It seems that the life of a catcher is shorter than it used to be and nothing signifies that more than the fact that the last potentially great catcher, Joe Mauer, has moved on from the position to first base so that his career can be prolonged.
Minnesota Twins’ catcher turned first baseman Joe Mauer offered San Francisco Giants’ All Star and next potentially great catcher, Buster Posey, some advice this week. Play catcher as long as you can, and enjoy it. Mauer spoke to ESPN.com about the advice he gave to Posey.
“There will be a day when he can’t catch anymore and a day where we can’t put the uniform on anymore,” Mauer said before the Twins played at San Francisco on Friday night. “He’s a special player and he’ll be able to make that transition if he wants to. I’d like to see him catch as long as he can.”
Mauer who was a three time batting champion, and American League MVP behind the plate, arrived in San Francisco for a three game interleague series against the Giants. Whilst Posey is currently the Giants catcher, given his offensive production, there has been much talk of moving Posey to first base, with either Hector Sanchez or Andrew Susac moving behind the plate.
Mauer went on to say;
“It’s difficult any way you look at it,” Mauer said. “I caught for 10 years and really enjoyed that position. That’s what I worked my whole life to be. I put in a lot of time at that position and I’m fortunate enough that I could go somewhere else and play. I miss it, definitely. But once you make that decision, you have to move on.”
Given the sheer amount the Giants are paying Posey, primarily for his bat, begs the question; can the Giants risk Posey behind the plate? Naturally, catching is quite a physically tiring job, and incidents, like when Scott Cousins of the Marlins collided with Posey behind the plate, ending his season, show the dangers of catching.
There may be pros and cons to keeping Posey behind the plate, but Mauer certainly thinks Posey should continue putting down the signs.