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Article: Catching No Longer an Option For Mauer

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:10 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...n-For-Joe-Mauer

#2 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:18 PM

I would be curious to hear from those who have advocated him remaining as catcher because of the greater difficulty of finding a catcher who can produce offensively than a first baseman. I wonder if the length of his being sidelined, which is far longer than most people were anticipating, has given them any pause.

#3 TheLeviathan

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:27 PM

I'm still in the boat of playing him at catcher until it's obvious he can't physically handle it anymore. But during these lean years when we are awful I'd like to see them scale it back considerably to protect him for the long run.

#4 blindeke

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:28 PM

what a bummer.

#5 JB_Iowa

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:29 PM

I haven't been advocating one way or the other. I get that Mauer's value is higher when behind the plate but we knew the amount of time there would always diminish.

Question, though: there was always interest among some fans in Mauer going to 3rd instead of 1st. Do we now find that to be an impossibility? Has he aged out of playing 3B? Are we so sure that Sano will be at 3rd that we aren't even interested in trying Mauer there?

#6 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:31 PM

Question, though: there was always interest among some fans in Mauer going to 3rd instead of 1st. Do we now find that to be an impossibility? Has he aged out of playing 3B? Are we so sure that Sano will be at 3rd that we aren't even interested in trying Mauer there?


Where does Sano play then? First? Short?

#7 JB_Iowa

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:34 PM

Where does Sano play then? First? Short?


Probably 1st although I also saw something about one of the outfield spots. It just seems like the articles lately are still talking about his defensive problems more than his offensive.

I don't know the answer. Maybe Sano sticks at 3rd but if not, I guess I'm asking if it is ludicrous to think of Mauer at 3B???

#8 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:42 PM

Probably 1st although I also saw something about one of the outfield spots. It just seems like the articles lately are still talking about his defensive problems more than his offensive.

I don't know the answer. Maybe Sano sticks at 3rd but if not, I guess I'm asking if it is ludicrous to think of Mauer at 3B???

I've long been an advocate of Mauer to third base.

But...if Sano can play third (and I don't know, but if) then it makes no difference if Mauer is at first and Sano at third, or vice versa.

#9 Thrylos

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:47 PM

But...if Sano can play third (and I don't know, but if) then it makes no difference if Mauer is at first and Sano at third, or vice versa.


Sure it does. Mauer is taller and he is accustomed to digging balls out of the dirt. Sano isn't. First base is not a dumping ground, you actually need some skills to play and it is one of the most important defensive positions in the game because of the frequent contact...

And Sano is a fine third baseman. Matter of fact better on the field than most of the Twins' starting third basemen the last few years (including Koskie at similar stages of their careers. Coskie was a butcher in the minors...)
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#10 Seth Stohs

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:50 PM

I haven't been advocating one way or the other. I get that Mauer's value is higher when behind the plate but we knew the amount of time there would always diminish.

Question, though: there was always interest among some fans in Mauer going to 3rd instead of 1st. Do we now find that to be an impossibility? Has he aged out of playing 3B? Are we so sure that Sano will be at 3rd that we aren't even interested in trying Mauer there?


The Mauer to 3B thing never made sense, and it was never something given and credence by the Twins or by Mauer...

#11 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:53 PM

Sure it does. Mauer is taller and he is accustomed to digging balls out of the dirt. Sano isn't. First base is not a dumping ground, you actually need some skills to play and it is one of the most important defensive positions in the game because of the frequent contact...


One of my favorite parts of Moneyball:

[FONT=Verdana]Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.[/FONT]

#12 Alex

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:04 PM

One of my favorite parts of Moneyball:

[FONT=Verdana]Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.[/FONT]


Movie line used to create tension.

#13 Shane Wahl

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:05 PM

One of my favorite parts of Moneyball:

[FONT=Verdana]Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.[/FONT]


Haha. Good reference here.

#14 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:05 PM

Movie line used to create tension.


I know. I like it anyway.

It's right up there with:

[FONT=Verdana]Billy Beane: Would you rather get one shot in the head or five in the chest and bleed to death?[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Peter Brand: Are those my only two options?[/FONT]

#15 Shane Wahl

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:08 PM

I am on board with ending Mauer's time behind the plate. He can serve as the third (emergency, in game) catcher only.

