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Thread: Article: Top 10 Stories for 2013: #5 Can Mauer catch and stay healthy?

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: Top 10 Stories for 2013: #5 Can Mauer catch and stay healthy?

    @OverTheBaggy

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    Senior Member Double-A Lesser Dali's Avatar
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    Although the most value comes from Mauer when he is catching, the way the Twins used him last year seemed to work out well and might be the best plan to utilize Joe's talents in 2013.

    My gut tells me Mauer has his 2nd or 3rd best hitting season, behind, of course, 2009.

    We will all have to live with him catching 80-100 games. If it keeps his bat in the line-up, and healthy, I certainly have no problem making peace with that scenario.
    Last edited by Lesser Dali; 03-29-2013 at 12:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesser Dali View Post
    Although the most value comes from Mauer when he is catching, the way the Twins used him last year seemed to work out well and might be the best plan to utilize Joe's talents in 2013.

    My gut tells me Mauer has his 2nd or 3rd best hitting season, behind, of course, 2009.

    We will all have to live with him catching 80-100 games. If it keeps his bat in the line-up, and healthy, I certainly have no problem making peace with that scenario.
    I disagree.
    I think they did an excellent job of managing him last year, but last year he was coming off the whole 'bilateral leg weakness' fiasco of 2011.
    Now that he appears to have all that completely behind him, there should be no reason, IMO, that he cant catch 110 games per year.

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    People always seem to think that if he doesn't catch as much as they think he should, it's all on him.

    Some things to consider:

    Doctors told Morny and the team that him getting worn down could cause a recurrence of his concussion symptoms. Mauer was the most logical choice to fill in for him when needed.

    Morny plays in the AL and is a good enough hitter where he can DH or fill in at 1B. Most catchers aren't good enough hitters where it'd be okay to bench starters in favor of them.

    The team actually has a MLB quality player as his backup where having him DH or play 1B isn't such a strain on the lineup....as opposed to say, Butera a the backup catcher.

    Gardy makes out the lineup card...Mauer doesn't.

    If he was in the NL where DH wasn't an option he'd catch more. If he was on an NL team that has a very good hitting 1B, he'd catch a lot more (cause the 1B couldn't be moved to DH).
    Last edited by ThePuck; 03-29-2013 at 08:35 AM.

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    I think Mauer is the Twins best 1B and could win a gold glove at 1st if he played the position every day.Pretty sure he's in the bottom of most defensive category's as a catcher at this point. Furthermore, do the Twins want to risk another bi-lateral whatever fiasco? So I challenge the idea that he has his most value behind the plate. His value is in his health and his .400 OBP and his potential gold glove level defense at 1B. Him catching has become a liability. There is simply too much money involved and he's not so good defensively at the catcher position anymore. It happens. He was always big for a catcher so maybe it caught up to him a little sooner than some, but it's really about the money. Obviously, the Twins can't say this stuff publicly because of the Morneau Parmalee glut at 1st and the long list of Twins position players that would probably be better served as DH, but I expect in time Mauer will be the Twins starting 1B.

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    Super Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    > The defensive abilities may simply erode with age but Mauer’s hitting will never come under question.

    Doesn't part of what contributes to the defensive side also affect hitting? Bi-lateral leg weakness was something of a punchline, but corresponded to a poor offensive season, by his standards anyway. I'm not ready to separate the two issues quite as much as this quoted statement suggests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    I think they did an excellent job of managing him last year, Now that he appears to have all that completely behind him, there should be no reason, IMO, that he cant catch 110 games per year.
    Giddyup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    People always seem to think that if he doesn't catch as much as they think he should, it's all on him.

    Some things to consider:

    Doctors told Morny and the team that him getting worn down could cause a recurrence of his concussion symptoms. Mauer was the most logical choice to fill in for him when needed.

    Morny plays in the AL and is a good enough hitter where he can DH or fill in at 1B. Most catchers aren't good enough hitters where it'd be okay to bench starters in favor of them.

    The team actually has a MLB quality player as his backup where having him DH or play 1B isn't such a strain on the lineup....as opposed to say, Butera a the backup catcher.

    Gardy makes out the lineup card...Mauer doesn't.

    If he was in the NL where DH wasn't an option he'd catch more. If he was on an NL team that has a very good hitting 1B, he'd catch a lot more (cause the 1B couldn't be moved to DH).
    Giddyup again.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Thegrin's Avatar
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    Different bodies react differently to age and wear and tear. Modern knowledge can strengthen his knees. Except for his throwing out potential steals, in what ways is Mauer worse ? He still blocks balls thrown into the dirt, calls a great game and handles pitchers at an elite level. If Joe hits like Joe and catches 130 games, then Mauer will earn every penny he is paid.
    Throwing out potential base stealers is at least 1/2 the responsibility of the pitchers. They have worked on this during ST and Joe will benefit from this work during the season.
    Mauer is not the Twins best First Baseman. He does not hit with enough power to be the Twins #1 first baseman. Morneaux at 1B and Mauer C is much better than Mauer at 1B and Doumit catching. Heck, Parmalee at !B with Mauer catching will be better than Mauer at 1B and Doumit catching.
    Mauer and Morneaux are the top stories for the Twins in 2013, but starting Pitching is the #1 story, and the #2, #3, #4 & #5 stories for the year. If they are not good stories, the rest of them won't make much difference.

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    If the Twins aren't going to be any good, and they aren't, Mauer should be catching about 60-65% of the time. His catching doesn't really help when you only have a couple of major league hitters in the lineup.

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    He should catch as often as he can, with an expectation similar to that of other bona fide #1 catchers in baseball (more than 110 games). There is a logjam at 1B and DH (the only other plausible spots for him). Doumit at catcher and Mauer elsewhere is inferior, and to be as limited as possible. DH could be Doumit, Willingham, Parmalee, Morneau, or any of the reserves, serving as a rotating position for people. Plus, Mauer will need some actual "off days". If at a later date he becomes a DH with being a #2 catcher--so be it--but delay that for as long as possible, and capture as much value from him as possible.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Physics Guy's Avatar
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    I think Mauer is slated for 110-115 at catcher this year (at least I hope he is). I'm not sure Gardy will want to go through more than 50 with Doumit behind the dish.

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