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Article: Position Battles: The Hitters
14 replies to this topic
Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:25 PM
Pitchers like to throw to Dru. Allegedly. Pavano's blankie etc. And then there was Drew being mentioned along w/Valencia as guys not taking the L's more seriously. And then you have the lack of offense. Have a real competition and take the winner. So few jobs are truly open for competition on this team,which is funny, given how terrible they were last year. I just don't understand the fascination with Drew as the backup backup, which makes him the #2 catcher in my perception, given how he got into games so much last year. The guy can't hit. If so, then he'd better block low pitches better and throw more runners out. In other words, better than last year.
Edited by Mr. Ed, 28 February 2012 - 01:31 PM.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:38 PM
Your prediction on Butera may be correct, but that doesn't make it the right decision. At least Towles has an upside. Butera has none. An organization that is looking for bright spots would be well served to give the guy who has a strong minor-league track record a shot. Worst case, he can't hit? So what, we *know* Butera can't.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:09 PM
Nobody takes losing harder than Danny and he certainly takes it seriously. In fact all players at this level do not enjoy losing. Why wouldn't they care? They are paid to perform. That is their job!
All I'm saying is that several youngsters got singled out late in the season for 'their attitude' after a bunch of losses in the media.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:51 PM
If there are few injuries in Minnesota, then AAA Rochester is going to be fielding an exciting and competitive team this year, at least with the day-to-day players. Keep those players healthy for once. From reading your past posts on pitching in the Twin's organization, it appears that Rochester's stable of pitchers will be the weakest of all the levels.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:18 PM
Couldn't agree more Seth, although I have this knawing in my gut that tells me Burroughs is going to be the spring training surprise. Although I really like Hughes and am amongst the believers that he can be our starting second baseman, I think he may begin the season on the dl. Then when Casilla has his normal injury, Hughes can replace him and win the starting 2B job.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:44 PM
I don't things are quite as set as Seth makes it sound. Players seldom win jobs in spring training but it is possible to lose one. I think a lot depends on Morneau. If he can play in field all the time, part of the time or not at all. Who makes the team could well be influenced by that. Some depends on Mauer. If he is healthy, the Twins might decide a 3rd catcher is unnecessary. Another factor is Plouffe. Everyone assumes he will be fine in the outfield, which is likely. But he also has to show he can hit. If he can, he could take some AB's in RF with Willingham getting some at DH. Again Morneau is a factor there. The Twins might not want to risk losing Plouffe, but if he isn't an outfielder and doesn't hit this spring, who would want him? I don't think anything is set in stone. Although Seth probably has it about right, there are reasons to have slightly different bench players.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:28 PM
JeffK- my only disagreement with you is that none of the three have any upside, including Towles.
J.R. Towles, 152 games at AAA: .286/.389/.443
Drew Butera, 99 games at AAA: .211/.268/.292
I dunno, for a backup catcher, that sounds like upside to me. I mean, even if he hit .220/.280/.300 in the majors he would be WAY, WAY better than Drew Butera. And that doesn't seem like an unreasonable projection. Except, of course, he hasn't performed in the majors. Certainly we don't know why that is, and maybe he never will. But there must be a reason that he's much, much less successful in the Majors than AAA, and if he or coaches can figure it out, he could drastically improve. A 10% chance? Perhaps, but that's the definition of "upside": there's some non-neglibale chance. I think that's different than the chance of Butera performing in the majors, which is actually zero.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:27 PM
Little known fact: even if Butera/Towles/Rivera do not make the team, the Twins have 3 players who can catch and are locks to make it up North. We all know about Mauer and Doumit. So the only reason that the Twins might need a third catcher is if one of them is the DH and the catcher gets hurt and they do not want to lose the DH for that game. Enter Josh Willingham. He played multiple positions including catcher in the Florida organization even at the MLB level. He could probably put the armor on and finish a game. Might be interesting to see whether the Twins have him crouch behind the plate in practice a bit during ST...
Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:43 PM
Luke Hughes needs to make the roster because he is out of options. I like the potential and he is pretty solid at 2B. If they try to send him back to Rochester another team will scoop him up. I like Hughes more than Nishioka, Casilla, and Carroll.
Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:32 AM
If Luke Hughes is healthy, he makes the team. Some people are undervaluing his, albeit surprising, defensive Ok-ness. Towles is certainly a better option than Butera offensively. I wouldn't call it "upside" but, my lord, he might have an OPS of .600+! And OPS difference of .100 over 100 plate appearances might be meaningful this year. Ideally, Drew Butera would be paid a nice salary to play at Rochester and work with the pitchers coming through the system. And Rene Rivera would be gone. We know what those two offer, which is not major league performance. Let Towles have a chance with the Twins, and CERTAINLY, give Danny Lehmann a chance. At least you might get something from him that can lead to an adequate future. Or maybe he shows some potential and can end up being packaged in some trade down the line (plenty of organizations might like a defensive catcher in their systems). Nishioka needs an excellent spring and to demonstrate that he can be a utility infielder, or else it seems clear that he belongs at Rochester. Burroughs is a nice option at the corners and maybe at second.
Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:48 AM
"And OPS difference of .100 over 100 plate appearances might be meaningful this year" Shane, I suppose anything is possible, but if the 3rd catcher only gets 100 plate appearances this year, I doubt the extra 100 points of OPS has much impact. What 100 plate appearances works out to is less than 4 appearances a week. It means your more productive catcher(if he really is that much more productive) provides you a little over one extra hit or walk a month. This is the reason the Twins are more concerned about defense at the back up catcher position than offense.