More Guardado

JMB · March 11, 2005 at 2:42 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hey, the news just keeps getting better — Guardado might miss as many as three weeks with his strained hammy. Let’s see here: torn right rotator cuff, left knee surgery, now the right hamstring. What’s that clever nickname of his again?


50 Responses to “More Guardado”

  1. Rob Philbrick on March 11th, 2005 2:53 pm

    i believe it is “Every (28th) Day Eddie”

  2. Brian Rust on March 11th, 2005 2:55 pm

    They’re not letting him tote his own luggage, are they?

  3. ray on March 11th, 2005 3:43 pm

    Can we rename him like Prince did: the Player Formerlly Know as Everyday Eddie (PFKEE) (pronounced “poof kee”)

  4. Change on March 11th, 2005 3:56 pm

    Ok, who’s next? My money is on Beltre.

  5. Mike Thompson on March 11th, 2005 3:58 pm

    It isn’t a current M, but I got an e-mail in my inbox from some online casino promoting that you bet on whether Ken Griffey Jr. will suffer a season-ending injury by Sept 1 (+100 Yes, -200 No).

  6. Elliottelement2 on March 11th, 2005 4:00 pm

    why would you say beltre. he has no pervious big injury and he is our star player. is it that you want him to get hurt.

  7. Change on March 11th, 2005 4:12 pm

    It’s precicely because we neeed him to be healthy that I’d predict him getting hurt. Why would I want him to get hurt? That’s just silly. Besides, I don’t have any supernatural powers that I’m aware of so me betting on him to go down probably isn’t going to influence if he does.

  8. Bobbydon on March 11th, 2005 4:22 pm

    Could we possibly get an on staff yoga instructor? Or perhaps have pilates as part of rehab? We’re getting killed on not stretching properly. Ichiro stretches for an hour before he plays. I’m willing to bet he won’t have an injury that will disrupt his career.

  9. eponymous coward on March 11th, 2005 4:25 pm

    Boy, that Guardado signing’s looking better and better all the time, isn’t it?

    If he misses 3 weeks, no way is he stretched out for Opening Day…

    Also, here’s Hargrove’s quote in that ESPN article

    “He’s been one of the top five closers in all of baseball for a long time.”

    If by “a long time”, you mean “two and a half years”, sure. He didn’t close fulltime until 2002.

    And as for 5 best: closers who’ve done better than Guardado since 2002:

    Jason Isringhausen
    Mariano Rivera
    Armando Benitez (who we passed resigning up to sign Guardado, BTW)
    Eric Gagne
    Keith Foulke
    Troy Percival
    Billy Wagner

    In my opinion, Guardado’s one of those interchangeable closers in the class with Jose Mesa, Ugueth Urbina, Keith Foulke, Troy Percival, and so on- a high 2-low 3 ERA and decent overall performance, but nothing spectacular (or worthy of long term contracts, since decent interchangeable closers are on the market ever year for 3-4 million, one year deals). Of course, we’re still traumatized from watching bullpen meltdowns from the late 1990’s, so of course we overvalue bullpens…

  10. Harry Teasley on March 11th, 2005 4:28 pm

    #8: Yeah, it’s Ichiro’s emphasis on stretching and staying flexible that make me think he won’t fall off like most players, and that he has a good chance to stay healthy. Knock wood.

    So, a 1-8 record so far this spring. Not like it means a damned thing, of course.

  11. Jonathan on March 11th, 2005 4:34 pm

    Ok, gang, where do we go for our closer? Does this mean Soriano might get to come back? Wasn’t he pegged as having that “closer’s mentality” about which we’ve all heard so much? I’ll confess to being morbidly curious as to what the Bullpen Roundtable will be like!

  12. Pilots fan on March 11th, 2005 5:27 pm

    I was suspicious about that 1-week thing. Hamstrings never seem to be 1-week injuries, and they keep going and going and going …

    Putz is now the closer, and I would guess this puts both Nelson and Atchison on the roster. We’ll see …

  13. Pilots fan on March 11th, 2005 5:39 pm

    … or maybe this alters what happens with the rotation more than we might think. (Does this make moving Franklin to the pen more likely?)

