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Pinto's Future

rochester catcher trade candidate pinto
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:13 PM

Josmil Pinto had a breakout season in 2013. He was the best hitter for New Britain, advanced to Triple A, and got a promotion to the major leagues in September. Pinto took advantage of his promotion by hitting well and impressing management with his work ethic. There was consensus that he had "work to do" as a receiver, but given his vast improvement, it was thought Josmil would step into a regular role with the Twins by midseason.

It didn't work that way. Kurt Suzuki has enjoyed a surprising career season as a free agent signee and is now firmly entrenched as the Twins regular catcher. Pinto got playing time as an alternate at catcher and as a frequent DH when several Twins' hitters were hit by the injury bug. When the Twins' hitters got healthy, there was no place for Pinto and when he got a games behind the plate, he regressed defensively.

Pinto was sent down in June. He suffered an injury that cost him a couple weeks at Rochester, but has otherwise been healthy. At 25, Pinto has been the Red Wings best hitter. As of Wednesday, he was hitting .287 with an OPS of .898, 5 homers and 30 RBI in 42 games. Pinto will take a walk and has good power.

I assume Josmil will be recalled when Rochester's season is over, if not before. I don't know if he has improved behind the plate, or not. I think it will be tough for him to get consistent playing time with the Twins unless Suzuki would fall off a cliff or get injured.

Should he be a trade candidate? Should the Twins try to have him be a third catcher and DH? Should the Twins continue to keep him in the minors to work on his catching skills? I see the Twins not having much depth in the upper minors at catcher. Perhaps they could trade Pinto for another young catcher who is a better defensive player. I don't know if that player exists.

I don't see Pinto as a regular DH. I think he could be a regular catcher, but it doesn't look like he will get a chance with the Twins for years. It would probably be best for him to get a chance with another team, but the Twins shouldn't sell low on him.

#2 Otwins

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:28 PM

I wouldn't trade him.If he could just be slightly below average defensively he would be very valuable. He seems to have a good arm if he is still working hard hang in there with him. Plouffe seems to have gotten better defensively maybe Pinto can. I still hold out hope.


#3 freshinthehouse

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 12:35 AM

I'd love to see an open competition for the starting catching gig next year.  Let the best backstop win.  It wouldn't be the end of the world to pay Suzuki 6 mill a year for the next couple of seasons to be a backup catcher.  Lord knows this team has had worse contracts on the books. 

BYTO R.I.P.

#4 Thegrin

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 01:37 AM

I despair of Josmil Pinto ever getting regular at bats with the Twins.Fryer seems to be doing all that can be asked of a backup catcher and reportedly he has major league catching and game calling skills. Perhaps if TR trades him, then Pinto would be the only option left.

 

I have been keeping track of Pinto since the AAA All-Star break and Pinto has only sat out one game.

He DH's 40% of the games and hits well when he is the DH. He does not seem to greatly affect the W-L record of the pitchers he catches for.Writing this, it occurs to me that a closer analysis of how the pitchers are doing when compared to being caught by Pinto, might be enlightening.

 

If the Twins were to replace Fryer with Pinto and let him catch 40% of the games, he could also DH when Vargas replaces Joe at 1B.This would be the only reason I would give Mauer time in the OF, because I think he may be faster than Vargas and Pinto.I'd like to see that foot race:)


#5 drjim

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:26 AM

I think Pinto will be the primary backup catcher in September, and I also think Suzuki will catch games at a slightly lesser rate than he has up to this point. Pinto will also DH on occasion if Vargas or Mauer need a day.

 

It will be worthwhile to take another look at that time, to see if his catching skills have progressed with his time back in AAA.

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#6 jokin

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

I despair of Josmil Pinto ever getting regular at bats with the Twins.Fryer seems to be doing all that can be asked of a backup catcher and reportedly he has major league catching and game calling skills. Perhaps if TR trades him, then Pinto would be the only option left.

 

I have been keeping track of Pinto since the AAA All-Star break and Pinto has only sat out one game.

He DH's 40% of the games and hits well when he is the DH. He does not seem to greatly affect the W-L record of the pitchers he catches for.Writing this, it occurs to me that a closer analysis of how the pitchers are doing when compared to being caught by Pinto, might be enlightening.