#16 JB_Iowa

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:10 PM

I am on board with ending Mauer's time behind the plate. He can serve as the third (emergency, in game) catcher only.


Great point. If Gardenhire is still around, that really solves the 3 catcher problem although since Sweet Drew went to LA, its been less of an issue anyway.

#17 Larsbars08

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:25 PM

Is it worth having a good hitting catcher, considering how volatile and the significant injury risk that playing catcher has? Is it worth paying a catcher big money considering how volatile the position is?

I have very mixed feelings about this. Obviously there's a huge problem with Catchers and concussions. Catcher is clearly the most dangerous position on the diamond. Whether from concussions or home plate collisions. There has to be some sort of solution to this, because it's a massive baseball problem when 10 of the 18 players who have gone on the concussion DL are catchers. Considering that's pretty much 1/6th of all catchers in the MLB. It seems like there is a small chance every pitch, that a catcher will suffer a concussion. There has to be a way to protect catchers, because otherwise every catcher out there is a ticking time bomb. Some might get lucky and others won't be lucky, and that seems unacceptable.

If Buster Posey or Yadier Molina had a concussion, would those teams move them from behind the plate? Should they be preemptively moved? The Nationals moved Bryce Harper to the outfield as soon as they drafted him, should that be done for any promising hitter who also plays catcher? I know I'm asking a lot of questions and I'm not sure there's many answers, but major league baseball has a serious issue. I don't know why teams aren't throwing millions of dollars into new and improved helmet tech. Because something needs to be done, and improving the helmets seems to be the only answer that doesn't involve changing the game.

Edited by Larsbars08, 24 September 2013 - 09:28 PM.


#18 kab21

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:28 PM

I have been an opponent of moving Mauer from 1/2 time catcher but a serious concussion changes things. There is a substantially higher risk of another concussion (my understanding of concussions) after you have had one and catchers are always at risk.

I think Sano has shown enough this season defensively that the Twins shouldn't block him by moving Mauer there. If the Twins had no decent 3B prospects in the minors (like most years) and a good 1Bman then 3B would be an option but this isn't the case.

This would create a spot for Doumit on next year's roster if Mauer isn't catching part time. Previously I felt he was expendable with Mauer/Pinto catching and the fact that he really doesn't hit enough to be a regular DH. In addition to the Twins have other options at DH like Willy.

#19 kab21

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:35 PM

Is it worth having a good hitting catcher, considering how volatile and the significant injury risk that playing catcher has? Is it worth paying a catcher big money considering how volatile the position is?

I have very mixed feelings about this. Obviously there's a huge problem with Catchers and concussions. Catcher is clearly the most dangerous position on the diamond. Whether from concussions or home plate collisions. There has to be some sort of solution to this, because it's a massive baseball problem when 10 of the 18 players who have gone on the concussion DL are catchers. Considering that's pretty much 1/6th of all catchers in the MLB. It seems like there is a small chance every pitch, that a catcher will suffer a concussion. There has to be a way to protect catchers, because otherwise every catcher out there is a ticking time bomb. Some might get lucky and others won't be lucky, and that seems unacceptable.

If Buster Posey or Yadier Molina had a concussion, would those teams move them from behind the plate? Should they be preemptively moved? The Nationals moved Bryce Harper to the outfield as soon as they drafted him, should that be done for any promising hitter who also plays catcher? I know I'm asking a lot of questions and I'm not sure there's many answers, but major league baseball has a serious issue. I don't know why teams aren't throwing millions of dollars into new and improved helmet tech. Because something needs to be done, and improving the helmets seems to be the only answer that doesn't involve changing the game.


Having an elite hitting catcher is worth it. Buster Posey ripped his knee up catching and he still catches almost full time. Yadi would punch somebody if they tried to move him from catcher.

Harper (and also Myers) were moved from catcher because it could have delayed their MLB arrival by 2 years. Boras actually pushed for it because Harper started accumulating service time significantly sooner. So injury risk wasn't really a factor in these decisions.

#20 stringer bell

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:40 PM

I was opposed to moving Mauer going into this season. With the impending free agency of Morneau and his subsequent trade, I then advocated making Joe a part-time first baseman believing that Pinto could be behind the plate for about half the innings, with Joe and Doumit or Herrmann splitting the other 50% of the innings. Now, I am with those saying that Mauer shouldn't be considered a catcher any more. He's one hard foul tip or home plate collision from perhaps being a shadow of himself and the Twins have a lot of money tied up in him. I agree that he could be the emergency third catcher. The time is now to make the move--the Twins don't have an incumbent first baseman and Mauer would have the entire spring to polish his first base skills, providing he has recovered from the concussion symptoms.

