After taking two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx, the Mariners head to Cleveland for four games Friday to Monday against the Indians. Tonight’s game features Mariners’ rookie Brandon Maurer starting against Indians’ veteran Ubaldo Jimenez. Before the action gets underway, here are some pregame notes to digest.
Morse scratched with an eye irritation
That pretty much sums up exactly what we know. Michael Morse, who has nine hits in his last four games, will miss tonight’s game with an eye injury. Endy Chavez will play right field in his stead. That is a big blow to a Mariners lineup that will need to show support for Maurer.
Noesi to Tacoma
A day after he made his first start of 2013, the Mariners sent Hector Noesi to AAA Tacoma today. They promoted reliever Danny Farquhar in his stead. Every reliever on the 25-man roster besides Charlie Furbush pitched last night, and with two game in less than 24 hours upcoming, Eric Wedge must have felt he needed additional relief help.
Farquhar makes some sense, since he has succeeded in medium to short relief in 2013. He boasts a 2.25 ERA in 15 appearances. He racked up 20 innings pitched in that time, and also has six saves for Tacoma. He has struck out 30 batters while walking just four.
Noesi, on the other hand, probably couldn’t pitch for the next few days anyway, after he started and threw upwards of 80 pitches yesterday. I would be surprised to see him pitch in Tacoma, and he might be back with the big club by next week, especially if Aaron Harang can’t make his next start.
Pestano returns to fold for Tribe
Vinnie Pestano, perhaps Cleveland’s best relief pitcher, was activated from the disabled list today and will be available for duty out of the ‘pen tonight for the Wahoos. Pestano, who pitched for the US in the World Baseball Classic in March, went on the DL on May 1 because of a sore right elbow. Pestano had posted a 2.25 ERA with no record so far in 2013. The Indians sent lefty Nick Hagadone back to AAA Columbus to balance the roster.
Maurer looking for first career road win
Maurer has only made two starts on the road so far in 2o12, and he took the loss in both contests. In his most recent road start, he recorded a quality start against Texas, but the Mariners didn’t score any runs to support his cause. The first inning hasn’t been his strength, so getting off to a good start will be important for Maurer. Maybe if the Mariners show him some support by scoring in the first inning before he even takes the hill, the early going will run smoothly for Maurer.
Here’s the lineup trying to help Maurer against Jimenez at 4:05 PT.
- Saunders CF
- Ackley 2B
- Seager 3B
- Morales DH
- Smoak 1B
- Ibanez LF
- Shoppach C
- Chavez RF
- Ryan SS
The Mariners looked terrible in Houston this past week. There’s no two ways around that. They looked lifeless out on the field, and Wednesday’s 10-3 defeat where Joe Saunders resembled a pitching machine caused Eric Wedge to call a closed-door meeting after the loss.
Thursday night’s resulting 6-0 beatdown of the Angels showed why it’s too early to give up on this Mariner team.
Wedge called out his players, and the team responded. The most impressive performances of the evening came from young players who will form the core of the team for years to come. Kyle Seager continued his success with a 3-for-4 night in which he knocked in three runs and homered in the eighth inning. On the other side of the coin, Brandon Maurer put together his best outing as a professional, going 6.1 innings without surrendering a run and striking out six Angels. Both Maurer and Seager have improved as of late after rough starts. Seager even broke .300 tonight.
Carlos Peguero probably isn’t in the team’s future, but he absolutely crushed a pitch at his ankles for the third-longest (451 feet) homer in Safeco Field history in the third inning. He got it on a full count after showing some solid plate patience, something he typically lacks.
Two fringe veterans also pitched in significantly Thursday night. Endy Chavez had a three-hit night in the leadoff spot, raising his average to .310 and making a case for the Mariners to make absolutely certain Franklin Gutierrez is ready to come off of the DL when he eventually does. Even Jason Bay got in on the fun, delivering a huge bases-loaded two-run single to blow the game open in the seventh. Bay checked in with a two-hit night.
The win showed that it’s too early to count the Mariners out, regardless of how much they suck against Houston. Eric Wedge woke them up with whatever closed-door tongue lashing he delivered Wednesday, and they are back on the right track. The youth not only on the 25-man roster but in the minor league system will continue to blossom and one by one, they will arrive on the scene ready to make an impact. Hell, Nick Franklin went 5-for-5 in Tacoma Thursday, and last time I checked, the Mariners needed a shortstop.
Patience is a virtue. It’s only a matter of time.
The back end of the Mariners rotation has struggled mightily in 2013, and patience has apparently run out. According to Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mariners are in the final stages of securing a deal for Rockies’ starter Aaron Harang.