 

If the Twins were to replace Fryer with Pinto and let him catch 40% of the games, he could also DH when Vargas replaces Joe at 1B.This would be the only reason I would give Mauer time in the OF, because I think he may be faster than Vargas and Pinto.I'd like to see that foot race:)

 

I can offer anecdotal evidence on Pinto. I was at the Meyer-pitched game in Louisville.  Pinto was his starting catcher and also Meyer's battery-mate in the pre-game warm-up.  It was interesting to note that Pinto was quiet as a churchmouse for the duration of the long-toss and bullpen, but it was Dan Rohlfing working next to the tandem who was visibly the most vocal guy in that grouping.  Just an observation, but in the wake of how pleased the Twins brass are with Suzuki's take-charge persona with the pitching staff, is there a language or personality issue that makes the Twins reticent about Pinto at the position?  If Suzuki is the #1 catcher over the next two years, that would mean that Pinto would be 28 years old after Zuke's departure, 3 years from now, and presumably the likes of Turner, Garver, et al. would be challenging him for the #1 spot.

 

As far as Pinto's catching in the game I witnessed, he looked fine behind the plate when Meyer was throwing.  He went out to settle Meyer down a couple times in the 2nd inning, when Meyer was having all kinds of trouble locating his pitches and they were then able to coax a pop-up and strikeout to get out of trouble, and they had similar results in Meyer's other tough inning.  I did notice though, that when Achter came in, they immediately gave up a wild pitch on a play where pitcher and catcher were clearly not on the same page, resulting in a run charged to Meyer.  Oliveros later threw a wild pitch that Pinto wasn't able to block effectively.  Pinto did make it through the whole 15 inning game, and ironically enough, Dan Rohlfing, of all people, earned the save, pitching the final 15th frame.

 

Pinto's hitting approach looked very polished and selective, much improved from his last month with the Twins.  When I looked deeper into his stats after the game, sure enough, his O-swing % rate is a paltry 6.6%...vs a whopping 25.2% with the Twins. His current BB% and K% are synchronously 14.1%, these both represent the best numbers in his career.  While working deep into counts, he didn't get cheated on hard hit balls. His LD% of 21% is a career high, and some 4 points over his minor league average.  His slash numbers are very, very solid in Rochester....287 BA, .897 OPS, and he's been on an absolute tear of late- .321/.400/.590/.990- over his last 22 games and 90 PAs.  Of his 25 hits in this stretch, 14 are XBH, yielding an ISO of .269.  Among catchers, he ranks 2nd with an OPS+ of 147 (10th best overall in the IL). 

Edited by jokin, 15 August 2014 - 07:57 AM.

 

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#7 Willihammer

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:24 AM

Yes he should be a trade candidate. He's blocked at C by Suzuki and at DH by about 10,000 other guys. He's killed AAA, his value can only go down.

Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#8 Monkeypaws

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:36 AM

I wouldn't trade him. Who catches if Sukuki twists his ankle or something?

 

Depth is an organizational strength, not a problem. 

 

I could very well see him get 300 ABs or so next year rotating at catcher, DH, and right handed bat off the bench. 2016, who knows?

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#9 kab21

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:37 AM

I hope that neither Garver or Turner are starting for the Twins.

 

Pinto is in a tough spot.I think he ends up with a Ryan Doumit career.Not quite good enough at hitting to be an everyday player not at catcher and not quite good enough at catching to be an every day catcher.

Is 2016 2017 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 


#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:56 AM

I'd like to see him catch up in MN, and really be given a chance.......

  • stringer bell likes this

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#11 jokin

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:11 AM

I'd like to see him catch up in MN, and really be given a chance.......

 

Based on his AAA performance and the Twins current situation, when he's called up in September, he really should be catching 3 out of 4 games for the duration of the schedule....to make a decision on his status for next year, plus a possible showcase opportunity for the offseason.It seems they've soured on him behind the plate, and his catching deficiencies were even obvious to us laymen, enough to the point that the Twins just gave at least $12M to a 30+ catcher, based on sort-of a fluky career-year at the platePerhaps a bunch of teams took notice with what the A's and Braves have done with multiple catching options and give the Twins multiple nice offers for Pinto at the winter meetings....

 

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"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#12 RealTwinsFan357

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:12 AM

Like all players, it isn't fair to say whether he should be traded or not. If I'm TR, I'm going to contact some other GMs and find out what they would be willing to give up for Josmil Pinto. There are a bunch of teams who could use an offensive upgrade at catcher, and if they give TR a good enough offer, it would be foolish not to take it.On the other hand, I do like Pinto and would love to see him in a Twins uniform, but if he's never going to get a chance anyways, we might as well cash in.


#13 Mike Sixel

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:14 AM

I will say this, if they don't believe in him at catcher, I bet another club does, and he should be traded. But.....I bet they'd be wrong if they did.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#14 jokin

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:25 AM

I will say this, if they don't believe in him at catcher, I bet another club does, and he should be traded.

 

But.....I bet they'd be wrong if they did.

