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My Solution to the Minnesota Twins Catching Situation

Second place doesn’t feel great and it sounds like the Minnesota Twins finished second twice on Tuesday.

Ex-Twin A.J. Pierzynski snuck off to the Boston Red Sox in the morning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia left for his hometown Miami Marlins around dinner time.

Throw in Joe Nathan heading to the Detroit Tigers, it was a long day for Twins fans, outside of the press conference at Target Field officially introducing Ricky Nolasco to the Twins family.

The main question is now what should the Twins do behind the plate. The Twins currently have four catchers on the 40-man roster: Ryan Doumit, Eric Fryer, Chris Herrmann and Josmil Pinto.

Doumit has been with the major league squad the longest and has flexibility between catcher, first and the corner outfield positions. Chris Herrmann can also play the corner outfield spots and catch. Josmil Pinto seems to be the catcher of the future, with the Twins swinging and missing on Saltalamacchia.

Eric Fryer seems to be the odd man out in the Twins catching situation. Fryer has also played the outfield in the major leagues (1.2 innings worth), but there is no need for the Twins to carry four catchers on the active major league roster.

The consensus seems to be that Pinto is the man, I have come to the conclusion that I must agree. Josmil played in 21 games down the stretch for the Twins last season and hit .342 with four home runs and 12 RBI. In his limited time he equaled out to a 0.7 WAR.  Pinto’s WAR is the highest of the three catchers.

Here is what I purpose:

Josmil Pinto should be your everyday starting catcher. Everybody believes he is going to be down the road and nobody is standing in his way to stop him, so let him do it. If he flounders, he flounders and you give him a couple days off.

Josh Willingham should not be an outfielder, we have seen his fielding woes. I would prefer Willingham to be a full-time DH, but the problem is his replacements. Ryan Doumit and Chris Herrmann are not that great of an upgrade defensively for the Twins. I’d like to see the Twins give Herrmann a tryout in the outfield while Willingham DHs.

Ryan Doumit would be your primary back-up catcher behind Pinto, your back-up corner outfielder stepping in for Oswaldo Arcia and Willingham/Herrmann and would be Joe Mauer’s backup at first. Doumit would be your roving utility man. A bigger, stronger Nick Punto, if you will.

The cliff notes version: Josmil Pinto – catcher, Chris Herrmann – left field, Josh Willingham – DH and Ryan Doumit – utility man (backup catcher/first baseman/outfielder).

It looks good on paper, at least in my eyes. This also looks good, but it will never happen:

It’s fun to dream.

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Tags: Chris Herrmann Eric Fryer Josh Willingham Josmil Pinto Minnesota Twins Ryan Doumit

  • Mike Garone

    Have to have proven Catcher ..all of the pitching additions will be for not… so Suzuki? still weak up the middle ..catcher would be key to improving ..via trade Fa , Twins. had some nice catching prospects that got moved .. I would move Doumit . 240 ba with 100 strike outs .. poor field , no much on bases .. using him at DH is silly.. Colabello with 490 ab’s would hit 25 to 30 hrs .. that’s who should be at DH.. but with our Little League manager who has pet players . no chance of that happening :(

  • JaysHopeful

    It seems like Chris Hermann’s bat is not yet major league ready, and Josmil Pinto’s glove is not yet major league ready. Both Doumit and Mauer are injury prone at the position, and Mauer is far too valuable to risk there.

    Maybe pull a Mets and bring in a sturdy veteran – Kurt Suzuki or John Buck – for the first few months to allow Hermann and Pinto to get reps at AAA and work things out. Then bring one or both up around the All-Star break, or when they are ready. That veteran can then move to a back-up and mentorship role for the young players.

    Remember John Buck’s April? That would just be gravy for a stop-gap, and you know he’ll stay healthy. Use Doumit in a DH/RF/Back-up C role to fill in until Hermann and Pinto come up. The offer of a initial starting role for a veteran catcher would be very enticing, and you could probably sign them for approx. 4 mil for the year.

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