Friday, January 29, 2010

Griffey's Playing Time: Paper vs. Grass

Believe Big is the new M's slogan going into 2010.  Just don't believe everything you read when it comes to Ken Griffey Jr.

2/21/09 - USA Today: "When Griffey met with Wakamatsu and general manager Jack Zduriencik last Sunday night, they discussed how Griffey's 39-year-old legs, and a knee that had arthroscopic surgery on it four months ago, fit into Seattle's lineup. They decided Griffey will be in left field when his legs feel fine. When baseball's active leader with 611 home runs says he needs a break, he'll be the designated hitter.

Yet Wakamatsu keeps getting asked how much Griffey will play in the field. And the manager keeps saying the same thing. "We are going to try to sustain him for the whole year," Wakamatsu said Saturday morning, before Griffey arrived at training camp here. "I'm not going to project anything."

The Mariners signed Griffey to a one-year, $2 million deal, plus incentives, presumably believing he's as healthy as he's been since 2007. That season, he had 30 home runs and 93 RBIs with Cincinnati.

And if he's healthy, he's going to play primarily in left field

Recently acquired Endy Chavez had been the presumed left fielder. When asked a few days ago what Griffey's return means to Chavez, Wakamatsu said Chavez's value is in his defense and speed. So he now fits as a late-game substitution and fill-in starter for Griffey."

And you know this already, but...
11 games played in the OF, a total of 8 in LF.  Made a total of 13 put outs. 

Yesterday, Seattle Times:

"I think we are going to go similar to what we did last year . Let's ease him into it, but when he can play he is going be in there."

Look, I get it - he's the darling of the franchise. You treat him with respect. But don't try to tell me we're going to see 450 AB's at DH this year from Junior. Or even 350. My bet is about 275. If he sees more than 2 games in the field, I'll be pretty amazed.

Milton Bradley is going to DH a fair amount. Our mythical right handed bat that we're all crossing our fingers about is going to DH a fair amount - perhaps a lot depending on their skill at a position. Griffey is cuddly and tickley and all that, but if you buy tickets to a Mariner game and you want to see Ken Griffey Jr. play, you should be damned sure there's a right hander on the hill and that he hasn't played in a couple of days.

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