Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greatest Games Ever is running a promotion where fans vote for the top 20 greatest games ever.  Fan bases are not created equal, however, evidenced by the fact that the game that is blowing all others away is that memorable Oct. 26th, 2002 barn burner between the Giants and Angels.  It currently has better than 300% of the votes that Roy Halladay's playoff no-hitter has, to say nothing of the other 30 games that were actually way more memorable.  But I digress...

Point is, of course, to go in and vote for your favorite game.  If "the double" is it, click away.  Right now, it's getting killed.

Here's the link

Go Mariners.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mariners Offseason: Looking ahead at 2012

So as we're watching Jack Zduriencik lift the lid on trashcans all over the league, I thought it might be a good time to look ahead to 2012, when the M's will actually have a few bucks to spend.

This is all subject to change, of course, given trades and whatever other odd accounting moves the club pulls off to free up money going into next year's offseason.  There will no doubt be other, smaller contracts that come off the books after we tender contracts to folks coming up on 2011, but but as of now, this is the money coming off books in 2012:

(courtesy of Cot's Contracts fantastic site)...

  • Betancourt, $1m (#$@!)
  • Silva, $5.5m (#$%@!)
  • Jack Wilson, $5m (yay!)
  • Milton Bradley $13.3m (yay yay!)

Some wildcards are the arbitration eligible
  • Aardsma, Arb 3 (my bet is he's gone soon)
  • League, Arb 4 (my bet is he's gone mid-season)
  • Olson, Arb 2 (who knows)
  • Vargas, Arb 2 (likely to stay)
  • Ryan, Brendan, Arb 2 (likely to stay)
There are some other arbitration eligible guys, but they won't get significant or even semi-significant contracts like the kids above might. But it's very likely that the club won't be competing for anything other than first in the buffet line next year, so again - if Aardsma and League are still around mid-season, you can bet there will be playoff contenders willing to acquire decent bullpen arms, so it's not likely we'll be paying them millions headed into 2012.

The "knowns": who we have under contract for 2012:
  • Felix's contract goes from $10.7m to $19.2m
  • Ichiro $18m
  • Figgins $9.5m
  • Guti: $5.8m
  • Ackley: $1.5m
  • Olivo $3.5m*

*I'm not 100% on Olivo's contract being an even 3.5 over two years.  There is an option for a third year (cough, cough...) so the $7m deal may include option and buyout money.  But let's just assume $3.5m.

As things stand right now, they have roughly $57.5 million committed for 2012 and they have all of 6 roster spots covered.  Yes, they have a bunch of other kids they'll surely offer contracts to as they're under club control, but at this date, there's nothing technically on the books other than the above.

By 2012, let's say they increase payroll 10% over 2010, they'll have roughly $45 million to spend.  After seeing the mess of contracts the past several weeks, that's really not a whole lot - but regardless, let's take a peek at what's out there.

Free Agents in 2012 (as of this particular snapshot in time):

C: There's just shite for free agents. So we're stuck with Olivo and Moore. 

1b: Nick Swisher ($10.25m club option, $1m buyout), Prince Fielder and some guy named Albert Pujols.  Forget about Pujols, but Swisher is someone that could actually be interesting.  Adrian Gonzalez is a FA too, but I'm assuming he's going to sign an extension with Boston.  Fielder has been linked to the M's (well, Jack) for a while, but he really should be viewed as a DH, and I'm sure Fielder wants to play 1b still.  Plus, we have that Smoak kid.

2b: Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Brandon Phillips, Robinson Cano ($14m option with a $2m buyout).  Yankees will keep Cano, Uggla will likely sign an extension with Atlanta, Weeks will probably have his leg amputated, and Phillips will probably get in a street fight with an elderly woman and lose.  Hopefully Ackley pans out and we can just ignore 2b for a decade.

SS: Bartlett, Furcal, JJ Hardy, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes.  I'm betting the club sticks with Ryan at SS, but Jose Reyes would be an interesting option for the M's, although he would command a hefty salary, and last I checked, we already have a leadoff hitter.  Wait, two.

3b:  Jose Bautista, Aramis Ramirez.  A couple interesting names, but Bautista is more of an outfielder anyway as he's a butcher with the glove at 3b.  ARam isn't likely to come to the place where right handed bats go to die when he's 34 and probably looking for his last multiple year contract.  Besides, we have that Figgy guy. 

OF:  Grady Sizemore - $8.5MM club option with a $500K buyout; Nick Swisher (again) - $10.25MM club option with a $1MM buyout.  This has me intrigued.  Sizemore is a local product (we even went to the same high school, though he's about 140 years younger), he'll be just 29, and his value is going to depend dramatically on what happens this year as he's coming off microfracture surgery.  I actually did a piece on him over at RotoHardball if you're so inclined.  Ignore whether he's a LF or CF, just the fact that he once was a feared hitter with a 30/30 season under his belt by age 26.  But 8.5 mil is a bargain price on a guy of his talent, so he'd have to come out and really stink for the club to walk away.

Swisher also becomes pretty interesting as he can hold his own defensively at 1b and in the OF, he was a 4.1 WAR player in 2010 and 3.3 in 2009, so the dude can still swing a mean bat.

Depending on the development of Saunders, either of these guys could be the big splash for the M's in 2012.

DH-types - Cust, Bryanyan, David Ortiz.  Yeah, it's not pretty.  Watch them re-up with Cust, which is probably fine.

Starting Pitching:  Let's be realistic - the Mariners have one starter and a bunch of replacement-level arms.  Vargas is nice, but he could easily regress into...well, Jason Vargas.  He's nothing more than a decent 5th starter on a good team, but he's unfortunately our 2nd starter on a very bad team.  Pineda is a good talent, but still a question mark.  At an absolute minimum, the M's should be in the market for 2 starters in 2012.

Scott Kazmir - $13.5MM club option with a $2.5MM buyout
Adam Wainwright  - $10MM vesting option for '12, $12MM for '13
Roy Oswalt  - $16MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout
Edwin Jackson
Mark Buehrle
Chris Carpenter  - $15MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Ryan Dempster  - $14MM player option
Gil Meche

Yes, I put Meche in as a joke.  There are others too, but they generally suck.

So Kazmir is going to be an interesting decision for the Angels.  If he rebounds at all, they might just pick up that option, but chances are they buy him out and try to negotiate something cheaper.  Kazmir used to have a big arm, but there are red flags all over the place.