  14. Jonathan on March 11th, 2005 6:06 pm

    I keep remembering that sinking feeling I used to get when Nelson came in from the pen. It used to be a big question amongst many M’s fans I knew: who makes you more nervous – Nelson or Rhodes? Guess both camps were right. What does this mean for Sele? (speaking of sinking feelings,…)

  15. bilbo on March 11th, 2005 6:39 pm

    ahh, Villone continues to impress and show why the M’s went after him so hard…

  16. Spiegs on March 11th, 2005 6:49 pm

    It’s gotta be Putz clsoing although Nellie could put some heat on him if he throws like the Nellie of old (when he was effective).

  17. Bobbydon on March 11th, 2005 7:17 pm

    Okay there is an elephant in the room, that everyone seems to be ignoring. Should we be worried at all that Sexson hasn’t got a hit? Wasn’t that why we got him?

  18. Dave on March 11th, 2005 8:38 pm

    Spring training stats mean nothing. Spring training stats on March 11th mean less than nothing.

    Alfonso Soriano is 0 for the spring too. It happens. No big deal.

  19. Shoeless Jose on March 11th, 2005 9:16 pm

    Meh. This was a rebuilding year. I know a lot of people started to get their hopes up — that’s what spring is for after all — but all the M’s improved was the offense. Pitching has been on a decline for several years and nothing they did in the offseason reversed that. The 2005 M’s will be the 2004 Rangers, but without Kenny Rogers. Spend the season enjoying Ichiro’s hits, Beltre’s RBIs, Sexon’s blasts (as long as he doesn’t blow his shoulder off) and maybe a breakout season by Mads or Reed. And get ready for the winter of 2005 — Moyer will be off the books; what pitchers are eligible for free agency?

  20. Roger on March 12th, 2005 2:35 am

    Where’s Jeff Fassero when you need him?

  21. Spiegs on March 12th, 2005 8:10 am

    Shoeless Joe-I can’t take that glass is half full attitude on the 12TH OF FIRGGIN’ MARCH MAN! Spring training just started and we’re eliminated? Please hold off on those posts til the end of April at least. Ichiro is going to hit .380, Beltre .330 with 40 homeruns, and Sexson won’t get hurt. I know I may be way off but we just don’t know, so hold off on writing them off.

  22. Jonathan on March 12th, 2005 8:11 am

    From the Times this morning:

    “Right-hander Joel Pineiro, experiencing soreness behind his right shoulder, will not make his next scheduled start, Monday at Surprise, against Kansas City. Aaron Sele will start for the Mariners. Pineiro will have at least one session in the bullpen before making another start.”


    The same article says that the M’s have sent scouts out to look for pitching. Is this for real? Or just to keep the fanbase from abandoning hope in March?

  23. John D. on March 12th, 2005 10:05 am

    Re (# 18) The meaninglessness of ST stats: I think they’re rather meaningless too, but, evidently, not everyone does.
    (From the Official Mariner Website) “BLAND TURNING HEADS”?
    Four (4) innings, and he’s “turning heads.”
    [Talk about grasping at straws.]

  24. Peter rabbit on March 12th, 2005 10:10 am
  25. ChrisK on March 12th, 2005 10:36 am

    I just read Finnigan’s article and was amazed at his pathetic attempt to argue that Putz is THE choice to replace Guardado.

    But no matter how long Eddie Guardado is sidelined…J.J. Putz showed yesterday they don’t need to add a closer to the list. [of pitchers to scout for]

    Putz gave manager Mike Hargrove just what he hoped to see, in light of Guardado’s situation.

