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Joe Mauer 3B?

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#1 darin617

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:01 PM

Any chance that Mauer could slide over a play some 3B if Justin Morneau can stay healthy?

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

Any chance that Mauer could slide over a play some 3B if Justin Morneau can stay healthy?


As others have pointed out, you just don't throw him out there without any previous experience.

#3 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:37 PM

As others have pointed out, you just don't throw him out there without any previous experience.


So have him take infield for a couple weeks. It might be ugly for a while, but IMO Mauer has the tools to become a decent third baseman, and if not now--in the midst of another lost season--when?

I think everyone, including the Twins and Mauer, need to move on from the fantasy that he's going to be a full time catcher going forward. Hell, he's not a full time catcher now. He started 47 games at C last year and 19 so far this year.

Finding Joe Mauer's full time home for the next 6 years should be one of the positive results of this season. Continuing to risk his long and short term health, while in the process quite possibly hurting his offense (catching is tough on a hitters hands, knees, legs, back, etc etc) is foolhardy. 3B is an organizational need, unless Sano can be there in a few years, and gets you the best combination of positional scarcity, health, and the best likelyhood of getting 155-160 games per year out of a $23M/per player without having to shoehorn him into a DH role way more often than you'd like. The C/1B/DH thing also means he never has extended periods at any position to truly learn it defensively.

Win-win for everyone, if he can handle 3b, and it seems like he's athletic enough to give it a shot with a reasonable expectation of success.

#4 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

I knew you'd be all over this one Chief :)

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:09 PM

I knew you'd be all over this one Chief :)


Well, to me it has made sense for a couple years now. I think events over the past few years have at least lent credence to the idea that the Twins would have been better off getting Mauer out from behind the plate. Better late than never.

#6 Nick Nelson

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:20 PM

I think events over the past few years have at least lent credence to the idea that the Twins would have been better off getting Mauer out from behind the plate. Better late than never.

And I think that his nearly flawless transition to first base lends credence to the idea that Mauer could probably pick up third and become an asset there. He's got quick reflexes and a great arm. Granted, there are lot of distinct intricacies to playing third base that he would need to learn and adjust to, but he's got excellent baseball instincts so I tend to think he'd surprise some people.

#7 mnfireman

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:41 PM

You realize that moving Mauer to 3B means a steady diet of Butera. Just sayin....

#8 darin617

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:41 PM

As others have pointed out, you just don't throw him out there without any previous experience.


What was Mauer's previous experience with 1st base? Such a gifted athlete should be able to make the transition in a few weeks at most.

#9 Al Frankensteinbrenner

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:22 PM

No way that he plays the hot corner worse than Miguel Cabrera...

#10 adjacent

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

You realize that moving Mauer to 3B means a steady diet of Butera. Just sayin....

In that case, you would be replacing Mauer with a .360 hitter.:)

#11 Shane Wahl

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

Third base is a much more difficult position than 1st base. Mauer could do it, I agree, but the Twins are not going to do that mid-season with Valencia coming back at some point.

#12 spideyo

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:41 PM

I've got no numbers or anything to back this up, but just from watching the game, it seems like 3b is a slightly more dangerous position than 1b. They seem to do a whole lot more diving, quick abrupt direction changes that can be rough on the body, having a lot more hard slides coming at them, etc. I would suspect it wouldn't be so much that Mauer doesn't have the tools to play 3b, as much as he doesn't have the conditioning. It's not hard to imagine Mauer diving for a ball down the line, twisting his body quick and firing it across the diamond, and ending up on the DL for a month or more with an abdominal injury. Both from a performance standpoint and a PR standpoint, the twins are going to take a few errors and a weak bat at 3b over Mauer on the DL any day.

#13 mnfireman

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:43 PM

In that case, you would be replacing Mauer with a .360 hitter.:)


And don't forget the 0.00 ERA!!

#14 darin617

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:43 PM

You realize that moving Mauer to 3B means a steady diet of Butera. Just sayin....


Have you seen him hit lately? Looks like Mauer might be getting Wally Pipped.

#15 darin617

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:46 PM

You really expect to see Danny boy again this season? If not for no better options I would doubt he would be back by All Star break.

#16 Shane Wahl

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:49 PM

You really expect to see Danny boy again this season? If not for no better options I would doubt he would be back by All Star break.


Yes, as he is hitting in Rochester right now. There is no way they are just going to throw him down there until the All-Star break.

#17 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

This is a good fit for a few reasons. First, it solves (to the extent possible) the health problems Mauer will face by catching forever. Second, this is Mauer we are talking about -- I have every confidence he can learn the position (not during the season, as some have suggested; this will take months, not weeks). This is the same guy that was pretty darn good at football and basketball; my guess is he can learn the hot corner. Third, aside from Valencia, we don't have anyone who is a big plus at 3B next year, or even the year after. Miguel Sano, even if he doesn't grow out of the position and learns to field adequately, is still a couple years out at the earliest. I think it's the kind of thing, if it happens, where he starts taking some grounders there later this season, works on it over the winter in Ft. Myers, and makes it part of his game in 2013, along with catching, 1B and wherever else he can play to get in 145 games a year.
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#18 twinsnorth49

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:27 PM

Mauer could easily transition to 3rd base given the athlete that he is. I do believe Valencia will get another shot with the team, although not until he deserves it, which I think he's capable of achieving. It's going to take better than the .200 he's hitting now so I don't think him being down their beyond the AS break is a big stretch.

#19 darin617

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:00 PM

Yes, as he is hitting in Rochester right now. There is no way they are just going to throw him down there until the All-Star break.


