Sunday’s Times-PI has a Bob Sherwin minor league piece (“M’s take stock in good, young pitching“). Features some comments by Benny Looper, and it’s always interesting to get the official team line. I’m still baffled at why people think Thornton’s going to recover and make a huge impact, or why Anderson may ever be healthy again. Sherwin’s Top 10 and (their rank) at the USS Mariner Future Forty, for comparison’s sake:
1.(2) RHP Clint Nageotte
2.(5) RHP Rett Johnson
3.(6) LHP Travis Blackley
4.(1) OF Chris Snelling
5.(4) OF Shin-Soo Choo
6.(13) LHP Bobby Livingston
7.(25) 3B Justin Leone
8.(3) SS Jose Lopez
9.(8) RHP Cha Baek
10.(--) OF Greg Jacobs
Justin Leone’s a controversial prospect even within the organization. He’s having a great year, no doubt, but then, he’s also 26 in AA. His minor league lines don’t suggest he’s a can’t-miss prospect (and here I’d like to thank the Mariners 2003 Information Guide, which doesn’t have either OBP or SLG in their historical lines). He went unlisted in almost every prospect list and book I have handy. Sherwin also seems to say that a Moyer-Pineiro-Meche-Soriano-Johson/etc rotation would be a bad thing — “The club can’t afford to inject too much youth into the rotation, but it must be served at some point.” I always reject standards like this. If you have players who are ready, I say you play them, regardless of overall team age. Best player for the job, all that. The A’s, for example, have a rotation with Hudson (28), Zito (25), Mulder (26), and Harden (22).
Also, Sherwin writes that “it would seem likely [Garcia] would be shipped out over the winter, perhaps brining in another starter candidate.” Um, no. Garcia makes a lot of money after beating the M’s in arbitration before this season. Under arb rules, he can’t get a significant pay cut if he’s taken to arb again. So trading him means that the M’s will have to offer arbitration to keep Garcia bound to the club, and then find someone who is willing to take a risk of at least $6m. To think that a team is going to make that gamble and give the M’s a player good enough to be a starter candidate at the same time — who would do that? Why not just keep the starter candidate, and then they can just wait out the M’s (I don’t expect the team will even offer him arbitration) and get Garcia on the free-agent market for $much less.
Other articles today: M’s plan to ease Sasaki into closing, blah blah velocity back he’s fine, and two from Larry Stone, Officially Endorsed Seattle Print Baseball Writer of the U.S.S. Mariner:
“Shiggy saving the season for M’s” and “Beinfest, Marlins making waves”.
I missed this earlier this week: Freddy Garcia has two blown eardrums. Don’t fret, though — “I can still dance good.”