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Jose Lopez

May 10, 2008

Jose Lopez has 3 BB on the year.

His most recent walk was on April 11th. His .292 OBP so far this year is actually better than his 2007 OBP of .284.

If the season really is lost, then I have no problem with eventually flipping Lopez to another team and promoting Chen. I doubt Chen is a longterm fix, and I don’t believe that a 30-year old Orlando Hudson is the answer this offseason. But I also don’t believe that Lopez is going to help us much at reaching the post-season.

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Call Up Reed

May 9, 2008

There is no better time than the present to call up Jeremy Reed from AAA Tacoma.

Reed has been a monster this season, hitting .437/.600. The problem is that there’s no way to know what’s causing this. Has he taken a step forward? Has he simply mastered AAA? Has he become a classic case of the AAAA-type player? There’s only one way to find out. He needs to be promoted to Seattle.

With Sexson suspended, this is the ideal time. Moving Raul to DH and Clement to 1B opens a hole for Jeremy in LF. It necessitates no further lineup changes, which is critical for a team so concerned with “chemistry”.

Considering the swoon the Mariners are in, it cannot hurt for the ball club to try new things. Who knows, maybe Jeremy Reed will hit well in the big leagues. He certainly can’t do as poorly as Jose Vidro (.546 OPS), Miguel Cairo (.243 OPS), or Willie Bloomquist (.505 OPS).

If the Mariners want to find out what they have in Jeremy Reed, and if he’s going to be a valuable part of the club’s future, now is the time to find out.

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Dubya Tee Eff, Mate

May 4, 2008

First off, I don’t like writing articles that are inherently negative. On the other hand, I also don’t like articles that are hackey and attack blogs that provide legitimate analysis, like USSMariner. I don’t like that these hack-sites are tricking naive Mariner fans that stumble upon them.

I present to you the 5/3/2008 article from Detect-O-Vision, What Would Dr. D Do.

What Dr. D would do, right now, is put his two or three no-glove, bat-first benchies into the lineup.

Because the 2008 Mariner team is known for having all-D, no-O players.

Beltre – A ton of D, a ton of offense

Lopez – Some D, some good offense

Sexson – No D, no offense

Yuni – A lot of D, some offense<p>Ibanez – A DOV fit! no-glove, bat-first

Ichiro – A ton of D, a ton of offense

Balentein – Emerging D, developing offense

Johjima/Clement – Some D, maybe some offense, this being once Kenji comes around and as Jeff develops.

I’m left wondering who exactly DOV would remove from the lineup. There’s Richie, but replacing him isn’t exactly a new idea. Let’s read on to see if Doc explains.

Take the 1972 Orioles:  Bobby Grich (127 OPS+), Terry Crowley (112) and Don Baylor (119) on the bench.

Earl’s regular 9 were a mix of bat and glove specialists

The 2008 Mariners are not a team of bat and glove specialists.

He would flood his bats into the game, even if it meant bad defense for a little while.  This would include moving players to tougher defensive positions.  Earl would yank his glove wizard Mark Belanger from SS, putting a 2B in there (Bobby Grich), in order to maximize his offensive punch.

The defense might get ugly.  That was beside the point.

The defense giving up extra runs is beside the point.

Orioles would play 8-to-5 ball games for a week, and the slumping regulars would join in the festivities against long relievers, and boom.  The slump over, the glove players would go back in.

Interestingly, the 1972 Orioles did not win a single game by the score of 8-5.

Oakland is a modern example of the bench-bat model.  Last year they had literally 8-9 bat-first, no-glove players rotating in and out.   Cust, and Snelling, and Swisher, and Johnson, and Piazza, and Stewart, and Buck, and I forget who all.

I had no idea that many of those names were considered no-glove. Huh.

Anyway, a list of the following bat-first Oakland A’s benchies from last year, as well as their ’07 OPS+:

Cust – 147

Snelling – 131

Swisher – 128

Johnson – 108

Piazza – 96

Stewart – 101

Buck – 130

That’s a lot of OPS+ above 100! Then again, when you consider that Cust basically replaced Piazza as the every day DH at the start of May, that Swisher, Stewart, Johnson, and Buck were hardly bench bats that were truly “rotating in and out”, and that Snelling only had 20 AB for the A’s, the premise that the team was stocked with incredible bench bats is somewhat flawed. They had good bats period. It had nothing to do with a deep, slump-busting bench.

