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Article: It's official: Twins announce Joe Mauer move to first base

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#91 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:22 AM

There is just no way Mauer was going to be catching a lot of games in, say, 2017. No chance whatsoever, even if he had zero concussion issues.If anything, this helps the Twins to rebuild by opening up the catcher spot, where hopefully they can find a solution. It was a miracle Mauer played catcher as long and as often as he did.The Twins are lengthening Mauer's career in exchange for a modest (1-1.5 WAR) short-term dropoff, while they stink anyway. It's just not a negative in any meaningful sense.


Alright, one more try at it.....I'm not blaming the Twins. It doesn't sound like there was much choice. But it wouldn't be a "miracle" tht a guy in his early thirties would still be catching. Nor unreasonable to have planned for him to be catching then. Additionally there is no guarantee this lengthens anything.

the only guarantee is that this opens a position the Twins are totally unprepared to fill where they previously had a significant advantage over the vast majority of other teams. That has significant potential to be a negative now and going forward.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 12 November 2013 - 11:24 AM.


#92 JB_Iowa

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:31 PM

. But it wouldn't be a "miracle" tht a guy in his early thirties would still be catching. Nor unreasonable to have planned for him to be catching then. Additionally there is no guarantee this lengthens anything.


No miracles and no guarantees but I do think that given Mauer's body type and his prior knee problems, his likelihood of catching in his 30's were less than for some others. I also think that the odds of him prolonging his career are better at 1B than catcher.

#93 drivlikejehu

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:03 PM

It's not speculation. There is a tremendous amount of data that shows how catchers decline more quickly than other positions (despite the occasional exceptional case). Mauer's size and injury history just makes that prognosis even worse.

Of course there is no "guarantee" of anything regarding a specific player. Using that as a standard is obviously illegitimate. Based on decades of baseball, Mauer's move to 1B should be just fine for his value. Anyone is free to believe otherwise, but that isn't a position supported by objective data.

#94 Alex

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:09 PM

Right, but which one is easier to fill?

The Twins haven't been grooming anyone. Only in the last two drafts have they seemed to show an interest in adding catching. Basically, they're unprepared to fill the position once Mauer moves. First base can generally be filled MUCH more easily than catcher.


IMO, it's better that they are aware of the need now than what would likely have been a need to move him three years from now when they will be competitive. (For comparison and the standard that Mauer often is held to, Johnny Bench was done catching after age 32.)

If the Twins haven't been grooming or considering anyone, I can understand it is a bit sooner than anyone hoped, but Mauer hasn't been a full time catcher for some time. He might have caught 90 games this year if healthy the entire season.

We can certainly hope that Mauer would have caught until he was in his mid to late thirties, but that hope isn't necessarily realistic, especially if you hope for his bat to remain elite. The chances of both were very slim, so not having a backup plan a couple of years from now would have been bad business. At least they can start to address the need now rather than when the are starting to get competitive again and lose an advatage then.

Edited by Alex, 12 November 2013 - 01:14 PM.


#95 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:13 PM

It's not speculation. There is a tremendous amount of data that shows how catchers decline more quickly than other positions (despite the occasional exceptional case). Mauer's size and injury history just makes that prognosis even worse.

Of course there is no "guarantee" of anything regarding a specific player. Using that as a standard is obviously illegitimate. Based on decades of baseball, Mauer's move to 1B should be just fine for his value. Anyone is free to believe otherwise, but that isn't a position supported by objective data.


you're not listening. It's not about Mauer, it's about the Twins losing great production at a premium position. Career longevity is utterly irrelevant to that. It's not in dispute because it has nothing to do with the point I've made repeatedly.

#96 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:15 PM

IMO, it's better that they are aware of the need now than what would likely have been a need to move him three years from now when they will be competitive. (For comparison and the standard that Mauer often is held to, Johnny Bench was done catching after age 32.)