The Cardinals have a problem - because they're needing to resign the worlds greatest first baseman, who might just command $30m per season, and their two aces are free agents at almost the same time.  I say almost because of the vesting option for Wainwright which I believe vests if he does not finish the year on the DL and/or finishes top 5 in Cy Young Voting - which at this date, seems likely.  Carpenter is suddenly almost in a protected employment class with his age, and I would bet that he's bought out and brought back on the cheap with some deferred money to get a Pujols deal under their payroll.

This leaves Roy O, Jackson, Buehrle, and Dempster.  Oswalt could actually get let loose since the Phils have committed so much payroll to their rotation, but a World Series run could generate all sorts of good feelings to do the old buy out, 3 year deal on the cheap kind of thing.  Dempster is interesting.  It seems like it would be dumb to not pick up that option if you're Dempster, but if he has another workhorse-like season, you could see where he could find himself a 3-year guaranteed deal at about $12m per, given the spending we've seen this offseason.  I don't think he makes a lot of sense for the M's, but he'd be someone I could get behind in Mariner blue.

This leaves a couple of White Sox.  Edwin Jackson?  He'll be 28, he was actually very, very good in 2010, he's a pitcher who should thrive at Safeco.  Ignore the 4.47 ERA last year.  His xFIP was 3.85, his strikeouts were up to near 8K/9, his home runs were down, and overall the ERA was damaged by a low strand rate and high batting average on balls in play.  He's young, durable, and well, somewhat attainable.  He fits.  Buehrle?  Not so much. Probably in Chicago for life.

So after all that, what do we have?  Sizemore, Swisher, Edwin Jackson.  That could eat up a very good portion of the $45 mil the M's might have to spend, but it would be a good start, although my bet is Sizemore won't be a FA.  In sum, I'm not real thrilled with what will be out there in free agency, so we might do better (certainly in the rotation) via trade, possibly picking up an albatross contract along the way to get a plus arm.  But at a minimum, next year should be WAY more exciting than this offseason.

I'm sure I've missed something, so feel free to yell at me in comments.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yay Brendan Ryan

I like this move quite a bit because of the flexibility it gives the squad and now we boast arguably two of the best defensive shortstops in baseball.

Lookout Landing has a great writeup about the swap, so I won't rehash it here.  But consider that Ryan is probably your Mariner shortstop for the next three seasons if he can avoid being a complete failure at the dish.  So get to liking him.

At a minimum, he brings some personality to this squad.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Day!

Since the winter meetings have ended and the sizzling-hot news of Jose Flores, Miguel Olivo, and Jack Cust begins to sink in, let's take a moment to highlight Baseball Bloggers Alliance Day.

Maybe you didn't know there was an organized group of baseball bloggers.  Perhaps you didn't know they've formed an alliance (scary!).  Maybe you didn't even know they were so totally rad and organized that they have a "day"?  Well, think again weary Mariner fans.

Practically speaking, the BBA gives hacks like me and Paul an opportunity to interact with other folks around the interwebs that have the same passion for praying to God their team does something good the next year.  The BBA has been around for just a couple of years, but in that time better than 230 blogs have signed up to join.  There are team-specific chapters, general chapters, and others dedicated to history, fantasy baseball, and just all around love-of-the-game fun. 

The BBA gives voice to us peons who don't write for the big monsters and don't get to vote in all of the MVP, Cy Young, etc. awards.  The BBA therefore does give voice to bloggers by organizing their own set of votes for the best performers of the year, and in fact, the BBA typically mirrors the findings of the baseball writers of America, but also has a long list of their own awards, voted on by the bloggers, many of which are far more relevant than what the real world gives us anyway.

So go check them out, the BBA, good for you, good for baseball.  Like beer. And dirt. And grass. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Miguel Olivo is Jose Lopez

Career stats:

Player A:  .246/.283/.427  BB% 4.1%
Player B:  .266/.297/.400  BB% 3.7%

No, it's not fair to really compare the two since one is a catcher and one is a second baseman, but these two players are free swingers, they hardly ever walk, hardly ever get on base without the benefit of a well struck ball, which turns out to be roughly once every 4 trips to the plate, and it's typically a single.

Player A is Miguel Olivo, our new catcher.  Player B is Jose Lopez, who we were all thrilled to get rid of.

Well, it turns out, he's baaaaa-ack!

$7 mil is a lot to give a guy who is going to struggle to be league average, but I guess what's done is done.  There's not much of anything at all in free agency next year at C, so maybe Jack Z wants to just check the position off his list and move on.

Silver lining?  Rob Johnson is probably finished in Seattle, barring injury.  And Adam Moore has just been put on notice to get his shit together.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The More You Know: Jack Cust

So Twitter is ablaze with Jack Cust to the Mariners, so let's assume this is true.

Things to know about Jack Cust:

Jack Cust kills right handed pitchers.  Even in a "down" 2010, .285/.410/.470.

Jack Cust strikes out a ton, but he also will probably lead the team in OBP, so it hardly matters.

Jack Cust is listed as OF/DH in most references, but if he's in the outfield, you know whoever is pitching is muttering to themselves dirty words.  He's not a defender.

Jack Cust, surprisingly, is just 31.  Turns 32 next month.  So he's four years younger than Branyan, and doesn't bring the bad-back-history.

Jack Cust hasn't hit well at Safeco, but he's only had 97 career AB's there, so let's not get too antsy.

Jack Cust, as a lefty, would seem to be a good fit for the Safe if looking to him to yank balls over the right field wall, but checking Hit Tracker, it would seem to suggest that he's a spray-home-run hitter and I'm not sure he's going to be able to go the other way too much in Seattle.  I'll have to do more research on that one though. Updated: Looking at MLB's hit chart, in his career at Oakland, Cust appears to have hit about 40% of his home runs the other way.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing talent-wise, but it's probably a bad thing Safeco-wise.

Interestingly, this doesn't necessarily preclude the M's from bringing Branyan back, which would make for an interesting all-or-nothing 3-4 in the lineup, but given the M's needs and lack of flexibility, I doubt that it will happen.  I do hope it ends this Cantu ridiculousness though.

Haven't seen the money (update: early report says one year deal, in the $2.5 mil range.  If Cust can manage to be a 2.0 WAR player, then this is a bargain), but all in all, a fine pickup if it's a one year deal.  He'll probably go .245/22/80 or so if he hits cleanup and gets 500 AB's and he provides an extra OF in a real pinch.

I'm not posting if we acquire Valbuena, who sounds to be a darling of Eric Wedge.  Sigh.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Say No to Cantu

M's rumored to be interested in Jorge Cantu.  I threw up a little bit in my mouth just by typing that.

