Sele signs

DMZ · January 19, 2005 at 9:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Check it out here, and elsewhere.

It’s not a big signing, so I’ll save the 1,000 word essay for something else. Sele hasn’t been effective in a long time– the last time he posted a good strikeout rate was 2000. That’s a long way from today. He just doesn’t have the stuff any more. I think the injuries have clearly taken him down. Disturbingly for the “innings eater” label, he had problems with “shoulder fatigue” and “dead arm” last year, which is never good.

I don’t see a lot of upside here, and if they’re bringing in guys to challenge Franklin for the 5th starter job, I’d rather see them take bizarre gambles on… Steve Sparks, say, a knuckleballer who might do well in Safeco (who knows?). Someone who might turn out to be a significant upgrade on Franklin if it works out.

Dave adds: I really like the Reichert signing, and think this is a great example of that. Reichert is every bit as good as Franklin and could be an effective swing man for nothing. It’s a pretty good group of NRI’s, much better than what Gillick usually brought in.


58 Responses to “Sele signs”

  1. The Ancient Mariner on January 20th, 2005 8:47 pm

    As regards the whole air question, I’ll defer to tvwxman on the meteorology, since he’s the one who knows that field; but while I don’t know why it is, I know the ball doesn’t carry well at all outdoors in the PNW. I can’t think how many games I saw just across the border at the Nat when I was living in Vancouver, and while that’s not a big park at all–nowhere deeper than 400, iirc, and relatively short down the lines–it was death on HR. Many fly balls, none of which went very far.

  2. Bela Txadux on January 20th, 2005 8:54 pm

    Re: pitchers coming to the bigs young, this was discussed extensively en blog in September when GoMel let Madritsch throw 133, if Derek wants to link up the comments from the archives; one of the better roundtables here, to my recollection.

    On Sele, Jim Thomsen in #27 covers the prospects quite thoroughly. I’ll add that as far as Aaron’s ‘hammaer curve,’ he left it in Boston. The curve he threw in his Mariner years was soft, readable, seldom a strike, and his thrid best pitch if that. Sele’s money pitch was a two-seamer here. When he had it dancing, which wasn’t often, he could be very tough; the rest of the time he was thoroughly hittable, and ran out of gas early, as JT says. I always thought that Sele was far less effective than any of his actual numbers, both here and everywhere else—as Jim says, he needed the team to score a bunch—and was greatly relieved when Gillick let him walk away. I doubt Sele has even as much to offer as Franklin. So why is Aaron here? Bavasi’s got a numbers problem, and he’s bringing in bodies by the batch so he has a stiff or two to take a bullet if necessary.

    In the Ms rotation now, two guys—Moyer and Franklin—had major fall-offs in performance last year to the point where the continuation of their careers beyond spring training should be in doubt. Not that I think either will get released before mid-season no matter what their numbers are, but it may be very necessary to have them functionally _replaced_ by Opening Day. Of the other three, Pinero didn’t pitch after the break due to injury, Meche was ineffective early and has had a history of injury, and Madritsch has two months of MLB service time. The Ms talked about signing a front of the rotation guy at the start of the offseason, quite understandably given that matrix. Clement and Wade Miller were the only guys that really seemed worth the dough, which is why I think highly of Kid Epstein; at any rate, they didn’t come here.

    So who do the Ms have in the system in case they’re two arms short come 15 Mar? Blackley is hurt (and by the way, can we stop slamming him for being ‘ineffective,’ ‘a so-called ace’ and all the rest—he almost certainly had a bad arm before he thrw his first major league pitch); Nageotte simply isn’t ready and should spend 4-6 months in AAA for the organization to get a better read on him; Thornton—don’t even _think_ about him as a starter ever again; Felix el Gato—no way, just no way should he be called up until September. That leaves Baek, who not only had his own injury problems in ’04 (as always), but has less MLB time than Madritschl. One, inexperienced ? can’t replace two veteran ??s no matter how one does the math.

    What that means is that Bavasi needs to bottom fish for at least three veteran arms as NRIs to play long toss through camp in case the team needs to throw one or two of them into the rotation on an emergency basis to open the season, like Terry Mulholland last year only three of him. I don’t think things will be that bad, but it’s certainly possible. Sele, and Reichert, then, and there were mumbles over at the Times that the Ms FO was considering Astacio, too, although it would probably take a major league contract to get him to come in which is why it hasn’t been done yet. Cannon fodder is what Aaron Sele is here to be, if and as necessary, and unfortunately that’s about the marginal value he can be expected to provide.

