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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Catcher

jason castro mitch garver willians astudillo
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#21 yarnivek1972

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 04:15 PM

Zack Granite DFA'd to make room for Gonzalez. He would have made a great pinch runner/defensive replacement in an era that didn't require 13 pitchers on the 25 man roster. Hope he finds a home!


That’s not a role for any team other than maybe during the playoffs (or September) when you need fewer pitchers. The Twins carried Jarvis Brown in 1991. But they also carried just 9 pitchers.

I often wonder who the next pitcher might have been if TK had gone with 10. Allan Anderson had fallen off the map. Tom Edens?
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#22 adorduan

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:31 PM

 

The Twins leadership seem to be the only people in baseball who don't think Astudillo has earned a more serious look as a 1 or 2 catcher . . . with more than one national pundit suggesting he'd be a top 10 MLB catcher right now. With all due respect to Castro, why is a no-brainer that he's the #1 guy?Why on earth aren't they eager to get more MLB AB's for the Tortuga and see if he can maintain the torrid hitting?  

Unfortunately there are 8 million reason why....


#23 h2oface

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 06:11 PM

Castro is a lame duck catcher. The sooner that Garver is considered the starter, and Castro the back-up and mentor, the better in my opinion. The passed balls and catcher created wild pitches that was a part of Castro's game even when healthy did not go unnoticed by me. Perhaps it escapes the advanced stats. But I saw them, and remember them. Now, Garver did not impress with a quick brain at times, but at least he is going to be here (probably) the next few years. And I don't really want an OK bat at catcher (and Castro was horrible even before his injury last year). I want a hitting catcher. And a fielding catcher. The sooner the balls and strikes are called by a non subjective method the better. Pitch framing, the art of cheating the reality of the actual location of the pitch, is a bogus skill caused by the inability of baseball to use the best tools available to make the calls more correct. Throwing the guy out at second, less passed balls, and turning wild pitches into blocks instead of creating wild pitches are the fielding skills I like.

 

It will be interesting to see what the arch of Astudillo is this year.

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#24 Doomtints

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 06:22 PM

Castro seems OK now, for whatever that is worth.

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#25 Rosterman

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 07:12 PM

Well, the Twins will try and get their money's worth out of Castro. But someone else will catch two out of five games...maybe. The big maybe is...do you send Garver to Rochester to catch more often than not with the arms of the future. And can you trust another body (Astudillo) to do the job when called upon to catch in the majors.

 

I am curious to see where Navaretto ends up. And if the Twins push Jeffers and Rortvedt. Especially Jeffers. I doubt that either of the two youngsters will show up before 2021 in any major capacity, so the Twins still need a catching combo for 2020 and could probably stick with Garver and Astudillo.  

 

Curious that they did explore other opportunities, which would've meant Castro as an expensive backup and Garver in the minors for sure, as the market for Castro is not huge right now.

 

Although I did say Garver could start at AAA, I'm not sure WHY I would think that. Except that he could catch 3-4-5 starters who will be part of the Twins rotation the end of this season and all of next season?

 

 

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#26 jrod23

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 08:18 PM

Funny how we tout Garver on his way up as a hitting catcher.Then out of no where comes La Tortuga (which is feminine by the way for anyone who took Spanish in high school).Sorry, but I'd give La Tortuga the starting job.He hits, and if a guy like Machado is a +10 wins guy in your lineup, I'd laugh at the +wins from Castro or Garver.So why not give Astudillo the job?

 

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#27 LylesCrocodiles

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 09:58 PM

I don’t know what to make of defensive metrics on catchers. But the year Castro was healthy the Twins won 85 games. With a pitching staff that was a little worse than this one? Maybe?

I checked out on Twins baseball in September. So I didn’t see Tortuga behind the plate much. I did think Garver was average behind the dish.

At least the team has 3 options for the spot. If Castro is the 100 game catcher at least the other two options would form a good platoon partner.