Look, there was a day when Cantu was a nice player, but even in the season where he hit 29 home runs, he was only 2.7 wins above replacement because he's so friggin bad at every position he plays.

I'd like to say that he's a platoon type too - but on his career, he's a 103 wRC+ vs. lefties (weighted runs created based on weighted On Base Average) and 102 wRC+ vs. righties.  Last year, he was miserable versus lefties so you couldn't even play to traditional platoon roles with him.  He can't play defense worth a lick anywhere, so he's a DH with no real plate-side-advantage.  We'd be better off bringing Garko back.

I'll assume this is just weird rumor. 

The battle between Jack Wilson and Jorge Cantu for most unattractive Mariner might be a good battle though.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Matt Diaz and Hideki Matsui

Okay, so the M's are apparently kicking the tires on Matt Diaz and Hideki Matsui.  Let's just take a quick snapshot of what this means.

First of all, scrap heap = yay.

Okay, now that that's out of the way...

Update: Matt Diaz signed with the Pirates.  Matt Diaz would presumably platoon with Michael Saunders in LF, which is a pretty sorry state of affairs for Saunders and his future with the club, but perhaps they're still trying to fix his swing vs. lefties.  On a team that's going to lose more games than they win, why not let Saunders learn on the field, but hey, I'm not paid to make those decisions.

So Matt Diaz (not Dee-Ahz, mind you it's DIE-as, as in "he died as gracefully as one could with pantyhose on") - his splits vs. left handed pitchers in his career (damn near 800 PA's, so it's plenty to go on):  Triple slash of .334/.373/.533.  That ain't bad, in fact, that's pretty nice for a player that will be virtually free.  Not a lot of power, but good gap hitter off lefties, and he's also regarded as a pretty good defensive player.  As a regular with the Braves, he had a few nice seasons, posting WAR of 2.2, 3.0, and 2.6.  He wasn't very good at all last year, and age might be catching up with him, but this is a move that at least makes me raise an eyebrow.

Hideki Matsui, yes Godzilla himself, is about 128 years old and still would have easily been our second best hitter last year.  If the knees hold up and he can play 140 games for you, you can almost assuredly pencil in .270/20/85 as DH.  He made $6 mil last year, and I'd imagine he's looking for something similar, so I'm not sure he's worth twice the money it might take to bring in Russel the Muscle to do virtually the same - but it also has to be said that Branyan is probably less likely to be healthy next year, which should really make him cry just a little since Matsui has a weekly scheduled cup of coffee with father time.

The plus side of all this dumpster diving for Jack Z is we didn't give $126 million to anyone this offseason

Friday, December 3, 2010

What Jose Lopez is Worth

And here I figured we would be getting a bucket of piss.  It looks like this guy even has all of his appendages.

In fairness to Chaz Roe (um, really - how rad is the name Chaz?), he's actually moderately interesting, which is a stunner of all stunners as a return for Jose McFatkins.

Roe isn't a baby, but he's still young at 24, he was a first round pick (well, 'sandwich pick') in 2005 and he's had some success in the minors. He's also struggled too, which would explain why he just got traded for someone who looks about as comfortable at the plate as Pat Buchanan at a Gay Pride rally.

He made 20 starts at AA in 2009 and posted a 3.15 ERA, gave up fewer hits than IP, and had a K/9 rate around 6.  At AAA, his ERA went up to 5.98, gave up piles of home runs, and generally seemed to stink.  But pitching at Colorado Springs can do that - even Ubaldo Jimenez sucked horribly in two seasons at AAA Colorado Springs.  Roe's strand rate was just above 60% and his batting average on balls in play was .367 - neither of which are very realistic. 

His fielding independent pitching ERA (FIP) was 4.36 in at AAA while it was 3.92 at AA.  There wasn't a huge change in his effectiveness as a pitcher, so don't get too worked up about those ERA stats you're seeing in the Times that the Canadian blog dude who won't vote for Edgar Martinez for the HOF is lamenting.

M's will probably let him start in Tacoma and see if anything starts to simmer.  Roe could be helpful down the road and then again he might not be at all.  But a warm body for Lopez is more than I expected.  Good on you, Jack. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All Time Mariner HR's at Catcher

In either the most irrelevant or most depressing finding of the day for me... did you know that Bob Stinson ranks 7th all time on the list of HR's by a Mariner catcher for a single season? 

7th place, all time - with 11 home runs in 1978.

He just barely edged Joe Oliver who had 10.

Bob Stinson, making his case to be voted into the Mariner Hall of Fame.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ryan Theriot, meet Jack Zduriencik

Word is the Dodgers are about to announce a three-year deal with Juan Uribe (depending on the money, this kind of boggles the mind).  If that does come to fruition, you'll likely see Ryan Theriot get non-tendered on the 2nd.  The GM winter meetings start up just 4 days later, and you can bet that Jack Z and Theriot's agent will have a chat.

Theriot fits perfectly into a short-term, bargain bin, solution for a few issues the M's are facing.  He can play 2nd and SS capably, and therefore would not only be nice insurance for the sure-to-occur injury to Jack Wilson, but he'd also provide insurance provided the M's want to give Ackley extra seasoning in the minors and/or if they want to start his clock later.

He can hit for decent average, get on base, and steal some bags.  And yes, he hits for zero power.  I hate to give him this kiss of death, but he's kind of a Chone Figgins prototype, with less speed.

Given the few ways the M's can add to the offense barring some big-splash-trade, Theriot makes a lot of sense.  He'd be a very, very cheap version of Tsuyoshi Nishioka, whom the Twins won the bidding rights on, presumably over the Mariners bid.  In fact, I'd be that Theriot winds up healthier over the course of the season than Nishioka.

No, Theroit isn't exciting at all, and sadly, he fits perfectly into the M's 2011 plans. 

Update: Theriot to the Cards for a ground-ball-inducing-machine of a starter.  Shit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Interesting ARod Debate

Is A-Rod finished, or at least on his way there?  The Log's own Mike Barr has stirred up an interesting ARod debate over at his Roto Hardball address.  Check out out here. 

Happy Birthday Jose Lopez!

Now get the hell out of Seattle, go to another team, have a career year, and give us all more reasons to swear at you.

P.S. - if you've ever been surprised by a google images search, I really recommend typing in Jose Lopez and see what you get.  Holy Hell.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why not Harang?

Update: Harang signs with Padres for measly $3mil.  I think the M's missed the boat here.

For all of the problems the Mariners have on offense, and there are many, there's also this issue of run prevention from 60 feet 6 inches.

