Player A/B comparison

DMZ · August 31, 2004 at 10:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Been a loooooong time since I did one of these.

Player A: .241/.268/.352
Player B: .241/.281/.309

Which of these players is more valuable? Well, a point of OBP is worth aaabout two points of SLG, so… well, it’s Player A, right?

Not so fast. What if I told you one of these players (A) was born in 1983, and the other (B) in 1977?

Yes, folks, it’s Jose Lopez versus Willie F. Bloomquist!

I think it’s funny that we’ve had arguments here on whether Lopez is overmatched, as Dave wrote, or if he’s just struggling badly but will come around and stick at short, as others have argued — while the question of how bad Bloomquist is (at least in our circles) is so well-established and accepted that we don’t even mention it any more. Overmatched? Lopez… maybe. We can discuss that. Bloomquist, oh yeah (Kool-Aid man busts through monitor).


32 Responses to “Player A/B comparison”

  1. Sriram on August 31st, 2004 10:47 pm

    I’m not a Bloomquist fan – but doesn’t every team has a Willie in their roster? I think Willie is a better utilityman (if you can call him that) than Luis Ugueto or Charles Gipson. I didn’t look up the stats, but I know those guys sucked as much if not worse.

    Considering Willie does not earn much, its really not that bad. Plus the fact that we have Lopez and Leone, I dont think the front office/coaching staff is considering to make Willie a starter for 2005 (unless you guys have heard otherwise).


  2. tede on August 31st, 2004 11:06 pm

    Bloomquist is (finally) a better pinch runner/base stealer than Gipson – ask Joe Torre (faint praise). But Melvin et al. continue to sell him like he is a utility player like Mark McLemore/Tony Phillips in their primes. Which he isn’t. I’d settle for a Denny Hocking type guy, but Bloomquist isn’t even that. I’d say more people resent/hate the buildup of the guy to the casual fans in the media. I wish some of that same hate could have been directed towards John Marzano (for taking out Edgar in 1996 and ruining the M’s division title chances) and Jeff Manto (because he sucked).

    As for Jose Lopez….if Rich Aurelia had “struggled” this much, he’d still be on the team.

  3. Dr. Jeff on September 1st, 2004 12:51 am

    (Kool-Aid man busts through monitor)

    Oh yeah… Bloomie’s here, bringing you fun
    Bloomie stole a base on the run!
    Get a big wide happy ear to ear Bloomie smi-i-ile!

    I keep thinking that you need to evaluate Pacific Northwest sports in a different light. Scrappy little guys who look like they’d take your daughter to church SELL here. I think there were plenty of people here in Portland who were disappointed when Dan Dickau was traded.

    Bloomquist’s “strike a blow for the untalented” thing plays well in Seattle.

  4. Christopher on September 1st, 2004 2:10 am

    Here is my thing. Lopez has made it up to the majors only because of how horrible of a season this has been. Its obvious he needs more polish but so do most players put onto MLB rosters at his age. With his talent this year will be nothing but good for him. Unlike Willie who has had more than enough time to show the tallent he never even showed in the minors.

  5. EA on September 1st, 2004 6:15 am

    You forgot someone.

    Player C .202/.240/.333

    Guess who that is.

  6. Jeremy on September 1st, 2004 7:22 am

    Dr. Jeff said:
    “I keep thinking that you need to evaluate Pacific Northwest sports in a different light. Scrappy little guys who look like they’d take your daughter to church SELL here.”

    Screw that, Jeff. I’m sick and tired of this argument that Seattle fans accept these guys more than other cities. There are fans like myself that simply don’t give a crap how nice these guys are. Let me ask you something, how many World Championship banners are in the right field rafters at Safeco? The answer is zero. But they have that shiny field day banner with the ALCS appearances. Now that’s a campaign I would start, a campaign to get that stupid banner taken down ASAP.

    Oh, and Willie Bloomquist sucks. Good day.