#28 Omardog

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 10:20 PM

Castro is not a solution to the Twins dodgy catching situation--he cannot hit with any regularity. In critical situations with runners in scoring position he is virtually an automatic out, usually by strike out.  The Twins have got to do better than Castro to be a serious contender in the division, much less the post season.


#29 Doctor Wu

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:00 AM

Lots of question marks at this position; wondering if Castro can bounce back and be productive after his injury, and if Garver has no lingering side effects from his concussion and can contribute with more than bat. I love having Astudillo as insurance, not only behind the plate but at other positions too. But my worry is that after the Gonzalez signing as a "super utility" player, Astudillo won't be seen as "essential" by the brass and will be sent to AAA to start the season. Just for team morale and fan excitement, I'd like Astudillo to be on the club from opening day till the very end.

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#30 Aerodeliria

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 02:36 AM

That photo looks like Nicholas Cage to me.


#31 sdangus

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 08:50 AM

 

Castro is a lame duck catcher. The sooner that Garver is considered the starter, and Castro the back-up and mentor, the better in my opinion. The passed balls and catcher created wild pitches that was a part of Castro's game even when healthy did not go unnoticed by me. Perhaps it escapes the advanced stats. But I saw them, and remember them. Now, Garver did not impress with a quick brain at times, but at least he is going to be here (probably) the next few years. And I don't really want an OK bat at catcher (and Castro was horrible even before his injury last year). I want a hitting catcher. And a fielding catcher. The sooner the balls and strikes are called by a non subjective method the better. Pitch framing, the art of cheating the reality of the actual location of the pitch, is a bogus skill caused by the inability of baseball to use the best tools available to make the calls more correct. Throwing the guy out at second, less passed balls, and turning wild pitches into blocks instead of creating wild pitches are the fielding skills I like.

 

It will be interesting to see what the arch of Astudillo is this year.

In Castro's full season with the Twins, he had 5 passed balls and wildpitches during his catching time. In comparison JT Realmuto had 8 PB and 34 WP last year in similar # of games, Posey in his last complete season 1 PB and 32 WP, Yadier Molina last year 4 PB and 39 WP. Where do you see Castro out of line with the other top catchers?

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#32 JLease

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:39 AM

 

Castro is a lame duck catcher. The sooner that Garver is considered the starter, and Castro the back-up and mentor, the better in my opinion. The passed balls and catcher created wild pitches that was a part of Castro's game even when healthy did not go unnoticed by me. Perhaps it escapes the advanced stats. But I saw them, and remember them. Now, Garver did not impress with a quick brain at times, but at least he is going to be here (probably) the next few years. And I don't really want an OK bat at catcher (and Castro was horrible even before his injury last year). I want a hitting catcher. And a fielding catcher. The sooner the balls and strikes are called by a non subjective method the better. Pitch framing, the art of cheating the reality of the actual location of the pitch, is a bogus skill caused by the inability of baseball to use the best tools available to make the calls more correct. Throwing the guy out at second, less passed balls, and turning wild pitches into blocks instead of creating wild pitches are the fielding skills I like.

 

It will be interesting to see what the arch of Astudillo is this year.

 

"advanced stats" absolutely would take passed balls into consideration when evaluating catcher performance, and would be the only way someone might try to capture something like "catcher created wild pitches" (which is a hilarious new stat that seems to be "I think it should have been a passed ball but the official scorer is dumb").

 

Castro isn't a lame duck any more than any player in their walk year is, but the fact that he's coming off a significant injury and is in that walk year means there's an opportunity for Garver to seize the job as the starter. And if either Garver or Castro goes down for any significant period of time, it opens a window for Astudillo to show he can be the next backup here, or potential to start.

 

Everyone wants a catcher who can hit and field.

 

Castro's first year with the club, he had a fine season, hitting well for the position and playing good defense while working well with the pitching staff and the catching position for the Twins was one of the more productive in baseball (8th in WAA). Last year he started slow but only played 19 games before getting hurt. That's hardly a big enough sample size to write him off as cooked.

