Randy Winn’s arm

JMB · August 31, 2004 at 9:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

You know, I’m no longer surprised at Randy Winn’s lack of range in center. But how on earth can his throwing arm be so bad? Tonight Carlos Delgado (9 career stolen bases, none since 2002) tagged up on Winn. Not to score from third. Not even to go from second to third. Carlos Delgago advanced from first to second on a fly ball to center field!

This is even more pathetic than Frank Thomas going from second to third on Winn in spring training. How often do you see runners, even fast runners, reach second on a fly ball? Almost never. Ugh.


30 Responses to “Randy Winn’s arm”

  1. DMZ on August 31st, 2004 10:03 pm

    Innit awful? One of the things I’ve wondered is why teams even go half-way on deeper lazy fly balls. Stay back and tag. Winn will get to those easy flies, and you can run on him when he gets to it… if it drops, you get to second just the same. Exploit the other guy’s weaknesses, it’s elementary.

  2. Coach on August 31st, 2004 10:03 pm

    Carlos Guillen did the same thing in their last series against us. It is truly embarrasing. Isn’t it the job of the Field Manger to assess the skills of his available players and put them in the position where they will help the team the most?

  3. Jim Thomsen on August 31st, 2004 10:20 pm

    You’d think the smart move would be to recognize Winn’s defensive limitations and consider shifting him to DH … but so many teams still act on images of ballplayers and positions, and nobody but Billy Beane (maybe) would make somebody like Randy Winn a DH. Because he isn’t a big, slow slugger.

    It’s really a shame that the M’s didn’t deal Winn at either trade deadline. Wonder what the Cubs would have given for him instead of dealing for a walking corpse like Ben Grieve? Winn’s trade value will probably never be higher … and now we blew it. (Assuming the M’s had that option … does anybody know if Winn made it through waivers earlier this month?)

  4. JMB on August 31st, 2004 10:27 pm

    Billy Beane wouldn’t ever DH Winn because Winn doesn’t hit enough to DH. Also, he does have some value as a LF; more than he would as a DH. I can’t find anything about him clearing (or not clearing) waivers. I was all for trading him a month ago, though.


  5. JWB on August 31st, 2004 10:33 pm

    Is there a throwing-arm-equivalent to the Judy hitter? I nominate that in the future this type of fielder would be referred to as Pebbles. (Cartoon daughter equivalencies, anyone?) Randy Winn: Pebbles. Ichiro: Bam Bam.

  6. tede on August 31st, 2004 10:38 pm

    It doesn’t say much about the quality of advance scouting in MLB does it? What I don’t understand is why don’t more clubs run on his arm like Delgado did tonight. It’s not like Melvin would make a change if everybody ran on Winn – the guy is in denial on Winn’s defense.

    I hate the No Fun League but I do appreciate their ability to attack opponents weaknesses based on scouting, film study, etc. You only see it in MLB in teams running on slow to the plate pitchers (Joe Kerrigan’s non-slide steppers) and rookies who can’t hit the breaking ball (Justin Leone).

  7. Jerry on August 31st, 2004 10:43 pm

    I think that the outfield defense is one of the key things that the M’s need to address this offseason. They should have looked into trading Winn AND Ibanez. Both players are mediocre. Neither really hits well enough to play LF, and Winn is totally inadequate in CF.

    If Jeremy Reed looks good in September, the M’s should seriously think about moving both Winn and Ibanez. Or at least one of them. I think that Reed’s worst-case projection is similar to Winn (.280, 15HR). Most likely, Reed will get on base and hit more than Winn. Plus, he has more potential for power. Winn will not hit more than 15HRs. Reed could realistically hit 20-25. Like Winn, I think that Reed will make a marginal defenively in CF, and solid in LF. If Reed fails, Shin-Soo Choo could be ready at this time next year. He is putting up good numbers, and would be a very good defensive player in LF.

    All this is academic until the team brings up Reed in September, but the M’s should have jumped at any offer for Winn at the trade deadline. I thought that Winn and Villone to Philly for Chase Utley or Ryan Howard made perfect sense. They needed a CFer and a lefty reliever. Utley will be a very good player, and is versitile with the glove. They probably wouldn’t have moved him. Howard is a big question mark, but could end up being a very good 1B player. If not, the M’s would at least have moved some payroll.

    The M’s need to sign Carlos Beltran. If that doesn’t work, go after JD Drew and move Ichiro to CF. No more Winn in CF. It is painful to watch after seeing Cameron out there for so long.

