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2019 1B options

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#41 Lefty74

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 09:57 AM

Joe Mauer has to be one of the most overrated players ever. He has to rank near the bottom when it comes to being clutch, that is delivering a big hit when the game is on the line. His leadership skills consist of being able to point to the location of the nearest bathroom. When a team's senior veteran leaves the gaping leadership hole that Mauer does, it ripples throughout the clubhouse and has a negative impact. Kirby Puckett was a leader. When he grounded out in a game winning situation, he clearly was frustrated and disappointed, showed it and you could tell next time he would try even harder. When Mauer grounds out in a game winning situation, he trots to first base and shows no emotion, like he could care less and all he's thinking about is what kind of toppings he'll sprinkle on his salad after the game. It is high time Mr. Mauer rode off into the sunset and enjoyed his much undeserved reputation as a great baseball player.


Regarding your comments about Joe be “clutch” a recent article I read would dispute that. Here is the quote:

“Mauer’s numbers vary depending on exactly how clutch you need him to be. He’s hitting .376 all-time with the bases loaded — Mike Trout territory, currently — with 132 RBI in 117 at-bats.”

All his #’s w RISP are much better than average.
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#42 MN_ExPat

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:02 AM

 

Joe Mauer has to be one of the most overrated players ever. He has to rank near the bottom when it comes to being clutch, that is delivering a big hit when the game is on the line. His leadership skills consist of being able to point to the location of the nearest bathroom. When a team's senior veteran leaves the gaping leadership hole that Mauer does, it ripples throughout the clubhouse and has a negative impact. Kirby Puckett was a leader. When he grounded out in a game winning situation, he clearly was frustrated and disappointed, showed it and you could tell next time he would try even harder. When Mauer grounds out in a game winning situation, he trots to first base and shows no emotion, like he could care less and all he's thinking about is what kind of toppings he'll sprinkle on his salad after the game. It is high time Mr. Mauer rode off into the sunset and enjoyed his much undeserved reputation as a great baseball player. 

Umm... Snark much?? That's a pretty vitriolic statement, so I'll be the first one to say... "Ok, who needs a hug??"

 

But seriously, it's ok that Joe clearly isn't your favorite player and I'm fine with that. It's part of what makes baseball and this site great. We all have our own opinions, but you may want to tone down the harsh a little bit.

Edited by MN_ExPat, 08 August 2018 - 10:05 AM.

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#43 slash129

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:09 AM

 

For comparison sake, here are Brian Dozier’s “late and close” stats:

.197 .294 .317 .611

Eddie Rosario:

.268 .311 .479 .790

Miguel Sano:

.247 .338 .459 .797

Eduardo Escobar

.218 .290 .339 .629

Max Kepler

.209 .301 .367 .668

Who, exactly, would you rather have up in clutch situations, exactly?

 

I'd take Eddie Rosario, and the numbers show why.AVG and OPS are very close.The biggest differences are Mauer being the heavy favorite in OBP and Eddie being the heavy favorite in SLG.

 

Eddie is ready to hit the crap out of the ball and make something happen.Joe is perfectly content to take the walk and leave it up to the next guy.Joe's approach isn't necessarily wrong, because there is now additional pressure on the pitcher.But, that approach certainly is what makes people think he isn't a good hitter in the clutch.

 

With Eddie hitting after Joe, it's a good combo right now.The rest of the lineup needs to fall in place though.

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#44 jkcarew

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:20 AM

Clutch is a non-existent concept...at least in terms or regular season at-bats.Over thousands of plate appearances, the guys with high regular batting averages will have high RISP numbers, etc.Players at this level don't choke or get nervous 3 thousand plate appearances into their career.You are what you are.Joe can has been a high BA hitter in his past.We know this.

 

My critique of Joe would not include a hypothesis that bad things happen when he swings the bat.But that he could have chosen to swing the bat more aggressively (more often) in RBI situations.

 

But none of this is relevant for the question of whether Mauer would add (or subtract) value for 2019 and/or 2020.My opinion is...if we can do materially better...and at some point we need to do materially better...we need to do it.If we can't, then take him back, one year at a time.