Right now, we're looking at some kid named Felix, and then in my opinion, we have about six options that all profile as back-end rotation options.  Vargas had a really nice year last year, but for reasons I'll have to get into in another post, it was a little smoke-and-mirrors.  Fister was actually in the top 10 in ERA for the first half, and yet I'm not sure he belongs on the big squad at all.  Hyphen obviously struggled mightily.  Pineda?  Yeah, super and all - but I'm not sure we should expect the moon in his first year, and there's this whole fickle thing of not being able to throw too many pitches as a youngster. Olson?  French?  Pauley? Let's be honest with ourselves.  This team needs at least two arms that are capable of a 2 win-above-replacement kind of season in order to give the 2011 Mariners any kind of shot at respectability and keeping assess in seats (along with a lot of luck and a pretty creative approach to their offense).

Aaron Harang is a free agent, and will probably be largely forgotten after losing 38 games over the last three years.  But it wasn't too long ago that Aaron Harang was considered an ace.  He posted a 5.4 WAR and 5.2 WAR in '06 and '07, respectively.  He definitely didn't get any favors when moving to Great American Ballpark, which severely inflates the rate of home runs (thanks Jack Moore of for the graph).

What has killed Harang is his flyball tendencies, high home run per fly ball rate, and last year - a severely low strand rate.  He hasn't lost any velocity on his fastball in the last four years, gets good movement on his offspeed pitches, and he has been far more effective than his record indicates.  In fact, he went 6-14 in 2009 with a 3.95 xFIP.  That's kind of silly.

Anyway, Harang needs a job.  Mariners need a pitcher.  Harang needs to revive his career, and there's only a few parks that he should be looking to do that in, and I'm not sure that the Padres have him in his plans.  While his win-loss record might not be a thing of beauty in Seattle, there's a darn good chance that he'd look like a fairly solid starter midway through the season, which would have the benefit of being good trade fodder for the M's, or heck, maybe help Harang secure a multi-year deal when the season ended.  He's just 33 headed into the year, so it's not like he's a relic looking for magic in a hat.

I think Harang would be a nice addition to the Mariners.  He should be cheap, we could ink him to a one year with options kind of deal that won't hamstring the squad or his flexibility given his performance, and he literally would be the second or third best starter the M's would have going into Spring.

If the price is right, I think he's a guy to keep in mind.  Not thrilling, but nice.  And plus, he would possibly give Jack Wilson a run for his money on the ugliest Mariner.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ackley Named AFL MVP

Dustin Ackley has been named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

Pulling from the P-I post, "Ackley led the league in hitting (.424), on-base percentage (.581), slugging percentage (.758), OPS (1.338) and runs (28). He had 19 RBIs and four homers in 20 games. He also drew 26 walks and stole five bases on five attempts."

If you project those homers over a full season, that's 32 bombs!  

Joking aside... small sample, yes.  Arizona Fall League, yes.  But that ain't chopped liver.

A reason for optimism is always welcome.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Go Get Garza

Matt Garza has been a pitcher I've followed for years, always seeming to underperform his true talent level.  The Rays got a hold of him and turned him from middling prospect into a guy you'd really rather not face.

In the last three years, his wins above replacement have been 2.9, 3.2, and 1.8, respectively.  2010 was his worst year of the three in large part due to a precipitous drop in K/9, a rather concerning increase in his HR/FB and a dropping ground ball rate (and a corresponding increase in fly balls).  This is the same season featuring his no hitter.  I could go on, but let's just say 2010 wasn't his best. 

Spitballing, I'd say he's probably a good bet for a sub-4.00 ERA, his K/9 will rebound slightly, his HR/9 will regress towards his career average, which might make him the 4th-best starter on the Rays, but would easily make him the 2nd best starter on the M's. He would benefit from the move to Safeco, although not nearly as much as you would think given than the park the Rays play in actually controls home run power off lefties more than it does at Safeco - but in general the Safe is a better place to pitch if you're trending flyball-pitcher.

He made about 3.35 mil last year according to Cot's Baseball Contracts and is arbitration eligible for the next three years until he reaches free agency.  He's due a hefty raise this year, but that's not a bad price to pay for a guy who should give you something in the ballpark of a 2.5 WAR going forward. 

And here's why he could be expendable.  Price, Shields, Niemann, Davis, Hellickson, and a kid named Matt Moore that might be ready mid-year.  The Rays are stockpiled with quality young arms that are cheaper, and better, than Matt Garza.  It's sickening, yes, but the fact remains that they really don't need Matt Garza - they can probably get as good, or better, starting pitching without him, save some money, or spend that money on other needs.  He's older than half of the names above, and yet will only be 27 next season.

What the M's have that the Rays need, I have no idea - this is not my rant for figuring that out.  But I'm just sayin'... Matt Garza is probably someone that the Rays would listen to offers on and if the price is right considering him coming off a relative down year, M's should be very, very interested.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bill James Projections and the Mariners

A few thoughts first.

Bill James, God love him and all with his smart mind and calculator, is considered to be a bit of a hack when it comes to projections.  Typically his offensive projections are way too inflated and his pitching projections are far too conservative.  Just look at what he predicted Chris Davis was going to do in the 2009 season (I believe he projected him for 41 home runs).

No, these probably aren't going to be accurate

Yes, they're mouth-wateringly interesting because it's November and we're dying for baseball news, so here you go:

  • Smoak: 249/.351/.414,19 HR  This is sadly probably spot on.
  • Ackley: .239/.325/.358, 3 HR  Bill James thinks Dustin Ackley is 4 feet tall, apparently.
  • Saunders: .242/.315/.388, 10 HR  If Saunders gets to the break and he's projecting for this line, it's time to cut the cord.
  • Adam Moore: .254/.300/.389, 10 HR  Why I couldn't stand Johjima, I have no idea.  
  • Figgins .277/.360/.348, 3 HR with 32 SB in 146 games.  So he thinks he's going to triple his HR output and get hurt.
  • Guti: .261/.323/.401, 14 HR  Sadly, probably spot on.
I'm not going to bother with Wilson and Milton.  

Just for fun:  Lance Berkman .275/.393/.486 with 22 HR. Go get him.

Pitchers?  Felix: 3.31 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 8.23 K/9. 13 wins. 

The rest of the Pitchers?  They're all going to suck.

I wonder if we can move the fences in every half inning when the M's are up just to make it a challenge for the other team?  Like when you played pick up whiffle ball games with the 5th graders when you were in 3rd grade - just a whole different set of rules so the big boys don't get bored.

