Results tagged ‘ Drew Butera ’

Game 31: Butera, optioned, Twins lineup vs. Pirates

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins made another round of roster moves this morning, optioning catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A Rochester, sending right-hander Kyle Waldrop to the 15-day disabled list and reassigning Michael Hollimon to Minor League camp.

The big news is the decision to send Butera to Triple-A, which means the Twins will keep two catchers on their roster — Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit. Butera saw plenty of action with the Twins over the last two seasons as a backup catcher, but struggled to hit big league pitching, hitting just .178 with 21 extra-base hits in 376 at-bats.

It also bodes well for Chris Parmelee because the move also means that Justin Morneau is almost a lock to start the season as designated hitter. Because if the Twins wanted to make Doumit their primary DH, they would need to carry a third catcher.

Waldrop, meanwhile, was placed on the DL retroactive to March 26 with a right elbow strain. He’ll be eligible to come off the DL on April 12.

Hollimon had himself a nice spring at the plate, hitting .360, but also made some mistakes in the field. But he’ll add depth to Triple-A Rochester, and could be their starting third baseman.

The Twins now have 31 active players in camp: 15 pitchers (two non-roster), three catchers (one non-roster), eight infielders (two non-roster), and five outfielders (one non-roster).

Twins (17-13)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, 1B
9. Brian Dozier, SS

RHP Anthony Swarzak

Twins reserves: Brian Dinkelman, Ben Revere, J.R. Towles, Sean Burroughs, Jamey Carroll, Luke Hughes, Alexi Casilla

Twins pitchers: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Esmerling Vasquez, Caleb Thielbar, Bruce Bugh, Luis Perdomo

Valencia, Butera to represent MLB in trip to Taiwain

Twins third baseman Danny Valenica and catcher Drew Butera are headed to Taiwan to play against the Chinese Taipei national team in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series early next month.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced today the majority of the team of MLB All-Stars traveling to Taiwan in November.

The Taiwan All-Star Series will consist of five games played between Nov. 1-6 in three different cities — New Taipei City (XinZhuang Stadium) on Nov. 1, Taichung (Intercontinental Stadium) on Nov. 3 and 4 and Kaohsiung (Chengcing Lake Stadium) on Nov. 5 and 6.

Each game will feature MLB All-Stars playing the Chinese Taipei national team and all games will be broadcast live in Taiwan by FTV, MLB’s exclusive over-the-air broadcaster for regular season and postseason games.

Valencia is one of three third basemen on the roster, joining Arizona’s Ryan Roberts and San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval. Valencia, 27, hit .246 with a .294 on-base percentage and a .383 slugging percentage with 15 homers and 72 RBIs in 154 games.

Butera, 28, joins Angels backstop Jeff Mathis as one of two catchers on the roster. Butera batted .167/.210/.239 with two homers and 23 RBIs in 93 games.

The roster is headlined by Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson — who led the Majors in runs scored (136) and ranked second in the Majors with 41 home runs — and his teammate Robinson Cano, who was second in the American League with 118 RBIs. Tigers first baseman and AL batting champion (.344) Miguel Cabrera, currently playing in the American League Championship Series, will make the trip subject to his postseason commitments.

Others on the roster, which is not yet complete, are infielders Erick Aybar (Angels), Michael Morse (Nationals), Skip Schumaker (Cardinals); outfielders Emilio Bonifacio (Marlins) and Logan Morrison (Marlins); and pitchers Bill Bray (Reds), Ross Detwiler (Nationals), Dillon Gee (Mets), Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles), Mark Melancon (Astros) and Jose Veras (Pirates).

Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who guided San Francisco to its first World Championship since 1954 in ‘10, will manage the MLB All-Stars. Bochy’s coaching staff will be composed of Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Giants bullpen catcher Billy Hayes, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton.

The remainder of the roster will be announced in the coming weeks.

