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Bollinger: Herrmann Hopes to break camp as 3rd catcher

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#61 stringer bell

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

The optimum would be to have two versatile catchers and an emergency third catcher, who is also versatile. The Twins don't have that and they don't have lefty-righty balance either (Doumit is a much stronger LH hitter). Mauer is a franchise player and as long as he is a catcher, everything needs to be built around him. Doumit is a good hitter for a catcher and acceptable as a DH and he can spell someone in the outfield. His defense doesn't have many admirers. He would be best paired with a gold-glove type righthanded hitter. Butera doesn't hit well enough to be a major leaguer. There are equally proficient defenders to be had, who would have a far better chance to do offensive damage than Drew Butera.

#62 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:46 PM

I think people need to stop calling Butera the "3rd catcher" because in reality, on most every single day, he is the backup catcher. Mauer is the catcher. Doumit is the DH. Or those two switch. Butera is the backup catcher. Every team has a backup catcher. Most team's backup catchers are defensive-minded players. It's really that simple. The last three World Series champion backup catchers were Hector Sanchez, Gerald Laird and Eli Whiteside, none of which can hit much and certainly don't bring as much to their teams defensively as Butera does.

I really like Chris Herrmann, and even I'm not shouting for him to replace Butera at this point. As Nick has said way better than I ever could, it's completely a mute point. The Twins brass deems Butera worthy of essentially a league-minimum contract (close enough that it's not worth worrying about) because of his defense, his leadership, what he provides on the bench and to the pitchers. And, when he gets five at bats a week, it's just not a concern. If he gets 5 plate appearances, he'll get on once. If Mauer gets five plate appearances, he'll get on base twice.

It's in the same category as complaining about Correia getting a 2-year contract. It's fun to whine about it for awhile, but it's done. It's not being reversed. Doesn't it get old continuing to talk/write about the same thing.

It's really such a non-issue.

#63 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:47 PM

Also, I think that the plan for 2014 (or even later in 2013) would be for Chris Herrmann to be deemed ready, and then you have your backup catcher who can also play multiple positions. The Twins will then have three versatile catchers.

#64 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

The last three World Series champion backup catchers were Hector Sanchez, Gerald Laird and Eli Whiteside, none of which can hit much


Shall we compare their OPS to Butera's? You know how this conversation would die more easily? If some didn't try to argue that Butera is worth a roster spot. If no one is arguing the contrary, all you'll get is a few complaints, not a discussion.

#65 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

Shall we compare their OPS to Butera's? You know how this conversation would die more easily? If some didn't try to argue that Butera is worth a roster spot. If no one is arguing the contrary, all you'll get is a few complaints, not a discussion.


No, I looked at their OPSs, and they were 100 points higher than Butera, but as Nick and I have said, there is so much more to the role of backup catcher than offense. In fact, I think most teams and most GMs would argue that it ranks well down the list of things they are looking for in a backup catcher.

#66 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:50 PM

No, I looked at their OPSs, and they were 100 points higher than Butera, but as Nick and I have said, there is so much more to the role of backup catcher than offense. In fact, I think most teams and most GMs would argue that it ranks well down the list of things they are looking for in a backup catcher.


As your examples point out, you can have both. There are plenty of catchers that provide good defense that can manage more than a .500 OPS. Historically, few players have been given this many at-bats while being this inept offensively. The Twins have straddled themselves with this issue, let's stop pretending otherwise. No matter how great he is defensively, it's not helping the ballclub when he's this bad as a hitter.

If he's this good in the clubhouse, sign him to be the bullpen catcher then. Or put him in AAA to work with young pitchers. But he's not a worthwhile MLB player.

#67 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:56 PM

As your examples point out, you can have both. There are plenty of catchers that provide good defense that can manage more than a .500 OPS. Historically, few players have been given this many at-bats while being this inept offensively. The Twins have straddled themselves with this issue, let's stop pretending otherwise. No matter how great he is defensively, it's not helping the ballclub when he's this bad as a hitter.

