04-20-2012, 02:31 PM #21
The downside is that Drew Butera doesn't belong in major league baseball. I cannot believe how anyone could possibly defend bringing him up.
04-20-2012, 02:38 PM #22
A little back of the napkin figuring....
In 2010, when he was on the roster the whole year and Mauer's primary backup, Butera got 155 AB in 170 plate appearances. Let's assume he gets about 150 plate appearances, though that seems high. Furthermore, let's ONLY take a look at offensive impact, not counting any defensive value.
According to Baseball-reference.com, Butera has created 20 runs in 407 plate appearances or .048 runs per plate appearance.
Meanwhile, Hughes has created 31 runs in 335 plate appearances, or .092 per plate appearances.
The difference between those guys is .044 runs per plate appearance.
Over 150 plate appearance thats....6.6 runs difference. That's 2/3 of a win or less than 1% of the runs the Twins will produce this year.
It is also well within reach of what Butera could add just by gunning down a few baserunners.
I spent most of the offseason on the podcast asking that the Twins get some reasonable alternatives to Butera. But from a practical standpoint, they have. This kvetching seems like a knee-jerk reaction, a bad habit that we've developed, a Pavlovian defense mechanism.
04-20-2012, 03:07 PM #23
Nor is Gardenhire worrying about losing the DH if he has to move Mauer or Doumit from that role to catcher an unsubstantiated fear. Given that the situation described here is EXACTLY what would happen, this is a completely substantiated fear. Finally, as John himself said, who exactly do we think would be getting the random AB's when Gardy doesn't have either Mauer or Doumit starting at catcher?
04-20-2012, 03:09 PM #24
04-20-2012, 03:32 PM #25
There may be a 7-10 guys with more value for the roster than Butera in Rochester. I don't care that it may only be 2/3 of a win. It's still 2/3 of a win, A, and B, some of these guys could overperform (Carson, Hollimon, Bates, etc.), but we know Butera is going to bat .200 at most and maybe crack .550 OPS if extremely lucky. It seems that the Twins have plenty of guys who could top .650 OPS. Is it so much to ask for a bench that has adequate or better than adequate bats at least in some situations (LH/RH)? There is no situation where one would ever want Drew Butera to be at the plate than any of those players. Even though he has sucked at Rochester (who cares given he is splitting time with two duds), if Gardenhire is so hellbent on having three catchers, I would prefer to see what Towles can do when given the opportunity.
I always laugh when I hear something like "at least they know what to expect from" x player (often Nick Punto was that x) as a reason to sign or utilize that player. Well we know exactly what to expect from Butera (and Rivera) and that is badness.
04-20-2012, 03:35 PM #26
04-20-2012, 03:44 PM #27
04-20-2012, 03:45 PM #28
As for "useless" - that's my point. Yeah, Butera is relatively useless. So would be an extra middle infielder. Or a 5th outfielder. Or a 13th pitcher. To me, whatever move the Twins make is almost a freebie.
04-20-2012, 03:45 PM #29
Let me say one thing, in defense of Butera ever being on the roster . . . if the Twins would (in May?) ever go with a 5 man bench and 11 pitchers (crazy idea, I know . . . hell 11 used to be high back when I was a kid). That last spot would literally be for a defensive replacement in close games only.
Last edited by Shane Wahl; 04-20-2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: be for, not before
04-20-2012, 03:54 PM #30
I suppose the evidence could be Gardenhire quotes raving about Butera's defense, but what does that really prove? Only that Gardenhire feels the need to publicly reward a guy for playing defense (or publicly defend a guy he knows can't hit his way out of a paper bag.) If he didn't do that, wouldn't we criticize him for going after him like Valencia.
04-20-2012, 04:04 PM #31
yeah, I don't get where people think that Gardy is a big Butera guy. They like his defense... they've been very upfront about the offense. I'm not in favor of a 3rd catcher, but I am in favor of Doumit in the lineup every day, and again, there aren't a lot of changes made in the game, so playing with a 3 man bench and a 3rd catcher, not a big deal.
And, if Butera was up the whole rest of the season, I can't imagine him getting more than an average of two plate appearances a week. That might be high. I think we're talking about late-inning defense and late game injury replacement. That puts him at like 60-70 plate appearances. Can't make much difference to a team's season in that few at bats.
Last year was a weird year that Twins fans need to get over. He got that number of plate appearances because Mauer was hurt and there wasn't a Doumit on the roster. That wouldn't happen again.
04-20-2012, 04:07 PM #32
Morales (and Ramos) was better than Butera in 2010, but Butera made the trip up North.
Rivera has been a better catcher in 2011 (if you look at AAA numbers as well; and Liriano has been more effective with Rivera catching him than with anybody else) but Butera is the one who stayed with the team when Mauer was deemed ready.
Now you are going to hear the excuse that Butera is a "great defensive catcher". Look at the numbers, especially PBs to see whether the excuse is substantiated by the numbers. Fact: Last season Butera had more PBs than Doumit/inning caught
So that's that... There is no smoking gun, but....-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
04-20-2012, 04:14 PM #33
The sad part is we're even discussing this, the reality is this is about what the best thing to settle for is. It would be nice if the Twins could use that freebie on someone who could actually help the team. That's my point.
04-20-2012, 04:21 PM #34
Ramos was a fulltime guy, that's why he wasn't there. I'll take your word on Morales.
I personally might have given Rivera more time, but it's worth noting that he hit .144 in the majors. So there might be an edge there, but it's a small edge. Plus, it only shows that a) the organization didn't choose the right, nearly worthless catcher, but that hardly shows a Gardenhire bias. And
b) that Gardenhire is going to be anxious to give whoever comes up a lot of at-bats.
I'm not saying Gardy doesn't like Butera. I just don't see a lot of evidence that he's going to give him a dangerously large role.
04-20-2012, 04:37 PM #35
But on the other hand, part of the issue is that the bench is already much better than it has been in the past. On most night, Gardy can turn to a decent choice or at least work things to have a matchup in his favor. Even now, I don't even mind the 13-man pitching staff. If anything, this team needs a lot more bullpen options than bench options. And that's because it doesn't look like a bad offensive team right now.
04-20-2012, 06:19 PM #36
I would rather have the Twins carry a extra pitcher than a catcher. The downside is Mauer & Domit gets less at bats. Let's keep the bench fresh.
04-20-2012, 09:35 PM #37
04-20-2012, 09:49 PM #38
I agree with most of John's posts. The last bench player isn't worth all this fuss.
04-21-2012, 12:02 AM #39
04-21-2012, 12:10 AM #40
Is the worry about losing the DH? How much better is Butera than a pitcher?
Is the desire to have a better defender at catcher on the bench? Maybe reasonable.
As long as Butera doesn't start, I would rather see him than Towles. If Mauer is out with injury, I'd rather see Towles.