Now I'm depressed.  I wonder what Richie Sexson is doing?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dare To Dream

I drove by this sign on a recent trip to the Bay Area.  The enthusiasm and excitement that drove someone to deface this street sign has been missed around Mariner country since the 1995 season.  (2001 was fun too, but it seemed like the team would fall off the cliff at some point.  Still a great run.)

What street signs would people deface if the M's were to go on a magical journey in 2012?  We could start the madness at Felix Lane in Oak Harbor.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We'll Miss You Dave

The Seattle Times is reporting that Dave Niehaus has died at 75.  He goes down as one of the greatest Mariners of all time.  Personally I put him right there next to Edgar, with The Big Unit and Griffey not far behind. 

Over the past few seasons his calls weren't as sharp as they used to be, but many of us accepted that and were able to enjoy hearing his soothing voice at the mic knowing that he could retire at any time. 

More to come on Dave this week.  I'm off to raise a salami and rye bread toast in his honor.

Two Mariner Related Must Reads

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus rates his top 11 prospects for the Mariners (and 9 others).  It's a must-read for any Mariner fan, and certainly good material as we drool for anything baseball-news-related during these dark months. 

What's notable about this list?  Well, Goldstein doesn't just give away "five-star" prospect status, so there's reason to be excited about the fact that he's as impressed by Ackley and Pineda as most of us are giddy about their potential contributions in the near future.  But I have to say, it's Goldstein's writeup of Nick Franklin (pictured) that gets me pretty stoked.  Oh, to have a power hitting shortstop again...

Next link is a fun spreadsheet from the MLBTR writers making free agent predictions.  M's aren't mentioned often, but they are linked to Lance Berkman, Hisanori Takahashi, Pat Burrell (GAH!), Kevin Millwood, Hideki Matsui, and Brandon Webb.

I actually like the idea of Berkman and Takahashi a lot.  Berkman could do a little splitting time at 1b with Smoak (or as much as would be necessary to keep him happy and healthy) and DH the rest.  He's old, but there's a lot to like about him - including the fact that he'd probably be our 2nd best hitter on the team.  Takahashi might come on the cheap, and he'd probably be the second best starter on the squad too.  Plus, he's a lefty, and controls left handed bats nicely which would play well at the Safe.  Hell, let's be honest with ourselves - anything would play nicely at the Safe next year as long as it doesn't resemble that 2010 squad.

Matsui? Eh, well, if he's ultra cheap. But I could see the allure there, Ichiro-Matsui reported feud aside.

Webb might be a nice project, but I'm not about to speculate about his 2011 contributions.  Might as well have him room with Bedard and maybe they can share parts to make one whole...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November mock draft, for better or worse

We're doing a ridiculously early mock draft over at and we're barely through the first 7 picks and it's clear that it's going to be a pretty funny/painful experience.  The whole thing is going to be conducted in the comments section of a post and every five rounds a summary will be written.  If you're already dying for fantasy baseball or already mourning the loss of the baseball season, this might provide not only insight but perhaps a little comic relief.  Enjoy.

Miller & Morgan Out At ESPN, Rizzs Provides Encouragement

ESPN is breaking up their Hall of Fame Sunday Night Baseball announcing crew of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller.  (Note to Mariner fans:  Yes, Sunday Night Baseball still exists. No, don't expect to play on Sunday night in 2011.)  I think it has been a good 21-year run and will be sad to see them go. 

This is as good of time as any to pass along some encouragement from Mariner announcer Rick Rizzs.  Anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of finding this 'easter egg' on the Mariner site, enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tsuyoshi Nishioka - Japanese Shortstop to be posted

Japanese posting interest, take two?

After missing out on Iwakuma, it looks like Nishioka will be posted.  I don't have access to anything reliable besides anecdote, but it sounds like he's a speedy switch-hitting contact hitter that had some evidence of power (recall that Ichiro hit 25 HR's in Japan though) and is a pretty skilled shortstop who can also play some second base.  He's only 26 and plays a position that the M's could really use some kind of long term solution at.  In fact, they could use a 2011 solution there as we know Jack Wilson will be a black hole on offense, play great defense, and then get hurt.

Check out his career statistics here.

He doesn't strike me as a superstar kind of player in the Major Leagues, but I would be surprised if the Mariners weren't part of the conversation on this guy. 

So much for that Iwakuma plan

The A's won the bidding.  Now they just have to sign him.

This guy would have helped. Now we really need him to suck.

#$*&ing Billy Beane.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Derrek Lee to the M's?

So Ken Davidoff is predicting that Derrek Lee will sign with the Mariners on a one year contract for $7 million dollars.

Some quick shots about this:
  • Lee will be 35 this year
  • Coming off a disappointing year by his standard with .260/19/80 between the Cubs and Braves.
  • 2009 was arguably his 2nd best offensive season
  • His batting average on balls in play was down marginally last season
  • He is generally considered to be an above average first baseman
  • His wins above replacement last year was 2.0.  2009 was 5.3
  • He would be so much better than Casey Kotchman it would boggle the mind.
There are a lot of things to like about Derrek Lee, but I can't for the life of me understand why a 35 year old would sign with a team certainly not going to the playoffs, also sign with a team certainly not going to the playoffs which plays half of their games in a park which will probably kill his value in 2011 should he wish to continue playing, AND sign with a team that would most likely ask him to DH for most of the season.  Furthermore, why he would sign with the M's for, what would probably have to be considered to be market value and for only one year defies logic.  I just don't see the fit here, unless for some reason Derrek Lee just loves him some Space Needle and traffic jams.

It would be a nice pickup for the M's, but it's probably not worth getting excited about.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Moyer Might Finally Act His Age

So Jaime Moyer might finally be finished.

Pitching in a winter Mexican league attempting to embarrass yet more hitters with 68 mph changeups and land a big league gig, he apparently blew up his elbow again, and team manager Moises Alou thinks the jig is finally up.

I had kind of secretly hoped that maybe Moyer might entertain coming back to the M's on some kind of yay-Seattle-farewell-tour and not only mentor some of the kids, but probably hold down the 3rd or 4th best starter on the staff seat.

He's 48 years old this month, my God...seriously, what a career.  He's been pitching for 25 years, has 267 wins, and over FOUR THOUSAND innings pitched - and let's face it, he's done almost all of it with smoke and mirrors.

Jaime Moyer - you are an inspiration to everyone in the world with a shitty fastball and a ton of desire.  I'll forever teach my kids that the greatest pitch you can learn is the changeup because of you.

If I run into you on Magnolia hill somewhere, I hope you let me buy you a beer.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Analyzing Aaron Hill Using Jack Moore's Four Factor Method

via Xtranormal.