  7. Dr. Jeff on September 1st, 2004 8:59 am

    Jeremy, I’m not saying that I think it’s a wonderful thing that NW sports fans seem to accept mediocrity if they’re on a first-name basis with the athletes. And I agree wholeheartedly that there are plenty of fans who don’t give a crap how nice the players are. But, I’m guessing that if you took a random cross-section of people who spend money on sporting events in Portland or Seattle, you’d find more of the “nice-guy” fans than the other kind.

    Just a hypothesis, though I’ve seen it borne out anecdotally in Portland time and time again.

    I wonder if anyone has done anything empirical to look into this? Somewhere, there’s a sports-marketing student looking for a thesis topic….

  8. Paul Weaver on September 1st, 2004 9:36 am

    You forgot someone.

    Player C .202/.240/.333

    Guess who that is.

    Man, I got to pick a bad Seattle Mariner? Spiezio. And he was born in 1972. Isn’t he putting up get-released numbers?

    This site looooves to pick on Willie. It doesn’t matter how bad Moyer pitches, or how many times Spiez flies out, it’s all about Willie. A mediocre+ fielder and contact hitter that hits .250 is only indicative of the Mariner’s line up. He’s better than other options at third. He was the antidote to Cirillo. If we ever have a good enough bench that he’s not needed, then hooray. Until then, I’ll cheer for the “untalented” guy.
    What was the other point of this thread? Oh yeah, Lopez has upside. He just hit another home run last night. He looks pretty poised – I’m not so sure he should still be in the minors. If he plays winter ball, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him really pick up his game in late ’05.

  9. Ralph Malph on September 1st, 2004 9:47 am

    Yes, Spiezio is putting up “get released” numbers, but he’s got 2 more years on his contract. At this point, you’ve gotta hope he can find some kind of magic elixir in the offseason or something. Maybe he can talk to Boone about that…

  10. eponymous coward on September 1st, 2004 9:57 am

    Well, A-Rod was overmatched in 1994 and 1995. I don’t see that it hosed his career.

    The argument I’ve seen here that we lose control of his age 27 year I see as sort of specious- simply because if he’s a successful MLB ballplayer at that age who we’d want to keep on the roster, he’d either be making a ton of money in arbitration (possibly more than on the market- though by that point who know what arbitration will look like), or he’ll have signed a long term deal with us, which he could do (and is a factor the Mariners have some control over), whether or not he played 2004 and 2005 in the majors.

    I see no reason why a disaster of a 2004 season isn’t a good time to figure out if Lopez is going to be a MLB caliber SS- it’s not like the Mariners have other options aside from Ramon Santiago challenging the Mendoza line or Bloomquist, and the fact is that unless Lincoln is going to go north of $100 million or is going to find useful idiots to take Spiezio/Franklin/Boone/Ibanez/Hasegawa and clear off more salary, the gaping maws on the 2005 team (SS, 3B, 1B/DH, OF, SP, RP) aren’t all going to be addressed by FA’s- some of the answers have to come from players within the farm system, and Lopez and Reed are the most likely candidates to provide those answers in the position player ranks (you might argue the ONLY likely candidates- I’d rank Reed first, Lopez second, but Great Leaps Forward by 21-22 year olds aren’t unheard of if certainly not a guarantee).

    It’s not a risk-free strategy (even Adrian Beltre has at best been a mixed bag before this year, and that’s probably the best scenario), but a Mariner contender in 2005 largely depends on putting some money down on Black 19, but I figure if Lopez is in the lineup every day that’s one less place they’ll try to play Bloomquist or Cabrera, players we KNOW aren’t going to do anything interesting.

  11. DMZ on September 1st, 2004 10:05 am

    Paul —

    The problem with your argument, “If we ever have a good enough bench that he’s not needed, then hooray. Until then, I’ll cheer for the “untalented” guy.” is that the reason we don’t have a good bench is that the team is irrationaly committed to Bloomquist and believes that he composes a good bench.

