Yesterday, my wife and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Ocean Shores. The weather was nice, the timing was right: so why not? The drive was good, and the weather at Ocean Shores was, well, Ocean Shores weather. After a while of enjoying the sun on the beach, we decided to venture into the town for lunch. We ate at Home Port, and it was surprisingly good. It was heralded as having the best clam chowder in Washington. I think the jury is still out on that.
After lunch, we headed back towards the beach. Overhead, however, a dark gathering of clouds followed us towards our destination. That was kind of a bummer. Out of nowhere, clouds. To rain on our parade. Ahead, we saw a line of cars leaving the beach. Everyone had packed up and decided to call it a day. The clouds are coming! they probably said. We decided to head towards the beach anyways.
Within minutes, the clouds were gone. It was as if, by some miracle, the beach Gods had our favor. The sand was warm again, the weather was pleasant. The beach, devoid of as many people as there were before. Out of nowhere, our impromptu trip decided to trick us. But we looked past it’s deception. We stood fast, and were rewarded with the warmth of the sun.
The Mariners offense is a cloud. A cloud that comes and goes as it pleases.
Tonight, the Mariners showed their unrelentingly brutality, as they pummeled the Red Sox to an embarrassing defeat. The Red Sox were battered and beat down, and we could see it in their eyes. The fear began to ferment as Ichiro sent the first pitch from Josh Beckett down the right field line for his second home run of the season. The Mariners didn’t relinquish their chokehold, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first. Things were looking too easy. The Mariners had the Red Sox exactly where they wanted them.
So what did the Mariners do? Felix let the Red Sox score some runs. As the reigning Cy Young award winner, he has the ability to do that. Of course he was toying with Boston all night! He could’ve easily struck out every batter he faced, but he opted to take it easy on them to make them feel better about themselves. No one wants to get shut out. No one wants to get shut out by the Mariners, so he leaves a couple over the plate for Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Ha, Pedroia hitting a bomb against Felix? Never happened. Felix just wanted to instill confidence on the little guy.
All in all, the Mariners dominated the Red Sox. There is no other way to put it. … [visit site to read more]
Does the current exchange rate between the US and Canada mean that getting swept Blue Jays only counts as 2.5 losses? If not, than the losing streak just reached 12, just 2 shy of the franchise record for futility. At least the offense picked things … [visit site to read more]
I understand the first half and second half don’t end/start at the all-star game but it always feels that way to me. I understand there are less games to be played now after the break than there was at the start of the break. But in my mind this is … [visit site to read more]
The Rangers and Angels are tied for first and the Mariners are only 2.5 games back.
There is still hope but I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, I just don’t expect the Mariners to be there in the end. There are no more reinforcements that … [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
In case you missed there was officially 6 roster transactions taken by the Mariners today:
- Catcher visit site to read more]
Update: The Mariners just announced that Chris Giminez has been placed on the 15 day DL, and that Josh Bard has been recalled and will start in tonight’s game. No word yet, on who was removed from the 40 man roster so that Bard could be … [visit site to read more]
When I posted the Social Experiment I did so with a specific purpose in mind. I wanted to talk about the subtle differences between two different players that were in competition for a roster spot, which one of them will win.
But a problem remained, I had already had my up my mind made up, despite that the stats had small differences in other players favor. So I took the measurable differences and asked you to vote on them. Pretty overwhelmingly you all voted for “guy #2″, which is who I had voted for also.
When comparing minute detailed stats I personally care about two things, walks and defense. The batting average wasn’t enough to off-set and I can sacrifice strike outs more often when he has an increased walk percentage. The case with those strikeouts usually being he takes a lot of pitches (not always the case but it’s a sign). He is working counts and the fact that he is barely (and only ever so slightly) a better defender makes this an easier call.
After the jump I reveal who is who.
Guy #1 would be Josh Bard. Who was basically the Mariners back-up catcher last year. Despite some poor stats. I was mildly impressed with a few things that he did and maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a switch hitting catcher or that the Mariners were just so unbelievably bad that I stopped remembering the bad and have a few rare sunshine moments with Bard. Whatever the reason. I’m partial to Bard because of it.
Guy #2 is Chris Gimenez. I never really cared for the signing. I kind of thought of Gimenez as more of an “Indian” guy and felt like the new regime was just bringing in a guy that they were more familiar with in regards to the system. I never really thought of him as a real catcher but the more I look at the more I’m intrigued.