  8. Jon Wells on August 31st, 2004 11:56 pm

    Not only did Delgado tag up on a fly ball to Winn in medium center but on the next play (with the score 5-4), a single to center, Winn threw home trying to get Delgado when he had no chance at getting him. Winn missed the cutoff man by a mile and the batter easily took second base (this was the go-ahead run).

    If I’m the manager there, maybe I don’t pull Randy Winn off the field in the middle of the inning, but I pull him from the game after the inning. You have to send a message to the players about playing the game the right way. Of course at this point it wouldn’t matter. Nobody respects Melvin and most of them are pretty sure that he won’t be around next year.

    Nevertheless, Randy Winn sucks and Melvin can’t be fired soon enough for me. I’ve been screaming for weeks that they should have fired Melvin in July or August and hired Dan Rohn (or Double-A manager Dave Brundage if the organization is higher on him) on an interim basis. Then they could have gotten a free look (without a commitment beyond ’04) to see if either one is the guy they want managing the 2005 club. At this point it’s probably a longshot that either gets seriously considered for the position because the club cannot afford to make the
    wrong choice again (as they did with Melvin).

    When David Andriesen was on this morning on KJR he said he was disappointed that HIS top candidate to replace Melvin was probably not available (Phil Garner). What a joke that would have been! Andriesen also mentioned that it’s likely the organization would strongly consider the guys that were finalists for the job when Melvin got it and specifically mentioned Jim F Riggleman. What a load of crap!

    I haven’t really set out yet to see who all the candidates to replace Melvin are but here’s three (plus a wild card). Mike Hargrove, Grady Little and Jimy Williams. And throw in Larry Dierker, who did a good job in Houston. Of that group I’d probably hire Little. Anybody else have any suggestions?

  9. DMZ on September 1st, 2004 1:07 am

    Grady Little? What recommends Grady Little?

    On advance scouting: this is one of the areas where you can clearly see team investment and expertise pay off. Advancing on Winn’s arm consistently might only be a base a game, but those small advantages translate into wins over the course of a year.

  10. Steve on September 1st, 2004 1:22 am

    Earlier this season, I think it was during July, Scott Hatteberg did the same thing – tagged up from first base on a fly ball to Winn. That’s Scott “Freakin’ Speedster” Hatteberg!

    That’s also not the first time Winn has overthrown second in a futile attempt to get a runner trying to score on a single. It’s as if he’s determined to show that his arm isn’t as bad as everyone says – but every time he tries to do that, all he does is offer more proof that his arm is at least as bad as advertised.

  11. Jon Wells on September 1st, 2004 2:11 am

    Post-game comment from Bob Melvin: “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.” Message to Melvin — the team is 30 games under .500! You’re not winning very often, so you must be mistaken about Willie helping you win. What an idiot.

  12. Jon Wells on September 1st, 2004 2:53 am

    Derek — My comment on Grady Little was kind of off the cuff, but was also because I thought he did a good job for 2 years in a difficult situation in Boston. More to the point there don’t appear to be any Dusty Bakers or Lou Piniellas available this winter (i.e. top notch managers that are leaving their current job because they want a change or have a conflict w/ management).

    Spurred on by your comment about Grady Little (and also by the fact that Bob Melvin’s firing appears to be coming), I did a bit of research. After looking at who might be available (among managers who’ve managed in the majors in the last 10 years) I think Grady Little would have to be in the top 5. I’m very interested in who you and others might choose from this list too.

    I looked at managers that have major league experince because these things typically go in opposite directions (i.e. since Melvin had no Major League experience (actually he didn’t even have minor league managing experience!) and he didn’t work out, the Mariners are unlikely to hire another manager with no big league experience (earlier this year there was a lot of talk around the club that Melvin was just holding the spot for Paul Molitor, who the club had hired as hitting coach against Melvin’s wishes. I would be very scared if Molitor got the job).

    There are 53 managers currently not managing in the major leagues who have managed in the majors in the last 10 years. I’ve listed all of them below. Many of them are probably unavailable for one reason or another, including some of the best managers on the list. Tom Kelly (54), Sparky Anderson (70), Jim Leyland (60) and Tommy LaSorda (77) are all retired and probably wouldn’t take the job (interestingly, of those four, only LaSorda is older than Jack McKeon was when he took over the Marlins last year. I hadn’t realized that Kelly was that young when he retired after the ’01 season. Johnny Oates has brain cancer and is unavailable. Bobby Valentine is managing in Japan and is probably unavailable. Davey Johnson probably couldn’t even get an interview with Seattle given his history of conflict with management in his past managerial stops. Most of the names on the list didn’t have much success at all as major league managers. Those that had some success (at least one playoff appearance) are on this short list of TWELVE:

