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Thread: Is Pinto getting a fair shake?

  1. #61
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I guess my qualm is with the mindset that says you try to win the game in late innings rather than putting your best team forward from the get-go. I think back to the 2010 team with Thome at DH and all the 1st inning runs we scored. We ended up with well over 100 first inning runs, it gave us a huge advantage and allowed pitchers to just groove strikes and put opposition batters in a defensive posture. As compared to recent Twins teams always digging out of a early hole, and our batters strikeout swinging at bad pitches in a desperate attempt to muster a comeback. Games are as often won and lost in the first 4-5 innings as they are in the 8th and 9th, maybe more often.
    I would add my qualm with the mindset that says three PAs from poor hitters throughout the lineup in innings 1-7 can be overcome with a single PHer appearance later...and constructing your roster to accommodate that strategy.
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  3. #62
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I guess my qualm is with the mindset that says you try to win the game in late innings rather than putting your best team forward from the get-go. I think back to the 2010 team with Thome at DH and all the 1st inning runs we scored. We ended up with well over 100 first inning runs, it gave us a huge advantage and allowed pitchers to just groove strikes and put opposition batters in a defensive posture. As compared to recent Twins teams always digging out of a early hole, and our batters strikeout swinging at bad pitches in a desperate attempt to muster a comeback. Games are as often won and lost in the first 4-5 innings as they are in the 8th and 9th, maybe more often.
    Ideally, you would do both. You would have a roster that could score runs early, and you would have a bench that could come from behind when needed. To that tend, I think Pinto is your guy as the starter, maybe not in April, but at least by June. And you would have a DH/PH situation with thunder on the bench when needed. Barring a Morales singing, my money is on a Kubel/Colabello platoon.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  4. #63
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    With catcher being such an important position and with few projectable catching options in the system at this time, I was thinking the Twins signed Suzuki to start until June and then Pinto would be recalled in June. The Twins will want him to start and get playing time. As such, starting with the team would almost certainly get him "super 2" status and arbitration eligibility one year sooner than waiting until June.

    Here is mlb.com's explanation of the "super 2" arbitration provision.

    Q: When does a player become eligible for salary arbitration? A: A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a "Super Two" and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 22 percent (increased from 17 percent in previous agreements) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.

  5. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by SydneyTwinsFan View Post
    This suggests Gardy at least is on board with Pinto splitting time with Suzuki. Interesting he suggests pairing him up with starters he connects well with.


    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/...nt_id=69227470
    Nice article, Seems they are high on him and once he can handle all the pitchers it will be his job. Whether that is this year or next.

  6. #65
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    The knocks on Pinto's defense have always been vague and indirect, IMO. This article might be the most specific I've seen, but it still doesn't tell me what I want to know.

    • Game calling: what is it they don't like?
    • "Good relationships with umpires": an intriguing comment, is he setting up an inch too far back, or not crouching quite far enough down, or some other physical thing? Or does he get hot-headed and mutter a curse word at every borderline ball called? Or what?

    And more generally, is catcher defense such a black art that no one can just come out and say in the interview what is the problem? The "book" on individual pitchers and hitters is sufficiently well known that players and coaches alike can talk about their strengths and weaknesses without giving away the really sensitive stuff. Why don't I feel the same openness about "inside baseball" when it comes to catching?

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  8. #66
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Catching defense isn't just blocking... Throwing and framing.

    The catcher is your QB. He faces the whole field... sees the whole field... He calls the cuts... He runs the show.

    But even more importantly. He is involved in the game plan prior to the actual game... He calls the pitches during the game. He works with the entire staff. If a curve isn't biting like it should... He sees it... He talks with the pitcher about it. He will call less breaking pitches if it isn't doing what it should. They become a unit and having an experienced catcher is important and it isn't something that shows up in the measure able stats that most of us look at.

    I believe that 9 times out of ten. When they talk about a catcher needed to work on defense. They are not talking about POP time or blocking balls in the dirt.

    It's the whole thing.

    A catcher who struggles working with the pitchers can cause us ordinary fans to be angry at our pitching staff because of inflated ERA's.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

  9. #67
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Your points are well taken, but I still have a hard time understanding why nobody will come forward with a critique of a young player like Pinto that is more focused than "everything".

    "Just work on everything at AAA, and if everything is better we'll call you up, son."

    I'm an analytic guy; I'm just thirsting for a smidgen more breakdown of the things he needs to work on. Surely some parts of his game behind the plate are OK.

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  11. #68
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    Your points are well taken, but I still have a hard time understanding why nobody will come forward with a critique of a young player like Pinto that is more focused than "everything".

