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Article: Twins Looking for Leadership Out of Suzuki

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:35 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...p-Out-of-Suzuki

#2 DJL44

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:03 AM

Wouldn't surprise me at all to see a quick, short extension on Suzuki's contract

#3 Boom Boom

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:09 AM

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"You take Joe out from behind the plate you’re open up a big hole so filling it with Zuke is pretty good." [/FONT][/COLOR]

Zuke? *facepalm*

#4 savvyspy

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:19 AM

[FONT=Arial][COLOR=#000000]"The Twins pitchers’ early impressions of Suzuki’s style have been positive. Staff has mentioned how they like how Suzuki has taken control in spring games, been vocal on his trips to the mound and has generally been sympatico when it comes to what pitch comes next."

Is this really a tangible thing?? It seems to be one of those things writers put out there every year like "He came to camp in the best shape of his life". So the catcher knows how to catch and call a game and the pitchers don't hate him. They still lost 2/3s of the games and I didn't see any of our starters perform better than anticipated. I know its spring training but where would these intangeble catching skills manifest themselves? Strike out rate? Ground ball rate? Average for balls in play going down if he's positioning fielders better?

I will be interesting if Suzuki can impact something tangeble as the season goes on. Obviously he's never going to be Mauer but a competent backstop that isn't Drew Butera isn't the worst travesty in the world.[/COLOR][/FONT]

#5 Parker Hageman

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:29 AM

"Zuke" is apparently a nickname that started prior to Gardy:

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#6 BigTrane

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:29 AM

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"You take Joe out from behind the plate you’re open up a big hole so filling it with Zuke is pretty good." [/FONT][/COLOR]

Zuke? *facepalm*

You nailed it-- I was expecting Gardy to call him Suzy or something... new thread idea '14 Gardy Nicknames!
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#7 Parker Hageman

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:31 AM

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Is this really a tangible thing??[/FONT][/COLOR]


Did you not read the concluding paragraph that begins with "Suzuki is rife with intangibles"?

#8 hybridbear

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:36 AM

I wonder how his game calling abilities, pitch framing, blocking and arm compare to Mauer. This article is pretty high on him, is it saying that he's a better defensive catcher than Mauer was?

#9 BigTrane

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:44 AM

My take on the Suzuki deal is that he was brought in to mentor Pinto- who doesn't want to see that transition go smoothly? (Paging Aaaron Hicks!) There's been a ton of angst about Suzuki, esp. people looking at it as an either/or between him and Pinto or as an either/or vs. Morneau. But Morneau was just a shadow of his former self...

I'm impressed with all that has happened with the development of Sabermetrics, and yet... I instinctively believe that there are intangible, and important factors in the game that cannot be measured. Think just about how strike-zone judgement improves with age and experience...

Seems pretty clear that there are two camps at Twins Daily, and feels as like there is a bit of an artificial divide. Pessimists/optimists, SABR-friendly/Not-so-SABR. I don't feel it has to be that way- we all want to see our team win.

If the (newly revamped) SP rotation believes in "Suke", they like the way he calls the game, and feel confident working with him- how is that a negative? Does it matter that it's not measurable? Also, if we end up with Pinto a polished hitter AND defender (thanks to Suzuki's mentoring) at the end of the season, what's the problem? Isn't that why we signed him?

My 2 cents: Twins see Suzuki as a possible coach in the system, and want to show him support for "playing the game right". Don't read too much into it. He could be a great coach in the future, but Pinto is the future- and he's here to make sure that happens.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#10 Boom Boom

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:46 AM

"Zuke" is apparently a nickname that started prior to Gardy


It makes me feel a little better that it wasn't Gardy's creation... but it makes me feel worse that he's not the only person who comes up with terrible nicknames.

#11 Parker Hageman

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:51 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]This article is pretty high on him, is it saying that he's a better defensive catcher than Mauer was?[/COLOR]


They've enjoyed how vocal Suzuki is with the pitchers, something that Mauer was not doing as much.

Depending on what stats you look at, Mauer has a slight edge over Suzuki in just about all categories except pitch framing -- Mauer doesn't get the low call and may have had issues with pitcher inconsistencies. BP.com's stats has Suzuki as much better pitch blocker. Mauer's better at controlling the running game.

In the end, Mauer's a better defensive catcher (maybe not framing or blocking pitches) but, again, I think the Twins are enjoying some of those intangibles that Suzuki is providing.

#12 spycake

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:13 AM

BigTrane,

Not so much a negative, just not an improvement over Mauer. We have seen that a respected veteran catcher doesn't guarantee any particular performance or consistency from a pitching staff.

Character and chemistry is nice, but that and unmeasurable intangibles was about the extent of the efforts to improve the offense this offseason.

#13 BigTrane

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:20 AM

Ever since the Mauer decision, people around here have been debating... and worrying about Gardy's tendencies. I supported signing AJ (our clubhouse needs a jolt) but he was signed and then it was a choice between basically Arrencebia ans Suzuki. I voted Suzuki, and given the options, I stand with that.

You're right that getting a well-liked, well-respected trusted vet behind the dish brings no guarantees. Point taken. We could talk about pitch framing (which, at present is still pretty intangible), pitch-blocking, etc.

You link this to "efforts to improve the offense", and that's where I lose you.. where in baseball would one find an offensive replacement for Mauer? Isn't the link to have Suzuki groom Pinto? Don't we want to see him pan out instead of pull a Hicks?
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#14 spycake

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:52 AM

Didn't mean we had to get a better offensive catcher than Mauer or Pinto. Just that intangibles are cool, but the idea wears a little thin when all of our offseason hitter acquisitions are based on it. If we aren't getting good hitters, it would be interesting to try some other analytical targets to improve the team too (defense, framing, etc.).