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Roster revamp?

3 catchers 1b-dh options 12 pitchers
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#41 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:28 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.


Navarreto has a .573 milb OPS.
To put that into perspective, Drew Butera had a .610 milb OPS.
Jason Castro had an .804 milb OPS.

With all the hyperbole about how awful Castro is with the bat, I find it fascinating that people want to replace it with someone who will hit much much worse.
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#42 ashbury

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:59 AM

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.

I think DeJong has a minor league option remaining. He can be sent to Rochester without necessarily removing him from the 40-man and exposing him to waiver claims.

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#43 Platoon

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:26 AM

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. :)

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. "Easily available" could also be defined as cheapest. :). In my world, Garver would go down to Rochester. Then I would let the Astudillo thing play out. There seems to be no difference in the two's catching ability. And if Castro has an edge, it's minor. If Astudillo holds up, I ship out Castro near the deadline. If Castro was far superior defensively I would keep him, but I don't see that. Plus his knees are still, to me, a concern.
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#44 stringer bell

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 07:33 AM

 

I think DeJong has a minor league option remaining. He can be sent to Rochester without necessarily removing him from the 40-man and exposing him to waiver claims.

So the choice was to add De Jong and fill the 40-man over Littel, whose option was already used? I'm not a big fan of either, but if this is just shuttling between Rochester and the long man in the 'pen, I guess it doesn't make much difference. They have Magill, Moya and Reed to add back to the bullpen soon, so I would expect De Jong won't be around long. 


#45 ashbury

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 07:59 AM

So the choice was to add De Jong and fill the 40-man over Littel, whose option was already used? I'm not a big fan of either, but if this is just shuttling between Rochester and the long man in the 'pen, I guess it doesn't make much difference. They have Magill, Moya and Reed to add back to the bullpen soon, so I would expect De Jong won't be around long. 

I think it was stated elsewhere that everyone on the 40-man sitting in Rochester was ineligible to be brought up because it hadn't been 10 days. Thus someone else needed to be added, *if* they were going to do it the day they did.

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#46 jorgenswest

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:02 AM

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?


The Twins could not recall Littell or anyone else on the 40. They need to spend 10 days in the minors after they being optioned.

Their only option for adding a pitcher from AAA was to select the contract of a player not on the 40 man roster. DeJong happened to be scheduled to start. He also has an option. They won’t need to expose him to waivers when they return him to AAA.
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#47 nicksaviking

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:38 AM

Navarreto has a .573 milb OPS.
To put that into perspective, Drew Butera had a .610 milb OPS.
Jason Castro had an .804 milb OPS.
With all the hyperbole about how awful Castro is with the bat, I find it fascinating that people want to replace it with someone who will hit much much worse.

We’re talking about a guy who should be the #3 catcher, it’s not about choosing between a bad bat and an awful bat, it’s about managing the roster and getting the best hitters the most at bats.

#48 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:51 AM

We’re talking about a guy who should be the #3 catcher, it’s not about choosing between a bad bat and an awful bat, it’s about managing the roster and getting the best hitters the most at bats.

Unless one of your catchers gets hurt, now that awful bat is playing in 1/3 of the games, instead of just a slightly below average for a catcher bat.

The post I was responding to stated they would be fine dumping Castro, then bringing up Navarreto as the backup if Garver or Astudillo got hurt.

Edited by Mr. Brooks, 07 April 2019 - 08:54 AM.


#49 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:52 AM

The Twins could not recall Littell or anyone else on the 40. They need to spend 10 days in the minors after they being optioned.

Their only option for adding a pitcher from AAA was to select the contract of a player not on the 40 man roster. DeJong happened to be scheduled to start. He also has an option. They won’t need to expose him to waivers when they return him to AAA.


If they couldn't recall Littell, then why did they tell him to be ready to come up on Saturday?
If the FO didn't know the rules, that is very concerning.
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#50 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:54 AM

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.

I suspect the front office is moving in that direction, albeit not immediately.

