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Time for Mauer to Smell the Coffee

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#41 Cris E

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:10 AM

The bunt the other day was a change in approach. That's Joe making a change and taking a free base, so if you're going to complain about *that* you just need to take a deep breath and admit to yourself that the root of the problem isn't with him. It could be frustration with the entire team, jealousy of his virile sideburns or simply that you like to complain, but be honest with yourself and admit he's playing pretty well and trying a few things.
EDIT:"you" was some general comment on an earlier page, not a specific person.

#42 tobi0040

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:12 AM

This is the thing that scares me the most. Morneau was having an MVP year pre-concussion, and he's been hanging around .750 OPS since. It was a real career-killer. I am honestly a little bit worried that Mauer won't be the same either.

On the other hand, there's nothing that 15 games will tell us about whether the effects are permanent. I think he must be rusty, and I think it's at least possible that there are still some lingering concussion effects, but only time will tell.


I would expect a bit of a period of adjustment as well, from catcher to 1B. He has been catching since I am guessing he was about 6 years old. So he is out of routine. Tough to say but something worth watching.

I haven't heard any numbers though, regarding what numbers Mauer needs to put up year in and out to please people. BA, OBP, OPS, and HR

#43 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:42 AM

Every team would be better off if each of its hitters did more. Maybe something can be written into the next CBA to enforce that.

Most hitters do not have Mauer's proven ability to be more than just an OBP guy, nor what I perceive as a reluctance to be what is needed instead of what is comfortable.

#44 Craig Arko

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

Most hitters do not have Mauer's proven ability to be more than just an OBP guy, nor what I perceive as a reluctance to be what is needed instead of what is comfortable.


Must be right then.

#45 tobi0040

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:10 AM

I have doubts there is anything that will please everyone.


Agree, but I am hoping to know the bar Mauer needs to please a few people. So far on this thread, Top Gun criticized him for taking a walk in a run situation. Darin compared him to Doug M and also called him a coward. Marta thinks he takes too many pitches.

Top Gun, Marta, and Darin, what would a typical year look like to please you in terms of BA, OBP, HR, and OPS?

#46 sorney

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:20 AM

Mauer - dude hits, period. How those hits happen, who cares. He's never been a power (HR) hitter, and never will be. Enjoy the hitting prowess.

#47 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:23 AM

Do we assume that just because he is 6'5 and 230 that he should automatically be a HR hitter? What if he were 6'1 and 200lbs and had the same .322/.405/.467 slash line.

Or is it the contract? What other $23 million+ guy would you want?

1. Ryan Howard $25M/yr (3 years left; current age 34) - [FONT=sans-serif] He finished the 2012 season with a .219 batting average, 14 home runs, and 56 RBI in 71 games (OPS+ 91); 2013 season he was injured (80 games played) in July. [/FONT][FONT=sans-serif]He was hitting .266, had 11 home runs, and 43 RBIs at the time of his injury (OPS+ 114).
[/FONT]

2. Pujols - $24/yr (8 years left; current age 34) - Finished 2012 with 30 HRs and .285/.343/.516 (138+). Injured in 2013, played only 99 games. .258/.330/.437 with 17HRs (OPS+ 115).

3. Cano $24/yr (10 years left; current age 31) - Off to a rough start in Seattle, hitting .270/.329/.351

4. Fielder $24/yr (7 years left; Age 30 Season) - Has played ALL 162 games since signing contract. Hit 30 HRs in 2012 and .313/.412/.518 (OPS+ 151). In 2013, he hit 25 HRs and .279/.362/.457 (OPS+123)

5. Teixeira $23.125 (3 years left; currently 34) - In 2012, he played 123 games and hit 24 HRs and .251/.332/.475 (OPS+ 115). In 2013, Tex played in only 15 games (OPS+ 66). He is currently injured as well.

