The Butera-Pavano connection (Game 81 vs Brewers)

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said yesterday that Drew Butera will continue to be Carl Pavano’s personal catcher, but that will be the only such situation moving forward, as Joe Mauer is expected to work with the other four starters.

Gardenhire stuck to his word today, as Butera is in the lineup against the Brewers and Mauer is serving as designated hitter.

The personal catcher relationship between Pavano and Butera started last year, but Pavano does have similar numbers working with both catchers.

In 28 starts with Butera, Pavano has a 3.89 ERA and 2.55 K/BB ratio, and in 30 outings with Mauer, he has a 4.20 ERA and a 3.62 K/BB. So while Mauer clearly has Butera beat in terms of Pavano’s strikeout-to-walk ration, Pavano has given up 14 homers with Butera behind the plate and 24 when working with Mauer.

Mauer, who is expected to be back at catcher tomorrow, spoke to the media today about how he’s feeling behind the plate and about his timing, as he’s carrying a six-game hit streak into today’s game and picked up three hits last night. The full story on Mauer will be posted later today as part of the Twins Notebook.

UPDATE: As Parker Hageman of Over The Baggy pointed out, there’s also a big difference when it comes to the run game between Butera and Mauer with Pavano. I looked up the stats, and with Butera at backstop, Pavano has allowed 20 stolen bases with eight runners getting caught stealing, while with Mauer, he’s allowed 32 stolen bases with just two runners getting thrown out.

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Brewers (44-39)

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Mat Gamel, DH
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. Mark Kotsay, RF
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Craig Counsell, 3B

LHP Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.42 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 2.05 K/BB)

Twins (35-45)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Jason Repko, LF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

RHP Carl Pavano (5-6, 4.24 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 2.31 K/BB)

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