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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Catcher

jason castro mitch garver willians astudillo
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#41 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:19 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.


He's a use case for earlier free agency. Someone would give him a chance, imo.
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#42 scottz

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:49 PM

 

He's a use case for earlier free agency. Someone would give him a chance, imo.

I think he's going to get a chance (again) with the Twins this year. It just likely won't be on the 25 man to start. He has an option, they'll use it. I hope he gets to keep the frequent flier miles.

 

(edit: original wrote 40 man...meant 25)

Edited by scottz, 26 February 2019 - 08:17 PM.

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#43 scottz

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 08:16 PM

Re: Garver and his concussion

 

Garver took a ding sometime before when symptoms occurred on September 14. That's less than 6 months ago. He's going to put on the tools of ignorance, and at some point this year, he's going to take a foul tip off the grill. It is almost a mathematical certainty.

 

There's no certainty that he'll get a concussion from any ball that hits him. But if he was out for a few weeks from the last one - even if he was out only for an abundance of caution - I tend to be reminded that any foul ball might be the last one.

 

I hope he has a good long career, but it would not shock me to see him move on from a career in catching as early as 2019.

 

(Full disclosure: my son is going through concussion protocol right now - his second since October - so I'm a little pessimistic about just how many MLB foul tips a brain can take when a couple of 12 year olds kicking soccer balls can cause problems.)

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#44 Sconnie

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 08:43 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.

agreed. Falvey and Levine also love to trade away expiring contracts. Look for Castro to get the 2/3 share until mid July then get traded away
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#45 LylesCrocodiles

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:06 PM

I don’t know who to give credit to for those 85 wins in 2017. Maybe Paul Molitor?

#46 LylesCrocodiles

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:15 PM

Castro isn’t my favorite player by any means but of the 3 catchers that have any chance of making the 25 man roster Castro is by far the best defender/thrower. Sure Garver and Austidillo offer more with the bat but we’re not talking about a Mike Piazza or a Carlton Fisk behind the plate. Or even a Brian Harper for that matter.

All 3 guys will get a chance. We will see how it all plays out.

#47 h2oface

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 05:17 AM

 

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.

 

Hey! Not a utulity player! Watch it now.;)

 

"Can I make a correction? Not a utility guy," Baldelli interjected during Gonzalez's introductory press conference. "And I only say that just because it's something I've heard used before all the time. We consider Marwin an everyday player. He's just a multipositional everyday player."

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#48 Platoon

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 07:23 AM

To be fair, we're the only team that has actually given him major league at bats. Based on the Twins calling up Bobby Wilson last year and not Astudillo, I think there are some legitimate questions surrounding his defense at catcher.

Or some serious concerns over the decision making process? A team going nowhere uses a Mendoza line veteran catcher versus a younger one with a tempting hit tool, and an adequate glove at the least? Baseball may have an influx of numbers oriented management, but they still struggle when faced with a player who doesn't look the part, and can't or won't fit into a prevailing view. Some players fail there entire careers with evaluators wondering why the guy doesn't succeed? And some, like Astudillo, succeed there entire careers while evaluators wonder why they don't fail, like their supposed to? It's sometimes an insurmountable hurdle.
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#49 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 07:56 AM

A few things:

  • I don't think people quite get how much worse catchers are at hitting than other positions. Castro, if healthy, is probably a league average hitter, which is significantly better than most catchers.
  • I like our major league depth. I think all 3 of our guys have upside. I do think Garver could work on his defense, but he's making strides there and given his bat, I'm content to be patient. 
  • Astrudillo is a bit of a wildcard still, but I woudln't be surprised at all if he's the #2 catcher behind Garver in 2020 if he can pick up where he left off (though a .350+ BA is probably not sustainable).
  • I wouldn't be surprised at all if Castro is traded at the deadline, especially if Garver and Astrudillo are doing well. Astrudillo will eventually get a call. May not be at C, but if he's hitting, I have to think they move on from Castro. He's not good enough to get a QO in my opinion, so this might be an odd scenario where he's moved at the deadline even if we're doing well. I could see that as a part of a 3 team trade where the prospects go elsewhere but we end up with some ML help if we're contending, or just a prospect if we aren't.
  • I'm not very high on our minor league depth. I really like Rortvedt and Jeffers, but both still have question marks and the system is pretty barren outside of them. Jeffers bat looks like it will play in the majors, but he still has strides to make defensively, and Rortvedt's bat is not a sure thing (though I think we all agree that it has some upside). Not only that, but Rortvedt is just getting his first taste of AA this year, and he may start again in Fort Myers. I do hope that they have a similar strategy to last year and draft several college catchers or even a HS catcher if you see one fall to the right place. 
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#50 howieramone2

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:21 AM

 

 

A few things:

  • I don't think people quite get how much worse catchers are at hitting than other positions. Castro, if healthy, is probably a league average hitter, which is significantly better than most catchers.
  • I like our major league depth. I think all 3 of our guys have upside. I do think Garver could work on his defense, but he's making strides there and given his bat, I'm content to be patient. 
  • Astrudillo is a bit of a wildcard still, but I woudln't be surprised at all if he's the #2 catcher behind Garver in 2020 if he can pick up where he left off (though a .350+ BA is probably not sustainable).
  • I wouldn't be surprised at all if Castro is traded at the deadline, especially if Garver and Astrudillo are doing well. Astrudillo will eventually get a call. May not be at C, but if he's hitting, I have to think they move on from Castro. He's not good enough to get a QO in my opinion, so this might be an odd scenario where he's moved at the deadline even if we're doing well. I could see that as a part of a 3 team trade where the prospects go elsewhere but we end up with some ML help if we're contending, or just a prospect if we aren't.
  • I'm not very high on our minor league depth. I really like Rortvedt and Jeffers, but both still have question marks and the system is pretty barren outside of them. Jeffers bat looks like it will play in the majors, but he still has strides to make defensively, and Rortvedt's bat is not a sure thing (though I think we all agree that it has some upside). Not only that, but Rortvedt is just getting his first taste of AA this year, and he may start again in Fort Myers. I do hope that they have a similar strategy to last year and draft several college catchers or even a HS catcher if you see one fall to the right place. 

