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Thread: Article: Catching No Longer an Option For Mauer

  1. #1
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: Catching No Longer an Option For Mauer


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    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    I would be curious to hear from those who have advocated him remaining as catcher because of the greater difficulty of finding a catcher who can produce offensively than a first baseman. I wonder if the length of his being sidelined, which is far longer than most people were anticipating, has given them any pause.

  3. #3
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I'm still in the boat of playing him at catcher until it's obvious he can't physically handle it anymore. But during these lean years when we are awful I'd like to see them scale it back considerably to protect him for the long run.

  4. #4
    what a bummer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I haven't been advocating one way or the other. I get that Mauer's value is higher when behind the plate but we knew the amount of time there would always diminish.

    Question, though: there was always interest among some fans in Mauer going to 3rd instead of 1st. Do we now find that to be an impossibility? Has he aged out of playing 3B? Are we so sure that Sano will be at 3rd that we aren't even interested in trying Mauer there?

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    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    Question, though: there was always interest among some fans in Mauer going to 3rd instead of 1st. Do we now find that to be an impossibility? Has he aged out of playing 3B? Are we so sure that Sano will be at 3rd that we aren't even interested in trying Mauer there?
    Where does Sano play then? First? Short?

  7. #7
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoPilgrim View Post
    Where does Sano play then? First? Short?
    Probably 1st although I also saw something about one of the outfield spots. It just seems like the articles lately are still talking about his defensive problems more than his offensive.

    I don't know the answer. Maybe Sano sticks at 3rd but if not, I guess I'm asking if it is ludicrous to think of Mauer at 3B???

  8. #8
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    Probably 1st although I also saw something about one of the outfield spots. It just seems like the articles lately are still talking about his defensive problems more than his offensive.

    I don't know the answer. Maybe Sano sticks at 3rd but if not, I guess I'm asking if it is ludicrous to think of Mauer at 3B???
    I've long been an advocate of Mauer to third base.

    But...if Sano can play third (and I don't know, but if) then it makes no difference if Mauer is at first and Sano at third, or vice versa.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    But...if Sano can play third (and I don't know, but if) then it makes no difference if Mauer is at first and Sano at third, or vice versa.
    Sure it does. Mauer is taller and he is accustomed to digging balls out of the dirt. Sano isn't. First base is not a dumping ground, you actually need some skills to play and it is one of the most important defensive positions in the game because of the frequent contact...

    And Sano is a fine third baseman. Matter of fact better on the field than most of the Twins' starting third basemen the last few years (including Koskie at similar stages of their careers. Coskie was a butcher in the minors...)
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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    I haven't been advocating one way or the other. I get that Mauer's value is higher when behind the plate but we knew the amount of time there would always diminish.

    Question, though: there was always interest among some fans in Mauer going to 3rd instead of 1st. Do we now find that to be an impossibility? Has he aged out of playing 3B? Are we so sure that Sano will be at 3rd that we aren't even interested in trying Mauer there?
    The Mauer to 3B thing never made sense, and it was never something given and credence by the Twins or by Mauer...

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Sure it does. Mauer is taller and he is accustomed to digging balls out of the dirt. Sano isn't. First base is not a dumping ground, you actually need some skills to play and it is one of the most important defensive positions in the game because of the frequent contact...
    One of my favorite parts of Moneyball:

    Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.
    Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.
    Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoPilgrim View Post
    One of my favorite parts of Moneyball:

    Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.
    Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.
    Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.
    Movie line used to create tension.

  13. #13
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoPilgrim View Post
    One of my favorite parts of Moneyball:

    Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.
    Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.
    Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.
    Haha. Good reference here.

  14. #14
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Movie line used to create tension.
    I know. I like it anyway.

    It's right up there with:

    Billy Beane: Would you rather get one shot in the head or five in the chest and bleed to death?
    Peter Brand: Are those my only two options?

  15. #15
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    I am on board with ending Mauer's time behind the plate. He can serve as the third (emergency, in game) catcher only.

  16. #16
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    I am on board with ending Mauer's time behind the plate. He can serve as the third (emergency, in game) catcher only.
    Great point. If Gardenhire is still around, that really solves the 3 catcher problem although since Sweet Drew went to LA, its been less of an issue anyway.

