Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Series Preview: Tigers @ Twins, 4/1

    Twins vs Tigers Opening SeriesIt's Opening Day!

    In a rare Opening Day homestand, Target Field looks to be blustery and cold for the home opener as baseball begins anew in 2013.

    Several questions linger from Spring Training... How will the Twins pitching staff hold up amidst several injuries? How will the new pick-ups Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, and Mike Pelfrey perform in this opening set against the reigning division champs?

    Game one will pit trade acquisition Vance Worley against former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

    Game two will see free agent acquisition Kevin Correia line up against Anibal Sanchez.

    Game three has Tommy John recipient Mike Pelfrey square off against Rick Porcello.

    2012 Team Statistics:

    Twins:
    Joe Mauer 147 545 81 174 31 4 10 85 243 90 88 8 .319 .416 .446 .861 4.9
    Ben Revere 124 511 70 150 13 6 0 32 175 29 54 40 .294 .333 .342 .675 1.7
    Denard Span 128 516 71 146 38 4 4 41 204 47 62 17 .283 .342 .395 .738 2.8
    Ryan Doumit 134 484 56 133 34 1 18 75 223 29 98 0 .275 .320 .461 .781 2.1
    Jamey Carroll 138 470 65 126 18 1 1 40 149 52 65 9 .268 .343 .317 .660 1.8
    Justin Morneau 134 505 63 135 26 2 19 77 222 49 102 1 .267 .333 .440 .773 1.1
    Josh Willingham 145 519 85 135 30 1 35 110 272 76 141 3 .260 .366 .524 .890 4.4
    Darin Mastroianni 77 163 22 41 3 2 3 17 57 18 45 21 .252 .328 .350 .678 0.4
    Alexi Casilla 106 299 33 72 17 2 1 30 96 16 52 21 .241 .282 .321 .603 0.4
    Trevor Plouffe 119 422 56 99 19 1 24 55 192 37 92 1 .235 .301 .455 .756 1.8
    Brian Dozier 84 316 33 74 11 1 6 33 105 16 58 9 .234 .271 .332 .603 0.5
    Chris Parmelee 64 192 18 44 10 2 5 20 73 13 52 0 .229 .290 .380 .671 -0.2
    Matt Carson 26 66 3 15 1 0 0 4 16 2 21 0 .227 .246 .242 .489 -0.3
    Eduardo Escobar 14 44 4 10 0 0 0 6 10 2 8 1 .227 .271 .227 .498 -0.1
    Pedro Florimon 43 137 16 30 5 2 1 10 42 10 30 3 .219 .272 .307 .579 0.1
    Tigers:
    Hernan Perez 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0.0
    Miguel Cabrera 161 622 109 205 40 0 44 139 377 66 98 4 .330 .393 .606 .999 7.5
    Andy Dirks 88 314 56 101 18 5 8 35 153 23 53 1 .322 .370 .487 .857 1.9
    Avisail Garcia 23 47 7 15 0 0 0 3 15 3 10 0 .319 .373 .319 .692 -0.1
    Prince Fielder 162 581 83 182 33 1 30 108 307 85 84 1 .313 .412 .528 .940 5.0
    Austin Jackson 137 543 103 163 29 10 16 66 260 67 134 12 .300 .377 .479 .856 4.9
    Gerald Laird 63 174 24 49 8 1 2 11 65 14 21 0 .282 .337 .374 .710 0.6
    Delmon Young 151 574 54 153 27 1 18 74 236 20 112 0 .267 .296 .411 .707 -0.7
    Quintin Berry 94 291 44 75 10 6 2 29 103 25 80 21 .258 .330 .354 .684 0.9
    Omar Infante 64 226 27 58 7 5 4 20 87 9 23 7 .257 .283 .385 .668 0.4
    Bryan Holaday 6 12 3 3 1 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 .250 .250 .333 .583 0.0
    Alex Avila 116 367 42 89 21 2 9 48 141 61 104 2 .243 .352 .384 .736 1.7
    Brennan Boesch 132 470 52 113 22 2 12 54 175 26 104 6 .240 .286 .372 .659 -0.4
    Jhonny Peralta 150 531 58 127 32 3 13 63 204 49 105 1 .239 .305 .384 .689 1.1
    Danny Worth 43 74 9 16 3 0 0 3 19 13 23 0 .216 .330 .257 .586 0.1
    Ramon Santiago 93 228 19 47 7 1 2 17 62 20 39 1 .206 .283 .272 .555 -0.6
    Jeff Baker 15 35 1 7 2 0 0 4 9 2 10 0 .200 .243 .257 .500 -0.1
    Brad Eldred 5 16 1 3 1 1 0 1 6 1 6 0 .188 .235 .375 .610 -0.1
    Don Kelly 75 113 14 21 2 1 1 7 28 14 22 2 .186 .276 .248 .523 -0.6
    Ryan Raburn 66 205 14 35 14 0 1 12 52 13 53 1 .171 .226 .254 .480 -1.6
    Comments 293 Comments
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I did not say hitter, I said player. His defense has really dropped, and he's a DH 25% of the time. I also do not value catcher defense nearly as much as other positions that actually have to field batted balls, and I know many people on the planet do not agree with me on that. I do agree, the ability to not make outs is super, super important. But, I think discounting SLG is not good either. With no one on base late in the game and two outs, I want a home run, not a walk.

