It was announced earlier today that outfielder Michael Saunders has been recalled from his rehab stint and will return to the lineup in the leadoff spot. Saunders injured his shoulder back on April 6th after colliding with the outfield wall whilst attempting to catch a flyball. “The Condor” played 3 games for the Rainiers, and went 2-11 with a double, a triple and three walks.
Prior to the injury, Saunders had looked very good at the plate, and really overall. In the 9 games he played in, he had posted a .348 wOBA and 126 wRC+. He had also already accumulated 0.8 WAR, but that highly driven by his slightly inflated 4.7 UZR. Nonetheless, most people had high hopes for the rest of the year, and hoped to see him build on a breakout 2012 season in which he had a .320 wOBA and 108 wRC+.
Obviously, those hopes had to be put on hold for about 20 days while Michael recovered, and we were forced to suffer through outfield featuring some mix of Jason Bay, Endy Chavez, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Peguero, Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Morse, the latter two of whom also suffered injuries of their own. You know, just in case Raul isn’t bad enough by himself, Morse and Guti had to miss time so he could be joined by a couple of mid-thirties bench players and a guy with a 38% K rate.
We do not know this for sure, but I think it is safe to postulate that had Saunders and the others been healthy rather than not, the M’s would be in a better position than they are in now. The outfield of Chavez, Bay and Raul would be (statistically backed) the worst outfield in the history of history over a full year. So, yeah, there’s that. We can’t know how much better, but I don’t think I am going out on much of a limb with that one. But that is all in the past. Guti is still out, but Saunders is back, and Morse looks like he is returning to form somewhat.
In response to Michael’s return, a player had to be done away with to clear a spot on the roster. Unfortunately, despite repeated cries of desperation by many in the blogosphere, that person is not Raul Ibanez. Instead, Peguero has been sent back down to Triple-A. Let me just say that again because I am sure it confused you. I am disappointed that Carlos Peguero is no longer on the major league roster. There is a person in the world that I would prefer Carlos Peguero over. It takes a special kind of suck to accomplish that. So I guess, congrats Raul?
Now, the statement above has very little to do with Peguero. Before you assume that I am buying into Peguero’s 227 wRC+ in his two games or something, let me clarify. I still firmly believe that he is a bad baseball player who will never be able to sustain any success in the majors because of his inability to make any kind of contact. No, my wanting him to stay is a sentiment to the pile of dung that is Raul Ibanez. I kind of feel bad saying that because Raul is a good guy, and was once a very good player, and a former favorite of mine. But he is 40 years old. He isn’t the same anymore, and is probably one of the worst players in the league. I appreciate his want to return, but he just needs to hang it up. He is sporting a 47 wRC+ on the season, and probably leads the league in gif-able outfield plays.
Obviously, the team did not feel the same way. I do not want this to be about Wedge’s incompetence, but part of it is. His inability to judge a player’s performance is baffling-ly bad for someone in his position. He sits Brendan Ryan in favor of Robert Andino because of Ryan’s inability to hit, but continues to run out the insta-out/insta-error combo that is Raul Ibanez on a regular basis. Is Carlos Peguero much better? Probably not. But he is younger, has more power, and plays at least watchable defense. But does he have the clubhouse leadership, or Hawk Harrelson’s TWTW? (Hint: That was sarcasm.)
So there you go. Saunders up, Peguero down. The team should surely improve with Michael’s presence, both at the top of the lineup, and in the outfield. Do you think Peguero was the right choice?
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 Seattle Mariners took the day off down in Peoria today giving us fans a moment to stop and savor the hot start the club has made this year. We may very well have witnessed the best part of the Seattle Mariners 2013 season in this past 10 days even though only one game so far has actually been televised. Right now the Mariners are leading the Major Leagues in both OPS and slugging percentage coming off of eight straight multi-home run games. It seems that everybody is hitting the ball including Carlos Peguero, Casper Wells, Kyle Seager, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Bay and on and on.
As much as I would like to think that somehow the baseball Gods are paying us back for all the miserable seasons of the last 10 years, and that aging veterans and promising rookies alike have all suddenly found the magic potion and we will continue to score runs and hit home runs and beat teams for the next five months, something inside me is cautioning me to be more cautious. I actually attribute a lot of this early going success to the fierce competition in camp this year forcing players to come out of the gate charging hard as they try to make the 25-man roster. Not that that is a bad thing and it is refreshing after watching the last three spring trainings where it appeared that neither the veterans nor the young players were really major leaguers. Our farm system has finally produced some quality players and Jack Z. did a good job in finding enough hungry veterans to throw into the mix to create this sort of phenomena.