You really should read the article, as Moore's stuff is really quite excellent.  But I just couldn't help myself...

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Fantasy Baseball Site

I'll be contributing over at RotoHardball where you can find all sorts of fantasy-baseball-related fun.  The site is new, so there's not much in the way of content yet, but it will build quickly in the coming weeks.  It's on the SB Network, which has some really handy tools, and it's geared towards fan participation.  It's not FanGraphs and it's not Rotowire, but it probably meets somewhere in between.  Not heavy duty geekdom, but plenty of nerdiness yet hopefully always well defined.  Feel free to check it out.

The Log will motor on, of course, and our efforts to survive an offseason fraught with disappointment will not go unnoticed...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Betting Against the Team You Love

So I might be late to the game on this one, but this guy is a Pirates fan and was so disgusted by their talent pool, that he decided to bet $20 bucks against them in every one of the162 games that they played.  It turned out to be a pretty good run for him, of course - as he turned about a 10% return on investment  (definitely follow this link to the spreadsheet because it contains pretty hilarious game by game comments that any Mariner fan would relate to).

Considering the Buckos lost 105 games, you'd figure he would have done much better, but it turns out Vegas knew how bad they were too and the odds really worked against him getting big paydays.  Anytime your team is -180 versus the Diamondbacks, you know there's something horribly wrong.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Get used to this look on his face.

But other than that, yay!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bobby V = Mariner Blue?

I'm surprised by this

This is after he interviewed with the M's on Monday too. Perhaps he liked what he saw, or maybe he was just mesmerized by Jack Z's shiny head.

Or, maybe he just wants to re-live the glory days...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boy Wonder

For years, Paul and I have referred to Roy Oswalt as "BW" - or "Boy Wonder".  With that in mind, I couldn't not post this:

M's Managerial Candidates: odds

Bobby Valentine 3-2
Eric Wedge 5-1
John Gibbons 10-1
Cecil Cooper 18-1
Ted Simmons 200-1
Lloyd McClendon 1000-1

I don't think Valentine will take the job - I think he's going to wind up in Florida.  He's too established right now to want to suffer through a 100 loss season.  Why bother when you could just broadcast for ESPN and be everybody's cuddly grandpappy color announcer?  If Florida and Seattle both offer him the job, he goes to Florida.  Only way he comes to Seattle is if he has literally nothing better to do or they decide to make him some kind of financial offer he can't refuse. 

I'd personally like to see Eric Wedge get hired. He's kind of got that Lou Piniella fiery thing going, he seems to be a real player-advocate kind of guy, his worst year was pretty flukey and hey, who wouldn't love to see him show up in Spring Training with a "Fuck Milton Bradley" T-shirt on?  M's could sell a million of those.

Gibbons too mean. Cooper is too nice. Simmons won't get an interview. McClendon would be a friggin disaster.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two possible Mariner pitching targets

I have absolutely no insider knowledge whatsoever, but I read things.  I read a lot of things.  Then I read things like this and think, Chris Young, for all his hurt-shoulder-ness, is better than 80% of the current Mariner rotation, and therefore someone in blue should be interested.

So some quick thoughts about Chris Young.  Yes, he gets hurt.  A lot.  When he's good, he can be very good (3.4 and 3.7 WAR in 2005, 2007) and when he's hurt, he's still better than Doug Fister and Ryan Rowland Smith as long as he can get on the field.

He's an extreme-extreme flyball pitcher and has benefited greatly from playing in San Diego where his home/road splits almost make you want to platoon him only at Petco.  But for that reason, he should probably only play in San Diego, Seattle, and maybe Detroit.  He would be a good fit for the Safe though, for sure.  He's usually a good strikeout guy, not because he throws particularly hard, but because he's delivering not from 60 feet 6 inches, but probably closer to 50 feet 6 inches since the dude is a toothpick from 7 feet tall.

He signed a 4 year, 14.5 million dollar deal with SD in 2007 and if you didn't follow the link above, they're turning down his 8.5 mil option in 2011 with hopes of getting him on the cheap going forward, which comes as little surprise to anyone.

The problem of course is the M's would have to overpay.  If the Padres only offer him a one year with incentives and a team option, well maybe the M's could have the benefit of offering him added security in a two year deal or something.  I don't know.  All I know is Chris Young is probably a pretty good risk for a team that is going to be desperate for pitching, and he really shouldn't cost all that much.

Second, is Aaron Harang who will be a free agent after Cincy almost assuredly buys out his 12-plus mil option at $2 mil.

Surprisingly, Harang is just a a year older than CY and will turn just 33 in May.  It seems like he should be 40 by now. 

Harang gives up a lot of hits, he gives up a lot of homers, and he's become an increasingly fly ball pitcher.  But for a guy who won exactly 6 games in each of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, his xFIP was 4.18 and 3.95, respectively which would be good for 2nd best on the Mariner staff (not including Cliff Lee).  He didn't benefit at all from Great American Ballpark, his strand rate was uncharacteristically low and his BABIP uncharacteristically high in 2010.  I don't know that you could categorically call him a "bounce back candidate" but objectively, he should be a pretty productive pitcher in 2011 for someone - and the bigger the ballpark, the better.

I really don't know what it would take to sign a guy who is coming off three awfully disappointing seasons using wins and ERA as your guide.  Would he take a one year with option in order to try and right the ship and get a multi-year thereafter?  Maybe.  Float the Levinson brothers a $4 mil figure, and tell them that they should be happy they didn't have to pay for Milton Bradley's therapy (who they also represent) and maybe they'll put in a good word with Harang.

What's more, if signed, he would undoubtedly create chaos among opinions about the ugliest Mariner after Jack Wilson reigned as king for two straight years.

I know there has been much said about the offensive needs of the 2011 Mariners, and oh-my-God are those needs great, but going into the season with Jason Vargas as your #2 starter is just damned terrifying.  I'm all for player development, but anyone who thinks Luke French, Doug Fister, or Hyphen are going to develop into front of the rotation type guys are fooling themselves.  The Mariners have a #1 ace and about ten #5 starters as options.  Let's try to creatively pepper in a #3 or #4, shall we?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CC vs. Felix

There's no way I could have said it better myself - found at Tim Marchman's site "Improve Conditions" - so I'll just put the whole post below...

The other day I was trying to think of a way to argue that CC Sabathia is better than Felix Hernandez that didn’t involve pointing out that Sabathia has won more games, because it would be clever and thus virtuous.

