Somewhere in the city of Seattle tonight Eric Wedge the manager of the 48 – 52 Seattle Mariners is probably being lectured about staying up late and watching TV when he should be resting after the head nurse observed the ninth inning at Safeco Field tonight where Tom Wilhelmsen almost gave everyone a cardiac arrest . But thanks to the quick thinking of Kyle Seager and his shipmates up the middle Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, the Seattle Mariners somehow wiggled off the hook in the ninth inning tonight at Safeco Field to pick up win number eight against a sloppy looking Cleveland Indians ballclub. So perf our skipper doesn’t make it down to the Safe tomorrow the nurse won’t have to put him on TV restriction after all.Either way I hope you get well soon Eric…
Tonight started off great for me as I got a free ticket from my friend Laura T that she advertised on Facebook at the last-minute, then I drove down to Safeco and got street parking and proceeded to walk in to enjoy a beautiful night with 16,308 other fans. But unlike a lot of other beautiful nights at Safeco Field where the highlight is just the Hydro races, the stupid wave, or dancing groundskeepers our Seattle Mariners came through once again in dramatic style to win one for the skipper ! Erasmo Ramirez looked a little better tonight and got the win against the tall Indians pitcher Zach McAllister who along with his manager must be a little bit miffed tonight after seeing the Indians players commit not only three actual errors, but a couple other near misses and stupid base running moves that basically cost the struggling Indians the game. But after writing this Mariners Blog for almost 4 years and facing nothing but drudgery most of the time, I’m willing to let go completely and have the Baseball Gods come in and wake up this sleepy baseball town.
Once again it was the big guys Raul Ibanez and Kendry’s Morales along Kyle Seager who got things going in the third inning when the Mariners managed to score 3 runs and overtake the visiting Indians 4-3.There was just a hint of electricity down at Safeco Field tonight, though it was a fairly small crowd considering the win streak we are in, but I have hopes that tomorrow’s game and the series with the Minnesota Twins may start to pull out some more bandwagon fans and even some old guard types like myself who witnessed this sort of miracle come back in 1995. Now of course I’m just looking to get back to 500 at this point , but with the Athletics, Rangers and Angels all losing tonight it feels great to take sole possession of third place in the AL West.
As usual the Cleveland Indians had a nice little contingency of fans who were into the game and got up every time the Indians scored, so it was extra nice to see the cocky Nick Swisher fan three times tonight. The Indians did just about everything possible to throw this game our way, and the absolute dumbest was the base running error in the ninth inning which resulted in a bang-bang double-play to allow TomWilhelmsen his 23rd save. The Mariners are looking for their third sweep in a row in tomorrow’s afternoon game and since I saved a bundle tonight I may just head down there, if not I’m for sure going to show up for a game or two of the Minnesota Twins series as we battle our way back to .500 Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: Battle back to .500, Erasmo Ramirez win, Eric Wedge Hospital, Indians errors against Mariners, kyle seager, Mariners Blog, Mariners eighth Straight win, Safeco Field, Tom Wilhelmsen cardiac arrest
After watching last night’s 3-2 loss to the Yankees and reading some other Mariners Blogs over the past couple of days I thought I would jump in and give my opinion on the strikeout epidemic which has been on everyone’s minds these days. I guess it is important to state up front that I never playEd Higher than High School ball and thus my opinion is based primarily on my observations as a fan for the past 45 years.
First off I think it is important to realize that we are putting six or seven guys on the field every day that are either rookies or AAAA type players that have minimal experience in the Majors. On a real team like the Yankees, Rangers etc. there is usually only one or two of these sorts of players on the field at any given time being that they have managed to assemble and keep real live Big League lineups together. The situation here is different as instead of easing in a few top prospects every year like the contenders do, the Mariners have thrown a whole heap of these youngsters on the field all at once hoping it will somehow work. This situation itself is problematic as the younger players have no real mentors to give them the inside tips on opposing pitchers patterns and traits. Instead most of our young guys as well as a few of the veterans are stepping into the batters box with no game plan and the results are what we saw last night where the Mariners fanned 17 times as part of a season heading towards setting and all time Mariners record for strikeouts.
Now it should be noted that Ichiro as frustrating as he is to watch, has the ability to adjust his swing in the middle of pitches and thus make contact on almost anything thrown. This of course is a rare quality and not something you can teach. Then there is Dustin Ackley who also seems to have enough hand-eye coordination to adjust his swing as the ball is heading to the plate. But Ackley also seems to have a plan when he steps into the box and is more apt to let pitches go that he knows he can’t square-up on. Once Ackley gets to know the habits and patterns of opposing pitchers he should be able to do what all great hitters do that is: anticipate pitches.
