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Thread: Article: Position Battle: Catcher

  1. #21
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    I would have just gone with Pinto and Herrmann and been done with it.

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    DocBauer (02-27-2014)

  3. #22
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    I have expected them to go with a 60/40 split in playing time at catcher so I think both of them make the squad and eventually Pinto works up to starting 75% of the time.

    Suzuki imo was signed to break Pinto in slowly and provide a reasonable alternative if he flops his 1st time around. And catching 2-3 times/week is not a big issue in the development of an almost 25 yr old. But it does take the big pressure off of him.
    This is my thinking as well.

  4. #23
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    I'd prefer to have Pinto be the starter with Suzuki the backup, and hopefully by midseason that's the case. I expect Pinto to eventually be an asset at the plate, but I think it is going to take a little time; Sept's numbers are wildly unrealistic. But we know Gardy would prefer to have a good defensive player with a crap bat over a plus bat and iffy defense.

  5. #24
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    No one's talking about improving the offense at catcher because you're not going to get a better hitter than Mauer. We're talking about degrees of downgrades and Suzuki is a massive one.
    Suzuki is not replacing Mauer at the plate, he's replacing Morneau.

    Morneau's OPS+ the last three years: 70, 112, 103
    Suzuki's OPS+ the lst three years: 89, 67, 73

    Still a big downgrade. The hope is it can be made up with the combination of Pinto and a stronger and healthier Mauer.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    USAFChief (02-27-2014)

  7. #25
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    If everyone else does their job, Suzuki (and Florimon, and ...) doesn't have to hit.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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    Kwak (02-27-2014), mike wants wins (02-27-2014), PseudoSABR (02-27-2014), snepp (02-27-2014)

  9. #26
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Morneau's OPS+ the last three years: 70, 112, 103
    Suzuki's OPS+ the lst three years: 89, 67, 73

    Still a big downgrade.
    I would call that a pretty massive downgrade. It's the area of this team's offense people don't seem to understand.

    Especially when you are adding into it that a "healthier Mauer" will have an impact. That's a talking point among many on the board here that just doesn't hold water. The time Mauer missed was filled by a player (Pinto) that outhit Mauer! (And by a fairly significant margin too) So it's not just the downgrade from Morneau to Suzuki - it's the likelihood that we'll also see a dip in the combined performance we got from our catchers last year. It's a double downgrade and quite possibly a massive one at that.

  10. #27
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    Suzuki has been 28th and 27th in catcher war (espn version) over the last two years.....why would you play him and not Pinto? Why not give the young guy a shot?
    Lighten up Francis....

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Suzuki has been 28th and 27th in catcher war (espn version) over the last two years.....why would you play him and not Pinto? Why not give the young guy a shot?
    3 possible reasns (in no particular order):


    1) The Twins traded away their only 2 starting CF options before 2013, they ended up paying a steep price. Suzuki is an insurance policy.

    2) By signing Suzuki, they now have a possible Plan A and Plan B with Pinto-
    (A) give him the starting job if he proves healthy enough and ready enough.
    (B) give him another 60 days in AAA to get healthy enough and more ready.

    3) Gardy is only in his comfort zone with at least one plodding, no-hit catcher to call upon at a momemt's notice.
    Last edited by jokin; 02-27-2014 at 12:15 PM.

  12. #29
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I would call that a pretty massive downgrade. It's the area of this team's offense people don't seem to understand.

    Especially when you are adding into it that a "healthier Mauer" will have an impact. That's a talking point among many on the board here that just doesn't hold water. The time Mauer missed was filled by a player (Pinto) that outhit Mauer! (And by a fairly significant margin too) So it's not just the downgrade from Morneau to Suzuki - it's the likelihood that we'll also see a dip in the combined performance we got from our catchers last year. It's a double downgrade and quite possibly a massive one at that.