Sabathia has pitched less, struck out fewer batters, walked more, given up more hits and home runs, pitched seven or more innings less frequently and pitched eight or more much less frequently. He’s faced easier competition, having pitched nine games against teams in contention right now against Hernandez’s 14, and worked in front of a better defense, as New York leads Seattle in turning batted balls into outs. He may have pitched in worse weather. I don’t know that he has. If it he has it would be a point for him.

A credible case for Sabathia will have to work, then, from one of two points. The first would be essentially aesthetic, grounded somehow in the experience of watching them.

I’ve seen both Sabathia and Hernandez a lot this year, including in person. Sabathia is basically a man of pitcherly virtues; he moves the ball around a lot, hits the catcher’s glove just so, throws a lot of different pitches, throws each of them in different registers and maintains a certain rhythm, so that hitters stay slightly jumpy. His main strength is that he more or less never has a bad start. He’s Mark Buerhle with more gifts from God.

Hernandez mauls people. He may as well be throwing marbles and bowling balls for all the chance anyone has to really crack him. Half the time he looks as if he’s one whispered suggestion away from ripping the batter’s arm out of the socket and using it to beat him to death. I don’t think the idea that he’s somehow less ace-like than Sabathia is supportable.

This leaves the second point, which would be that New York is world capital of politics, finance, the arts and baseball while Seattle is a miserable shithole full of sad, small people living unimportant lives, so that what happens in one place counts for more than what happens in the other. I don’t know if this is a position you can really argue someone out of. The best you can do is encourage them to really own it. (Incidentally, people who argue this point, no matter how many euphemisms they use, always sound to me like Mark E. Smith in ‘The Classical’: ‘HEY THERE FUCKFACE!! HEY THERE FUCKFACE!! There are twelve people in the world! The rest are paste!’)

All this so, the most interesting thing about the Cy Young race is probably just how little credit Hernandez is getting for even running up a winning record while being supported by a lineup that may as well comprise two winos drinking Sterno strained through stale bread, a Mongolian who learned how to hit by playing Bases Loaded, Alan Partridge, and five cardboard cutouts of Ski Melillo. The following teams had better offenses than this year’s Mariners:

—1983 Seattle Mariners. Scored 3.44 runs per game in a league scoring 4.48. Their main leadoff hitter was Spike Owen, who hit .196/.257/.271; primary catcher Rick Sweet hit for the exact same OPS; nine players had OBAs worse than .260 in at least 50 ABs.

—1992 California Angels. Scored 3.57 runs per game in a league scoring 4.32. Their best hitting regular, by far, was (of all people) Chad Curtis, who maintained a robust 100 OPS+. After him it was probably Luis Sojo, who brought a .299 OBA, or Luis Polonia. (Did you know the Torre dynasty was forged in the Rodgers-Wathan crucible? I didn’t...)

—1999 Minnesota Twins. Scored 4.26 runs per game in a league scoring 5.18. This was the year when Doug Mientkiewicz hit .229/.324/.330 from first base in 118 games, while Cristian Guzman rocked an OPS+ of 38 in 131 games. Famously couldn’t find playing time for David Ortiz coming off a year when he hit .277/.371/.446 in 86 games at age 22.

—2003 Detroit Tigers. Scored 3.65 runs per game in a league scoring 4.86. Of their many impressive accomplishments, I was always most taken by this: This team ran out Dean Palmer for 100 ABs where he posted an OPS+ of 12. Also of interest: Both Andres Torres and Omar Infante played for the aught-three Tigers, raising the question of whether this team was as great a source for 2010 what the hell performances as the 1992 Angels were for gritty Torre Yankees.

The Mariners are scoring 3.23 runs per game in a league scoring 4.47. The one American League team I can identify that has had a worse offense since the adoption of the designated hitter rule was Toronto in 1981, and even that’s arguable. Consider for example that the Mariners have scored two or fewer runs in 45 per cent of their games, which is actually worse than what the Blue Jays did even though they’re playing in a much higher run environment.  (My favorite wacky Mariners statistic, by the way: They’ve given 57 per cent of their plate appearances to players with OBAs of .303 or below.)

I don’t know if Hernandez should win the Cy Young over Sabathia. Awards are what you make them and voting for someone because everything and everyone outside of New York is insignificant makes as much sense as anything else. I do know that if Hernandez doesn’t get the Cy he ought to get a medal and a parade. 11-10 on a team more impotent than the 1999 Twins? That’s ridiculous. Lefty Grove wouldn't have cracked .500 with these jokers.

Good stuff.  Thanks Tim.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wak The Hell?

The Mariners fired Don Wakamatsu today, amid allegations that he was unable to make the league's worst collection of hitters all have career years at the same time.  When asked for comment, Jose Lopez replied, "Who?" 

More surprising is the news out of Florida, where Ken Griffey Jr has wired a large deposit into the bank account of team president Chuck Armstrong. 

In another startling move, Griffey appointed Mike Sweeney to the post of "Team Head Manager."  Sweeney will attempt to play for the Phillies and fly west in time for a nightcap with the Mariners.  Sweeney released a brief statement explaining his philosophy:  "I have challenged everyone to a nightly fist-fight until we turn this ship around.  I'm starting with the official scorer, working my way through the press box and then into the clubhouse."  Sweeney expressed disbelief when informed that nobody has taken him up on his offer.  The 68 year old team official scorekeeper was unavailable for comment.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seattle Mariner Theme Songs Reworked

Great article about Mariner theme songs by FOTL (Friend of The Log) Damon Agnos in the Seattle Weekly.  You can find it right here.  Tough to beat Rich Amaral walking to the plate to Sweetwater's "Superstar."  Damon has some great ideas of his own for the current squad. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

M's Favorites to Land Strasburg...

After watching Strasburg make mincemeat out of the AAAA Pirates, it reminded me of the Strasburg watch that went on here at the log.  At the time, it looked pretty good that the M's would secure his services.

That 3 game sweep of the A's to end the season was just a brilliant idea for a team headed absolutely nowhere.  I'm ill.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Since there's no good news to report

Might as well enjoy the fact that Eric Byrnes is having fun...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Byrnes Signs On With Softball Team

Great story here about Eric Byrnes courtesy of our buddies over at Yahoo.  As bad as Byrnes has been the past few years it would be sweet to have him playing left-center on your softball team.  Wonder if that will allow them to play a rover?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ichi No

Not sure what is more frustrating:
1. Watching Ichiro put on the brakes early and let a ball drop right in front of him with the bases loaded and two out in the 6th inning of a 5-1 game.  That allowed two runs to score on the play instead of ending the inning (two more runs came in, so that's four "earned" runs due to that one terrible play).
2. Sims and Blowers refusing to call him on it. 