Gimenez while being able to play multiple positions I believe can play them without embarrassing himself. What we’ve “seen” so far there is a chance he could play a passable catcher. Here is a scouting report of him from 2009. Overall he is what he is, a super utility guy. But as I continually say, there is value in that. He nearly has a 1:1.7 walk to strike out ratio and he has a bit of pop in his bat.
I’m still not sold on Gimenez being able to regularly catch. But, with Moore behind the plate now and Olivo on his way back from injuries do you really worry about how much Gimenez will have to catch? Instead he seems like maybe he would just provide some early versatility to begin the season, maybe an okay pinch hitter for someone like Brendan Ryan or Jack Wilson in the later innings and if needed he could relieve Adam Moore if something were to happen.
If it came down to being a regular every other day catcher job. I would just feel more comfortable with Bard behind the plate. He seemed to do a half way decent job and while there are about 50+ catchers around the league that are probably better defensively. In my opinion he is the better of the two. Outside of the two year sample size.
Bard can still walk and he puts the ball in play quiet frequently. He has a bit of pop and being a switch hitter he can help with match-up situations. Looking at his time in Cleveland+San Diego (basically everything prior to 2008) he can possible give you what you hope for from a back-up catcher.
Just my thoughts.
What do you all think of your votes? Now knowing the context would you still vote for Gimenez?
This is a post about Adam Moore. I was wanting to write something that conveys my optimism for his major league career. It would say something to the affect that he’s still relatively young and that despite his age there still remains the possibility of making adjustments to the big league level.
With Olivo going on everyone is going to be talking about Moore … not that I really know what everyone talks about because I don’t live in Seattle and I have to make an effort to A) Listen to 710 or B) Read the paper.
Anyways, this is the point where I show you his Minor League track record.
|2006||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A-||60||253||29||64||15||0||7||33||16||48||.281||.344||.439||.782|
|2009||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AAA-AA||118||484||55||125||24||0||12||56||42||72||.287||.352||.425||.777|
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||146||606||74||162||39||2||17||84||56||98||.309||.391||.489||.880|
|AAA (2 seasons)||AAA||127||510||59||143||27||1||12||58||33||75||.302||.350||.439||.789|
|A (1 season)||A||44||187||21||44||6||0||7||24||14||38||.267||.342||.430||.773|
|A- (1 season)||A-||16||66||8||20||9||0||0||9||2||10||.317||.348||.460||.809|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||115||491||74||133||30||3||22||102||41||84||.307||.371||.543||.913|
Look, good numbers! Check out his total number of at bats and then compare it to his overall statistics. See, good!
Here is more knowledge: did you know he was the #83 best prospect according to Baseball America at this time last season? Seriously check his Baseball-Reference page. It’s funny how quickly we(I) forget those types of things. Don’t get me wrong I knew he was a solid prospect I just quiet often forget how other organizations view him.
It just seems Moore never got much love from John Sickles or Adam Foster. Not that I generally really put a lot of stock in those guys. It’s just their stuff is more freely available and gets passed around a lot more.
This is the point where I would then weigh some of the other internal options within the organization. But lets face it, Josh Bard (as much as I like him as a backup) and Chris Gimenez aren’t real starter options. The coaching staff will all empress upon everyone in the media that Adam Moore will still have to “earn” the spot and but that’s all talk.
Moore ended the season pretty positively and hit the ball pretty hard all season with unfortunate results. I think in general that the Olivo move was a pretty spazy move by the front office. Don’t get me wrong I can see some good coming from it, but generally you can find something good in just about anything that happens ask a bleeding optimist (that’s me).
Moore is now the starter as it should have been and Olivo will come back and play the back-up role. Game over Miguel. You lose.
In 2007, Josh Bard was worth 3.1 WAR over 443 plate appearances. He walked almost as much as he struck out, and and ended up with a .768 OPS. He was a decent defensive catcher, even if he threw out only 8% of attempted base-stealers.
It is now 2010. Josh Bard, who has since become much, much worse, was worth 0.3 WAR over 126 plate appearances. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was a paltry 27-10, and his OPS was .633. He was a poor defensive catcher according to most metrics. However, he was better than Rob Johnson and Adam Moore, so he got a fair amount of playing time.
Bard had a few nifty home runs, but he wasn’t particularly valuable this season.
