05-13-2012, 07:48 PM #1
So far, the Twins are 3-1 when he's catching. Since he joined the team, they are 1-7 when he's on the bench. He hasn't really hit any worse than we expected, and isn't really hitting any worse than expected. He's got 3 hits and one run over 12 ABs, compared to Plouffe's 4 hits and two runs in 31 AB over his last ten games.
When Mourneau comes back, I really think Butera's worth keeping around. It's going to be a bit of a juggle to get Doumit and Mourneau AB's, but honestly I'd much rather have Butera starting and Doumit as a PH option than the other way around.
05-13-2012, 08:19 PM #2
You have to keep Doumit's bat in the lineup everyday end of discussion. I have always been a big Plouffe backer and I've always thought if we just gave him a chance, he would eventually produce. I have now given up all hope. He has had chances at SS, 2B in the outfield and now at 3B. Not only does he struggle in the field and at the plate, he now can't even make simple baseball plays 1) like getting in a run down so that a run can score from third and 2) getting a good jump from third on a squeeze play. I'm not even going to mention the missed pop up in front of the plate. I'd like to see Drew stick around, but we need a another middle infielder or 3B. Hopefully Danny can get things figured out in Rochester and reclaim his spot at third and allow Gardy to play Lexi only as a Utility infielder.
The short answer to your question is that although I too would like to see Drew stick around, when Mourneau comes off the DL, he needs to go back to Rochester.
Last edited by minn55441; 05-13-2012 at 09:00 PM.
05-13-2012, 08:52 PM #3
I agree Butera hasn't been as horrible as expected, but there's no way he should get starts over Doumit, who is leading the team in RBI, and would probably have a lot more if those batting behind him weren't so weak and he got some better pitches to hit. Butera may be improved and may be a good defensive catcher, but there's no way he starts over Doumit right now.
05-13-2012, 09:01 PM #4
05-13-2012, 09:15 PM #5
He's been quite impressive behind the plate. I think he calls a great game and today, he deserves a lot of credit for diamond's results. offensively, I'm not worried about him at all. When looking at the TWins top 20 issues, Drew Butera probably isn't in them.
05-13-2012, 11:34 PM #6
05-14-2012, 12:29 AM #7
So, Butera's not horrible, and maybe helped Diamond pitch his second beauty. OK.
It's too bad about Plouffe. It seemed like he had a bat. Maybe if he hit at a .400 clip his next 10 games...In a way I'm glad the team's still hoping he'll still seize the day, you never know. And, Capps isn't an abomination. Another quasi-bright spot in a dark and lonely season.
05-14-2012, 01:37 AM #8
Maybe it's just a coincidence, or maybe I am mistaken, but my impression is that our pitchers fare better when he is catching.
05-14-2012, 08:14 AM #9
Yes, and the Twins are 2 - 0 in games that Scott Diamond starts- maybe he should start every game?
Sarcasm aside, I think it says more about how bad the starting rotation has been and less about Butera's presence behind the plate. He's certainly got a reputation as a good game caller, but I think 4 games is much too small a sample size to say that Butera needs more starts than he's already gotten.
The team is still going to need production throughout the lineup to be successful. I'd credit Dozier's call-up and Valencia's demotion as well with their recent modest success. It looks like it will still be a really rough season for the Twins, but the recent moves seem to have at least re-kindled some optimism.
05-14-2012, 08:40 AM #10
Butera has far from represented what's wrong with the Twins since he came back up. I'm not a big fan but the team was awful before he got here and they've been slightly less awful in the games he's played since being called up. If you want to blame the Twins for lacking better options than Butera that's fine but that's not Butera's fault, he hasn't hurt the team at all.
None of us are on the field but he certainly looks like he provides a steadying influence for Diamond, he came back after that wobbly 4th inning and settled right back in again, his communication with Butera seemed to play a part in that. 14 shutout innings for that battery, I'll take that any day, especially compared to what else we've seen so far.
05-14-2012, 09:09 AM #11
Honestly I wish I knew for sure what impact the catcher has on the pitcher. (I know there are some advanced metrics that give an idea but I'm not sure anything is totally accurate). When they show the centerfield camera angle, it is pretty clear that Butera presents a different target than Mauer and Doumit. Does that make a difference? Does his play calling make a difference? Has it just been that Diamond was used to him and is willing to trust his play calling and could spot his pitches?
There just hasn't been a big enough sample size this year to make a judgment. And last year was such a mess I'm not sure you can draw any conclusions there either.
Butera has been a little better at the plate -- how much of that can be credited to Brunansky? But you can't set Doumit down. Of course, I'm not convinced that Morneau will be back for a long period so we may end up with 3 catchers for a period yet.
Last edited by JB_Iowa; 05-14-2012 at 09:12 AM.
05-14-2012, 09:23 AM #12
As far as Butera's hitting "improvement" it is all related to the Sample Size (12 PAs). And speaking of, he still has a .558 OPS; not ground shaking. On the other hand, I just hope some team is interested enough in him to be a thrown-in in an upcoming trade.-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
05-14-2012, 09:25 AM #13
In about a full season's worth of at-bats for a catcher, Butera has been historically bad as a hitter and decidedly average as a defender. I don't trust defensive metrics in general and certainly don't trust them for catchers in particular, but from what I've seen Drew is OK as a catch and throw guy, calls a decent game, but that can't make up for his terrible hitting, which has really no upside. If Drew miraculously hit .230 and mixed in an occasional walk or XBH, he would be fine to catch three days in two weeks, but I don't think that will happen.
05-14-2012, 09:27 AM #14
I think you are mistaken in your understanding of cause and effect....Win Twins.
05-14-2012, 09:27 AM #15
On another side of this issue, catchers are falling like flies (Ianetta, Ramos, etc.). Given that the Twins look horrendous, perhaps they can get something of value for Doumit, who can hit and from my view has shown himself to be an acceptable receiver.
05-14-2012, 09:31 AM #16
05-14-2012, 09:45 AM #17
Since I was at that atrocity that was the Thursday night game, I've come to the conclusion that Doumit is a terrible defensive catcher. It's not just losing pop-ups and not thinking to look behind him for the ball - he lunges at pitches close to the corners of the plate, making it difficult for umpires to call them strikes. He's no more a catcher than Matt LeCroy was.
05-14-2012, 10:00 AM #18
if you follow the link for all catchers, you'll see that Butera has a negative influence on framing pitches. Even if you don't believe the numbers are precise, I'd say that the conclusions of the study indicate that Butera is likely not quite the help with the pitchers as you all think. He's about neutral. Now, compared to Doumit, he's a framing savant. Compared to Mauer, he's statisically about the same.
There is a huge difference between correlation, and causation. I find it amazing that people believe that Butera starting makes it more likely the Twins win games. His offense was historically bad last year. No amount of catcher defense can make up for the number of runs he does not produce as a hitter.Win Twins.
05-14-2012, 10:23 AM #19
I'll take my chances until Diamond starts struggling. I thought that Butera deserved a ton of credit for working with Diamond yesterday. I know his history and I accept his offense. Diamond did not have his best stuff at all. He was giving up some ropes, but Butera went out and talked to him at the right times. I thought his pitch selection was tremendous, knowing at certain times Diamond was just not throwing the ball where he wanted. I'm not a big Butera fan, but I do think that sometimes, just sometimes, you have to give credit where credit is due, and yesterday, I thought Butera deserved a ton of credit for his work with Diamond.
05-14-2012, 10:36 AM #20
Seth, that is very fair. There will be games where he does make a positive difference, no doubt. The question is, is that likely to happen game after game after game.Win Twins.