Harang, who went 10-10 with a 3.61 ERA last season for the Dodgers, was traded to the Rockies Saturday in exchange for backup catcher Ramon Hernandez. Immediately, the Rockies designated Harang for assignment and began shopping him to prospective teams around the league.
According to Rosenthal’s twitter account, the teams need approval of the commissioner’s office, which typically is required when a trade involves an exchange of over $1 million. Harang presents an inexpensive option, since the Dodgers are already covering more than half of his $7 million 2013 salary.
Recent reports have also linked an unnamed right-handed reliever to go from the Mariners to the Rockies once the trade goes through.
Harang would likely replace either Brandon Maurer or Blake Beavan in the Mariners’ rotation. Maurer, who is 0-2 with an atrocious 16.20 ERA thus far in 2013, failed to get out of the first inning Tuesday. He surrendered six earned runs and seven hits while recording just two outs. Beavan has posted an 0-1 record with a 7.59 ERA in his first two starts. The Astros beat him around Wednesday night to the tune of five runs (four earned) and nine hits in 5.2 innings.
The 2013 baseball season is underway and you don’t know how you should feel about our beloved Seattle Mariners. Fear not, M’s fans. I’m not hear to tell you how you should feel (that’s no one’s place), but I can give you 11 reasons why you might be able to shed some cynicism and believe in this year’s team.
Without further delay…
11. Chone Figgins is gone.
Lest you think three years of vitriol directed towards the Mariners’ sometimes-third baseman was unwarranted, consider this:
In 2012, the team had a record of 75-87 (.451). Chone Figgins appeared in 67 games, during which time the Mariners plodded along at a 26-41 rate (.388). In the remaining 95 games, sans Figgins, the team played at an above-.500 clip, amassing a 49-46 total (.516). Damn near unbelievable.
The trend doesn’t end there, either. Over Figgins’ three-year tenure with the club, the M’s put together a less-than-impressive 203-283 win-loss sum (.418). With their diminutive Donkey from Shrek lookalike in the lineup, the team was just 123-186 (.398). Without him? Try five-plus percentage points higher, .451, at 80-97. So yeah, he actually did make a difference. In the worst way possible.
On top of all that, Figgy just wasn’t very likable, and at the end of the day, paying the guy $8.5 million to go away was worth it simply from a public relations standpoint. The public hated Figgins and now he’s gone. That’s good P.R. if I’ve ever seen it.
10. They get to play Houston 19 times this year.
Nineteen times!!! That’s like 19 games against a semi-pro squad!
I’m telling you right now, the American League Western Division champion will be the team that has the most victories over the Astros. This may as well be a presidential election, and Houston may as well be our Ohio. Swing state, all the way.
9. Felix Hernandez will make at least 30 starts.
That’s like 30 wins right there. A third of our triumphs are basically already counted for.
8. Every A.L. West team has its fair share of warts.
The Mariners may have some question marks at the back end of their rotation, as well as the ever-looming threat of a power outage in the lineup, but they certainly aren’t alone in showcasing a few blemishes on their pate.
Down in Los Angeles (better known to geography aficianados as “Anaheim”), the Angels are dealing with a revamped starting pitching staff that lost an ace (Zack Greinke) and a mainstay (Ervin Santana). Though Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson were obtained to fill the respective voids, one could easily infer that the overall quality of the rotation, one through five, has decreased.
In Oakland, the Athletics are comprised of the usual mish-mash of journeymen, up-and-comers, and no-names. If everything plays to perfection, the team will make a strong push around August, per usual. But as always, the A’s will be in wait-and-see mode until that time. A few key losses along the way and this team has just as good a chance to be out of the playoff picture as they do to be in it come late-summer.
The Rangers were most stricken by defections over the offseason, losing the heart of their order (Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli) and the soul of their team (Michael Young) to other ballclubs. Pitching is always a concern in Texas, and this year is no different. Relying heavily on a de facto ace in Matt Harrison and a soon-to-be-ace in Yu Darvish, the Rangers will need to keep all their arms healthy in order to stay at the top of the standings. An increased workload for Darvish, however, could very well land him on the disabled list by mid-year.
And then there’s Houston…yeah.
Point is, this division is by no means closed. The A’s were AL West champs a year ago, and they’re certainly no favorite to repeat. The Angels are considered the leaders in the clubhouse to finish first, but the same could have been said a year ago and they floundered. The Rangers have been to the World Series twice in the past three years, but they’re a completely different squad this season. The Astros are a punching bag who will serve as a season-long spoiler. And the Mariners are lying in the weeds, on the rise and with the ability to seize a golden opportunity if they so desire. It’s anyone’s race.
