Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, November 19, 2007

Heintz Released

The Twins released catcher Chris Heintz on Friday (alright, technically what they actually did was put him on unconditional release waivers, which amounts to the same thing), and I just caught wind of it now. The move drops the Twins 40-man roster to 36 players, giving them some additional flexibility to add players to the roster either through free agency or to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft (I'll have more to say on that topic later today).

I am a little bit surprised by this move, but not terribly so. Catchers are valuable, and Heintz had another option year available, so I believed that the Twins would keep Heintz around for another year as insurance in case there was an injury (the same role he played this past season, in other words). However, the emergence of Jose Morales last season, and his addition to the 40-man roster late in the season, made Heintz expendable. Morales now slots into the third catcher role -- and honestly, he fits the position better. Heintz also was not really used by the Twins in the way a traditional catcher was, as over the last couple of years in Rochester he nearly played more in the infield than he did behind the plate. (Check out the comments for a further breakdown of this point -- although I will say that not seeing any stats as a DH, my original statement that he was in the infield or at DH more than he was a catcher may be correct. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to look that up right now, so I'll concede the point and go with this revised version).

The Twins might not be done making this kind of move -- outfielder Darnell McDonald and infielder Chris Basak both seem to be prime candidates for removal from the roster, since they are unlikely to contribute to the big league club. Also, the team should be adding a few players to the roster soon as protection against the Rule 5 Draft. As I mentioned earlier, I'll have more to say on that subject later today, when I discuss the players that I would add to the roster.



  • At Mon Nov 19, 08:24:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Heintz was really a catcher in name only for the past few seasons, playing more in the infield and at DH than he did behind the plate.

    That isn't true. Chris Heintz

  • At Mon Nov 19, 09:10:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Anon -- your link isn't working for some reason, but I looked at his fielding stats again. You're correct that my statement was false -- Heintz caught more games than he played in the infield, but it was pretty close. According to the stats that I saw (on Baseball Cube -- perhaps not the most reliable source, but one that was quick at hand), he caught 23 games and played 22 in the infield. In 2006, he caught 47 games and played 36 in the infield.

    So, you're right and I'm wrong -- but I'm going to stand by the intent of my original point, which was that Heintz was not used by the Twins in the same way that a traditional catcher is used. I'll adjust the original post to reflect that point.

    Thanks for your comment.


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