Mauer starts at first (Game 86 vs. White Sox)

CHICAGO — After playing in 863 games, including 741 behind the plate, Joe Mauer will be making his first career start at first base tonight against the White Sox.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced the move yesterday, but made it official today, batting Mauer third and starting him at first base with Drew Butera getting the nod at catcher, as he’s Carl Pavano’s personal catcher.

“Mauer is playing first base,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “With [Jim] Thome in the lineup, this is a good thing, and with Butera catching Pavano it’s a normal thing. So the way to keep his bat in the lineup, as we talked about a number of times, is to have him at first base. It gives him a chance to rest his legs a little bit and get away from squatting.”

Mauer, who started taking ground balls at first base during batting practice on June 27, hasn’t played the position since appearing in one game there with Class A Fort Myers in 2003. He last saw extended time at first back when he played 13 games there with Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

“I think he’s got a little anxiety about playing first base, but I think that’s normal,” Gardenhire said. “It’s been a long time since he’s done that. But I told him, once he gets out to first base, he’s going to see it’s easy compared to what he’s been doing all these years.”

Mauer, who is borrowing one of Michael Cuddyer’s gloves, took grounders during early batting practice before tonight’s game, as Gardenhire gave him pointers about positioning, holding on runners and how to handle bunts and slow rollers.

“Just all the little things to make sure even though we’ve talked about it all before to reiterate it,” Gardenhire said of his talk with Mauer. “I don’t want him to get killed over there. A ball up the line he needs to catch the ball and get off the line and do a catcher sweep tag. I don’t want him jumping into the basepaths or anything like that.”

Lineups for the 7:10 p.m. CT start at U.S. Cellular Field:

Twins (38-47)

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

RHP Carl Pavano (5-6, 4.19 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 2.23 K/BB)

White Sox (43-45)

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Omar Vizquel, 3B
3. Paul Konerko, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, DH
5. Alex Rios, CF
6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
8. Mark Teahen, RF
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

RHP Phil Humber (8-4, 2.69 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 2.42 K/BB)

Mauer likely to play first tomorrow (Game 85 vs. Rays)

MINNEAPOLIS — Catcher Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup today against the Rays after taking a foul tip to his shoulder, but is expected to return to action tomorrow in Chicago and will likely play first base for the first time in his big league career.

Mauer, who has been taking ground balls at first base during batting practice since June 27, hasn’t played first base since playing one game there with Class A Fort Myers in 2003.

“Joe Mauer will probably play first base with Jim Thome at DH and Drew Butera catching,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Joe’s not going to play today. He’s a little beat up, which is understandable. I saw his swing last night and looked a little sore. That’s going to be expected.”

Mauer is being called to action at first with Justin Morneau out until at least mid-August after undergoing surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment from his neck last week. It will be a change of pace for Mauer, who last saw extended time at first when he played 13 games there with Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

“He’s fine,” Gardenhire said. “But you won’t really know until you get him into a game. He’s pretty fluid over there to tell you the truth. He has soft hands and moves around pretty good. All the fundamental parts of it will be a learning experience for him.”

With Mauer out of the lineup today, Rene Rivera makes the start, as he has worked well with left-hander Francisco Liriano this season. Liriano entered Wednesday with a 1.91 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33 innings with Rivera behind the plate this season.

Lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Rays (47-39)

1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Ben Zobrist, RF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Justin Ruggiano, LF
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Eliot Johnson, SS

RHP Wade Davis (7-6, 4.20 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 1.31 K/BB)

TWINS (38-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Jason Repko, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (5-7, 4.76 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.66 K/BB)

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)

Roster moves coming (Game 73 vs. Giants)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed right-hander Joe Nathan and designated hitter Jim Thome will be activated in time for Friday’s game in Milwaukee, and the club will make two moves to make for them on the 25-man roster after today’s game against the Giants.

Gardenhire said the club will option both a reliever and a catcher to make room for Nathan and Thome on the roster, as the club is currently carrying two backup catchers — Rene Rivera and Drew Butera — behind Joe Mauer. He said the decision between Rivera and Butera was a tough one, but offered no hints on which catcher will be headed to Triple-A Rochester other than the fact that Rivera was in the starting lineup on Thursday.