7. They have a real-life middle-of-the-order now.
The Mariners’ 2013 Opening Day lineup featured a 5-6-7-8 combo of Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, and Dustin Ackley, in that order. This same quartet was counted on last season to fill out the heart of the team’s lineup, often batting in some arrangement of 2-3-4-5. The difference? The arrivals of Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales.
Morse and Morales may not be first-tier major league stars, but they are imposing figures in a lineup that has lacked exactly that for many years now. Each is capable of blasting 30-plus home runs, while neither should sacrifice much in the way of average as they supply that power — Morse is a career .295 batter, while Morales has hit at a .280 pace over his big league tenure.
The presence of the M’s M&M duo has taken a hefty dose of pressure off the likes of the aforementioned youngsters, Smoak, Seager, Montero, and Ackley. Rather than being asked to carry the lineup, these four can now simply focus on contributing. And as a bonus, the team as a whole should see an uptick in offensive production.
6. The bullpen is ridiculous.
Three guys who consistently flirt with triple digits on the radar gun.
A guy who would start for many teams in the league.
A hard-throwing lefty with a (figurative) chip on his shoulder.
A left-handed specialist who can pitch two innings, if needed.
A six-foot-eight-inch ex-starter who can throw in long relief, middle relief, or simply induce a ground ball if needed.
Stephen Pryor, Carter Capps, and Tom Wilhelmsen.
You might not know all the names yet. But you will.
5. They instituted $5 draft beer at Safeco Field.
Look. We all know this team won’t win every game. Heck, they might not win enough games to make the postseason. It’s a real possibility, and frankly, considered a likelihood at this point. So what do we do when they lose? Drink. And if you happen to be at a game and the team is losing (or, you know, winning — the outcome is kind of irrelevant), you can drink for cheaper than you drank last year.
I noticed a glaring absence at Safeco Field in 2012: cheap beer. Of course, when it comes to big league ballparks, the term “cheap beer” is entirely relative. But two years ago, the team offered more affordable options like Miller High Life and Busch Light for around $6 per pint (as opposed to around $8.75 per pint for your standard American domestic draft).
I made the omission known to my buddy Kevin Martinez, who also doubles as the team’s Vice President of Marketing. Kevin took that information, then went and did us all a solid.
Thanks to Kevin and his team, instead of $6 cheap beers on tap, we now have $5 cheap beers on tap. And that deal exists every day at the ballpark. There’s no special arrangement for this sort of thing. It’s every single day.
The $5 beers are sold at two locations in the stadium: at a new bar behind home plate, right next to the semi-hidden Mariners Hall of Fame; and at a stand right outside the entrance to the Hit It Here Cafe.
They’re not bar prices, they’re not happy hour prices, but for a professional sporting event, this is about as good as it gets. I can’t justify a $9 Bud Light. But I can damn well sip on a $5 High Life and not feel bad about it. In this instance at least, we can thank the organization for doing right by the fans.
4. Ichiro is gone.
We all love Ichiro. He’s a baseball icon, a Mariners legend, and a future Hall of Famer. To label him otherwise would be entirely unjust.
For all his greatness, however, Ichiro served as a symbol of the franchise’s decade-long struggles with ineptitude. Though he bridged the gap from the team’s success of the 116-win 2001 season, Ichiro was not so much a leader as he was an individual talent that existed amidst a backdrop of failure.
As time went by and the Mariners continued their losing ways, Ichiro’s presence became less of a boon and more of a burden on a roster desperate for dramatic turnover. A veritable statue both in right field and atop the batting order, the aging outfielder blocked younger players from reaching the majors (consider that over his playing career, the M’s traded away the likes of Adam Jones and Shin-Soo Choo), and arguably stunted the development of others (Casper Wells and Michael Saunders, to name two).
With Ichiro’s departure last summer, the M’s have finally absolved themselves of the man who had come to personify the organization’s lack of commitment to winning. Entering our first full year without such a stalwart along for the ride will allow the team to finally emerge from the long shadow Ichiro cast upon this entire ballclub.
3. They have players who actually want to be here.
Raul Ibanez is back, and that says a lot. Yeah, the cynics will say that this is just another futile attempt at rekindling the flame with one of Seattle’s favorite sons, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sure, in the past the Mariners have been known to flirt with nostalgia, but the differences between Ibanez and, say, a Ken Griffey Jr. are two-fold. One, Ibanez is still a productive major leaguer, even at the ripe old age of 40. And two, Ibanez elected to play here not out of sentimentality, but because he knows he can make a difference with a team that, believe it or not, has playoff potential.
