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AP: Twins counting on Steinbach and Bruno

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

We haven't talked too much about the impact these new guys could have this year. There's a lot of talk about Steinbach tutoring the catchers. STeinbach tells a story about him and LaRussa and then he and Gardy have the following exchange....

Gardenhire laughed as he thought about Steinbach tutoring All-Star Joe Mauer.
"I can't wait until you call Joe into my office so I can rip him," Gardenhire said.
Responded Steinbach: "I said I have to learn the guys."
"He goes 5 for 5, and you call him in and say, `You stunk,'" Gardenhire said, still chuckling. "I've got something to look forward to already."


Twins counting on new coaches to help turnaround as ex-players Steinbach, Brunansky join staff | StarTribune.com

#2 Badsmerf

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:44 PM

A coach wanting to actually coach players? Come on now, this is Twins Territory!
Do or do not. There is no try.

#3 Otwins

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:39 PM

I believe this is the biggest upgrade for the Twins. Steinbach developed into an excellent defensive catcher. The Twins were not good at throwing out base stealers last year. It will be better this year. Gardy has needed help on the bench for years. He is not a good tactical manager.

Bruno should help Plouffe and Parmelee. Both guys made huge strides with him in the minors. Maybe Bruno can unlock Mauer's power -

Having Cuellar work with the pitchers especially the young ones could be huge. He has added a change-up to more than one pitcher and moved them way up.

I think this is the reason why the Twins will be better this year.

#4 glunn

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:14 AM

I am loving all of the recent optimism. Please keep it up guys.

#5 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:43 AM

Over the years, I've wondered about Mauer's relationship with the pitchers. He gets a pass for the early years, as the rookie, young guy. Now, he's one of the elder statesmen in the clubhouse. Mauer is the captain of the team, especially if/when Morneau goes. Will Mauer live up to a leadership role with young men like Meyer, May and Gibson on the rise? The Captain has six more years to do so. My hunch, from 30,000 feet, is that this is why Drew Butera is still with the team--because he calls a better game than Mauer and Doumit. Butera does his job when he puts the right signs down, calls time when he sees frustration building on the mound, and builds trust with young pitchers. Steinbach also brings the soul of a pitcher-catcher relationship into the Twins clubhouse. It's a chemistry move. From the quotes above, it seems like Gardy can't imagine dressing down Mauer if he calls a bad game, just so long as he goes 5 for 5. That's the difference between a good manager, and a great one. For Mauer, it may be the difference between being remembered as a great catcher, or a legend. If Steinbach can help build the chemistry between Mauer and these young stud pitchers, we will be witnesses to something very special in the years to come.

#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

Over the years, I've wondered about Mauer's relationship with the pitchers. He gets a pass for the early years, as the rookie, young guy. Now, he's one of the elder statesmen in the clubhouse. Mauer is the captain of the team, especially if/when Morneau goes. Will Mauer live up to a leadership role with young men like Meyer, May and Gibson on the rise? The Captain has six more years to do so. My hunch, from 30,000 feet, is that this is why Drew Butera is still with the team--because he calls a better game than Mauer and Doumit. Butera does his job when he puts the right signs down, calls time when he sees frustration building on the mound, and builds trust with young pitchers. Steinbach also brings the soul of a pitcher-catcher relationship into the Twins clubhouse. It's a chemistry move. From the quotes above, it seems like Gardy can't imagine dressing down Mauer if he calls a bad game, just so long as he goes 5 for 5. That's the difference between a good manager, and a great one. For Mauer, it may be the difference between being remembered as a great catcher, or a legend. If Steinbach can help build the chemistry between Mauer and these young stud pitchers, we will be witnesses to something very special in the years to come.


Mauer calls time out more than any other catcher. Go to a White Sox board, it drives them nuts. I've never had the impression that he isn't capable of talking to pitchers. Hell, Andy put him in charge of their pitch meetings for years. Additionally, recent studies on pitch framing suggest Mauer is one of the better framers in baseball. Steinbach might help remind him on things like foot placement or such on baserunners but my guess is that his biggest positive is that he knows what a catcher is going through and would be a sounding board. I can't imagine Steinbach is going to be yelling at Mauer. For years there seems to be this idea that because Mauer is quiet and polite he isn't capable of being a team leader. Fans seem to want him to throw tantrums and curse.

I also think there should be some pretty modest expectations for the new coaching staff. Badsmerf is already suggesting that coaching players would be a new thing for the Twins. The reality is that Bruno and Steinbach and Cueller will have minimal impact. I suspect that will lead to a ton of threads about how Gardy prevented them from coaching players.

#7 twinsnorth49

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:31 AM

. The reality is that Bruno and Steinbach and Cueller will have minimal impact.


How so?

#8 beckmt

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:32 AM

Cuellar is being brought in to help with the younger pitchers(especially the young Latin American pitchers). Twins need all the help they can get with pitching. I suspect Cuellar will help get more out of this staff than Anderson could.

#9 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

How so?


I think coaching tends to be overrated in baseball. It can help unlock talent, esp in the minors (for instance, Cueller teaching Santana the change-up) but I don't think the coaches can do much about making Mastro or Floriman into hitters or turn Deduno into a control artist. I hope I'm wrong. I do wonder if having Bruno around will make a difference for a guy like Parmelee, if for no other reason than Parmelee might be comfortable around him. I know Morneau swore by Varva (and Varva is still around so I imagine player that feel more comfortable with him will still seek him out). I liked all the promotions but I think their net effect will be slim. Beckmt might be right that having a spanish speaking coach can't hurt and might make it easier for some of our Latin American pitchers.

