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Thread: Mackey: Why Twins like Suzuki over Pinto

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

    The "leadership" angle also really jumps out as in interesting aside, mentioning Torrii Hunter, AJ and Suzuki, but not Mauer.
    You missed a key word from the quote: "vocal" leadership. Everyone knows Mauer isn't a vocal guy. Doesn't mean he isn't a leader.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    The front office determines overall personnel and provides advice (like Goin's advice to bat Mauer second last year) but ultimately they let Gardenhire runs the team.
    Thanks Parker. I was also thinking about Suzuki's acquisition, and if that was in any way influenced by come number-crunching. I suspect it wasn't, as he wasn't even their first or second choice among free agent catchers.

  3. #23
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Watched Suziki work tonight. He looked good, but he can't execute pitches for the pitcher. And Worley can't execute pitches for himself.... So, there's the rub with pitch calling and Game management. You need arms to implement the catcher's recommendations. He did look good gunning down a runner. But I sure hope he gets offensive help.

    Herman would be oK offensively, but he is not in Pinto'class. And Hermann looked bad on blocking pitches and framing tonight. Pinto is the much needed defensive backup.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  4. #24
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    Completely agree on the Kubel point, and overall with the whole transition question.

    People around these parts have been fairly "uneasy" about the Suzuki deal and the question of the starter/backup transition details... personally, I think it's a smart move to have a vet in to guide the new guy and help him make the transition. Did everybody forget the Hicks experiment already?

    Putting some resources ($) and effort into making sure that Pinto makes the transition and develops into a complete player is unassailable. If people are just antsy for his bat, then I understand.... but what else would he bring behind the plate at this point? He's got work to do yet, but with the proper mentoring could be the long-term solution we all want.

    Suzuki will likely be a black hole with the bat, granted, but if we're looking for offensive production from catcher to ignite our run production, then we're already lost in the weeds.

    The idea of investing in successful player development/transitioning successfully to the Bigs should be at the top of everyone's list right now. We're all chomping at the bit to see the new wave come up. Who wants to see that crash and burn... what then?

    As for our rotation, yes, we d**n well need everything we can get out of them- who thinks we have superior/dominant rotation? Given the catchers available at the time Suzuki signed (and the price), I think we did great.
    Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

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  6. #25
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    This is the most veteran rotation the Twins have put together in some time Nolasco (31, 7.8 yrs), Correia (33, 9 yrs.), Phil Hughes (27, 6.7 yrs.) and Mike Pelfrey (30, 6.8 yrs.) are the locks for the rotation. Two other contenders are Diamond (27) and Deduno (30). I don't really see the need for a veteran catcher. That said, having Suzuki as a backup plan and mentor for Pinto makes sense. I, too, want Pinto to catch more games than Suzuki this year.

    I'll continue to support Gardy about not using his second catcher as a DH. Not so much because of the catastrophic scenario, but because it limits hitting and running for two guys who often should be hit or run for.

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  8. #26
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    If Pinto is your best DH option, he should DH. You pinch hit and run 1 time a game, you don't give up 3 at bats in case you might need to hit or run for him in the last at bat.
    Lighten up Francis....

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  10. #27
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Interview with Steinbach about Suzuki and catching stuff on espn Twins page.

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/twins#

  11. #28
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I'm very ok with signing Suzuki. I think a split role, at minimum, is a wise move.

    But the notion the veteran pitching staff needs Suzuki? Blech.
    With you here.

    If they were to split catching for the whole year, how many games does Pinto need at DH to justify keeping him on the MLB roster vs the alternative of playing every day in AAA?

  12. #29
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    Would he DH in AAA? Or, would he catch 60% of the time, and how is that really different than catching half the time here?
    Lighten up Francis....

  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTrane View Post
    Suzuki will likely be a black hole with the bat, granted, but if we're looking for offensive production from catcher to ignite our run production, then we're already lost in the weeds.
    Where have we heard this before, though? To paraphrase a common argument in our shortstop threads: "Florimon will likely be a black hole with the bat, granted, but if we're looking for offensive production from the number 9 hitter to ignite our run production, then we're already lost in the weeds."

