For the first time in what seems like an eternity, Minnesota Twins’ fans have been witnessing non-Joe Mauer starting catchers behind the dish this season. The Twins decided that Mauer, who has been the Twins’ starting catcher since June of 2004, would transition to first base—full time—in 2014.
The team’s offseason signing of Kurt Suzuki to a one-year, $2.75 million deal only solidified the organization’s impactful decision.
Mauer, owner of a career .322 batting average and park-adjusted 136 OPS+, has missed far too many games in his career due to the rigors associated with squatting and blocking pitches. In fact, the 30-year-old St. Paul native has sat out 144 games total since 2011.
Yet, considering the former-Oakland Athletics’ farmhand hasn’t posted an OPS+ over 90 since 2009, rookie Josmil Pinto might make Suzuki’s reign as the starter short lived. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Ben Berkon, Bleacher Report, Joe Mauer Josmil Pinto, Josmil, Josmil Pinto, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Twins Josmil Pinto, Pinto, The Beanball, Twins, Twins Pinto
In 2012, the Minnesota Twins endured their second straight ninety-plus loss season. While their hitting wasn’t spectacular (combined 99 OPS+, which was slightly below league average of 100 OPS+), it was really their pitching that did them in. The Twins pitching staff ranked second-to-last in the American League with a combined 85 ERA+. Considering the league average was a 101 ERA+, the 2012 Twins’ hurlers were pretty pathetic. […] Luckily for the Twins, the only two remaining starters from 2012 were their two top ones– Scott Diamond and Sam Deduno–and through trades and free-agent signings, the Twins have replaced their lesser pitchers with Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, and Rich Harden. Even though the acquisitions have been met with a lot of criticism, compared to their 2012 staff, the 2013 Twins starters should still be slightly improved. Continue reading
Posted in Closer Looks
Tagged Ben Berkon, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Twins’ Rotation Has it Improved for 2013?, Rich Harden, Sam Deduno, Scott Diamond, The Beanball, Twins, Twins Rotation, Twins Rotation 2013, Vance Worley
Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports
If someone were to ask, “Who’s better, Joe Mauer or Matt Treanor?”, you’d either hear disgusted cackles or maybe even get smacked in the face. And both of those responses would be justified. However, to Treanor’s credit, both he and Mauer are having very similar seasons.
At age 35, Matt Treanor is arguably enjoying his finest campaign in the Major Leagues. The currently DL’d Kansas City Royals catcher has posted an overall .226/.351/.306 line with 3 homeruns, 21 RBI, 24 runs, and 2 stolen bases in 230 plate appearances. By no stretch of the imagination are those statistics head-turning, but then again, we are talking about career-back-up catcher, Matt Treanor. Joking aside, some of Treanor’s peripherals indicate he’s actually having a pretty good season–at least for the catching-deprived American League. Continue reading
Posted in Profiles
Tagged AL Catchers, American League Catchers, Ben Berkon, Joe Mauer, Joe Mauer 2011, Kansas City Royals, Matt Treanor, Matt Treanor 2011, Matt Treanor Joe Mauer, Matt Treanor vs. Joe Mauer, Mauer, Mauer 2011, Mauer Treanor, Mauer vs. Treanor, Minnesota Twins, The Beanball, Treanor, Treanor 2011
Courtesy of SBR Forum
What does a career 5.26 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, and 1.46 K/BB mean when you “randomly” post a sensational 3.27 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 2.61 K/BB in a single season? It usually is the sign of a fluke. In the case of Chicago White Sox’s pitcher Philip Humber, he appears to be the definition of such. However, despite his unflattering journey with five franchises in five years, Humber could still be on a very fine career path starting at age 28.
Humber was the third overall pick in the 2004 draft. The New York Mets were high on the 22 year old righty out of Rice University–and so were scouts. Baseball America ranked the pitcher as the #50 prospect in baseball in their pre-2005 rankings despite a mediocre debut in 2005 (5.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.35 K/BB). In 2006, Humber turned things around, to the tune of a 2.83 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 3.95 K/BB. The righty reached as high as Double-A in ’06, posting a 2.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 3.60 K/BB in 38 innings.
The prized prospect was promoted to Triple-A in 2007, but he saw his numbers slip a bit. He owned a 4.27 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 2.73 K/BB. Still solid stats, but the drop in strikeouts and spike in HR/9 (from 0.9 the year before to 1.4) was worrisome. Potential red flags aside, Humber was shipped off to the Minnesota Twins with Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, and Kevin Mulvey in exchange for ace pitcher Johan Santana. Knowing the Mets luck, people assumed Humber would instantly become the stud he was groomed to be. However, his “stud” status didn’t come so quickly. Continue reading
Posted in Profiles
Tagged Ben Berkon, Fluke, Humber, Humber Athletics, Humber Fluke, Humber Mets, Humber Santana Trade, Humber Trade, Humber Twins, Humber White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Phi Humber, Phil Humber Fluke, Philip Humber, Philip Humber Fluke, Philip Humber Johan Santana, The Beanball, White Sox