I have a natural bias against acquiring relief pitching but there are always a few good things that you can say about just about any move. Hey, we all found the positive in a Miguel Olivo signing last year at this time. We talked about the fact he mashed lefties, hit for power that wouldn’t be hindered by Safeco and had a cannon for an arm that could potentially negate how terrible of a receiver he was.
Obviously we got hit by the reality truck shortly there after but that said there are some good things that we can focus on in just about any deal, just ask Blue Jay fans.
So let’s talk about one of the more odd persistant rumors out there in the country and that would be Andrew Bailey. Bailey oddly enough keeps being contected with the Mariners and while initially I was right with Jason Churchill in the mindset that they just were keeping tabs on him being they most likely (and sadly enough) had League on the market. It was either that or, being that Texas was interested, they were just attempting to drive up the price.
The problem with that theory is that it’s been going on for about roughly 3 weeks. I’m personally going out on a limb and say that I think there is sufficient interest by the front office at this point. Again, that’s just my opinion. I am frequently wrong and corrected all the time by multiple people smarter than me.
The question then begs to be asked, why would the Mariners have interest in Bailey? I’ve asked myself that repeated question for the better part of a week and the only way I could really answer it for myself was to go Liz Lemon and create a pro’s-n-con’s sheet.
Feel free to contribute if you feel I’ve left anything off.
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
Well my apologies for my absence today. I’m sure no one really missed me but I had every intention of writing this post up nearly 6 hours ago and in all honesty I wrote it up once went to use the famous Baseball-Reference linker and instead clicked the wrong book mark and that was the end of my 750 word blog post.
So let’s try this again.
Chance Ruffin, as has been reported pretty much everywhere that covers baseball, is now a member of the Seattle Mariners. This isn’t a huge shock to anyone as he was one of the three players reported to be on “the list” the Mariners could choose from. It had also been reported by a few different sources and Jason Churchill in paticular, that it was most likely to be Ruffin.
So now that we’ve had time to digest it all and get used to him being apart of this bullpen what exactly did we get?
There are a lot of things to look forward to as a Seattle Mariners fan. As of 9:00 P.M. tonight, Danny Hultzen is a Seattle Mariner. In 2010, Hultzen finished the season with a 10-3 record, posting a 1.59 ERA in 96.1 innings. This year, Hultzen made 18 starts, holding a 12-3 record and posting an ERA of 1.37. The Mariners are stockpiling arms. Taijaun Walker is climbing the ranks – with 113 strikeouts this year, his stuff is looking great, and scouts are starting to take notice of this up and coming star. The Mariners are stockpiling arms.
Tonight, the Mariners showcased two of their flame-throwing-arms in Tom Wilhelmsen and Dan Cortes. The lowly prospect Michael Pineda couldn’t fend off the feeble Tortonto Blue Jays, giving up five earned-runs in five innings. Wilhelmsen and Cortes had to hold down the fort. And they did. They made it look easy. With such giant arms as Wilhelmsen and Cortes, it’s easy to see that, yes. The Mariners are stockpiling arms.
All is well in the world of the Seattle Mariners. If baseball is an arms race, then the Seattle Mariners have secured the best weapons.
Nothing official just yet … [visit site to read more]
After looking at some of the different 2011 draftees I thought it high time to do a little update on the minor leaguers. Right now Keith, Griffin, Brett and I are comparing notes and we’ll have a new mid-season Top-100 out in a few weeks.
But until then I think that it’d be fun to look at some of my notes on guys this year. Because I’m about as unoriginal as they come I thought I’d copy off of Baseball America’s format.
I did leave off some of the obvious picks Taijuan Walker and James Paxton. We’ve talked an awful lot about them and while it’s been well deserved this is an opportunity to shine the light on some of the other deserved players.
Tags: Alfredo Morales, carlos triunfel, dan cortes, Forrest Snow, johermyn chavez, Luke French, Mario Martinez, mauricio robles, Minor Leagues, Phillip Castillo, rich poythress, Roman Morla, Stefen Romero, Vicente Campos, Vinny Catricala, Yoervis Medina
More bad news … [visit site to read more]
I’m still work on getting my version of Harrison’s King for a day post together, but there’s one deal in there that I felt deserved it’s own post. I think this deal works for … [visit site to read more]
Well, after about five days and 1500+ miles on the road across 4 states in 3 different stadiums I’m back. It would seem that there would be a few things I kind of missed out on the last few days, huh? It’s amazing how little and yet how much can happen over a short amount of time.