If he's this good in the clubhouse, sign him to be the bullpen catcher then. Or put him in AAA to work with young pitchers. But he's not a worthwhile MLB player.


K........

#68 Nick Nelson

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:42 AM

[quote name='TheLeviathan']Because people, including you, say it's wise to keep Butera because he complements Mauer and Doumit's abilities.[/QUOTE]
This quote really gets to the core the issue. I haven't said it's "wise" to keep Butera. I don't really see anybody on this thread saying that (a few have said they'd prefer having him on the roster to Herrmann, which makes plenty of sense strictly from a developmental standpoint). All I'm saying is that it's not as mind-numbingly indefensible as you and some others continually make it out to be. Quit exaggerating and fabricating opposing views in order to vindicate your tirades. I don't think anyone is in disagreement with your fundamental point, just your extremeness.

[quote name='stringerbell']Butera doesn't hit well enough to be a major leaguer. There are equally proficient defenders to be had, who would have a far better chance to do offensive damage than Drew Butera.[/QUOTE]
People say this a lot like it's a given, but I wonder if it's true. The Twins tried out a couple inferior options when Mauer was down in 2011 (remember Steve Holm and Rene Rivera? yuck) and last year I didn't really see anyone clamoring for Towles as a significant upgrade. Now we're hearing Jeff Clement mentioned -- come on, the dude isn't even a catcher. You want a player in this role who can come in during a blowout to save Mauer's knees, play good defense and keep the game moving.

Catcher defense is difficult to quantify but clearly the Twins have a bunch of people on their staff who think he does enough there to provide value. I tend to disagree but I don't have to squint to hard to see what they're thinking. If Butera works well with pitchers, makes them more comfortable, controls the running game and is a good teammate, I can see why you'd take that in his role over the extra handful of hits that another incrementally better but still terrible hitter might provide.

[quote name='Riverbrian']Only the Twins seem to need this 3rd catcher... Might as well find someone who can pinch hit for Florimon when needed.[/QUOTE]
That seems like a weird requirement. You want your third-string player at the worst offensive position on the field to be a pinch-hitter candidate? How many backup catchers are used as pinch-hitters around the league?

#69 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

I think people need to stop calling Butera the "3rd catcher" because in reality, on most every single day, he is the backup catcher. Mauer is the catcher. Doumit is the DH. Or those two switch. Butera is the backup catcher. Every team has a backup catcher. Most team's backup catchers are defensive-minded players. It's really that simple. The last three World Series champion backup catchers were Hector Sanchez, Gerald Laird and Eli Whiteside, none of which can hit much and certainly don't bring as much to their teams defensively as Butera does.

I really like Chris Herrmann, and even I'm not shouting for him to replace Butera at this point. As Nick has said way better than I ever could, it's completely a mute point. The Twins brass deems Butera worthy of essentially a league-minimum contract (close enough that it's not worth worrying about) because of his defense, his leadership, what he provides on the bench and to the pitchers. And, when he gets five at bats a week, it's just not a concern. If he gets 5 plate appearances, he'll get on once. If Mauer gets five plate appearances, he'll get on base twice.

It's in the same category as complaining about Correia getting a 2-year contract. It's fun to whine about it for awhile, but it's done. It's not being reversed. Doesn't it get old continuing to talk/write about the same thing.

It's really such a non-issue.