    “We’re seeing what we need to out of our pitchers today,” Hargrove said. “Defensively we put them in some tough spots, yet we pitched well and the Rockies only got three runs they should have scored. After three, four outings we’re seeing stuff start to form, the arm strength get better.” [Um, Grover was talking about all 5 pitchers he used today, of which Putz was just one of them]

    “His sinker was moving so good, I thought it was a split,” Hargrove said. “When you can throw that, along with a four-seamer (fastball) at 96 mph, you’ve got something to work with.” [Yes this is a complement but hardly an announcement that Putz is his new closer]

    Hargrove has him in mind. “I really don’t want to go to who we might use to close, but J.J. has closed and he’d be a consideration.”

    So…Finny begins the article by stating that they don’t need to find another closer b/c Putz can do the job. To support his argument, he misassigns a Hargrove quote as being a direct complement to Putz, adds a legit complementary quote (who has Hargrove NOT complemented this spring?), and finishes with a final Grover quote that further weakens his original argument.

    Am I misjudging this as a horrible piece of sportswriting? I’d be interested in hearing from the journalists in this group. Maybe I’m missing something or being too harsh on Finny (admittedly I don’t like him), but this seems really awful.

  26. Spiegs on March 12th, 2005 10:48 am

    Why do so many people think it’s a problem that Mike Hargrove has been nice and complimentary to his ballplayers? IT’S THE 12th OF FRIGGIN’ MARCH, I bet even Larry Bowa is nice to his ballplayers halfway through spring training.

  27. DMZ on March 12th, 2005 10:49 am

    Who said that it was a problem?

  28. ChrisK on March 12th, 2005 11:04 am

    #26, I wasn’t saying it was a problem. We’re basically saying the same thing. I was making a point that Finny’s attempt to use Hargrove’s complement as proof that Putz is the new closer is a weak one – PRECISELY because every manager is complementary of his ballplayers in the spring. So you’ve actually helped support my analysis.

    The sad thing is – this is the one quote Finny uses in the article that doesn’t completely undermine his own argument.

  29. John in L.A. on March 12th, 2005 11:32 am

    There is a big difference between being negative and being realistic.

    Being realistic is an assesment not a prophecy. No harm there. And it leaves plenty of room to be pleasantly surprised.

    I tend to agree with you about negativity… but that has got to be very narrowly defined. Very few people are actually negative to the point of being detrimental.

    And I don’t see anything in this thread or site that comes close to what I would call terminal negativity.

    I think everybody here wants the best for this team. And most aren’t going to let optimism and enthusiasm blind them to areas of weakness – that is not the point of this site. That fact that they also will not let pessimism blind them to the good things that have happened should tell you something.

    You should be really careful who you attach that negative label to. (I think you meant half-empty, so I’m assuming) When you find the person that WANTS the team to fail because they just KNOW it sucks… then apply away. But anyone who is just offering their realistic expectations and assesments deserves better, in my humble opinion.

    It’s just as bad, to me

  30. Christopher Michael on March 12th, 2005 12:21 pm

    Anyone know what kind of equipment and work outs this team uses to help prevent pitcher injuries? Lately I’m constantly seeing on TV and reading about all these things other clubs are doing but they never say anything about the Mariners.

    Had a special on ESPNNews today about the Rangers. They hook up each pitcher every day to a machine to see how their body looks that day. Then they use that to decide what work outs they can handle.

    I wonder how many of these injuries are just from players not keeping in shape during the off-season. With the huge amount of money they are getting paid you’d think they’d at least bother with doing sit-ups and stretches every morning.

  31. Ty on March 12th, 2005 12:22 pm

    I say give each player $50 bucks a day just to have him stretch. Either that or fill the team with Japanese coaches, because they actually encourage players to STRETCH.

  32. Paul Covert on March 12th, 2005 1:17 pm

    I agree with Shoeless (#19) on this one. In fact, it surprises me that, after the disaster that was 2004, anyone would be disappointed with a solid, 85-win, third-place season. If the offense comes together, and if a few pitchers are looking solid by the end of the year (Madritsch? Pineiro? Felix? Soriano?), so that we can know what pieces we need to add next offseason– then yes, I could come through the season feeling quite all right about it.

