ago.

Teflon
08-09-2013, 10:26 PM
And by 'usual 20 double plays a season' you mean the three seasons he's had 20 or more. His 162 game average for GiDP is 19...his 162 game average for plate appearances is 696. So that's, what, less than 3% of his PAs?

Or the seasons where he's actually managed to play 140 or more games in which he's averaging 22.7.

KGB
08-10-2013, 07:44 AM
Again, not saying he not a HOF and a great hitter - but an important part of getting RBI is hitting when runners are on base. If I said he has strike out 4 times out of 7 AB's with the bases loaded, I think that would be a small sample size. He produces runs by getting on base (great for a #2 hitter), but he have a subpar year hitting with runner on base. I don't have access to his mental state, but I doubt you either. So saying he might be "Pressing to much" sounds like you making excuses for him. The lack of other people driving in runs doesn't make Mauer's lack of production with RISP better - it's just another excuse you are throwing out.

And when has he been over .300 w/RISP this year? Career wise, he has been over .300, but I bet even Mauer would admit he had a down year hitting with RISP.

ThePuck
08-10-2013, 08:05 AM
Or the seasons where he's actually managed to play 140 or more games in which he's averaging 22.7.

I used 162 game average. Can find that at Baseball-Reference. Even 22.7 is such a small percentage it isn't even worth mentioning. It's one of the most worthless stats in baseball. Players who make a lot of contact GiDP some times. The triple crown having AL MVP last year led the MAJORS in GiDP last year with 28, two more than anyone else. The year before the top 5 in the majors was Pujols, AGone, Miguel Cabrera, Hunter and Ortiz.

RodneyKline
08-10-2013, 07:53 PM
What people just do not understand when people like me complain about him making $23m is that it is not the $23m that is the issue. There is no question he is worth $23m to a team that has him the 3rd or 4th highest paid player on the team. The problem comes when 25% of your team's payroll is tied up on a singles hitter that cannot hit a 3 run homer even with 2 men on base! He is a great player like Rod Carew or Ichiro were to their teams but players like this can't lead a team to the World Series unless they are a supporting cast member and not the only attraction. Miguel Cabrera or Kirby Puckett type players can throw their team on their backs and lead them. Joe can't do it except for his MVP year at the Metrodome where he had 28 HRs after missing all of April. No one would ever complain if he kept those numbers going.

Brock Beauchamp
08-10-2013, 09:08 PM
The problem comes when 25% of your team's payroll is tied up on a singles hitter that cannot hit a 3 run homer even with 2 men on base!

I'm curious to see a player do it any other way.


Miguel Cabrera or Kirby Puckett type players can throw their team on their backs and lead them. Joe can't do it except for his MVP year at the Metrodome where he had 28 HRs after missing all of April. No one would ever complain if he kept those numbers going.

I remember that time Miggy called together his teammates before game 163 and said "Climb on my back, I'm taking everybody to jail with me!". A truly inspiring sporting moment.

Also, Mauer and Puckett have a career SLG difference of .011. Singles hitter, indeed.

Teflon
08-11-2013, 08:38 AM
It's one of the most worthless stats in baseball. Players who make a lot of contact GiDP some times.

Your opinion (check Ted Williams or Micky Mantle GIDP rates) but not actually the point I was making.

My point was that this year's Joe Mauer with 38 RBI and 5 GIDPs was not as negative as as this year's Joe Mauer would be with with 20 GIDPs. If you can prove that grounding into an additional 15 double plays would be a good thing for Joe or the Twins, then I'll gladly concede the point to you.

Brock Beauchamp
08-11-2013, 08:44 AM
He'd have a lot more RBI so yeah, I'd take those 20 GIDP.

Really, GIDP don't matter much. They're a by-product of seeing a lot of runners on base.

ThePuck
08-11-2013, 11:14 AM
He'd have a lot more RBI so yeah, I'd take those 20 GIDP.

Really, GIDP don't matter much. They're a by-product of seeing a lot of runners on base.

