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Article: For Better Or Worse: Joe Mauer

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Poll: Will Mauer Be Better Or Worse In 2013? (37 member(s) have cast votes)

Will Mauer Be Better Or Worse In 2013?

  1. Better (31 votes [83.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 83.78%

  2. Worse (6 votes [16.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.22%

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:22 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...Worse-Joe-Mauer

#2 Fire Dan Gladden

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

If the numbers last year were worse than his career averages, how can he "regress to the mean"?

I know you meant league averages, but there really is no reason to believe he will do that. His game is based on smart hitting and is not one demensional. He will be an elite hitter for a few years yet. The Doumit/Mauer platoon behind the plate will help to keep both players healthier in the long run.

Mauer will be better in 2013.

#3 TiberTwins

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:24 AM

Mauer will be better this year because getting him out from behind the plate more keeps him healthier. The numbers show that and he does not have to worry about the offensive drop with Doumit behind the plate.

#4 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

Mauer was right around his career averages last year. I imagine he'll be about the same this year, maybe a touch better.

And, while he was slightly below his career averages in BA/SLG% and OPS, he was over his career averages in OBP and OPS+. And, as usual, his numbers w/RISP were very, very good. I'd be very happy if he could do what he did last year every year for the rest of his career

Edited by ThePuck, 08 January 2013 - 08:35 AM.


#5 twinzgrl

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

The fact that Joe rebounded from his disastrous 2011 season so well didn't surprise me. I think it did shut up a number of Mauer bashers. He is getting older, but also wiser, and he knows how much time he can spend behind the plate and maintain his excellence as a hitter. Too bad the Twins had no foresight when they traded Ramos for Capps. It doesn't take a genius to know that a 6'5" catcher can't squat forever. But, I think he will continue to dominate at the plate, and win another batting title this year. I look forward to watching him hit, and hope by some miracle that this weird mix of pitchers that TR has assembled will do better than last year's patchwork mess.

#6 Chance

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

Hopefully with some fresh blood in the coaching pool will help the whole lineup prove a bit. I'm happy with a repeat of last season (minus all the darn double plays he hit into).

#7 mgraves

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

If the numbers last year were worse than his career averages, how can he "regress to the mean"?...


"Regress to the mean" does not mean "get worse" or "become more like the average ballplayer". It is any return to his average, provided the initial sample size is large enough. So Mauer can regress from an .861 OPS to an .873 OPS. Granted, Mauer's epic 2009 campaign skews his career averages, but so does his injury plagued 2011, which means his mean [with the rest of his career taken into account] is ".873". The problem, referenced by his age 30 season, is that ballplayer become less effective the older they get [exceptions due to "the clear" and "the clear" notwithstanding]. Age also makes coming back from injuries more labor intensive and longer [again, exceptions due to "the clear" and "the clear" notwithstanding].

In sum, after the last two years, if Mauer were to "regress" to his mean, he would improve, but the effect of age may make what he is typically capable of may decrease his mean.

Sidenote--considering his position, I don't like his batted ball profile as he ages.

#8 Boom Boom

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Positional flexibility or not, Mauer was unusually healthy last year and I don't think that will hold up. I predict he'll land on the DL at least once.

#9 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

From '05-'10, only one player whose primary position is catcher had more games played (whether that player did it at catcher or elsewhere) than Mauer and none had more plate appearances.

#10 nicksaviking

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

Mauer will be statistically worse this year simply because the Twins lost their best two options to hit in front of him in the lineup. Parker had a terrific breakdown of how well Mauer utilized the positioning of the infielders when a runner was on base, those oppotunities will likely be decreased without Span and Revere batting in front of him. His OBP/OPS likely would also take a hit as he had a high percentage of intentional walks last year with Span standing on 2B, those will likely decrease considering the internal options for the top of the order likely will not reach 2B as often.

#11 Boom Boom

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

From '05-'10, only one player whose primary position is catcher had more games played (whether that player did it at catcher or elsewhere) than Mauer and none had more plate appearances.


Not many catchers are good enough hitters to DH when they're not catching.

#12 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Not many catchers are good enough hitters to DH when they're not catching.


That's true, but he was still playing...and if we had some bad arse DH (like Ortiz, for example), he wouldn't have DH'd as much and he'd have played more catcher. DHing Mauer is a luxury Gardy has (and thank goodness Joe hits as well as he does so it's not a hinderence when he does DH), but if Gardy couldn't DH him, he'd be catching more to keep his bat in the lineup. Additionally, if Gardy didn't have an overwhelming desire to play backups as much as he does (day games after night games, games where we took the 1st two games of a three game series, Sundays) or carry three catchers, he'd have more games played and more games behind the plate for his career as well.

Edited by ThePuck, 08 January 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#13 CDog

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

His OBP/OPS likely would also take a hit as he had a high percentage of intentional walks last year with Span standing on 2B, those will likely decrease considering the internal options for the top of the order likely will not reach 2B as often.


