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Thread: In Defense of Drew

  1. #41
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    In 2012:

    Mauer caught him 7 games(all of which before the "comeback" from the pen): 8.75 ERA
    Doumit 2 games: 10.57 ERA
    Butera: 12 games (10 of which were starts after he came back from the pen the other 2 were in the pen): 2.73 ERA

    Thus we can conclude 2 things from the all the numbers I posted in the past 3 posts:

    1. Mauer suddenly lost the ability to call a clean game.
    2. Butera isn't the main reason(or even close to the main reason) why Liriano is pitching well again.

    Well, there you have it.

    That makes it easier to stand by my earlier opinion, which is that having Butera on this roster isn't a terrible idea, given that, of the other 2 catchers, exactly zero of them is a full-time catcher. That said, we have to be honest about Butera's abilities. He's not magical behind the plate, but he's a perfectly competent option. It would certainly be better if he could hit well, but couldn't we say that about nearly every other bench player in all of the major leagues?

  2. #42
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
    It would certainly be better if he could hit well, but couldn't we say that about nearly every other bench player in all of the major leagues?
    The problem with Butera though is that before this year he was literally one of the worst hitters in the history of baseball. If he can keep a 70+ OPS+ going, he isn't going to kill you. But if he hits like he did in 2011 .167/.210/.239 24 OPS+ (worse then several pitchers) over 250 PA (ugh) he is going to cost your team wins, no doubt about it.

    The question is: Can he continue to hit for at least a .625-.660 OPS? If so, he's not going to kill you.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Triple-A gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    Like Riverbrian, at the beginning of the year, i didn't really want to see Butera on the roster.
    Butera signed a ball for one of my kids, so I kind of root for him. It's fun to hear my son tell his friends that he has a ball signed by the Twins' catcher. Of course, they assume it's Joe Mauer, so he has to tell them, "No, it's ... Dad what's his name again?" We've had that same conversation at least three times.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by rocketpig View Post
    To add on to Dave's posts, Drew was the primary catcher for the Twins last season (started 75 games, played in over 90) and the team ranked 29th in ERA despite playing in a ballpark that plays pretty damned big.

    Basically, people are just making up stuff so they feel better about the blight that is Drew Butera being in the lineup.
    Drew is part of the country club atmosphere here.....scholarship program as TRyan put it.
    After Frankie is gone, he either succeeds with another C or he doesnt & Drew is the answer. Think of the amount of talent we can get if we deal Drew to the team Frankie signs with!!!! Of course, by then, Drew will have turned Sam Deduno into the next version of Dave Stewart & we can get a boatload for him!!! Drew never stops givin

  5. #45
    Senior Member All-Star YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
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    Butera should be the Twins pitching coach. He can pitch well and call a game.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
    Butera should be the Twins pitching coach. He can pitch well and call a game.
    That ain't a half bad idea.



    I like Butera where he is, but I don't think he should play more. I think if you play him everyday, he is going to get overwhelmed like he did last year.

    He is well suited to being a backup catcher, and catching 1-2 times a week. Nothing wrong with that.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    The problem with Butera though is that before this year he was literally one of the worst hitters in the history of baseball. If he can keep a 70+ OPS+ going, he isn't going to kill you. But if he hits like he did in 2011 .167/.210/.239 24 OPS+ (worse then several pitchers) over 250 PA (ugh) he is going to cost your team wins, no doubt about it.

    The question is: Can he continue to hit for at least a .625-.660 OPS? If so, he's not going to kill you.
    Now, this I get. His numbers at bat last year were worthy of a Greek tragedy. That said, he was a rookie, and his game was never offensively oriented to begin with. I think he probably took some lumps last year but will end up being better. Maybe not .650, but certainly not .450. I think he'll probably normalize some 10-20 points over the Mendoza line, with an OPS of .600 or so.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
    Now, this I get. His numbers at bat last year were worthy of a Greek tragedy. That said, he was a rookie, and his game was never offensively oriented to begin with. I think he probably took some lumps last year but will end up being better. Maybe not .650, but certainly not .450. I think he'll probably normalize some 10-20 points over the Mendoza line, with an OPS of .600 or so.
    Problem is that Drew is entrenched as Gardy's backup C no matter what he hits. Some will say as long as he hits .200 with OPS of .600, but its already proven that Gardy will keep him with a .450OPS. He doesnt care since its his guy. Drew doesnt need to answer to anyone about his play.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
    Problem is that Drew is entrenched as Gardy's backup C no matter what he hits. Some will say as long as he hits .200 with OPS of .600, but its already proven that Gardy will keep him with a .450OPS. He doesnt care since its his guy. Drew doesnt need to answer to anyone about his play.
    I don't know that you can extrapolate that from one year. Who was behind Butera at that point that was a better option? Mauer had bilateral testicle weakness or whatever it was, and the Wilson Ramos trade took place in 2010. What, pray tell, were the 2011 options that Gardenhire so stupidly passed over in favor of Butera?

    Or perhaps it's possible that Butera was a guy who was marginally ready for the big leagues and was thrust into the role because of lack of options in the system. And if so, maybe we shouldn't judge him solely on his 2011 stats?