    And w/r/t whipping Bloomquist instead of Spiezio: we’ve had years to beat on Bloomquist, and only a year to work over Spiezio. I’m sure in a couple of years we’ll have people complaining that we’re always harping on Spiezio as well.

  12. Paul Weaver on September 1st, 2004 10:46 am

    Nothing seems irrational about having one guy on your bench who gets paid $325 k, hits at replacement level (for the team), fields all the infield positions plus leftfield, and pinch runs. I don’t know who hasn’t gotten a shot because this guy’s roster spot was “in the way”.
    I think the difference is, I see him as a symptom of the Mariner’s problems; you seem him as the problem. (in terms of the bench)

  13. Cleveland22Yankees0 on September 1st, 2004 11:19 am

    This should scare everyboy:
    “As long as we’re down by four runs we’re in good shape,” said Mariners manager Bob Melvin, poking fun of the fact his club has come back in all five of their consecutive wins. “Lopez had a huge hit, Willie (Wilson) and Jacobsen had big hits and Bloomie (Willie Bloomquist) stole a huge base in the eighth as a pinch-runner. He always seems to make things happen to help you win.

    Also, there was another article where Willie said essentially “I wanted to get to third because I knew Dan-O would get me in”. Nice to see the stiffs sticking together.

  14. eponymous coward on September 1st, 2004 11:32 am

    Well, it’s not just Bloomquist…it’s Bloomquist squared by Spiezio cubed by Wilson raised to the power of Cabrera and Santiago.

    If Willie was ONE guy on the bench with, say, Matt Stairs as a platoon option for Edgar and and a Stan Javier-clone as a reserve OF, and a backup C who could hit a little bit, it wouldn’t be so bad- Bloomquist’s a tolerable option for a bench reserve at close to MLB minimums. Keep in mind that over 49% of MLB ballplayers, BY DEFINITION, are below average, so one player with limitations doesn’t kill you, and Bloomquist’s acceptable as a backup IF picking up 40 games/100 AB”s a year and a pinch runner.

    The problem is that if your bench is essentially 5 Willie Bloomquists (which the Mariner bench IS with Wilson/Willie/Spiezio/Cabrera/Santiago), you basically have no bench options that have any batting prowess to speak of. But then again, Bob Melvin himself was a Willie Bloomquist type of hitter, and hasn’t been reminding anyone of Earl Weaver or even Sparky or Lou these days.

  15. LB on September 1st, 2004 11:58 am

    Bob Melvin: “He (Willie Bloomquist) always seems to make things happen to help you win.” I can recall twice in the last month that Melvin has sent Willie to the plate to get a bunt down, and he wound up bunting the ball foul for strike 3. How does that help your team win, Bob? Inquiring minds want to know.

  16. Paul Covert on September 1st, 2004 12:14 pm

    While we’re doing player comparisons, here’s a favorite of mine:

    Player A: .216/.298/.441
    Player B: .279/.295/.430

    The first player is Justin Leone, in Seattle before he got hurt. The second player is Greg Dobbs… in Tacoma.

    It seems, then, that Dobbs will need to outhit Leone by about 70 points to provide comparable offensive value.

  17. G-Man on September 1st, 2004 12:19 pm

    Bloomquist’s acceptable as a backup IF picking up 40 games/100 AB”s a year and a pinch runner.

    I agree with this; WB is fine as the 25th guy. His SB rate is amazingly good; 17 of 19, IIRC. OTOH, I don’t think he’d be here if he wasn’t a local kid. I imagine the marketing guys a few years ago saying that Kitsap County has potential to deliever a lot more fannies to the seats. Next thing you know, poof, there’s Willie. That out-of-body September he had his first time up didn’t hurt his image either.

    I’m also fine with Lopez keeping the SS job. His age-27 season would be better than 2005, but ther’s a lot that can happen in the next seven years, so they might as well use him now when they need a SS.