Defense is a wonderful thing and all that, but you guys are watching the downside to holding defense and versatility as an absolute.

I want to know what players Detecto is referring to exactly here. Is he saying we should sub out Betancourt? I also like his casual dismissal of defense.

What is the flippin’ big deal about losing your DH twice a year?  Why can’t Burke’s AND Cairo’s spots go to whatever the biggest sticks are that you can get your hands on?

Because Burke is awesome.<p>100% agree on Cairo.

What’s the big deal about switching positions around?  Betancourt to the bench, JLo to short, Raul to 1B, stuff like that.

He IS talking about moving Yuni to the bench! Because Betancourt’s 97 OPS+ is clearly what’s holding the team back.

And, um, who takes over at LF and 2B?

So it would be ugly when Jack Cust watched a ball bounce off the warning track four feet away from him.  Is that ugli-ER than what you are watching right now?!

Someone didn’t watch the Mike Morse start against Anaheim.

How many of these Mariners do you expect to win your next pennant with? 1. Ichiro 2. Beltre 3. Clement 4. JLo 5. Betancourt

Even though Betancourt ought not to be starting for the team.<p>Or does he mean that Betancourt ought not to start, until he busts out of his non-existent slump?

Put Brandon Morrow into the rotation and I don’t care whether this team wins or loses. 

Morrow is not ready for the starting rotation. DOV’s citations of Justin Verlander are not valid.

flip Sexson, Vidro, and Washburn for (1) a SU, for (2) Jr/Tex/rental/whatever and for (3) Morrow SP.  

Sexson, Vidro, and Washburn for Texeira? Brilliant. Let’s do Cairo + Reed for Pujols while we’re at it too.

I wouldn’t be about pleasing some invisible blog with 3,000 readers. 

I have no idea what he’s talking about here.

3.  11-man hitting rotation – Learn the lesson of a 5-man bench with 2-3 bats.   You might even address this in-season, with Eduardo Perez/Ben Broussard TYPE trades.

YEAH! Let’s repeat the Eduardo Perez trade! Because that move worked out so well in our favor.

Ugh.

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Class.

May 1, 2008

I really don’t want to go to it right now.  Grr.

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Trading Jarrod Washburn

April 24, 2008

As Matthew Carruth identified in his pre-season post (will add Link once Lookout Landing’s server recovers) on our pitchers, Jarrod Washburn is the biggest collapse candidate in the rotation.  To this point Jarrod has pitched fairly well, running a 4.35 xFIP which backs up his solid results.  Washburn may be pitching better than he ever has as a Mariner, but this is where the Mariners organization needs to think outside the “He’s performing well, we’ll use that performance for us!” box they always think in and instead think along the lines of “Hey, x team has an injured/underperforming member of their rotation, so offloading the overperforming Washburn to them will grant us some salary relief!”

The biggest problem here, however, is that if we as fans know that Washburn is overperforming then other MLB franchises will know as well.  Regardless, a player who is performing well will almost always net more in trade than a player performing poorly.  The Mariners need to change their ideology on when to trade players, and while they won’t, let’s pretend they have and look to indentify potential suitors for a Jarrod Washburn trade.

The Brewers seem like a good fit.  There are injury concerns for them with young stud Yovanni Gallardo, Chris Capuano, and Ben Sheets.  Also, aside from being an injury risk David Bush ran a tRA of 4.97 last season showing that even when healthy he is not an asset in the rotation.  A move to the NL should help Washburn and provide stability for an injury-prone staff like Milwaukee.  They could flip one of Guillermo Mota, David Riske, or Derrick Turnbow our way.  We don’t have to use them and they could become quick DFA candidates should they perform poorly.  Basically this gets us out from some of the money we owe Washburn and we only have to deal with one of the traded relievers for 2008 freeing up payroll space for next year.