 

If he's not willing to do that, let him walk.The Twins let Killebrew walk after his second sub-100 OPS+ year....and probably should have done so after the first.Didn't hurt his legacy or relationship with the team at all.He was pure class.From all indications Mauer will probably be the same way if/when that time comes.

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#45 D. Hocking

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:00 AM

Before this season, I would have said 60 to 70 % he would be back.

 

Now, with a new concussion, a new baby coupled with the twins approaching school age, and the Twins being a contender again kicked further down the road again, I am starting to think fitting Mauer on the team might not be an issue.

 

I can see why Mauer's style at the plate might frustrate people.I do disagree with the argument placed that him appearing stoic on the field reflects that he is a black hole in the club house or that he does not care about the team or the game.  

 

Watch, Mauer will retire and they will end up signing some 36 year on the back end of his career because he will have a veteran presence in the clubhouse...

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#46 Kelly Vance

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:12 AM

 

I can’t tell if you are trolling or not, to be honest, but Joe’s career numbers with runners in scoring position are:

.334 / .459 / .475 / .934

With 2 outs and RISP:

.324 / .474 / .478 / .951

In “late and close” situations (7th inning or later, game within a run) his batting average is significantly lower, but he still gets on base more than 40% of the time:

.277 / .403 / .405 / .808

So, I’m ok with Mauer at the plate in clutch situations, but that’s just me.

You are correct that he doesn’t show a ton of emotion on the field, but at this point, isn’t that pretty well established?

Always, I wanted to quote your post because it is so right on.  I was too lazy to do the research but I watch most of the games on MLB TV and I have always thought Joe was one of the best clutch hitters in the game. When he comes up with guys on in a clutch situation he delivers.  He doesn't do so in spectacular fashion often, usually a double in the gap or opposite field single.  

 

I have been a loyal fan for many years and I am hoping he sticks around for at least one more.That's my bias. I'd rather be biased for than biased against.  Thanks for showing Joe's numbers. 

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#47 Doomtints

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:14 AM

I can't see any reason to bring Mauer back next year, which isn't to say it won't happen.

 

I don't like any of the internal options mentioned either. Sano or Kepler? We already have their bats in the lineup, and I question any of them would be good at first. Escobar? Maybe, but he's going to get more money this offseason than the Twins want to give. Getting Dozier back is more likely.

The Twins should stop dinking around and give Vargas the true shot at 1B he has earned.

As for the "clutch" discussion ... the "clutch" metrics that exist are just as reliable as any of the defensive metrics. There's no reason not to trust them for what they are, which is to say they are something better than nothing.

All I can say about Mauer being "clutch" is a saw with my own eyes Mauer getting an albeit mediocre (but well fought for) base hit in the 9th inning to break up a no-hitter against the Twins once. That's not clutch to win a game, sure, but it's clutch.

 

Before the age of Statcast, people thought Mauer could hit the ball anywhere at any time. Statcast showed his tendencies that had previously baffled baseball and made him predictable to defenses and pitchers. People got a particularly hard look at Mauer since Target Field was one of the first stadiums to have Statcast technology installed.

Edited by Doomtints, 08 August 2018 - 11:16 AM.

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#48 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:16 AM

I can't see any reason to bring Mauer back next year, which isn't to say it won't happen.

I don't like any of the internal options mentioned either. Sano or Kepler? We already have their bats in the lineup, and I question any of them would be good at first. Escobar? Maybe, but he's going to get more money this offseason than the Twins want to give. Getting Dozier back is more likely.
The Twins should stop dinking around and give Vargas the true shot at 1B he has earned.

As for the "clutch" discussion ... the "clutch" metrics that exist are just as reliable as any of the defensive metrics. There's no reason not to trust them for what they are, which is to say they are something better than nothing.

All I can say about Mauer being "clutch" is a saw with my own eyes Mauer getting an albeit mediocre (but well fought for) base hit in the 9th inning to break up a no-hitter against the Twins once. That's not clutch to win a game, sure but it's clutch.

