Friday, February 14, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Kurt Suzuki

For the better part of the last decade, the Twins haven't had to worry too much about the catching position. Joe Mauer was locked in as the team's starting catcher and the organization could look to add to other parts of the roster. This was a great luxury to have but things have taken a different path this offseason.

Mauer's move to first base meant the team needed to be out looking on the free agent market for a veteran catcher. The team already has young catching prospect Josmil Pinto but he likely needs some more seasoning at the Triple-A level. Enter Kurt Suzuki and his seven years of big league service.

2013 Recap: .232/.290/.337, 5 HR, 13 2B, 32 RBI (94 Games)
Last season Suzuki found himself in an interesting situation. A year before, he had been traded from Oakland, the only organization he'd played for, to Washington to help with their postseason run. The same thing happened in 2013 but in reverse order. He started the year in Washington and was traded to Oakland later in the year. He's hit under .240 in each of the last three seasons and his OBP was under .300 in two of the last three years. He hit double digit home runs from 2009-2011 but hasn't hit more than six since then.

Forecasting 2014: .243/.300/.363, 8 HR, 18 2B, 37 RBI (101 games)
Unless something unforeseen happens in spring training, Suzuki should open the season as the Twins starting catcher. This should help him to get back over the 100 games played mark while Pinto spends some time in Rochester. The more experienced Suzuki will have a chance to work with the revamped pitching staff and the team hopes this leads to a better start the to season. In the second half of the season, he will likely start splitting time with Pinto as the Twins will want to see more of their young player. Look for a little bit of a rebound year from Suzuki but he won't do anything too amazing.

25-Man Roster Safety: Locked-In

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