Yup...a by-prodcut of seeing a lot of runners on base and making contact so much.

USAFChief
08-11-2013, 12:16 PM
Also, Mauer and Puckett have a career SLG difference of .011. Singles hitter, indeed.
That's playing kind of fast and loose with numbers, IMO. While true, it really doesn't tell the whole story.

Pucketts SLG is weighed down by his first 2 yrs in the majors, where he SLG'd .336 and .385 in over 1300 PAs. After those two yrs, he SLG'd over .500 five times, .490 once, and never below .446. 9 seasons of 30 or more doubles, including 3 over 40 and another 2 of 39. Six seasons of 20 or more HRs. Puckett started out as a singles hitter, but by his third season he was a legitimate middle of the order hitter with good power.

Mauer has only 2 full seasons of .500, plus his partial rookie season, and tops out at .469 in all his other seasons. Six seasons of 30 or more doubles, only one of which is over 40' and the next best topping out at 36 (he may improve on that this year.). One season over 20 HRs.

Mauer doesn't have the power Puckett did (nor did Kirby have Joe's OBP), at least not yet, despite what career SLG numbers might imply.

Teflon
08-11-2013, 01:32 PM
He'd have a lot more RBI so yeah, I'd take those 20 GIDP.

Really, GIDP don't matter much. They're a by-product of seeing a lot of runners on base.

I would too if they directly correlated to additional scoring opportunities. Joe Mauer of 2013 has less of a correlation, however.

First, more of Joe's outs are ending with the ball in the catcher's glove than an infielder's. (His 18% strikeout ratio is an all-time high; His 46.0% groundball rate is his lowest since he was a rookie playing 35 games in 2004)

Second, more of his outs are ending with the ball in an outfielder's glove than an infielder's glove. (His GB/FB ratio is 1.82 this year compared to 2.35 in 2012 and 2.57 in 2011.)

You'll notice I didn't say any of those were bad.

With fewer runners on base ahead of him and a lack of a Morneau-of-old or Willingham-of-last-year to hit behind him, Joe is getting the lowest percentage of fastballs he's ever seen. (59.6%) Given some protection back in the lineup and a modicum of threats on base, Joe will get more fastballs and his K-rate likely reverts to his norm. Not sure about the GB/FB rate - but guessing that from the increased off-speed pitches Joe's getting he might be trying to make hay with more high fastballs than in the past.

If you look at other aspects of Mauer's season at the plate, he's hitting a higher percentage of line drives than ever before and his ratio of runs created per game is higher than any season since 2009. (I didn't say anything about GIDPs in regards to runs created; infer what you will.) He isn't a worse player at the plate but he is a different player.

Brock Beauchamp
08-11-2013, 05:38 PM
That's playing kind of fast and loose with numbers, IMO. While true, it really doesn't tell the whole story.

Pucketts SLG is weighed down by his first 2 yrs in the majors, where he SLG'd .336 and .385 in over 1300 PAs. After those two yrs, he SLG'd over .500 five times, .490 once, and never below .446. 9 seasons of 30 or more doubles, including 3 over 40 and another 2 of 39. Six seasons of 20 or more HRs. Puckett started out as a singles hitter, but by his third season he was a legitimate middle of the order hitter with good power.

Mauer has only 2 full seasons of .500, plus his partial rookie season, and tops out at .469 in all his other seasons. Six seasons of 30 or more doubles, only one of which is over 40' and the next best topping out at 36 (he may improve on that this year.). One season over 20 HRs.

Mauer doesn't have the power Puckett did (nor did Kirby have Joe's OBP), at least not yet, despite what career SLG numbers might imply.

Puckett also played his early years in a giant pinball machine while Joe gets to play in Target Field. The AstroTurf that Puckett got to enjoy watching singles turn to doubles and doubles turn to triples was gone by the time Joe came around.

There's a good chance Joe Mauer hits .360 every season if he was able to play 81 games in the turf-field Metrodome.