  17. #17
    Is it worth having a good hitting catcher, considering how volatile and the significant injury risk that playing catcher has? Is it worth paying a catcher big money considering how volatile the position is?

    I have very mixed feelings about this. Obviously there's a huge problem with Catchers and concussions. Catcher is clearly the most dangerous position on the diamond. Whether from concussions or home plate collisions. There has to be some sort of solution to this, because it's a massive baseball problem when 10 of the 18 players who have gone on the concussion DL are catchers. Considering that's pretty much 1/6th of all catchers in the MLB. It seems like there is a small chance every pitch, that a catcher will suffer a concussion. There has to be a way to protect catchers, because otherwise every catcher out there is a ticking time bomb. Some might get lucky and others won't be lucky, and that seems unacceptable.

    If Buster Posey or Yadier Molina had a concussion, would those teams move them from behind the plate? Should they be preemptively moved? The Nationals moved Bryce Harper to the outfield as soon as they drafted him, should that be done for any promising hitter who also plays catcher? I know I'm asking a lot of questions and I'm not sure there's many answers, but major league baseball has a serious issue. I don't know why teams aren't throwing millions of dollars into new and improved helmet tech. Because something needs to be done, and improving the helmets seems to be the only answer that doesn't involve changing the game.
    Last edited by Larsbars08; 09-24-2013 at 10:28 PM.

  18. #18
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    I have been an opponent of moving Mauer from 1/2 time catcher but a serious concussion changes things. There is a substantially higher risk of another concussion (my understanding of concussions) after you have had one and catchers are always at risk.

    I think Sano has shown enough this season defensively that the Twins shouldn't block him by moving Mauer there. If the Twins had no decent 3B prospects in the minors (like most years) and a good 1Bman then 3B would be an option but this isn't the case.

    This would create a spot for Doumit on next year's roster if Mauer isn't catching part time. Previously I felt he was expendable with Mauer/Pinto catching and the fact that he really doesn't hit enough to be a regular DH. In addition to the Twins have other options at DH like Willy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member All-Star
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsbars08 View Post
    Is it worth having a good hitting catcher, considering how volatile and the significant injury risk that playing catcher has? Is it worth paying a catcher big money considering how volatile the position is?

    I have very mixed feelings about this. Obviously there's a huge problem with Catchers and concussions. Catcher is clearly the most dangerous position on the diamond. Whether from concussions or home plate collisions. There has to be some sort of solution to this, because it's a massive baseball problem when 10 of the 18 players who have gone on the concussion DL are catchers. Considering that's pretty much 1/6th of all catchers in the MLB. It seems like there is a small chance every pitch, that a catcher will suffer a concussion. There has to be a way to protect catchers, because otherwise every catcher out there is a ticking time bomb. Some might get lucky and others won't be lucky, and that seems unacceptable.

    If Buster Posey or Yadier Molina had a concussion, would those teams move them from behind the plate? Should they be preemptively moved? The Nationals moved Bryce Harper to the outfield as soon as they drafted him, should that be done for any promising hitter who also plays catcher? I know I'm asking a lot of questions and I'm not sure there's many answers, but major league baseball has a serious issue. I don't know why teams aren't throwing millions of dollars into new and improved helmet tech. Because something needs to be done, and improving the helmets seems to be the only answer that doesn't involve changing the game.
    Having an elite hitting catcher is worth it. Buster Posey ripped his knee up catching and he still catches almost full time. Yadi would punch somebody if they tried to move him from catcher.

    Harper (and also Myers) were moved from catcher because it could have delayed their MLB arrival by 2 years. Boras actually pushed for it because Harper started accumulating service time significantly sooner. So injury risk wasn't really a factor in these decisions.

  20. #20
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    I was opposed to moving Mauer going into this season. With the impending free agency of Morneau and his subsequent trade, I then advocated making Joe a part-time first baseman believing that Pinto could be behind the plate for about half the innings, with Joe and Doumit or Herrmann splitting the other 50% of the innings. Now, I am with those saying that Mauer shouldn't be considered a catcher any more. He's one hard foul tip or home plate collision from perhaps being a shadow of himself and the Twins have a lot of money tied up in him. I agree that he could be the emergency third catcher. The time is now to make the move--the Twins don't have an incumbent first baseman and Mauer would have the entire spring to polish his first base skills, providing he has recovered from the concussion symptoms.

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