Speaking of Adam Jones, Derek and I had a chance to see him play Thursday night (Derek has posted a few pictures, I haven’t gotten around to posting mine yet, and neither of us has talked about the game; I’ll attempt to remedy that). Like Dave said on the Future Forty, Jones’ arm is his best tool. He made several very strong throws from deep in the hole, and seems to have plenty of arm to handle SS as he moves up the ladder. His range looked pretty good as well, though it was only one game. If there’s something he needs to work on defensively, it’s making the pivot at 2B to turn the double-play. But hey, the guy just graduated from high school, so I’m certainly not complaining.
Offensively, he looked so far superior to Michael Garciaparra (who spent a few games at Everett late last season) it wasn’t even funny. Garciaparra reached at almost everything and appeared to be fooled on every pitch, but Jones had a much better approach, took good swings and made better contact. He certainly wasn’t what I’d call patient, but he wasn’t chasing junk, either. Well, for the most part at least. He looked pretty bad on a nasty slider from a side-arming righty in his final at-bat, but the pitcher in question was a recent college draftee who made most of Everett’s hitters look bad at the plate.
Speaking of celebrations, a new Future Forty has been posted. Chris Snelling finally vacates the #1 position, though he doesn’t fall far. Shin-Soo Choo’s stock is going down, and Travis Blackley cracks the top 5, as well as the first appearances on the lists by Adam Jones and Wladmir Balentien.
The final end-of-season minor league review will come tommorrow afternoon.
I think I’ve said this before — however not on this particular forum — but if George Steinbrenner really is stupid enough to fire GM Brian Cashman if the Yankees don’t win the World Series, the M’s should hire Cashman before the celebratory champagne is even dry.
I replied to a couple of emails today w/r/t roster rules, and after thinking it over, I’m not sure that I was right at all, and Pelekoudas was right: that the team can tweak roster composition through DL usage. The rule on this says the players eligible for post-season play have to be (essentially) on the roster or DL on August 31st. And so my first criticism of the Times article could be totally wrong, though the second one remains correct (pitchers-pitchers). Here’s how it would work. If you had (like the M’s) a roster of
15 healthy hitters + 1 DL hitter
10 healthy pitchers + 1 DL pitcher
When it came time to submit your roster, you then would be able to pick up to 16 hitters, or up to 11 pitchers. So if that’s the case, and it makes sense that it would be, now that I’ve given this some serious thought, I’d like to apologize to the people I already wrote back to.
What I don’t understand about this, then, is that if you wanted maximum flexibilty, you’d call up everyone DLed on the 40m, while optioning down anyone marginal you could on the 25m.
Aaalso, I don’t understand this part: if you’re going to bring Meche into the playoffs, optioning him off the active roster for August 31st in order to bring up a DL guy does you no good: you then have to use that DL guy to slip Meche back through, which means you’ve burned that spot (and a Meche option year) for no reason. Maybe they figure there’s a decent chance they’re going to have to shut him down for the playoffs, and want flexibility around him.
Some have submitted that post-season roster eligibility can come by being on the roster before then, even if it’s not then, but Rule 40’s pretty clear they have to be on the active/DL on midnight 8/31 to be eligible, so I reject that.
The other interesting thing here is that it does mean the Mariners don’t have to make choices about whether to carry Cirillo/Sasaki yet: the 8/31 eligibles include them, but they don’t necc. have to be there. If the M’s indeed decide they want, uh, Aaron Looper on there, while carrying 15 hitters, no problem — in fact, they still have a roster spot to play with on the hitter’s side.