Ben Davis released, Pokey to start year on DL?

Jeff · March 31, 2005 at 8:00 am · Filed Under General baseball, Mariners 

One of the many cast-offs from San Diego once obtained by the Mariners, Ben Davis, has been cut by the White Sox, who opted to go with the mighty right-handed bat of your friend and mine, Chris Widger.

Davis cleared waivers and has been assigned to the minors. He could refuse and become a free agent, but would forfeit his guaranteed $1 million salary. Apparently, he hasn’t made a decision.

I mention this not for a former Mariner schadenfreude experience, but because the article contains still another amazing quote from Ozzie Guillen. Oz tried to talk Big Ben into staying with the organization thusly:

“I talked to him and I said ‘We want you here. You never know what will happen,’ ” Guillen said. “It’s a lot of money involved and (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) did it because he wanted the team to get better and we know we’re going to need this guy … hopefully not soon, but we will need him.”

Kid we’re gonna need you. And it may be soon. [Pause] But boy, I hope not.

In other news: Larry LaRue’s TNT notes column mentions that Pokey Reese, whose shoulder is still bothering him, could be placed on the disabled list to start the year. This would enable the Mariners to carry an extra infielder at the start of the season, potentially making our dreams of seeing both Greg Dobbs and Ramon Santiago on opening day come true.


18 Responses to “Ben Davis released, Pokey to start year on DL?”

  1. anotherjeff on March 31st, 2005 9:16 am

    I wonder what it would be like to be on a team with a guy like Pokey Reese. I have to think it would be annoying to always wonder what was going to keep him from playing on any given day. I know he has a great glove. I’ve heard all of that before. Lets face it though, you’ll never be able to count on his bat in a tough spot. Infact, you can hardly count on him to be in the line up. Since we all know that the team has other plans for Lopez, I’m hoping that Santiago, heck even Bloomquist come in if Pokey goes on the DL and make it painful to give Reese playing time when he comes back. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong, and I really hope he does. But I have to say from this vantage point, I think he’s going to turn out to be a waste of money.

  2. Xteve X on March 31st, 2005 9:18 am

    If Reese can’t go, why not bring up Lopez instead of Santiago? Somebody help me, is Santiago out of options? Do they not want to burn another year of Lopez’s service time?

    I’m not surprised that Ozzie cut Davis loose, he was positively awful last year for the White Sox even in a platoon situation. That quote is classic Oz, though.

  3. Iowa M's Fan on March 31st, 2005 9:28 am

    I thought I heard that Lopez jammed his wrist yesterday in a minor league game. Otherwise I would agree….promote Lopez. guess ‘Pez just had bad timing.

  4. Evan on March 31st, 2005 9:55 am

    I still want to keep Lopez in Tacoma the whole year.

    And I love Pokey’s glove. We knew he’d spend time injured, and that we’d be lucky to get 400 AB out of him. This isn’t news.

    I think we should play Pokey whenever he’s available, and play Santiago when Pokey’s hurt.

    Two reasons for this. First, we promised Pokey the job. Players need to trust that we’ll keep our word. Second, I don’t EVER want Willie playing SS.

  5. Pilots fan on March 31st, 2005 10:46 am

    I also read that Lopez jammed his wrist. Not sure how bad that is.

    If they put Pokey on the 15 day DL and keep both Dobbs and Santiago, I believe that now means we have 3 roster spots that need to be created on the 40-man (Sele, Nelson, Santiago). At least the M’s official site does not show Santiago as currently on the 40-man.

    Am I getting this correctly? Soriano, Atchison, and Bucky all get the 60-day DL tag to make this work? Do we really have 43 guys that are so good they need to be protected by being on the 40-man roster?

  6. Adam T on March 31st, 2005 11:16 am

    Re #4

    I am failing to see how Santiago is a better option than Bloomquist at SS.

    I am NOT saying Bloomquist is a good option. I AM saying I saw Santiago play at AAA in about 15 games last season and he had a heck of a time making solid contact there.

  7. PositivePaul on March 31st, 2005 11:22 am

    Am I the only one who noticed an absence of “Off the Wall” in the PI this morning???

