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Article: What Needs To Happen For Joe Mauer To Be A Twin In 2019?

joe mauer logan morrison miguel sano brent rooker
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#61 Lee-The-Twins-Fan

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:29 PM

I believe Mauer will be about as good in 2018 as in 2017. I think the concussion factors – perhaps not always measurable by medical experts - can linger for years. Joe clearly proved he can still be an effective hitter – and an excellent 1B. 

 

Don't discount the latter: Mauer is an excellent 1B - he scoops up a lot of hurried throws from the other infielders, 

 

The defensive factor at 1B cannot be ignored. It is a more challenging position to play WELL than some other positions. As a 1B, you touch the ball, usually, more often than any other fielder except the pitcher and catcher.

 

Kennys Vargas has hit well this spring, but I really hope he gets traded – he's just not a very good FIELDING 1B. And PLEASE, please, please do not put Miguel Sano at 1B. If he cannot handle 3B, he should be a DH. He is not a very good defensive 1B, in my opinion.

 

That leaves Mauer and Morrison at the top of the 1B heap. They will be good defensively, and, I believe, offensively.

 

When the Twins consider whether or not to bring Mauer back in 2019, I hope they consider his stellar defense in addition to his bat.


#62 Mike Sixel

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 03:38 PM

It's almost like defensive stats aren't out there to look at.... He's very good, but the delta on runs saved for first basemen is tiny compared to other positions. Tiny.
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#63 Dr. Evil

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 05:17 PM

His defense at first base has become excellent. If there's enough run production in the lineup, it would be tough to pull the plug on that. Especially if he hits similar to last year.
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#64 gagu

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:09 PM

I don't see his 2019 value being an issue if he stays in the same form as last season. He will then project as a clear asset to the team. While that remains to be seen, he is doing fine in ST, .304 average, with only 2 K's in 23 at bats. If things go well, the question for me would be what he would ask for and what role he would play. Just speculation on my part here, I can see him enjoying another season of competing and not being too proud to take an $8 million contract with no guarantee of playing time. IMO, if he is in true form, playing time wouldn't be an issue as long as the team is in contention. I believe him when he says that he isn't going to leave in free agency and I'm not particularly worried about his past injuries. Point is, if he still has it, does he still have the motivation. If he does, he'll play for affordable pay. 


#65 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 09:32 PM

I honestly think Mauer would play for the Twins if they gave him $2m. But, given that he has some pride and a respectable agent, he'll probably demand something in the $8-10m range.

 

And if he's performing, I'm totally okay with that. Some things are more important than money and seeing Joe help take another Twins team to the postseason is something I badly want to see happen.

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#66 glunn

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:30 PM

 

It's almost like defensive stats aren't out there to look at.... He's very good, but the delta on runs saved for first basemen is tiny compared to other positions. Tiny.

I am not a stat expert, and would like to know more.

 

Is there some stat for runs saved? If so, does it take into account how well a first baseman can stretch and catch bad throws? For example, when Mauer snags a horrible throw out of the dirt, is that included in some stat? And if an infielder has confidence in Mauer, will the infielder experience less stress and make better throws? Do the stats measure this in some manner?

 

I believe that stats are relevant, but wonder if they tell the whole story. I would invite the stat experts to opine, preferably in as simple terms as possible.


#67 KirbyDome89

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 11:05 PM

 

Same reason that MN reporters don't ask him tough questions in relation to production. They only ask, "How are you feeling, Joe?" 

 

When it applies to Joe Mauer, there is another variable that everyone must consider... his FEELINGS. 

Totally...

 

Apart from local media calling him "the softest of stars," for failing to recover from off season knee surgery in what they considered a reasonable time frame, or "brittle," for moving to 1B after multiple concussions affected his vision, or having his commitment to the team, his work ethic, and his presence in the clubhouse questioned by extension, yeah, I'd say he's had a really easy go of things....

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#68 KirbyDome89

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 11:43 PM

1. Agreed, Mauer has to continue to play well.

 

2. Maybe I'm not as high on Morrison as others, but if we're placing bets on whether he's closer to 17' or the guy from 12'-16' I would lean towards the latter. 

