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Article: Three-Bagger: Wristy Business, Jason K & Mauer Being Mauer

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:36 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...uer-Being-Mauer

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:27 AM

You were dead-on about Kubel, Nick. He still has value as a bench bat, occasional DH/OH guy but it's pretty apparent that he can no longer play every day or anything close to it.

#3 beyondclarity

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:28 AM

You were dead-on about Kubel, Nick. He still has value as a bench bat, occasional DH/OH guy but it's pretty apparent that he can no longer play every day or anything close to it.



Yet the Twins will continue to pencil him into the starting lineup because that's what they do!

#4 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:30 AM

Yet the Twins will continue to pencil him into the starting lineup because that's what they do!


Well, they're still in the bind of not having enough outfielders on the roster. I *hope* that once Willingham or Arcia returns, Kubel will start getting more bench time.

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 07:31 AM

They have no other choice....with Willingham and Arcia's injuries, and the fact that they have zero OF prospects in AAA or AA (somehow), they have no other choice but to use Kubel.

#6 Dantes929

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 08:18 AM

"During that span, he is hitting .386 with a .462 on-base percentage. Tough to complain about that." Are you new? He could hit .686 with an .886 OBP and there would be fans that complain about him.

#7 jeffk

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:17 AM

"During that span, he is hitting .386 with a .462 on-base percentage. Tough to complain about that." Are you new? He could hit .686 with an .886 OBP and there would be fans that complain about him.


"Where are the dingers?"

#8 Parker Hageman

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:20 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]You were dead-on about Kubel, Nick. He still has value as a bench bat, occasional DH/OH guy but it's pretty apparent that he can no longer play every day or anything close to it.[/COLOR]


I don't think Jason Kubel is "done" or has declined to the point where he cannot keep up with major league pitching the way, say, Jason Bartlett had. He has just been unable to adjust.

I will say this about Kubel -- I just went back to check on the difference between his first two weeks (when I had written this: http://twinsdaily.co...To-A-Fast-Start) and the rest of the season in comparison to last season. Last year was filled with an inability to catch up to fastball in the zone. He would swing and miss or be consistently late on those pitches middle and inner-half.

To begin the season, pitchers threw him fastballs over the plate and he hit them well and pulled the ball frequently -- something he was not able to do last year at all. Since then, the majority of his fastballs are either away (62% away) or out of the zone. He still swings at those a lot and -- when he is able to make contact -- he has been unable to pull those pitches (not that he should) or drive them into the opposite field.

Will he adjust? I don't know. This has been a long cold spell. The only optimism I hold is that it is a different kind of suck than it was last year. Less time in the lineup may help him reboot his approach.

#9 Winston Smith

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:50 AM

I don't think Jason Kubel is "done" or has declined to the point where he cannot keep up with major league pitching the way, say, Jason Bartlett had. He has just been unable to adjust.

I will say this about Kubel -- I just went back to check on the difference between his first two weeks (when I had written this: http://twinsdaily.co...To-A-Fast-Start) and the rest of the season in comparison to last season. Last year was filled with an inability to catch up to fastball in the zone. He would swing and miss or be consistently late on those pitches middle and inner-half.

To begin the season, pitchers threw him fastballs over the plate and he hit them well and pulled the ball frequently -- something he was not able to do last year at all. Since then, the majority of his fastballs are either away (62% away) or out of the zone. He still swings at those a lot and -- when he is able to make contact -- he has been unable to pull those pitches (not that he should) or drive them into the opposite field.

Will he adjust? I don't know. This has been a long cold spell. The only optimism I hold is that it is a different kind of suck than it was last year. Less time in the lineup may help him reboot his approach.


If you have the means to check possibly the pitchers are throwing a little harder after the first few weeks of season as they stretch out their arms and the weather warms up. Just a thought!