    "Just work on everything at AAA, and if everything is better we'll call you up, son."

    I'm an analytic guy; I'm just thirsting for a smidgen more breakdown of the things he needs to work on. Surely some parts of his game behind the plate are OK.
    I watched him catch last September and I saw nothing defensively that concerned me at all.

    I think he will be fine fundamentally when his time comes. It's the rest that I assume needs some seasoning.

    I have no idea what the Twins game plan is with Pinto but I assume its risky to give the job to a rookie at that position based on his tantalizing offensive upside with only a September worth of experience.

    If you don't sign Suzuki... You are rolling the dice big time with no insurance (ala Aaron Hicks). Let the Vet start the year behind the plate and eventually if Pinto continues to hit at AAA and gets some more experience working with pitchers and calling games... Footwork... Whatever.

    He will steamroll Suzuki eventually and the job is his forever and ever or until he hits FA.
    Last edited by Riverbrian; 03-14-2014 at 09:33 PM.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

  12. #69
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    He will steamroll Suzuki eventually and the job is his forever and ever or until he hits FA.
    Or until he gets conked in the melon by a stray round and the replacement level guy behind him coming down the ramp of the Higgins boat becomes the new squad leader.

    Sorry, over the top, I know, but after all the talk about PST and Wet Blanket Awards, I couldn't resist. Hope Pinto (and the rest of the organization!) stays healthy and sports medicine and equipment people figure out how to minimize the danger of concussion.

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  14. #70
    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    Catching defense isn't just blocking... Throwing and framing.

    The catcher is your QB. He faces the whole field... sees the whole field... He calls the cuts... He runs the show.

    But even more importantly. He is involved in the game plan prior to the actual game... He calls the pitches during the game. He works with the entire staff. If a curve isn't biting like it should... He sees it... He talks with the pitcher about it. He will call less breaking pitches if it isn't doing what it should. They become a unit and having an experienced catcher is important and it isn't something that shows up in the measure able stats that most of us look at.

    I believe that 9 times out of ten. When they talk about a catcher needed to work on defense. They are not talking about POP time or blocking balls in the dirt.

    It's the whole thing.

    A catcher who struggles working with the pitchers can cause us ordinary fans to be angry at our pitching staff because of inflated ERA's.
    I agree with every word..

    ..and then I realized, if true, that's quite an indictment on Mauer as a backstop. Considering our ERAs in recent years. So there's got to be more to it.

    Maybe Pinto has progressed this far without being able to communicate with pitchers effectively or call a good game, or whatever. Could be true. That would be unfortunate. One month of good stats last September (plus a good Spring training so far) will be a poor reason to start him in the minors. My personal opinion is bring him up Day 1. Let him learn major league catching skills in the majors. If he does struggle with the bat he can be optioned.

  15. #71
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    Your points are well taken, but I still have a hard time understanding why nobody will come forward with a critique of a young player like Pinto that is more focused than "everything".

    "Just work on everything at AAA, and if everything is better we'll call you up, son."

    I'm an analytic guy; I'm just thirsting for a smidgen more breakdown of the things he needs to work on. Surely some parts of his game behind the plate are OK.
    The Twins have been open about this. He needs to learn the opposing hitters and his own staff and how to use those weapons to attack the hitters. It's not like he can't do it. It just takes time to learn it. Suzuki is really good at it, though he still needs to learn his own pitchers a bit.

    Catching is not a black art. But it is difficult to measure because there are so many variables. More than any other position, it requires a keen scouting eye to evaluate catchers. Very few reporters have that. So what we get from the media is vague.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  16. #72
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    The Twins have been open about this. He needs to learn the opposing hitters and his own staff and how to use those weapons to attack the hitters.
    It seems to me this would be difficult in Rochester.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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  18. #73
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    This is Pinto's 9th season on the organization. They have developed him exclusively as a catcher. Any thought that a little more time in the minors is going to make a significant difference doesn't make sense. If there were easy things to fix with his catching fundamentals what have they been doing his last 8 years? If he isn't an adequate catcher, it is either a failure to develop his skill or a failure to recognize that he won't develop the skill. I think he will be an adequate catcher.

    This is the perfect year to play him the majority of time at catcher.

    It it is difficult to have a rookie catcher. It may cost games as he learns the league. Would we rather have that next year? Let's go through growing pains now.

    Pinto is not being blocked by a good regular. Suzuki is is a poor thrower and a poor framer. In the last three years pitchers throwing to the other catchers on his teams performed better. He will not hit well. He is a veteran that works well with pitchers. His experience has value as a back up to a rookie catcher. Let's use that veteran experience to help develop Pinto now.

