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Thread: 2014 Catching Concerns

  1. #21
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    Is there a base level of production from a replacement catcher that would render the marginal upgrade provided by Mauer behind the plate not worth the risk of further injury?

    If the option for next year is Herrmann putting up a .220/.290/.330 line, then IMO the upgrade provided by Mauer is substantial enough that the team needs to wear the injury risk and he needs to catch a large proportion of games.

    But if Pinto is capable of hitting .260/.330/.420 with adequate defense I'm prepared to tell Joe to go hang up his catcher's mitt. At that point the upgrade over (say) 80 games catching doesn't seem worth it.

    Where do others draw the line (if at all)?

  2. #22
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SydneyTwinsFan View Post
    Is there a base level of production from a replacement catcher that would render the marginal upgrade provided by Mauer behind the plate not worth the risk of further injury?

    If the option for next year is Herrmann putting up a .220/.290/.330 line, then IMO the upgrade provided by Mauer is substantial enough that the team needs to wear the injury risk and he needs to catch a large proportion of games.

    But if Pinto is capable of hitting .260/.330/.420 with adequate defense I'm prepared to tell Joe to go hang up his catcher's mitt. At that point the upgrade over (say) 80 games catching doesn't seem worth it.

    Where do others draw the line (if at all)?
    Depends a lot more for me on what kind of team they put around him in 2014 and beyond than what they get from Pinto or Herrmann.

    If next season is anything like this one, I'd like to see Mauer catch just enough to stay sharp. Not sure how much that would be, but your 80 game mark sounds about right.

    If the team is going to contend in 2015, then it would be nice to see Mauer catch at least 100 if his body is still up to it. A reduced workload and no injuries in 2014 would go a long way toward that.

    Not sure if it was posted before, but there's a nice Gleeman article that shows how much more valuable Mauer's bat is at catcher than it is at first.
    Last edited by LaBombo; 09-16-2013 at 07:33 PM.

  3. #23
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    In the last few years some teams choosing defense over offense at catcher.

    Look at the Rays decision to sign Jose Molina and give him more playing time at 37 and 38 than any other time in his career. He can't hit.

    The Dodgers roster the light hitting Federowicz over Ramon Hernandez knowing that they would be giving up offense. They value Butera and his defense highly enough to give up a prospect.

    The Yankees fill their catching position this year with light hitting defensive minded catchers.

    As the Twins make roster decisions about catcher I hope they make defense a greater priority and show it with their roster decisions.

  4. #24
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    In the last few years some teams choosing defense over offense at catcher.

    Look at the Rays decision to sign Jose Molina and give him more playing time at 37 and 38 than any other time in his career. He can't hit.

    The Dodgers roster the light hitting Federowicz over Ramon Hernandez knowing that they would be giving up offense. They value Butera and his defense highly enough to give up a prospect.

    The Yankees fill their catching position this year with light hitting defensive minded catchers.

    As the Twins make roster decisions about catcher I hope they make defense a greater priority and show it with their roster decisions.
    Rays are an interesting example and it will be instructive to see what they do when Molina is no longer an option. But the Yankees and Dodgers always have enough money to buy the kind of lineup that can carry an all-glove catcher. It makes sense to a point for them, since they'd like to have the best babysitter possible out there to take care of their 8-figure arms.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    Rays are an interesting example and it will be instructive to see what they do when Molina is no longer an option. But the Yankees and Dodgers always have enough money to buy the kind of lineup that can carry an all-glove catcher. It makes sense to a point for them, since they'd like to have the best babysitter possible out there to take care of their 8-figure arms.
    The Yankees and Dodgers also have the resources to spend more on catcher yet choose inexpensive defenders.

    Does the Twins decision to sign and extend Doumit make sense for an inexperienced pitching staff? Wouldn't the Twins staff be much more in need of care? Doumit costs the Twins more than the Yankees, Rays or Dodgers spend on their catching core.

    It is not simply inexpensive solutions. The Pirates signed Martin and he's made a tremendous difference.
    Last edited by jorgenswest; 09-16-2013 at 09:29 PM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    No reason for Joe to ever catch again. Still owed $115m and he is the teams best player. There is no good reason to put him back in that position again where another foul ball could end his career.
    We need a first baseman he plays first just fine. If he was in the last year or two of his contract and we were a world series contender maybe you take the chance but not in the position we are in now, imo.
    Joe hits at an elite level as a catcher and is elite defensively at catcher. He is ok hitting, ok fielding first basemen. Unless you had no choice, why turn elite into replacement level?

  7. #27
    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    The Yankees and Dodgers also have the resources to spend more on catcher yet choose inexpensive defenders.

    Does the Twins decision to sign and extend Doumit make sense for an inexperienced pitching staff? Wouldn't the Twins staff be much more in need of care? Doumit costs the Twins more than the Yankees, Rays or Dodgers spend on their catching core.

