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Mauer Playing First Base Hurts Twins

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Obviously you want Joe in the lineup wherever you can get him. The problem is he is playing the one position we can reserve for far less talented players.

Colabello should come North, but where do you play him? Yes he can DH, but why wouldnt you put Mauer in the outfield or 3b, talk about competition for Plouffe...Another issue now with Sanos arm, can he play 3b? He might have to play first...yes I keep Joe in line up no matter what, but we are wasting him at 1b
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  1. tobi0040's Avatar
    I wrote a similar blog awhile back. My take is in the short term Mauer would probably be better than Sano, Arcia, and Willingham at their respective positions.

    Long term if Sano sticks at 3B we could put Mauer in LF. Arcia in RF is he sticks or DH/1B if he doesn't. Flip Hicks for a pitcher or SS. And sign a good DH/1B in the mold of Cruz.

    I am hoping that we have Mauer at 1B because we want Sano and Arcia to stay where they are and we need time to evaluate. And we have Willingham in LF because we want to maximize his trade value. Long term, I agree Mauer's athleticism and arm would be a waste at 1B.
  2. mnfireman's Avatar
    Where else do you play him? Buxton, Hicks & Arcia are the OF of the future, Sano is the 3B of the future and Mauer's concussion issues won't let him play C anymore.

    If the team had given him all off-season to learn 3B it might be a different story, but they thought Sano would be ready to go, so that is what it is. Maybe they deal Willingham and move Arcia to LF and move Mauer to RF, but then Buxton comes up next year and you have to move Mauer again.

    I would rather have Mauer, Willingham and Arcia in the line-up everyday over Colabello.
  3. zchrz's Avatar
    The only person Mauer is really blocking anytime soon is maybe Vargas or Harrison in a year or two. First offers the least wear and tear, the smallest learning curve, and should allow him to not only stay healthy and on the field more but also let him focus his energy on hitting.
  4. twinsfan34's Avatar
    I have a feeling of Colabello is hitting and the OF is full...he'll DH a bunch, but if say, Pinto and Suzuki hit, then maybe Mauer will find more work at 3B (he already takes a few ground balls over there).

    But those are things that probably have to fall into place before there's really any urgency to try to get those guys in the lineup that much.

    And that's a problem, I'd be glad for the Twins to have. But it has to happen first.
  5. LaBombo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mnfireman
    Where else do you play him? Buxton, Hicks & Arcia are the OF of the future, Sano is the 3B of the future and Mauer's concussion issues won't let him play C anymore.

    If the team had given him all off-season to learn 3B it might be a different story, but they thought Sano would be ready to go, so that is what it is. Maybe they deal Willingham and move Arcia to LF and move Mauer to RF, but then Buxton comes up next year and you have to move Mauer again.

    I would rather have Mauer, Willingham and Arcia in the line-up everyday over Colabello.
    One of your outfielders of the future batted .192 last year, and the other is a bad fielder in an organization with no likely everyday DH after Willingham's deal is done at the end of the season. Buxton is almost certainly going to be a fixture but hasn't played above A ball. Sano is an enormous kid who was challenged at third even before he may have permanently lost arm strength from TJ.

    So it's pretty safe to say that the Twins should probably find the most valuable defensive position for their best player (and who will take up a pretty big chunk of their payroll for the next several years), and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
  6. tobi0040's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo
    One of your outfielders of the future batted .192 last year, and the other is a bad fielder in an organization with no likely everyday DH after Willingham's deal is done at the end of the season. Buxton is almost certainly going to be a fixture but hasn't played above A ball. Sano is an enormous kid who was challenged at third even before he may have permanently lost arm strength from TJ.

    So it's pretty safe to say that the Twins should probably find the most valuable defensive position for their best player (and who will take up a pretty big chunk of their payroll for the next several years), and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.
    Agreed. Arcia had a positive 1 offensive war and negative 2 defensive war in just 100 games.
  7. Sconnie's Avatar
    Of third basemen, corner outfielders, and first basemen with the big league club I trust Mauer the most to play consistently good defense and offense, more than Arcia, Plouffe, Willingham, Parmelee, or Colabello.

    The Twins started this season with Mauer at first presumably because Sano is/was the third basemen of the future, and Mauer had played first in the past, it was an easy transition with no real immediate candidates for the position coming up through the minors.

    No one knows what the future holds for Sano. He may come out of TJ surgery just like the kid from "The Rookie" and magically able to throw 100 mph, but we do know is best case scenario, he comes back ready to play for spring training 2015, and maybe not until mid way through the season, and maybe (though highly unlikely) never plays again. He wasn't a lock to come up to the bigs at any point this season, and now being out of baseball for 6 - 18 months, he's going to need to ease back into things. I'd look for Sano to be major league ready in 2016.

    Now the question becomes would you rather have Colabello/Parmellee at first than Plouffe at third? Or Colabello/Parmellee at first than Willingham in LF or Arcia in RF.

    i think Mauer could become a defensive upgrade over all of the other options, I don't trust Colabello/Parmellee to hit well enough over a season to justify the shift.

    What if Mauer negotiated that the only way he would get out from behind the plate is if he went to first?
  8. tobi0040's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie
    Of third basemen, corner outfielders, and first basemen with the big league club I trust Mauer the most to play consistently good defense and offense, more than Arcia, Plouffe, Willingham, Parmelee, or Colabello.

    The Twins started this season with Mauer at first presumably because Sano is/was the third basemen of the future, and Mauer had played first in the past, it was an easy transition with no real immediate candidates for the position coming up through the minors.

    No one knows what the future holds for Sano. He may come out of TJ surgery just like the kid from "The Rookie" and magically able to throw 100 mph, but we do know is best case scenario, he comes back ready to play for spring training 2015, and maybe not until mid way through the season, and maybe (though highly unlikely) never plays again. He wasn't a lock to come up to the bigs at any point this season, and now being out of baseball for 6 - 18 months, he's going to need to ease back into things. I'd look for Sano to be major league ready in 2016.

    Now the question becomes would you rather have Colabello/Parmellee at first than Plouffe at third? Or Colabello/Parmellee at first than Willingham in LF or Arcia in RF.

    i think Mauer could become a defensive upgrade over all of the other options, I don't trust Colabello/Parmellee to hit well enough over a season to justify the shift.

    What if Mauer negotiated that the only way he would get out from behind the plate is if he went to first?
    I guess for me I am more concerned about the future. I like the prospects of Mauer in a corner or 3B, then seeing what we can get on the free agent market at 1B or DH. Realistically, we could have a lineup with Mauer (LF), Buxton (CF), Arcia (RF), Sano (3B), Dozier (2B), and a FA 1B and a FA DH. Think aging corner OF, overweight players that can hit, etc. That is a pretty good lineup. Worst case, Arcia is your DH or 1B and you have one FA slugger and a FA RF, or Rosario or Hicks if they stick.
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