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Thread: Mauer to 1st?

  1. #81
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    I think Mauer was one of the 3-5 top defensive catchers in the AL this year. I don't think he's deserving of the award precisely because of what is being volleyed around here--he caught 75 games.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig in MN View Post
    I want to clarify that it's been 3 years since Mauer has caught more than 75 games (not 4 like I wrote earlier).
    I think the lack of a decent lineup or competitive team has kept Mauer out of the catcher position the past 2 years as much as any injury or inability to catch.

    It's been discussed here before, but why force him to crouch behind the plate 120+ games a year when you've got nothing at 1B, DH, etc. and you're way at the bottom of the standings?

    Keep Mauer in the mix behind the plate in these lost seasons and you reduce his chance at injury while retaining the possibility of increasing his catching workload someday when you might need it (i.e. a future season where we might be set at 1B/DH and we're actually competitive).

    If you find yourself with a quality full-time replacement at catcher, or the concussion issue lingers, obviously you can make another move. But otherwise, I see nothing wrong with the above course of action.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Keep Mauer in the mix behind the plate in these lost seasons and you reduce his chance at injury while retaining the possibility of increasing his catching workload someday when you might need it (i.e. a future season where we might be set at 1B/DH and we're actually competitive).

    That's a pretty reasonable idea. The less Mauer plays catcher, the more likely he is to be healthy long term. That's exactly what the "move Mauer to first" crowd are saying. It just eliminates the concept of "move him back to catcher in 3 years when the Twins are likely going to be competitive".

    The guy is 30 and has a history of a pretty serious concussion. The idea that Mauer would have to overcome 100 balls off of his catchers mask and a dozen collisions at the plate in the intervening 2 or 3 years, remain healthy through that, and still have a couple year window of him be healthy enough to catch (productively) full time at ages 33-35 (with another 100 balls off his mask and a dozen more collisions in those years and all that other wear and tear) seems like a stretch. It's certainly possible. But the odds of him contributing to the next competitive Twins team seem much better if you just bite the bullet and get him out of there now.

    If he was 2 years younger or didn't have a concussion this year, that would be something else. But the team is risking his long term ability to play at all in exchange for his ability to catch part time in the short term when they aren't competitive, in the hopes that he won't have any more concussions and still be a rare truly excellent catcher in his middle 30's.

  4. #84
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    I get your argument Levi, but don't fudge the numbers. You use .800 as Mauer's 1B OPS (with no power) and mention .850+ OPS at catcher. While I'm not making the claim that Mauer absolutely will be a better hitter at first, I will say that he would be at least as good as he is at catcher, so use .850 on both sides of the equation.

    I can't prove it but I think he would be an improved hitter as a full-time 1B. That "projection" should also part of whether or not he should be moved.
    I meant to go back and edit that discrepancy but ran out of time, so my apologies.

    I'm not convinced he becomes better at first by a long shot, but I'm convinced we can't find anywhere close to a replacement at catcher.

  5. #85
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I'm not even going to address the contract issue. It just doesn't impact the Twins in a meaningful way in the immediate future.

    There were less than 50 players with an OPS over .800 last season. Mauer was 16th. Of those 50 players, just 33 had a higher slugging. That's pretty darn valuable regardless. Is it more valuable at catcher? Obviously. But among first basemen, his OPS and SLG would rank 5th and 10th respectively. If you want to use wOBA Mauer looks even better and would rank third among first basemen.
    This team has enough issues without taking its one special player and making him a whole lot less special.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    This team has enough issues without taking its one special player and making him a whole lot less special.
    Bravo. This succinctly bottom-lines this whole argument.

    IE, with a real-time example, sign or acquire a Tony Perez-type to play first and produce a .800-.850 OPS, so your HOF catcher can maximize his value- as a catcher. And then, plunk your HOF catcher in the OF/DH/3B on his "rest" days or as he ages into his 30s, further maximizing his value.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Bravo. This succinctly bottom-lines this whole argument.

    IE, with a real-time example, sign or acquire a Tony Perez-type to play first and produce a .800-.850 OPS, so your HOF catcher can maximize his value- as a catcher. And then, plunk your HOF catcher in the OF/DH/3B on his "rest" days or as he ages into his 30s, further maximizing his value.
    IMO, it misses massive points of the entire argument.

