Q&A with Twins catcher Drew Butera

butera-mm.jpg

For most of the 2010 season Twins backup catcher Drew Butera has been along for the ride. He’s appeared in only a handful of the team’s 58 games so far and has been to the plate just 36 times. But you won’t hear him complaining.

Butera came to the Twins organzition in the Luis Castillo trade in July 2007 and quietly established himself as a light hitting, but top notch defensive backstop. I caught up with the 26-year-old earlier this week and discussed his rookie campaign, the more famous guy he shares a position with, his dad (a former Twin) and more.

DZ: You’ve been in the big leagues for about 2 months now, what are your impressions so far?

BUTERA: I’ve loved every minute of it, it’s great. It’s everything I’d hoped for and more.

DZ: Everyone knows you’re backing up Joe Mauer and you’re not getting as much playing time as you’d like; how do you stay sharp and focused?

BUTERA: I just try and do as much extra work as possible. Make sure I take extra swings, catch bullpens, get in the gym work out – just try and do as much activity during the day as possible.

DZ: I am guessing in your minor league career you didn’t have this much inactivity; how do you adjust to that mentally?

BUTERA: It’s new for me, but I’ve got a good staff around me – guys who have been through it help me out. The coaching staff has been great helping do what I should be doing every day.

DZ: Let’s go back to spring training when you found out you’d made the team – how did you find out, where were you?

BUTERA: We had actually just got off a bus playing the Yankees. (Twins 3rd base coach) Scott Ullger said “Congratulations, we are going to take you to Minnesota.”

DZ: Who was the first person you called?

BUTERA: My family.

DZ: Everybody knows your dad (Sal) played for the Twins too. What did he have to say?

BUTERA: He was excited for me and he knows well what an exciting time it is for me. He’s been through it so he felt for me….he was excited because his son accomplished his dream I guess.

DZ: Being a catcher and being new to the team, is there anything you can tell us about Joe Mauer that maybe isn’t out there? Anything you appreciate about him that maybe we wouldn’t know?

BUTERA: Everybody says he’s a great guy and you don’t really get to experience that until you hang out with him and you meet him. He really would do anything for you – just helping me out, getting to know the pitching staff, getting to know opposing team’s hitters – he’s been really great with that. Everybody says it and everybody knows it already, but until you really experience it – he’s a great guy.

DZ: Do you think if you just met him on the street and didn’t know who he was that you’d have any idea that he was an MVP and had a $180 million contract?

BUTERA: No, he’s a regular guy – an extraordinary talent and really nice guy.

DZ: Let’s go back to when you were traded to this organization back in ’07 in the Luis Castillo trade. You were in Double A, were you surprised to find out about (the trade)?

BUTERA: A little bit. I had never experienced anything like that. It was my first time and the first time I knew anybody who had been in trade. I was a little nervous, didn’t know what to expect and excited at the same time.

DZ: Was it cool being traded for a major league player?

BUTERA: Yeah, it was. It was a good honor.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

May 11: Denard Span
April 25: Justin Morneau
April 22: Alex Burnett
April 21: Mike Redmond
April 16: J.J. Hardy

5 Responses to “Q&A with Twins catcher Drew Butera”

  1. Kubel on Clutch Hitting, Beating the Yanks & More » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 9: Brew Butera May 11: Denard Span April 25: Justin Morneau April 22: Alex Burnett April 21: Mike Redmond April […]

  2. Q&A with Twins Reliever Jesse Crain » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] July 11: Michael Cuddyer July 8: Jason Repko July 5: Nick Punto June 12: Jason Kubel June 9: Drew Butera May 11: Denard Span April 25: Justin Morneau April 22: Alex Burnett April 21: Mike Redmond April […]

  3. Q&A with Twins Starter Brian Duensing » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] July 11: Michael Cuddyer July 8: Jason Repko July 5: Nick Punto June 12: Jason Kubel June 9: Drew Butera May 11: Denard Span April 25: Justin Morneau April 22: Alex Burnett April 21: Mike Redmond April […]

  4. Q&A with New Twins Closer Matt Capps » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] July 11: Michael Cuddyer July 8: Jason Repko July 5: Nick Punto June 12: Jason Kubel June 9: Drew Butera May 11: Denard Span April 25: Justin Morneau April 22: Alex Burnett April 21: Mike Redmond April […]

  5. Q&A with Twins Reliever Randy Flores » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] July 11: Michael Cuddyer July 8: Jason Repko July 5: Nick Punto June 12: Jason Kubel June 9: Drew Butera May 11: Denard Span April 25: Justin Morneau April 22: Alex Burnett April 21: Mike Redmond April […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.