I don't think the intentional walks are as big a part of his arsenal as you're implying there. If you eliminated every single one from last year, his OBP drops like six points.

#14 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

'His OBP/OPS likely would also take a hit as he had a high percentage of intentional walks last year with Span standing on 2B, those will likely decrease considering the internal options for the top of the order likely will not reach 2B as often.'

And you just assume all of those IBB would have been outs? Besides he only had 10 IBB for the whole season, and only 5 had Span at 2B. Either way, his OBP would take a very, very slight hit even if all those IBBs in that scenario turned into outs (which is a big assumption). 5 IBBs in 641 plate appearance.

Edited by ThePuck, 08 January 2013 - 11:19 AM.


#15 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

That's true, but he was still playing...and if we had some bad arse DH (like Ortiz, for example), he wouldn't have DH'd as much and he'd have played more catcher. DHing Mauer is a luxury Gardy has (and thank goodness Joe hits as well as he does so it's not a hinderence when he does DH), but if Gardy couldn't DH him, he'd be catching more to keep his bat in the lineup. Additionally, if Gardy didn't have an overwhelming desire to play backups as much as he does (day games after night games, games where we took the 1st two games of a three game series, Sundays) or carry three catchers, he'd have more games played and more games behind the plate for his career as well.


Huh? Gardenhire could have used Mauer more behind the plate, but simply decided not to?

I'm...skeptical, to put it mildly.

#16 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Huh? Gardenhire could have used Mauer more behind the plate, but simply decided not to?

I'm...skeptical, to put it mildly.


Not sure why you would be skeptical, but okay. You think every time over his career he benched Mauer or moved him to DH cause he HAD to?

#17 nicksaviking

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

'His OBP/OPS likely would also take a hit as he had a high percentage of intentional walks last year with Span standing on 2B, those will likely decrease considering the internal options for the top of the order likely will not reach 2B as often.'

And you just assume all of those IBB would have been outs? Besides he only had 10 IBB for the whole season, and only 5 had Span at 2B. Either way, his OBP would take a very, very slight hit even if all those IBBs in that scenario turned into outs (which is a big assumption). 5 IBBs in 641 plate appearance.


Ok forget about the throwaway IBB statement and focus on the first part of the post. (Re)read Parker's article:

Joe Mauer pulled through in 2012 - Blogs - Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum

or check his career splits

http://www.baseball-...year=Career&t=b

Mauer hits well under any scenario, but in every possible way runners can occupy bases, he hits much, much better compared to when the bases are empty.

Unless we are expecting whoever is now going to be atop the lineup to occupy the bases as well as Span and Revere did last year Mauer's numbers are bound to decrease.

#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:05 PM

I personally think that he'll remain in that same BA/OPS range... Naturally, I think that the OBP comes down a little because it was just so high last year, but I think he can add a few more doubles. I personally really like the idea of him catching no more than half of the games. I think that's more than enough. That way, he's able to play in 145-155 games (assuming health) rather than 120-130.

And yes, I also think that Gardy is wise to give guys days off throughout the season. Catchers should not catch the day after a night game more than a handful of times in a season, at least until the last two months of the season if they're in contention. I think that his ability to play 1B 20-30 games will help him and help Morneau and help the team by keeping them healthy.

#19 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

Ok forget about the throwaway IBB statement and focus on the first part of the post. (Re)read Parker's article:

Joe Mauer pulled through in 2012 - Blogs - Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum

or check his career splits

Joe Mauer Career Batting Splits - Baseball-Reference.com

Mauer hits well under any scenario, but in every possible way runners can occupy bases, he hits much, much better compared to when the bases are empty.

Unless we are expecting whoever is now going to be atop the lineup to occupy the bases as well as Span and Revere did last year Mauer's numbers are bound to decrease.


That is a fair argument...and it could happen, Though, in case of last year (just last year), Span was in the .340s and Revere in the .330s. Not bad, but those are attainable numbers if/when Hicks comes up occupying the leadoff spot and Carroll is in the 2 hole. Additionally, he's had some horrendous #2 hitters over the years since Mauer has been with the team and he maintained his numbers anyway. We'll see.

Thanks for the interesting viewpoint, something to monitor this year

Edited by ThePuck, 08 January 2013 - 12:13 PM.


#20 ThePuck

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

Catchers should not catch the day after a night game more than a handful of times in a season, at least until the last two months of the season if they're in contention. I think that his ability to play 1B 20-30 games will help him and help Morneau and help the team by keeping them healthy.


And that's true, but that's more of a guideline throughout the game (just have to look at games played at catcher in the majors). It's not an absolute necessity that he just couldn't go out there and catch. It's a manager's choice, not because he COULDN'T go catch more. I guess what I'm saying is this. Does anyone really think Mauer would have only played 74 games last year if catcher was his only option? Even earlier in his career. Do we really believe he'd only have played 110 games in 2006?