      And, he does play in TCF, so it does not matter to me that he's in the wrong stadium, because this is the stadium he is in and that is not changing any time soon. I also think that discounting his salary as not part of the discussion, for a team that absolutely refuses to have a big payroll is ignoring a very large part of the issue. He's 25% of the payroll, and its only going to be worse next year probably. That does have an effect on the roster, and if he's going to be paid $23MM per year, he literally needs to carry the team, or he's not worth the money. BBTN had him 33rd, so it's not like I'm alone in this.
      I'd agree on the player bit. I value catching a lot (particularly when compared to the average catcher) but Joe's ability to stay behind the dish is suspect. Still, he's a top 30 player. I don't think there is any real doubt to that (and to say he's not is making the argument that every MLB team, on average, has a better player than Joe... I just can't see that argument made with a straight face). Catchers that OPS above .800 are extremely valuable and rare. Catchers that OPS over .800 in Target Field are even more so.

      To elaborate a bit, Mauer was 11th or 12th in OPS+ last season. Once you adjust for ballpark, his ranking jumps a lot. And that still doesn't take into account how OBP-heavy Mauer's stat line is compared to most players, which jumps his ranking even more. Then factor in his catching and it jumps even more...

      Anyway, I think we mostly agree here, I'm just a little higher on Mauer than you are. I think this season will be very telling. If he catches 100+ times and OPSes between 850 and 900, his value is a top 20 player. If he DHes 50 or more games, then his value drops considerably.

      As for salary, I tend to ignore it. Mauer is paid a lot and is a very good player, probably a first-ballot HoFer if he does this for 3-4 more years before tailing off. It'd be nice if Mauer "put the team on his back" but I'm not even really sure what that means. To me, putting a team on your back is going out there and performing at a level unrivaled by the rest of the team. And Joe already does that, so I don't put a ton of stock into it. He's not a ra-ra guy. I'm not a ra-ra guy either so I probably skew toward not caring about that as much as some people.

      And FTR, BBTN is mind-numbingly dumb. I tend to put zero stock in almost anything they say.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      If he OPS+ over 850 and catches 120+ games, sure, he's in the top 20-40, we agree on that I think.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Defending Mauer in that AB seems to indicate a lack of situational awareness. Down 2, bottom 8. 2 out, a runner on. The count gets to 2-0, and you have the platoon advantage. Great. The situation SCREAMS "take a shot," and you're in a situation where you can afford to look for your pitch, and if you get it, try to get out in front and hook one, tying the game. It's what most any player with any kind of power would, and should, be looking to do. If you don't get your pitch, fine. Let it go. Readjust your strategy. If you get your pitch and swing through it, or foul it off, fine. If you get it and make contact, but get under it a bit and fly out to right, fine. If you top it, and ground out to first, fine. Nobody hits a HR on every swing, even in BP.

      But TAKE A SHOT. Sit on your pitch, and take a friggin swing that's intended to put the ball in the RF seats. That's how the game is played. Getting a pitch that you swing at, but sticking with your standard "flare one to left" strategy is just...weak. Few, if any, middle of the order hitters anywhere in baseball settle for that swing, because it's bad baseball. It's no different than wasting outs, or any other bad strategy.

      Yeah, Parmelee and others had bad ABs through the game too. That's another issue, and has nothing to do with Mauer's particular AB, in THAT situation. It was a bad AB, and I'll point those out just as much as I'll point out others.

      If you can't see that, or want to counter with "he expects 5 HRs every game" strawmen, knock yourself out.