    If I were a religious sort, I’d be praying for the reawakening of Scott Spezio. Instead, I’ll just hope for it. I would like to see Melvin play him at third this month instead of Willie and Cabrera. It seems that now that they’ve move Scott to first base, they don’t want to send him back up the defensive spectrum, at least not this season. That’s a mistake, because they could be giving him experience at what could very well be his role for 2005: a little first, a little third, and a lot of pine.

  18. DMZ on September 1st, 2004 12:39 pm

    I see Bloomquist as a symptom as well. Where I think we diverge is that I don’t see where has any value to a team that justifies his roster spot and salary. If you want a glove man who can play around the infield, there are many superior gloves all over the place who also can’t hit. If you want a bat, there are bats that can play one position or another that come pretty cheap. Bloomquist as a player, even a utility player, offers nothing to the manager: he’s not a good enough hitter to have in the lineup regularly or pinch-hit for anyone else, and he’s not a good enough defensive player to carry his bat, or to run out as a defensive replacement to give the team strategic options on that side, either.

    And we could argue over whether or not Willie’s blocking anyone, or if it’s really that big a deal — I’m not saying that Bloomquist is a top problem with the team at all. My frustration comes from the organization’s inability to construct a complete roster that can contribute, and from the bizarre free pass Bloomquist seems to get for his inability to perform.

  19. Paul Weaver on September 1st, 2004 12:59 pm

    I’m curious:
    What are some good bench options for the Mariners? This year, and speculatively next year.

  20. adam on September 1st, 2004 1:09 pm

    I think the most obvious comparison is Miguel Tejada when it comes to Jose Lopez.

    Tejada in 1997: 26 games 99 at bats 2 homers .202 Avg .240 OBP 2 walks

    Lopez in 2003: 29 games 108 at bats 3 homers .241 Avg .268 OBP 3 walks

    Tejada next year .233 average .298 OBP 11 homers 45 RBI’s 28 walks

    If Lopez played 105 games next year, would it surprise anyone if those are the numbers he puts up?

    There body builds are similar as well, and he seems to be the most person to compare Lopez too.

  21. Troy Sowden on September 1st, 2004 1:36 pm

    I like the Tejada comp for Lopez too adam, but most people seem to like Adrian Beltre. It doesn’t sound like Lopez is either of their peers with the glove, but that can be overrated. If he turns into Beltre or Tejada we’ll all be thrilled.

  22. Pete on September 1st, 2004 1:57 pm

    Good points Adam and Troy…

    The point is, we really have absolutely no idea how good Lopez will turn out to be because he’s only 20. Sample size – one month.

    So why speculate?

    There’s really only one assumption we can make…he will eventually be better than he is today.

  23. eponymous coward on September 1st, 2004 2:12 pm

    I dunno, Derek- why does Dan Wilson get an exemption from having to perform with the bat in the form of multi-year deals? Why was the organization determined to run Carlos Guillen out of town, and to take complete garbage back for him? Why give multi-year deals to Franklin, Ibanez and Shiggy that were clearly out of scale for the market? Why did they pass on offering arbitration to anyone? Why are they possibly going to bring Cabrera back?

    This organization has bought into the “we don’t need to score runs with homers and we can win with singles, hit-and-runs, pitching and defense” dreck- and has also carefully developed groupthink over the years that everyone can nod and conform to.

    Thing is this only works while you’re winning- and if this year doesn’t teach them anything, they can submit to further beatdowns by the rest of the American League in 2005, if they think that Bloomquist and a vapid bench are part of the solution.

    But as of this point, there’s no evidence Melvin could use a decent bench if provided with one. He’s not exactly Weaver on Strategy, ya know?

  24. John Wiebe on September 1st, 2004 3:12 pm

    File this under “completely off-topic,” but the M’s pre-game show reports the signing of Masao Kida, righthanded pitcher, by Seattle.

    Kida spent the last two years mostly in Las Vegas, with a couple of solid spot starts in 2003 and just one relief appearance for LA this year. I believe he first broke into the big leagues in 1999.

