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The third catcher

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#1 jorgenswest

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:34 PM

It has come up in each of the broadcasts. The commentary goes something like "Pinto might be able to be that right handed bat off the bench or DH when he isn't catching"

Gladden will reply that you couldn't use him that way. What if the starter gets injured and you used your back up or he is a DH?

Is this a reasonable line of planning for a manager? Is every time you might lost the opportunity to pinch hit really worth the cost of the very unlikely event the starting catcher will get injured and Escobar would have to play a few innings at the plate?

Is it really worth putting Doumit in RF and endure certain poor fielding just in case he is at DH when the starter is injured?

Why not have Pinto start 100 games at catcher and another brunch at DH? Why not use him to pinch hit when he is on the bench? He is a key to the 2016 team. By that time we don't want to be wondering like we are about Parmelee. He needs to have enough plate appearances (1000) by 2016 so he has gone through the back and forth of adjusting with the league. Often the source of the mythical sophomore slump.

What's the plan in the very unlikely event that Suzuki is injured after Pinto has pinch hit? Why not Mauer? The likelihood that an emergency catcher is ever needed is very small. If needed, the likelihood that a concussion will result in an inning or two of catching is equally as small. Mauer takes a greater risk every time he goes to the plate than he will in the role of emergency catcher.

There are at most 13 spots for position players. Let's use them well.

#2 stringer bell

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 03:42 PM

I pretty much agree. However I don't see Pinto DHing much and only pinch hitting occasionally and then only in late innings. There should be very little need for a third catcher.

#3 Kwak

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 03:57 PM

I pretty much agree. However I don't see Pinto DHing much and only pinch hitting occasionally and then only in late innings. There should be very little need for a third catcher.


On most teams--there is no need for a third catcher. But this team has Gardenhire as its manager.

#4 whatever54

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 04:16 PM

We have an emergency catcher, he plays 1st base, no need for backup backup catcher.

#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 04:35 PM

We have an emergency catcher, he plays 1st base, no need for backup backup catcher.


This. I thought it was ridiculous to keep three catchers back when Mauer caught and occasionally played DH.... In his career, how many times did we actually need to bat the pitcher? I remember once. Either way, a 3rd catcher is silly, but in this case, I highly doubt Mauer is going to say no if Pinto were DHing and Suzuki got hurt.

Of course, given what it appears that the Twins will be having on their bench this year, I'm not sure how much better off they will be than if they let a pitcher hit.

#6 ScottyB

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 05:39 PM

If they go with 12 pitchers and they keep both Pinto and Herrmann, I'd be okay with 3 catchers as Herrmann can back up in the OF as well. I see he got some reps at 1B today. I'd love it if they gave him some time at 3B as well. If Herrmann as a bench guy could play C, OF, 1B and 3B as well as pinch hit, I'd be just fine with 3 options.

#7 snepp

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 06:02 PM

The third catcher



Sounds like a horror flick to me.
"Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
- Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

#8 ashburyjohn

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 06:06 PM

Sounds like a horror flick to me.


... From Planet Rochester.

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 06:07 PM

I don't think Mauer will be catching even in an emergency. And I'm not sure he should.

Moving him to 1B is all about protecting his health. It seems to me one of the easiest ways for him to get hurt would be to get behind the plate on an emergency basis when he hasn't been preparing for it and is in a totally different mode.

#10 notoriousgod71

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:24 PM

I don't think Mauer will be catching even in an emergency. And I'm not sure he should.

Moving him to 1B is all about protecting his health. It seems to me one of the easiest ways for him to get hurt would be to get behind the plate on an emergency basis when he hasn't been preparing for it and is in a totally different mode.


Maybe the sun will be bright one day so he'll want to catch instead of play first base.

#11 Uncle Jesse's Mullet

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:43 PM

The third catcher debate reminds me of the old Sean Connery Celebrity Jeopardy sketches on Saturday Night Live. We're talking about a catcher here, not a longshoreman or a firefighter. The catcher's job is essentially to sit behind the plate and play catch. If it gets to be where the first choice catcher and his deputy are for whatever reason not able to play, then Gardenhire should literally be able to pick anyone on the roster to play the position for a couple of hours. Since most backup catchers hit like pitchers anyway, Gardenhire doesn't even have to limit his search to position players. He should literally be able to pencil ANY player's name in for a few innings. Hell, he should be able to pick from any of the thousands of fans at the stadium, for all the ability the backup catcher position requires.

