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Thread: Article: Drew Butera and Defensive Prowess

  1. #21
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    "But the Twins know that Hermann is good enough to be a second catcher, maybe even a starting catcher on some teams. He's more valuable to teams that don't have a Mauer and a Doumit in front of him for playing time."

    Based on? He had a good year at AA last year. I'm a big Herrmann fan, but I see no harm in him getting a couple of months in AAA. I am wondering what teams he would be starting for... and also, if you believe he is that good, why would you want him to come up to play one in four games?
    I think he's definitely good enough to be a backup, and potentially good enough to start for a team desperate for a catcher.


    I don't want him to come up and play in one-in-four games, but you suggested that the Twins might bring up Hermann to replace Butera at some point. In which case, he'd be playing in one-in-four games.

    Realistically I think the Twins are going to look to trade Hermann.

  2. #22
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I don't understand the skepticism over pitch framing. We are talking about a sample of 22,000 pitches over 5 years, in Doumit's case. So, as historically bad as Butera's been with the bat, Doumit's been just as bad with pitch framing. That's why I wasn't so high on the Doumit extension. it guaranteed a roster spot for Butera. Those two are joined at the hip.

  3. #23
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    Parker, very informative. Thank you.

    Since Sweet Drew came up to the bigs, I've wanted this guy to succeed. Likely because "throws like Pudge, but he hits like.......". I can't help but be entertained when he throws the ball around the diamond to hold runners on. I'd like to think his value is locked into defensive prowless, intangibles, and character; but I can't help but think a third catcher is available who can hit (a little) and throw. Frankly, I've made up my mind that his general role is very little, and if an injury happened, we would see someone else for an extended time instead of 2011 Drew AB's (Hermann or otherwise). He's likely a hell of a guy the organization feels won't hurt them as much as he helps. For better or worse, he is what he is, and I'm willing to go with this one.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I don't understand the skepticism over pitch framing. We are talking about a sample of 22,000 pitches over 5 years, in Doumit's case. So, as historically bad as Butera's been with the bat, Doumit's been just as bad with pitch framing. That's why I wasn't so high on the Doumit extension. it guaranteed a roster spot for Butera. Those two are joined at the hip.
    Are you saying that if given the choice between having Butera on the roster or Doumit on the roster you'd pick Butera?

  5. #25
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Are you saying that if given the choice between having Butera on the roster or Doumit on the roster you'd pick Butera?
    I'm saying it might be a better use of $4.2m to go with one guy who is not completely horrible at one part of his job. Doumit necessitates Butera, and vice versa.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I'm saying it might be a better use of $4.2m to go with one guy who is not completely horrible at one part of his job. Doumit necessitates Butera, and vice versa.
    But...but....Butera hits worse than some pitchers?!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I'm saying it might be a better use of $4.2m to go with one guy who is not completely horrible at one part of his job. Doumit necessitates Butera, and vice versa.
    So, that's a yes? Are you forgetting Doumit does more than catch?

  8. #28
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    I don't see the Twins trading Herrmann. I think it's more likely that they'd trade Doumit.

    If we still think Mauer's time behind the plate is going to continue to be rationed during the rest of his contract, the Twins will always have a need for a catcher that can hit some and is versatile enough to play positions other than catcher. I think the Twins see Herrmann as the eventual successor to Doumit in his role, not Butera. Replacing Butera with Herrmann saves you a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. Replacing Doumit with Herrmann saves you a couple of million.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    I don't see the Twins trading Herrmann. I think it's more likely that they'd trade Doumit.

    If we still think Mauer's time behind the plate is going to continue to be rationed during the rest of his contract, the Twins will always have a need for a catcher that can hit some and is versatile enough to play positions other than catcher. I think the Twins see Herrmann as the eventual successor to Doumit in his role, not Butera. Replacing Butera with Herrmann saves you a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. Replacing Doumit with Herrmann saves you a couple of million.
    I guess I thought when the Twins signed Doumit to that extension late last season it meant they weren't going to trade him any time soon.

  10. #30
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    Instinctually I agree with that. That said, I still circle back to the fact that we do not measure defensive contributions of a catcher very well. So, for a back up catcher, is it possible to overcome that unbelievably bad offensive performance with some defensive value? I'm of the belief that, yes, defensive catchers have plenty of value but in the specific case of Butera, I don't think he compensates enough to make up for that deficit.

    My main point is I want someone smarter than me to come up with some push-button analyses that helps tell me how good he is at framing, controlling the run game, etc...
    Oh, I agree that catcher metrics are pretty awful at this point. Butera definitely gains back some of that offensive ineptitude with his glove.

    But it can't be enough to offset his horrible, awful, terrible bat. There's just no way a player can make up 200 OPS points with a glove. At the major league level, everybody is pretty good and there's just not enough room to be that much better in one facet of the game to make up for a glaring deficit as large as Drew's bat.

  11. #31
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    The reason we' need' Butera (or a player like him) is because we have two catchers who carry bats potent enough to want in the lineup together as much as possible by slotting them at DH or 1B or wherever Gardy's crystal ball says they should play if they aren't playing catcher. It's an issue created by having two catchers who can also hit very well.

