Recently, there’s been talk that the Twins will carry only two catchers. Those two catchers would be Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit. However, I don’t think the Twins will keep only two catchers. Let’s take a look at the reasons why I don’t think this is the case.
The original plan for Doumit heading into the season was for him to be the main DH. That plan might be up in the air right now due to the fact that Justin Morneau has stated that he’d prefer to DH to avoid suffering the concussion symptoms playing at first base. If this is the case, Then Doumit will probably be playing some at first base and or in the outfield depending on how the roster shakes out. With three catchers on the club, this would provide for more flexibility to put Doumit in the field or as the DH.
Also, the possibility is there that either Mauer or Doumit is the DH and the other is behind the plate for a game. If the catcher that’s behind the plate gets injured, then the catcher who’s the DH would have to come in the game. This would mean the Twins lose the Dh and the pitcher would have to bat.
Of course there could be an argument to be made that there are too many people on the club to play first base and in the outfield, along with being the DH. The talk now is Chris Parmelee has a good shot at making this club out of spring training with Morneau’s recent comments. Therefore, you have another person to play first base if the catcher playing first base gets hurt.
To look at the roster picture more closely, let’s name the guys that will or could be on the roster for players that could DH and play first base and may also play in the outfield.
Joe Mauer: First Base/DH
Justin Morneau: First Base/DH
Chris Parmelee: First base/Outfield
Ryan Doumit: First Base/Outfield/DH
Trevor Plouffe: First Base/Outfield/DH
Luke Hughes: First Base/Outfield/DH
I didn’t name Joe Mauer as also possibly playing in the outfield although he played a little there last season. I don’t think it’s very likely that he’ll be playing there this season for the fact that they’ve other options to play there and plus the fact Mauer hasn’t played in the outfield a lot.
Also, I didn’t mention Chris Parmelee as a DH because I think the Twins would want him to play in the field. Plus, I think the Twins are more likely to have Parmelee on the club if the plan is to have Morneau be the primary DH.
But, this leaves me with one last question. Who would take the open roster spot if the Twins do have only two catchers?
The logical conclusion for who’d take the open roster spot would have to be a player who could play shortstop. the last possible player that could play shortstop would hav been Pedro Florimon, but he was sent to the Minor League camp this morning.
Because of the roster picture, I still think the Twins will have three catchers on the team to start the season. It would allow for the flexibility to use one of them as a DH and keep that person in the game if the player catching gets injured. Even with the flexibility of having multiple players who can play at first base and in the outfield, along with DHing, the Twins would be wise to keep three catchers on the big league club this season.