1. People call Butera the 3rd catcher because that's what he is. If Butera is on the 25 man roster, there are 3 catchers, and he's the least desirable to have behind the plate, and will get the fewest opportunities behind the plate. Ergo, he's the 3rd catcher. When Mauer is behind the plate and Doumit is DH'ing, there is no reason Doumit can't also be the backup catcher, at the same time, and vice versa. There is no need to have a backup to the backup, when roster spots are limited and you're carrying 12 or 13 pitchers. 2. "Every team has a backup catcher." Yes, they do. How many will carry TWO backup catchers in 2013? 3. "The last three World Series champion backup catchers were Hector Sanchez, Gerald Laird and Eli Whiteside..." Who was the 3rd catcher on those teams? 4. "The Twins brass deems Butera worthy of essentially a league-minimum contract (close enough that it's not worth worrying about) because of his defense, his leadership, what he provides on the bench and to the pitchers..." How can his defense be worthy when, as you say, he's not going to play much? What, exactly, does he "provide to the bench?" to "the pitchers?" 5. "And, when he gets five at bats a week, it's just not a concern. If he gets 5 plate appearances, he'll get on once. If Mauer gets five plate appearances, he'll get on base twice" This is so...ill conceived...an argument it's not worth a response, but here goes anyway: your argument amounts to "he's so valuable because his defense is so fantastic, but we don't need to worry about his historically poor offense because he'll never play." Face it...he's a wasted roster spot. If, for some reason the Twins need to carry 3 catchers, the 3rd catcher needs to provide more than Butera does, because in today's game, bench spots are too valuable to waste on a guy who cannot be used anywhere except catcher. He costs the Twins games when is IS in the lineup, and he costs the Twins games when he ISN'T in the lineup. This is so simple, it's baffling that people still try to justify it. While this isn't the Twins primary roster problem--lack of talent is--that doesn't mean it's not a problem, or not worth discussing. Getting better pitchers isn't simple. This is. Don't carry 3 catchers. Problem solved.

#70 Boom Boom

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

A difficulty with building your franchise around a superstar catcher is that the drop-off to the backup catcher is going to be magnified. The difference beetween Mauer and Butera is probably greater than the difference between the starting and backup catcher on any other team. Also your superstar is going to get his catchers' rest so the backup is going to see more playing time than if Mauer was, say, a left fielder.

As for Hermann, I think he has a better chance to replace Doumit than Butera.

#71 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:57 AM

This quote really gets to the core the issue. I haven't said it's "wise" to keep Butera. I don't really see anybody on this thread saying that (a few have said they'd prefer having him on the roster to Herrmann, which makes plenty of sense strictly from a developmental standpoint). All I'm saying is that it's not as mind-numbingly indefensible as you and some others continually make it out to be. Quit exaggerating and fabricating opposing views in order to vindicate your tirades. I don't think anyone is in disagreement with your fundamental point, just your extremeness.


What tirade and what extremeness? I just looked over the thread, I'm not exaggerating or fabricating anything. I'm not on a tirade. I'm not being extreme. Pretty unfounded accusations there, yeesh.

Keep historically bad hitters on your team is indefensible. That's a pretty simple point, but feel free to mischaracterize it however you'd like. That appears to be your go-to on this topic.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 19 February 2013 - 10:03 AM.


#72 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:59 AM

A difficulty with building your franchise around a superstar catcher is that the drop-off to the backup catcher is going to be magnified. The difference beetween Mauer and Butera is probably greater than the difference between the starting and backup catcher on any other team. Also your superstar is going to get his catchers' rest so the backup is going to see more playing time than if Mauer was, say, a left fielder.

As for Hermann, I think he has a better chance to replace Doumit than Butera.

Butera is not the backup catcher.

#73 Boom Boom

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

Butera is not the backup catcher.


Until he's not on the 25-man roster, he may not be THE backup catcher, but he is A backup catcher.

I thought the Doumit signing made a lot of sense at the time, but now I feel like it's not as great of a fit as I thought. The problem Gardy had before was keeping Mauer in the lineup at DH when Butera or Redmond caught. Since Doumit's the default DH, Gardy still has the same problem of using a catcher at DH but it's compounded by the wasted roster spot.

Edited by Boom Boom, 19 February 2013 - 10:05 AM.


#74 zenser

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

The first part of spring training will be crutical. Mauer will be with Team USA and Butera will be the starting catcher for Team Italy. Butera will be getting probably more ABs there than he would in the spring training games with the Twins so that opens up Herrmann to get plenty of ABs to start the spring season. Hopefully, Herrmann takes advantage.