Seriously, the "who is going to be the 3rd catcher" thing needs to stop right now. Two, Pinto and Suzuki, should be all we ever need. Ever. If something catastrophic happens, then call up someone from AAA. But, for the love of god, don't hamstring the roster all year long because your manager is as creative as a turnip.

#12 kab21

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:49 PM

3rd catcher - just say no

And Pinto hopefully isn't DH'ing that much. I expect Pinto to hit very well for a catcher but it's unlikely to be impressive as a DH. I HOPE somebody is able to outhit Pinto as a DH but that might be wishful thinking.

#13 jorgenswest

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:04 PM

I don't think Mauer will be catching even in an emergency. And I'm not sure he should.

Moving him to 1B is all about protecting his health. It seems to me one of the easiest ways for him to get hurt would be to get behind the plate on an emergency basis when he hasn't been preparing for it and is in a totally different mode.


Good point about god preparation.

My interest is Pinto getting enough playing time over the next two years do that in 2016 he is settled in as a regular or it is known he can't hit or field the position.

That doesn't happen if he sits on the bench because the Twins do not to have a third catcher and Gardy won't risk using him.

#14 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 10:19 PM

Is it really worth putting Doumit in RF and endure certain poor fielding just in case he is at DH when the starter is injured?

Whoa, is it just me, or was this written last Spring Training?

#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:01 AM

3rd catcher - just say no


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#16 ericchri

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 08:12 AM

It should hopefully be less of an issue this year as you're never going to be using Suzuki as a DH. Granted you might use Pinto in that role, but he's going to have to prove he can hit well enough for that to be the case, and frankly he doesn't have enough career history for that to be a given. He might very well be in AAA, anyway, to start the year.

I've mentioned this before, but I'll toss it out again, anyway. I don't think we're there yet, but I wouldn't be shocked if within 5-10 years many teams are trying to carry 3 catchers as a standard. Not because of some inane fear of pitchers having to bat, but to spread out the beating that the catchers take and hopefully lessen the likelihood of injuries (especially concussions). The problem of course is finding enough catchers that you consider "competent" to play at the level. I honestly think catcher concussions might be the final impetus to actually expanding the roster size limits beyond 25 players.

#17 kab21

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 08:35 AM

Catcher concussions should be the final impetus to a much different solution than just carrying more catchers to spread out the beating. If catcher concussions continue to be as bad as they have been recently then something more substantial has to be done for the players. Force all runners to slide and I don't think they have even begun to tap into better helmet/mask technology.

#18 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 08:38 AM

I am very confident they won't carry a third catcher to start the season, their simply isn't a need nor is there room.

Honestly, I would just prefer they lose the DH that one in a million time rather than put Mauer back at Catcher anytime as an "emergency".

Also, if Pinto is hitting well enough to be a a part time DH candidate....then he will be hitting enough to be the every day catcher. If his bat becomes so valuable that you can't keep it out of the lineup (long shot) ala Mauer, then by all means explore the third catcher angle down the road.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald

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#19 notoriousgod71

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:19 AM

My question is whether Gardy will bat Suzuki third or not since well, you know, he's the catcher now and that's where catchers bat.

#20 tobi0040

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:59 AM

On most teams--there is no need for a third catcher. But this team has Gardenhire as its manager.


I agree. When it looked like Gardy may lose his job, it is these bizarre decisions that had me pulling for him being fired. The third catcher, needing a "hard throwing righty" out of the pen over someone with better numbers, etc. These tendencies can be dissuaded with an excel spreadsheet and about five minutes by factoring the likelihood of using a 3rd catcher against the missed bench spot.

This decision made no sense on days Mauer was the DH last year and they make less sense now with him at 1B. Gardy seems too stubborn to me and needs to be open to alternative ways of thinking.

#21 DuluthFan

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:38 PM

The Twins do not need a third catcher this year or for that matter going forward. The primary reason for the Twins to have had a third catcher no longer exists. Mauer is no longer the catcher.

Since Mauer was the most productive hitter on the roster, there was need to keep his bat in the lineup as a DH on the days he needed rest from catching. The Twins no longer have their best hitter catching and therefore do not need to have their catcher spend time as a DH. The twins only need two catchers now. The starter and the backup. The DH spot can now be used to rotate and rest other position players or they could have a full time DH. They certainly have enough players with no primary position to play.

If the Twins no longer need to rotate the catcher through the DH position, then a catcher known for his defense has more value for this team than a offensive catcher who will not play as often. In this case Pinto should be sent to AAA until he is ready to take over for Suzuki full time. He will have more time to develop his catching skills playing full time at Rochester. Fryar or Hermann would be better suited to be the major league backup.