Mike Morse is back, and that says a lot, too. Shortly after being acquired from the Nationals over the offseason, Morse took to all forms of media (print, radio, social) and announced his unbridled enthusiasm for a return to the Pacific Northwest. It was a little surprising, seeing as how his career never really took off until after the lanky outfielder shed his Mariners uniform, but the giddiness and excitement seemed genuine and resonated with fans at the same time.
These are just two individuals, of course, but if you think back over the past decade, there aren’t too many guys you can name who were this eager to play for the M’s.
“Buying in” is a mantra preached across the street, more synonymous with our football team than the club inhabiting Safeco Field. Short of Pete Carroll positioning himself atop the steps of the first base dugout, however, Morse and Ibanez have single-handedly perpetuated a culture of “team” that has been sorely lacking on this squad for years. Instead of individuals with personal agendas floating through our ballpark before embarking elsewhere, it seems that these two acquisitions (re-acquisitions) alone have changed the mentality of the on-field product for the better.
2. They’re undefeated.
As of print time, the Mariners are 2-0 and by definition among the best teams in Major League Baseball. Though some curmudgeonly pundits will have you believe otherwise, that record and those two initial triumphs are not entirely inconsequential. Every win, any win, is a great thing.
1. They’re likable.
Yeah, I get it. As long as Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong head up this organization, there will always be at least two reasons to loathe the Seattle Mariners. Forget those guys. They happen to be a pair of flies on our glorious buffet spread. They’ll get theirs eventually, and their legacies will always outlive their own regimes. Beyond the dictatorship of two bumbling fools, there’s a lot of good permeating throughout this team.
When it comes to the on-field product, let’s face it, it’s tough to despise the Mariners. There’s no Figgins and no Ichiro. There are no Milton Bradleys, no Jack Custs, no Johjimas or Sexsons or Lopezes or any other albatrosses destined to drag this team through the mud for a season.
This team is young, it’s rejuvenated, it has the potential to be entertaining, to be successful, to be a joy to watch play. It’s filled with promise (Ackley, Seager, Montero, Saunders, Brandon Maurer, to name five) and production (Morse, Morales, Felix, to name three).
There are smiles in the clubhouse, there are players who seem to enjoy one another’s company, and there’s a sense of quiet confidence that can be felt by fans.
There aren’t jerks wearing SEATTLE across their chests. There aren’t any unwarranted, bloated contracts raising eyebrows and lowering hopes. There aren’t slap-hitting pansies trying to pick fights with their manager. There aren’t malcontents pouting on the bench. There aren’t egotists pulling up half-assed on fly balls, unwilling to sell out for their teammates.
For the first time in a long time, this team feels like it’s headed in the right direction. Whether that leads us to the promised land in 2013 remains to be seen. Without a doubt, though, it’s something we can all believe in. That belief alone should be reason for optimism.
Filed under: Mariners
As I am sure each and every one of you know, Brandon Maurer has made the Mariner’s rotation out of Spring Training, giving the finger to AAA, and bypassing it completely in the process. So because this is no longer news, this post isn’t going to focus on him making the team, but will instead focus on him and his past, and serve as a little bit of a bio on Seattle’s newest starting pitcher. He is fairly new to the top prospect scene, so I am sure a lot of you, like me, don’t/didn’t know much about him. And by the way, I will not be talking about his beard either, however I felt it at least deserved to be mentioned in the headline seeing as it is a work of art.
Maurer was drafted out of high school in the 23rd round back in 2008, and started his career later that season making 8 appearances in the Arizona rookie league. He then slowly made his way up the ranks from there, but did not get too much attention at first. He posted a 3.61 ERA and 3.75 FIP in 13 rookie league appearances the following year, which is solid, but not quite good enough to be picked on by people’s radar.
In 2010, he started to show his potential , posting a 1.64 ERA and 1.75 FIP in 4 starts in the rookie league, then being promoted to Single-A Clinton, where he only pitched 4.1 innings before suffering a season ending injury. He started off the following year on another positive note, before struggling in his promotion to A+ High Desert, and then getting injured again (although the injury may have come first, I cannot find any confirmation).
But last year is when things became interesting. Last year is when he stayed healthy. And last year is when he broke out of his shell, and onto prospect lists. He stayed healthy, and spent the entire season in Double-A Jackson with his fellow “Big 4″ members. He finally broke 100 innings, and was able to make a name for himself.
