At my former writing home, I made an annual tradition of running through each position on the Twins' roster in March, sorting out the backup options and projecting the starter's performance. That tradition will continue here at Twins Daily, and today I'll kick off the Position Analysis series with catcher, where Joe Mauer is looking for a big comeback year.
Likely Starter: Joe Mauer
2011 Stats: .287/.360/.368, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 38 R, 0/0 SB
A year ago, the Twins went into the regular season with a bench consisting of Drew Butera, Jason Repko, Matt Tolbert and Jim Thome. In other words: three guys who possessed only defensive value, and one who possessed only offensive value. It was a pretty limiting group, and the lack of flexibility caused headaches for Ron Gardenhire with starters shuttling in and out of the lineup all summer.
Repko, Tolbert and Thome won't be back this year, and that's probably no coincidence. Nor is