 

We got a catcher in the Hughes trade, one from IFA money sent to Seattle, and our 6th round pick in the 2013 draft continues to move up. Catcher is not the black hole it was. 

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#51 Shaitan

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:31 AM

 

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?

 

Money.

Just a note, but for those who took Spanish in high school: the "gender" of a word does not necessarily reflect the gender of the subject. "La tortuga" refers to a turtle, regardless of gender. 

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#52 SomeGuy

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:47 AM

Its probably not fair to say "we had the means to make it happen with Grandal."He flat out told us he had no desire to sign here and according to reports we had the best offer on the table.


#53 Doomtints

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 11:21 AM

 

Hey! Not a utulity player! Watch it now.;)

 

"Can I make a correction? Not a utility guy," Baldelli interjected during Gonzalez's introductory press conference. "And I only say that just because it's something I've heard used before all the time. We consider Marwin an everyday player. He's just a multipositional everyday player."

 

I feel like that's how the Twins have always used utility players. They play every day.

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#54 by jiminy

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 03:17 PM

While Gonzalez would seem to push Astudillo out of the utility player role, there's a good chance that could change. Gonzalez is only the utility player until someone gets hurt or gets benched. As Bonnes and Gleeman pointed out on the podcast, there are question marks to make it through the year at several positions: Sano could get hurt or moved from third or demoted; Schoop could fail to bounce back; and an injury could occur at just about any position. The benefit of Gonzalez is he can fill in almost anywhere as a starter without a big drop off. And when that happens, Astudillo or Adrianza would probably replace him in the utility role. Since Astudillo can also catch, and is a better hitter, he'll have a good shot at replacing Gonzalez when he becomes a starter.

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#55 Doomtints

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:10 PM

 

While Gonzalez would seem to push Astudillo out of the utility player role, there's a good chance that could change. Gonzalez is only the utility player until someone gets hurt or gets benched. As Bonnes and Gleeman pointed out on the podcast, there are question marks to make it through the year at several positions: Sano could get hurt or moved from third or demoted; Schoop could fail to bounce back; and an injury could occur at just about any position. The benefit of Gonzalez is he can fill in almost anywhere as a starter without a big drop off. And when that happens, Astudillo or Adrianza would probably replace him in the utility role. Since Astudillo can also catch, and is a better hitter, he'll have a good shot at replacing Gonzalez when he becomes a starter.

 

This assumes Gonzalez is the first option should a position player go down and Astudillo is the first option as a utility player behind Gonzalez. Neither may be true.

 

What we know is Gonzalez was signed for two years, Adrianza is around (though injured), and Astudillo feels like a very good option as a full time utility player. Maybe Adrianza is going away, but we don't know. With Astudillo being the youngest and with the organization expecting him to fail, it's difficult to see him getting enough of a chance. There have been recent Twins who played well in the majors in their short chances but got passed over many times for players who performed worse and, in my opinion, they started to decline because of it. I would hate for this to happen to Astudillo.

 

And this is only considering Astudillo's chance as a utility player, not even as a catcher. I think Castro will have one of his best years in 2019 which will block Astudillo there. Castro is in a contract year and he is coming back from a year off. He will do well. If Castro fails, it's the end of his career and he knows it. Garver similarly (though not as desperately) also wants to prove himself.

Edited by Doomtints, 28 February 2019 - 02:13 PM.

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#56 thegambler

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:24 AM

If Astudillo is not on the 25 man roster to start the season, I'm going to PUKE. The guy has produced at every level with the bat, and he is starting to get some sneaky power. He absolutely tore up Winter Ball this year. He's not a Gold Glove defender at any position, but he is far from the worst, above average in the field. He could be a starter on a lot of teams. He needs to be on the roster, if winning is more important than options that is.
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#57 NewClearHarley

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 09:51 AM

anyone have any thoughts on what KC might give us for the one year Castro rental? Not expecting much but it would save us some cash and open a roster spot.I know they said they are comfy with Cam Gallagher, but as a Royals fan I cannot fathom that. 

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#58 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:11 PM

anyone have any thoughts on what KC might give us for the one year Castro rental? Not expecting much but it would save us some cash and open a roster spot.I know they said they are comfy with Cam Gallagher, but as a Royals fan I cannot fathom that.


Does KC really consider themselves a contender?

#59 Nine of twelve

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:41 PM

 

"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").

 

I don't know much about advanced stats, but I wonder if there's something called "wild pitches prevented percentage" or something similar. Track all pitches that were more than some arbitrary distance outside the strike zone (including any pitch in the dirt) with runners on base or with two strikes on the batter and find out what percentage of those pitches did not become wild pitches. HBP would not be included.

Edited by Nine of twelve, 03 March 2019 - 05:42 PM.

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#60 NewClearHarley

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:18 PM

 

Does KC really consider themselves a contender?

no not really, but I bet they would like a veteran catcher to help Gallagher and the young pitching staff, the only other catcher currently with a shot to make the team is a hit tool kid who has only High-A experience. 

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