While you’ve heard everyone else touch on everything that’s gone down I’ve not really gotten to talk about anything so this is where I’d like to rehash the last five days doing so the only way I know how: bullet point thoughts!
Tags: Adam Moore, Albert Pujols, Carlos Peguero, chaz roe, dan cortes, Derek Lowe, dustin ackley, edward paredes, erik bedard, Felix Hernandez, George Sherrill, greg halman, james paxton, Jason Varitek, Jose Cruz Jr, Jose Reyes, Josh Bard, justin smoak, kyle seager, Lance Lynn, Mariners General, Matt Carpenter, Michael Pineda, nick franklin, prince fielder, taijuan walker
Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed by … [visit site to read more]
According to Lookout Landing the Mariners have apparently optioned both Chris Smith and Dan Cortes to the Minor Leagues. I haven’t found any links from the teaming stating such but I trust Jeff to know whats going on.
I’m not the least bit surprised by Cortes. I’ve not felt comfortable with him pitching since the beginning of the off-season. He wasn’t very good in his appearances in Venezuela and while that may have just been him working on something specific, he hasn’t looked sharp during spring training either. He really needs time to fix… something and Tacoma is the place to do that.
As for Chris Smith, he was someone I was interested in keeping on the big league staff. I hope he sticks around the organization, as I said previously, I find him mildly interesting with showing the ability to throw more pitches for strikes and showing a bit more control than before he could be useful down the strech as injuries occur.
Stick around, we still have 20+ cuts to go in the next 13 days.
This spring has been quasi entertaining so far.But let’s face it we’re all ready for the games to start meaning something. I know I am. So let’s take a look some things that actually mean something to the Season. Looking at the players in camp right right now, the Mariners are most likely going with a four man bench. Giving you a total of 13 position players and a 12-man pitching staff.
The rotation is pretty set and isn’t horrible looking.
1- Felix Hernandez
2- Erik Bedard
3- Doug Fister
4- Jason Vargas
5- David Pauley/Luke French
People may ask why I have Fister in front of Vargas. I seem to remember there being some thing between the Mariners organization and not wanting to pitch lefties back-to-back games. Maybe that’s correct, maybe not. No, question that Vargas is the better pitcher. So really you can flip-flop those around.
Personally, I have a hard time believing that Michael Pineda is going to make the Major League staff out of Spring Training. If only to give him a controlled environment and keep his innings down while in Tacoma. It also gives him a chance to work more on his change-up to elevate some of those splits.
That pretty much leaves us with either Pauley or French as the fifth starter. Really, I’m alright with either. French has potential to be a 5th starter and a successful one in Safeco field. But his velocity has dropped tremendously in the past 18 months and I’m not sure as to the cause. If he can find some how rediscover that lost zip and use his slider more often and effectively, he should be good #5 guy.
You all know how I feel about Pauley by this time. Ultimately no shockers here.
That leaves the bullpen and 6 guys. Why 6 and not 7? Because who ever doesn’t make the 5th starter most likely makes the team as the mop-up guy. That’s just assumed at this point. However, French does have an option and it wouldn’t hurt him to start out in AAA. But for now I’m assuming French is with the major league pitching staff.
So here are the 6 in my bullpen.
The obvious one is of course Brandon League as the interim closer.
Then you have the set-up spot and I’m not a big believer in guys that have held the job before. But Chris Ray is a pretty solid reliever with good velocity, misses some bats and gets a few ground balls. I know Ray had some issues last year which appear to come from his reliance upon the four-seam fastball and less with the slider/split finger that had made him successful. He makes my squad.
For the Lefty specialist you could make a case for either Laffey or Olson (even French too if he doesn’t make the starting staff). But the Mariners acquired Laffey for a reason and he’s shown the ability to command his pitches and looks pretty good this spring. Olson’s just blah per usual.
My three middle relievers are Josh Lueke, Justin Miller and Chris Smith. It’s hard to really get a strong feel but Josh Lueke seems ready. He’s looked and thrown really well so far. He’s spotted his fastball had some of his out pitches already working. I think he’s ready for the show. The question of course will the team be ready for the PR hit. I hope they do the right thing here and give the guy a chance.