Great hitters like Mays, Chipper Jones, Edgar Martinez etc. did not achieve their level of success by simply having good eyes, but rather for having good instincts and sitting on pitches then driving them when they came. Unfortunately guys like Wells, Robinson, Saunders and Peguero don’t seem to have much of a clue when they step up to the plate and thus continue to strikeout at alarming rates. Some of this can be taught but much of the art of hitting comes from innate talent and experience. One has to wonder how some of these players made it to this level by simply trying to recognize pitches as they come to the plate rather than having a plan. I will say that Kyle Seager does seem to show some promise at the plate and with some experience he may well develop into a consistent high average guy who goes to the plate with a picture in his mind of exactly what he is looking for and sesnses when it is coming.
This off-season the Mariners need to first and foremost land a couple of savvy veterans who have proved they know how to hit over the course of their careers to help set an example and perhaps help fine tune the approaches of guys like Seager and Ackley. Someone like Lance Berkman or Johnny Damon would be ideal though I just use them as examples of veterans with proven track records who know how to hit. And even with a few veterans around there may come a time when Jack Z. and Wedge simply have to give up on a few of our youngsters who are really no more than prospects and not genuine Major League players. That is my opinion and I’m sticking to it. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
First of all, shortstop isn’t that hard. It isn’t. You play deep enough so you can field every grounder hit your way, you scoop up said grounder, and then you throw the ball to first. Occasionally, you’ll have to cover second or third. Every now and then, you’ll take a relay throw. In between, you’ll stand around, kick the dirt, spit, smack the palm of your glove, hold one or two fingers above your head, chatter, and just generally try to look good out there for all the people watching. Don’t put the position on a pedestal. It’s not that freakin’ hard.
Baseball as a whole isn’t that hard. Sorry, but it isn’t. Scouts and old guys who follow the game will have you believe otherwise, but that’s mostly because they’re fat asses who couldn’t field a turtle. Plus, they want their opinions and numbers to mean something. So if they portray baseball as this difficult endeavor, maybe you’ll listen to what they have to say every time they open their mouths. Whatever.
Fact is, you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to play baseball. I know this. I’ve played baseball my whole life and no one has ever said to me, “Hey, look at you! I bet you could win an Olympic medal if you wanted to.” No. No one has ever said that. If I can do it, anyone can.
With all that said, there seems to be a firm belief in the baseball world that a guy like Kyle Seager, he of Seattle Mariners fame, cannot play a position like shortstop. I’d like to question why the f**k that is.
Seager is 5’10″, 175 pounds. He’s built like your classic shortstop. Experts, however, say he’s more suited for second or third base. He lacks the range and the arm to play shortstop, they say, despite the fact that second requires one to cover the same area as shortstop, while third requires the same arm strength as shortstop. Look it up. The dimensions of a major league infield are the same all over. We’re not dealing with an oblong diamond here.
I’d question why insiders seem to hate simple mathematics (basic geometry) yet adore arithmetic of their own creation (sabermetrics), but that would be straying too far from our point.
The point is, there’s no doubt in my mind that Kyle Seager could very well be the Mariners’ shortstop of the future.
Seager is in a tough spot right now, however. He’s blocked at second base thanks to his former college teammate, Dustin Ackley. Third base could be his primary position, and it is for now, but Seager lacks the pop of a corner infielder. On an offensively-challenged ballclub like this one, it helps to get power from all available positions. Third base is one of those positions where power can be easily obtained, where a glove can be sacrificed for a big bat. With all due respect to the 23-year-old infielder, Seager isn’t the big bat this team needs.
But he does happen to be a line drive hitting machine who deposits souvenirs beyond the outfield wall from time to time. It’s not as if we’re talking about a liability at the plate here. In fact, it’s Seager’s bat that even warrants this discussion in the first place. If the left-handed-hitting North Carolina native can continue his production at the dish (he’s batting .405 over his last 10 games), the organization will be forced to get creative in how they use the rookie in ensuing years.
Yes, many pundits seem resigned to the fact that Seager will get traded away by the team somewhere down the road. But if he can prove capable at the big-league level, that could prove a costly mistake.
The Mariners have been all too apt to deal young talent over the course of the past decade. Their incumbent at the six-hole, Brendan Ryan, will be 30 on Opening Day next year. He’s a career .259 hitter. He seems like a great dude and all, but he is what he is, and it’s nothing spectacular.
There are other shortstops throughout the minor league system — Nick Franklin (currently in Double-A), Brad Miller (selected in the third round of the 2011 June Amateur Draft), and Carlos Triunfel (currently at Triple-A Tacoma, though there’s no guarantee he’s actually real), to name three — but the reality is that none of these guys are in the bigs right this moment. Seager is. And he’s proving he can play.
