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Want to play Catch - er?

Posted by mikelink45 , 17 September 2018 · 500 views

catcher twins garver castro
Want to play Catch - er? Okay what happens at catcher in the next two years? First we have the veteran – Castro – coming back from his injury. Not a great bat, but we got him for his framing. Is his framing still so important and more important is it still better than Garver?

Garver started out with lots of question marks. So many doubted his defense, so much that the team was willing to sacrifice his bat for Bobby Wilson. But Wilson was traded – is Garver better? We added Gimenez who, like Wilson, has a very questionable bat, but supposedly is good at defense and in the clubhouse. BA 260, OBP 330.

Then along comes Astudillo – chubby little guy that looks like a lifetime minor leaguer – and he becomes a Minnesota legend. Chubby, smiling, always hustling – kind of like a guy named Puckett. He hits, he does not strike out and he does not walk. The announcers question Molitor’s faith in him behind the plate. I cannot judge that. In 19 games his average is 327 and his OBP is 351.

In the minors or best prospect is Rortvedt #24 for the Twins 262AB, 331 OBP. The projection for him is 2021.

I cannot find any other prospects that get much of a conversation so I have to conclude that there is no one else ready for MLB. David Banuelos is in A ball and seems like the next on the list.

Among FA catchers is Matt Wieters who has disappointed two teams so far and hopefully will not become a Twin. Yasmani Grandal, 30, is another FA. He has 95 hits and a 235 BA for the Dodgers. Jonathon LuCroy is now 33 and has bounced around a lot of teams in recent years. A good batter, but I am not sure he fits the Twins profile. And then there is the Braves – Kurt Suzuki, who had 77 hits and batted 271 for the braves this year – we have already had the Suzuki experience.

So who is our catcher – and I know I am asking this with Garver suffering a concussion which could throw all these projections off.
• Castro
• Garver
• Astudillo
• Gimenez
• Rordvedt

Do we trade, do we go with what we have? Does Castro get his starting position back? Help me figure this out.




There are at least a few of us who wonder why Brian Navaretto is not considered a prospect, at least for a defense-first backup catcher. He had a bit of a down year at throwing out runners, only 40%. His framing runs saved is 10.6 at BPro, compared to Willians AAA score of 1.3 (Mitch Garver is -8.8, but was 3.3 in AAA last year). Overall Brian is ranked excellent for saving runs defensively. No framing stats for Ben R, but he has cut his Passed Balls from 15 to 4 this year.

 

The usual response is to recite his minor league OPS. But he started in the minor leagues out of high school, not college. And it appears he has made quite a bit of improvement this year. A .246 average, one less extra base hit than Ben R. He doesn't draw enough walks yet to get his OPS respectable. He seems to be on the same pace as Butera, who has found MLB employment for a good number of years.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer and tarheeltwinsfan like this

 

There are at least a few of us who wonder why Brian Navaretto is not considered a prospect, at least for a defense-first backup catcher. He had a bit of a down year at throwing out runners, only 40%. His framing runs saved is 10.6 at BPro, compared to Willians AAA score of 1.3 (Mitch Garver is -8.8, but was 3.3 in AAA last year). Overall Brian is ranked excellent for saving runs defensively. No framing stats for Ben R, but he has cut his Passed Balls from 15 to 4 this year.

 

The usual response is to recite his minor league OPS. But he started in the minor leagues out of high school, not college. And it appears he has made quite a bit of improvement this year. A .246 average, one less extra base hit than Ben R. He doesn't draw enough walks yet to get his OPS respectable. He seems to be on the same pace as Butera, who has found MLB employment for a good number of years.

Good question.I could find no rating or reaction to Navarro that made me think he had a chance.

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LA VIkes Fan
Sep 18 2018 09:30 AM

Catching is hard to find around baseball. Probably the second toughest position to fill behind a #1 starter. I htink we're actually lucky to have Castro and Garver IF they can both come back from their injuries. That would be a strong C duo in today's game, probably at least top half in baseball. Add Astudillo as either the 25th man third C/utility guy or as the AAA catcher that always has a plane ticket handy and we're in decent shape at the C position. It's much more dire if either Castro or Garver can't come back.Astudillo is a Third catcher, not a guy who shuld be part of a 2 man catching group. 

 

Free Agents? Not much there. How about Martin Moldonado? Not a great hitter, a .235/.280/.380 type, but a pretty good defender who works well with pitchers. Not much else out there. Would love to trade for Realmuto but that isn't happening. 

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Catching is hard to find around baseball. Probably the second toughest position to fill behind a #1 starter. I htink we're actually lucky to have Castro and Garver IF they can both come back from their injuries. That would be a strong C duo in today's game, probably at least top half in baseball. Add Astudillo as either the 25th man third C/utility guy or as the AAA catcher that always has a plane ticket handy and we're in decent shape at the C position. It's much more dire if either Castro or Garver can't come back.Astudillo is a Third catcher, not a guy who shuld be part of a 2 man catching group. 

 

Free Agents? Not much there. How about Martin Moldonado? Not a great hitter, a .235/.280/.380 type, but a pretty good defender who works well with pitchers. Not much else out there. Would love to trade for Realmuto but that isn't happening. 