    In the case of Reichert, though, I really like the invite, particularly with a view to him hooking on as a reliever. His slider is a huge sweeping hook, very much like Nageotte’s—and like Clint at present Reichert neither gets his stuff consistently in the strike zone nor combines his pitches effectively to function as a starter. He is exactly the kind of guy that it’s worth parking between Bryan Price and Jim Slaton on a bench for six weeks between appearances to see what they can make of him. If Reichert sharpens up his command even a little bit, he could still make it as a wicked good reliever.

    —Of course spring tutorials don’t always work. This was Gillick’s idea with Jamey Wright for example, but he simply wasn’t ‘polishable,’ hard as he tried. This was also the idea with Giovanni Carrara, one of the best middle relievers in the game for several years before he missed his winterball time and his mechanics fell apart the offseason before the Dodgers released him at the end of spring and Gillick brought him here. Again, Gio tried hard but couldn’t get it back together in time to be of use. This was also the idea with Hasegawa after the Angels let him go, and for two years Gillick’s move their worked quite respectably. Speaking of Gillick and bottomfishing + NRIs, then, Pat always had his roster more or less set going into camp and wasn’t looking to fill holes. As we see, he bottomfished for _veterans with a MLB record_ in a bad patch with the idea that his pitching coach could fine tune them rather than holding spring training remedials for AAAA guys. It was a different program with different goals. I suspect the results by Bavasi with a somewhat different program will be essentially the same, but we’ll see.

  3. John on January 21st, 2005 1:41 pm

    Granted, this isn’t as interesting as the disussion of humid and dry air, but FWIW, despite the Seattle TIMES’ insistence, AARON SELE is not a native of Poulsbo.
    I asked Pat Reusse (Minneapolis STAR/TRIBUNE baseball columnist) about this, and he told me that Sele was born in Golden Valley (a suburb of Minneapolis), and lived there until he was three.

  4. Evan on January 21st, 2005 2:06 pm

    Re #41:

    Not really, no. I drove through Seattle in July 1999 on a road trip to San Francisco, but I haven’t really sampled the air. Though I do live just north across the border in Vancouver.

    While Vancouver is slightly more exposed to the open ocean than Seattle is, I expect my assertion that Seattle is humid is based on me originally coming from Calgary, which humidity-wise fits somewhere between Denver and Salt Lake City, so to me Vancouver (and by extension, Seattle) is ALWAYS really humid. My baseline is way drier than the vast majority of major-league cities.

    Which, now that you point it out, really skews my analysis.

  5. John on January 21st, 2005 2:09 pm

    Re (# 48)[about SELE], that he was relieved when Gillick let him walk away. I don’t think that was the case.
    At the time, this subject was disussed on the Mariner Newsgroup. IIRC, Sele’s 2-year contract was up, and he was not offered arbitration–to increasseb his signability–as he and Gillick had previously agreed.
    Inasmuch as he had planned to leave, there couldn’t have been this sense of relief.

  6. Ralph Malph on January 21st, 2005 2:58 pm

    Idahobob (#49):

    I think you are mistaken about the physics of humid air. Unless it is foggy out, humid air doesn’t have “droplets” of water in it. Water vapor is not made up of droplets, it is molecules of water in gaseous form.

    If the atmospheric pressure remains the same, humid air is lighter — less dense — than dry air because a water molecule (H2O) is lighter than a molecule of nitrogen (N2) or oxygen (O2).

    The water molecules aren’t “squeezed in” between the nitrogen and oxygen molecules; they displace them. If you just squeezed the water molecules in between the nitrogen or oxygen molecules you would be increasing the atmospheric pressure.

    I will grant you that there might be days (nights?) in Seattle when there are actually water droplets in the air. Which would make the air denser because the liquid water is much denser (heavier) than air, thus increasing drag. But that would only be on a very moist, almost foggy night (when the dew point equals the temperature), which wouldn’t happen all that often.

  7. John on January 21st, 2005 6:00 pm

    (In case there’s some confusion about # 13 and # 14: Larry may have had a lingering case of brainlock In my edition of the Seattle TIMES, he also referred to FELIX HERNANDEZ as FELIX RODRIGUEZ. He corrected this error in later editions.)

  8. Evan on January 24th, 2005 10:20 am

    In fairness to Idahobob, what he described is how molecules behave in a solution. So, if the atmophere were liquid, he’d have been right.

    So, it’s not like he just made this stuff up; he just misapplied his knowledge.