#10 twinsnorth49

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:18 AM

While I agree that coaching, from a teaching perspective, is overated at this high a level, I think you underestimate the effect a good coach can have on a player's mental approach to the game. I think they can heavily influence that approach if they are effective communicators. By all accounts the players who have worked with Bruno and Cuellar have spoken very highly of them, that should translate at the ML level and hopefully bring more focus and discipline to a few players games.

Edited by twinsnorth49, 06 February 2013 - 09:24 AM.


#11 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

While I agree that coaching, from a teaching perspective, is overated at this high a level, I think you underestimate the effect a good coach can have on a player's mental approach to the game. I think they can heavily influence that approach if they are effective communicators. By all accounts the players who have worked with Bruno and Cuellar have spoken very highly of them, that should translate at the ML level and hopefully bring more focus and discipline to a few players games.


Maybe, but the players that worked with Vavra spoke highly of him too - specifically Morneau and Kubel. Joe Benson, in 2011, had a break out year in AA (his second go around in it) that he credited Bruno for. But in 2012, when they were both at AAA, Benson was horrible. But Parmelee broke out in AAA in 2012 (after a solid if not great year in AA) and he had said Vavra helped him a lot in his brief time in the majors in 11. But then struggled in the majors in 12 under Vavra.

#12 twinsnorth49

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Maybe, but the players that worked with Vavra spoke highly of him too - specifically Morneau and Kubel. Joe Benson, in 2011, had a break out year in AA (his second go around in it) that he credited Bruno for. But in 2012, when they were both at AAA, Benson was horrible. But Parmelee broke out in AAA in 2012 (after a solid if not great year in AA) and he had said Vavra helped him a lot in his brief time in the majors in 11. But then struggled in the majors in 12 under Vavra.


Benson's 2012 year was just derailed by the injuries, it was a write off year, IMO . I believe Parmelee's issues with the ML team in '12 had more to do with his confused role on the team in his two stints. He was never allowed to get into much of a rythym and settlle in, I think his minor league success with Bruno will do him well with his upcoming regular role on the team this year, if they're smart enough to do that.

#13 Willihammer

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

As far as I'm concerned, Parmelee's chance to prove himself, was last year. He played 64 games, not all consecutively, but Gardy gave him plenty of chances to get into a rhythm. These games count just as much as the 64 games in AAA where he had a good long hot streak.

What we saw was the real Chris Parmelee, back.

f you keep giving guys chances to find that hot streak again, you risk filling your roster with Alexi Casillas.

#14 twinsnorth49

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:26 AM

The guy was yanked up and down like a yo-yo last year and spent weeks at a time on the bench when he did come back up. If you want to give up on him after last year's debacle, go ahead, it's pretty unfair in my view.

#15 nicksaviking

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

I like Bruno, but isn't he just going to block Parmelee in RF to start the season and then Arcia when he's ready? Steinbach has been an All-Star in the past but is he going to take Butera's 3rd catcher gig or is the team going to roll with four of them this year? These guys are probably an upgrade, but they are getting a little old.

#16 Willihammer

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

I'm not giving up, I'm just playing the odds here. 3000 PAs of mediocrity versus 370. With sample sizes like those, you don't take a guy north just because he had a nice 10 or 20 games in spring training, and you don't hand him the job outright the next season either. Not after flopping like he did.

#17 Jerr

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:54 PM

I'm getting "almost giddy" with the positivity here!
Spring training is coming and these coaching changes are GREAT! Thanks for reminding me about them!

#18 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:26 AM

[quote name='gunnarthor']Mauer calls time out more than any other catcher. Go to a White Sox board, it drives them nuts. I've never had the impression that he isn't capable of talking to pitchers.

So, could the excessive time-out thing also rattle the pitchers, and not just the Sox? I think there are more nuanced ways of leading a pitching staff than cage-rattling and cursing. The fact that Mauer runs the pitching meetings is well documented, but I just don't hear other analysts talk up the way Mauer handles the pitching staff. More importantly, I don't hear that chatter coming from the staff itself. I will listen more closely for this, but it seems like Drew gets more of the clubhouse props than Joe does. Again, this fan's analysis is coming from the nosebleed seats. I don't think its an unreasonable to see Mauer's leadership role mature. It's part of the investment that the team made in him. He signed a contract that will define this team well into the future. He has room to grow here, that's all. Keeping Butera and bringing in Steinbach are indicators that not everything is right behind the plate.

#19 70charger

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

When it comes to Butera, what the hell else are they gonna talk about?

Analyst: "So Drew, looks like you went oh-fer again. Let's talk about how you handle a pitching staff."
Butera: "Yes, let's talk about that."

#20 luke829

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

I think it would be neat if Bruno teaches that unique batting stance that he exhibited during his playing days to the young guys. Gives the false impression to the pitcher that you're about ready to crap your pants. All about the mind games.
Mastermind of the "Free Bert" sign.

#21 Sarah

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:46 PM

I think it's great to get Terry Steinbach and Tom Brunansky into the Twins organization. I was pretty young when Bruno played for the Twins but he came to one of the hot stove banquets I attended recently and seems like a good ambassador for the game. Terry Steinbach was a good catcher who played for the Twins and happens to be from Minnesota. What's not to like?