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Is Pinto getting a fair shake?

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#1 Jim Labruno

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

I ask because I check the box scores every day and it seems everyone and their mother is getting to play but him. What is going on?

#2 Thrylos

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:22 AM

He had some lower back "tightness" in the beginning of ST so they are giving him a bit more of a rest... He has played exactly as many games as Suzuki and Fryer and one less than Herrmann (but Herrmann has played multiple positions)
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#3 spycake

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:11 AM

Thrylos, not sure where you get your stats, but B-Ref has Suzuki with 3 GS so far, Fryer with 2, and Pinto with 1:

http://www.baseball-.../MIN/2014.shtml

Pinto also has the fewest PAs of that group.

I agree it's very early, but I think it's been pretty clear from a variety of sources that Suzuki is viewed as the primary starting catcher on this team, and we can safely infer that Pinto won't be a backup (or DH). So Pinto indeed may not get a "fair shake" this spring.

#4 Jim Labruno

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:35 AM

Yeah which is sad because lets face it Suzuki can not hit at all, And Pinto is currently the future at that position and should get a chance to prove it. The boy can flat out rake. And even though Herrman is playing other positions doubt they keep three guys who can catch. Herrman is kept they can use him all over and as second catcher. I mean I knew Suzuki would be the opening day guy. But we both know by mid season he will not be hitting and get replaced. Pinto deserves the playing time in Spring to show he is for real.

#5 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:20 PM

Even though the money was minimal with Suzuki, clearly they should have just gone with Pinto and Herrmann, with Fryer in AAA as emergency.

#6 old nurse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

Thrylos, not sure where you get your stats, but B-Ref has Suzuki with 3 GS so far, Fryer with 2, and Pinto with 1:

http://www.baseball-.../MIN/2014.shtml

Pinto also has the fewest PAs of that group.

I agree it's very early, but I think it's been pretty clear from a variety of sources that Suzuki is viewed as the primary starting catcher on this team, and we can safely infer that Pinto won't be a backup (or DH). So Pinto indeed may not get a "fair shake" this spring.


I think he would have looked at the games plaid column, as that what was claimed.
At this point does it really matter?

#7 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:09 PM

Well, there was one today that Pinto was supposed to start. Obviously didn't happen because of the rain.

There are 2 games tomorrow and it doesn't look like Pinto is slated for either of them. Suzuki to start the "A" game with Rohlfing and Turner as backups. Kyle Knudson (I think) to start the "B" game with Chris Herrmann as back-up (I could be wrong on who is the starter there but those are the 2 with names highlighted for "B" game travel and Knudson has a red mark next to his name so I think that may make him the starter.)

Does kind of make you wonder why Pinto couldn't have traveled/played tomorrow unless they are still babying his back a little.



Edit: I'm wrong: Herrmann is starting the "B" game with Knudson as back-up.

In fairness, I think management puts these travel schedules together before the day's game so Pinto is probably not scheduled for tomorrow because he was supposed to start today.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 06 March 2014 - 01:12 PM.


#8 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:58 PM

Pinto is going to get plenty of chances to be the every day catcher for this team. If he doesn't start opening day people need to not freak out, if he does his job he will be the starter quicker then not. (I still think he cracks the opening day starting gig as long as he preforms half way decent in ST)
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#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:44 PM

Pinto is going to get plenty of chances to be the every day catcher for this team. If he doesn't start opening day people need to not freak out, if he does his job he will be the starter quicker then not. (I still think he cracks the opening day starting gig as long as he preforms half way decent in ST)


Yeah, this is pretty much how I feel. I'd like to see Josmil crack the 25 man out of Ft Myers but if he doesn't, he'll be up soon enough.

#10 birdwatcher

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:48 PM

I don't have any basis for this other than wishful thinking, but I'm wondering if the Twins aren't talking about Suzuki as the starter in part to keep the pressure off Pinto this spring. I cannot imagine any motivation the Twins would have to give Pinto anything less than a fair shake. Why would they do that?

#11 Jim Labruno

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:06 PM

Well they need to let him on the field if he is going to make the team. Suzuki is a waste of time and not why a team in a semi rebuild mode would waste time not playing the youth to see who can give them what in the future.

#12 birdwatcher

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:36 PM

With over three weeks of spring training left, don't you think those concerns are premature?

#13 birdwatcher

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:41 PM

And if it's a waste of time to play Suzuki, would it not also be a waste of time to play Mauer, Perkins, and Nolasco?

