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.