Twins: No tears shed for LeCroy in his return behind the plate

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 25, 2007 - 5:14 AM

Back as a catcher for the first time since getting pulled mid-inning last year, Matthew LeCroy called a shutout.

DETROIT - The last time Matthew LeCroy played catcher in the big leagues, he allowed seven stolen bases, committed two errors and brought his manager, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, to tears.

So he was an easy target for teammates' wisecracks Monday, when Twins manager Ron Gardenhire put him back at catcher for the first time since May 25, 2006.

After deciding it was no longer worth letting Joe Mauer play through his myriad injuries, Gardenhire had two healthy options at catcher: LeCroy and Chris Heintz. LeCroy was batting .565 for his career against Tigers starter Nate Robertson, so Gardenhire let him catch Carlos Silva.

LeCroy went 0-for-4 and allowed three stolen bases but wound up catching a shutout, as the Twins won 2-0.

"We got him up here because we needed a catcher," Gardenhire said of LeCroy. "I've seen his hands. He has soft hands. He calls a good ballgame. He just doesn't throw very well. You know, I'm not too awful worried about it."

LeCroy said he wasn't either. Then he dropped a cup, spilling ice and fruit punch over the floor.

Sitting nearby, Torii Hunter couldn't resist. "You're trying to catch today?" Hunter said.

"Don't tell Silva," LeCroy said, picking up the ice.

LeCroy, 31, had caught 120 previous games in the big leagues, including 49 as a rookie for the Twins in 2000. But that 120th game behind the plate lives in infamy.

Playing for Washington despite bone spurs in his right elbow, LeCroy came undone against Houston.

Robinson made the unusual decision to pull his catcher mid-inning, using Robert Fick to replace LeCroy in the seventh. Afterward, Robinson had tears streaming down both cheeks as he said: "It's not LeCroy's fault. We know his shortcomings. They took advantage of them today. ... I wasn't trying to embarrass him in any way."

That day, LeCroy said, "If my daddy was managing this team, I'm sure he would have done the same thing."

Nothing is sacred around the Twins, of course. Broadcaster Dan Gladden asked Gardenhire if he was going to take a tissue to the dugout.

LeCroy said Gardenhire joked with him about it in spring training, but the Twins still let him catch about 30 games for Class AAA Rochester.

With Mauer and Mike Redmond injured, the Twins promoted Heintz and Jose Morales. When Morales sprained his ankle in his first major league game, they called LeCroy, who was home in South Carolina.

Mauer had started 10 of 13 games entering Monday, but he has been playing through a left hamstring injury and likely will have hernia surgery next month.

Gardenhire said Mauer will catch one or two more games this week, and Wednesday -- with Johan Santana pitching -- is the only definite.

"I just don't want to keep forcing this issue," Gardenhire said.

  • related content

  • Silva impresses in penultimate start

    Monday September 24, 2007

    DETROIT - Up to their necks in contract issues, the Twins could take comfort Monday knowing that at this time last year, they got one right.

  • Hennepin County hires help in debate over ballpark

    Monday September 24, 2007

    The county goes to an outside firm in its public-relations battle with the owners of the stadium site.

  • Recap: Twins 2, Detroit 0

    Monday September 24, 2007

    MVPCarlos Silva, TwinsHe improved to 2-0 at Detroit this year, giving up six hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings.THE STATS3...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 14 3rd Qtr
Seattle 14
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close