#14 Jim Labruno

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:04 PM

And if it's a waste of time to play Suzuki, would it not also be a waste of time to play Mauer, Perkins, and Nolasco?


No because you listed 3 people who have proven to get the job done at a big league level. Suzuki has never done anything to warrant a starting job in the bigs except for his defense.

#15 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 05:12 PM

No because you listed 3 people who have proven to get the job done at a big league level. Suzuki has never done anything to warrant a starting job in the bigs except for his defense.


I highly doubt anyone in the Twins org expects him to be anything more than a temp starter at most.

Frankly, I would have been pretty confused if the Twins just handed the starting Catcher role (the guy taking over for one of the best C's in the history of the game) to a guy who at best has concerns about his defense, and has less than 100 at bats in the majors under his belt. Pinto is a nice prospect and all, and I think he can be a solid ML catcher, however he hasn't "earned" the de facto starting nod yet, let him earn it like all the other kids.
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#16 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 07:48 PM

Signing Suzuki was necessary.

I hope Pinto does great but it's been one good September thus far. Go with the Vet and let Pinto run him over eventually. Pinto can use a little seasoning in AAA... If he cooks on the farm. He'll be the starter very soon.
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#17 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:31 PM

Should a team projected for another losing season go with the certain mediocrity of a veteran or the uncertain upside of a 25 year old rookie?

It is not as clear at catcher with the added responsibility of working with a mostly veteran pitching staff.

i would go with upside and let the rookie catcher work with the veteran pitchers.

#18 kab21

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:00 PM

Should a team projected for another losing season go with the certain mediocrity of a veteran or the uncertain upside of a 25 year old rookie?

It is not as clear at catcher with the added responsibility of working with a mostly veteran pitching staff.

i would go with upside and let the rookie catcher work with the veteran pitchers.


Did you enjoy the CF situation last year? Suzuki was brought in to give the team some depth. If Pinto struggles then the catcher situation for the Twins gets really ugly, really fast without Suzuki. I have no problem with Pinto catching half of the time this season as he adapts to the majors.

#19 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:29 PM

Should a team projected for another losing season go with the certain mediocrity of a veteran or the uncertain upside of a 25 year old rookie?

It is not as clear at catcher with the added responsibility of working with a mostly veteran pitching staff.

i would go with upside and let the rookie catcher work with the veteran pitchers.


and that would be a fantastic ST story for sometime in mid to late march, about how Pinto and the other young catchers are connecting with the various older pitchers; throw in some nuance, good quotes, and behind the scene anecdotes. Strib?

#20 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:43 PM

Everything was predetermined long before spring training that pinto wasnt making the team. He's being punished for being too good a hitter, because surely a catcher who hits that good must be bad at handling pitchers. Antony was on the radio at the very beginning of ST saying Pinto was fat. He never had a chance.


Does it really matter? The idea is once he makes it up, to stay up. 87 at bats is what it is, nothing more. Also, he never said Pinto was fat. The exact quote was pleasingly plump.

#21 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:33 PM

In order to get out of the cycle of mediocrity, the Twins are going to need to invest in the uncertainty of upside. Playing mediocre veterans just adds to the cycle and adds nothing to the future.

When Hicks struggled and the plan B Mastroianni was injured there was no viable plan C. The same could happen this year if Pinto is made the starter and struggles while Suzuki is injured. Eric Fryer will be the Clete Thomas of catchers.

Most young players are going to struggle. It takes a lot of plate appearances to adjust and readjust to major league pitching. I hope the Twins make that investment in Pinto so by 2016 he is either established as a regular or the Twins have moved on.

If the Twins base decisions on catcher this year based on Hicks' struggles last year, it will be a mistake.

#22 Jim Labruno

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:42 AM

As someone said a few posts back. The Twins are not a playoff team this year so you play the young upside guy and give him time to get to know his pitchers and a full season to see what he has. As for Hicks no worries Buxton is going to be a stud

#23 kab21

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:59 AM

In order to get out of the cycle of mediocrity, the Twins are going to need to invest in the uncertainty of upside. Playing mediocre veterans just adds to the cycle and adds nothing to the future.

When Hicks struggled and the plan B Mastroianni was injured there was no viable plan C. The same could happen this year if Pinto is made the starter and struggles while Suzuki is injured. Eric Fryer will be the Clete Thomas of catchers.

