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Thread: Mauer to 1st?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    This isn't a "convincing" matter. The claim was that he hits better when he's not catching. Other than his injury shortened 2011, that has never been true even in individual seasons. So it's both not true over his career and it's not true even in isolated seasons.

    Again, I'll repeat:There is zero evidence that shows he is a better hitter when he's not catching. Zero. So you can't make that claim.
    That's fair, that there's no evidence to support it. I just pointed out that you arguing it as a "falsehood" based on 200ish PA isn't useful evidence either as it ignores the context of those PAs. I don't think that arguing he's a better hitter at catcher is any more valid because, imo, we just don't know.

    You can argue it's not a "convincing argument" but I don't find your statistics, in this case, compelling, and I'm normally way on the side of the "statheads" on this site. I'd like to see what he does at 1B for a full season before I make that judgement, especially in a meaningless season, which looks like it will be the case next season...
    Last edited by Alex; 10-23-2013 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #22
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    That's fair, that there's no evidence to support it. I just pointed out that you arguing it as a "falsehood" based on 200ish PA isn't useful evidence either as it ignores the context of those PAs.
    The falsehood is arguing to move him because he's performed better when not catching. That isn't true. If it was, it'd be a compelling argument. But it's not true in what evidence we have.

    I'd like to see what he does at 1B for a full season before I make that judgement, especially in a meaningless season, which looks like it will be the case next season...
    Then you THINK he'll hit better. If you claim that he HAS hit better - you're stating a falsehood. And it's one repeated on this issue often by posters here and by talking heads in the local media.

  3. #23
    I would venture to guess that status quo (assuming his head is FINE) means he will play about 50 games at 1B
    75 games at C
    25 games at DH

    This would mean they A) need to make sure Pinto is ready to catch 75 Games and platoon 1B with Parmelee or B) Sign an actual backup Catcher, Doumit can't catch. If we keep him he is strictly a DH/3rd catcher. That is all he should ever be used as, but then again what do I know about baseball.. Gardy just keep doin' what works.

  4. #24
    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    if he catches, he will get more foul balls off the facemask, which led to concussions for several catchers last season, and the next time it happens is likely to be more severe. Did first baseman last season have more concussions? If so, I'd agree that we should keep him at catcher. At some point, especially in terms of brain injuries, I think there's more responsibility involved than simply what value he provides. If that does nothing for you, then consider that the next foul ball of his mask could end his career and then you get very little value after that.
    We already know from Koskie and Morneau that concussions can destroy a career. The more concussions the greater the risk. And it is impossible to know how many "minor" concussions Mauer has suffered over the years -- maybe none, maybe twenty or maybe fifty -- we just don't know.

    I will be jubilant if Mauer recovers from his last concussion. I am worried that his career may already be over, but no one yet realizes it. I pray that this is not the case, but Koskie and Morneau both taught me that concussions can ruin players despite my most fervent prayers for them to recover.

    Sadly, no one seems to be developing a catcher's mask that uses modern materials and design to absorb more of the force of a foul tip. Unless that happens, Mauer's entire career could be ended by a single foul tip.

    I would love to see Mauer catch, and I completely agree with those who say that he is most valuable as a catcher. However, it seems to me that this is not worth risking his career or his long-term health.

    Since the Twins probably won't contend next year, why not let Mauer's brain have one year to heal, leaving open the possibility for him to go back to catching in 2015? Maybe by then someone will come out with a catcher's mask that is more protective. And if we have any engineers here who are capable in the field of modern materials and design, please PM me if you might be interested in a joint venture to create a better catcher's mask.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    The falsehood is arguing to move him because he's performed better when not catching. That isn't true. If it was, it'd be a compelling argument. But it's not true in what evidence we have.



    Then you THINK he'll hit better. If you claim that he HAS hit better - you're stating a falsehood. And it's one repeated on this issue often by posters here and by talking heads in the local media.
    Again, that's fair a point, but I think you tried to come across pretty heavily on a semantical point (the tense chosen by the poster), who by the way, just stated Mauer's offense "suffers when he catches" not "he's a better hitter when he plays 1B."

    There's a lot of room for interpretation there, for example did the poster mean on a daily basis or over a season? Still no evidence either way for that as he's played significant numbers of games at catcher every season, so it's tough to know for sure. However, it's actually a very reasonable stance to take that Mauer would be a better hitter at 1B based on the lack of evidence but other things we know about catching and catchers.

    For example, look at Mike Napoli. He had one of his better and most healthy seasons playing first base all year. He did it at age 32 and also said he's never had legs this fresh this late in the year.