Unfortunately the Mariners have been so bad for the past three years offensively that even if they win 20 games in a row down in the desert it still feels like some sort of mirage. I hope I am wrong, and I don’t even need to be one of those smarty-pants writers in the Mariners Blogosphere that have already predicted exactly who will and won’t make the club. I remember the howl that went up in cyberspace locally when Mike Sweeney had a big spring in 2011 and made the club. I would love to see somebody like Carlos Peguero, Jason Bay or even Carlos Triunfel somehow beat the odds and through their own achievements in Peoria make the club and head north to Seattle when the Mariners break camp. At this point I am just enjoying the fast start that we are having this year and am glad that manager Eric Wedge at least has some tools to work with this year as he tries to put together a winning combination of players to represent our city in the campaign ahead.
The next two weeks should be interesting as the field is narrowed out and the veterans get more time on the field including the debut of Felix Hernandez on the mound this Thursday. In the meantime we have the World Baseball Classic (WBC) getting underway with the team USA making its debut Friday. I have watched a few games so far and they are both odd and exciting especially teams like Cuba and Japan. All we need now here in the Northwest is a few wing weeks of sun and the reality of spring will really be here. In the meantime let’s just enjoy this twilight zone experience of watching the Mariners win games and hit home runs. Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
On November 7th, the Mariners announced that they were planning to build a baseball academy to appeal to prospective players in the Dominican Republic. The team spent $7 million dollars on a 24-acre complex that is located near Boca Chica, which is near the Southwestern border. The plan, the Mariners managers report, is that this complex will serve as an institution where prospective players will be able to live, attend school, and of course hone their baseball-playing skills.
The team had already shared a complex in the Dominican Republic with the L.A. Dodgers and they have a complex in Venezuela dedicated to building team skills. They see investing in these training complexes and baseball academies as investing in their future as a team. Only a handful of teams own such academies, and Seattle will be one of the few owning such a complex in the Dominican Republic.
The complex is scheduled to be built by the end of 2013. It will contain two fields with plans for a third, and an infield. In addition there will be bullpens, batting cages, dorms, dining facilities, and classrooms. It will be a very nice facility that accommodates potential players in Latin America and develops them so that they will be ready to play ball at the professional level.
The Mariners (and former Mariners) who have come out of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela include:
- Michael Pineda
- Carlos Triunfel
- Hector Noesi
- Carlos Peguero
- “King” Felix Hernandez
- Franklin Gutierrez
- Jose Lopez
- Jesus Montero
Since so many baseball players, including star pitcher King Felix have come from Latin America, it does seem prudent to invest in training complexes in the area. However, it also seems as though a small budget team may have better uses of $7 million. What do you think about this development? Is it worth the money to create a baseball academy to educate and train potential players from where the Mariners can draw? Post your thoughts in the comments.
A while back I started a series on the future of each position for the Mariners. I took a bit of a hiatus from this series, but now I am back to complete it, starting with the Seattle outfield. Because of the high quantity of outfielders in the farm system, I will split the outfielders into two separate articles. The first will feature players that are close to or already in the big leagues, and the follow-up article will look mainly at prospects that are still a ways off.
The top of the Mariner organization has a bevy of pretty mediocre outfielders. Trayvon Robinson, Eric Thames, Mike Carp, Carlos Peguero, and Casper Wells all fit into the category of “sub-par major leaguers.” Now a few of these guys have shown promise and they all have some good tools, but none of them seem likely to have successful long-term MLB careers.
Trayvon Robinson is a guy that I like personally because he has a fun personality and a great skill set. He’s a switch hitter and brings good speed and can play passable defense in every outfield position. His hard nose approach and infectious smile bring a lot of joy to fans. In addition, he was the author of several spectacular catches last year.
Despite the upside, the main thing holding Robinson back is his tendency to swing and miss. His 74.4 contact% and 12.2 swinging strike% this past season were both noticeably lower than the league average and attributed to his 26.2 K%. His swing from the right side of the plate has a long ways to go as well; he hit just .178 against lefty pitchers during his time in the major leagues.
Eric Thames is like Robinson in many ways. He actually had a worse contact%, swinging strike%, and K% than Trayvon last year. Thames also walked less and is not a good defender. Power potential is what differentiates Thames from Robinson, as he has the ability to hit for power, although his pop is nearly all to his pull side.