Before the age of Statcast, people thought Mauer could hit the ball anywhere at any time. Statcast showed his tendencies that had previously baffled baseball and made him predictable to defenses and pitchers.

Putting Kepler at first allows the Twins to get Cave’s bat in the lineup. Which, as of today, is someting he has earned. I’m not at all concerned about Kepler’s ability to field at first.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 08 August 2018 - 11:17 AM.


#49 Kelly Vance

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:22 AM

 

Clutch is a non-existent concept...at least in terms or regular season at-bats.Over thousands of plate appearances, the guys with high regular batting averages will have high RISP numbers, etc.Players at this level don't choke or get nervous 3 thousand plate appearances into their career.You are what you are.Joe can has been a high BA hitter in his past.We know this.

 

My critique of Joe would not include a hypothesis that bad things happen when he swings the bat.But that he could have chosen to swing the bat more aggressively (more often) in RBI situations.

 

But none of this is relevant for the question of whether Mauer would add (or subtract) value for 2019 and/or 2020.My opinion is...if we can do materially better...and at some point we need to do materially better...we need to do it.If we can't, then take him back, one year at a time.

 

If he's not willing to do that, let him walk.The Twins let Killebrew walk after his second sub-100 OPS+ year....and probably should have done so after the first.Didn't hurt his legacy or relationship with the team at all.He was pure class.From all indications Mauer will probably be the same way if/when that time comes.

Well "clutch" is as real as the pitchers mound, or there wouldn't be a term invented to describe that special kind of gamer. Of course the best hitters have high batting averages with RISP. They have higher BAs across the board. But not all of them are clutch.  

 

Ted Williams used to be known for taking a walk. That did not make him "not clutch."  If your rule is "get a good pitch to hit" like with Ted and Joe, then swinging at off the plate stuff is the easiest way to start a slump. Joe has been one of those hitters who avoids slumps more than others. His consistency is one of his hallmarks. 

 

That is part of being clutch too

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#50 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:25 AM

 

Since you asked....his career BA is not relevant at age 36. He's not good compared to other 1B in the majors. He's not getting younger or better or likely to play any position than 1B. There are other options, that might be better. 

 

The real question is why keep him.

 

Mauer was a great player, one of my favorite to watch hit when he was younger. But, imo, it's time to move on.

I usually agree with you , but not on this one. I think the question here isn't Joe or no Joe, it's Joe or....? If the answer is Joe or LoMo, Joe in a heart beat. If it's Joe or Austin, still probably Joe. If it's Joe/Sano/Escobar in a 3 way 3B/1B/DH troika with Austin as the 4th wheel/5th OF, that works for me too. Same with Rooker as the 4th wheel/5th OF but I just don't see him as ready until next year mid-season. 

 

If there's another, better option out there, I'm all in favor. I just don't see one. 

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#51 Doomtints

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:31 AM

 

Putting Kepler at first allows the Twins to get Cave’s bat in the lineup. Which, as of today, is someting he has earned. I’m not at all concerned about Kepler’s ability to field at first.

 

I would definitely prefer Kepler over Sano at first. I don't see Sano stretching out to grab an off target throw while keeping his foot on the bag.

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#52 jkcarew

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:46 AM

 

Well "clutch" is as real as the pitchers mound, or there wouldn't be a term invented to describe that special kind of gamer. Of course the best hitters have high batting averages with RISP. They have higher BAs across the board. But not all of them are clutch.  

 

Ted Williams used to be known for taking a walk. That did not make him "not clutch."  If your rule is "get a good pitch to hit" like with Ted and Joe, then swinging at off the plate stuff is the easiest way to start a slump. Joe has been one of those hitters who avoids slumps more than others. His consistency is one of his hallmarks. 

 

That is part of being clutch too

Well...if 'clutch' and 'choke' are so real to you...

 

which category would Joe's 641 OPS with 1 RBI and 1 X-basehit in 44 post-season plate appearances put him in?


