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Article: Finding Mauer's Replacement: Part 1

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:35 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...lacement-Part-1

#2 pierre75275

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:12 PM

Im in the group that likes signing AJ. AJ can catch 3 days a week Pinto can catch the others. Trade Doumit sell low.

#3 chuchadoro

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:45 PM

Mauer is the Twins' best player, I wouldn't call him their most valuable asset. Age, contract, and position all factor into the value of a player. It's a minor point but I've seen that phrase used a few times recently regarding Mauer. The most valuable assets the Twins have don't play for the Twins yet.

#4 Shane Wahl

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:00 AM

I'm in the group that likes the idea of not bothering with at most a 1-win difference in signing some catcher for millions of bucks and instead putting that money towards signing a better pitcher. 2014 is a joke. We have to admit that. It won't be a joke in terms of actually WATCHING the Twins if they decide to A: Get some quality pitching via free agency, and B: go with the youth movement in general.

I will resign myself to some total farce of a lineup involving Willingham, Doumit, and Presley. And it seems possible that Fryer is involved in this too, unless the Twins "score" AJ or someone like that. I means it's totally absurd to not just trade these aging, no future, players away (Willingham and Doumit, and pay much of the salary to trade them away for mid-level prospects) immediately, but that is not how it is going to work.

I see a real possibility that the lineup looks like this opening day:

Presley, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Willingham, LF
Doumit, DH
Plouffe, 3B
Parmelee, RF
Fryer, C
Florimon SS

And I am not kidding. Spots 1, 4, 5, and 8 occupied by players who are not going to be relevant for the future.

The idea that some people seem to have involves:

A: wins in 2014 are important because, hey, maybe the Twins . . . (make the playoffs or something????)

B: The youth movement must be delayed, because . . . (well that involves A).

C: It is GUARANTEED that playing aging, declining veterans is going to bring about more wins in 2014 than playing prospects and other viable minor leaguers.

I would call garbage on that. A lineup vs. righties of:


Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, DH
Parmelee, RF
Plouffe, 3B
Hicks, CF
Pinto/Herrmann C
Presley LF
Florimon SS

and vs. lefties:

Hicks, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Plouffe, DH
Pinto, C
Romero, 3B
Arcia, RF
Presley, LF
Florimon, SS

(bench: Herrmann, Colabello, Escobar, Romero)

Works for me. It works because it is utilizing players in real ways to maximize their potential. It works because there are holes to be filled by prospects like Sano, Rosario, and Buxton. It works because the actual win-loss in 2014 is unclear in terms of favoring millions spent on players vs. hundreds of thousands spent on players already in the system. It works because developing the core is the primary concern, but developing the role players around the core is secondarily necessary and so 2015 has to be in mind. It works because the money saved can be put to good use.

#5 Shane Wahl

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:12 AM

Think about this possible vs. LH/RH lineup situation if all goes according to Shane's plan in 2014:

vs. LH

Hicks, LF
Mauer, 1B
Buxton, CF
Sano, 3B
Plouffe, DH
Pinto, C
Dozier, SS
Arcia, RF
Rosario, 2B

And vs. RH:

Rosario, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, DH
Sano, 3B
Buxton, CF
Hicks, LF
Parmelee, RF
Pinto/Herrmann C
Dozier, SS

#6 Zephrin

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:13 AM

Think about this possible vs. LH/RH lineup situation if all goes according to Shane's plan in 2014:

vs. LH

Hicks, LF
Mauer, 1B
Buxton, CF
Sano, 3B
Plouffe, DH
Pinto, C
Dozier, SS
Arcia, RF
Rosario, 2B

And vs. RH:

Rosario, 2B
Mauer, 1B
Arcia, DH
Sano, 3B
Buxton, CF
Hicks, LF
Parmelee, RF
Pinto/Herrmann C
Dozier, SS


Gardenhire seems to value stability over matching up left vs. right. I'm not sure he would entertain switching people's spots in the batting order that much based on the handedness of the pitcher.

Also, I don't think I've seen any indication the Twins are entertaining Dozier at SS. Is that a real possibility, or simply a creative way to get both Dozier and Rosario on the field together?