If you think Robinson and Thames are bad at making contact, wait till you see Carlos Peguero’s numbers. He posted a
49.1 K% and 1.8 BB%. That turns into a .04 BB/K which would have been worse in baseball by 14 points had he had enough at bats to qualify. So basically, whenever Peguero steps to the plate, he has nearly a 50% chance of striking out and just a 1 in 50 chance of drawing a walk. Those aren’t great odds if you ask me. If you want even worse odds, just take a glimpse at his 54% contact rate and 25.5 swinging strike rate. Peguero also swung at half of the pitches outside of the strike zone that were thrown to him this year, which certainly aided the previously mentioned stats.
Despite these glaring problems, Peguero is still a relevant option for the future thanks to his ridiculous power. Even though he can’t make much contact now, he could be just one adjustment away from rising his contact rate just enough to truly tap into his unbelievable strength. I am not ready to just give up on Peguero. I am also not betting on him being able to figure out his swing, but I’m willing to wait a few more years just in case. I could easily stomach a 30 K% from him if he could turn in 30 homeruns which isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
The two guys that seem to be more prone to long-term MLB careers are Michael Saunders and Franklin Gutierrez. Guti’s glove will keep him relevant for a long time regardless of his bat, but if he doesn’t produce at the plate, I think it will be time for the mariners to move on without him. He could probably fetch a decent prospect at the trade deadline if it came time to trade him.
Saunders is an interesting prospect. I’m not too sure what to make of him. Before the 2012 season, he was beginning to look like a bust. However, with this season came new hope for his future. Now that we know that he can make contact enough to utilize his power and speed, he could be a potential 20-20 or 25-25 threat down the road. In many ways, I can see Saunders turning into a player very similar to BJ Upton. I will expand upon this analogy in a later article. If the Mariners need to part with Gutierrez, Saunders could also play center field where his bat projects quite well.
Tacoma was mostly desolate of good outfielders last year besides Carp, Peguero, and Robinson whenever they were sent down. Darren Ford and Mike Wilson are both far past their prime and don’t bring anything of value. Vinnie Catricala is still an interesting option, but his swing seems to be deteriorating as time passes. He is currently hitting just .162 in 37 at bats in the Arizona Fall League. He does, however, have 8 rbis which trails just Nick Franklin and Mike Zunino for the team lead.
Still, things better turn around at the plate in a hurry for the man dubbed “Cat the Bat” or else he will just be “Cat.”
Considering the outfielders at the top of the organization I think that free agents will probably end up playing a key role in the outfield by the time this team is in the playoffs.
The Mariners play their first game in Japan in less than a week, but there are still position battles that are unsettled. Here is a look at a few of these open jobs and the options the Mariner’s have to fill them.
Third base: … [visit site to read more]
Tags: Adam Moore, alex liddi, Blake Beavan, Carlos Peguero, Casper Wells, Chone Figgins, Erasmo Ramirez, featured, Hector Noesi, hisashi iwakuma, Ichiro, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, kevin millwood, kyle seager, Mariners General, Michael Saunders, miguel olivo, Popular, position battles, spring training, Vinnie Catricala
Not exactly a pleasant welcome to Spring Training Baseball.visit site to read more]
Well, A) I thought I’d have the first original thoughts on the first non-consequental game of the year. But I guess Bryant had be all tricky and slide in his pre-game thoughts yesterday to be all “on top” and total steal my thunder. Whatever… I … [visit site to read more]
Today, Franklin Gutierrez got hurt in an inter-squad game. The Mariners don’t have the results of the MRI yet, but they have identified his problem as a pectoral muscle injury.
As a life-long Mariner fan, I have learned to just assume the worst … [visit site to read more]
Tags: alex liddi, carlos Guillen, Carlos Peguero, Casper Wells, Chone Figgins, featured, franklin gutierrez, kyle seager, Mariners General, Michael Saunders, Mike Wilson, Popular, Trayvon Robinson, Vinnie Catricala
I walk a minimum of three miles every day. One and half miles to work and then of course back to my “room”. Of coures this doesn’t count walking to the chow hall and the various things that I have to do and take care of over the course of the day. I have plenty of time to think to myself and it’s not entirely unusual for me hold conversations with myself.
Just go with it and act as if that’s normal.