    A 9th year in the minors is not going to help. The Twins need to find out this year if he can defend adequately at catcher. They need to know next winter if they have a solution at catcher.

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  20. #74
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    This is Pinto's 9th season on the organization. They have developed him exclusively as a catcher. Any thought that a little more time in the minors is going to make a significant difference doesn't make sense. If there were easy things to fix with his catching fundamentals what have they been doing his last 8 years? If he isn't an adequate catcher, it is either a failure to develop his skill or a failure to recognize that he won't develop the skill. I think he will be an adequate catcher.

    This is the perfect year to play him the majority of time at catcher.

    It it is difficult to have a rookie catcher. It may cost games as he learns the league. Would we rather have that next year? Let's go through growing pains now.

    Pinto is not being blocked by a good regular. Suzuki is is a poor thrower and a poor framer. In the last three years pitchers throwing to the other catchers on his teams performed better. He will not hit well. He is a veteran that works well with pitchers. His experience has value as a back up to a rookie catcher. Let's use that veteran experience to help develop Pinto now.

    A 9th year in the minors is not going to help. The Twins need to find out this year if he can defend adequately at catcher. They need to know next winter if they have a solution at catcher.
    This. Plus, what does it say to the organization when a player basically kills it at three levels and still gets sent down in favor of a journeyman?
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  22. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    This. Plus, what does it say to the organization when a player basically kills it at three levels and still gets sent down in favor of a journeyman?
    A lot of executive decision-making is based on "how will I look if the decision is wrong," which is often given more weight than "what gives us a better chance for success." In sports, a common manifestation is to play veterans instead of rookies. An earlier comment to this thread was to the effect that wanting Pinto to start ahead of Suzuki could show a short memory as to Hicks' performance last year, as if one rookie failing to jump from AA to the majors suggests that all rookies should get more seasoning at AAA before going to the majors.

    Besides the fact that Pinto performed successfully last year in AAA, major league (and Twins) history is full of players that successfully started on opening day in their rookie years, many of whom with little or no AAA experience. However, if that rookie bombs, then fingers get pointed at management, for wrongly placing the young player in harms' way, whereas if a veteran doesn't perform well, then the player seems to bear the brunt of the blame, under the theory that he failed to live up to past performance.

    The decision-maker is the same person, but starting the veteran seems to pose less risk to the decision-maker, because there is a greater acceptance that starting unseasoned players, while possibly being higher reward, is also higher risk. This decision-making bias will be even stronger when a recent event shows the risk of of starting the unseasoned player, even if it could be proven statistically that choosing a rookie would lead to a better result the majority of the time.
    "Where's the Crede?"

  23. #76
    Watching your Twins play my Mets right now. Hoping to see Pinto play as I am a fan of his. They started Fryer at C.

  24. #77
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Labruno View Post
    Watching your Twins play my Mets right now. Hoping to see Pinto play as I am a fan of his. They started Fryer at C.
    Fryer looks brutal. He has yet to pick anything at the shoe tops or below, letting several of them go through the wickets.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  25. #78
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deduno Abides View Post
    A lot of executive decision-making is based on "how will I look if the decision is wrong," which is often given more weight than "what gives us a better chance for success." In sports, a common manifestation is to play veterans instead of rookies. An earlier comment to this thread was to the effect that wanting Pinto to start ahead of Suzuki could show a short memory as to Hicks' performance last year, as if one rookie failing to jump from AA to the majors suggests that all rookies should get more seasoning at AAA before going to the majors.

    Besides the fact that Pinto performed successfully last year in AAA, major league (and Twins) history is full of players that successfully started on opening day in their rookie years, many of whom with little or no AAA experience. However, if that rookie bombs, then fingers get pointed at management, for wrongly placing the young player in harms' way, whereas if a veteran doesn't perform well, then the player seems to bear the brunt of the blame, under the theory that he failed to live up to past performance.

    The decision-maker is the same person, but starting the veteran seems to pose less risk to the decision-maker, because there is a greater acceptance that starting unseasoned players, while possibly being higher reward, is also higher risk. This decision-making bias will be even stronger when a recent event shows the risk of of starting the unseasoned player, even if it could be proven statistically that choosing a rookie would lead to a better result the majority of the time.
    I have no problem with Pinto not starting on opening day. I just don't want to see him sent down. Counter-productive to his development. Plus, after watching Fryer for the first time, I don't get what they see in him.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  26. #79
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    It seems to me this would be difficult in Rochester.
    A subscription to Baseball America costs less than $100. Where there's a will, there's a way.

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  28. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    A subscription to Baseball America costs less than $100. Where there's a will, there's a way.
    For Josmil's sake, is there a BA Spanish edition?

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