Sep 28, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Josmil Pinto (43) hits a single in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
On Josmil Pinto as a catcher:
FSN: What does Josmil Pinto have to do to take that next step at catcher?
TR: “The reason he didn’t stay in the big leagues last year wasn’t so much his catching and throwing and pitch calling and so forth. He didn’t hit. That’s what he was there to do. That’s why he made the club. So he’s going to have to do a little bit of everything to make this team. When we did send him back, I don’t think there’s any question his receiving improved. His framing improved. His shifting, blocking, hands, all that stuff, play calling, leadership, that improved down at Rochester. I think he’s going to hit eventually. He’ll have to carry some of that offense, certainly. We’re not looking to carry a backup catcher and not be able to swing the bat some. That’s kind of what he is going to have to do.”
This answer screams problematic all over it, and I’m not sure what Ryan is attempting to convey in his response. Did Josmil Pinto hit at the major league level a season ago? Not to the extent the Twins needed him to. Was that the problem he faced? Not even close. Much of Pinto’s hitting issues could be attributed to the streaky at best playing time he was afforded by Ron Gardenhire. While he was a larger liability behind the plate than Kurt Suzuki, he never was given consistent time to get into a rhthym at the plate.
That brings us to the first point Ryan makes; without a doubt Pinto’s catching ability is holding him back. He allowed 20 runners to steal bases without throwing out a single one. He had four passed balls in 25 games, that’s an issue. We’ve been over this multiple times and Pinto’s bat looks far less the problem than his defensive ability.