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Thread: Article: Mauer and the Monster

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    Member Single-A E. Andrew's Avatar
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    Article: Mauer and the Monster


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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    To me, this raises two points:

    1. I'm not nearly as concerned about whether Mauer bats 2nd or 3rd as I am about whether he has someone in front of him that can get on base.

    2. His skills are being wasted on this team right now. I'm not sure how important that is and I'm not sure there is an easy solution, but I would sure love to see him hitting with some better hitters in front of him.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Double-A troyhobbs's Avatar
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    I know the Twins won't trade Mauer nor would I want to see that but why pay him all that money if you're not going to put better talent around him?

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    Member Single-A E. Andrew's Avatar
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    And without better talent, it'd be nice to see a couple more timely attempts to make something out of nothing. I know there are more than a few here that have a firm grasp of the base-out situations, and know that a bad bunter is a dumb man to have bunt. But in the right situation with a decent bunter, you can keep the defense/pitcher on their toes.

    I happened to watch last night's ninth inning on MLB network (they went to the game for Dozier's attempt at the cycle). Harold Reynolds was hammering on the fact that you should bunt at a guy like Greg Holland who falls WAY off toward first base... With guys that struggle against righties, try bunting at a guy like that. Florimon's at 44% (bunt-hit %) against RHPs, which is about what Gomez had in his first year here. That move never bothered me.

    Haha anyway, our problems are way bigger than that, but the little stuff could nudge things in the right direction.
    Last edited by E. Andrew; 08-08-2013 at 09:18 AM. Reason: It's 9:15, and I have to correct their/there

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    Sign Sin-Soo-Choo 5 Years/$105M

  6. #6
    Two things really summed up the enlightened fanbase coming full circle on Mauer and appreciating him as an all-time great talent, whose abilities are being wasted on this team.

    First, just watching Mauer in the 9th with 2 outs (I think). Team is down by multiple runs, there's no one on base. Mauer takes several pitches and then just laces one down the left field line for a single. Like Dick said, he swings one time and that's what happens. He can't hit a 3-run homer with nobody on-base, but did exactly what they needed, and of course the rally goes nowhere.

    Second was Perkins' tweet after the game. There was a hashtag meme about voicing unpopular opinions (could be about anything). Unsolicited, Perkins tweeted:

    Glen Perkins ‏@glen_perkins 12h Joe Mauer doesn't need to hit home runs to be a great hitter. #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinions

    That contract was not looking great when Mauer had...whatever he had in 2011. Yet, agree or disagree with the wisdom of the deal, he really has become everything you realistically could have hoped for.

    It's sad watching him waste away on a terrible team, but less so because I don't think Mauer's the type of "Alpha Dog" competitor who is tearing himself up apart inside because he's not in the Playoffs every year. As the star of a basketball team, that lack of "killer instinct" and ego might be a problem. But as one of 9 guys in a lineup, he just shows up for work and does his job extremely well, probably enjoys playing in his hometown, and that may be enough for him.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by troyhobbs View Post
    I know the Twins won't trade Mauer nor would I want to see that but why pay him all that money if you're not going to put better talent around him?
    I think they are trying, but the farm system was poor, and you really can't do that in free agency quickly unless you WAY overspend on a Fielder-type player, in which case they probably are beyond what their budget allows. It's tough to fans to grasp, but their current struggles were caused by what they did in their drafts and developmental system from 2004-09, which happened to be years when the MLB product was quite good. Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.

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    Mauer is far from the only great player on a lousy team. I suspect if the future didn't hold as much promise there would be more rumblings of a trade.

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    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    If he bats first, an RBI is impossible.
    I chuckled.

    Seriously, if 9 and 1 aren't getting on base, then wouldn't it make more sense to bat Mauer leading off? Either way he will have limited RBI opportunities, but then you get a 1) a few more ABs from him and 2) a guy on base for the 2-4 hitters.

    Try: Mauer, Dozier, Morneau, Hammer*, Arcia, Doumit, whatever...


    *When healthy again.
    Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormJH1 View Post
    Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.
    The Royals? When did they try to buy their way out of terribleness? I know the Mets have in the past, but they aren't now and I don't know when the Royals did.