 

It wouldn't be the first time that was true, now would it?  It's strange, they were enamored enough of Ryan Doumit to extend him two years, whereas Pinto seems to be better than Doumit behind the plate now, and possibly, or likely, better than Doumit at the plate quite soon. 

 

Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#15 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:29 AM

I wouldn't trade him. Even as a backup catcher, he's going to get pretty close to 60 games behind the dish. I think Gardy may be forced to be a bit creative to get him into games next season, but I'd have a primary 1/2 of Suzuki and Pinto. In Pinto's case, I could see him taking some OF reps just to get some extra PT over the course of the season. In the mean time though, I think he gets mentored for the next two seasons and when Suzuki leaves or gets traded, he takes over.

#16 Kwak

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:30 AM

The Twins have needs outside of catcher.We can be sure that Suzuki will be back as the starting catcher.Seeking help elsewhere only makes sense.The rotation is comprised of guys deemed unworthy of playoff-calibre teams.Simply because they are better than their predecessors doesn't mean the job is complete.If a combination of Pinto and someone else (pitcher?) could yield a significant upgrade in the rotation the Twins would be foolish to not accept that trade.


#17 Willihammer

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:01 AM

Couple of thoughts.

1. Have people watched Suzuki catch? He shrugs off every foul tip and ball in the dirt like nothing. The guy is tough as nails. So the depth/contingency plan is overly cautious given the durability of the guy he's backing up. If Pinto needs Suzuki to get hurt in order to catch, he'll never catch.

2. The Twins are paying Suzuki 6m/year to start, the coaches want him to start, by some accounts the pitchers want Suzuki to start - if healthy, Suzuki will start. That would put Pinto on the bench, and bench bats are easy to find/replace. Using Pinto to fill that role would be a waste IMO.

3. Age and options. Pinto is 25 and 132 days. He's not going to be any better defensively than he is now. By the time Suzuki is gone, he'll be 29. Look at his body, he's built like a fire hydrant. He needed some time off earlier in the year to recover from pitch blocking drills. By the time 2018 rolls around, I think Pinto's catching days could be done.

4. Garver, Turner, Navaretto, et al. There could be better internal options than Pinto by 2018. There could be better external options.

What it boils down to is, Depth is good, waste is bad. Cash him in while he is still worth soemthing
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Well, there's that.

-Dark Star, RIP


#18 Mike Sixel

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:19 AM

Number 1 sounds a lot like Mauer......or any other catcher until he gets hit in the head or whatever wrong.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#19 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:20 AM

Couple of thoughts.

1. Have people watched Suzuki catch? He shrugs off every foul tip and ball in the dirt like nothing. The guy is tough as nails. So the depth/contingency plan is overly cautious given the durability of the guy he's backing up. If Pinto needs Suzuki to get hurt in order to catch, he'll never catch.

2. The Twins are paying Suzuki 6m/year to start, the coaches want him to start, by some accounts the pitchers want Suzuki to start - if healthy, Suzuki will start. That would put Pinto on the bench, and bench bats are easy to find/replace. Using Pinto to fill that role would be a waste IMO.

3. Age and options. Pinto is 25 and 132 days. He's not going to be any better defensively than he is now. By the time Suzuki is gone, he'll be 29. Look at his body, he's built like a fire hydrant. He needed some time off earlier in the year to recover from pitch blocking drills. By the time 2018 rolls around, I think Pinto's catching days could be done.

4. Garver, Turner, Navaretto, et al. There could be better internal options than Pinto by 2018. There could be better external options.

What it boils down to is, Depth is good, waste is bad. Cash him in while he is still worth soemthing

These are all solid points - Pinto is a better hitter than Eric Fryer, though I wonder what the Twins gain from having Pinto instead of Fryer. It's possible that the Twins could get back a player via trade that is worth more than having Josmil on the Bench.

I agree that unless he gets regular playing time in the big leagues, his value can only go down as he gets older. As others have mentioned, Fryer is great in the role of backup catcher (and he's a respectable hitter against lefties, though it may be a smaller sample size talking), while Pinto is not really showcasing his strengths as a bench player.


#20 WLFINN

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:28 AM

Based on his AAA performance and the Twins current situation, when he's called up in September, he really should be catching 3 out of 4 games for the duration of the schedule....to make a decision on his status for next year, plus a possible showcase opportunity for the offseason.It seems they've soured on him behind the plate, and his catching deficiencies were even obvious to us laymen, enough to the point that the Twins just gave at least $12M to a 30+ catcher, based on sort-of a fluky career-year at the platePerhaps a bunch of teams took notice with what the A's and Braves have done with multiple catching options and give the Twins multiple nice offers for Pinto at the winter meetings....

...oerhaps the Twins notice what the A's and Braves have done with multiple catching options....




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