Watching the replay you can only assume Ichiro was afraid of running into Figgins, who was drifting into right field on the play.  We've seen lesser OF like Buhner make sliding catches on that same play countless times over the years.  Instead a half-ass effort lets the Royals back into the game and erases a nice outing from RRS.  Ichiro owes him a steak.

Reality Check

So the M's are a game under .500 as we near the close of the first month.  If I'm being honest, that's really all I hoped they would do - just avoid an April collapse.

Cliff Lee is set to start on Friday and in four short weeks, Erik Bedard will trot out there and see just how good his surgeon is.

But what bugs me is that April's schedule was really a cream puff.  Oakland, Texas, Detroit, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Chicago: a combined 52-70 record.  May brings 12 games vs. Tampa and the Angels combined, with a merciful stop in Baltimore and a stretch of Toronto, SD, and Det at home.  May isn't a bear of a schedule, but it's certainly tougher than April.

Their next nine games (after KC) will say a lot about where this team is headed with a home stand featuring three vs. Tex, TB, and the Angels, respectively.  Go 4-5 and you should probably be happy.  6-3 would be sweet. But I really fear a 2-7 and suddenly we're back to talking about "must-wins" in mid-May.

By my count, the Lee/Felix two headed monster will pitch in two games of the Texas series and two games of the TB series, but Anaheim will get out of town without facing either of them.  While it would be nice to beat up on Anaheim, it's entirely possible the M's take two of three from Texas, two of three from Tampa and you're in a position where your 3-5 guys in the rotation just need to eek out one win vs. Anaheim to call it a relatively successful home stand at 5-4.

But whoo-boy wouldn't it be sweet to rattle off a little 7-2 home stand and start raising some eyebrows outside the northwest.  If Vargas and Fister can keep the magic alive, it's certainly not out of the question.

June?  At Mil, StL, and NYY.  May better be awesome for the M's.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Interesting... I feel like I should make bolder predictions (see post below).  A split in these next two games, and it almost sounds like I have a damned clue what I'm talking about.

So some random thoughts and interesting developments...

The bullpen owes Doug Fister a steak.

Speaking of Douggie - When Cliff Lee comes back, who gets bumped from the rotation?  Fister suddenly appears way more desirable than Ian Snell right now. The outing this evening by Vargas and Snell's next start vs. Chicago are going to go a long way towards answering that question.

Fister is using his fastball at almost twice the rate he did last year and using his change less than 1/3 of the rate he did last year.  His fastball really isn't anything special at 88-89 ish, but he must have his location dialed in while he's really keeping hitters off balance with his off speed stuff, using the change far more sparingly.  Really small sample, yes but still - it's like an entirely different pitcher.

Going the other way is Snell.  He's relying less and less on his fastball which, by the way has averaged 92.9, 92.5, 91.8, and now 90.6 over the last four years. Yikes.  Once a fastball, slider pitcher he has turned into a fastball, change-up pitcher and the results pretty much speak for themselves.  If he was mediocre and pitched into the 6th and 7th inning routinely it would be one thing, but being marginal and rarely getting out of the 5th inning makes it both tough to win games and it's taxing on the bullpen.  Folks are holding on to his nice little run in 06-07 coupled with his dazzling AAA stats in 2009 - but I'd say the experiment is just about over for Snell.  He will need a couple of solid outings to keep his heel in the door.

By my crude count, when Lee returns, it'll be in Vargas' slot - but I'm not sure that means much long term.

Lastly, Casey Kotchman. Why not him?  Why not now?  Ah, Jesse Jackson phraseology...

Go Mariners

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Just a little something to keep us all optimistic.  On April 14th, 2009, Boston was 2-6.  They finished with 95 wins.  On April 15th, 2009, San Francisco was 2-6 and they finished with 88 wins.  Good teams start poorly sometimes.

M's have 7 more games on this home stand.  Felix will pitch twice.  Go 5-2 and suddenly they're at .500 with Cliff Lee only a week or so away and Bedard not far after that (fingers crossed).

There's reason to be optimistic.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Yes, it's the alcohol content of Amstel beer.  But it's also the HR/FB rate of the Mariners to date. 

Three point nine percent.

Time to bring free weights back into that revamped weight room.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bullpen Tapped Out In Second Game

Tough loss tonight for the M's.  Turns out you can't pitch out of a jam against nearly every batter you face for two innings without giving up a run.  Have to be a little concerned with the M's bullpen when they handed this game to Texeira and we're cool with him losing it.  A little early in the season to run out of options in the bullpen.  Texeira was as lucky as he was unlucky tonight.  In the end he lost the game on a terrible 0-2 pitch.  Good pitchers don't get beat on 0-2 counts.  Hopefully he is better next time out. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chad Gaudin vs. any Mariner 5th starter

So the Yankees have apparently placed Chad Gaudin on waivers.  If he clears waivers, he can go to AAA, they can release him, or he can refuse his assignment and become a free agent.

Gaudin has had a miserable spring, and if that's really what the Yanks are basing their decision on, then they are knuckleheads.  But you have to figure they see their #5 slot going to Joba or Hughes and would like Gaudin to go to AAA for emergency help if disaster strikes their stupid-good front four.

If you're Gaudin, you have to know there's a starting gig out there for you, so I can't imagine he'd accept a minor league assignment.  I'd also be surprised if he cleared waivers - at just shy of $3 mil this year, he's a pretty good deal.

Gaudin posted an 8.49 k/9 rate and 4.16 FIP in 2009.  Even if he regresses a bit, this would be far better than Vargas, Fister, Olson, French, and anyone else the M's are considering for the 5th slot in the rotation.  His big problem is the propensity to walk batters, which he did a lot of last year. 

With Lee's health now less than 100%, with Fister dinged up, and looking at the potential of your starting five to start the season featuring Felix, Hyphen, Snell, Vargas, Olsen/French/Kelley?? - I mean, well, yowsa. 

Chad Gaudin.  Not thrilling, but probably good for our #3 starter to start the season.  Why not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

When Cliff Lee was horrible

In fantasy baseball terms, I recall when Cliff Lee was an afterthought, a waiver wire cast-off, someone you would only start in an emergency and then dump back on the scrap heap of has-beens, never-beens, and never-will-be's. 

It was in 2007 when he posted a 6.29 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP. He won 5 games that year.  What went wrong?

He had an abdominal strain.

Well thank God it's 2010, eh? 

What's that?  He just received treatment in Seattle for an abdominal strain?

I just peed.

I wonder how Erik Bedard is feeling.