Outlook: Josh Bard could return to the M’s in 2011. It doesn’t really matter. He’s the position player equivalent of David Pauley in that he exists only as a stopgap.
It wasn’t too long ago that Seattle felt really good about it’s catcher position. Kenji Johjima was coming of a good year, and there were 3 talented prospects that were coming down the pipe. GM Bill Bavasi talked about it being a “good problem to have,” and that the team could pick the best 2 and the others could be traded to fill other holes.
Oh how quickly things change. Johjima’s bat speed suddenly disappeared, and he left the team and moved back to Japan. Clement’s offensive talent turned out to be a mirage, and both Johnson and Moore have been decidedly less that than originally advertised.
Rob Johnson: RJ was given the majority of the playing in 2010, and, well, did the exact opposite of making the most of it. He posted an absolutely anemic wOBA of .261. On top of that he proved that his inability to catch the ball in 2009 wasn’t just a product of his injuries. 18 balled balls in just 61 games is completely unacceptable. The fact that he didn’t play again with Seattle after being sent down to Tacoma, and that playing time was given to GQ in September tells us a lot about RJ’s future with the M’s.
Adam Moore: Adam Moore simply wasn’t ready for big league ball at the beginning of the season. Why the M’s chose to rush him up and play him and not give him more time in Tacoma, especially with Bard on the payroll, is something I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. The end result was really a wasted year for Moore. He languished in Seattle with a .224 wOBA in 60 games before mercifully getting set down to Tacoma. His playing time in September wasn’t much better, but he did seem more comfortable, and managed to avoid the catcher interference calls, so perhaps he’s starting to get ready to play at this level.
Josh Bard: Bard was signed to be a veteran backup and mentor to Moore and RJ. One has to wonder why he spent most of the season in Tacoma while RJ and Moore struggled with the big team then. Bard’s .281 wOBA once he finally got called up is nothing to write home about, but it was better than both the kids. Bard isn’t signed for the 2011 season, and I expect the M’s to find another version of him to back up Moore next year.
Guillermo Quiroz: GQ will be 30 going into next season, so he’s hardly a prospect of any kind. He’s a guy who spend more time at AA than any other level the last 2 years, and doesn’t offer any upside at all. Still, he’s been a good guy to have in the organization, as he’s willing to sit in AA and wait to be an emergency call up in case of injuries.
Overall analysis: The Mariners better hope Moore turns the corner next year or it’s going to be a long painful year at catcher. Other than that, the cupboard seems pretty bare.
Prediction Guaranteed to be Wrong: A good part of the M’s rebuilding plan hinges on Moore. I expect him to be given every chance to prove he can play at this level. I also fully expect the M’s to sign another veteran mentor for Moore like Josh Bard was in 2010, and I expect to see RJ as a part of a trade this off season. Either that or he’ll be released outright to make room on the 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft.
Question: If someone walked on the field and put a bullet in Rob Johnson’s head, would anyone stop them?
Answer: It wouldn’t matter. The bullet would just get past him anyways.
This question was posed to me via text message yesterday by my friend Pete, right after Johnson had allowed yet another passed ball. He currently leads the majors with six of those, more than double his closest competition (three players tied with three PBs, including his teammate, Adam Moore).
Worse yet, Johnson has been on the receiving end of 11 wild pitches, as opposed to just four for the entire 2009 season. Technically, blame for that statistic lies on the pitchers. But with such a huge gap between last year’s numbers and this year’s numbers, it’s hard not to point the finger at Johnson.
To top it off, Johnson’s catcher’s ERA (or the ERA of the pitching staff when said catcher is catching) has ballooned from 3.22 in 2009 to 4.11 in 2010.
Lauded for his defense in ’09, Johnson is an absolute abomination behind the dish this year. The fact that he hasn’t been hitting (.172/.295/.592, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 19 TB) only compounds the problem.
Set to turn 27 years old in July, time is running out for Johnson. It doesn’t appear that he’ll ever be much of a hitter in this league (unless he’s always facing Ben Sheets, who he hit both of his home runs off of), and the only way he can truly stay relevant at this level is to be one hell of a defender. Clearly, if he’s doing neither, he has no role in Major League Baseball.
So what can the M’s really do about all this?
Well, for one, they can start playing Josh Bard more. A lot more.