#53 Ryan Atkins

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:12 PM

 

No one cares to mention Mauer's exceptional fielding? Let me do so now.

 

 

Well, if you go to FGs.....you'll note that the fielding value between one 1B and another isn't all that different....

 

Well, if you go to Sunday's game against KC when Molitor inexplicably put Morrison at first in the 8th inning as a "defensive" replacement, we saw him butcher two plays which could easily have cost the Twins a win.

 

Mauer is exceptional at 1B and still brings a lot of value at the plate as far as getting on base and working the pitcher to the benefit of the rest of the lineup. I hope he is starting at 1B next year to be sure. I'm fine with trying out Austin as the backup 1B/DH/OF.

 

Why Molitor chose NOT to have his best defense on the field late in a 1-run ballgame is a whole other issue.

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#54 nicksaviking

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:13 PM

 

I'm am personally offering you an invitation to join the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club.

 

Eventually, we will have exclusive jackets made.:)

 

Yeah, had Joe learned a corner OF spot in addition to 1B, as 80% of posters on this site were clamoring for upon his move from behind the plate, there'd be much more incentive to keep him now. Joe as a 1B and 4th OF would have been preferable to Robbie Grossman, that's for sure.

 

As such, I think the Twins can do better with that spot in the lineup. He's got too much status in this organization to be a bench player. My vote is for Sano, Austin and Kepler to split reps at 1B until they call up Rooker.

 

If you bring Joe back and Rooker is raking, Rooker is blocked. If Austin finds his way, he's blocked. If Sano is struggling defensively at 3B, he's blocked from playing 1B. Joe's not good enough to guarantee a starting job, but pushing him to the bench would never happen, even for the betterment of the team. If the team was going to go with a subpar offensive 1B it needs to be someone they don't have to risk alienating. Unless they're more concerned about PR, they need to take sentimentality out of this decision.

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#55 Riverbrian

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:44 PM

 

Clutch is a non-existent concept...at least in terms or regular season at-bats.Over thousands of plate appearances, the guys with high regular batting averages will have high RISP numbers, etc.Players at this level don't choke or get nervous 3 thousand plate appearances into their career.You are what you are.Joe can has been a high BA hitter in his past.We know this.

 

My critique of Joe would not include a hypothesis that bad things happen when he swings the bat.But that he could have chosen to swing the bat more aggressively (more often) in RBI situations.

 

But none of this is relevant for the question of whether Mauer would add (or subtract) value for 2019 and/or 2020.My opinion is...if we can do materially better...and at some point we need to do materially better...we need to do it.If we can't, then take him back, one year at a time.

 

If he's not willing to do that, let him walk.The Twins let Killebrew walk after his second sub-100 OPS+ year....and probably should have done so after the first.Didn't hurt his legacy or relationship with the team at all.He was pure class.From all indications Mauer will probably be the same way if/when that time comes.

 

This is a very sensible post. 

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#56 Tomj14

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:46 PM

 

Of Qualified 1B.....Mauer is 20th of 27 in offense (wrc+ version) across baseball.....He's not likely to get better next year. 

 

Me? I'm not betting he does.

 

Tyler Austin has just barely outhit Mauer this year, actually (though in a small sample)......

Not arguing but how do Kepler's numbers play out as a 1B?


#57 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:53 PM

Not arguing but how do Kepler's numbers play out as a 1B?

They are better than the current tandem (Mauer and Morrison) that is certain. And that is if Kepler doesn’t improve, which is something I hope would happen.

Also, my plan calls for Austin to play 1b vs LHP, putting Kepler in RF. Kepler would get most of his time at first vs RHP.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 08 August 2018 - 12:55 PM.

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#58 Mike Sixel

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:00 PM

 

Not arguing but how do Kepler's numbers play out as a 1B?

He's outhitting Mauer this year, and is more likely to get better, while Joe is more likely to get worse....that's the key for me. Plus, to me, he's one of several options, with Austin, Sano, Garver, and not sure who else.....

 

With a tiny bench, it is hard to carry a 36 yo who needs at least 25% of the games off, and can only play 1 position. IMO.

