One of the biggest challenges facing Twins interim-GM Terry Ryan this offseason will be the distribution of assets. Essentially, Ryan has a handful of guys who can play first base, another bunch that can play outfield, and then a handful of spare parts. I consider Ryan Doumit one of the former rather than the latter. But one of the parts that can do those things and more is Joe Mauer. Mauer is about to enter his age-30 season, and has demonstrably slipped behind the plate, in my view. Since peaking at nabbing 53 percent of all opposing attempted base thieves back in 2007, Mauer has been on a continuous tumble, down to his present-day Pierzynskian 14 percent mark. Now there are certainly caveats that come with stolen base rate; it takes two to tango, and that means if a pitcher is slow to the plate, he'll leave the catcher little chance to put away the baserunner. But even thinking relative to Mauer earlier in his career, I think it's an apt assessment. The Twins have employed a fair share of guys who have been slow to the plate in Mauer's tenure with the club, and he was simply much better back then. Similarly, Drew Butera was Carl Pavano's caddy, and Pavano was the slowest of all to home plate. Despite this, Drew has still managed to throw out 33 percent of baserunners over the past three seasons. Parker Hageman of TwinsCentric's Twins Daily has a great post on the subject, chronicling how he wonders if Mauer's knee woes have sapped him of some of his transfer efficiency from receiving the pitch to delivering the throw down. It's well worth your time to read.
The Time is Now: Moving Joe Mauer from Catcher
Twinkie Town | Oct 3