    Probably a safe bet to chalk this one up to the connections that Bavasi and Dan Evans have with the Dodgers. Kida’s not a bad pitcher; perhaps they just want to give him a look and see if he can be useful next year. He’s coming off shoulder surgery, which wiped out the first three or four months of his season.

  25. DMZ on September 1st, 2004 4:02 pm

    The Mariners are restocking their injury-devestated farm system by signing pitchers from other systems that are coming off injuries. That’s a brilliant strategy: it essentially cuts out the time lost to rehab, in term of total players in the system, without increasing the actual health levels.

  26. John Wiebe on September 1st, 2004 4:15 pm

    My mistake, it was surgery on his back, not his shoulder, that sidelined Kida from late spring until July 15.

    I feel kind of bad for Kida. He was all set for a September call-up with a team in a pennant race. Instead, he was waived and claimed by a team playing out the string.

  27. AK1984 on September 1st, 2004 4:25 pm

    Hey, with three new additions to the 40-Man Roster, who are the Mariners placing on the 60-Day disabled list???

  28. Jake Brake on September 1st, 2004 5:03 pm

    Bloomquist ends world hunger and cures cancer

    Bloomquist made a huge contribution to the Mariners’ 7-5 win in Toronto last night as a pinch runner.
    Bloomquist scored on Dan Wilson’s single and Cabrera came home on Ichiro Suzuki’s single. Those runs were the difference in the game.
    “When you’ve got a guy like Willie, it’s special,” Cabrera said. “As a pinch runner, he’s not afraid to get thrown out. That’s important.”

    So what Hickey is saying is that Bloomquist’s steal of third made a huge contribution, even though it was followed by two consecutive singles that would have scored him without the risk involved in stealing third. Now that’s winning baseball.

    This is just plain pathetic…the reason so many people are jumping all over Willie’s sh!t is because of the relentless positive PR the local press gives him, obviously at the team’s request. Nobody bothers wasting the time to bash Cabrera, because their mediocrity isn’t being unexplicably lauded in the daily papers.

  29. Paul Weaver on September 2nd, 2004 11:03 am

    People like scrappy players. The media is cashing in on that.
    Seattle press has always loved our utility men, and devoted more time than necessary to their minor accomplishments because its boring to talk about the same consistent contributors in a 162 game season. Baseball is relatively new in this town. The fans are still amateurs.
    I still take Willie over Spiezio. Who else is going to play third?

  30. Rich Bulger on September 3rd, 2004 9:57 am

    Your comments seem mislabeled. You don’t truly question Lopez’s ability to hit, despite questioning his potential for high on-base percentage. But, to the extent that you might think it’s time to question whether his offensive skills will always be overmatched by major league pitchers, consider that Lopez’s OPS after one month was about 625 (880 over the last 7 days). By comparison, look at the OPS of these (mostly recent) young call-ups and how they fared over a comparable initial exposure to the bigs:

    629 – Hank Blalock
    631 – Mark Teixeira
    545 – Omar Infante (now second base and doing pretty well)
    614 – Brandon Phillips
    445 – Alex Rodriguez (first 17 games)
    556 – Alfonso Soriano (22 games in 2000)
    767 – BJ Upton (but feeble 375 ops over last 7 days)

    People should be careful to judge him too soon. You may be right about his defense. I don’t know. But I think he’s a great talent and should be given a REASONABLE chance before he’s labeled.

  31. Paul Weaver on September 3rd, 2004 10:05 am

    ICHIRO – .478 ops his first year….in Japan.
    (1.221 ops over last 7 days) 🙂

  32. G-Man on September 3rd, 2004 11:25 am

    Kida is just the kind of guy I wanted – a cheap vet to eat up some innings so that Melvin wouldn’t further damage any developing young pitchers, physically or mentally. Just consider him cannon fodder in this lost season, though his first outing yesterday was nice.