During his 24 starts last season he posted a 3.20 ERA and 3.05 FIP, which isn’t totally mind-blowing by itself. However, what might edge you closer to a total mind-blow is that he had a stretch near the end of the season in which he posted a 2.70 ERA and 3.3 K/BB ratio. To give you a barometer on what a good K/BB is, Felix’s career strikout-to-walk rate is 3.10. So yeah. There’s that.
As for his “stuff”, most reports say he has a mix of 4 average or better pitches, with the slider sticking out the most. The fastball lives in the 92-96 range, but sits pretty regularly in the middle around 93-94. He then mixes in the aforementioned slider, as well as a slower breaking ball and a change-up. It is pretty rare to see a 22 year old with a somewhat fully developed arsenal of 3 pitches, let alone the 4 that Maurer possesses. That alone should give you a good feeling about his future, as well as comfort any worries you may have had about him skipping AAA.
All that brings us to now. Maurer dominated during Spring Training, and, as much as I am sure they would have preferred to give him time in AAA, pretty much made it impossible for the organization to not give him a rotation spot. As firmly as I believe Spring stats overall don’t matter, I will share them anyway for those of you who do.* Brandon pitched 24 innings, posting a 1.50 ERA, walking just 7, and fanning more than 1 per inning, with 25 K’s total. When you pitch that well, its hard to be denied a place on the team, no matter how young you are. Maurer is scheduled to make his MLB debut Thursday against the A’s in Oakland, and I for one, am stoked.
In researching for this post, I, like hopefully most of you after reading, have become extremely excited for this kid. He had always been overshadowed by Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton. It was always the Big 3, with Maurer on the outside looking in. But Maurer said “F-you” to that notion, pitched his butt off, and surpassed expectations. He started out behind the Big 3, and ended up on top, beating all of them to The Show. It seems that the stats and scouts both agree that this kid has a bright future as a #3, or even #2 caliber starter for years to come. Maurer flipped the script on the frequently written “The Big 3, and Maurer”, and turned it into “Maurer and the rest of the Big 4.”
Which takes me to my last point. Does anyone think a new name for top pitching specs is in order? Big 3 is a pretty common used term in the sports world, but “Big 4″ just doesn’t do it for me. So I invite you guys, who are probably much more creative with this stuff than me, to comment below and help create an unofficial name to replace “Big 4″. We have a solid community here at SodoMojo, with a lot of faithful readers, so let’s use that to our advantage.
All I can think of is “Fantastic Four”, but that is kind of lame, not to mention trademarked.
And who knows? Maybe the nickname will become widespread, and that will help our community grow even more. The Legion of Boom was started by the 710 ESPN community. Let’s do the same here.
*When guys are competing, how a guy looks in ST can be helpful in the decision making process. But it is just as, and probably more, common for a guy to bomb after a great spring as it is for him to succeed. You have to take the player’s past performace and future projections into account as well, and can’t rely on 20 or so games against less than pro quality pitchers to make these decisions.
Oh, and by the way. 2 hours until Mariner’s baseball starts.
It’s official, the starting rotation for the Seattle Mariners on opening day will not include Erasmo Ramirez, while Blake Beavan and Brandon Maurer will fill the last two spots in the rotation. Quite honestly, I am dumbfounded. The purpose of this article is quite simple; I will make three main points. 1) Erasmo Ramirez is a quality major league pitcher. 2) Erasmo Ramirez is better than Blake Beavan. 3) Erasmo Ramirez is better than Brandon Maurer.
1) Erasmo Ramirez is a quality major league pitcher
I must start by admitting the fact that Ramirez has only logged 47 innings as a starting pitcher. However, in that time, he posted a 3.24 FIP and a 5.13 K/BB. In that small period of time he also had a 1.0 WAR which is pretty impressive for such a short window of opportunity.
I decided to try to find a pitcher who had thrown a full season with similar statistics to Ramirez in order to get an idea for where his WAR would have been after a full season. The best comparison I could find between Ramirez’ 47 innings and another pitcher’s full season belonged to Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.
Admittedly, it is not a perfect comparison. For example, Ramirez’ FIP and xFIP were 16 and 30 points better than Cain’s respectively, he walked about .5 less batters per 9 innings, and he did a better job of getting swinging strikes, especially outside the strike zone. On the other hand, Cain allowed slightly fewer line drives and instead got more fly balls and also had a much lower ERA, although we all know that the ERA is an unreliable statistic. If you want to see their stats side by side, feel free to do so here.
