The Numbers Game

When Joe Mauer returns, as early as a week from today, a spot should open on the 25-man roster to accommodate him. I think that there are three potential candidates for that spot, in alphabetical order: Brian Buscher, Jose Morales and Micheal Redmond.

Here is how they have been performing this season:

Brian Buscher: 18 PA, .200/.333/.333 (.667 OPS). He swung at 37.5% percent of the pitches he faced, making contact on 66.7% of those, so he made contact with 25% of the pitches he saw

Jose Morales: 26 PA .250/.308/.333 (.641 OPS). He swung at 56.3% percent of the pitches he faced, making contact on 81.6% of those, so he made contact with 45.9% of the pitches he saw

Mike Redmond: 31 PA .214/.290/.250 (.540 OPS.) He swung at 41.1% percent of the pitches he faced, making contact on 89.7% of those, so he made contact with 36.9% of the pitches he saw

As far as plate performance goes, Morales has been making more contact with the ball than Redmond and Redmond has been making more contact with the ball than Buscher. One might argue that it is a small sample size, but Buscher's career contact% on all pitches he saw is 35.3% far bellow Morales' and still below Redmond's.

At this point, Morales and Buscher are playing at replacement level, Redmond below replacement level.

Redmond brings veteran leadership and clubhouse presence. Morales brings a live bat, upside, a spanish-speaking catcher who can communicate with Ayala, Liriano, Mijares and Morillo better than Redmond or Mauer. He is a switch hitter. Buscher brings in a left hand bat from the bench. Both Morales and Buscher still have minor league options.

Redmond and Morales are adequate defensively. They will not throw runners out but will not make errors. Buscher is a defensive liability who does not belong on the field in a major league stadium.

There is more than one way to make that decision and it will be a hard decision to make, since there are advantages and disadvantages to all 3. I think that Morales' bat and the fact that is adequate defensively as a catcher, as well as Redmond's veteran leadership should be chosen over Buscher's LH bat off the bench. Morales has a better LH bat off the bench (as a LH hitter he is batting .300/.333/.400, .733 OPS in 21 PA) than Buscher, anyways, and he is more versatile. If I were to rank the 3 in order of who should stay, it would be: Morales, Redmond, Buscher.

What do you think? Feel free to comment and vote on the poll at the upper left hand side of the blog.


Jack Steal said...

Another great article!!! I think Brian Buscher should get sent down and advocated for this on my blog. I like Matt Tolbert and really like Jose Morales. Morales is going to be the back up catcher next year so keep him up this year to continue and learn from Mauer and Redmond. His defense will only improve with their help. Buscher is over rated by Gardenhire just like Cuddyer and we know what a tremendous season he is having.

thrylos98 said...

Another good thing with Buscher down is that this is the only way that Gardy will not put him on the field.

Marv said...

Red man's numbers are declining each year, but cutting him could be dangerous. We may find that Mauer is not really ready. I just get nervous about it. At the same time I am excited by Morales, especially after his 4 for 4 day in Cleveland today.
Sending Buscher down would give us Morales as a SH off the bench and for at least a couple of weeks he would probably get to catch a couple days a week. Once Mauer is fully established as back at 100% they can determine what to do with Redmond/Morales. They will have more information at that time anyway.
Right now Buscher ain't cuttin' it.

thrylos98 said...

I agree.

I think that Morales can be a valuable player on the bench this year. And, why not give him a third baseman's and a first baseman's mitt to see what he can do on the field. He is a converted middle infielder. Cannot be worse at third and first than Buscher and Cuddyer at this point. Plus, he is the hottest hitter on the team. The Twins need his bat in the majors not at Rochester