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Roster revamp?

3 catchers 1b-dh options 12 pitchers
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#21 stringer bell

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 06:21 PM

I like what Astudillo has done, but he has less than 120 PAs. With his insane contact skills, I don't think he could slump too much, but his numbers in the minors don't say superstar hitter. Also, with such a low walk rate, it does negate the low strikeout rate somewhat. I think it is defensible to wait awhile to believe in what Astudillo is capable of. No way do I think he should optioned, and I do think that the team should keep all three catchers on the roster for now.

 

Reality is that Castro isn't going anywhere. Yes, he hasn't started like house afire, but I think he should get about 50 PAs before suggesting he should mostly ride the bench.

 

What to do with Garver? Yes, he has an option, but I think he's shown he is a major league catcher, with a pretty good bat. For him to start less than 50 games would be unwise use of a roster spot.and wouldn't aid in Garver's development going forward. 

 

My solution would be to try to move Garver for a younger catcher (you know, like John Ryan Murphy) who would be the third catcher if one of the two got injured, who could step up in 2020 as a full-time major leaguer. 

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#22 Craig Arko

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 06:24 PM

When Sano returns, option Cave.
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#23 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 06:40 PM

Depends on what you mean by "dump". Would you hold out for a trade where the new team absorbed the remainder of his $8M contract, regardless of the return of players? (Similarly, you could DFA and put him on waivers, and see if someone takes him off your hands.) Or, are you willing to eat some of the remaining contract? Or, even just release him and leave his money on the books?
 
Not to overplay the Pohlads Are Teh Cheap theme, but remember who's signing the checks. You may burn up some goodwill with your bosses, depending on your choice.
 
My own view is that it's too soon to cut ties, at that cost, and also that no other team will take his contract. So now what?


I don’t think Castro is a better overall baseball player than Garver or Astudillo, so I really don’t mind which method the Twins use to shed Castro.

Though I liked the five man bench; if they went back to that they can keep Castro as far as I’m concerned.

I also wouldn’t consider it a ‘giving up’ kind of move. When the Twins signed him there were no offensively able options available so they went with a defensive guy. Now they have options so he’s expendable.
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#24 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:32 PM

 

 

Reality is that Castro isn't going anywhere. Yes, he hasn't started like house afire, but I think he should get about 50 PAs before suggesting he should mostly ride the bench.

 

It's not just this season.Castro has a well established record as a below average hitter, even for a catcher. 

 

I like to roll with upside and Castro has absolutely zero upside.Our other two options have much, much more.(And considerably more downside, but I'm ok with that)

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#25 ashbury

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:56 PM

When the Twins signed him there were no offensively able options available so they went with a defensive guy. Now they have options so he’s expendable.

That's the core of the argument I would give to my CEO in explaining the rationale to eat some/all of the remaining contract. "We paid $24M to cover the gaping hole in our lineup at catcher, giving us 3 years to develop someone younger. I thought we could do it in 2, but wanted some cushion. We've done that now."

I still expect most CEOs to turn thumbs down until later in the season. At least I tried. :)

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#26 spycake

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:57 PM

 

I like what Astudillo has done, but he has less than 120 PAs. With his insane contact skills, I don't think he could slump too much, but his numbers in the minors don't say superstar hitter.

I don't know about "superstar" but Astudillo's last year-plus in the minors suggest he could be an all-star type bat, especially at catcher. The addition of power to his game has been huge. A 123 wRC+ over the last 435 PA in AAA, and nothing seems particularly fluky (for him) about those batting lines anymore (if anything, his AAA BABIP last year was low, at .255, and thus wRC+ could have been even higher).

 

He really needs to be starting every day now, either at C or 3B, and if he keeps it up, it will probably be worth making him the primary catcher and finding another solution at 3B.

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#27 DocBauer

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:12 PM

You always hope for health and performance from your roster. We also know things don't work out that way, and if they are mild and temporary, injuries happen. This allows the shuffling of the roster, to at least some degree.

A decision doesn't have to be made today but the situation certainly deserves the attention and contemplation we are giving it.

The most important role for a catcher is handling the staff and receiving the ball. (That includes thjngs like blocking the plate). A catcher who hits and provides solid to good offense is a luxury and the offense comes second. (Not unlike SS). I think we all know this. That being said, quality offense can mitigate a dip in quality defense if the differential is not truly detrimental.

Just how good is Castro in his basic role of handling the staff and being a good receiver? How much worse is Garver and/or Astudillo? And does their offense, youth and potential outweigh Castro's Experience?

There are a lot of differing opinions right here at TD in regard to these questions. What's most important is what Rocco, his coaches and the FO think. While I like the guy and feel his value is much greater than so-so offense, (about league average or just below the past few seasons with some power), the fact is Castro is not signed after this year, both Garver and Austudillo are 4-5yrs younger, have better bats, and potential Castro does not.