#7 mike wants wins

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:35 AM

I'd bet they sign a veteran catcher for $1-4MM, and that he and Pinto share time.

#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:55 AM

I'd bet they sign a veteran catcher for $1-4MM, and that he and Pinto share time.


That's my thinking as well. And I'm okay with that. Ease Pinto into the situation and see if he can hold on to a spot in the lineup. If not, fall back to Doumit (ugh) for back-up catching duties.

#9 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:36 AM

Some thoughts:

1. The trend in the Twins organization appears to be the development of players such as Chris Herrmann and Dan Rohlfing who bring two or three gloves with them to the ballpark. I overheard Rohlfing after a Rock Cats game. Someone asked him about whether he prefers catching, playing first base, or covering ground in the outfield. Rohlfing seemed to prefer catching for the mental engagement, but would willingly keep three gloves in his locker in order to play everyday. He then commented about Terry Ryan, stating that his "ticket to the big leagues" was being versatile. Last year, Rohlfing played 49 games in the outfield (primarily LF in New Britain--24 games, and RF in Rochester--15 games), caught 59 games (51 in New Britain & 8 in Rochester), 7 games at 1b (7 in New Britain & 1 in Rochester), and was the DH in 5 games (four times at NB and once in Rochester).

Readers are likely more familiar with Chris Herrmann's work behind the plate and in the outfield. They closely mirror Rohlfing's development, without the reps at 1b, and not as many DH AB's.

2. Is it any wonder that the Twins went after catchers in the 2013 draft? Remember they picked three catchers in rounds 3, 6 and 9. Good foresight? Or just the best players available? Either way, I bet that Turner, Navaretto, and Garner (picks 3,6 & 9) will have more than one glove in their lockers too--as well as other members of the draft class who will try out "the tools of ignorance."

3. With all that said, I wonder if the Twins will be content to watch their young catchers develop in 2014, in a Pinto--Doumit--Herrmann platoon, or will they go outside of the organization to bring in Pierzynski or someone else? My guess is a one-year deal for someone off the free agent wire, but I wouldn't be surprised if Terry Steinbach coaches the Pinto platoon.

4. I echo Shane Wahl's A & B strategy, above. 2014 may still be a joke, but I'd prefer to see free agent $ spent on pitchers, while watching the youth movement take root in the field, and behind the plate.

5. Finally, one beef: I've read other posters who dismiss Pinto's All-Star status at AA because he caught only 60 games, while playing 48 games at DH. If the Twins organization wants to develop multi-position players like Pinto, Herrmann, and Rohlfing, that means taking turns. It does not necessarily mean that they are lousy catchers. It means that they are in the process of developing multiple skills.

#10 BigTrane

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:10 AM

AJ is an interesting possibility mainly in that Dougie is on record as saying he wants AJ as his bench coach. My sense is that AJ's already begun angling for a post-playing career. 3 years as WS 'analyst' + forays into WWF mgmt. makes this pretty clear.

I think he's got 1 or maybe 2 seasons left in him, then it's time to transition. My gut tells me his next signing is all about the post-playing end game.

IMHO, Twins are on the verge of a housecleaning, and 2 years for Gardy is a courtesy. Bringing Molitor in is a thinly-veiled tryout, and the writing is on the wall. Should Gardy go after '14, Mollie becomes Skip, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Dougie + AJ coming up to fill in on coaching roles. If Gardy goes, Anderson goes, so a full housecleaning is in on the cards.

In such a scenario, I couldn't say who would fill all the coaching spots (yet), but an AJ vs. Steinbach matchup under that scenario has to go to AJ. He would also have the advantage of stabilizing Pinto & Mauer's transition & making sure there's a good game-caller behind the plate. Besides that, I think having an AJ on your team is always better than having him going against your team. If he's an SOB, let's make him OUR SOB.

Pinto shows great promise, and I'm high on him- give him a ton of at bats and guide him into things. I don't kid myself and think he can do 162 in '14 though. He's got tons of upside, but needs a mentor. Mauer can and will do all he can, but he has his own transition to focus on. AJ as mentor for Pinto would be ideal.