The problem is whether Castro and Garver can come back.Joe Mauer stands out as an example of what can go wrong.With everyone back I agree we are in good shape for the short run and hopefully Rortvedt can be ready when either of the top two starts to fail. 

Liking and agreeing with both DOUGD and LAVIKES.

Only the team really knows about Castro's recovery. But I also feel a healthy Castro and still improving Garver is a really nice 1-2 at catcher. And if so, it allows the team to concentrate more on other areas of the club.

Navarreto is absolutely worth discussing. Reports have been he's good enough behind the plate to play in the bugs now, and even the last year or two. Also part of the reason he's been an invite to ST the past couple of years. The question has always been the bat, obviously. He is only 23yo until December. Overall, looking at his numbers, 2018 was his best season at the plate. I believe he will repeat AA in 2019, at least to begin the season. Nothing wrong with that.

I like Astudillo a lot! And not because he's a nice/fun story. He's only 26. He can, apparently, provide servicable defense at multiple positions, though hjs calling card is being a catcher. He is a career .300 hitter in milb, and has hit that with the Twins, albeit SSS. He seems to have developed additional power this season. No, he hardly ever walks. But he hits, makes contact, and doesn't SO much either. I have heard and seen nothing, again in SSS, to indicate he isn't at least decent behind the plate. He's an ideal 25-26-27th man you should absolutely keep around.

The Twins should sign the very best AAAA type catcher they can. Navarreto should begin next season in AA to continue his hitting growth. No matter his solid season and potential, there is no reason Rortvedt can't and shouldn't begin 2019 in Ft Myers with a promotion to Chattanooga when ready.
    • mikelink45 likes this
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ChrisKnutson
Sep 19 2018 08:14 AM
I know Castro’s defense is valuable and that he’s still injured, but I still got to believe some team out there would give up a decent prospect (preferably a catcher) for a guy like Castro. Not only would this free up more playing time for Garver (maybe Astudillo), but this would also free up $8M that could go towards a more realistic FA like Patrick Corbin.

Although it seems like I’m talking about “dumping salary,” I’m actually thinking more around the lines of “salary relocation,” where the money that would’ve otherwise gone to Castro ($8M), Pineda ($8M), Odorizzi ($6.3M), Grossman ($2M), Gibson ($4.2M), and Reed ($8.5M), now can go towards players who actually have a future with the team (current players, free agents, trade acquisitions).
    • mikelink45 likes this

Navaretto needs to be added to the 40-man, or he can walk to another team. Is he good enough to be the second catcher on the Twins, perhaps in 2020? Is he good enough to get a callup if someone goes down in 2019? Rortvedt and Jeffers won't be here in 2019. But both could be here in 2020.

 

How many games can Garver catch.? Castro, if he comes back strong, is the guy to work with young pitchers. He should catch 50% of the games. More, probably not if Garver is willing and able. Astudillo is a nice luxury, a good bench bat, perhaps, plus he can play multiple positions including catcher. Could he fill in as the main abckup catcher if Garver or Castro goes down...probably.

 

Everyone mentioned in a post above of possibly being "salary relocation" is still cheap enough and filling holes, but all could bring abck prospects if the Twins need to trade guys next mid-season (assuming that they don't extend Gibson or Odorizzi). 

 

Yes, if the Twins sign a free agent or trade or a player, the thought is that THAT player needs to be a part of the roster in 2021 and beyond, with at least an option opportunity.

 

Unless the Twins just decide to spend $130-140 million on free agents to win in 2019, which they could do considering the number of roster spots that can be filled by better talents...and push back any prospects for other seasons.

a

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Navaretto needs to be added to the 40-man, or he can walk to another team. Is he good enough to be the second catcher on the Twins, perhaps in 2020? Is he good enough to get a callup if someone goes down in 2019? Rortvedt and Jeffers won't be here in 2019. But both could be here in 2020.

 

How many games can Garver catch.? Castro, if he comes back strong, is the guy to work with young pitchers. He should catch 50% of the games. More, probably not if Garver is willing and able. Astudillo is a nice luxury, a good bench bat, perhaps, plus he can play multiple positions including catcher. Could he fill in as the main abckup catcher if Garver or Castro goes down...probably.

 

Everyone mentioned in a post above of possibly being "salary relocation" is still cheap enough and filling holes, but all could bring abck prospects if the Twins need to trade guys next mid-season (assuming that they don't extend Gibson or Odorizzi). 

 

Yes, if the Twins sign a free agent or trade or a player, the thought is that THAT player needs to be a part of the roster in 2021 and beyond, with at least an option opportunity.

 

Unless the Twins just decide to spend $130-140 million on free agents to win in 2019, which they could do considering the number of roster spots that can be filled by better talents...and push back any prospects for other seasons.

a

I would like to believe Rortvdt and Jeffers would be available in 2020, but not sure.That seems ambitious and does not fit the Twins style.

Throughout the minor leagues, Brian Navaretto has been known as a defensive catcher, his lifetime batting average in the minors is just .218.I don't view him as a substantial piece to solving the Twins catching problems unless something dramatically changes in his offensive skill set.

 

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