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#10 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:54 AM

I don't suppose this fits here but I'm aggravated by the inability of certain hitters (Mauer and Kubel mainly) for address defensive shifts. As a result they often hit balls hard, but right at fielders. Can't they adjust? Do they even try to adjust? Kubel could certainly, in the correct game-situation, lay down a bunt. A bunt is a single, damn it. And Mauer seems incapable of beating the shift by altering his approach at all. There are gaps out there just waiting to be pounded. Last night he hit two "doubles" down the left field line that were caught.

#11 Parker Hageman

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 09:55 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]If you have the means to check possibly the pitchers are throwing a little harder after the first few weeks of season as they stretch out their arms and the weather warms up. [/COLOR]


MLB average fastball velocity via ESPN/TruMedia:

April - 91.3
May - 91.1

#12 Beezer07

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:06 AM

I don't suppose this fits here but I'm aggravated by the inability of certain hitters (Mauer and Kubel mainly) for address defensive shifts. As a result they often hit balls hard, but right at fielders. Can't they adjust? Do they even try to adjust? Kubel could certainly, in the correct game-situation, lay down a bunt. A bunt is a single, damn it. And Mauer seems incapable of beating the shift by altering his approach at all. There are gaps out there just waiting to be pounded. Last night he hit two "doubles" down the left field line that were caught.


Just my opinion, what with not being a MLB hitter, but altering your approach seems like it would take a long, long time.

#13 Alex

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:50 AM

I don't suppose this fits here but I'm aggravated by the inability of certain hitters (Mauer and Kubel mainly) for address defensive shifts. As a result they often hit balls hard, but right at fielders. Can't they adjust? Do they even try to adjust? Kubel could certainly, in the correct game-situation, lay down a bunt. A bunt is a single, damn it. And Mauer seems incapable of beating the shift by altering his approach at all. There are gaps out there just waiting to be pounded. Last night he hit two "doubles" down the left field line that were caught.


If I'm remembering correctly, teams shift the OF left on Mauer and IF to the right. He's waited back hit some soft grounders to the left for singles. I think that's possible, but hitting line drives to different locations would be a far tougher thing and could require a lot of mechanical changes for a hitter like Mauer who really doesn't pull the ball hard very often. At least, that's my thinking since major league pitching is tough to hit even when taking an approach that emphasizes one's strengths. If it were that easy, I think a lot more people could hit better in general.

#14 Riverbrian

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 12:12 PM

I don't think Jason Kubel is "done" or has declined to the point where he cannot keep up with major league pitching the way, say, Jason Bartlett had. He has just been unable to adjust.

I will say this about Kubel -- I just went back to check on the difference between his first two weeks (when I had written this: http://twinsdaily.co...To-A-Fast-Start) and the rest of the season in comparison to last season. Last year was filled with an inability to catch up to fastball in the zone. He would swing and miss or be consistently late on those pitches middle and inner-half.

To begin the season, pitchers threw him fastballs over the plate and he hit them well and pulled the ball frequently -- something he was not able to do last year at all. Since then, the majority of his fastballs are either away (62% away) or out of the zone. He still swings at those a lot and -- when he is able to make contact -- he has been unable to pull those pitches (not that he should) or drive them into the opposite field.

Will he adjust? I don't know. This has been a long cold spell. The only optimism I hold is that it is a different kind of suck than it was last year. Less time in the lineup may help him reboot his approach.


Fastballs away are going to problematic for a guy that teams execute a pronounced shift on.

He's gonna have to patient and wait for mistakes. He's a vet... He should be able to do that.

Kubel can heat up again but until he foes I'd be playing him less.

#15 jacku641

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:46 PM

I thought I heard Gardy or one of the FO talkers mention that they were looking for a way to get Kubel some days off. The inexact quote was along the lines of "We didn't bring him in here to play everyday. I think if we can get back to that he will be fine."

#16 Dantes929

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:57 PM

I can see why they would just want him facing righties but otherwise don't get why days off or spot duty would help him catch up to fastballs. I also know they didn't bring him in for defensive purposes but unfortunately he is currently one of the best options.