    Just as we need to keep Felix in Tacoma, Lopez should get a spit-polish there as well. Santiago is at best a AA player. He’s not even good enough to play in AAA. I’m not quite sure what the lovefest for his defense is — I’ve even heard people say that he’s basically interchangable with Pokey (Awesome glove, no bat). Yikes. The fact that we’re even considering him for a spot is horribly frustrating, and I imagine they’re probably scouring the waiver wire for a decently-gloved shortstop. Either that, or Dobbs will be sent down and Strong recalled as the 4th OF (so Bloomquist can focus on SS duties, and we can have a true outfielder (in spite of how craptastic Strong is defensively). Whether we stick with Santiago or scrounge some scrub up from the waiver wire, we’d still have to find a 40-man spot for that guy.

    Can we PLEASE do a do-over for the Guillen trade???

  8. Evan on March 31st, 2005 11:29 am

    Since we signed Pokey specifically for an awesome glove and no bat, I don’t see why anyone should object to his replacement being a reasonable approximation of that.

    If you want a bat at SS, fine, but we don’t have one, so Santiago’s the best guy if Pokey’s hurt. Lopez needs to stay in Tacoma for reasons of development and service time, and Willie’s glove gives away too many hits when he’s playing SS.

  9. Dave on March 31st, 2005 11:40 am

    Santiago’s glove is nothing like Pokey’s. Pokey’s the best defensive infielder in baseball, and Santiago’s just a dude. It’s like the Yankees replacing Randy Johnson with Sean Henn and claiming “hey, they’re both pitchers”.

  10. Shoeless Jose on March 31st, 2005 11:47 am

    Are we certain that Lopez is going to spend his time in Tacoma learning 2B with an eye towards replacing Boone next year (or perhaps in the middle of this year, if the M’s fall out of contention and see a good trade opportunity)? If he is, then keep him down there learning his new position. If his performance in ST has people now thinking he’s going to be a SS afterall, then you might as well have him covering for Pokey’s owies on the big club.

    You know, as bad as the Guillen trade was the Garcia trade seems to be working out so far.

  11. Todd on March 31st, 2005 11:48 am

    But Santiago is, at least in my opinion, far superior to Bloomquist defensively. And the slight discrepancy in offensive production between Bloomie and Santiago is minimal. I think that point that Evan was attempting to make is that no matter who replaces Pokey, SS will still be a hole offensively. So you might as well have the most capable defensive player replace Pokey.

  12. Ralph Malph on March 31st, 2005 11:51 am

    Isn’t Santiago a bit better SS than Sean Henn is a P?

    I’m certainly not too sharp on defensive stats, but BP’s defensive stats on Santiago don’t look all that different from Reese’s to me. Perhaps someone could enlighten me on some numbers that make that clearer.

  13. Jeff on March 31st, 2005 12:22 pm

    Ralph, I don’t know which of BP’s stats you’re referencing, but this post from a Mets blog does a nice job of juxtaposing the way players performed in 2003 according to four different defensive metrics. By those standards, Santiago was miserable.

    Now, we all still have a lot to learn as far as defensive statistics go — at least I do — but performing poorly almost across the board doesn’t speak well for Santiago.

  14. chico ruiz on March 31st, 2005 1:13 pm

    Jeff and/or Dave: Assuming Pokey’s hurt and Lopez isn’t in the picture for whatever reason, would we rather have Bloomquist or Santiago get the bulk of the playing time? Pick your poison………

  15. Dave on March 31st, 2005 1:20 pm

    That’s like asking if I want to be stabbed or shot. I’d explore other options, like not getting wounded at all.

    Honestly, if he was cool with it, I wouldn’t be against sticking Beltre at short for a few days. He’s got insane range for a 3B, and he’d be competent at short. But I’m a little nuts like that.

  16. Tim on March 31st, 2005 1:25 pm

    I love the addition of Jeff. The humor and sarcasim is great. Keep the strange analogies and off-the-wall remarks coming.

  17. tom b on March 31st, 2005 1:35 pm

    strange.. sporting news was reporting that ben davis was not put on waivers/cut but placed on the 15 day DL.. which is correct?

    Ben Davis, C (rank: 38) – White Sox March 31, 12:45 p.m.
    The Sox placed Davis on the DL because of an injured ligament in his right hand. Chris Widger will begin the year as Chicago’s backup catcher.


    Fantasy Source spin: When Davis returns, he’ll be a decent No. 2 in AL-only leagues.


  18. chico ruiz on March 31st, 2005 2:37 pm

    Thanks for the response Dave; I like the Beltre idea, but I doubt the M’s are that creative. You neatly sidestepped the question of which guy (Willie or Ramon) would be the better (okay, less awful) fill-in at short. Personally, I’d probably go with Santiago because he looks more like a shortstop—not much of an analysis, but probably on a par with the M’s brass?