My best guess is that the club decides to keep Rivera on the roster, while optioning right-hander Jim Hoey to Rochester. But we’ll see.

Here are the lineups for today’s 2:45 p.m. CT start at AT&T Park:

Twins (32-40)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Rene Rivera, C
8. Matt Tolbert, SS
9. Brian Duensing, LHP (4-6, 4.82 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 2.12 K/BB)

Giants (40-34)

1. Aaron Rowand, CF
2. Bill Hall, 2B
3. Aubrey Huff, 1B
4. Cody Ross, RF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Pat Burrell, LF
7. Miguel Tejada, SS
8. Chris Stewart, C
9. Tim Lincecum, RHP (5-6, 3.39 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 2.81 K/BB)

Twins trying to keep things loose (Game 61 vs. Indians)

CLEVELAND — Having won five of their last six games, the Twins are trying their best to keep things loose.

The relievers are certainly doing their part, as they’ve been coming up with interesting ways to make their way to the bullpen before the game.

Before Monday’s game, they were a bobsled team, and before Tuesday’s game they were a canoe before closer Matt Capps joined and became a motor to power the boat. Catcher Drew Butera has been the creative mind behind it all, but left-hander Chuck James has been called the ring leader among the relievers.

“It gives everyone something to look forward to,” James said. “It kind of eases the weight a little bit out there and lets everyone relax a little bit. We’ve been winning and it’s been working so I guess we’ll keep sticking with it now.”

He also added the Twins will debut a new creation before Thursday’s game at Target Field against the Rangers, so that should be “entertainment” as Ron Gardenhire has been calling it. SportsCenter is also going to do a piece on it, but here’s a link to see their bobsled antics from Monday in case you missed it:

Click here to watch the video.

Lineups for the 11:05 CT start at Progressive Field

Twins (22-38)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Matt Tolbert, 2B
9. Drew Butera, C

RHP Carl Pavano (3-5, 4.83 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 1.76 K/BB)

Indians (34-25)

1. Michael Brantley, LF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Grady Sizemore, CF
4. Carlos Santana, RF
5. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
6. Matt LaPorta, DH
7. Cord Phelps, 2B
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Lou Marson, C

RHP Justin Masterson (5-4, 3.28 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 2.15 K/BB)

Mauer gets second day off

The Twins are still searching a bit for offense so far this season, and it might not get any easier on Wednesday night against the Yankees with catcher Joe Mauer getting his second day off of the season.

His off-day comes as no surprise, though, as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expected Mauer to get a day off in Toronto and New York. And right-hander Carl Pavano worked with backup catcher Drew Butera 15 times last season to great results with a 3.65 ERA and a 3.05 K/BB ratio over 105 innings.

Pavano, however, actually had similar numbers with Mauer behind the plate last year, as he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 3.40 K/BB in 17 outings over 106 innings. The difference, however, was with attempting base stealers, as runners were 18-for-20 on stolen base attempts with Mauer behind the plate, and just 13-for-19 when Butera was catching.

So with that in mind, Butera is expected to serve as Pavano’s personal catcher this season, which does give Mauer the comfort of having a schedule of expected off-days throughout the season.

Gardenhire said he understands the outcry when Mauer isn’t starting, but said it’s just something that comes with being a catcher, especially one coming off left knee surgery over the offseason.

“I’m like everybody else, I’d love to have Mauer playing all the time,” Gardenhire said. “I’m no different than any fan sitting out there on their rocking chair or armchair, saying they want Mauer in the lineup. Believe me, I like that too. But catchers need rest, and so we need to make sure we give him one a week when Pavano is pitching.”

Lineups for 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium:

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, DH
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75 ERA, 13.45 FIP, 1.50 K/BB)

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, DH
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Eric Chavez, 3B
8. Eduardo Nunez, SS
9. Gustavo Molina, C

RHP Freddy Garcia (first start of season)