Twins catcher Joe Mauer has made it clear that he wants to be the team’s catcher. However, when you look at Joe’s body of work as the team backstop in 2012 you have to ask yourself if it is time for him to seriously look for a new position. Since Joe joined the Twins in 2004 the Twins have played 1,460 games and Joe has started 812 (56%) of these games as the Twins catcher. Mauer, a former league MVP, three-time batting champion has been chosen as an All-Star catcher on five occasions.
But let’s take a look at his numbers in 2012. Mauer started 144 of the Twins 162 games and when the first pitch was thrown he was behind the plate 72 times, at 1B 30 times and was the team DH 42 times so he was the teams starting catcher in 50% of the games he started. Prior to 2012 Mauer had thrown out 155 of 440 base stealing attempts which comes out to a slick 35% as compared to a league average of 27%. But in 2012 Mauer allowed 56 stolen bases while throwing out just 9 runners for a pathetic 14% as compared to the league average of 25% this season. I know you can’t always blame the catcher for low caught stealing percentages but when you compare Mauer to Doumit and Butera he still looked bad. How do you account for such a low caught stealing percentage for Mauer?
Ryan Doumit started 56 games behind home plate and allowed 31 stolen bases while throwing out 8 runners for a 21% caught stealing percentage. Drew Butera started 32 games as a catcher and allowed 23 stolen bases, threw out 7 runners for a caught stealing percentage of 23%.
When you look at the games won/lost with each catcher starting the game, Butera was the best with a 15-17 record for a .469 winning percentage, Mauer was next with a 30-42 record for a .417 win percentage and Doumit was last with a 20-36 mark for a .357 win percentage. The Twins finished the season with a .407 win percentage going 66-96.