Mariners in the winter

DMZ · January 24, 2005 at 9:47 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

John Hickey writes in the PI on what M’s prospects are up to. It’s a good read (Thornton — great! GMs inquire within! King Felix not throwing at all), though a couple of points:

Hernandez, who turns 19 April 8, may turn out to be the most-hyped pitcher in Mariners history.

Even with us cheering him on and badgering random passer-by about him for as long as I can remember, King Felix’s got a long way to go before he hits the kind of hype around Ryan Anderson.

General manager Bill Bavasi said there is virtually no chance Hernandez would break camp with the big leaguers, but he added it would come as no surprise if Hernandez were in the big leagues sometime during the season.

I’m not sure what virtually no chance means, and I’m happy the team is reluctant to push him to the majors (because it starts his service clock, and also because I want to see him babied). But there’s a chance. He really is that good. Hargrove hasn’t seen him yet, and we don’t know what’ll happen when he gets to check him out a couple times over the course of spring.

Also, the M’s are considering bringing in Pedro Astacio. And no, there’s not another Pedro Astacio out there. And Masao Kida had some of elbow injury that required surgery we didn’t know about.


21 Responses to “Mariners in the winter”

  1. J on January 24th, 2005 10:10 pm

    “Thornton was asked to get in work as a situational reliever with the Lara Cardenales, and he pitched in 10 games with a 1.54 earned-run average.”

    10 games >>>>>> 11.2 innings pitched

    The joys of journalism.

  2. Jim Thomsen on January 24th, 2005 10:53 pm

    I wonder if the Mariners are deliberately underplaying Hernandez’s readiness so as to not add more pressure to the kid’s mental game. (The hype is coming from bloggers, scouts, reporters, etc., NOT the team itself.) And I wonder if that’s why the M’s haven’t made a move for a starting pitcher elsewhere — that they might be behaving VERY circumspectly about the possibility that Hernandez may well be major-league-ready.

  3. Chickenhawk on January 24th, 2005 11:08 pm

    I know Felix is good, but at age 19 his off-speed stuff can not be ready for the majors.

  4. Logan on January 25th, 2005 12:46 am

    Dear U.S.S. Mariner,

    I recently noticed Jeremy Reed is scheduled to attend Mariner Fan Fest. From watching Bavasi torment me(except signing Beltre and trading for Olivo) during his brief career with the M’s. I have come to expect Bavasi has a preference for veteran players over minor league players.
    Reed’s scheduled attendance has now led me to believe Reed will not be sent down to Tacoma as I originally thought. Would I be assuming too much by determining a player (without playing awful in Spring) is going to have a spot on the 25 man roster come April?

  5. Marty Lighthizer on January 25th, 2005 4:22 am

    Forgive me for asking, but has it really come down to reading tea leaves and examining the Mariner Fan Fest invitations to divine the intent of Bavasi and the FO regarding roster assignments? (Vaguely reminiscent of the media fretting over the seating arrangements around Chairman Mao for hints on leadership change. Pretty slow times for baseball fans in January, I guess…)

  6. DMZ on January 25th, 2005 6:48 am

    I know Felix is good, but at age 19 his off-speed stuff can not be ready for the majors.

    A 19-year old can’t have a good changeup or off-speed breaking pitch?

  7. Benjamin Ramm on January 25th, 2005 7:06 am

    Re: #6

    There’s having a good off-speed pitch, and then there’s having the sense to use it. The sense of how and when to use an excellent change up makes the pitch work, not so much the pitch itself. I suspect that years help smooth a pitcher’s tells and help the pitcher to read the batter’s tells.

    Derek, how do you respond to this related statement:

    At 19, a pitcher is highly unlikely to know how to use a change up effectively?

    That being said, the catcher can always call the pitches.

  8. dan wilson to the hall on January 25th, 2005 7:26 am

    speaking of the little unit, what ever happened to ryan anderson (besides nagging injuries). Is he now way passed his prime? It seems like he should still be pretty young. Will he ever be a good Major League Starter?

  9. tyler on January 25th, 2005 8:12 am

    Ben and chickenhawk(?!?)

    your logic is faulty. look no further than the NBA’s LeBron James. He is 19 and a league MVP candidate. Yes, he is physically gifted but it is his court sense, his basketball I.Q., the sets him apart not only from his age-related peers, but most of the rest of the league.

    i use him as an example because that hoops IQ is similar in nature to the use of off-speed pitches and the ability to think your way through pitching.

    That’s the thing about a prodigy. They change paradigms. Throw everything you know out the window, because it no longer applies. a prodigy isn’t normal in their age bracket.

    and finally… just because you haven’t seen it, just because it seems unlikely in your experience… does that mean it didn’t happen, or that your experience isn’t all encompassing?

  10. Evan on January 25th, 2005 9:51 am

    Does a young pitcher really need to know when to use his off-speed pitches? I expect he’s smart enough to let the catcher tell him what to throw.

  11. Ralph Malph on January 25th, 2005 10:08 am

    speaking of the little unit, what ever happened to ryan anderson (besides nagging injuries). Is he now way passed his prime? It seems like he should still be pretty young. Will he ever be a good Major League Starter?

    I don’t think “nagging” injuries is the right word. More like devastating injuries. He is now 25. Here’s a recent article:

  12. eponymous coward on January 25th, 2005 11:28 am

    The number of pitchers who’ve come back after 4 years without throwing a pitch in a competitive game is about the same as the number of fingers on my left foot.

    If RA throws a pitch in the major leagues AT ALL, let alone becomes a “pretty good Major League Starter”, he’ll be defying the odds.

  13. David J Corcoran on January 25th, 2005 11:42 am

    Re 12:

    Who are the five? I can’t think of any.

  14. typicalidiotfan on January 25th, 2005 11:47 am

    DJC, how many “fingers” do you have on your feet? =)

  15. David J Corcoran on January 25th, 2005 11:59 am


  16. eponymous coward on January 25th, 2005 12:49 pm

    Well, I can think of ONE when pushed- Satchel Paige.

    One that wasn’t a PR stunt or a wartime exigency, though? Not so much.

  17. Ralph Malph on January 25th, 2005 2:06 pm

    What about that high school teacher who pitched briefly for the Braves? They did a movie about him, I can’t remember his name or the movie.

    Babe Ruth would be the other one I could think of, but I’m not sure that counts.

  18. David J Corcoran on January 25th, 2005 2:15 pm

    You mean Jimmy Morris of the Devil Rays of the movie The Rookie?

  19. Adam M on January 25th, 2005 3:21 pm

    Could the correlation between HS players and arm injuries be explained by the fact that so many HS guys get drafted for lighting up the gun? The explanation you usually see is that “HS pitchers break down easier.” Maybe they’re not being used right? Is it plausible that if Anderson had dialed his fastball down a little and not tried to K everyone he saw, he’d be healthy today? At best, Anderson could have been the next Randy Johnson. Now he’ll be lucky to be the next Jose Rijo (and not the good ’88 WS version, either). I hate to bring up unpleasant M’s past, but did Salomon Torres quit because of injuries or general lousiness? He was also out of he game for some years before coming back.

  20. Russ Queen on January 25th, 2005 4:12 pm

    Anyone have any information on Rick Guttormson?

  21. Ralph Malph on January 25th, 2005 5:03 pm

    Rays, Braves…I always mix those two teams up.