#21 JB_Iowa

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

I just don't know. Was the knee "as good as it gets" last year or could his work over this winter further strengthen it? If he could further strengthen his base, that might off-set wear & tear from the extra year on his age.

My guess is that there will be a slight decline in his overall numbers but that it won't be a significant decline. I would still hope that he can maintain and OBP of .400 or more but a drop in OBP would not bother me as much if his extra-base hits would increase back to 2010 levels or better.

#22 Kwak

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Worse. Opponents will "pitch around" him more frequently in key situations.

#23 SpantheMan

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

he will improve

#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:52 AM

Worse. Opponents will "pitch around" him more frequently in key situations.


And Joe will simply take more walks. If anything, that will improve everything except his counting stats (ie. the stuff that matters when evaluating a hitter).

#25 Badsmerf

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:15 AM

Another year removed from 2011, plus a healthy offseason means he will be better. I bet all his numbers increase with the exception of OBP due to being stronger and able to train better (like Morneau). I'm not sure how much better, but an OPS north or 900 wouldn't be too difficult for him. Add in that Doumit will get time in as catcher to keep him from breaking down. Now that the concrete has settled in TF there will also be more homeruns.....
Do or do not. There is no try.

#26 h2oface

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

Watching Mauer get turned off at the end of the season, instead of Mauer turning it on and excelling, was just another disappointment to go with the rest last year. It was individual pressure, but he still wilted and didn't perform when the pressure was on. Wilted. The Twins need a Panda, a Scutaro, someone that comes up big at moneyball time. But for Joe, I always think he can be better. Didn't his dad so boldly say he would be the next .400 hitter? Only about a hundred times he said it. I also think the big huge guy that is now a man can poke the ball out of the park at least 30 times. Anybody that big can. So I think he will be better. I always think he will be better.

#27 ThePuck

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:10 PM

Watching Mauer get turned off at the end of the season, instead of Mauer turning it on and excelling, was just another disappointment to go with the rest last year. It was individual pressure, but he still wilted and didn't perform when the pressure was on. Wilted. The Twins need a Panda, a Scutaro, someone that comes up big at moneyball time. But for Joe, I always think he can be better. Didn't his dad so boldly say he would be the next .400 hitter? Only about a hundred times he said it. I also think the big huge guy that is now a man can poke the ball out of the park at least 30 times. Anybody that big can. So I think he will be better. I always think he will be better.


Wilted? He batted .356/.464/.522 in September/Oct. It was his best month for OPS and his 2nd best month for BA.

#28 h2oface

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

Wilted? He batted .356/.464/.522 in September/Oct. It was his best month for OPS and his 2nd best month for BA.


How did he do the last 7 games.... after he was up to .326 on September 25th, and pressing for the title? That was when the pressure was on. He went "oh" fer five of the games, and 4/23 to slide to .319. I still think he will be better. Is it bad to always think someone with Joe's greatness will always be better? Those 7 games is like someone going 4/23 in the series. Granted, the rest of September got him to where he could be in a pressure situation.

Edited by h2oface, 09 January 2013 - 12:30 PM.


#29 ThePuck

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

How did he do the last 7 games.... after he was up to .326 on September 25th, and pressing for the title? That was when the pressure was on. He went "oh" fer five of the games, and 4/23 to slide to .319. I still think he will be better. Is it bad to always think someone with Joe's greatness will always be better? Those 7 games is like someone going 4/23 in the series. Granted, the rest of September got him to where he could be in a pressure situation.


What pressure...you think he felt pressure? Pressure from what? A batting race? Dude already has 3 batting titles, so I doubt he was feeling too much pressure. It's not like he hadn't been there before. In 2 of those 3 years, the race was 4 or less points.

He dropped a whole 4 points in BA his last 7 games. If he had gone the other way, 4 points up his last 7 games, he still misses the batting title.

Your post looks like just another example of looking for stuff to complain about Mauer. Even though you go on to give him credit

Edited by ThePuck, 09 January 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#30 h2oface

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

What pressure...you think he felt pressure? Pressure from what? A batting race? Dude already has 3 batting titles, so I doubt he was feeling too much pressure. It's not like he hadn't been there before.

He dropped a whole 4 points in BA his last 7 games. If he had gone the other way, 4 points up his last 7 games, he still misses the batting title.

Your post looks like just another example of looking for stuff to complain about Mauer.


Let's see......... .326 at the end of the day on September 25, to .319 after the next and last 7 games is .......... .007. Seven points. I am not understanding this fuzzy arithmetic. You are a professed and talented stat man. No biggy. Yes. My answer is yes, I think anyone that has a fire and competitive edge about them, and it is well documented that Joe Mauer does in everything he "plays", would be feeling pressure to complete the surge and take the title. The sweetest title is the one you just won. It was about the only excitement for the Twins the whole season, to have Joe to watch down the stretch with a possible 4th title coming with his batting surge. Your posts on this thread look like just another example of defending someone that doesn't need defended. I still think Joe will be better next year.