Edited by Mike Sixel, 08 August 2018 - 01:00 PM.

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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#59 Riverbrian

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:04 PM

 

Yeah, had Joe learned a corner OF spot in addition to 1B, as 80% of posters on this site were clamoring for upon his move from behind the plate, there'd be much more incentive to keep him now. Joe as a 1B and 4th OF would have been preferable to Robbie Grossman, that's for sure.

 

As such, I think the Twins can do better with that spot in the lineup. He's got too much status in this organization to be a bench player. My vote is for Sano, Austin and Kepler to split reps at 1B until they call up Rooker.

 

If you bring Joe back and Rooker is raking, Rooker is blocked. If Austin finds his way, he's blocked. If Sano is struggling defensively at 3B, he's blocked from playing 1B. Joe's not good enough to guarantee a starting job, but pushing him to the bench would never happen, even for the betterment of the team. If the team was going to go with a subpar offensive 1B it needs to be someone they don't have to risk alienating. Unless they're more concerned about PR, they need to take sentimentality out of this decision.

 

Exactly

 

I love Joe and I think he can help us win ball games in 2019 and would be happy to have him back. 

 

However... he can end up hurting us more than he helps us if he is not managed correctly and right now... I see no indication that he will be managed correctly. 

 

The chain reaction would be things like:

 

Joe comes back

Molitor hands Joe the 1B job and deploys him like he did this year. Joe plays everyday apart from his regularly scheduled days of rest

 

As a result... Tyler Austin takes over the Logan Morrison role as the primary DH with 1B on Joe's regularly scheduled days of rest. 

 

As a result... The option of Playing Sano at DH is greatly reduced. 

 

As a result... Sano plays much less 1B and DH which forces Sano into the everyday 3B job. Which prevents us from signing or trading for a different 3B such as Donaldson or Escobar or whoever. 

 

In addition... This prevents Kepler being utilized as a 1B on occasion.

 

As a result of that... You don't sign a 4th outfielder because you don't have space due to the lack of OF Flexibility to accommodate the 4th OF or potential Jake Cave playing time goes unrewarded if he is producing. 

 

After it is all said done... you've just repeated the same mistake made in 2016 and 2018 by limiting your options.

 

And yes... all of this can stem from simply bringing back Joe... who I love. 

 

Until we get a manager who can manage 25 guys better than they were managed this year. I see problems with Joe on the roster in 2019 and that's a shame because I think he can help us win games. 

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#60 USAFChief

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:41 PM

Exactly

I love Joe and I think he can help us win ball games in 2019 and would be happy to have him back.

However... he can end up hurting us more than he helps us if he is not managed correctly and right now... I see no indication that he will be managed correctly.

The chain reaction would be things like:

Joe comes back
Molitor hands Joe the 1B job and deploys him like he did this year. Joe plays everyday apart from his regularly scheduled days of rest

As a result... Tyler Austin takes over the Logan Morrison role as the primary DH with 1B on Joe's regularly scheduled days of rest.

As a result... The option of Playing Sano at DH is greatly reduced.

As a result... Sano plays much less 1B and DH which forces Sano into the everyday 3B job. Which prevents us from signing or trading for a different 3B such as Donaldson or Escobar or whoever.

In addition... This prevents Kepler being utilized as a 1B on occasion.

As a result of that... You don't sign a 4th outfielder because you don't have space due to the lack of OF Flexibility to accommodate the 4th OF or potential Jake Cave playing time goes unrewarded if he is producing.

After it is all said done... you've just repeated the same mistake made in 2016 and 2018 by limiting your options.

And yes... all of this can stem from simply bringing back Joe... who I love.

Until we get a manager who can manage 25 guys better than they were managed this year. I see problems with Joe on the roster in 2019 and that's a shame because I think he can help us win games.


In this case, it's not the manager that's the problem.

It's the player. A 36 yr old who only plays first base, provides minimal offense, and apparently needs 2 days off a week from the least physically demanding position on the diamond.
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