    It's still not a reason to carry three catchers cause, at worst, one happens to be at DH when the other is hurt catching and we have the pitcher bat a whole 2, 3 times in that game before another catcher can be recalled for the next game.


    If Doumit wasn't on the team, or was just the DH, and Butera (or someone like him offensively) was the #2 catcher, we'd only need two catchers...

  12. #32
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    I've typed up and not posted more Butera-bashing posts than I'm honestly happy about at this point. I've not stopped myself from all of them, but an awful lot. He's easily one of my biggest peeves with the Twins of late. I'll simply say I don't think there's any way he's a good enough defensive player, pitch-framer, pitcher-psychologist, game-caller, etc..., to make up for his abysmal offense. His salary is of no concern to me in this equation, he could be making $200,000, he just isn't good enough to occupy a roster spot in my opinion. That roster spot could be used on something I would value more than his occasional defensive contribution (gimme back Jim Thome, please). My opinion doesn't really count for a whole lot, though.

  13. #33
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    But it can't be enough to offset his horrible, awful, terrible bat. There's just no way a player can make up 200 OPS points with a glove. At the major league level, everybody is pretty good and there's just not enough room to be that much better in one facet of the game to make up for a glaring deficit as large as Drew's bat.
    Right. Drew isn't just another of your typical bad-bat, good-field players, their places on a roster are usually justifiable. He's among history's all-time worst offensive performers. The collective putridity of the players on that list is truly a thing of wonder.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  14. #34
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    So, that's a yes? Are you forgetting Doumit does more than catch?
    You're right, Doumit's bat is worth keeping around, but he shouldn't be catching, not with this pitching staff. As long as Doumit's considered the 2nd catcher though, then Butera's defensive skills gain even more value. Coincidentally, as long as Butera is considered a viable catching option, then Doumit's bat gains even more value over his replacement.

    If you never let Doumit catch another game, then Butera would not be on the roster. So to answer your question, I'd rather have Doumit, not Butera, with that caveat.

    Unfortunately, the Twins view both Doumit and Butera as viable catching options.

  15. #35
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    Should this thread be categorized under: "Minors" or "On the Farm" ?
    Last edited by mnfanforlife; 01-18-2013 at 01:56 PM.

  16. #36
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Oh, I agree that catcher metrics are pretty awful at this point.
    Or is it that the metrics are trying to measure something that, at best, is such a small overall effect that it's hard to distinguish from statistical noise?

    I don't keep up with the latest, but around a decade ago the attempts to find something in Catcher's ERA turned up nothing of systematic value. I realize that CERA suffers from various defects, for instance if Butera is paired up with Pavano it means that you can't get reasonable comparative numbers versus Mauer that year; but still the researchers gave what I thought was a pretty good go at it, over a long historical period. It is astounding to me that someone more recently could determine a 1-2 win (10-20 run) variation just from pitch framing, yet CERA was such a dud before that.

    A good metric ought to tie to something tangible in terms of on the field results - if it is Runs then we're essentially back to CERA, so what would you suggest?

  17. #37
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    ThePuck & Hermann

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    The reason we' need' Butera ...

    It's still not a reason to carry three catchers cause, at worst, one happens to be at DH when the other is hurt catching and we have the pitcher bat a whole 2, 3 times in that game before another catcher can be recalled for the next game.


    If Doumit wasn't on the team, or was just the DH, and Butera (or someone like him offensively) was the #2 catcher, we'd only need two catchers...
    I think this is a really good point, ThePuck.

    I wish all the best for Chris Hermann. That said, a .276/.350/.392 slash line in AA suggests that he should spend some time at AAA before juming to MLB. As I've stated in other posts, that is a HUGE jump and only managed well by players such as Joe Mauer. There aren't many guys like that out there.

  18. #38
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    Would love to see Butera teach Meyer and May in AAA next two years, and Berrios in three for that matter... Hermann should be ready to swap with Butera sometime this year.

  19. #39
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    I believe that Hermann is way more valuable then Butera for the fact that he can play other positions. If you carry 12 pitchers and Butera you have a short bench without a lot of mobility. Now I agree you have to carry a 3rd catcher with Mauer and Doumit as your other 2 but if you have a guy who can play 3B, 1B and OF on top of it, the whole bench thing improves quite a bit.

    I do agree though that letting Herman get some AAA AB's is a good move, only problem I have is too many people in the Twins organization have way too much love for Butera.

  20. #40
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    As a best case a great catcher gives you 3-4 wins a year? Assuming Butera is a great catcher and he will likely catch 40 games so at best his defense will add 1 win. His bat being close to the worst in all of baseball will surely be a negative and probably enough to cancel anything added by his defensive greatness.
    Now the problem comes with the other 120 game he takes up a spot on the bench. He has no value at all during this these games and actually takes a spot that a more all around and productive player could take. This year with the inter league games spread out over the entire season it gets worse. Now the ptichers will need to be pinch hit for all year and not just bunched together. So now who is your pinch hitter? Sure you have the would be DH for one a bat but when the pitchers only go 6 innings it is likely that you'll need at least two pinch hitters a game.
    There is the problem as I see it he is a basic wash at best during the 40 or so games he plays but during the 120 or so he sits on the bench he is worthless. Can a team with limited talent afford that? IMO no.

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