Next in line, Justin Miller who is a strange case. Looking at the last few years he generates a solid above average amount of strikeouts and then of course he walks plenty of people. But last year he showed some improvement in his ability to consistently throw strikes and avoid walks. So far this spring he has continued to spot his fastball and it has me thinking that Miller is the next best available option.
Lastly I chose to go with Chris Smith, frankly because I did. I suppose you could make a case to go with Denny Bautista, Fabio Castro, or internal options such as Dan Cortes, Chaz Roe or Edward Paredes.
The problem I have with Bautista, despite his flashy velocity, is that he just fails to throw strikes. Castro is similar, in that he doesn’t throw a lot of strikes and then Dan Cortes is basically the a better and younger version of Bautista. The only thing about Cortes is that much like Chaz Roe and Paredes they have options where they can be sent to Tacoma used later. Cortes needs more time in the minor leagues anyways, I’m still worried about his command.
Chris Smith has shown a marked improvement in his Ball/Strike ratio last year, while still generating strike outs. He isn’t going to be flashy but I think he’s the best option going forward right now.
This leaves you with a bullpen that looks like this:
Closer – Brandon League
Setup – Chris Ray
Middle Relief – Josh Lueke
Middle Relief - Justin Miller
Middle Relief - Chris Smith
Left Specialist – Aaron Laffey
Long Relief – Pauley/French
The one problem is that it leaves you with +3 guys making the team that are Non-Roster Invitees (NRIs) and room needs to be made for them on the 40-man roster.
It’s a pretty easy call for me as I’d cut both Garrett Olson and Cesar Jimenez. Olson, just hasn’t shown much promise at all in the past two years and his splits, while they are there, they aren’t very good a 4.91 FIP vs. LHB or a 5.51 FIP vs. RHB. If someone picks them up great, if not you can reassign them to Tacoma.
As for Cesar Jimenez he just hasn’t come back to what he might have once been. It’s likely he can passed through waivers and be reassigned to Tacoma and show that he can stay healthy and still be of value. I know he’s Felix’s buddy so that makes this harder. But I don’t see anyone grabbing him in waivers.
The last spot is made available because of Jose Flores doesn’t make the squad. I’m still a little annoyed over this pick. I still contend that someone like Wynn Pelzer or Jason Rice would have been a better choice. But, it’s really moot at this point.
A mental note on Flores is that the Mariners could and seems likely interested to at least try and keep him in the organization. I wouldn’t guarantee that it happens. But, who knows Cleveland didn’t seem interested in keeping him in the organization by electing to not place him on the 40-man. The Mariners maybe able to buy him outright and send him down to AA Jackson to start the season, in hopes that he could make the 40-man this off-season. Just a theory.
This is my bullpen. What’s yours?
Tags: Aaron Laffey, Brandon League, Cesar Jimenez, chaz roe, chris ray, chris smith, dan cortes, David Pauley, Denny Bautista, edward paredes, fabio castro, Garrett Olson, Jason Rice, Jose Flores, Josh Lueke, justin miller, Luke French, Mariners General, Michael Pineda, Wynn Pelzer
It has been a long week since I posted part 1 of my explanation of the 2011 win total predictions, but don’t think it was just me being lazy. I’ve been working on a big feature for the blog, but I can’t tell you what it is just yet. It’s still a secret.
One question I’ve gotten a lot of since the predictions came out was “what do you think the win total will be?” I’ve intentionally left that unanswered. It was part of my evil plot to get a few of you to examine the data yourself and not just take my opinion as if it were fact. See how sneaky I am?
I can tell you that in my opinion the predictions aren’t bad. While the names might be different the results aren’t likely to be. Does it really matter is David Pauley and not Luke French is the team’s 5th starter? Not really. Both are replacement level players and should produce close to a zero WAR. Same goes for Jody Gerut and Ryan Langerhans. See what I mean?
What I do have a problem with is some of the 2011 predictions. Ichiro’s value dropping off is within bounds of possibility, as is the increase in production of Gutierrez and Figgins. What strikes me as odd is the increased WAR for Felix. He was the best in the AL last year. Pitchers are notoriously up and down, even if it’s just a little bit. I actually expect Felix to produce a lower WAR in 2011 than in 2010, though I still think he’ll be one of the AL’s best pitchers.
Similarly, Aardsma, League and Cortez all around 1 WAR? That’s a lot for a reliever. I just don’t buy that the M’s will have three 1 WAR relievers in 2011. I also expect Fister and Vargas to regress a little. Both had breakthrough years in 2010, but lets face it, neither has overpowering stuff.