    We're apparently also using some milder variation of this excuse for 3B, DH, and maybe an OF spot or two. At what point does it stop? Yes, any one of these guys probably wouldn't derail the '27 Yankees by themselves, but that doesn't justify collecting 6 of them on the 2014 Twins.

    Also, the catcher spot was the main driver of our run production last year, when our offense looked rather lost in the weeds already. Significantly downgrading at the position isn't a lateral move, it's getting further lost in the weeds (absent major changes elsewhere).

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  15. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Would he DH in AAA? Or, would he catch 60% of the time, and how is that really different than catching half the time here?
    Don't know if you looked it up, but yes, the past two seasons (and for his career), Pinto has only caught about 60% of his total games in the minors.

  16. #32
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    So basically, he doesn't "catch every day" in the minors either. So what's the point of sending him down to "catch every day"?
    Lighten up Francis....

  17. #33
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jay's Avatar
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    I don't think you can rely on any 60% number from the past.

    A. The Twins seem to be almost primarily focused on his catching skills to prove he's ready for MLB.
    B. There used to be a guy blocking him at the MLB level who is now a first baseman and there is zero question as to what position they want Pinto to play on a full-time basis at the MLB level.

  18. #34
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jay's Avatar
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    No catcher "catches every day" as a literal statement any way... and we all know that.

    If the literal definition of the phrase bothers you, just reword it as this...
    how much does he need to catch at the MLB level to justify whatever additional experience he could gain at the position in AAA?

  19. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
    I don't think you can rely on any 60% number from the past.

    A. The Twins seem to be almost primarily focused on his catching skills to prove he's ready for MLB.
    B. There used to be a guy blocking him at the MLB level who is now a first baseman and there is zero question as to what position they want Pinto to play on a full-time basis at the MLB level.
    Fair point. The Twins did ramp up Ramos closer to 75% at AAA, and Pinto was trending that way too after his promotion last year (although fairly small samples, both).

    Still, 75% of a short AAA season is only 95 games. Given that his bat looks steady and he was ready enough to promote last season, I see no reason why that isn't a reasonable target for his MLB catching load in 2014, with another 20-30 games in our wide-open DH spot. If nothing else, it will be much clearer going into 2015 whether he can handle it.

  20. #36
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    Can't he gain that experience in MN?
    Lighten up Francis....

  21. #37
    If the Twins want Suzuki to mentor Pinto so he is ready to take over the every day job next year or so then Pinto should be up. He learns nothing from Suzuki from being in AAA. But Pinto has not been told he is making the team yet. And out of all 4 catchers in camp he has had the least amount of work behind the plate.

  22. #38
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    I enjoyed Phil Miller's article about Suzuki, and it made me like him more. And it seems that with so many pitchers praising him publicly, the die is cast for Kurt catching the majority of games this year. I hope he hits a little.

    To me, choosing to go with a veteran catcher over a prospect would be a good move if we were in "win now" mode...but we're not. Since this team is a couple years away from contending, isn't it a better idea to have Pinto catching 75% of the games at the major league level (while sitting next to Suzuki in the dugout) to make his transition to every day catcher more rapid? I understand the pitchers want a veteran back there, but as others have pointed out, our pitching staff is made up of veterans. We need Pinto to be a veteran in a couple years when Stewart, Meyer et al are making their debuts, and he's not going to become a veteran playing at Rochester.

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  24. #39
    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    Were I a speculation-indulging kind of guy, I might speculate that at the start of the year, Suzuki catches 2/3 of the games, and Pinto 1/3.

    Before the end of the summer, those fractions will be reversed.

  25. #40
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    If Pinto starts in AAA or the majors and plays like the player that we all hope he is... And some are confident he is.

    He will steamroll right into the starting catching position.

    Suzuki will not block him unless Suzuki plays like the player we hope that Pinto is.

    Its all in Pinto's hands. This issue will sort itself out.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

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