The 32-year-old Bard is the walking definition of a journeyman (the Mariners are the fifth team he has played for in his nine-year big league career), but he has always been a decent hitter for his position. In 2006, while with the Red Sox and Padres, Bard appeared in 100 games, posting a .333/.404/.926 line, with nine HR, 40 RBI, and 130 TB. In 2007, he proved the previous year was no fluke with a .285/.364/768 line, five HR, 51 RBI, and 157 TB. In long-term stints, Bard has proven his worth with the stick. He may not have much long-term potential with the organization, but if the team is looking to win now, Bard (batting .333/.435/1.101, one HR, four RBI, 12 TB, in 18 at-bats in 2010) is the guy to go with.
And what about Adam Moore?
The 26-year-old Moore is currently on the 15-day DL with a strained left knee. When he returns to health, who gets sent down to Triple-A? Surely not Bard, as he is the only catcher amongst the trio who has been able to hit in any capacity so far this year. So it really comes down to a coin flip between Johnson and Moore.
A couple seasons ago, this would have been an easy decision. The club could simply option the younger Moore back to Tacoma and give the company line as to why they made the move they did: he needs seasoning, he needs to play every day, he needs to work on his hitting, he needs to work on his game-calling, all the usual garbage. The problem now is that Moore is 26 and those arguments simply don’t apply anymore.
At the same time, Johnson is more or less the same age as Moore, so whoever gets sent down is basically being optioned to baseball purgatory. By giving either of these players a free trip to T-town, the team is essentially giving up on the future of one, while extending a vote of confidence to the other. Catchers tend to age much faster than other position players, and both Johnson and Moore are nearing the primes of their respective careers. They aren’t over the hill yet, but they’re nearing the top.
The M’s are now in the position of determining which catcher has a brighter future with the team. Is it Johnson, the (supposed) defensive wunderkind? Or is it Moore, who might lack with the glove from time to time, but is probably the better hitter?
These are questions we need the answers to sooner rather than later. Or at least before fans start considering how to keep a bullet from getting past the catching staff on a regular basis.
Filed under: Mariners
There are some surprises here — particularly those who have significantly underachieved — but for the most part, these numbers reflect the figurative death cell that has been the Mariners 2010 season so far.
Franklin Gutierrez: 1.7
Cliff Lee: 1.5
Ichiro Suzuki: 1.3
Doug Fister: 1.1
Jason Vargas: 0.9
Felix Hernandez: 0.6
Michael Saunders: 0.2
Jack Wilson: -0.2
Casey Kotchman: -0.3
Chone Figgins: -0.4
Ryan Rowland-Smith: -0.7
Ken Griffey, Jr: -0.8
At a certain point, you hope Jack Zduriencik will do something. Our second-best pitcher, according to WAR, only induces a swinging strike 3.5% of the time. Our second-worst hitter is a massively under-performing Chone Figgins. Our position player with the third-highest WAR currently has a .239 wOBA. And, last but not least, Griffey is just as bad as you thought. In fact, Griffey is so bad that Josh Bard would make for a fairly significant improvement at DH. Josh Bard. Yeah.
I’m damn tired of waiting. Make something happen before our time runs out, Z.
I missed most of today’s game as I was playing softball. I happened to tune in late in the game when the Mariners were up 1-0 and I immediately got that sinking feeling in my stomach. We have seen this show several times this year and I pretty much knew what the result was going to be so I turned off the radio hoping it might help if I didn’t listen. Well as you know that trick did not work either and Cliff Lee wasted another gem of an outing, as the bats just weren’t there again.
Not sure how long this is going to last but just when I think we have hit bottom on our bad luck, we have another series like this where the Mariners by all rights should have won the series. Josh Bard was called up today and though not an impact player by any means, he will at least get to use his major league experience to try and win a spot on the team.
I know it is hard to believe but we haven’t even played a quarter of the season! I hope we can salvage something out of this road trip in Oakland where we have a short 2 game series next. The Mariners have given our youngsters from AAA a shot this past week and though they are nice guys,unfortunately they haven’t been consistent at the plate either. We did have a little burst of homerun production for a minute this week and that felt good. I guess I’m getting a little confused with all the roster moves as it seems like someone is coming or going every day, and Bradley and Bedard are still question marks though each in their own odd way. I have one last idea to save the season and perhaps the franchise : Move The Fences In! Other teams have done it,though I’m still researching to see if any team has done it in the middle of a season. Also being that it is Seattle we will have to come to some sort of consensus before making a decision, so I don’t look for anything to happen to quick…….. http://jeffsmariners.com