Molina all the way. Let's get a guy who's the best in the game at manipulating the grossly inconsistent umpire strike zones to give the Twins' developing pitchers an edge they don't deserve and that pads their stats and egos, as well as further taxing the front office's already sketchy ability to evaluate pitching talent.
Then in a couple of years, when his already 38-year-old butt is gone, and his Jedi umpire- mind-tricking skill with it, we can watch the whole staff collapse as they're forced to actually throw pitches inside the real, non-Jedi strike zone.
Sarcasm aside, I'd rather see MLB fix the shameful state of strike zone consistency and accuracy than have the Twins buy into the one of the sleight-of-hand charlatans. Barring that, yeah, let's go after one of the guys who's best at exploiting a deeply flawed system. If he can teach the shell game to Pinto and add to the clubhouse quality of life as a bonus, I'm in.
I am in the Molina camp as well. Although, I do like the idea of AJ, I am not sure that he would take a mid-season demotion well. A VERY GOOD defensive catcher and game caller is what this young, inexperienced staff needs. Gibson, then Meyer, even Deduno should rely on a veteran catcher to call pitches for them. Molina knows the hitters far better than our you guys or even long-time NL guys like Correia. Molina can have the everyday job, Herrmann the backup and Pinto can start in AAA and work on his defense and game calling. Bring Pinto up in mid-June and give him the full-time job, unless Molina and the staff are doing amazing.
Pinto is also young, I'm not sure sacrificing him helps him develop as part of a long term plan. That has to be factored as well.
Originally Posted by twinsfan34
I hope that Pinto does well and Fryer doesn't get out of AAA. I don't think having some spring training backups is a bad thing. I also remember lots of people spending the year talking about all the roster spots that could be easily created (Hermsen, etc), so I don't understand all the drama about this one.
I strongly disagree with the sentiment expressed above, that someone hopes the Twins lose a player in the Rule V as punishment for having Fryer on the roster. That goes strongly against my personal approach to being a fan.
That said, I'm not sure my personal approach to being a fan could tolerate having AJ on the team, so I guess we each have to set our own limits based on our own preferences.
I'd prefer Suzuki. He brings a little more offensive punch, though he is also a right-handed batter (I think it makes some sense to sign a lefty opposite Pinto). The only positive about Molina is his language. Otherwise, if we wanted a defensive specialist who couldn't hit, we should have just kept Butera for the league minimum. People seem to be forgetting how awful this team is offensively. Yes, we absolutely need starting pitching and that is where the bulk of our FA dollars should go, but the lineup thrown out above by another poster is just atrocious. I realize it will be better if/when Sano/Rosario and Buxton get here, but why not try to upgrade the positions those guys don't play? Or sign a better stopgap than Florimon, Plouffe, Willingham (I think he's toast, though I hope I'm wrong) and whoever is gonna play CF? Personally, I'd love to see them go after someone like Rashied Davis (I think I'm getting the name right) from Toronto. I have no idea if he's a FA or not, which is why I say "someone like." He's speedy, has some power for a little guy and would be a good fit for 4th outfielder/pinch runner when Buxton gets here. He shouldn't cost too much either. I'm not looking for them to break the bank on any offensive positions, but we need help there too. Any other positions players people here have ideas about? I haven't even looked at the FA list in months.
I've mentioned him a couple of times already, but Ryan Hanigan of the Reds sounds ideal if the Twins want to go slow with Pinto but make him the regular by season's end. MLB Trade Rumors has a story on him today, it mentions not only an outstanding caught stealing percentage, but also good skill at framing pitches.
I'm a big fan of Molina for the two reasons others are stating:
1. He speaks freaking spanish, unlike anyone on the coaching staff besides the Texan, Cuellar.
2. Pitch framing! That would be a big help to the pitching staff. Also, I'm not sure if it's a teachable skill, but maybe he could teach Pinto how to do that.
The mentor thing is probably overstated, but it couldn't hurt to have him and Mauer giving Pinto tips. No matter who they sign, I hope Pinto starts most games at catcher next year.
I see "Pierzynski's relationship with his teammates when with the Twins" as nonsense and irrelevant. In the first place, nearly all AJ's teammates have loved him...WHILE he played with them; he's a gamer and a good teammate. Secondly, name 2 players on the Twins' current roster who were even with the team when he was. Recall his departure exactly pre-dated Mauer's arrival. That said, Hannigan isn't a bad option and especially so if they end up signing Arroyo...
Originally Posted by Thrylos