    Does that mean a loss of potential value within a season? Absolutely, even though Napoli had one of his healthiest and better hitting seasons, his overall value was not where it would be if he were at catcher (based on BBREF WAR). But, like we've said, there are plenty of other reasons to move Mauer.
    Last edited by Alex; 10-24-2013 at 08:17 AM. Reason: added a couple points for clarification

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    We already know from Koskie and Morneau that concussions can destroy a career. The more concussions the greater the risk. And it is impossible to know how many "minor" concussions Mauer has suffered over the years -- maybe none, maybe twenty or maybe fifty -- we just don't know.

    I will be jubilant if Mauer recovers from his last concussion. I am worried that his career may already be over, but no one yet realizes it. I pray that this is not the case, but Koskie and Morneau both taught me that concussions can ruin players despite my most fervent prayers for them to recover.
    I absolutely agree. One thing I've found interesting, at least with Twins that have been out for a significant time with concussions, is their sports background, even if they haven't had concussions, or rather been diagnosed with them, in their past. Mauer has caught and he played football in high school. Denard Span played football. Morneau and Koskie were both hockey players. Now, it's probably true that a lot of pro players were multi-sport athletes, but it's just something I thought was interesting

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Now, it's probably true that a lot of pro players were multi-sport athletes, but it's just something I thought was interesting
    I think every single one of them were multi-sport athletes, at least in high school as Mauer was. Perhaps the exception might be the international guys - Kepler, Sano - who signed at 16 to just concentrate on baseball. I think we remember Mauer's HS stuff a bit more b/c he, like Stewart and Bundy and Bradley, was a top flight QB who could have gone to a football power.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I think having him at first/DH 160 games, is signficantly more valuable than 80 at catcher and 40 at 1B/DH. But I dont' think anyone is going to change anyone's mind here.....
    It's pretty unlikely than any player plays 160 games in a season. In the Gardy era, Hunter did it once and so did Morneau. Most guys top out closer to 150, even under good circumstances.

    On the other hand, Mauer usually tops 120 games, even when primarily catching. He's averaged 127 games the past 9 seasons, but even that is a bit misleading -- his missed games are usually bunched up, like 2011 or the end of 2013. Outside of the standard weekly game off, he's not chronically missing time. Under normal circumstances, he usually approaches or exceeds 140 games per season, which is comparable to other players. (Hunter, a pretty durable guy, only averaged ~140 over his first 9 full seasons, or even just through age 30 like Mauer)

    Of course, all of this could go out the window pending his concussion recovery.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I absolutely agree. One thing I've found interesting, at least with Twins that have been out for a significant time with concussions, is their sports background, even if they haven't had concussions, or rather been diagnosed with them, in their past. Mauer has caught and he played football in high school. Denard Span played football. Morneau and Koskie were both hockey players. Now, it's probably true that a lot of pro players were multi-sport athletes, but it's just something I thought was interesting
    The Twins in general seem cursed in this regard, although it's really just Morneau so far. Koskie's issues were post-Twins, and Span seems to have been unaffected long-term. Hopefully Mauer falls into that latter group too.

    Koskie was apparently a goalie -- is that position less susceptible to concussions?

  10. #30
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    So two of the last three years, he's had injury issues? Isn't that what happens as guys age, and isn't that an argument for moving him?

    Also, if he's the 1B/DH, and Gardy doesn't play him more than 150 games, then I'm looking for a new manager......
    Lighten up Francis....

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    The next time Mauer appears in 160 games in a season will be the first.

    He doesn't even have a 150 game season under his belt. He's gotten 600 PAs in a season 4 times.

    If he catches 80 games, he won't get into 80 more no matter the position.
    This I agree with, but I will add again that most players are unlikely to play more than 150 games no matter what their position. And 600 PA is a pretty high bar. Kirby Puckett is an outlier in playing time, not any kind of standard.

    Torii Hunter, through his first 9 full seasons, averaged 13 more games and 30 more PA than Joe Mauer.

    Cuddyer, in his 6 seasons starting for the Twins, averaged 9 more games and 25 more PA than Mauer.

    Jacque Jones, in his six seasons starting for the Twins (through age 30, just like Mauer) averaged 24 more PA than Mauer.

    Those are 3 of the most durable Twins of the Gardy era, and Mauer is basically right there with them, within 1 PA per week. Concussion and bilateral leg weakness and all.