IMO,the best case scenario from the Twins perspective would be a team in real need due to injury or severe drop off in performance and move Castro for a decent prosoect and acceptance of at least a portion of his contract. I feel obliged to point out, the "cheap" Pohlad's have allowed the FO to eat a fair amount of contract dollars for better returns over the past 2 season's. Something to remember/consider.
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#28 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:17 PM

I would keep all three. I don’t see anyone in AAA I want starting twice a week. Good defensive catchers will not be easy to find midseason. Trade Castro now followed by a concussion to Garver and the Twins are very thin at catcher especially if the increased load exposes Astudillo shortcomings defensively.
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#29 Nine of twelve

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:29 PM

 

I would keep all three. I don’t see anyone in AAA I want starting twice a week. Good defensive catchers will not be easy to find midseason. Trade Castro now followed by a concussion to Garver and the Twins are very thin at catcher especially if the increased load exposes Astudillo shortcomings defensively.

Yes. We are talking about catching, the most physically grueling defensive position. Do not let any of them leave the organization at this time of year.

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#30 Halsey Hall

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:52 PM

I wanted Castro gone last year, and haven't had any reason to change my mind. The other two can handle it. Just get what we can and move on into the season.
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he gone!


#31 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:30 PM

I would keep all three. I don’t see anyone in AAA I want starting twice a week. Good defensive catchers will not be easy to find midseason. Trade Castro now followed by a concussion to Garver and the Twins are very thin at catcher especially if the increased load exposes Astudillo shortcomings defensively.


I don’t mind keeping them for now, the bench is pretty flexible with Gonzales and Astudillo. But I’m not going to sweat losing Castro. I don’t think he’s markedly better than Bobby Wilson or whomever is available at the time.
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#32 DocBauer

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:34 PM

Ever since the Willingham/Doumit era, this team's roster has had hardening of the arteries where it came to bat-first guys. No roster flexibility, just players signed to play a corner position (or poorly at an up-the-middle position) with a side comment "and if nothing else he can DH". It seemed to me, after a while, that it came from a lazy point of view, since that kind of player is always one of the most easily available. Cruz in that regard is somewhat of a refreshing experience, as he was signed with no pretense toward being a position player - the bat has to be perceived as really, really good to make that work.
 
As for catcher, in this era of 13-man pitching staffs you just can't have 3 of them anymore. Either Astudillo has to be so valuable at other positions that you can keep him in a genuine utility role, or you choose between him and Garver for Rochester, or you work an emergency trade to get Castro off the books for as much salary relief as you can negotiate with some other team. I am guessing the higher-ups turn thumbs down on any Castro trade FalVine can come up with, as it won't likely cover 100% of the salary. And Astudillo as utility guy is half-assing it in my book, since it only means "third base, maybe left field once a month if you have to, and first base which is easy to cover".
 
Mid-game at this writing, Astudillo's BA has slipped to only .538, so he might be the first to go. :)


Totally agree with just about everything you said here, Ash! There has been WAY too much old school construction in the past, and simply locking in to guys for their role and their spot.

And while we can debate the Austin situation, and are, I think that old school mentality is clearly changing with Baldelli in charge. Yes, the Twins have a set OF lineup most days. But why wouldn't they with Rosario, ZBuxton and Kepler? But Cave has been seeing time. Astudillo has seen time in the OF as well.

Speaking of Astudillo, he's also seen time behind the plate, 3B and 1B as well. Gonzalez has only been at 3B thus far, as I recall, and has been struggling at the plate since the first game. But with his late start and past history, are we really worried about him? We can say we have 3 catchers on the roster, but is that really accurate? We have a veteran catcher back from a major knee injury, a young catcher with a potent bat in Garver who continues to develop defensively and can play some 1B if needed, and we have a guy in Astudillo who can catch decently/well but can also be viewed as another "super-sub".

Now, Astudillo is absolutely not to be compared to Gonzalez as a similar "super-sub". But he looks fine...whenever I have seen him or listened to games...as a 3B, 1B, LF option who can "apparently" play some 2B without embarrassing himself. I would think he'd be an good to outstanding PH option. So I don't know I'd say the Twins are necessarily carrying 3 catchers.

I find some of the debates/opinions regarding Adrianza interesting. He is, in reality, the classic utility infielder. And he by no means a great player or a dangerous hitter. But he is a fine and often excellent defensive player who has hit better then. 250 in each of his seasons with the Twins, provided occasional pop, has handled the bat well in "situations" and even snuck in a few SB. And while his time with the Twins could be short lived with overall depth/options and kids coming up, he's a pretty decent bench guy to have around.

I'm not big on a DH only guy unless he is special. And while I advocated for Brantley or McCutchen over Cruz to provide a true positional player for even better lineup versatility and construction, I'm very happy to have Cruz. And I think we can all agree on that point.

While we can absolutely debate the timing and usage of Austin, barring injury, I think we can all pretty much agree he was going to be the odd man out eventually. Sooner or later...and let's be honest, we all hope it's sooner...Sano will be healthy and ready to go and start to shine again with his ability and new dedication. That means yet another move, beyond Austin, is going to have to take place. (Again, barring injury). That is going to be a much more difficult and complex move.