    1 Mike Hargrove 2 Gene Lamont 3 Kevin Kennedy 4 Cito Gaston 5 Bob Brenly 6 Larry Dierker 7 Jimy Williams 8 Don Baylor 9 Jimy Williams
    10 Jim Riggleman 11 Dallas Green 12 Jim Fregosi

    I just don’t see any clear cut choices (like a Dusty Baker or a Piniella) on that list, do you? I see mostly guys like Cito Gaston and Bob Brenly who I wouldn’t even want to interview for the job. Dallas Green and Jim Fregosi were successful a long time ago — both are probably too old and neither seems to be me to be a viable candidate.
    Kevin Kennedy? He last managed in the majors in 1996.

    So where are all the incredible candidates to be the next Mariners manager? This is not like hiring a new General Manager, where there are all these hotshot young kids like Chris Antonetti, et al that you can project to be great GM’s because they’ve learned from one of the best.

    Maybe the M’s best bet is to go with a minor league guy like Rohn or someone from another organization’s minor league system, but I just don’t see Seattle management doing that.

    HERE IS THE COMPLETE LIST OF ALL THE MANAGERS WHO’VE MANAGED IN THE MAJORS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS (who don’t currently have a big league managing job).

    Terry Collins
    Marcel Lachemann
    John McNamara (72)
    Joe Maddon (Gammons is high on him — he was interim manager for the Angels in both ’96 and ’99).
    Mike Hargrove
    Ray Miller
    Phil Regan
    Grady Little
    Jimy Williams
    Joe Kerrigan
    Kevin Kennedy
    Butch Hobson
    Jerry Manuel
    Terry Bevington
    Gene Lamont
    Charlie Manuel
    Joel Skinner
    Larry Parrish
    Buddy Bell
    Sparky Anderson
    Bob Boone
    Hal McRae
    Tom Kelly
    Larry Rothschild
    Jerry Narron
    Johnny Oates
    Carlos Tosca
    Buck Martinez
    Tim Johnson
    Cito Gaston
    Bob Brenly
    Bruce Kimm
    Jim Riggleman
    Ray Knight
    Davey Johnson
    Jim Leyland
    Don Baylor
    Jeff Torborg
    John Boles
    Tony Perez
    Rene Lachemann
    Larry Dierker
    Bill Russell
    Glenn Hoffman
    Tommy LaSorda
    Davey Lopes
    Jerry Royster
    Jim Lefebvre
    Bobby Valentine
    Dallas Green
    Jim Fregosi
    Mike Jorgensen

  13. Tim F on September 1st, 2004 8:18 am

    Randy Winn bashing gets really really old. Winn is a really good player. Sure he has defensive short comings in CF, but those are covered up in LF. Hell, not one freakin person complained about Winn’s defense in 2003. Offensively, Winn is pretty good. Winn is good for a .340-.360 OBP, some SBs and close to 40 doubles. I don’t care how high you are on Jeremy Reed, he’s not going to do that for a few years.

    With the inconvenient contract of Ibanez lying around the M’s will probably be backed into dealing Winn to make room for Reed/Snelling/Choo/Free Agent, which is unfortunate because Winn is a better player and cheaper than Ibanez.

  14. Tim F on September 1st, 2004 8:20 am

    On the manager front, as far as I am concerned if it’s not Mike Hargrove, then they may as well go with Dan Rohn. The “kids” all seem to rave about the guy.

  15. Jon Wells on September 1st, 2004 9:15 am

    Actually there were several “freaking people”, including me, complaining about Winn’s defense in LF last season, specifically that he had the worst arm in the major leagues. I don’t have any enough hands to count the number of times guys tagged up from 3B on short flies to LF only to have Randy’s attempt at a throw land closer to third than to home plate. Sure, Winn’s an OK guy to have in his pre-arbitration years, but paying nearly $4 mil a year on a multi-year deal for a singles hitter who’s poor defensively is not a good use of your money, even if you are a team with a $90 mil + payroll. You think Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s would pay $4 mil for Randy Winn????

    I don’t know what games you’ve been watching, but Winn is NOT a better player than Ibanez. Without the injury this year, Ibanez hits about 25 HR’s, which this lineup sorely needs.