  10. #50
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
    Now, this I get. His numbers at bat last year were worthy of a Greek tragedy. That said, he was a rookie, and his game was never offensively oriented to begin with. I think he probably took some lumps last year but will end up being better. Maybe not .650, but certainly not .450. I think he'll probably normalize some 10-20 points over the Mendoza line, with an OPS of .600 or so.
    He wasn't really a rookie in 2011 though (just under the 150 at bat threshold but you get the point), in 2010 he produced a similar line in 155 PA (.197/.237/.296)

    Even with his 2012 campaign his lifetime OPS is still at .505 (39 OPS+) in AAA he had a .582 OPS and in AAA a .616 OPS. As much as I hope he can get to that .620-.650 threshold of "ok we can live with this offensive production out of a third catcher" everything but his 2012 sample size points to this not being likely.

  11. #51
    wasn't last year all about Rene Rivera "fixing" liriano... because he could whisper sweet nothings in spanish into frankie's ear?

  12. #52
    Senior Member Double-A BrentMpls's Avatar
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    I agree 100%, I hope he stays on the team for a long, long time.

    He got a lot of heat in the media after 2010 - Reusse in particular was threatening to drop his 4 legends club tickets on air if he is with the team the following season (he didn't drop them) and he is often the butt of on air jokes.

    It's clear his defense is superior to Mauer, and as you pointed out he seems to have a knack for brining out the best in our pitchers and takes more risks with calling pitches. One has to wonder if some of the initial success of veteran Pavano was due to having Butera as his 'personal' catcher. And while it is still sub par, his batting is better this year - if that can only pick up a bit more.

    This team has a lot of holes - I really don't think they should focus on getting a better swinging catcher and hope Butera is with this time for the long run when they might be competitive again.

  13. #53
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    The problem with Butera though is that before this year he was literally one of the worst hitters in the history of baseball. If he can keep a 70+ OPS+ going, he isn't going to kill you. But if he hits like he did in 2011 .167/.210/.239 24 OPS+ (worse then several pitchers) over 250 PA (ugh) he is going to cost your team wins, no doubt about it.

    The question is: Can he continue to hit for at least a .625-.660 OPS? If so, he's not going to kill you.
    This pretty much sums up the situation. Personally, I don't think he can maintain a respectable OPS. His May numbers are inflating a really awful June where he OPSed at .476. So far so good in July... He's OPSing at .643.

    If Son of Sal can keep it around .650, I actually have very few problems with him being on the roster. I just don't think he can do it.

    But no matter how he hits, we need to stop artificially giving him credit for magically curing the woes of the Twins pitching staff.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentMpls View Post
    One has to wonder if some of the initial success of veteran Pavano was due to having Butera as his 'personal' catcher.
    One could probably stop wondering, though, if they realized that Pavano's first half-season here was 2009 when Butera didn't appear for the Twins. And in 2010, Mauer caught 14 of Pavano's first 17 starts (Ramos caught one, also). After the first week of July, Butera started catching Pavano regularly (13 of his final 15 starts)...and Pavano's ERA stayed about the same (actually ticked up a tiny bit).

  15. #55
    Senior Member Triple-A Dilligaf69's Avatar
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    Seth.....Butera will NEVER get credit for anything in this or any other forum. He is considered a borderline AAA player by most. What he is is almost exactly what a backup C should be, solid defensively who works well with the pitching staff and who actually is not a black hole offensively this season. What makes it better is he's a 3rd catcher.

  16. #56
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    I'm more disturbed that everyone seems to think that having a 3rd catcher on the roster is OK.

  17. #57
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I'm more disturbed that everyone seems to think that having a 3rd catcher on the roster is OK.
    This should only disturb you if your #1 and #2 catchers play ONLY catcher. Given that Mauer and Doumit also play elsewhere in the field, having a #3 catcher on the roster makes sense.

    Given the continuing horrendous heat this summer, having 3 catchers makes quite a bit of sense to me. Despite improvements, that gear has to awfully hot. It really doesn't make sense to wear down 2 good hitters by constantly putting them behind the plate.

  18. #58
    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
    One could probably stop wondering, though, if they realized that Pavano's first half-season here was 2009 when Butera didn't appear for the Twins. And in 2010, Mauer caught 14 of Pavano's first 17 starts (Ramos caught one, also). After the first week of July, Butera started catching Pavano regularly (13 of his final 15 starts)...and Pavano's ERA stayed about the same (actually ticked up a tiny bit).
    Personally I think Gardy started putting Butera behind the plate in Pavano's starts in an attempt to slow down opponents running games just a bit. Butera was gonna give Mauer a break once or twice a week anyway, might as well be with Pavano, who gets run on. Mauer's arm ain't in the same league as Butera.

    It just became a routine, sorta like this year with Frankie.

  19. #59
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    I like Butera. He plays with a lot of enthusiasm, like every game might be his last (and if he was playing for any other team, that might very well be the case).

    Thing is, he's a minor league catcher. That's not a crime. If the Twins really need a third catcher, they could probably find a defensive specialist who hits better than Butera.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Personally I think Gardy started putting Butera behind the plate in Pavano's starts in an attempt to slow down opponents running games just a bit. Butera was gonna give Mauer a break once or twice a week anyway, might as well be with Pavano, who gets run on. Mauer's arm ain't in the same league as Butera.

    It just became a routine, sorta like this year with Frankie.
    Agree with the routine part. I don't follow other teams closely enough to know if they follow the same pattern, but it's long been a Twins move to have the #1 catcher get days off regularly by having the backup associated with a certain pitcher. Way back to Ortiz catching Scott Erickson I remember that happening. I don't know if it's true, but I always felt like it was often the "best" pitcher that got the offensively-less-adept catcher with the thinking that the better pitcher would need less run support.

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