    So you don't buy the claim that Mauer will stay healthier and stronger by moving to first base? That's what I was saying. And I fail to see how comparing his lack of health at catcher last has any bearing to this year.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  13. #30
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    I would have just gone with Pinto and Herrmann and been done with it.
    What I think we see next season, more than likely. Not was I opposed to doing so this season after we stick out on AJP. However, I like splitting up the youngsters for more consistent AB's for Herrmann, as well as an experienced, current backstop to help mentor.

  14. #31
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBauer View Post
    What I think we see next season, more than likely. Not was I opposed to doing so this season after we stick out on AJP. However, I like splitting up the youngsters for more consistent AB's for Herrmann, as well as an experienced, current backstop to help mentor.
    I don't get the Hermann love. By the numbers, Fryer is the better hitter and has the much better glove. Yeah Hermann has some versatility, but why would Gardy want to put a guy who hits like Butera in the outfield?
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  15. #32
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    Does anybody else feel a little guilty about sending Pinto back to AAA? If catcher careers are shorter and more volatile than other positions (witness our two catchers who more or less quit catching last season), every day Pinto's not in MLB at this point doesn't help his financial outlook. I don't know what his original signing bonus was, but it probably wasn't much -- I don't recall him being a well-known international prospect. And he's been making minor league wages since. Heck, for the talk of his winter ball shoulder issue, he probably has to play winter ball just to make ends meet (and if he's catching during winter ball, that just adds to the risk).

    Maybe I've been thinking too much about that lawsuit by the minor leaguers recently... but I'm inclined to let Pinto play in MLB now. He's not young anymore, and he's hit at every level. It just doesn't seem to right to send him down for further refinement (while we conveniently pause his service time clock). Suzuki can spell him a few days a week, and he and the MLB pitchers can probably provide Pinto with more mentorship than their AAA counterparts.

  16. #33
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    yeah, I don't get the Pinto to AAA thing either. He raked in AA, and got promoted mid season to AAA and did quite well there too. His September was obviously an outlier, but certainly encouraging regardless. I think he gets the job out of camp though Suzuki is likely going to be the opening day starter. Pinto will stay up as long as he's doing OK.

  17. #34
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Well, getting another year of control is an issue. Pinto has a month of ML service time and I fully expect him to spend April in Rochester. Beyond that, he only was in Rochester for 19 games and about 75 plate appearances. I expect that he would benefit a bit from another month in AAA. It isn't fair to him to delay free agency, but all major league teams do it, from the Yankees to the Marlins.

  18. #35
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I think Pinto earned his spot in September. Given the offensive issues with Suzuki, I would be shocked if he doesn't make the team. Fryer and Hermann are pure back-ups. Pinto is the future, and Suzuki is here because he's the perfect complement to Pinto.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  19. #36
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    For a non-elite player, the extra year of control is actually of pretty minimal value. If he's good enough to be worth his arbitration salary in that extra year, odds are he will sign a long-term contract much earlier covering that year anyway.

  20. #37
    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Suzuki has been 28th and 27th in catcher war (espn version) over the last two years.....why would you play him and not Pinto? Why not give the young guy a shot?
    Because there's more to catching than WAR. Pinto's ability to handle the pitching staff is the probably the biggest unknown and strike against him.

  21. #38
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    There's more to catching than "handling a staff"...like hitting and fielding as "traditionally" measured. He's not good at those.
    Lighten up Francis....

  22. #39
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    So you don't buy the claim that Mauer will stay healthier and stronger by moving to first base? That's what I was saying. And I fail to see how comparing his lack of health at catcher last has any bearing to this year.
    You are comparing production by positions no? People are double dipping their predictions because they project improvement at first because Mauer > Morneau and then citing Mauer's lack of health as a drain on 2013 catching numbers. But the Twins' production at catcher actually got better after he was hurt. Recognizing that only further widens the downgrade.

    As as for the position change and Mauer, I find all the hefty improvements being predicted as mighty dubious. I'm guessing whatever difficult-to-quantify help the switch is may be easily offset by Mauer's aging and bat speed. But I hope I'm wrong.

  23. #40
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    levi....to me its about more at bats from their best hitter, not that he'll hit better......though that is possible.
    Lighten up Francis....

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