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How many catchers?

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The Twins signed Kurt Suzuki to a one year deal, pending a physical. They have three other catchers on their roster: Josmil Pinto, Chris Herrmann and Eric Fryer.

My question is, how many catchers will the team want to take north? Barring injuries, Pinto and Suzuki are the two top favorites to make the team. But will the Twins carry a third catcher? Reading other posts on this site, many seem to think Herrmann is the third catcher;

I'm not so sure. I think Fryer would actually beat him out in ST.

However, I believe the Twins will only carry two catchers, Pinto and Suzuki. Pinto will be the primary, getting maybe 60 percent of innings, with Suzuki getting 30 percent of innings and Herrmann or Fryer or both getting the remaining 10 percent. (Just because they start the season with two catchers does not mean they go all season long with just the two.)

Here is my thinking: The Twins need to get off to a very quick start. They need to prove to their fans, the central division and most of all, themselves, that they can and will compete in the division.

To do that they need options on the bench. Having a defensive-minded catcher (Suzuki) and an offensive-minded catcher (Pinto), makes for a logical progression. If Pinto starts and the team is leading late in the game, Suzuki can come in as a late-inning defensive replacement. If Suzuki starts, Gardenhire has the opportunity to use Pinto as a pinch hitter, with or without replacing Suzuki.

Adding either Fryer or Herrmann to the equation does little to give them flexibility elsewhere. The Twins will need at least two reserve infielders and and two reserve outfielders/DHs.

Now that they have traded Doumit and signed Suzuki and Pelfry, I envision a roster looking like this:

SP: Nolasco, Coreia, Hughes, Pelfry and Deduno.
RP: Perkins, Swarzak, Thielbar, Pressly, Fien and Burton

That leaves 14 position players:
CA: Pinto and Suzuki.
IF: 1B Mauer; 2B Dozier; 3B Plouffe; SS Bartlett; reserves: Escobar and Florimon.

DH: Willingham.

OF: LF Arcia; CF Presley; RF Parmelee; Reserves: Hicks and Kubel.

Hicks and Presley are interchangeable at CF, depending on how they do in ST. Parmelee will back-up Mauer at 1B.

That's how I see it.
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  1. stringer bell's Avatar
    On the first thought here, I agree that there will be a decision between keeping two or three catchers and logic indicates keeping two in this era where we see bloated pitching staffs. However, I doubt there will be any times where one catcher replaces the other when the Twins are in the lead. Pinch hitting the better hitter would probably only happen late and close or in extra innings. I have posted my take that Suzuki is a lock, Pinto has a very good chance to be the primary catcher, but it wouldn't surprise me if he started either on the DL or in Rochester. If they choose to keep three catchers, I think it gives Herrmann a leg up because he is pretty established as an outfielder and might get some reps in the infield this spring. Also, he is a left handed hitter and the other prospective receivers are all right handed.

    As far the rest of your blog-wow I disagree all over the place! First of all, especially with so many candidates for fifth starter out of options, I foresee 12 hurlers going north and probably another one stashed on the disabled list, that leaves only 13 position players. You didn't list Brian Duensing, but with all the right handed starters, a flexible left handed reliever would be a big asset. Next, with Escobar the ideal three-position utility infielder, I only see the need for only one backup infielder--Escobar. I can't see Bartlett beating out Florimon at short and I would expect him to head for Rochester or be released. For the outfield, you have both Hicks starting the year in Minnesota as a reserve. I don't buy that. I actually see no scenario where Hicks starts the season in Minnesota. Presley starts in center, with Mastroianni as his backup. Arcia moves back and forth between left and right with Kubel starting in the outfield some and DHing and the same for the Hammer. I'd love to see Parmelee step up and earn at-bats, but if he makes the club at all, he's probably a bench player at least to start the season. To balance things out, it would probably be wise to carry a right handed hitter to be a corner OF-1B.
  2. Rosterman's Avatar
    Agree with stringer. The Twins third (emergency) catcher will be Joe Mauer, assuming they have someone, anyone else who can play first on the roster (probably parmelee at this point). There is no need for the weak bench bat of Herrmann at this point. Maybe next season Herrmann becomes the backup, if Pinto proves himself, with Mauer still as the emergency catcher.

    Bartlett will shine or stink. But chances are he won't make the team. That said, the Twins only need one backup infielder who can play ALL three positions at the moment.

    Yes, if they sign someone like Baker who can play 1st and 3rd, maybe many of us would be a tad happier.

    The outfield is crowded. Mastro will hold down the 4th spot until Hicks proves himself at Rochester. Who stays depends on how well Presley plays.

    We can't really write Kubel in totally at DH, but look for him to get the chance.

    The Twins will carry 12 pitchers. Worley, Diamond, Swarzak, Duensing will battle it out for three spots. Deduno will start if he starts. Picture the Twins to dangle bullpen in spring training and probably take a prospect in return to eliminate the logjam. Someone will be injured, no doubt...so it is nice to deal from strength. It's all those players (Diamond, Deduno, Worley, Parmelee, Plouffe) that are out of options that is...scary/

    You want to say TAKE THE BEST 25 NORTH. I hope the Twins doo
    -doo that.
  3. The Wise One's Avatar
    Thinking the Twins will carry 6 relief pitchers is a glaring error. They cannot average 80 innings each in this age of 6 inning starters. 8 relievers is not bloated when you consider total innings
  4. johnnydakota's Avatar
    The Twins will break camp with 2 catcher , but some time by June, Ron will need the security of a 3rd catcher on the 25 man roster,Just like has in the past . As for Joe Mauer being an emergency catcher , Me thinks he will be , but will only catch a few innings( 1-4 ) untill the plan lands from Rochester
  5. Boom Boom's Avatar
    It should just be two. Neither Pinto nor Suzuki should be the DH at all.
  6. AScheib50's Avatar
    I feel like it has to just be 2 catchers. I was always under the impression Gardy had his third catcher just because he Dhed Mauer and hated to idea of losing the DH spot for one game should the catcher get hurt while Joe DHed...I always found this crazy (even though I was at the game where I believe Garza had to hit because the above scenario actually happened) But with these catching options, none should be DHing anytime soon so that concern should be gone, thus the need for a third catch is out the window...right?
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