    I tend to view the team’s history in “eras”– the Julio Cruz era (1977-1983), the Davis/Langston era (1984-88), the Griffey/Edgar era (1989-1999), the Edgar/Ichiro era (2000-04). You could, I suppose, argue for a single Edgar era from 1989 to 2004– the shift from Randy-Junior-ARod-Edgar to Ichiro-Edgar-Olerud-Moyer can be viewed as sort of a “reloading” rather than a “rebuilding.”

    In any case, I do like it this way. Given the choice between having a core of a team for several years, peaking as legitimate WS contenders, and eventually bottoming out and being replaced by a new core, versus contending with a random group of new players every year– subjectively, I like it better with the “core” approach, even if we do get one or two years out of contention in the rebuilding phase.

    The series of transactions last July– Olerud and Aurilia released, Bucky, Sherrill, Leone, Madritsch, and Lopez promoted (following the Freddy/Reed-Olivo trade in June)– reminded me a lot of June 1983, when they traded Julio Cruz for Tony Bernazard, sold Todd Cruz, released Gaylord Perry, promoted Spike Owen, and replaced Rene Lachemann with Del Crandall. Not that the moves themselves were necessarily the greatest, but that it in effect declared that the team had come to terms with the fact that the old nucleus wasn’t going to do anything for them, and that they were ready to start over. (Of course, if you start over with unproven playeres every year, that’s a problem too; but during the Gillick regime, that wasn’t exactly the problem we were dealing with.)

    As it turned out, the generation of ballplayers of which Spike Owen was the firstfruits– Davis, Langston, Presley, Reynolds, Tartabull, Calderon, Bradley, Brantley– didn’t quite have what it took to make us contenders (or even to push us over .500). But they were still the best nucleus we had had up to that time, and the failure to do so was more the fault of George Argyros’ cheapness than anything else.

    So the question that interests me is not, “Can we win the Series in 2005?”, but rather, “Can Felix and Beltre and Reed and the others become the nucleus of a series of outstanding teams from 2006-10 or so, hopefully becoming good enough to bring home a ring or two if Bavasi gets them the right supporting cast?” Bavasi seems willing to go after talent in the market, Lincoln seems to be supporting him, and having Mat Olkin on board certainly can’t hurt.

    If we end up flopping again this year, finishing at 73-89 with no real new talent established, then I’ll view this as a lost season. But I think there’s good hope for better than that.

    Courage, folks. We’re in this for the long haul. If we can spend this year finding out how many pieces are in place, and then if Bavasi can make the right pitching decisions next winter, restoring us to the 95-win level for 2006 and into the future– this will all be worth it.

  33. DMZ on March 12th, 2005 1:54 pm

    Either that or fill the team with Japanese coaches, because they actually encourage players to STRETCH.

    I don’t know how much you know about Japanese baseball and their training, but it’s close to physical abuse. One of the more interesting theories on why Japanese players flame out is that they’re ridden so hard before and during a season in their drills that their bodies can’t take it.

    Kazu’s crazy 100-pitch warmups would not get a raised eyebrow in Japanese ball

  34. paul mocker on March 12th, 2005 2:02 pm

    What does PECOTA give Guardado for % Collapse?

  35. Jack Howland on March 12th, 2005 2:22 pm

    I’m suspecting that the feeling is somewhat mutual at this point:

    From May 2004 –

    St. Paul Pioneer-Press columnist Tom Powers wrote that he asked Guardado before Tuesday’s Mariners-Twins game if he would have signed with the Mariners if he had to do it all over.

    “No,” Guardado was quoted as saying. “Plain and simple. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you.”

  36. paul mocker on March 12th, 2005 2:24 pm

    I hope Eddie can learn from his mistake. FWIW, it appears he took the money.

  37. reedster on March 12th, 2005 2:55 pm

    I think he is on his last few legs… his injury last year was only the beginning of many more to come, I think.

  38. Adam on March 12th, 2005 4:03 pm

    That’s is the problem with pitchers. One injury will, in time, turn into a bigger more serious injury. You see this over and over again, I think the biggest key (in reducing injuries) is making it clear to pitchers that it is okay to tell the trainers that they aren’t 100% this is very difficult because from the time they started getting sore elbows in Little League their dads just told them to suck it up and go out there.