Any speculation or hope for signing Salty is equivalent to throwing money down a toilet. The guy has no game-sense and is a proven loose cannon. Save the money (and heartache) and develop Pinto instead. AJ turns a whitebread, lackadaisical clubhouse into a seething cauldron of piss & vinegar. Twins win.

Edited by BigTrane, 13 November 2013 - 11:41 AM.


#11 BigTrane

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:35 AM

Thinking about it, I could see Brad Radke replacing Anderson as pitching coach under this scenario. Morris might be a better choice, but... trying to be realistic. Not sure what BR is up to these days.

#12 LewFordLives

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:41 AM

I just don't see how AJ would be a fit for the Twins.

The Good:
1. Consistent offensive production.
2. Durable.
3. Entertaining.

The Bad:
1. Left handed in a park that favors right handed hitters.
2. Never been a great catch and throw guy. That seems to be one of the main concerns about Pinto, so I'm not sure how AJ would bring added value in this area.
3. He would be a distraction. You know he'll tell anyone who'd listen that he's replacing the guy he got pushed aside for in 2004.

#13 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:10 PM

I see a real possibility that the lineup looks like this opening day:

Fryer, C


My lawyers will be contacting your lawyers regarding the corneal damage inflicted when I read this.

#14 LaBombo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:35 PM

My lawyers will be contacting your lawyers regarding the corneal damage inflicted when I read this.

Not sure there's much cause for litigation here. The Twins have had a comprehensive, exhaustive acclimation/conditioning program in place over the past three seasons to minimize the danger and suffering fans are subjected to in the event of an apocalyptic disaster exactly like a potential Eric Fryer 2014 Opening Day start.

If you've failed to adapt after three seasons of this, well, let's just say that if you're claiming damages, pain and suffering from seeing Fryer in the lineup after watching the 2013 Twins debuts of Worley, Gibson, Hicks, Colabello, etc, then you'd be facing an uphill battle convincing a jury of your peers if any of them are Twins fans.

#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:58 PM

Not sure there's much cause for litigation here. The Twins have had a comprehensive, exhaustive acclimation/conditioning program in place over the past three seasons to minimize the danger and suffering fans are subjected to in the event of an apocalyptic disaster exactly like a potential Eric Fryer 2014 Opening Day start.

If you've failed to adapt after three seasons of this, well, let's just say that if you're claiming damages, pain and suffering from seeing Fryer in the lineup after watching the 2013 Twins debuts of Worley, Gibson, Hicks, Colabello, etc, then you'd be facing an uphill battle convincing a jury of your peers if any of them are Twins fans.


Yabbut... Eric Fryer?!?!?

#16 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:18 PM

A very underrated aspect of Pierzynski's game is in his management of pitchers. He calls a good game and knows the opponents. He has spent all but one season in the AL. Even as a backup to Pinto, he will have loads of information to share.

#17 twinsfan34

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:21 PM

Love the ideas, particularly Shane's 2014, Don't feed the greed, & BigTrane's comments.

I will say, AJ was never good at defense, unless you consider his trash talking/mental game/distraction to opposing hitters.

Not the coaching type from what I can see. And broadcasting isn't coaching.

I wouldn't mind seeing Anderson go. Is Jack Morris a pitching coach these days? Brad Radke?

Where's the best place to find these guys? Pitchers who played for the Organization who are sitting at home doing nothing? Minor League managers? Any HOF pitchers who want the job?

Edited by twinsfan34, 13 November 2013 - 02:45 PM.


#18 JB_Iowa

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:24 PM

[COLOR=#333333]A very underrated aspect of Pierzynski's game is in his management of pitchers. He calls a good game and knows the opponents. He has spent all but one season in the AL. [/COLOR]Even as a backup to Pinto, he will have loads of information to share.


Are we thinking that Joe Mauer isn't willing to share info? It's not like Mauer is traded or dead. He'll still be on the team -- and I'd expect that he'd be willing to share his vast store of knowledge with younger catchers particularly since the choice to move to 1B was ultimately his own.

