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tobi0040

How long will Mauer stay at 1B

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When I first heard that Mauer was moved to 1st, I was thrilled. Then I started to wonder, why first base?

We have Arcia and Willingham in the corners. Mauer seems to be a better athlete and certainly has a better arm than both.

Sano is at 3B and has been described as a project there. I can't imagine him being a better athlete than Mauer, even at 30. I hear Sano has a good arm, but I am giving Mauer the nod there as well.

I can see Mauer playing 1B when he is 35, but he is 30 years old. The only thing that makes sense to me is 1B being a temporary position. We want Arcia and Sano to stick where we have them today and we want Willingham to audition in LF so we can potentially trade him to the NL.

It seems like the best place, both offensively and defensively for Mauer would be one of those three places. Is it just a matter of time before he is moved again?
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  1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
    Do not underestimate Arcia's arm. I read once that Hicks said Arcia has a great arm.
    Also, Sano has a cannon. Almost certainly better than Mauer. If Sano cannot stick at 3B they'd likely move him to RF.

    That said, Mauer would probably be an upgrade in LF.
    It will be interesting to see what happens, but I suspect he will play 1B until he retires.
    Updated 03-07-2014 at 03:40 PM by Oldgoat_MN (I write like an 8 year old.)
  2. ericchri's Avatar
    Aren't outfielders the second most common concussion candidates after catcher? I doubt he's ever going out there, either.
  3. tobi0040's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN
    Do not underestimate Arcia's arm. I read once that Hicks said Arcia has a great arm.
    Also, Sano has a cannon. Almost certainly better than Mauer. If Sano cannot stick at 3B they'd likely move him to RF.

    That said, Mauer would probably be an upgrade in LF.
    It will be interesting to see what happens, but I suspect he will play 1B until he retires.
    We are talking about a guy that had a pick between a top two pick in the MLB draft and being the QB at Florida State. Arcia and Willingham were at best shaky in the corners last year.

    If Hicks does not turn out or can't hit enough to warrant a corner spot, it would seem like the makings of a good lineup if you have Mauer in LF, Buxton in CF, Arcia in RF, Sano at 3B, Dozier at 2B, and you could sign a 1B and DH. Hicks needs a lot more time before we conclude that. But if that happens or Sano can't stick at 3B defensively it would seem like an easy shift.
  4. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
    I also think he stays at first base. It might have been possible to see Mauer and Morneau at some point play the corner positions, but no dice. Mauer could play a better third than Plouffe I have no doubt.

    I admit I'd love to see Mauer in the outfield getting under a medium-deep fly ball on a sac fly situation, just to see how he throws
  5. sandbun's Avatar
    I suspect they're wasting Mauer's athleticism putting him at 1st, but they'll probably keep him there unless someone else that they need in the lineup (Sano?) proves absolutely unable to play any position other than 1st base. This is the Twins and Gardy after all - they love putting guys into little boxes and pretending they fit there. 1st base is where you move guys who can't play their old position (unless RF is open but we've got plenty of outfielders) so that's where he'll go.
  6. Teddy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sandbun
    I suspect they're wasting Mauer's athleticism putting him at 1st, but they'll probably keep him there unless someone else that they need in the lineup (Sano?) proves absolutely unable to play any position other than 1st base.
    Respectfully, I don't know that I agree. I think a good first baseman can save a lot of errors from an erratic infield. We know that Plouffe is erratic, and Sano is improving, but some of his hurried throws are off the mark. Florimon is only keeping the SS seat warm until Santana is ready, so it's possible next year we have two error-prone guys on the left side of the infield, so a smooth glove at 1B is imperative.

    Mauer may not be there yet, with less than 60 MLB games at the position under his belt, but his glove work has the potential to be Gold Glove caliber once he gets the position down. That will only help the infield next year when the kids are ready.
  7. glunn's Avatar
    Nice blog, tobi, and some thoughtful responses. I still dream of Mauer being tried out at 3B.
  8. Dainir's Avatar
    It is a good thought with Mauer being as athletic as he is, however, there is more to it than just using his athleticism to the max. If you move Mauer from first who fills that void? If you are just shuffling Mauer to fill position X and having that player play first, you aren't doing much of a service to the team. The lineup would be the same, just the defensive capabilities would change.

    As for the defensive aspect, having a tall left handed first baseman, that digs the ball out of the dirt with the best of them is the ideal first baseman. That description fits Mauer. So, in order to get Mauer to move from first base, we need someone who would look to be an significant improvement offensively compared to the player whose spot Joe would be taking.

    Not to mention that player coming up would have to be serviceable as a first baseman. I don't think there will be anyone in the minors that will put that pressure on the club But if Colabello starts tearing the covers off balls or Parmelee finally lives up to the potential we saw in his first call up things could get interesting.

    If either of those events happen I could see Mauer filling in for Plouffe, or Willingham.

    The other interesting idea, is that Mauer's athleticism does allow for the Twins to consider trading Willingham or Plouffe with out much trouble for the line up.
    Updated 03-09-2014 at 08:27 PM by Dainir (rewording and a spelling error)
  9. tobi0040's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dainir
    It is a good thought with Mauer being as athletic as he is, however, there is more to it than just using his athleticism to the max. If you move Mauer from first who fills that void? If you are just shuffling Mauer to fill position X and having that player play first, you aren't doing much of a service to the team. The lineup would be the same, just the defensive capabilities would change.

    As for the defensive aspect, having a tall left handed first baseman, that digs the ball out of the dirt with the best of them is the ideal first baseman. That description fits Mauer. So, in order to get Mauer to move from first base, we need someone who would look to be an significant improvement offensively compared to the player whose spot Joe would be taking.

    Not to mention that player coming up would have to be serviceable as a first baseman. I don't think there will be anyone in the minors that will put that pressure on the club But if Colabello starts tearing the covers off balls or Parmelee finally lives up to the potential we saw in his first call up things could get interesting.

    If either of those events happen I could see Mauer filling in for Plouffe, or Willingham.

    The other interesting idea, is that Mauer's athleticism does allow for the Twins to consider trading Willingham or Plouffe with out much trouble for the line up.
    Short term, I think we would be better defensively with Mauer at 3B, LF, or RF. True the lineup would be the same if we are simply shifting the other player to 1B.

    Long term, I think it is easier to find a bat to put at 1B. You can find a player built like David Ortiz or Prince Fielder, or an aging OF player that can hit. We could potentially have Sano, Mauer, Buxton, Dozier, Arcia, and fill two positions where you can typically find a power hitter (1B and DH).

    Internally, Vargas may fill one of those spots in a year or so. But it leaves the door open for the other. A 35 year old Vlad Guerrero a few years back for example. That is a good and deep lineup.

    3B, LF, or RF Mauer is an absolute plus bat. But you can rattle off a quick list of hitters that are likley more valuable to their teams at 1B (offensively). Cabrera, Votto, and Davis has been lately.

    Then a few more that are probably going to alternate better years with Mauer....Goldschmidt, Teixera, Prince, Freeman, etc. Then another group who Mauer is likely going to put up better numbers than, but not by a large amount. Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez, Encarnacion.
    Updated 03-10-2014 at 08:26 AM by tobi0040
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