Nevertheless, Cain had the closest resemblance to Ramirez last year that I could find. Cain’s WAR in 2012 was 3.8. So, if Ramirez was able to replicate production similar to that of his 47 innings for an entire season, his WAR would have probably been in the 3.5-4.0 range. A 3.5 WAR would have put him in the top 25 in the MLB last year. That’s not bad at all.
Now, let’s evaluate his performance compared to some of the best rookie starting pitchers in baseball last year.
|K/9||BB/9||FIP||xFIP||Swinging Strike %|
|Erasmo Ramirez||7.85||1.53||3.24||3.52||12.2 %|
|Wade Miley||6.87||1.60||3.04||3.70||8.6 %|
|Jarrod Parker||6.95||3.13||3.43||3.95||9.9 %|
|Tommy Milone||6.49||1.71||3.93||4.02||8.7 %|
|Matt Moore||8.88||4.11||3.93||4.35||11.8 %|
|League Average Rookie Starter||7.28||3.16||4.24||4.16||8.7 %|
I would say Ramirez matches up nicely compared to these premier rookies. It is also worth noting that the other four pitchers listed here had WARs ranging from 4.7 to 2.5.
2) Erasmo Ramirez is a better than Blake Beavan
There are so many ways to go about this argument. First of all, Ramirez’ WAR was 250% of Beavan’s, and it took him about a third of the innings Beavan threw to do so. Essentially the only thing Beavan is superior to Ramirez at is that he walks less batters, although barely less. However, the ability to not walk anybody is basically worthless if it comes at the expense of allowing lots of homeruns. Beavan had a HR/9 of 1.36 in 2012 despite getting about half of his starts in quite possibly the best pitchers park in the MLB. Even at home, he averaged over a homerun per nine innings. Not even Jason Vargas gave up that many homeruns in Safeco Field.
Compare Blake Beavan’s 1.14 HR/9 in Safeco Field last year to Ramirez’ .31 HR/9 in Safeco. Not to mention the fact that Ramirez did this while walking almost as few of guys as Beavan while striking out almost twice as many. For more on the Blake Beavan discussion, I would highly recommend this article written by Dave Cameron last June. Although it’s from awhile ago, the points he made are still quite applicable.
Ramirez’ swinging strike rate from last year was exactly twice Beavan’s. In my mind, some of the most revealing statistics about Blake Beavan are his outside the zone swing rate of 31.8% and outside the zone contact rate of 80.9%. Essentially what this means is that he is about average at getting batters to chase pitches outside the zone, but when they do, they make contact about 80% of the time. Now compare Beavan’s 80.9% to Ramirez’ number of 57.8% and the major league average of 68.3%.
No matter what way you look at it, Erasmo Ramirez is a much better pitcher than Blake Beavan.
3) Erasmo Ramirez is a better than Brandon Maurer
It is a harder to compare Ramirez to Maurer just because Maurer has never pitched past AA. Despite the difference, Ramirez posted better a K/9 and BB/9 in his time as a major league starter than Maurer did in AA Jackson.
There is no doubt that Maurer has looked good this spring, but there is a big difference between spring training and the regular season, and there is an even bigger difference between class AA and the major leagues.
Just look at Danny Hultzen as he made his transition from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma last year. His FIP jumped from 2.84 to 4.29 and his ERA went from 1.19 to 5.92.
I think that skipping AAA entirely is simply too big of a leap at one time for Maurer to make. Maurer may not be far away from being a solid major league pitcher, but we have already seen that Ramirez is a good pitcher. Why send down the good pitcher to allow a potentially good pitcher to be rushed to the big leagues?
I think that Maurer will be a solid starter down the road, but there is no reason to force him into the big leagues right now when there is a better pitcher already prepared for a MLB starting role.
Overall, I think that Erasmo Ramirez got the short end of the stick this spring. I believe that he is a better pitcher than both Beavan and Maurer, and he deserves to be in Seattle’s starting rotation. I would love to get your take on this issue in the comment section below.
I’ve been thinking. Thinking a lot. This may surprise some of you, as I’m sure based upon reading my blog on somewhat of a semi regular basis most of you probably think of me as a twit, while others just a talking head that recites what others … [visit site to read more]
Tags: Andrew Carraway, Blake Beavan, Brandon Maurer, Charlie Furbush, Erasmo Ramirez, erik bedard, hisashi iwakuma, jarrod washburn, Jason Vargas, Jimmy Gillheeney, Off-Season, russell branyan, Signings, taijuan walker
So wow, things have been hectic on my side and it’s caused things to go in a bit of a different direction. We had player cards created from 1-20 and Alex did a marvelous job on them. But with real life being… well… insane. We decided to can the cards for now and just go with the names and a mini scouting report.
