Somebody emailed us, asking if anyone had heard anything about Rafael Soriano. My personal feeling is that he won’t pitch again this season. In any event, I found this from Sunday’s Everett Herald: Reliever Rafael Soriano has been cleared to begin playing catch,something he hasn’t done since May 12, when he was put on the DL with a strained right elbow. It’s the first time since the injury that Soriano’s elbow was tested and he felt no pain.
So there you go.
Another facet to this is that if this is what Dotel fetches. Dotel got paid $2.8m. Eddie Guardado, left handed established closer type, makes more than that, at $4m. The M’s should be able to get something for Guardado.
You know, I’ve never understood the fascination with Jason Lane as someone the Astros should be clearing 500 at-bats for. Lane is their version of Justin Leone; a nice, above replacement level piece who has proven he has some value, but also has pretty obvious flaws. He’s a great role player, a terrific 4th outfielder, and a nice bat off the bench who adds depth in case of injury. But a starting corner outfielder? He’s hitting .238/.319/.417 this year in his age 27 season. Last year, he hit a pedestrian .298/.374/.452 in the PCL. The year before, he hit .272/.328/.472 for New Orleans. Yes, I know ‘Nawlins is a severe pitchers park, but the road parks in the PCL help even that out. At 25 and 26 years old, he’s put up ordinary numbers in Triple-A, and he’s putting up ordinary numbers in the majors this year during his peak age.
Biggio is clearly outhitting him this year, and deserves to play over Lane. Adding Beltran, who instantly becomes the Astros best player, does not block a potential superstar. He simply shifts a role player back into being a role player, rather than being miscast as a starter, a position he’s never shown he is suited for. For some reason, he’s developed a loyal following of people who apparently think he’s some kind of answer to the Astros offensive woes, but really, he is what he is; a corner outfielder who can hit .270/.330/.450. You certainly don’t let that stand in your way of acquiring Carlos Beltran.
The other prospects in the deal have been named; catcher John Buck and pitcher Mike Wood. None of these guys are going to be significant parts of the next Royals team that contends. Buck is having something of a resurgant year after taking two years off from productivity, and Mike Wood is a RHP without the stuff to stay in the rotation. In exchange for Beltran, the Royals got a middle reliever, a backup catcher, and a third baseman who might be a league average player in his prime. Not exactly a great haul for KC.
I’m surprised by this trade, too. If Boggio moves to left, putting Jason Lane on the bench, what has it accomplished for Houston? Beltran’s going to play center, and that’ll make their defense better, but I look at Biggio for Lane and think wha?
The A’s, meanwhile, get stronger, as they do each season as they find out what their needs are.
A month ago, today’s game probably would have upset me. But apathy has set it to the point where I really don’t care that Melvin’s bullpen management caused the team to have to use tomorrow’s starter to finish the game and his incessant bunting led to scenarios where they kept giving away chances to score. But, really, we all know this season is a wash, and Texas sweeping us just cements that. At this point, we’re just biding time until the organization lights up the fire sale.
Billy Beane reportedly has made his first move of ’04, picking up Octavio Dotel in a three way trade that sends Carlos Beltran to Houston. The A’s are giving up Mark Teahen, their ridiculously overrated third base prospect, and getting a dynamic reliever to help solidify their bullpen. Unless one of the other players in the deal has a last name of Chavez, Hudson, Mulder, or Zito, it looks like Beane has once again cashed in via a trade with the Royals.
Or, they could bring in Jamie Moyer in relief…
Thanks to Buntin’ Bob also deciding to be Mix-And-Match Bob, lets hope J.J. Putz is ready to throw 50-100 pitches today. Melvin used 4 relievers (Villone, Mateo, Hasegawa, and Myers) to each get one or two outs, leaving Putz as the sole arm in the pen for extra innings. Good luck, J.J.
Derek here, your voice of over-negativity here (I’ve been catching up on our email lately… hee hee) with another dose.
The Mariners are getting poor production out of Spiezio. They could consider replacing him with Justin Leone, who for the second year is putting up huge (huge!) stats, this year in Tacoma. .253/.353/.615. That’s not as impressive as it sounds, of course — the translations show him only a little ahead of Spiezio’s offensive level. And he’d have been much cheaper. So if the Mariners got a chance to ship Spiezio out, even if they had to pay a chunk of his salary, they could save a lot of money and increase *even further* their flexibility for next year.
But say there aren’t any takers for Spiezio. Bucky Jacobsen is a right-handed first baseman who mashes the ball real far: .325/.408/.679 (.679, yes). Olerud’s been helpless like an infant against lefties this year, and for a first baseman pretty bad against righties too.
Jolbert Cabrera, when he’s been playing, has hit okay but there’s not a lot in his career to recommend him as a long-term bet to even continue hitting .304/.324/.400, while Jacobsen’s skill set’s pretty clear.
Plus, the whole Bocachica-Cabrera-Bloomquist-Santiago utility plethora isn’t helping anyone, the team’s struggling to score runs and almost can’t hit a home run. Jacobsen would allow Olerud to rest against lefties, he could rest Martinez at DH once a week, and get some key pinch-hit at-bats.
There are things the team can still do to improve now. I can’t see them chasing down three teams, but that’s no reason the team can’t be active and improve this year and next.
Rod Freaking Barajas.
This is the Bloomquist Effect: the team’s looking so hard for signs of hope that they’ll point to anything, no matter how inconsequential, as an indicator that they’ve been right all along and this team really is worthwhile, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.
Just as Bloomquist’s flash of goodness has justified sticking with him since then, so does that brief stretch of wins justify further inaction and harm to the long-term health of the franchise.