In the case of catching, they shouldn’t make that kind of snap judgment. Astudillo is getting reps behind the dish every third day or so. When your backup catcher is Garver, I think that says a lot about how the org views Astudillo. Garver, while defensively sketchy (but also improving, at least visually), has a potentially elite bat for a catcher. If Willians is taking games away from him, that tells me the front office is intrigued by Astudillo.

Also, dropping Castro is pure madness when you have a defensively-challenged catcher and a curious enigma rostered behind him. You want Castro guiding those guys as much as possible for as long as possible.

Like I said last year, I think one of the worst things that happened to Mitch Garver is Castro going down for the entire season. Garver could have learned a lot about the finer points of modern catching by sitting next to Jason 162 times a year and implementing those lessons every third day.
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#51 jorgenswest

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:54 AM

If they couldn't recall Littell, then why did they tell him to be ready to come up on Saturday?
If the FO didn't know the rules, that is very concerning.


I really don’t find myself at all concerned.
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#52 Doctor Wu

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:54 AM

 

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.

the Willingham/Doumit era ... I love it! That has a much better ring to it than the Punto/Delmon Young era.

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#53 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:56 AM

I really don’t find myself at all concerned.


It's not at all concerning to you if the FO doesn't even know the basic transaction rules?

#54 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:13 AM

Does Castro have trade value? I’d think you could get a reasonable pitching prospect for him.


Only if you define reasonable as "still breathing."
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#55 stringer bell

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:22 AM

 

If they couldn't recall Littell, then why did they tell him to be ready to come up on Saturday?
If the FO didn't know the rules, that is very concerning.

Could it be they thought they would put someone on the injured list? That would negate the requirement for how long they were in Rochester, correct? 

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#56 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:28 AM

Could it be they thought they would put someone on the injured list? That would negate the requirement for how long they were in Rochester, correct?


I hope it's that, and not that they didn't know the rules.
But who would it be? Is anyone on the roster banged up right now?

#57 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:45 AM

I hope it's that, and not that they didn't know the rules.
But who would it be? Is anyone on the roster banged up right now?

My guess is the reporting was flawed, not the FO’s knowledge of the rules. We see this not just in baseball.
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#58 stringer bell

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 09:45 AM

Once the spate of off-days is over, I would think the Twins will want 12 pitchers going forward. Perez would join the rotation, vacating his multi-inning relief role, so someone who can throw 2-4 innings would be a replacement. De Jong could be that guy (or Magill or Littell) or they could go with Meija in that role and then add another 1 or perhaps 2 inning guy (Vasquez or Moya). Honestly, I haven't heard any reports on the Injured List pitchers--are they close to at least a rehab assignment?--but it appeared when the team made their final cuts that all but Moya's injury were convenient.

 

On the catching front, the ideal situation would be to have a starter and backup and a third guy to come up in event of injury. Going into the season, I thought starter (Castro 110-120 games if healthy), backup Garver (50-60 games) and third guy Astudillo (injury replacement-utility) but Willians has been too good to be an injury replacement guy shuttled to the minors. Castro is an experienced lefty hitter, with a decent reputation as a catcher. His lifetime OPS is .695, not Ruthian, but not Drew Butera either. Garver has a big-league bat and has shown progress as a receiver. Yes, it is now a nice problem to have, but will be tough to sustain for an entire season. If the Twins don't have a chance to contend, I guess Castro would be on the trade block.


#59 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 10:05 AM

My guess is the reporting was flawed, not the FO’s knowledge of the rules. We see this not just in baseball.


Definitely very possible considering the source of both the initial report as well as the follow up.
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#60 Monkeypaws

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

 

If Willians is taking games away from him[Garver], that tells me the front office is intrigued by Astudillo.

 

Just like the rest of us.

 

I think Rocco likes putting him in the lineup as well.

 

 

BTW, Castro has the fewest ABs so far this season for non-pitchers with 7, 3 fewer than Garver, and 7 fewer than Astudillo.

Edited by Monkeypaws, 07 April 2019 - 10:54 AM.

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