If you enjoyed the player cards as much as I did make sure you let Alex know. We’ll be doing more with them for the spring watch list.
now as you know this watch list comes with a disclaimer.
Disclaimer: I have said it previously with the initial list and I’ll repeat it now. This is an arbitrary list and there is room for argument just about everywhere and anywhere. But, we’ve done it enough internally and this is what we came up with.
This list is not done professionally. We all freely admit that we are amateurs and that this has been done entirely in recreation and the majority of it was compiled by using information that has been posted elsewhere and is freely available for others to find themselves while incorporating their on field production. I, nor anyone else, is claiming this is a better product than what anyone else has done and it’s most importantly in an effort to give some of these players the credit and recognition they are due in this organization that we love.
Tags: Andrew Carraway, Anthony Vasquez, Brandon Maurer, Carlos Peguero, Carson Smith, Carter Capps, Chance Ruffin, dan cortes, Erasmo Ramirez, Jack Marder, James Gillheeney, james jones, johermyn chavez, John Hicks, jordan shipers, Martin Peguero, mauricio robles, rich poythress, Top 100, Tyler Burgoon, Tyler Marlette
This year the Minor Leagues kind of got off to a slow start with a few guys not hitting very well and our pitchers just haven’t pitched very well. But I thought it was time to high light some of the things that have gone well so far this season.
All numbers are taken at the end of the day on Friday…after the jump.
Tags: alex liddi, Brandon Maurer, carlos triunfel, Daniel Carroll, dustin ackley, Erasmo Ramirez, Forrest Snow, Jabari Blash, James Gillheeney, james paxton, kyle seager, Mario Martinez, Mike Carp, Minor Leagues, taijuan walker, Vincent Catricala
Over the weekend I wrote an article about Investing vs. Selling in relation to the Mariners 2011 season. Last night the Mariners won again and there is a lot of enthusiasm being spread about as to where this season could go. Now, I’m cautiously optimistic and think that with the division issues the Mariners could be headed for a third or even with luck a second place finish.
But the reality is they don’t have the present pieces to win the division. REPEAT AFTER ME: “The Mariners don’t have a real shot to win the division this year”. But as I wrote yesterday there is an opportunity.
If the Mariners want to take advantage of the situation presented they need to act quickly. While the Mariners are returning some key pieces to the 25-man roster in Franklin Gutierrez (this past week), Shawn Kelly (sometime soon) and will eventually see the arrival of prized prospect Dustin Ackley this team is still in need of upgrades in order to have a legit chance to win the division this year.
Jason Churchill wrote about this late last night/early this morning. I agree with his premise in that there is a pretense that the Mariners aren’t 80+ win team right now. But, there lies the potential to grab a few pieces and in enough time those pieces could make the difference between the Mariners winning 77 – 80 games to 85+ games.
I like a few of the names on Churchill’s list (Kubel/Ludwick/Nix) for a variety of different reasons.
The problem that I see with going after the possible upgrades in left are that Carlos Peguero has been making good progression at the major league level. This season was suppose to be about giving the young guys a chance and he has been hitting things extremely hard, taking walks and not striking out too much. While it’s a small sample size and he has been swinging way (WAY) too much at pitches out side the zone there is still potential there. I’m more for giving it time than going for any .
As for upgrading third base and Chone Figgins there isn’t much out in the league that works here. Sure you could go for an Aramis Ramirez but he costs prospects and the Cubs aren’t going to give up one of their “perceived” big bats for nothing. That said I’d feel uncomfortable about acquiring him at this point. While he’s a fit for someone like the Indians, Athletics or Blue Jays (should they stay in the mix) his skill set isn’t very conducive to Safeco. It’d be a repeat of Adrian Beltre, only in my mind worse.
Instead of acquiring someone I would either attempt to trade Figgins or just bench him in lieu of Luis Rodriguez. I think Rodriguez could potentially offer some upside that is cheap being internal and he is also a switch hitter. There has been a growing “#FreeLuisRodriguez” hash on twitter and I suspect it will only continue at this point. It also allows the Mariners to use Adam Kennedy as a pinch hitter for Brendan Ryan/Jack Wilson.
As Jason Churchill explained in his article there are a few reasons to hold onto Jack Cust. While he isn’t hitting home runs he’s not a black hole either and is still producing. I personally hold onto him. Maybe he comes around and you don’t have to make a move.