 

3. If Rooker's bat is forcing him onto the roster why can't he be the platoon RH OFer the team needs? If 1B is his eventual destination that's fine, but if he's currently capable of playing a corner OF spot at even a tolerable level that would be huge coup. 

 

4. IMO Sano isn't a big factor in the Mauer decision. If he shows he's incapable of picking up a ball at 3B I don't particularly want to seem him roaming around at 1B either; slot him into the DH spot and let him spell Mauer in the field. Yes, the demands of 1B aren't as great, but I'll pass on moving on from a gold glove defender with a solid bat just to keep a guy whose ceiling is adequate defensive play onto the field.

 

5. Yes, he took a discount to stay in MN. He was an MVP, and an offensive monster at the catcher position. The idea that he couldn't have gone to larger markets and made more $$ isn't based in reality. If the Twins are willing to give him honest answers about his role and what direction they see the team moving in the next few years, and Mauer is content with those answers, then I think he certainly would be willing to do another hometown deal. 

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#69 ffwfed31

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:14 AM

Lets not forget this "magical turnaround" was partly due to sitting vs tougher lefties for once. I just feel like with how good/young the everyday lineup is 1B is a spot the Twins can improve upon. If he has a good 2018 and you can get him dirt cheap that is fine, but 2 years 20 mil for an average aging 1b...no thanks. Hopefully Morrison smashes 38 bombs and it makes it easier.

#70 kab21

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 12:42 AM

 

Lets not forget this "magical turnaround" was partly due to sitting vs tougher lefties for once. I just feel like with how good/young the everyday lineup is 1B is a spot the Twins can improve upon. If he has a good 2018 and you can get him dirt cheap that is fine, but 2 years 20 mil for an average aging 1b...no thanks. Hopefully Morrison smashes 38 bombs and it makes it easier.

Maybe a little but his numbers against RHP have been improving each season and were the highest last season (out of the last 4 years).

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

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#71 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:05 AM

I am not a stat expert, and would like to know more.
 
Is there some stat for runs saved? If so, does it take into account how well a first baseman can stretch and catch bad throws? For example, when Mauer snags a horrible throw out of the dirt, is that included in some stat? And if an infielder has confidence in Mauer, will the infielder experience less stress and make better throws? Do the stats measure this in some manner?
 
I believe that stats are relevant, but wonder if they tell the whole story. I would invite the stat experts to opine, preferably in as simple terms as possible.


Yes to all of that. Well, except reading the minds of other players. But yes, scoops and stretches are in there. If we all watched every game, we'd see how infrequently stretches happen, and how most first basemen make the plays most every time. At least that's what I've read on line, I've certainly not watched every game.

This is not to disparage Mauer, he is definitely very good on defense. It's just that the gap is much smaller than we think between good and bad defense at first.

Mauer is a good player, the question is how long that will last, and what it costs to pay him, and have a roster spot, compared to other options.
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#72 Andrew Thares

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:24 PM

 

I am not a stat expert, and would like to know more.

 

Is there some stat for runs saved? If so, does it take into account how well a first baseman can stretch and catch bad throws? For example, when Mauer snags a horrible throw out of the dirt, is that included in some stat? And if an infielder has confidence in Mauer, will the infielder experience less stress and make better throws? Do the stats measure this in some manner?

 

I believe that stats are relevant, but wonder if they tell the whole story. I would invite the stat experts to opine, preferably in as simple terms as possible.

A few stats I would recommend looking into are Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) on Fangraphs and dWAR on Baseball Reference. DRS is a stat that takes everything a player does defensively into account and then judges them against every other player at that position. The stat uses 0 runs saved as a baseline for an average defender at that position. So for example Joe Mauer had a DRS of 7 in 2017, which means he was worth 7 more runs defensively than the average first baseman last season. 

 

Additionally, dWAR is a good stat that you can look into. This stat is built on the same premise as DRS where it takes everything a player does defensively into account and gives it a value. However, dWAR is built on a wins model instead of a runs model. This is pretty easy to convert, as 1 win, is roughly equivalent to 10 runs. Another difference between the two is dWAR is positionally adjusted, which means there is a penalty for playing easy positions like first, while a bonus for playing tough positions like short.

 

Usually if I am comparing two players that play the same position I will use DRS, but if I am looking at two players who play different positions, or guys that play multiple positions I prefer dWAR. 

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