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#33 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 11:47 AM

Castro is not a solution to the Twins dodgy catching situation--he cannot hit with any regularity. In critical situations with runners in scoring position he is virtually an automatic out, usually by strike out. The Twins have got to do better than Castro to be a serious contender in the division, much less the post season.


Castro has a career OPS .14 points higher with runners in scoring position than he does with the bases empty.
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#34 ashbury

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:15 PM

Castro has a career OPS .14 points higher with runners in scoring position than he does with the bases empty.

In 2018 across the majors, OPS with RISP was .753, while with bases empty it was only .710.

 

I'm not saying Castro isn't clutch, just that the situation lends itself to higher production ... for at least a couple of reasons I could think of but which aren't a tangent probably worth pursuing in a thread about catchers. :)

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#35 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:25 PM

Castro has a career OPS .14 points higher with runners in scoring position than he does with the bases empty.

Runners in scoring position is not quite the same thing as critical situations (or LI). I once did a semi-deep dive on Castro’s 2017 situational hitting and I agree with the other poster.

However, I’m still good with Castro as a starter in 2019.

#36 howieramone2

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 01:56 PM

 

The Twins leadership seem to be the only people in baseball who don't think Astudillo has earned a more serious look as a 1 or 2 catcher . . . with more than one national pundit suggesting he'd be a top 10 MLB catcher right now. With all due respect to Castro, why is a no-brainer that he's the #1 guy?Why on earth aren't they eager to get more MLB AB's for the Tortuga and see if he can maintain the torrid hitting?  

I haven't read a thing from the national experts saying he is a 1 or 2. May be somewhere someplace, but to say we're the only people in baseball is wildly exaggerated. My guess is Castro will be traded, no later than the deadline.

 

Then we will find out if he's more than the flavor of the month. 

Edited by howieramone2, 26 February 2019 - 02:25 PM.

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#37 mlhouse

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 02:15 PM

1. I think the defensive metrics for catchers, particularly "pitch framing" are way over rated.

 

2. Whatever Castro's net defensive value over Garver is, at best it is cancelled out by Garver being the much better hitter.

 

3. I personally do not think that all of the statistical measures are essentially additive.In baseball, most events are chains.One guy singles.Another moves him to 2nd on a FC.Another guy gets a hit and drives in the run.

 

So, a team that has 7 strong hitters can afford to have a couple of limited hitting elite defenders (Castro is far from elite) because the top 7 hitters will statistically make many more combinations of events that will create runs.But on weak teams, you just cannot afford to have such negative value hitters.

 

4. Giving Castro much credit for the 85 win season is a stretch.

 

 


#38 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 04:05 PM

I think this is an area of strength. Not many teams have this kind of depth at the position.

I'm a big fan of Mitch Garver, but if it was up to me I'd send him to Rochester to start the year. He's been working hard on his framing, a big area in need of improvement. If he's only going to catch half the time or less with the Twins, send him down and get those good habits cemented with a nice stretch of regular playing time with the Red Wings. At the same time, that gives you some more opportunity to evaluate where Castro is at and just what the heck you have in Astudillo.


He's going to be 28..... He should be in Minnesota, hitting like a top ten or better catcher.

It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#39 yarnivek1972

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 04:48 PM

Castro is not a solution to the Twins dodgy catching situation--he cannot hit with any regularity. In critical situations with runners in scoring position he is virtually an automatic out, usually by strike out. The Twins have got to do better than Castro to be a serious contender in the division, much less the post season.


Castro has a career walk rate of almost 10% and a career K rate of about 27%. Both of those are better than most of his teammates.
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#40 Doomtints

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 06:25 PM

Reality check:

 

Castro is more likely to be extended than Astudillo is to be the Twins #1 catcher, much less the regular #2 catcher.

 

We love Astudillo, the Twins org keeps signing people ahead of him on the depth chart. This team won't keep 3 catchers on the roster and the utility slots are full.

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