Why not? Until he can quit chasing bad pitches and play a better all round game it would best serve him to stay so he actually realizes there are no handouts here. If you look at his career stats he is really nothing special.

#20 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:08 PM

The reason that most people don't think that Miguel Sano will be able to stay at 3B is becasue he will become to big and tall... Joe Mauer is already tall. I could be wrong, but I think that Mauer at 3B would be a mess. It's 100% completely different than playing 1B. I could be wrong, bu I'd want him to spend an offseason playing nothing but 3B and spend all of spring training playing there before throwing him out there.

#21 stringer bell

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:12 PM

Valencia is having a nice run at Rochester right now. His average is up to .293, and he hit his second homer tonight.

#22 stringer bell

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:17 PM

Mauer isn't going to move to third base unless 1) he volunteers to do it. EXTREMELY UNLIKELY. 2) There are no in-house options. Well, besides Valencia there aren't. 3) There is a capable replacement at catcher. No, Drew Butera's hot 25 ABs have not convinced me that he would be able to stay above the Mendoza line. Mauer has said that he wants to catch. Being a catcher is why he was paid all of that money. He should be the best guide when he needs to change positions.

#23 glunn

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:49 PM

The reason that most people don't think that Miguel Sano will be able to stay at 3B is because he will become to big and tall... Joe Mauer is already tall. I could be wrong, but I think that Mauer at 3B would be a mess. It's 100% completely different than playing 1B. I could be wrong, bu I'd want him to spend an offseason playing nothing but 3B and spend all of spring training playing there before throwing him out there.


Seth makes a good point -- it's hard to imagine Mauer being good at fielding bunts down the third base line. And that could be hard on his knees.

What about right field? He has OK speed and a strong arm -- maybe he could get a lot of assists. And right field would allow him to stay loose between ABs.

#24 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:10 PM

The reason that most people don't think that Miguel Sano will be able to stay at 3B is becasue he will become to big and tall... Joe Mauer is already tall. I could be wrong, but I think that Mauer at 3B would be a mess. It's 100% completely different than playing 1B. I could be wrong, bu I'd want him to spend an offseason playing nothing but 3B and spend all of spring training playing there before throwing him out there.


Seth, I agree with your assessment, and 3B would be worth a try under those guidelines. We need to get his offensive engines running again and the writing is on the wall that being a Catcher is no longer a viable answer. I don't like 1B for Mauer either. If I had my druthers it would be 3B first, RF second, and LF third.

#25 Riverbrian

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:30 PM

If anyone in the Twins organization thinks Sano is "too tall" to play 3rd base. Fire that person. Plenty of successful tall 3rd sackers over the decades. Height has very little to do with it. Athleticism is what you are looking for. Joe has that. If anyone thinks The quick reaction for Joe at 3b should be an injury risk to Joe or something he can't handle. Just try reacting and blocking a 90 mph slider in the dirt and well off the plate from a squat position. Much harder task and Joe does that. If anyone thinks that his contract value is tied to playing catcher. Maybe but does it matter to the Twins and how they stand right now. You gotta get your best on the field and the hole at 3B is huge. Mauer could be an amazing defensive 3B over time. Under normal circumstances I'd say wait for next year give Joe the Winter and Grapefruit to work it out. If this season doesn't turn around, I'd say why not. Give him the job and start on the job.. It would give him some additional positional flexibility. Let Plouffe run with it a little while and if the season stays crappy and Plouffe doesnt grab it. Give Joe the 3B job at the all star break and say have at it. If it doesn't work. You will have the off season to get things back to normal. It's a dumb idea when chasing a pennant. Its a certainly possible idea when you are way out of it. Honestly it's something that should have been done a few years ago. Oh yeah... One more thing... If Joe doesn't agree to it. Tough!!! He makes enough money to deal with it.

#26 Nick Nelson

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

The reason that most people don't think that Miguel Sano will be able to stay at 3B is becasue he will become to big and tall... Joe Mauer is already tall. I could be wrong, but I think that Mauer at 3B would be a mess. It's 100% completely different than playing 1B. I could be wrong, bu I'd want him to spend an offseason playing nothing but 3B and spend all of spring training playing there before throwing him out there.

Ryan Zimmerman is one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball and he's basically the same size as Mauer. Maybe an inch or two shorter.

#27 jimbo92107

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:42 PM

Drew Butera is quite an athlete. His spontaneous success at relief pitcher did not look like an accident to me. It looked like he had good pop on his FB, good movement on all his pitches and reasonable control. Obviously he was balking from the set, but that can be corrected in one lesson. It would take a little longer to stabilize his delivery to avoid those high heaters, but again it's not a huge deal when your delivery is so short and so out front. Impressive, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him out there again. As for Mauer at 3rd, it would take him one week to get the basics, and in two weeks he'd be making the bare-hand play on bunts. Oh, and Mauer could step in and pitch, too.

#28 Riverbrian

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:01 AM

Ryan Zimmerman is one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball and he's basically the same size as Mauer. Maybe an inch or two shorter.


Scott Rolen is a big dude as well with a good glove. Chipper Jones isn't short. A Rod is tall. The only reason it's crazy is experience. How do you get experience? By playing... A lost season is a good time to try it.

#29 Top Gun

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:17 AM

It's not a lost season yet, Lots of baseball to be played.

#30 snepp

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:30 AM

A lost season is a good time to try it.


Yup. He would be able to get enough time in now to tell you whether or not it's worth investing the entire offseason and spring on it.


It's not a lost season yet, Lots of baseball to be played.


You're half right.