#21 ashburyjohn

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:45 PM

Mod note: nice thread so far. The moderators will be taking a dim view of trolling, so keep up the good work.

#22 Larsbars08

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:46 PM

Having an elite hitting catcher is worth it. Buster Posey ripped his knee up catching and he still catches almost full time. Yadi would punch somebody if they tried to move him from catcher.

Harper (and also Myers) were moved from catcher because it could have delayed their MLB arrival by 2 years. Boras actually pushed for it because Harper started accumulating service time significantly sooner. So injury risk wasn't really a factor in these decisions.


It does say on Harper's wiki page that he was moved from catcher to speed up his development AND extend his career. You can't really argue that injury concerns played no part in the decision.

Obviously having an elite hitting catcher is incredibly valuable, but if all those guys are a figurative roll of the dice away from a potentially debilitating brain injury, at what point do you move them?

#23 adjacent

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:46 PM

At this point, all I want is at spring training time, Mauer reporting without any issue. I would leave the position discussion until that time. In the meanwhile, cross your fingers.

#24 kab21

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:52 PM

It does say on Harper's wiki page that he was moved from catcher to speed up his development AND extend his career. You can't really argue that injury concerns played no part in the decision.

Obviously having an elite hitting catcher is incredibly valuable, but if all those guys are a figurative roll of the dice away from a potentially debilitating brain injury, at what point do you move them?


The weights I apply to your wiki source
95% speed up his development (getting that first big contract 2 yrs sooner)
5% extend his career (it would have happened anyway)

I think we are in the era where elite hitters like Posey and Mauer get moved in their early 30's anyways. The question is whether or not they catch 6-10 years before getting moved.

#25 jorgenswest

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:56 PM

I am concerned that symptoms will linger throughout the winter. Joe will not be able to maintain his workout regimen over the winter. He comes next spring in poorer physical condition (not his fault) having lost some weight and struggles at the plate. These brain injuries are serious and can have lasting impact.

#26 Larsbars08

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:02 PM

Maybe I'm being unnecessarily alarmist about this. I'm guessing that Mauer's career would have had less and less catching each year he got older regardless.

#27 halfchest

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:30 PM

What value he loses moving to 1B vs C he can at least partially make up for by playing more games which I assume he will. I liked his 2012 where he played about half the games at catcher took a dozen off and split the other half between 1B and DH. I think he can bring some value by being available to play C and probably could learn corner outfield. Let's say the Twins have Hermann and Josmil as the teams catchers with Joe at 1B. Josmil seems to have enough bat to play some DH and could possibly learn 1B as well. Hermann can play some C and is reportedly a solid defender at OF. I honestly haven't seen him enough to judge but reports I've read seem to say he's a good corner outfielder.

The point I'm saying does a platoon situation of Mauer as primary 1B playing maybe 20-30 games at C a year along with Pinto and Hermann make sense? I would push for Pinto to learn 1B as well. That way you can avoid callups if a guy has to miss a few days. Three capable catchers that are capable of filling DH and 1B on a semi regular basis could have some value.

Oh, and Doumit.

#28 kab21

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:05 PM

Let's put an end to all plans that involve Pinto spending any significant time at DH. He had a great season but realistic expectations have him as a .700-.750 OPS hitter. If scouts thought he was a good enough hitter to DH regularly (.775-.850 OPS) AND catch then he would be a top 50 (probably top 25 prospect).

I don't think Herman ever becomes a player worthy of regular starts either. Definitely not as an OF'er. His value is a once/twice a week starting catcher that has versatility to play the OF if needed. he just doesn't hit enough especially anywhere other than catcher.

#29 Thegrin

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:04 AM

We've had Mauer behind the plate for most of 10 outstanding years. He can play 1B and give us superior defense there. He has the ability to alter hist swing and give us more power. I say, "Thank you Joe. May you give us 10 more years at 1B."

#30 TheLeviathan

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:56 AM

I worry this is all premature until we actually know we have another catcher. Play Pinto plenty....but no permanant move yet for Mauer.