What Would You Do? Part 1 (Catchers)

25 Mar

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

Last night was the SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast. Be sure to put it on your iPod, or spend some time at work listening to it at work. Twins pitching prospect Zach Ward called in to the show at the beginning of the show. As you know, Ward spent most of the 2008 season in the New Britain bullpen. He then spent much of his offseason as a starter pitching in Puerto Rico. It was fun to learn a little more about Zach Ward. The two other guests were two new Twins bloggers. First, Wally Fish recently started writing two blogs, a Twins blog (TwinkieTalk.com) and a Royals blog (royaleswithcheese.com). Also, Jack Steal started his Twins blog (Fanatic Jack Talks Twins) this week and came on and talked Twins for awhile. It was a solid show, and there are a couple more Twins blogs that you should check out and potentially bookmark.


But for today, I would like to talk about three issues that seem to be hot topics as it relates to the Twins. I will post my thoughts, and ask for your thoughts. I would appreciate your comments on each. I’d like to read what you predict will happen, and what you think will happen. As we know, those two things can be very different.




Catchers – With Joe Mauer likely to start the season on the Disabled List, the Twins will need a catcher to work with Mike Redmond and the pitchers. Wilson Ramos was sent down this past weekend, so it is really between Drew Butera and Jose Morales. What would you do?


·         Drew Butera – All about the defense. Doesn’t hit much, but occasionally will hit a home run. May not hit much better than .230 with an OPS approaching .550, but I also know Brad Ausmus and others have made a pretty good career as a great defensive catcher.

·         Jose Morales – adequate defensively. He is a switch-hitter and he can hit for average. He may be able to hit .275 at the big league level, but again, I don’t think he’ll ever have an OPS of .650.

·         Seth’s Opinion – As you can tell from my comments, I really am not too concerned about this idea. I am very much intrigued by what Butera does behind the plate. I want to see if I can see what makes him so good. But I would probably go with Morales if only because he can bat left-handed and you could possibly better platoon him. I don’t really want to see Redmond catch more than half of the time.


10 Responses to “What Would You Do? Part 1 (Catchers)”

  1. brad March 25, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    I’d rather go with a guy that has some potential to get the ball out of the infield for the backup catcher job. The days of Sal Butera were to painful to relive, Morales gets my call.

  2. thrylos98 March 25, 2009 at 7:47 am #

    I really think it is a tossup at this point. Both Butera and Morales are better against LHP (Morales is better against RHP than Butera and he is really the better hitter; Butera is just ok against LHP.) Butera’s offensive numbers look awful, but there is a slight silver lining: He hits .308/.333/.436 off a pitcher the first AB he sees him. Then the pitcher makes adjustments… If Butera can learn to respond to those he will be ok (and probably much better than a lot of people, including myself would have thought.) Butera has a better arm; I am not sure who can call a better game (Morales has the advantage that he caught most of those guys in the minors at a point or another). I think that it is closer that it looks, but Morales will probably get the node and Butera will start in Rochester until Mauer is ready and Morales comes down.

  3. roger March 25, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    Seth, First, I would keep Drew Butera as the second catcher starting about 2 games a week. Second, I would go with 11 pitchers (I know they will probably take 12). I would keep Humber and send all the others (Duensing, Mijares, Dickey) down…with each of them knowing one will be coming back soon. That allows me to keep Tolbert, Harris and Buscher. If they go with 12 pitchers, my choice would be Duensing and in that case gotta send Tolbert down. That is assuming that Harris is out of options. In any case, there will be an injury sometime in the next 3-6 weeks and the one guy sent down comes back.

  4. TT March 25, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    I think it depends on how often you think Redmond can catch without wearing out. I am not sure you can afford Butera’s bat in the lineup every other day, but once ever five days is a different story. I also think there is a question whether Morales really is “adequate” defensively after his injury. If he isn’t, then Butera is the only real choice.

  5. rosterman March 25, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    I would personally start the season with Butura and switch him out with Morales about 30 days in if Mauer is still in the lockerroom. Let Morales start regularly down on the farm and get the swing working before filling a part-time role.

  6. Han Joelo March 25, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Agree with rosterman. Along those lines, you might see Dickey over Duensing as well; Duensing’s future may be the bullpen, but it wouldn’t hurt him to get some innings in.

  7. JA March 25, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Morales time has come. He has put in his time, he deserves this opportunity. However, its hard to comment strongly either way because I hadn’t seen enough of the two of them. Statiticaly speaking, Morales has the stonger bat. A young, but seasoned switch hitting catcher who has experience receiving from all five of the starting rotation as well as Humber, Duensing, and I believe Mijares, should get the call. This is what the Twins organization preaches, put in your time, and an opportunity will come. Morales is healthy and clearly deserves this chance.

  8. Dr. J March 25, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    You want to know what Butera will do? Go back to the ’80s and check out his old man “Sudden Sal” Butera. Sight unseen, Drew will be offensively challenged just like dad. It doesn’t really matter which of these guys back up Redmond. Let’s just hope we get lots of road rainouts in April and get Mauer back in there ASAP.

  9. Jeff March 25, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    I have to agree with JA, Morales’ time has come. He has put in the time, and had a decent amount of success in the upper minors. The Twins are essentially giving up 8 to 12 at bats a week with Butera in there a couple of times a week.


  1. Twins Morning Doinks : Baseball Digest - March 25, 2009

    […] readerss What Would You Do? in regards to a few issues the Twins currently have. They include the catcher situation, the backup infielder situation and the bullpen situation. Also, make sure to check out […]

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