  16. G-Man on September 1st, 2004 10:51 am

    Raggedy Randy’s arm is a glaring weakness which we should be happy to see opponents exploit for the rest of this season. Why, you ask? Because the more they pick on Winn, the more obvious the problem becomes and the more likely that the execs will do something about it. Some things they can bullsh_t their way around, but glaring weaknesses like this might embarass them into action.

    I wouldn’t be so annoyed about Raggedy if he tried to mitigate the problem with good technique. The Delgado play was typical. He didn’t get behind the ball in good throwing position before the catch. That’s inexcusable. That particular play had another issue as well – Ichiro could have caught it in good position, and with his great arm, he would have prevented the extra base.

    One of my ongoing questions is just what factors keep Ichiro in right field when he’s needed in center. I’m sure it starts with his comfort level, but I’ll bet that Mr. Nintendo over in Japan exerts some influence. If that isn’t it, maybe they just don’t want to mess up his head any more than necessary.

    As for getting rid of Winn and/or Ibanez, I can’t see it unless I hear an entire restructuring plan that makes it feasible. These guys are among the most productive players this season (sadly, I grant), they are signed for less than outrageous sums, and they can play multiple positions, including fourth-outfielder duty for Winn. We need new upper management or multiple brain transplants up there before I’m willing to believe that they can do better than these two players within $$ constraints. M’s management should concentrate on trying to land a big bat from free agency before they worry about Randy and Raul.

  17. Erik on September 1st, 2004 10:55 am

    Ever since the Frank Thomas incident, my wife and I have taken to exlusivly calling him “Noodle,” out of (dis)respect for his noodle-arm, as in “Noodle just one-hopped the cutoff man.”

  18. Adam on September 1st, 2004 4:58 pm

    Little would be a terrible choice.. Red Sox fans were demanding his head long before the Pedro Martinez fiasco came. Apperantly he and Melvin share the weakness of insane subsitutions and stuff.

  19. Darrell on September 1st, 2004 5:16 pm

    Please, no Grady Little. He and Melvin think too much alike (although I’m aware of no Little bunt fetish – if there’s one place that ain’t gonna fly, it’s Boston).

  20. Mitchell on September 1st, 2004 6:50 pm

    Jon Wells asks, “You think Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s would pay $4mil for Randy Winn????” Sure, Beane’s a smart guy, and perhaps smarter than anyone in the Ms front office, but let’s not get carried away. Beane is paying Dye $11.6 mil for a 773 OPS, Kotsay $6.5 mil for an 806 OPS, and Damien Miller $3 mil for a 786 OPS. So yes, Beane might well pay Winn the same $3.5 the Ms are for his 792 OPS.

  21. big chef terry on September 1st, 2004 7:24 pm

    Two to three years ago none of you knew OPS from your knee…this team was behind in 32 of its first 35 games…things really haven’t improved since.

    The cause of that was the horrifc fall off in cf and lf defensively. Ibanez is a slug and he while he throws better than Winn its nothing special.

    Boone and Aurelia are old and can’t make plays any more. Aurelia is gone, Boone is still there. Spezio was probably the worst 3bman in the major leagues, just a slug. You can be sure that barring another Cirillo for Jarvis kind of deal, they’ll run him out there at first or third.

    The closest park to Safeco is Dodger stadium. The recipe to win for the Dodgers has always been pitching great players up the middle defensively, from catcher to ss to 2b to cf. Right now we have an over matched rookie at ss, a 36 year old 2ndbaseman, nothing in cf and a young catcher who doesn’t receive the ball very well…

    With this team, there is no way to tell how good your pitching staff is. They have to get seven to ten more outs per game than the rest of the league on avg. Its just ugly.

    None of the moves made since Bavasi arrived fundamentally recognize the need for defense up the middle. Bavasi told Mitch Levy that Guillen and Garcia were the two most overated players in the major leagues going into this season. Further it was reported this week that it was unanimous in the organization to go for Aurelia over Guillen. That folks is fundamental example of cluelessness.

    The glaring area that everyone notes is that there is no one on the roster to bat third, or fourth or even fifth. Nonetheless, picking up that type of player now, if they play a corner position will not result in them competing for the playoffs.

    This team has been fundamentally superior up the middle since Griffey’s rookie year. At ss we’ve had Vizquel, Rodriguez and Guillen with a bandaid of Luis Sojo one year, but even he made plays.

    The player acquistitions beginning with Cirillo, Davis, Greg Cobrunn, Quinton McCracken, Olivo, Aurelia, Spezio are not a run of bad luck. Its crass ineptitude. None of these guys can play a lick. Just to qualify that statement: None of them would start on any of the division teams ahead of us or on any contending team. We can’t scout major league talent, our own talent or minor league talent or amateur talent. We destroy young pitchers by the bushel basket. Its a mess.