Most young players are going to struggle. It takes a lot of plate appearances to adjust and readjust to major league pitching. I hope the Twins make that investment in Pinto so by 2016 he is either established as a regular or the Twins have moved on.

If the Twins base decisions on catcher this year based on Hicks' struggles last year, it will be a mistake.


It's not based on a single player. It's based on the fact that young players routinely struggle. And when the backup is Eric Fryer then that young player is going to feel considerably more pressure because he knows that he is the guy. If Pinto is in a 50/50 playing time arrangement with Suzuki then he's getting plenty of AB's and he's getting days off to process all of stuff that is going on around him. This is especially needed as a rookie catcher that supposedly still needs work defensively.

#24 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:17 AM

Everything was predetermined long before spring training that pinto wasnt making the team. He's being punished for being too good a hitter, because surely a catcher who hits that good must be bad at handling pitchers. Antony was on the radio at the very beginning of ST saying Pinto was fat. He never had a chance.



The only thing that was probably "predetermined" was the need to have a backup plan should Pinto not quite be ready for the job. The notion of the Twins assuming Pinto is bad at handling pitchers because he can hit and is being punished for being a good hitter? How dumb do you think these people are? Such silliness.

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 07 March 2014 - 09:01 PM.


#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 03:24 PM

It's not based on a single player. It's based on the fact that young players routinely struggle. And when the backup is Eric Fryer then that young player is going to feel considerably more pressure because he knows that he is the guy. If Pinto is in a 50/50 playing time arrangement with Suzuki then he's getting plenty of AB's and he's getting days off to process all of stuff that is going on around him. This is especially needed as a rookie catcher that supposedly still needs work defensively.


This is a great take.....no when are we going to start doing it? The Twins have always taken the "All or Nothing" approach with young players and their at-bats. That's part of the problem.

It's possible that your take is right (I believe so) and that jorgen can be also. It's the Twins that seem to disagree with that model unfortunately.

#26 kab21

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 05:21 PM

This is a great take.....no when are we going to start doing it? The Twins have always taken the "All or Nothing" approach with young players and their at-bats. That's part of the problem.

It's possible that your take is right (I believe so) and that jorgen can be also. It's the Twins that seem to disagree with that model unfortunately.


Catcher is a bit different than other positions though. They always get days off and they are always dinged up. Having depth is good even if it's a no upside veteran.

#27 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 05:33 PM

Didn't want to start a new thread on this but found this column on Stuart Turner interesting:

http://blogs.twincit...erry-steinbach/


I hope a catcher with a 4.0 GPA is more acceptable than a smart player at other positions.

#28 Jim H

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:16 PM

What really makes anybody think that Pinto is not getting a "fair shake"? It is clearly in the Twins best interest to give him every chance to become the starting catcher, soon if not immediately. He is the best near ready option in the Twins system, and they made no real effort to find a long term solution from outside the system. It seems fairly obvious the Twins want Pinto to establish himself as their starting catcher.

The really question seems to be the best way for that to happen. Complaining about him not getting enough playing time during the first week of spring training seems a bit silly. I don't really know exactly the best way to get Pinto ready to be a starting big league catcher. I would assume that unless he struggles in some key areas this spring, he will likely have a good chance to start the year in some sort time share arrangement with Suzuki. That might not happen for any number of reasons.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 07 March 2014 - 10:50 PM.
remove disrespect for a fellow poster


#29 Jim Labruno

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 09:24 AM

What really makes anybody think that Pinto is not getting a "fair shake"? It is clearly in the Twins best interest to give him every chance to become the starting catcher, soon if not immediately. He is the best near ready option in the Twins system, and they made no real effort to find a long term solution from outside the system. It seems fairly obvious the Twins want Pinto to establish himself as their starting catcher.

The really question seems to be the best way for that to happen. Complaining about him not getting enough playing time during the first week of spring training seems a bit silly. I don't really know exactly the best way to get Pinto ready to be a starting big league catcher. I would assume that unless he struggles in some key areas this spring, he will likely have a good chance to start the year in some sort time share arrangement with Suzuki. That might not happen for any number of reasons.


We will see if you feel the same way when he starts the season in the minors

#30 birdwatcher

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 11:37 AM

We will see if you feel the same way when he starts the season in the minors


If he starts the season in the minors, it will be because that's the best path for his future development, and not because the dozens of field staffers for the Twins who have a role in his development are taking some pre-determined course of action. And certainly not because they just don't understand that the option exists to let him take his lumps up here. These people know what they're doing.