Mauer is 31 (5 years left) and played in 147 games in 2012. He hit only 10 HRs and .319/.416/.446. (OPS+ 140) In 2013, he played only 113 games, hit 11 HRs and .324/.404/.476. (OPS+ 144)

#48 Willihammer

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:31 AM

Most hitters do not have Mauer's proven ability to be more than just an OBP guy, nor what I perceive as a reluctance to be what is needed instead of what is comfortable.


Chief, you watch games as actively as any member here. When's the last PA you can recall where Mauer did what was comfortable instead of what was needed?

This perception has an awful lot of legs despite my repeated challenge for you critics to cite a single instance of it. Nobody has been able to deliver. Its almost like people just listen to Barreiro on their drive home and don't watch the games, but that can't be right...

#49 DJL44

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:42 AM

One thing I have noticed about Mauer's play at 1B is he takes it to the bag himself more than anyone I've seen. Is there a reason he doesn't trust the P to cover the bag? That might burn him one of these days either by arriving too late or running into the pitcher.

Taking it the other way is tied to the walks. Mauer can make decisions on whether to swing later. The longer he waits the more likely he is to walk. It also means he's unlikely to pull a ball.

#50 Yoshii

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:45 AM

Mauer will be fine. People are jumping to conclusions too early in the season. He will hit 20 HRs and get on base at a .400 rate again this year, just watch.

#51 Deduno Abides

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:55 AM

I like the comments asking what performance people would like from Mauer. That's a productive discussion. To get the conversation rolling, here's a straw man for capturing TD reader expectations:

(1) similar slash numbers as 2013, with hopefully a slight improvement, based on playing a less physically challenging position - perhaps .325/.410/.500;
(2) about 40 more games played than in 2013 - perhaps 150-155 games;
(3) pro rata increase in home runs, based on playing more games - perhaps 15 HRs; and
(4) develops into a plus defender at first base - based on eyeball test.

Bonus: a home run for little Timmy on the Fourth of July.

Anyone with a different take?

Don't be a stranger


#52 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:59 AM

You are allowed to wonder what he is doing up there right now, however.

I'm altering my prediction a bit, but stand by solid numbers.
.325/.410 65 XBH.

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 22 April 2014 - 12:50 PM.
overly confrontational content removed


#53 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:14 PM

Chief, you watch games as actively as any member here. When's the last PA you can recall where Mauer did what was comfortable instead of what was needed? This perception has an awful lot of legs despite my repeated challenge for you critics to cite a single instance of it. Nobody has been able to deliver. Its almost like people just listen to Barreiro on their drive home and don't watch the games, but that can't be right...

April 9th (I think) vs Oakland, 11th inning, 2 on 2 out, down 3. Takes first pitch FB, ends up working a walk, leaving it to Plouffe to drive in the necessary runs. Game over.But my opinion has been formed over time, so citing one PA is unfair to both of us.For the record, my opinion has been formed without benefit of talk show hosts. Cant speak for others.

#54 Willihammer

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:30 PM

April 9th (I think) vs Oakland, 11th inning, 2 on 2 out, down 3. Takes first pitch FB, ends up working a walk, leaving it to Plouffe to drive in the necessary runs. Game over.But my opinion has been formed over time, so citing one PA is unfair to both of us.For the record, my opinion has been formed without benefit of talk show hosts. Cant speak for others.


Well my retort would be to look at the game in KC where Plouffe hit an opposite field double off Ventura scoring Mauer all the way from first. That was a different game situation, but my point is that by getting on base in that Oak game, Mauer increased the team's chances of bringing the tying run around to score, because he could have scored 4 different ways instead of just 1 (by hitting a HR) - a Plouffe HR, a plouffe double, a Plouffe walk and then a hit by the next guy, or a Plouffe single and then a hit by the next guy.

That is a lot to gamble by swinging at the first pitch when you haven't even gotten the tying run on base yet.

#55 tobi0040

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:40 PM

April 9th (I think) vs Oakland, 11th inning, 2 on 2 out, down 3. Takes first pitch FB, ends up working a walk, leaving it to Plouffe to drive in the necessary runs. Game over.But my opinion has been formed over time, so citing one PA is unfair to both of us.For the record, my opinion has been formed without benefit of talk show hosts. Cant speak for others.


