Twins’ lack of catching depth makes replacing Joe Mauer even tougher

11 Comments

Minnesota has had to replace Joe Mauer for extended stretches before, but unfortunately by trading both Wilson Ramos and Jose Morales the Twins are exceptionally short on catching depth this time around.

Drew Butera will take over as the primary catcher and the Twins have called up minor-league veteran Steve Holm from Rochester to serve as his backup.

Butera is very strong defensively and Holm had a couple brief stints in the majors with the Giants in addition to 11 seasons in the minors, but there isn’t a worse catching duo in the big leagues and asking them to replace the best catcher in baseball represents just about the largest possible dropoff.

Butera has hit .194/.230/.284 in the majors after batting .214/.296/.317 in the minors, making him perhaps MLB’s worst hitter, and Holm has hit just .249/.330/.380 in 170 games at Triple-A. Even if they collectively perform relatively well the Butera-Holm combo is likely at least 60 runs worse offensively per season than Mauer.

Craig Counsell pulls Wade Miley after one batter

Harry How/Getty Images
8 Comments

Brewers manager Craig Counsell took “the opener” to new heights in Game 5 of the NLCS on Wednesday evening. Expecting Wade Miley to pitch a sizable portion of the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stacked the lineup with right-handed hitters behind leadoff batter Cody Bellinger.

Wade Miley walked Bellinger to start the game. Counsell promptly walked to the mound and called for right-hander Brandon Woodruff, removing Miley from the game after just one batter and five pitches, as was the plan. Woodruff will face almost exclusively right-handers down the Dodgers’ lineup with the exceptions of Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw.

Miley will now start Game 6. Or will he?