Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Notes, quotes and comment (catcher division)

A s a general thing, backup catchers aren't asked to win games so much as they are expected to avoid losing them. 

Steve Holm takes that concept a bit further:
"I think most people are realistic in knowing that no team has someone who's going to replace Joe Mauer," Holm said. "It's not like I'm trying to actually do that. ... You don't try to duplicate that.
"Like the old adage, you don't want to be noticed. You just want to do your job, and at the end of the day, don't do anything noticeable."
The first part, about not trying to replace Mauer, is eminently sensible. The part about not doing anything noticeable ... well, that might be part of why Holm's spent so much time in the minors. Drew Butera, after all, had three RBIs Monday night, which is certainly noticeable.
We're more than a week from this becoming an issue, but I'm wondering what Holm's option status is. My assumption with a 31-year-old player with his tenure in the minors is that he's out of options, but Holm may not be. He does have two partial major league seasons, so I'm sure at least two of his three options are gone. 

This becomes relevant when Joe Mauer is ready to return to action. If Holm is out of options, the Twins would have to waive him to send him back to Rochester. If the Twins don't want to risk losing him, their alternative is to instead option out Butera.


Jose Morales, traded during the winter to Colorado, is the Rockies backup catcher. I got to see a few innings of the Rox' win against the Cubs on Sunday with Morales behind the dish. He's hitting .273 in 14 at-bats, which seems about right.

I wrote about this at the time, but given the Twins' current catching situation it's worth repeating: The Twins traded Morales because he was out of options and behind Butera on their depth chart, the Twins having decided they prefer Butera's superior defense to Morales' batting average. They used the roster spot opened by the trade to sign Jim Thome.

Had they kept Morales and dumped somebody else to make room for Thome, they still would have had to move Morales at the end of spring training (unless they decided to keep him over Butera). So I don't fault the Twins for trading him.

Meanwhile, the minor league pitcher the Twins got in the deal, Paul Bargas, is apparently in tough shape with an unspecified neurological condition

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