    This is going to be bad for a long time.

  22. tede on September 1st, 2004 8:45 pm

    “The closest park to Safeco is Dodger stadium.”

    I would say the closest park to Safeco’s hitting configuration during cold weather is Yankee Stadium. Tough on right handed pull hitters and very favorable to left handed pull hitters with a death valley in left center and wide open spaces for a CF to roam. They really did build a park for Griffey after all.

    That’s why the list of LH hitters on this year’s FA list (other than an overpriced butcher boy of a 1B) is depressing.

  23. Shannon on September 2nd, 2004 1:23 am

    Regarding to the Jimy Williams suggestion, it might not be a bad move since Jimy obviously has the experience Melvin lacks. But for the fans who hate on Melvin for his lack of “fired-up-kicking-bases-spaghetti-on-the-clubhouse-floor” attitude, hiring Jimy Williams would make them just about disown the team.

  24. Troy Sowden on September 2nd, 2004 8:17 am

    Comment 21 “two to three years ago, none of you knew OPS from your knee.” Huh? I’ve been following OPS since at least 1998 (thank you Rob Neyer), and I was rather late on the statistical analysis train – many of these guys were probably aware of it long before that.

    More importantly, who cares? Whether we’ve known it “as well as our knees” for 50 years or two hours, we know it’s a much better way to analyze performance than batting average or RBI.

    Of course, OPS is flawed in itself, and is really only useful as a quick and dirty tool. There are many more complex and advanced stats than OPS.

    I guess my point is, why the hate for OPS? I agree that our defense up the middle is part of the problem (letting Cammie go was terrible, not to mention Guillen). Still, the BIGGEST problem this team has is a lack of offense. Even with Gold Glovers up the middle, we wouldn’t be winning many games. Add a couple bona-fide sluggers with another guy or two who can get on base (essentially, the two things OPS measures), and we might have a chance.

  25. Troy Sowden on September 2nd, 2004 8:19 am

    Oh, and get off of Olivo. He’s a major league caliber player – light years better than Dan Wilson at this point. The rest of the guys on your list, mock them all you want.

  26. Jon Wells on September 2nd, 2004 9:39 am

    He is light years ahead of Wilson — we now have a catcher who can actually hit (Dan Wilson hasn’t hit in about 7 or 8 years). 13 HR’s and a .484 slugging in 254 AB’s. Olivo definitely needs to work on blocking balls though. He’s got 12 passed balls in 69 starts this year and there have been way more wild pitches with him behind the plate.
    I don’t want Dan Wilson back next year even as a backup but for comparison Wilson’s had 9 passed balls in the last four years combined (2001 – 2004).

  27. Paul Weaver on September 2nd, 2004 3:58 pm

    Actually, why not have Dan Wilson as a back up? He’s historically played better after resting and could show Olivo how to defend with that goalie style that has made Dan Wilson one of the more respected defensive catchers this past decade.
    As for OPS, I first heard of it in 1989. It’s not as tangible as an rbi, but it’s still compelling.
    Cameron and Guillen currently have much higher OPS’ than Mariners at the same position. Sad.
    OPS is good for determining stars, but for lineups, splitting it up into obp and slg is a better evaluative tool. High obps at the top, high slgs as the middle, clump the rest at the bottom.

  28. Jon Wells on September 2nd, 2004 4:42 pm

    Fine — the problemn with having Wilson as a backup is he has to take a HUGE paycut. They need to stop paying him $4 million. No more than a million bucks or let him walk. I don’t care how freaking popular he is with the middle aged women who like his butt and the fact that he’s suck a nice guy…

  29. Paul Weaver on September 3rd, 2004 9:38 am

    His popularity with the middle aged women makes them turn on the tv, watch advertising, and bring the team money.
    I agree he is overpaid for his performance, but he is worth more to the Mariners than to another team. 4 mil, no. 3mil, no. 2mil, awww, you’re breaking my balls here, Danny. 1mil, good deal.

  30. G-Man on September 3rd, 2004 10:54 am

    I’m right there with Paul on Wilson’s salary. I’d give him a million with a bunch of incentives added in the unlikely case that he plays over half the games (Olivo is hurt, say). Olivo’s defense concerns me enough (12 passed balls in 2004 so far) that it’s worth something to have him think someone is behind him whom the management wouldn’t hesitate to play. Whether or not we think it’s a good idea to play Wilson, the powers that be still like him.