I will take the BB every time. Now a 2B, 3B, or HR by the next batter will score all the runners Mauer was expected to, and Mauer.

Barry Bonds hit a HR in 6.08% of his at bats. Pedro Florimon has hit a 2B, 3B, or HR in 5.67% of his at bats. Pretty sizable gap between those two hitters with almost a coin toss.

I will go back to the numbers and reality over some arbitrary you make the money or you are the leader, therefore....

#56 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:45 PM

Thus my reluctance to cite a specific example per your request. I gave you one, but it wont make a difference in either of our perceptions of that specific PA, or the much more important multiple seasons of his career. I think specific situations require specific approaches, you and many others think a players OBP atseason end tells the whole story. You might be correct, but then again so might I.

#57 Willihammer

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

Chief, I'm disappointed. don't you think its a little preposterous that Mauer lugs around this perception when nobody can find a single instance where it would have made sense for him to act the way you people want him to? Would you rather the team win, or would you rather Mauer pad a couple extra RBI to his stat line? It sounds to me like you are a lot more concerned about the latter.

#58 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:41 PM

Mauer will never live up to some people's expectations. Mauer has won Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, batting titles, an MVP, numerous All-Star games, but because he doesn't hit HR's he can't be loved.

Here's a thought... maybe pitcher's disagee with us idiot fans and throw him nothing good in clutch situations, because they'd rather pitch to Trevor "F&^##ing" Plouffe.

#59 GM64

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:49 PM

April 9th (I think) vs Oakland, 11th inning, 2 on 2 out, down 3. Takes first pitch FB, ends up working a walk, leaving it to Plouffe to drive in the necessary runs. Game over.But my opinion has been formed over time, so citing one PA is unfair to both of us.For the record, my opinion has been formed without benefit of talk show hosts. Cant speak for others.


I don't deny there may be other situations in which a walk would less advance the Twins's chance at a win than trying for a hit or extra-base hit. Generally,in those situations, I suppose I turst Mauer's assessment of the pitches he's getting and what he can do with them -- but there are, I suppose situations that allow for discussion. The Oakland situation is not one of them. In that case, the walk was the right move . . . even if you could have chosen
beforehand what Mauer would attempt to do.

Situation -- down 3, two outs, two on. A HR ties the game. Anything less requires Plouffe not make an out. An extra base hit allows Plouffe to tie the game with a single. A walk and a single are virtually identical, as the tying run would be on first.

If we could choose, which would be want? Ball in play/strike out or walk?

Ball in play:

HR -- 4% (in 650 plate appearances, that's 26 HRs, assumes effort to hit home run helps a good bit) -- game changed

Other extra-base-hit --- 7% (45 double pace for 650 plate appearances) -- still down 1 run, Plouffe hit might tie game, regardless, need Plouffe not to make an out -- generously, perhaps a 50/50 chance of game becoming tied.

Single --- 18% -- say . . . a 15% chance of Plouffe and/or others coming through to tie game?

Out -- 70% (rate of making outs in non-walk situations (say, 560 of 650 plate appearances, minus 180 hits (.325 BA)

Total attempting to put ball in play -- game changed = .04(1.00) + .07(.5) + .18 (.15) =.1025

Walk: 15% (just like a single, relying on Plouffe and others to perform now that tying run is on base).
Total for a walk -- game changed= .15 (1.0) = .15

By taking a walk rather than opting for a non-walk situation, Mauer improved the likelihood of the team winning by almost 50% (from about 10% to about 15%).

There may be other situations where a walk is a poor strategy for Mauer (tying run on second, for example, may be), but this eample is not one of them.

Edited by GM64, 22 April 2014 - 03:52 PM.


#60 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:59 PM

Mauer will be fine. People are jumping to conclusions too early in the season. He will hit 20 HRs and get on base at a .400 rate again this year, just watch.


His career average is about 11 HR's/year. If you take out 2009 its about 9 HR's/year.
I think people would be thrilled to see Joe hit 20 HR's.