If the Twins haven't been grooming or considering anyone, I can understand it is a bit sooner than anyone hoped, but Mauer hasn't been a full time catcher for some time. He might have caught 90 games this year if healthy the entire season.


they haven't been, only recently did thy start to. It's a glaring a hole until filled, in part because of how good Mauer was.

#97 Alex

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:22 PM

they haven't been, only recently did thy start to. It's a glaring a hole until filled, in part because of how good Mauer was.


I agree. I'm just adding that expecting Mauer to provide that value at catcher more than 2-3 years out (when it would be ideal for him to be playing catcher) was probably a longshot anyway. Now, though, they know what they're missing at least.

The problem with the Twins is they aren't really good at getting that extra value in positions like C, SS, or 2B for a lot reasons, some their fault some not, but that's another discussion.

#98 mike wants wins

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:50 PM

We get it, he's more valuable as a catcher. But that was no longer a real option, so what are we arguing about?

And, if you want to keep arguing, if you agree they are not likely going to the playoffs next year, why risk his health next year or in future years?
Lighten up Francis....

#99 drivlikejehu

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:16 PM

you're not listening. It's not about Mauer, it's about the Twins losing great production at a premium position. Career longevity is utterly irrelevant to that. It's not in dispute because it has nothing to do with the point I've made repeatedly.


Career longevity is completely relevant, because 'great production at a premium position' is worthless in 2014 - the Twins are too bad for it to matter. So the benefit of Mauer catching doesn't even apply until the rest of the team is competitive. And by the time that happens, Mauer at catcher is a very dubious proposition even without the concussion issue.

Everyone understands the decision has been made, the issue arose over what it means for the Twins. The most likely scenario- based on historical data, conventional wisdom within baseball, and every other conceivable factor- is that Mauer's move to 1B will ultimately benefit the Twins in terms of production.

#100 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:00 PM

We get it, he's more valuable as a catcher. But that was no longer a real option, so what are we arguing about?

And, if you want to keep arguing, if you agree they are not likely going to the playoffs next year, why risk his health next year or in future years?


im pointing out this isn't all roses. It does make our rebuild more difficult. But, as I have said, it looks like there was no choice. Personally, I'd have rather seen them rest him a year or two an return him later. But this seems to be medically driven so I doubt that option exists.

#101 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:06 PM

And by the time that happens, Mauer at catcher is a very dubious proposition even without the concussion issue.


Its dubious to claim that as a certainty. He very well could have still been doing that in two years. Plenty of catchers have been very productive in their early 30s. Not to mention, you don't adjust until you have to. In this case, we had to for medical reasons. Not production.

You continue to take issue with a simple point - if his production stayed up, would they want to move him? Absolutely not. So it's disappointing that while he still is producing that this choice was forced with no clear backup plan. It adds another hurdle to a team with enough of them already. Couching this as fixing some hypothetical in three years to ignore the very real, current problem is really straining to miss the point.

#102 drivlikejehu

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:38 PM

Its dubious to claim that as a certainty.


Good thing I didn't claim that as a certainty then, huh?

Stop putting up straw men for a minute and actually do some reading on how catchers age.

#103 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:27 PM

Good thing I didn't claim that as a certainty then, huh?

Stop putting up straw men for a minute and actually do some reading on how catchers age.


Thats an odd attack considering my point has been consistent. Here it is.....again....Mauer breaking down was never a guarantee. Nor was keeping him from a concussion with a move.

The only guarantee is tht the Twins will suffer worse catcher play for as far as the eye can see after this move. That will hurt the team, how much remains to be seen. It's another hurdle to a team with plenty already. All the tangents you've taken it on just ignore what's a pretty simple point that others on this very thread have basically said "well, yeah, that's obvious". Why you've taken issue with it is beyond me.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 12 November 2013 - 04:38 PM.


#104 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:52 PM

Moderator Note:

Drivlikejehu,

I would have deleted your last post but since it was already quoted by Levi. It's kind of pointless to delete it now.

I'd like to see the intensity go down a couple of notches in the discussion.

U2 Levi.

Edited by Riverbrian, 12 November 2013 - 04:58 PM.

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