Unleash Red Dog
Aside from the occasional foray into naked batting practice, Mike Redmond has long being recognized as a fine teammate, a sound bench player, and an above average hitter - all of which are true. But Redmond, who will turn 38 in May and has never played 90 games in any of his 11 MLB seasons, needs to be a little less Red Dog and a little more Mad Dog to bark orders behind the dish for what may be an extended stay until Joe Mauer fully recovers from his back ailment.
Is he up to it?
The numbers, with one glaring exception, suggest he is. Redmond has a deserved reputation as one of finer bench hitters in baseball over the past decade. Sporting a .292 lifetime average in more than 2,000 career at-bats, he has hit at least .287 in each of his four seasons as a Twin. Impressive.
But it's also well-worthy of note that Redmond is historically no slouch with the glove either.
In his 134 games behind the plate for the Twins since his arrival back in 2005, he has yet to commit a single error and hasn't allowed a passed ball in the past three seasons (having surrendered just one in '05). In addition, prior to last season (the "glaring exception") when he amassed a pedestrian caught stealing percentage of just .217, Redmond had tossed out at least 33 percent of would-be base stealers in eight of his first ten season working back-up duty.
In his 28 ballgames started at catcher last season, Redmond hit .309, and the club was 15-13 in said contests. Here is a look at how he worked with the staff:
Pitcher Games Innings Pitched Earned Runs (ERA) Team W/L/Result
S. Baker 6 36 13 (3.25) 4-2
F. Liriano 6 31.1 13(3.76) 3-3
N. Blackburn 5 29 10 (3.10) 3-2
G. Perkins 5 29 20 (6.20) 3-2
K. Slowey 3 15 12 (7.20) 1-2
Mike Redmond is not Joe Mauer - hell, nobody is. But for the Twins to have a sound and successful onset of the season, Redmond will need to prove more than a complimentary asset. Red Dog has long proven faithful, lovable. Now the old boy needs to learn a few new tricks, and show some starting bite.
* latter photo courtesy of twodolla via Flickr
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