    And while I completely understand the value of Mauer at catcher, the fact that the team has enough problems is exactly why Mauer could move to 1B next year, even if it's only for a season. There's no Prince Fielder over there that he'd be knocking out of position. His "special" status is only necessary if this team is going to compete. Health long term is far more important right now.

    Then, who are the Twins going to pursue in FA that hit .800+OPS? Lets see some names.

    As I mentioned, there is a smaller number than people seem to think (less than 50 players last season). I'll agree, though, that it would be easier and cheaper to find, say, a .750 OPS first baseman than catcher. But, there are other problems going after a first baseman in FA, like what happens if Mauer isn't going to play C? There isn't a lot known at this point, so it would be tough to move forward at this point on something like that.
    Last edited by Alex; 10-25-2013 at 06:39 PM.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    IMO, it misses massive points of the entire argument.

    And while I completely understand the value of Mauer at catcher, the fact that the team has enough problems is exactly why Mauer could move to 1B next year, even if it's only for a season. There's no Prince Fielder over there that he'd be knocking out of position. His "special" status is only necessary if this team is going to compete. Health long term is far more important right now.

    Then, who are the Twins going to pursue in FA that hit .800+OPS? Lets see some names.

    As I mentioned, there is a smaller number than people seem to think (less than 50 players last season). I'll agree, though, that it would be easier and cheaper to find, say, a .750 OPS first baseman than catcher. But, there are other problems going after a first baseman in FA, like what happens if Mauer isn't going to play C? There isn't a lot known at this point, so it would be tough to move forward at this point on something like that.
    Well let's see, there was Abreu...this isn't too hard....

    How about:

    Kendrys Morales career .813OPS
    Corey Hart career .824OPS

    and Jame Loney was close in 2013 .776OPS

  9. #89
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    the fact that the team has enough problems is exactly why Mauer could move to 1B next year, even if it's only for a season.
    That's not a "move" in the context of this discussion. I'm all for half or even quarter-timing him at catcher while we're awful. I endorse that whole heartedly.

    I do not accept the reasons to "move" him.(permanently per this thread) Not yet at least.

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    I think the lack of a decent lineup or competitive team has kept Mauer out of the catcher position the past 2 years as much as any injury or inability to catch.

    It's been discussed here before, but why force him to crouch behind the plate 120+ games a year when you've got nothing at 1B, DH, etc. and you're way at the bottom of the standings?

    Keep Mauer in the mix behind the plate in these lost seasons and you reduce his chance at injury while retaining the possibility of increasing his catching workload someday when you might need it (i.e. a future season where we might be set at 1B/DH and we're actually competitive).

    If you find yourself with a quality full-time replacement at catcher, or the concussion issue lingers, obviously you can make another move. But otherwise, I see nothing wrong with the above course of action.
    Ding ding ding, best post I've seen so far. Why waste this rebuilding years with him behind the plate? Especially when moving him to 1st/DH gives young guys like Pinto PA's as a catcher. Spot on.

  11. #91
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    I'm on board for adding Morales (relatively young and can play first base, switch hitter without platoon splits). Hart is another question. He missed all of last year and may or may not bounce back and be a productive hitter. I would avoid Loney, since he had his best year since 2007, seems like an aberration.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    I'm on board for adding Morales (relatively young and can play first base, switch hitter without platoon splits). Hart is another question. He missed all of last year and may or may not bounce back and be a productive hitter. I would avoid Loney, since he had his best year since 2007, seems like an aberration.
    Hart is the riskiest option of the three, but also holds the greatest potential reward at the lowest cost. 3rd highest ISO among available free agents for the years 2010-12. Should be available for a very reasonable short-term contract plus incentives ($6-10M/yr?). Not only could his midwestern career proximity in Milwaukee appeal to him.....and his family man/good guy/big teddy bear status play well to the fanbase in Minnesota, if he does have a good rebound physically and production-wise, he would also make an excellent trading chip at deadline.

  13. #93
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    So, they should not sign free agents, because they will not be winners next year, but they should risk the long term value of your best player? Does that make sense to those that argue against them trying to be good next year?
    Lighten up Francis....

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