Personally, I would prefer they only carry Mauer and Doumit to start the season and using the roster spot for a pinch hitter or bullpen arm. Lord knows we will need both. If it so happens that we would lose a DH for a game and have to have a pitcher bat once, is there any difference to having Butera bat? Then after the game, you could call up Butera. But in that scenario, Butera and Herrmann would be splitting ABs in AAA and if the FO has plans for Herrmann going forward, I could live with Herrmann being in AAA and Butera taking up a roster spot with the big club.

#75 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

Until he's not on the 25-man roster, he may not be THE backup catcher, but he is A backup catcher.

I thought the Doumit signing made a lot of sense at the time, but now I feel like it's not as great of a fit as I thought. The problem Gardy had before was keeping Mauer in the lineup at DH when Butera or Redmond caught. Since Doumit's the default DH, Gardy still has the same problem of using a catcher at DH but it's compounded by the wasted roster spot.


There should be zero hesitation to use a catcher at the DH spot. ZERO. Worst case scenario, you lose the DH for nine innings if/when your starting catcher gets injured.

I just can't wrap my head around why this is a problem. If you pinch-hit for a catcher or pinch-hit using a catcher, that guy is out of the game for good which can put you in a bind if you run out of catchers. But if you DH a catcher, all you risk is losing the DH for part of a game.

It should be a non-issue.

#76 FrodaddyG

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:26 AM

There should be zero hesitation to use a catcher at the DH spot. ZERO. Worst case scenario, you lose the DH for nine innings if/when your starting catcher gets injured.

I just can't wrap my head around why this is a problem. If you pinch-hit for a catcher or pinch-hit using a catcher, that guy is out of the game for good which can put you in a bind if you run out of catchers. But if you DH a catcher, all you risk is losing the DH for part of a game.

It should be a non-issue.

But what if you had to have a pitcher hit for an entire game! You can't take the chance of throwing away ABs to a terrible hitter, so you need Drew... Butera? Wait a minute...

#77 TheLeviathan

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

It should be a non-issue.


It should all be a non-issue. Historically bad hitters shouldn't be on your roster. But apparently that's an "extreme" position.

#78 Boom Boom

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

There should be zero hesitation to use a catcher at the DH spot. ZERO. Worst case scenario, you lose the DH for nine innings if/when your starting catcher gets injured.

I just can't wrap my head around why this is a problem. If you pinch-hit for a catcher or pinch-hit using a catcher, that guy is out of the game for good which can put you in a bind if you run out of catchers. But if you DH a catcher, all you risk is losing the DH for part of a game.

It should be a non-issue.


I get that it should be a non-issue, but for our Manager of the Year it's a big issue, worthy of dedicating a 25-man spot for an unlikely contingency scenario. I'm trying to figure out a way to take the security blanket away from Gardy.

For the record, I'm pretty sure Gardy's not so much worried about losing the DH as he is about having a pitcher hurt himself trying to bat or run the bases.

#79 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:35 AM

I get that it should be a non-issue, but for our Manager of the Year it's a big issue, worthy of dedicating a 25-man spot for an unlikely contingency scenario. I'm trying to figure out a way to take the security blanket away from Gardy.

For the record, I'm pretty sure Gardy's not so much worried about losing the DH as he is about having a pitcher hurt himself trying to bat or run the bases.


Which is really silly. The NL manages to play most of its games without a reliever seeing an AB and they do it with a 25 man roster. Chances are, your catcher won't be hurt in the first inning and you'll only have to cover a couple of pitcher ABs with your bench.

#80 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

I get that it should be a non-issue, but for our Manager of the Year it's a big issue, worthy of dedicating a 25-man spot for an unlikely contingency scenario. I'm trying to figure out a way to take the security blanket away from Gardy.

For the record, I'm pretty sure Gardy's not so much worried about losing the DH as he is about having a pitcher hurt himself trying to bat or run the bases.

Good point. Are we going to forfeit interleague games from here on out?