Something that I’ve spent a large amount of time thinking during those walks the last few days is the comments made by Eric Wedge during his Winter Meetings sit down with the press. If you wanted to read them I’m sure you’ve gone out and done so. It wasn’t anything ground braking. In fact it was the usual things you’d expect a manager to say about his outfielders and players in general.
His thoughts on Mike Carp:
“I’m looking at him more in the outfield – that’s where the bulk of his time is going to come in spring training. When he was out in left field on a somewhat regular basis, he was more and more comfortable.”
“I don’t ever like to put a guy in a position — especially young in their career — to where they’re platooning. You know what I mean? Like when we brought (Shin-Soo) Choo over to Cleveland (from Seattle) to give you guys an example of someone you know. It’s just real easy to do and I think it’s the wrong thing to do. It’s the wrong message to send a player. I’m not smart enough, you’re not smart enough to figure out whether he can or cannot hit against lefties. You have to watch him do it and watch him react to it. I’ve got a pretty good eye for what I feel like he’s going to play. From the right side or the left side against right-handers or left-handers and I think he’s going to be able to hit left-handers too.”
Thoughts on Casper Wells:
“He had some eye issues, head issues, sinus issues, he had some things going on upstairs that really affected him,” Wedge said. “And we feel like we’re on top of that right now.
“The guy is a rock. Athletically, he’s very good. I love him in the outfield. I love him on the bases. We saw a couple of weeks that were pretty special. I know what he’s capable of doing.”
Thoughts on Franklin Gutierrez:
“His weight is actually better than we thought it would be,” Wedge said. “I know what he can do when he’s good. I’m talking about getting on base, stealing bases. I’m talking about being … a run producer.”
The quotes are taken from the Seattle Times/Tacoma News Tribune. So thanks to Geoff, Larry and … well … Larry.
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
The Seattle Mariners called-up Mike Carp from AAA after today’s miserable 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers sending free-swinging Carlos Peguero down in another attempt to augment their AWOL offense. Carp who was hitting .341 with 21 hrs. and 64 RBI’s with Tacoma apparently will get more playing time in his latest attempt to find a home with the struggling Mariners who after a day off will resume play in Toronto on Tuesday. As for big Carlos Peguero he obviously needs more work on his plate discipline and will hopefully figure a few things out in Tacoma that will enable him to utilize his tremendous power when and if he makes it back to the Majors. While this move was inevitable and can’t hurt at this point, I hope the great wizard Jack Z. has more magic than this even it means bringing our old friend Ryan Langerhans up now that he is htting .343 with 23 dingers. Something has to give or we will indeed lose a hundred games while setting another round of records for offensive futility this year.
Today’s move comes on the heels of another disappointing game in front of 30,335 quiet fans on a gloomy July day in Seattle. The Mariners ended-up getting swept by the Rangers losing their ninth game in a row despite a decent outing by Blake Beavan. Outside of the three-run homer Beavan surrendered to Mitch Moreland the strapping young rookie looked pretty good today. Of course the Mariners bats remained dormant this afternoon, the only run coming on an RBI single off the bat of Jack Wilson getting a rare start at short today.Other than that it was business as usual as our boys continued to refine their ability to dribble grounders to short and just generally look and act anemic.
Watching this club over the past couple of weeks reminds me of a bunch of suburban husbands at Cosco pushing around the basket as their wives direct them through life. And just as the Cosco drones have that dazed and lost look in their eyes as they try maintain their masculinity, the Mariners players appear to have zero zest for life or the inclination to try anything new. Of course the gloomy weather and silly fans at Safeco more concerned with rally fries and bobbleheads only add to the overall malaise that has taken over Mariners Nation.
And as much as I admire the fighting spirit that Eric Wedge has, I regret to inform my readers that after today’s loss I shaved off my Eric Wedge mustache that I sported so proudly around town for a couple months. It feels good to be free of the stigma of being a die-hard Mariners fan and I fit in much better at Cosco with the other drones as I try to lose my desire to hope or dream for anything more than a team that manages to stay ahead of the Oakland A’s and not lose 100 games again this year .Oh how I miss my rough-n-tumble days as a young Merchant Mariner living a life full of adventure, perhaps this years team will finally domesticate me….Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
Well down here, Montgomery, Alabama, today is the South Eastern Conference media day. Coaches and players talking with different news agencies all while everyone is getting ramped up more than ever for the first game of the season (only 50 games … [visit site to read more]