      For the record, if this was an isolated incident, it would be one thing. It's not. Never altering the way you approach an AB isn't a good thing.
    1. edavis0308's Avatar
      edavis0308 -
      Can't you argue that if he had hit it more weakly, it would have fallen for a base hit in no man's land, and the whole blame game on Mauer would be a moot point? That's more odds than not a trademark Mauer double down the line in most cases. In this particular instance, he just got under it a little.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by edavis0308 View Post
      Can't you argue that if he had hit it more weakly, it would have fallen for a base hit in no man's land, and the whole blame game on Mauer would be a moot point? That's more odds than not a trademark Mauer double down the line in most cases. In this particular instance, he just got under it a little.
      If he bloops one down the LF line for a double, in that situation, it's still a mistake. The point is, he should be trying to pull that pitch. If the count gets to 2-2, fine. Take one to left. Not on 2-0, down 2.
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      I hate this day off in the middle of the first series. Put it at the end as a travel day. I want to watch again tonight
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      If he bloops one down the LF line for a double, in that situation, it's still a mistake. The point is, he should be trying to pull that pitch. If the count gets to 2-2, fine. Take one to left. Not on 2-0, down 2.
      This is bordering on preposterous. Chances of a double, followed by another single are actually better than a HR.

      I don't remember where the pitch was, but I'd guess if it's inside he would have pulled it. Additionally, did you consider the weather at all? How many balls even made it to the to the track? Stuff, especially up was dying out there.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
      Chances of a double, followed by another single are actually better than a HR.
      Also, it was a speedy runner at first base. Even the cheesiest double has a decent chance of scoring him.

      You know who had the poor plate appearance that inning? Hicks. He played right into the Tigers' hands by taking that walk. Should have popped out meekly, setting up Mauer to lead off the ninth like we were forecasting in this thread.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      While I love Mauer, I do think that to "carry a team", when it is 2-0 and your team needs a HR, a great hitter swings to hit a HR. He's the best hitter on the team, and late in games he takes walks when the team needs hits. I think there are differences in situations. In general, a hitter's job is not to make an out. But late in a game, sometimes you need a hit more than a walk, and HR more than a single.

      I don't know, maybe I'm wrong here, but I think one reason Bonds hit HRs was because when he got his pitch, he swung to hit a HR, not to avoid an out. I think Mauer could hit more HRs if he wanted to, and I think there are situations (say, 8th or 9th inning, two outs, and no one on base down a run) where the increased chance of a HR is worth the increased chance of making an out (just like late in the game a sacrifice bunt can make sense ).

      Again, maybe I'm wrong. I really don't know for sure. But I think to argue that there are not situations where different approaches make sense is an odd argument to make.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Also, it was a speedy runner at first base. Even the cheesiest double has a decent chance of scoring him.

      You know who had the poor plate appearance that inning? Hicks. He played right into the Tigers' hands by taking that walk. Should have popped out meekly, setting up Mauer to lead off the ninth like we were forecasting in this thread.
      that was one of my favorite parts of the thread, where people think it is better for Mauer to lead off, rather than hit with runners on and 2 outs. I don't get that one at all.....
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      What does that have to do with the relative value of catcher defense compared to other positions?
      Because nobody here is arguing that his defense is what makes him valuable.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      But the part you highlighted was about the part where I said I don't value catcher defense, so I was confused.

      In looking at fangraphs, his defense actually appears to make him less valuable......
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Physics Guy View Post
      I hate this day off in the middle of the first series. Put it at the end as a travel day. I want to watch again tonight
      Complete agreement here. I know why they leave an off-day in the opening series, but it sucks.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      But the part you highlighted was about the part where I said I don't value catcher defense, so I was confused.

      In looking at fangraphs, his defense actually appears to make him less valuable......
      Thats because I was wondering why you brought that up in the first place.
      I don't think anyone here was arguing that his defense is what makes him valuable.
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Complete agreement here. I know why they leave an off-day in the opening series, but it sucks.
      But why the next day? Couldn't they have Thursday be the day off?
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
      But why the next day? Couldn't they have Thursday be the day off?
      Yeah, leaving a "weather day" open makes sense. Having that "weather day" be day 2 of a 4 day set makes no sense.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      And scheduling a series in Minnesota the first week in April makes the least sense.
      There are at least 16 MLB teams that are in warm climates or domes (or retractable roofs).
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      Yeah, leaving a "weather day" open makes sense. Having that "weather day" be day 2 of a 4 day set makes no sense.
      Agreed. I don't know why it has to be the second game... Give people two games and then a day off.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I brought it up because a player is more than a hitter. So, if we are talking about where he ranks relative to other players, his defense matters a lot (to me anyway). If we are arguing only about his hitting, he's in the top 20 for sure. If we are arguing about him as a total player, he drops, imo. YMMV on those breakouts, and I've probably thought about the ranking about 2 mins.....so I'd say +-5-7......
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      If he bloops one down the LF line for a double, in that situation, it's still a mistake. The point is, he should be trying to pull that pitch. If the count gets to 2-2, fine. Take one to left. Not on 2-0, down 2.
      I think he was trying to pull that pitch. I'll put together a .gif when I get home but it looked to me like Mauer was trying to yank it out of the park, exactly like you described.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.