On the Pond: Joe Mauer back to Catcher?

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On the Pond is a weekly article that answers questions Puckett’s Pond receives via Twitter.

I didn’t realize there was a logjam at first and third base. If you are talking about the Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe situation at third base it’s far from a logjam. Plouffe has established himself as a good third baseman and Sano struggled with the glove at the hot corner in Double-A Chattanooga.

Moving Mauer back to catcher is an option if you have a reliable option at first base. Maybe Sano can play first base, maybe he can’t. Moving Plouffe to first base and sliding Sano to third base could get Oswaldo Arcia‘s bat back in the lineup as the designated hitter, but then you have a question mark with Sano’s glove at third base. Keep in mind of the fact that Arcia is no longer as hot as he was two weeks ago. In the past 10 games he is hitting .206 with 12 strikeouts.

Moving Mauer back to catcher may seem easy on paper, but it actually could end up hurting the team in the long run. Plouffe’s glove at third is a strength on defense. You move Mauer back to catcher and put Plouffe at first and Sano at third it could hurt the team defensively. Mauer finally appears healthy after struggling the past couple of seasons. Moving him back to catcher could take that away and cause him to miss time. He may not be hitting .300, but the Twins are better with his bat in the lineup.

I want it all and I want it now! The Twins could end up trading for both, they have the prospects to make it happen.

But, to answer the question, I think if they do trade for one it should be for bullpen help. The Twins offense is going through a slump plain and simple. Before the All-Star break they ranked ninth in the league in runs scored. The Twins need help at catcher and shortstop, no denying that. But, they need to solidify that bullpen first.

I expect the Twins to make minor moves to upgrade the bullpen. Joaquin Benoit is the “big name” that I think the Twins will go after. The Twins have the poker chips to be big spenders, but I don’t think they will be heavy hitters at the deadline.

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