I always liked AJ -- even when he was with the Whitey's -- mostly cuz he was the antithesis of boring.

#19 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:30 PM

Are we thinking that Joe Mauer isn't willing to share info? It's not like Mauer is traded or dead. He'll still be on the team -- and I'd expect that he'd be willing to share his vast store of knowledge with younger catchers particularly since the choice to move to 1B was ultimately his own.

I always liked AJ -- even when he was with the Whitey's -- mostly cuz he was the antithesis of boring.


Reports are: "Joe is a quiet leader".

I have no idea if that's true but I've read that over and over again from numerous sources.

I assume that means that he is more adept at instructing mimes and chameleons.
A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

#20 LaBombo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:36 PM

Yabbut... Eric Fryer?!?!?

Last year's visit to the solar system by Comet Bernier foretold the forthcoming Fryer Apocalypse.

Remember... drinking water, canned foods, batteries, and '87 and '91 playoff runs on DVD.

#21 Winston Smith

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:37 PM

"I assume that means that he is more adept at instructing mimes and chameleons."

Really a lost art and may explain his lofty salary.

#22 LaBombo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:38 PM

Reports are: "Joe is a quiet leader".

The first part is incredibly accurate. Doesn't that buy some slack on the credibility of the second part?

#23 LaBombo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:44 PM

Are we thinking that Joe Mauer isn't willing to share info? It's not like Mauer is traded or dead. He'll still be on the team -- and I'd expect that he'd be willing to share his vast store of knowledge with younger catchers particularly since the choice to move to 1B was ultimately his own.

I always liked AJ -- even when he was with the Whitey's -- mostly cuz he was the antithesis of boring.

That, and Steinbach is coming back, right? Joe has caught most of the likely 2014 opening day pitchers, and I'm guessing Terry learned a thing or two in 1300+ games behind the plate

As for the second part, entertainment value was also the reason to love The Great and Profaneful Oz during his tenure with the WS. But not too keen on bringing him in either.

#24 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 03:32 PM

the forthcoming Fryer Apocalypse.


We're on the same page, then.

#25 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:30 PM

I wouldn't blame Mauer if he didn't want to be the 'catching guru' when he's no longer a catcher. That's why bringing in a solid veteran to mentor Herman and Pinto and let Mauer focus on playing 1st Base.

#26 Anorthagen

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:41 PM

How come the picture you guys have/use of Pinto is of him with his mask turned the wrong way?

#27 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:02 PM

How come the picture you guys have/use of Pinto is of him with his mask turned the wrong way?

image.jpg
Yeah... That's a good question.

Do you have an answer for that Nick?

Here are 10... Go ahead and pick one.

10. The mask was put on by Sam Deduno and all his control issues.
9. There is a 3 year old child in front of him and its a game of peek-a-boo
8. The mask comes with an ice pack and he has a toothache.
7. Pinto has pledged to wear his mask this way in protest of the like button disappearing from Twins Daily.
6. Mask and headgear was broken because of rough handling by UPS.
5. He was a victim of Incognito hazing.
4. It's AshburyJohns Fault.
3. Fans down the third base line were throwing beer bottles.
2. Nick Nelson asked for the pose as part of his new modern photo Art exhibition titled "Over Under Sideways Down".
1. The index finger on his right hand is his primary for nose picking. He just needs a place to flick.

Edited by Riverbrian, 13 November 2013 - 10:07 PM.

A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

#28 70charger

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:13 PM

Consider me among the group that wants nothing to do with AJ now or ever.

#29 Nick Nelson

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 11:32 PM

Here are 10... Go ahead and pick one.

Number 4. Always number 4.

#30 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:55 AM

I like the Twins going out to sign a veteran catcher on a 1-year deal. AJ Pierzynski makes sense to me because he also adds some attitude and outspoken veteran leadership that I beliee this team lacks. I keep seeing people talking about not spending money on a catcher and instead putting that money towards starting pitching. I don't think it works that way. Saving money by not signing a catcher to a 1-year deal will not equate to dollars spent signing quality starting pitching. TR can go out and get both, and I for one, hope he does.