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Thread: Joe Mauer just another catcher

  1. #1
    Senior Member Double-A
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    Joe Mauer just another catcher

    Doesn't everyone think it is time to stop worrying about Joe Mauer. To me it is obvious that he is ready to go and the injury stuff can be put to rest atleast for him. I am not worried about Mauer's health at all anymore. The questions can be asked how he will do this year, but I think the injury concerns will not be the problem. What does everyone else think. I expect Mauer to be his all-star level self again and hit over .300 and get on base over 35-40 percent of the time. It is obvious that his days of hitting 28 homeruns were a fluke and likely will never happen again. However he is what he is and for that he will be the best doubles hitter in the game.

  2. #2
    I am not worried one bit about the injuries going into this season. Sure, he may get hurt at some point during the season as any player does but I think people need to put last year behind them. He has now had a full offseason to get in shape and from everything I have read and seen he looks ready to go. I am also expecting a more "Mauerlike" season. I am guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of a .325-.330 average and about 10-13 home runs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Chad,

    A .325-.330 BA, with 10-13 HRs and 80 RBIs is a joke for somebody who is getting paid like one of the top players in MLB. $23 million a season for average production is a joke and fans should demand more. Why is it against the law of Twins bloggers to expect more. I just don't understand!!
    Last edited by Fanatic Jack; 02-18-2012 at 09:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    A .325-.330 BA, with 10-13 HRs and 80 RBIs is a joke for somebody who is getting paid like one the top players in MLB. $23 million a season for average production is a joke and fans should demand more.
    Jack, that's completely inaccurate, or rather, incomplete assessment just based on those three statistics. What's more, is that he can certainly be worth $23M a season even while hitting what you consider "average production." In 2008, Mauer hit .328, had 9 HRs and knocked in 85 RBIs. In 2010, Mauer hit .327, had 9 HRs and drove in 75 RBIs. In those respective seasons his value was worth $28.1M and $22.5M. What those three stats do not show was Mauer's ability to get on base (.413 and .402) or his ability to play a vital position that offers little in terms of offense compared to the league average.

    The real thing that would inhibit him reaching his contractual value would be if he was no longer a regular catcher - which may still be a very real possibility.

  5. #5
    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Well, I think it's completely valid to worry about Mauer's health this upcoming year. I'd love to see him have a healthy year, but he's worn down in previous years, ended 2010 hurt, and 2011 was a complete meltdown, much of which was unexplainable just because he "didn't have time to recover." Maybe that narrative is correct - maybe things just snowballed. But stuff happens during a season, bodies wear down, and I'm just not sure Mauer's body can take the wear and tear of catching even 100 games/year any more.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    Jack, that's completely inaccurate, or rather, incomplete assessment just based on those three statistics. What's more, is that he can certainly be worth $23M a season even while hitting what you consider "average production." In 2008, Mauer hit .328, had 9 HRs and knocked in 85 RBIs. In 2010, Mauer hit .327, had 9 HRs and drove in 75 RBIs. In those respective seasons his value was worth $28.1M and $22.5M. What those three stats do not show was Mauer's ability to get on base (.413 and .402) or his ability to play a vital position that offers little in terms of offense compared to the league average.

    The real thing that would inhibit him reaching his contractual value would be if he was no longer a regular catcher - which may still be a very real possibility.
    Well, right, and that's the elephant in the room. In fact, I've been somewhat surprised that all we hear in-season every year is how Mauer needs to move to 1B, 3B, LF, etc., and yet, changing Mauer's position wasn't part of the narrative this offseason at all! When I think back on all of 2011, about the only encouraging things I can think of from that horrible year were (a) Baker pitching well, especially later in the year, and (b) Learning that Mauer can play 1B pretty effectively. For all we know, Morneau could be essentially done, so it seems strange to me that more people aren't talking about getting Mauer out from behind the plate, his low back and knees appear to be two of his most "diagnosable" problems!

    And Parker is entirely right when he says that his position affects his contractual value. Look at the AL alone and tell me with a straight face that you would rather have Mauer as an everyday 1B over the other options there. And while some of those guys make Mauer money (Puljos, Cabrera, Fielder, etc.), most of them do not.

    Calling Mauer an "elite doubles hitter" is just false. If you take Mauer's best season (2009), he was 4th on that team in doubles behind Kubel, Cuddyer, and Morneau. Of course, that was the year Mauer hit 28 HR. But Mauer's never been in the Top 10 in baseball in doubles (http://www.baseball-reference.com/le..._top_ten.shtml), though catching and injuries probably limit some of his at-bats. And if you look at the list of guys who do lead the league in doubles, it's guys like Cabrera, Cano, Butler, etc. In other words, hitting doubles and hitting home runs are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the vast majority of the guys who end up with 40+ doubles are also 20+ HR guys, because hitting the ball to the warning track or off the wall is a pretty reliable way of getting a double. And of course, Mauer since 2010 (and especially at Target Field, where Mauer has his 1 home run in two seasons) has not been a 20 HR guy. I also don't it's a sure bet that Mauer hits at .325, maybe .290 or .300. Of course, he's still an extremely valuable player because of his on-base percentage, but not to the degree of $20 million plus per year, at least not so far.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Mr. Ed's Avatar
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    Why is it against the law of Twins bloggers to expect more. I just don't understand!!