    It is not simply inexpensive solutions. The Pirates signed Martin and he's made a tremendous difference.
    Also, all of he teams mentioned have enough offense that they can overcome a weak spot in the lineup. The Twins need all they an get from every spot, because they are weaker across the board with the exception of Mauer at Catcher

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    Also, all of he teams mentioned have enough offense that they can overcome a weak spot in the lineup. The Twins need all they an get from every spot, because they are weaker across the board with the exception of Mauer at Catcher
    We disagree. I don't believe the offense Doumit contributes while catching is anywhere near the deficit from his defense while catching.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    We disagree. I don't believe the offense Doumit contributes while catching is anywhere near the deficit from his defense while catching.
    I don't see how having a catcher who is worse defensively and offensively is better either. 80 games catching sounds about right to me. I wonder how switching to first would effect Mauers hall of fame chances. That would be a concern for Joe I would think.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    Joe hits at an elite level as a catcher and is elite defensively at catcher. He is ok hitting, ok fielding first basemen. Unless you had no choice, why turn elite into replacement level?
    Because common sense tells you they really have no choice. Another foul tip could end his career. Besides, he'll be an elite hitting 1st baseman. He'll be a better hitter without the wear and tear of catching. I think he could get back to his MVP form.
    Last edited by Marta Shearing; 09-17-2013 at 07:42 AM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
    Joe hits at an elite level as a catcher and is elite defensively at catcher. He is ok hitting, ok fielding first basemen. Unless you had no choice, why turn elite into replacement level?
    Replacement level?
    Joe's hitting numbers would probably improve moving out from behind the plate. But, for the sake of this argument, let's even assume that they don't.
    His .880 OPS would place 6th in MLB among 1st baseman, a mere .006 behind Freddie Freeman.
    Freeman currently has a WAR of 4.2.
    Sure, that is about a 1 win drop off from Mauer's current WAR of 5.1 at catcher, but again, that is if his hitting doesn't improve at all moving out from behind the plate, and it is reasonable to assume that it WOULD improve.

  12. #32
    A question for next year is- does Grady ask for FOUR potential catchers on the 25 man roster? Mauer, Doumit, Hermann and Pinto? With Pinto catching 1/2 the game, Hermann a 1/3 and the other 2 splitting the rest? The other 3 besides Pinto can play other positions winch Grady loves.
    Last edited by orangevening; 09-17-2013 at 09:13 AM. Reason: forgot Doumit is not catching rest of this year

  13. #33
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    The other bonus of Mauer at first is the probability that he will miss fewer games to rest added to the probability of missing less games due to injury.

  14. #34
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    The other bonus of Mauer at first is the probability that he will miss fewer games to rest added to the probability of missing less games due to injury.
    With any luck the new manager will realize that a day of DH'ing is a day off from catching.

  15. #35
    He can be that third catcher that Gardy always wanted. Considering that he's only caught about half a season each of the apst two, the Twins do need to groom someone else to catch and get 300 at bats/ Doumit is the immediate guy, with Herrman and Pinto both getting time next year and Pinto moving into the more than halftime role in 2015.
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  16. #36
    Mauer is most valuable to this team playing 162 games at 1st base. Pinto, Herrmann, and Doumit are more than capable of handling the catching duties.

  17. #37
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    Hard to understand the denial. His concussion was and is serious. One more foul ball off the mask could end his career.
    Why would you risk the future of your best player, when what may be gained by him catching may be very little?
    That risk/reward makes no sense.
    This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    Hard to understand the denial. His concussion was and is serious. One more foul ball off the mask could end his career.
    Why would you risk the future of your best player, when what may be gained by him catching may be very little?
    That risk/reward makes no sense.
    You're not quantifying the risk of concussion, and so far, neither is anybody else, either on this board or in major league baseball. You're still just saying that any risk, no matter how small, justifies making Pinto take that risk because he's not as good as Mauer.

    You've done nothing to quantify the loss of value by moving Mauer to first, either. That's a move that downgrades him from a Hall of Fame caliber player to not being in the top five.

    It's fine that we don't agree, but it's hardly 'denial' on my part that I don't like either your idea of trading a HOF player for an above average one, or telling a player he'll be much more frequently subjected to a risk of concussion that you can't quantify yet deem significant, and it's because the other guy hits better.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
    You're not quantifying the risk of concussion, and so far, neither is anybody else, either on this board or in major league baseball. You're still just saying that any risk, no matter how small, justifies making Pinto take that risk because he's not as good as Mauer.
    none of us can quantify the risk of concussion. We're not doctors nor do we have access to medical records. What we can say is that all research points to people being at higher risk for further concussions after suffering a significant one. Since that seems to be the case with Mauer, i think it's fair to speculate its a concern.

    I also disagree with the idea that Mauer loses much, if any value at first. But even if we grant that argument, it needs to be weighed against the possibility that Mauer sees more time on the field and/or hits better when relieved of catching duties.

    Personally, I'd move Mauer even if he hadn't suffered the concussion. That he has only adds more reason.
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