Why not take a chance on the guy? Really, when it comes down to it, what do you have to lose?
It’s time to find out what we have in the young players that comprise the Mariners’ roster. You can start by putting Kyle Seager at shortstop. It isn’t that hard.
Filed under: Mariners
Tags: kyle seager
The Mariners only allowed four total runs in the three game series with the Angels this weekend and yet manged to lose the series 2-1 due to a lack of execution and timely hitting by their offense. Today Felix Hernandez pitched a great game fanning 12 Angels and only allowing 4 hits over 8 strong innings but was bested by Ervin Santana who only allowed the one run on a home run to Mike Carp in the top of the ninth. Mike Trumbo hit his 22nd home run off the King in the bottom half of the third on a 1-2 pitch after the Mariners had wasted a scoring chance in the top half of the frame.
The Mariners got a pair of singles by Kyle Seager and Ichiro to give them runners at first and third with one out in the top of the third but could not score due to poor execution on a safety squeeze bunt by Jack Wilson that Santana fielded to throw-out a sliding Seager at the plate. Wilson who has been playing this game a long time knew that he needed to get this bunt passed the pitcher to make this play work but just did not execute. Wilson who has been getting a few Cameo starts at short while Ryan rests up from some aches and pains also had a huge mental error in the 7th inning to set-up the Angels other run.
For some reason Wilson ran over to cover second on a steal attempt despite the fact that the second baseman usually cover when there is a right handed batter at the plate. And sure enough the Angels squirted a grounder through the hole that Wilson’s absence created to negate a sure double-play situation. The veteran Vernon Wells knocked in the winning run on a broken bat single after the Wilson mental error and that was the game in a nutshell.
It was nice however to see Mike Carp get three hits today including the solo homer in the ninth to move his average up to .311. Also Kyle Seager had his first multi-hit game as a Mariner with his two singles today. Overall, though we lost this series the Mariners played pretty well against the tough Angels who now stand only a half game back of the Rangers in the AL West. We got to see Trayvon Robinson shine in this series but also look a little Pegueroish today striking out a couple times where he looked bad. Of course that is the book on him ie: a guy with speed, power, good glove and arm but strikes out a lot. Manager Eric Wedge is fully aware of this and seems to believe he can teach the youngster better plate discipline, lets hope so as the kid is exciting to watch and Gutierrez is getting under my skin a bit.
I am looking forward to visiting Angels stadium on August 30th though we won’t be able to do much but play a spoiler role for the Angels by that point in the season. Actually I am beginning to dislike the Angels more than any other team we play, not only because they have owned us for the past couple years but their whole energy is just weird.
So now we send our boys down to the Death Valley of baseball to face the Texas Rangers for another three game series before coming home to the beautiful and mild NW. Apparently it has reached over 100 degrees for something like 40 days in a row down in the Dallas area and the heat may be a bit challenging for Eric Wedge and his band of youngsters as they try to take the defending AL Champs down a notch this week. Hope you all had a Happy Seafair Weekend! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners offense was pathetic today against Oakland Athletics hurler Guillermo Moscoso managing to scrape-up only two hits and a walk in support of Jason Vargas who allowed two runs and five hits only to lose 2-0. In response to this particularly painful loss the Mariners have made the bold move of calling up young Kyle Seager from AAA. Seager will replace Jose Yepez on the roster and makes the jump from AA to the Majors in a couple weeks after tearing the cover off the ball in Tacoma hitting .455.
This move does not come a minute to soon as both Chone Figgins and Carlos Peguero looked particularly bad today in a game that was winnable. I have refrained from jumping-on the “Carlos Peguero Sucks” bandwagon for as long as possible but I am sad to say the big kid just does not look ready to play at this level yet despite his tremendous raw talent. As for Figgins who committed his tenth error of the season today as part of the Mariners three error day, I’m done hoping for him to come around as well. At least with Peguero there is hope he can someday learn how to hit in the Show unlike Figgins who appears to have lost whatever game he once had.
Kyle Seager will join the Mariners in Anaheim for the big four game series with the Angels and although he along with his fellow college teammate Dustin Ackley are both second basemen, I look for Eric wedge to find a creative way to get both of their bats in the lineup. Perhaps the Mariners will send Ackley out to left and plug Seager in at second or maybe one of them will learn to play third. Both of these guys are great athletes and should be able to adapt to whatever is thrown their way.
This move from within is bound to improve this weak offense and should provide for lots of interesting speculation here on the blogosphere as to exactly how it will all play out. We are only one game under .500 and still in the thick of the AL West race as the Angels lost today as well. So the Dustin Ackley era has started off with a bang and now it is time to see if Kyle Seager can do the same…….Stay tuned…Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com