After I said that the Mariners have to act quickly it doesn’t seem like I think there are a lot of moves to make, right? Well, if the Mariners wanted to make a move these are two that I support.
Prior to the jump understand that I preface this with that fact I’m in favor of holding pat seeing what happens. I’d prefer to get something for Bedard and try not to push guys like Pineda and Ackley too far or hard.
But if Jack’s job depends on it and they feel they have to go for the division this year this is how I’d do it.
Tags: Adam Moore, Adrian Beltre, Alex Gordon, alex liddi, Aramis Ramirez, Blake Beavan, Brandon Maurer, brian moran, Carlos Peguero, dustin ackley, Franklin Gutierez, gabriel noriega, Geovany Soto, greg halman, James Gillheeney, james jones, Jonathan Hesketh, josh fields, luis rodriguez, Luke Scott, Mariners General, Matt Kemp, mauricio robles, Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, miguel olivo, nick franklin, prince fielder, rich poythress, Yoervis Medina
It’s been a busy morning with the start of Pitchers and Catchers reporting and then here at work Servers are crashing and Oracle account(s) locking themselves out. Craziness!
As promised here is Part-2 of the watch-list. Remember this is fluid listing and not the same as a hard set of ranking. The point of this is have an easy reference to some the best of the minor league organization. As the listing is fluid, I’d be happy to move a few guys around so long as you can submit sound reasoning for such a move.
Ultimately, I do have the right to disagree with you and keep people where they currently are slotted. But, I’m a pretty easy going and negotiable guy. So … take it away.
|26||Matt Mangini||25||3B||(1) Draft 2007||(AAA)Tacoma|
|27||Mike Carp||24||1B/LF||Trade (mets)||(AAA)Tacoma|
|28||Dennis Raben||23||1B||(2) Draft 2008||(A) High Desert|
|29||Tom Wilhelmsen||27||RHSP||FA||(AA) Jackson|
|30||Yoervis Medina||22||RHSP||IFA||(low A) Clinton|
|31||Anthony Vasquez||24||LHSP||(18) Draft 2009||(AA) Jackson|
|32||Erasmo Ramirez||20||RHSP||IFA||(A) High Desert|
|33||Jabari Blash||21||RF||(8) Draft 2010||(low A) Clinton|
|34||Brian Moran||22||RHRP||(7) Draft 2009||(AA) Jackson|
|35||Forrest Snow||22||RHRP||(36) Draft 2010||(A) High Desert|
|36||George Mieses||19||RHSP||IFA||(Short Season) Everett|
|37||Richard Vargas||19||RHSP||IFA||(Short Season) Everett|
|38||Matthew Cerione||23||OF||(13) Draft 2009||(A) High Desert|
|39||James Gillheeney||23||LHSP||(8) Draft 2009||(AA) Jackson|
|40||Seon Gi Kim||19||RHSP||IFA||(Short Season) Pulaski|
|41||Anthony Fernandez||20||LHSP||IFA||(low A) Clinton|
|42||Josh Fields||25||RHRP||(1) Draft 2008||(AA) Jackson|
|43||Julio Morban||18||CF||IFA||(Short Season) Everett|
|44||Steve Baron||20||C||(1) Draft 2009||(low A) Clinton|
|45||Mickey Wiswall||22||1B||(7) Draft 2010||(low A) Clinton|
|46||Steve Hensley||24||RHSP||(4) Draft 2008||(AA) Jackson|
|47||Brandon Maurer||20||RHSP||(23) Draft 2008||(low A) Clinton|
|48||Phillips Castillo||17||OF||IFA||AZL Instructs|
|49||Andrew Carraway||24||RHSP||(12) Draft 2008||(AA) Jackson|
|50||Kevin Rivers||22||RF||Non-Drafted FA||(low A) Clinton|
Note:I don’t have the all the links set-up just quiet yet. But, the list is there and you can comment as you see fit.
Tags: Andrew Carraway, Anthony Fasquez, Anthony Fernandez, Brandon Maurer, brian moran, Dennis Raben, Erasmo Ramirez, Forrest Snow, George Mieses, Jabari Blash, James Gillheeney, josh fields, julio morban, Kevin Rivers, Mariners General, Matt Mangini, Metthew Cerione, Mickey Wiswall, Mike Carp, Minor Leagues, Phillip Castillo, Prospect Listings, Richard Vargas, Seon-Gi Kim, Steve Baron, Steve Hensley, Tom Wilhelmsen, Top 100, Yoervis Medina