    Eddie needs to wait until he’s ready.

  39. Mike Bannan on March 12th, 2005 4:20 pm

    Eddies hurt, thats too bad. Too bad for Mariner fans. You guys are probably loving it.

  40. DMZ on March 12th, 2005 5:12 pm

    Too bad for Mariner fans. You guys are probably loving it.

    What is that supposed to mean?

  41. Christopher Michael on March 12th, 2005 6:41 pm

    #35 Well unless the M’s doctors are that inempt it doesn’t matter which team he signed for. He’d still be in the same situation.

    #39 Considering we wasted money on him… no.

  42. Adam S on March 12th, 2005 7:03 pm

    Derek, I think #39 is trolling with another dig at USSM. The essence is that the bloggers/staheads who are negative on “everything” the Mariners FO does are taking joy in watching one their moves fail.

  43. Jeff Nye on March 12th, 2005 8:00 pm

    Please educate a relatively enthusiastic but relatively uneducated Mariners fan:

    Where did the idea of a closer role come from? Is it a relatively recent development? And why do teams stick to the idea of a “closer” so actively? It seems like the consensus among a lot of the regulars here is that a “closer” isn’t actually necessary to a team’s success.

    Thoughts? And apologies in advance for the hijack!

  44. wabbles on March 12th, 2005 8:45 pm

    Well, Bruce Sutter and Dennis Eckersley and Goose Gossage and a few others in the 1970s started the closer role. Oh yeah, Rollie Fingers too. They were the best at it.
    Cincinnati Reds manager Sparky Anderson got the nickname “Captain Hook” because he had a lineup of Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Dave Concepcion, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Cesar Geronimo, Ken Griffey and George Foster — but no pitching.
    So he virtually pioneered the multiple pitcher approach that evolved into our current middle relief/set-up/closer set up we see today. (Such as Charlton/Rhodes/Sasaki in 2001.)
    As I’ve said before, I’ve read that using your “closer” versus someone else doesn’t make a lot of difference where it counts, wins and losses, just on pitchers’ psyche and the media’s labeling.

  45. AK1984 on March 12th, 2005 9:56 pm

    It’s too bad that Eddie Guardado didn’t opt for free agency during the off-season—oh well.

    In other news:

  46. Christopher Michael on March 12th, 2005 9:59 pm

    #43 Its more the fact that todays closers are given the lead in the 9th inning and expected to make 3 outs with the bases empty the majority of the time. Thats a role that isn’t that hard to replace.

  47. Paul Covert on March 13th, 2005 12:19 am

    Jeff (#43),

    The shift to the “closer” system seems to have come about in the late 1970’s, more or less. Until that time, a team’s best relief pitcher was more commonly known as its “ace,” or, more evocatively, as a “fireman”– a pitcher who puts out the “fires” of opposing rallies in the late innings of a close game. Goose Gossage, for example, quite commonly pitched three innings or more (although, when he did, he didn’t usually go back out there the next day).

    It was some time before that (specifically, in 1966) that the “save” statistic became officially recognized and tabulated by MLB (having been invented and promoted by a Chicago sportwriter, Jerome Holtzman). But Hermann Franks, manager of the Cubs in the late 1970’s, is generally considered to have “pioneered” (for better or worse) the strategy of using his relief ace (Bruce Sutter) in such a way as to maximize his save opportunities.

    Lest we blame the city of Chicago for the entire situation, we should also recognize the role of Tony LaRussa, especially during Dennis Eckersley’s great years in Oakland. To some extent this was a sensible reaction to the fact that two of his best relief pitchers, Eckersley and Rick Honeycutt, were well into their thirties and (perhaps) not as durable as they might once have been; but LaRussa does seem to have had a bit a taste for micromanaging regardless of personnel. In any case, the success LaRussa enjoyed with Eckersley anchoring his bullpen tended to popularize bullpen specialization further.

