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Article: Mauer and the Monster

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#1 E. Andrew

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:59 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...and-the-Monster

#2 John Bonnes

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:05 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.

#3 troyhobbs

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:58 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?

#4 E. Andrew

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:15 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.

Edited by E. Andrew, 08 August 2013 - 08:18 AM.
It's 9:15, and I have to correct their/there


#5 Lonestar

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:45 AM

Sign Sin-Soo-Choo 5 Years/$105M

#6 StormJH1

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:24 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 12h Joe Mauer doesn't need to hit home runs to be a great hitter. #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinions

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.

#7 StormJH1

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:27 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.

#8 drjim

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:32 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.

#9 Ultima Ratio

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:44 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.
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

#10 ThePuck

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:57 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.

Edited by ThePuck, 08 August 2013 - 01:12 PM.


#11 troyhobbs

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:35 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

#12 Linus

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:37 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.

#13 troyhobbs

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:37 PM

This.


So it's impossible to improve via free agency?

#14 benchwarmerjim

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:55 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.

#15 Linus

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:04 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.

#16 troyhobbs

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:34 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.

#17 Teflon

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:44 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.

#18 ThePuck

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:49 AM

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?

Edited by ThePuck, 09 August 2013 - 11:53 AM.


#19 KGB

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:10 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)

#20 ThePuck

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:52 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...

Edited by ThePuck, 09 August 2013 - 02:55 PM.


#21 KGB

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 04:28 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.

#22 tcarlic

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 04:50 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.

#23 ThePuck

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:03 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.

#24 Teflon

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:26 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.

#25 KGB

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:44 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.

#26 ThePuck

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:05 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.

#27 RodneyKline

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:53 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.

Edited by RodneyKline, 10 August 2013 - 06:57 PM.


#28 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:08 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.

#29 Teflon

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:38 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.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:44 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.