Again, I don't feel the Twins are necessarily carrying 3 catchers. But they have 3 guys who CAN play the position. And two of them are younger, cheaper, better offensively, and have growth potential. Is this where the veteran Castro gets squeezed out? He's not signed beyond this season and the FO/ownership has eaten contracts or portions thereof in previous moves.
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#33 Jacksson

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:47 PM

When Sano, FINALLY IS HEALTHY, Astudillo will probably be optioned to Rochester.
At the trade deadline, Castro, Gonzalez, Odorizzi, will be shopped and Astudillo will be recalled.
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#34 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:56 PM

I don’t mind keeping them for now, the bench is pretty flexible with Gonzales and Astudillo. But I’m not going to sweat losing Castro. I don’t think he’s markedly better than Bobby Wilson or whomever is available at the time.


Bobby Wilson has a career .577 OPS.
By which measurement is Castro not markedly better than Wilson?
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#35 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:09 PM

 

I’d dump Castro and keep Garver and Astudillo if push cane to shove. Both play other positions and both have much, much better bats.

Glove only catchers are DFA’d weekly, if for some reason one is needed they can grab one off of waivers any time.

While I agree with your concept of glove only catchers, I'd point out that Castro is not a glove only guy. He's well above average for a C. Castro isn't the problem on this team. I wasn't excited about the signing, and I'm not getting the angst here either. 

 

As someone else said, a good 25 man roster is 30 deep. That's how you make it 162 games.

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#36 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:19 PM

 

While I agree with your concept of glove only catchers, I'd point out that Castro is not a glove only guy. He's well above average for a C. Castro isn't the problem on this team. I wasn't excited about the signing, and I'm not getting the angst here either. 

 

As someone else said, a good 25 man roster is 30 deep. That's how you make it 162 games.

 

It doesn't make sense to me to send down the 15th or 16th best guy so we can protect the 24th.We can quibble about where guys would rank but I hope you see my point.By every measure - Castro is not a good hitter.Even for a catcher. 

 

Seems to me, the best way to have the best record you can over 162 games is to play the best players.Austidillo needs to play and catcher seems like the best spot.If we have to ditch Castro to do that....so be it.

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#37 Rosterman

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:38 PM

It's a long season, and an even longer first month.

 

Will be interesting to see if anyone grabs Austin and if they don't the decision Austin will have to make about being a free agent.

 

Interesting that the Twins took Chase DeJong, who was scheduled to pitch today, instead of Littell, who was scheduled to pitch tomorrow. The only evil I see of DeJong is that if they have to send him back down, he gets waived off the 40-man and goes thru the whole mess again. Guess it gives the Twins an open roster spot to play musical chairs with pickups and such. I mean, will DeJong be around when Magill or Moya or Reed come back?

 

What to do with that third catcher. Garver is hitting. Can he play as a regular (will have to in 2020). Is Willians a suitable backup? Can you get anything for Castro? Right now, you can carry three. The decision is who plays third - Adrianza, Gonzalez or Willians. I vote Willians playing every single day if you can plug him in somewhere. The guy is hot hot hot. You don't have to make a decision until the return of Sano. By then, you get to decide who goes, be it hire, Cave or that third catcher.

 

What gives! Two games in a National League park and you can't use Cruz as a pinch hitter for the pitcher?

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#38 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:44 PM

While I agree with your concept of glove only catchers, I'd point out that Castro is not a glove only guy. He's well above average for a C. Castro isn't the problem on this team. I wasn't excited about the signing, and I'm not getting the angst here either.

As someone else said, a good 25 man roster is 30 deep. That's how you make it 162 games.

I guess I’d disagree that he’s well above average for a catcher. He has been a couple of times in his career, but for the most part he’s been the stereotypical offensive black hole catcher.

But either way, I don’t think the Twins need to worry about having a guy who’s ‘a good hitter for a catcher’ now they have two actual good hitters who can catch.

But I have no problem if they keep him, just not at the expense of the two guys who can help the team win with their bats.
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#39 Channing1964

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 12:18 AM

C'mon guys now if you remember, Castro was part of the miracle of 2017. ok now, its not like he WON'T hit. Plus we are left handed hitting Starved at the moment.

Edited by Channing1964, 07 April 2019 - 12:19 AM.


#40 jimbo92107

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:39 AM

Jason Castro is a solid defensive catcher, but nothing amazing. Frankly, Drew Butera was better defensively. Thing is, both Garver and Astudillo appear to be equally solid behind the plate, and both those guys are much better hitters. 

 

Unless Castro's bat bursts into the incandescent flame of justice and vindication, I don't see much reason to keep him around over the two demonstrably better hitters. If Castro were gone and one of the other guys got injured, I would not hesitate to bring up Brian Navarro, a big, strong defensive catcher. And I hear he works relatively cheap.

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