    And so today the expected role of a “closer” is to pitch the ninth inning of a save-situation game. Sometimes he’ll pitch an non-save inning if he’s in danger of getting rusty, but one inning to collect a save is the standard pattern. Kazuhiro Sasaki, for example, rarely pitched more than one inning at a time– not because of durability concerns, but just because that wasn’t his role.

    A couple of years ago, the Red Sox made a celebrated (and, eventually, infamous) attempt to abandon the closer role. Unfortunately, it backfired spectacularly (trumpted loudly by the sports media), as their entire bullpen suddenly became unable to get anybody out, leading to several spectacular blown saves. It will probably be a long time before another contending team tries that one again.

    I don’t want to make too big a deal about this. Obviously you can have a successful team by using the closer role. I doubt if it costs you more than a game or two a year, if that, compared to the old Gossage-style bullpen. It’s just that the mindlessness of it rather annoys me (and I’m not the only one). It keeps your best relief pitcher out of some important situations (late in tie game with runners on base), and puts him in some less important ones instead (bases empty with three-run lead).

    It should be noted that some successful playoff teams (New York with Mariano Rivera, and last year’s Red Sox with Keith Foulke) have succeeded by using their relief ace for two-inning saves. This is generally accepted by the media, largely because Rivera and others have done very well with it, and also because it makes intuitive sense that the postseason is a time when you don’t want to save energy for a tomorrow that may never come. It will be a brave team that implicitly confronts the media by taking that approach as “business as usual” in the regular season.

    My current best guess is that the Boston experiment may have failed largely because, although Theo Epstein rightly sensed that the closer role was sub-optimal, they neglected to clarify to the pitchers what exactly their roles were. It certainly seems that something was bothering them psychologically– they may not have been a great crew of pitchers, but they weren’t that bad– and the lack of role clarity seems to be the most likely suspect.

    What I would like to see, someday, is a bullpen where the “#1 closer” typically pitches the eighth and ninth innings of the closest games (ties and one-run leads), sometimes coming in in the seventh if the previous pitcher’s in hot water. The “#2 closer” would likewise pitch a couple of innings in game that aren’t quite as closer, or if the #1 closer has had a long outing the previous day. Then you could have your third and fourth bullpen guys filling in the innings in-between, and maybe a fifth guy for mop-up duty. The idea is that you want to have your best pitchers throwing the most innings in the closest games, and that it’s easier to throw two innings every two days than it is to throw one inning every day. (Also, this would usually keep the workload down to once through a lineup in a game, so that they wouldn’t have to worry about setting a guy up for next time like starters do.) There would be some loss of lefty-righty matchup swapping, but you’d more than make up for that by not giving key innings to guys that are barely good enough to be in the majors in the first place. (And you might also save a couple extra roster spots for defensive specialists and good pinch-hitters.)


    The following game logs illustrate the development of the closer role (hopefully I’ve done the Retrosheet links right!):

    Goose Gossage 1978: Lots of three-inning-plus relief outings
    Bruce Sutter 1979: A fair number of two-inning stints, but rarely three or more

    Dennis Eckersley 1990: Usually one innings, sometimes one-and-a-fraction, rarely two or more

    Kazuhiro Sasaki 2001: 66 2/3 innings in 69 appearances; five outings of 1 1/3, two of 1 2/3, and none of two or more.

  48. David J Corcoran on March 13th, 2005 2:46 pm

    From today’s mailbag:

    “When fans notice that none of the starting pitchers won more than seven games last season, the natural reaction is to think it’s a bad group of pitchers. But insiders, like yourself, realize that if the Mariners’ hitters had provided more leads early in the games, the pitching would have been much better. An improved offense and defense should make things easier this season.”

    DEG! EGE! WHAT!?!

  49. Ty on March 13th, 2005 3:18 pm


    It was a joke…

  50. Ralph Malph on March 13th, 2005 8:51 pm

    Yes, I’m sure Moyer wouldn’t have given up 44 HR last year if the hitting and defense was better.