On the flip side of things is Justin Smoak. Smoak was a 2.2 WAR player in 2010, though most of that did come when he was with Texas. For the prediction to say that he wont make any improvement in his 2nd year in the majors is a bit odd. Smoak is a very talented young player, and I expect him to play better in 2011 than he did in 2010.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, I’m going to lean on the low end of the prediction spectrum. I look at that list of players and to me it looks like a 75-78 win team. I hope I’m wrong and they win 85 games, but I don’t expect that to happen. I just really hope that I’m not wrong and that we’re looking at another season with a win total in the 60′s. I’m not sure fragile psyche could take that kind of punishment.
Tags: Brandon League, dan cortes, David Aardsma, David Pauley, Doug Fister, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Vargas, Jody Gerut, Luke French, Mariners General, Previews, Ryan Langerhans, seattle mariners
I introduced this prospect list over at Far From Port prior to my arrival here at Sodo Mojo. It’s based off my own thoughts and is my own creation. So basically if you disagree with it blame me not any of the other guys.
I live am stationed in Montgomery, Al. So I get the opportunity of seeing these guys come through the minor league system. I’ve seen guys such as Adam Moore, Alex Liddi, Nate Tenbrink, Carlos Triunfel, Matt Mangini, Nick Hill and Matthew Lawson all over my time here in Montgomery and I hope to see more this year.
I really created this in the effort that we (as a Mariner community) can follow prospects over the course of the year. The goal will be to update it over the course of the year. Giving us a map that we can all follow the success and failure of these young guys with a dream.
I’ll be releasing the next tier this Monday (2/14) and I hope to have the second half released sometime early March.
|2||Dustin Ackley||22||2B||(1) Draft 2009||(AAA)Tacoma|
|3||Nick Franklin||19||SS||(1) Draft 2009||(AA) Jackson|
|4||Taijuan Walker||18||RHSP||(1) Draft 2010||(low A) Clinton|
|5||Guillermo Pimentel||18||OF||IFA||(Short Season) Pulaski|
|6||Mauricio Robles||21||LHSP||Trade (tigers)||(AAA)Tacoma|
|7||Johermyn Chavez||22||OF||Trade (blue jays)||(AA) Jackson|
|8||Kyle Seager||23||INF||(3) Draft 2009||(AA) Jackson|
|10||Dan Cortes||23||RHRP||Trade (royals)||Seattle Mariners|
|11||Blake Beavan||22||RHSP||Trade (rangers)||(AAA)Tacoma|
|12||Marcus Littlewood||18||SS||(2) Draft 2010||(Short Season) Everett|
|13||James Jones||22||OF||(4) Draft 2009||(A) High Desert|
|14||Ramon Morla||21||3B||IFA||(low A) Clinton|
|15||Josh Lueke||26||RHRP||Trade (rangers)||(AAA)Tacoma|
|16||Ji-Man Choi||19||C/1B||IFA||(low A) Clinton|
|17||Nate Tenbrink||24||LF/3B||(7) Draft 2010||(AAA)Tacoma|
|18||Stephen Pryor||21||RHRP||(5) Draft 2010||(A) High Desert|
|20||Carlos Triunfel||20||SS/3B||IFA||(AA) Jackson|
|21||Rich Poythress||23||1B||(2) Draft 2009||(AA) Jackson|
|22||Esteilon Peguero||17||SS||IFA||AZL Instructs|
|23||Vince Catricala||22||3B/1B||(10) Draft 2009||(A) High Desert|
|24||Carlos Peguero||23||RF||IFA||(AA) Jackson|
|25||Jordan Shipers||18||LHSP||(16) Draft 2010||AZL Instructs|
Here is the minor league progression chart
|(A) High Desert|
|(low A) Clinton|
|(Short Season) Everett|
|(Short Season) Pulaski|
Tags: alex liddi, Blake Beavan, Carlos Peguero, carlos triunfel, dan cortes, dustin ackley, esteilon peguero, greg halman, guillermo pimentel, james jones, Ji-Man Choi, johermyn chavez, jordan shipers, Josh Lueke, kyle seager, marcus littlewood, mauricio robles, Michael Pineda, Minor Leagues, Nate Tenbrink, nick franklin, Prospect Listings, Ramon Morla, rich poythress, Stephen Pryor, taijuan walker, Top 100, Vince Catricala