#17 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 05:50 PM

I thought I heard Gardy or one of the FO talkers mention that they were looking for a way to get Kubel some days off. The inexact quote was along the lines of "We didn't bring him in here to play everyday. I think if we can get back to that he will be fine."


I don't doubt that was said. Kubel stepped up big time when Hammer and Arcia went down. But it's still hard to hear them claim that playing too much is what's causing his struggles.

[SIZE=3][FONT=tahoma]“I think I’ll be playing quite a bit in the field during the season,” Kubel said. “So I would imagine I’ll play more (in the field) towards the end (of spring). I spent the last few years playing the outfield. It’s kind of what we talked about when I signed over (on Dec. 13).”
[/FONT][/SIZE]
http://blogs.twincit...ld-this-season/


#18 ScrapTheNickname

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:37 PM

If I'm remembering correctly, teams shift the OF left on Mauer and IF to the right. He's waited back hit some soft grounders to the left for singles. I think that's possible, but hitting line drives to different locations would be a far tougher thing and could require a lot of mechanical changes for a hitter like Mauer who really doesn't pull the ball hard very often. At least, that's my thinking since major league pitching is tough to hit even when taking an approach that emphasizes one's strengths. If it were that easy, I think a lot more people could hit better in general.


This got me thinking. If batters have trouble, or virtually cannot, adapt to shifts, and shifts have become more prevalent, have overall MLB batting averages gone down? I looked it up. And averages have gone done consistently for the last 9 years.

(This would be appear to be a topic for an actual baseball blogger to investigate. Anyone?)

2006: .269
2007: .268
2008: .264
2009: .262
2010: .257
2011: .255
2012: .255
2013: .253
2014: .251

#19 Willihammer

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:32 PM

This got me thinking. If batters have trouble, or virtually cannot, adapt to shifts, and shifts have become more prevalent, have overall MLB batting averages gone down? I looked it up. And averages have gone done consistently for the last 9 years.

(This would be appear to be a topic for an actual baseball blogger to investigate. Anyone?)

2006: .269
2007: .268
2008: .264
2009: .262
2010: .257
2011: .255
2012: .255
2013: .253
2014: .251


Strikeouts have gone up too. I think what you want to look at is BABIP. Its gone down a bit over the last 10 years but not by much.

[TABLE="width: 128"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 64, align: right"]2005[/TD]
[TD="width: 64, align: right"]0.295[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2006[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.301[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2007[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.303[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2008[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.300
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2009[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.299[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2010[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.297[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2011[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.295[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2012[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.297[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2013[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.297[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]2014[/TD]
[TD="align: right"]0.298[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

#20 jm3319

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:50 AM

"Where are the dingers?"



Forget the dingers, where are the doubles? That's my bigger concern. (For Mauer)

#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:51 AM

Forget the dingers, where are the doubles? That's my bigger concern.


Same here. Thankfully, Joe is striking out less in recent days so in time, maybe the doubles will return as well.

#22 troyhobbs

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:56 AM

I don't suppose this fits here but I'm aggravated by the inability of certain hitters (Mauer and Kubel mainly) for address defensive shifts. As a result they often hit balls hard, but right at fielders. Can't they adjust? Do they even try to adjust? Kubel could certainly, in the correct game-situation, lay down a bunt. A bunt is a single, damn it. And Mauer seems incapable of beating the shift by altering his approach at all. There are gaps out there just waiting to be pounded. Last night he hit two "doubles" down the left field line that were caught.


Is Mauer worth $20+million/yr? Probably not, but it's funny when people worry about or criticize his performance at the plate. The guy is one of the best hitters of his generation if not the best. Plenty of things to worry about on this team but Joe Mauer is not one of them.

#23 troyhobbs

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:06 PM

This article gives me another chance to repeat my mantra of trying to build the best team possible every year. While it is nice to have talent in your farm system, it's better to have talent on your MLB roster, you can't rely on kids that are years away from MLB to be your savior. The Twinkies have wasted 2 offseasons, if not 3, doing just enough to fill the seats and promising us all that better days are just around the bend as we head into the 4th consecutive 90+ loss season.