Detroit is another interesting possibility.  With Kenny Rogers starting the year so terribly it’s not a reach to think the 43-year old may lose his roster spot soon.  Their current rotation of Verlander-Bonderman-Rogers-Robertson-Gallaraga could definitely use improvement, so flipping Washburn for someone like Bobby Seay could work.  With Detroit desperate to win now and their pitching holding them back it seems like it would be a good fit for them to add a mediocre back end starter to their rotation if nothing else but for stability.

Philadelphia would likely welcome Washburn with open arms as well.  I mean come on.  This rotation has Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer, and Adam Eaton.  They need all the help they can get as they play in the same division as the Johan Santana led Mets.  Jarrod Washburn isn’t good but once again moving to the NL would be a plus, and the difference between Philly and New York is maybe two or three wins, so Washburn could close the gap/widen it a little (depending on who you think holds the advantage)  Plus with Gillick’s love of ex-Mariners, this seems like a no-brainer.  Make a Washburn for Ryan Madson swap or something similar and call it good.  Just as long as you get out of some or most of Washburn’s contract.

Ok, so assume Washburn’s been traded one of those places.  I think we can be just as competitive with Rowland-Smith, Cha Seung Baek, or R.A. Dickey making Washburn’s starts, plus we’d be saving a lot of money.  Getting out of Washburn’s contract is absolutely essential for the signing of premier talent in the 2008-2009 offseason–not to mention getting Washburn out of our rotation now may actually upgrade the current roster.

This team needs to make a bold move by trading one of it’s beloved veterans.  This team needs to trade Jarrod Washburn.

–Brett

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Players That I Would Like To See Wearing Mariner Blue Volume 1

April 24, 2008

It’s no secret that the Mariners need another power hitter.  With the obvious options next off-season being Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark Teixeira, I’d like to take this in a new direction.  (Not that we shouldn’t go after Teix and Griff–and let’s be honest it’s pretty much guaranteed that Jr. is wearing #24 in Seattle next year)  There’s one hitter on the market who doesn’t play well to this ballpark but would still inject this lineup with the power and patience it so desperately needs.

That hitter is Pat Burrell.

I’ve been kicking this idea in my head the last week or so and the more I think about it the more it makes sense.  Burrell ran a .256/.400/.502 line last year while being hated on by Phillies fans the whole way.  He took 114 BB’s which would’ve easily been the highest on the Mariners last year.  And also, he cranked 30 long balls, once again more than any Mariner hit in 2007.  He’s 31 this year so age is a concern but it appears Burrell’s just now hitting his best years…it’s not totally out of the question that a hitter who’s prime skills are patience and power may prosper in his early thirties.  I’d figure it would take 3/$40 or 4/$55 to get him wearing Mariner blue.  That’s about what we paid Sexson, but Burrell is the superior hitter by a fair margin.

Now I know he is a right-handed pull hitter which doesn’t suit Safeco too well but his home runs are generally towering shots.  They’re not cheap, despite the ballpark he plays in.  If Burrell signs with Seattle, I would expect no less than .250/.385/.475, which is a damn solid line and a true cleanup hitter considering he would play half his games in Safeco field.

You can also hide his defensive shortcomings in the smaller right field of Safeco, allowing Wladimir Balentien to take LF with his superior range so Ichiro can shade more towards RF to help Burrell.

Burrell is down on my list of priorities but he is a free-agent this offseason and would a punch to a lineup that could really use it.  Priority number one is signing Teixeira, two signing Griffey, three trading Washburn to free up some payroll, and four signing Burrell.  That’s not to downplay the importance of this move.  This team needs power.  This team needs patience.

This team needs Pat Burrell.

–Brett

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How To Win In Seven Easy Steps

April 1, 2008

DFA Richie.
DFA Vidro.
Promote Wlad.
Put Wlad in the OF.
Promote Clement.
Create an Ibanez/Johjima/Clement rotation at DH, C, and 1B.
DON’T THROW FIRST PITCH FASTBALLS TO JOSH FREAKING HAMILTON WHEN RAMON VAZQUEZ IS ON DECK.
Win.

-Eric