    EDIT TO ADD: I'm beginning all of the above averages with their first full starting seasons, so Mauer 2005, Hunter 2001, Jones 2000, Cuddy 2006.
    Last edited by spycake; 10-24-2013 at 09:13 AM.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    So two of the last three years, he's had injury issues? Isn't that what happens as guys age, and isn't that an argument for moving him?
    That might be a good point, although his most recent missed time is in a pretty special category (concussion).

    If Torii Hunter had missed the last month of 2007 with a concussion, would you have suggested moving him due to increasing "injury issues" even if he was fully recovered for 2008?

  13. #33
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    I don't like it but I might be able to be convinced that Mauer should move to 1B. But I'm not there yet. He still has a strong SLG/OPS but yuck, I have a hard time penciling in a guy at 1B who's going to top out at about 12 HR and 80 RBI. It's 1B! It's supposed to be where the run producer plays!

    The smart rebuttal would be, "What the hell kind of fantasy world are you living in where you expect Parmelee and Colabello be a middle of the order bat?"

  14. #34
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    "Sadly, no one seems to be developing a catcher's mask that uses modern materials and design to absorb more of the force of a foul tip. Unless that happens, Mauer's entire career could be ended by a single foul tip."


    As I understand it most catchers use a "modern" mask. The problem is they switched to titanium which is lighter but also much harder than the old style. The older type mask had give, softer metal, which helped absorb the energy. The new harder metal does not.

    They could use a goalie type mask which provides a lot more protection but is very hot in warm weather. It seems most catchers have opted for comfort over safety.
    This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

  15. #35
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    No, because Hunter didn't play the most dangerous position in the game. But I gotta say, the stats from your post are pretty enlightening......and they point out just how valuable Mauer has really been in his 9 years.

    My belief, since we can't know the future with certainty, is that he's more likely to play more games, and longer in years, if he moves to 1B/DH sooner rather than later. And, I am willing to roll the dice on Pinto more than on random 1B from the system.

    I'm not certain I'm right, but I'm more confident in him moving than staying.
    Lighten up Francis....

  16. #36
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    Mauer will stay catching as long as he possibly can whether right or wrong, because HE wants to. I do wonder two things though:

    1) Would our very below-average pitching staff be improved enough to offset Mauer's offense if the Twins go with an elite defensive/pitch calling FA behind the plate (like a Jose Molina-type)?

    2) Mauer had stated in an interview in the midst of his MVP season in 2009, that being out and not catching during spring training and most of April (which includes all the daily catching and not just games) that his hands felt incredibly "fresh." What would an entire season of the most valuable hands in the organization look like if he put on a first baseman's glove and hung up the catcher's pud? He may not return to his .365/.444./.587 slashline again, but could we see a .340/.425/.575 -type season again?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
    Mauer will stay catching as long as he possibly can whether right or wrong, because HE wants to. I do wonder two things though:

    1) Would our very below-average pitching staff be improved enough to offset Mauer's offense if the Twins go with an elite defensive/pitch calling FA behind the plate (like a Jose Molina-type)?

    2) Mauer had stated in an interview in the midst of his MVP season in 2009, that being out and not catching during spring training and most of April (which includes all the daily catching and not just games) that his hands felt incredibly "fresh." What would an entire season of the most valuable hands in the organization look like if he put on a first baseman's glove and hung up the catcher's pud? He may not return to his .365/.444./.587 slashline again, but could we see a .340/.425/.575 -type season again?
    I think the move from the Dome to TF had more effect on his power than a position change would have.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    And, I am willing to roll the dice on Pinto more than on random 1B from the system.
    Agreed. That's why I'd like to see Mauer and Pinto basically share C and 1B or DH (assuming Mauer recovers and Pinto keeps hitting), unless another decent 1B/DH emerges or can be signed.

    I was advocating for something similar back in 2010 with Wilson Ramos.

    Side benefit: it keeps Butera-type catchers off the roster.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siehbiscuit View Post
    He may not return to his .365/.444./.587 slashline again, but could we see a .340/.425/.575 -type season again?
    Those slashlines are basically equal, when accounting for league and park.

    There's no way that slugging ever comes back -- that wasn't hands, that was a Dome fluke. He had a barrage of HR just over the opposite field fence.

    I think his line from the last two seasons is about as good as it will get. And it's still very good, which is why I hope this concussion stuff passes.

  20. #40
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    How about we let Mauer continue catching and instead just convince the front office that the best way to reduce foul tips is to get starting pitchers who can miss bats more often? Much, much more often.

    Seems like that skill migh come in handy in many facets of this game, not just in reducing foul tips of the All-Star catcher's head.

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