    Lowered expectations. 'Seems like' too many times the front office sets it up that way, the media runs with it and many fans buy into it.

    When ownership's goal is to contend, you've already lowered expectations. That's been the goal of ownership year after year. Not to win it all.

    Just contend. I don't get it.

  8. #8
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
    When ownership's goal is to contend, you've already lowered expectations. That's been the goal of ownership year after year. Not to win it all.
    I'm not sure there's a meaningful difference between those two things. People act like there's some magical formula to winning a championship that doesn't apply to winning a division, and I don't buy it. Sure, it helps to have more power pitching and power hitting, but that's easier said than done -- especially on a budget.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Mr. Ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    I'm not sure there's a meaningful difference between those two things. People act like there's some magical formula to winning a championship that doesn't apply to winning a division, and I don't buy it. Sure, it helps to have more power pitching and power hitting, but that's easier said than done -- especially on a budget.

    Bah to the 'budget'. If the Twins are going to cut back on the spending, then they have to make better decisions than 4 mill on Capps, and 3 mill on Yoshi.

  10. #10
    Call it lowered expectations if you must - but I'll be happy if he can ground out to 2nd 20% less that he did last year. Drives me nuts!

  11. #11
    When Nishi first arrived in Spring Training last year, he practiced on a separate field, didn't wear the Twins uniform (something about earning the honor to wear it), and had an army of Japanese press tracking his every move. I can't speak to how well he was received by his teamates, but from a fan's perspective he seemed to distance himself from the team. It just seems like he made the wrong first impression and with his injury occuring so quickly into the season, he was never able to be comfortable with himself and his teamates until the season was lost.

    Here's hoping a normal spring training can allow him to fulfill the ability that Bill Smith and his scouts saw when they signed him.

  12. #12
    I think you have to concerned about Mauer's health. Just because he's coming into this season purportedly healthy, the guy has had so many injury concerns, you have to think that his health is going to be an issue until he demonstrates otherwise. Maybe it would be different if his previous injuries were the type that aren't ongoing. And if he's going to play catcher, he's going to get dinged up at some point.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack View Post
    Chad,

    A .325-.330 BA, with 10-13 HRs and 80 RBIs is a joke for somebody who is getting paid like one of the top players in MLB. $23 million a season for average production is a joke and fans should demand more. Why is it against the law of Twins bloggers to expect more. I just don't understand!!
    We have different interpretations of average. Regardless, he doesn't put up power number hitter numbers because he isn't- and never has been (aside from possibly 2009)- a power hitter.

  14. #14
    I think Mauer health will be less of an issue this year. Last years primary injury was pretty nasty , doubt anyone would wanna play with a torn rectum (no joke , it's common in sports and explains everything)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    I think it's very foolish to NOT be concerned about Mauer's health. He's a catcher who's had multiple knee surgeries, and complications stemming from it, he also had shoulder issues last season and a common cold or "general soreness" have kept him out of the lineup before. I'd be very concerned. Does this mean he won't stay healthy? No. But I'm not close to being ready to say "everything is behind him so lets put this conversation to rest." I believe it's VERY valid to be concerned.
    Follow me on Twitter: @HangingSL
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  16. #16
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    I am not concerned about his health in the total-breakdown sense, but I am concerned about how he has been in September in years prior to last year. This gets remedied by moving him to 1B more and by DHing him more. His value goes down because he isn't putting up those great numbers (and they have been, aside from last year) as a catcher anymore, but if this means he also has his legs under him in September, maybe his overall value doesn't change that much given increased PAs. Also, 3B would probably be the ideal position since 1B is more of a power position.

  17. #17
    Wasn't Mauer's injury problems last year largely due to the surgery he had limiting the time he had to prepare physically for the season? Now he has a whole year to work out and get into the shape to play in 140+ games. Hes probably somewhat embarrassed about last season, so that will only drive him more. I don't think we can deny his hitting ability; his hand-eye coordination and his approach, and if he has a full offseason to develop a solid base, I don't see why he can't get some power back.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Triple-A Dilligaf69's Avatar
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    I think Joe will be fine....listen his health will always be a concern, but 100 games at C and 40-50 at DH/1B should be expected. And Mauer will hit again, no doubt about that. In fact this lineup if healthy will hit, pitching is the much bigger concern for me.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Double-A
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    Justin Morneau is signed for 2012 & 2013. HIS health and production will determine if they try to re-sign him or move Mauer to 1B/RF/DH.

  20. #20
    If only the Twins had a catching prospect who could fill in if Mauer ever got hurt... Boy what a luxury that would be.

    Oh to be a young man dreaming.

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