    I agree with the premise of your post for the most part, not all, but most. Can you give some example years for the Royals? You talking this year when they finally aren't bottom feeding with their payroll? I mean I know they are above the Twins, but that's hardly an accomplishment...and they are in the playoff hunt...so they aren't exactly terrible.
    Last edited by ThePuck; 08-08-2013 at 02:12 PM.

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    Senior Member Double-A troyhobbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormJH1 View Post
    I think they are trying, but the farm system was poor, and you really can't do that in free agency quickly unless you WAY overspend on a Fielder-type player, in which case they probably are beyond what their budget allows. It's tough to fans to grasp, but their current struggles were caused by what they did in their drafts and developmental system from 2004-09, which happened to be years when the MLB product was quite good. Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.
    Fair enough but the payroll is down $45 million from the inaugural season at Target Field and will probably be even lower next year. You could pick up some serious talent with that kind of cash...or save it and lose 90 games a year consistently

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormJH1 View Post
    I think they are trying, but the farm system was poor, and you really can't do that in free agency quickly unless you WAY overspend on a Fielder-type player, in which case they probably are beyond what their budget allows. It's tough to fans to grasp, but their current struggles were caused by what they did in their drafts and developmental system from 2004-09, which happened to be years when the MLB product was quite good. Plenty of teams have tried to buy their way out of terribleness aggressively, and they usually fail the way the Royals and Mets have.
    This.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Double-A troyhobbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
    This.
    So it's impossible to improve via free agency?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    The Royals? When did they try to buy their way out of terribleness? I know the Mets have in the past, but they aren't now and I don't know when the Royals did.
    They 'overpayed' for Gil Meche a few years back. I dont know if that what the poster was thinking of, but that what comes to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by troyhobbs View Post
    So it's impossible to improve via free agency?
    Its impossible to go from where the Twins are currently at to a legitimate contending team via free agency. When they are a player or two away, then yes, free agency is a viable and necessary option. We are not there yet; in fact we might be two years away before it makes any sense.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Double-A troyhobbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
    Its impossible to go from where the Twins are currently at to a legitimate contending team via free agency. When they are a player or two away, then yes, free agency is a viable and necessary option. We are not there yet; in fact we might be two years away before it makes any sense.
    True. It's still frustrating when management is constantly shedding payroll but then saying "we're not about respectability, we're about winning." Well, they havent been getting much of either the last few years and hoping for wins a few more years down the road isn't a fool proof strategy even given the bright outlook of the future, I'd be disappointed if I was Mauer.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Triple-A Teflon's Avatar
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    On the bright side, not having runners on base means that Joe isn't grounding into his usual 20 double plays a season. Only 5 so far this year in 455 plate appearances. His slightly higher strikeout rate this year is helping in that regard, too.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
    On the bright side, not having runners on base means that Joe isn't grounding into his usual 20 double plays a season. Only 5 so far this year in 455 plate appearances. His slightly higher strikeout rate this year is helping in that regard, too.
    And by 'usual 20 double plays a season' you mean the three seasons he's had 20 or more. His 162 game average for GiDP is 19...his 162 game average for plate appearances is 696. So that's, what, less than 3% of his PAs?
    Last edited by ThePuck; 08-09-2013 at 12:53 PM.

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    Another reason for Joe's lack of RBI, would be his .252 average with runner on (career average is .337) and .243 with RISP (career .336)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KGB View Post
    Another reason for Joe's lack of RBI, would be his .252 average with runner on (career average is .337) and .243 with RISP (career .336)
    Mauer bats a little at #3, but mostly at #2 this year. The Twins #1 batters this year have an OBP of .267. That's DEAD LAST in MLB. The next lowest is .281. Our #9 hitters have an OBP of .264. He's had 94 plate appearances with RISP. Who is he supposed to be knocking in? Compare that to Trout who is the Angels #2 batter most of the time and the #1 hitter a little bit. He has 136 plate appearances with RISP.

    Mauer is 11th in the AL for runs created (cumulative stat) and 5th in the AL in runs created per 27 outs (an average stat, like batting average). He's creating runs just fine, but he's also batting in the 2 spot with little help in front of him or behind him. MAYBE he's pressing too much with RISP due to the #3 spot's inability to drive in runs themselves this year? I mean our #3 hitter is 20th in RBI this year and that's with Mauer on base 40% of the time...
    Last edited by ThePuck; 08-09-2013 at 03:55 PM.

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