Moves aplenty

JMB · April 3, 2005 at 7:44 am · Filed Under Mariners 

We’re down to 25, which is good, seeing as the season starts tomorrow. This Times article has all the scoop, but I’ll summarize here:

  • Pokey Reese on the 15-day DL with a bad shoulder
  • The newest M, Wilson Valdez, now makes the club as the opening day shortstop (I can’t believe I just typed that)
  • Joel Pineiro on the 15-day DL (retroactive to March 27)
  • Chris Snelling on the 15-day DL (retroactive to March 25)
  • Scott Atchison on the 60-day DL, as expected, opening up a 40-man spot for Aaron Sele
  • Abraham Nunez was DFA’d, opening up a 40-man spot for Jeff Nelson
  • Felix Hernandez, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Ramon Santiago were sent to minor league camp
  • So the opening day roster is as follows…

    Catcher (2): Olivo, Wilson
    Infield (7): Beltre, Boone, Bloomquist, Dobbs, Sexson, Speizio, Valdez
    Outfield (4): Ibanez, Reed, Suzuki, Winn
    Starters (4): Madritsch, Meche, Moyer, Sele
    Relievers (8): Franklin, Guardado, Hasegawa, Mateo, Nelson, Putz, Thornton, Villone

    Yes, I’ll have a new Big Board up this week. I’m waiting for Derek to tweak something at the techie level before that can happen.


    43 Responses to “Moves aplenty”

    1. anotherjeff on April 3rd, 2005 8:15 am

      Can anyone give me a VERY good reason Valdez made the team? I have thought and thought, and any rational argument that I can come up with still pops a red light on the stupid-decision-o-meter. If this kind of garbage is going to keep going on with Pokey, what value is he? A great glove means nothing if you cant keep it in the game. Lopez was having a great spring. I think in this scenario he deserved at least a look.

    2. msb on April 3rd, 2005 8:27 am

      “Can anyone give me a VERY good reason Valdez made the team? … Lopez was having a great spring. I think in this scenario he deserved at least a look.”

      perhaps because it is very easy to jettison Valdez when Reese is back, and not so easy to send Lopez back down in ’15 days’…

    3. firova on April 3rd, 2005 8:46 am

      Lopez has a wrist injury. What I wonder is why they think Valdez is any better than Santiago. Let’s just hope this Reese thing really is a two-week situation. It felt strange to me that they didn’t seem to be in any hurry to thoroughly examine and diagnose the injury, which could be just as serious as anything a pitcher might incur. It is his throwing shoulder, after all. Does this bother anyone else?

    4. Pilots fan on April 3rd, 2005 9:17 am

      Yes, the whole thing bothers me. It has been public knowledge that we needed “Pokey insurance” since the day we signed him. Bavasi even said as much in the press conference when announcing the signing!

      So, after 3 months we have auditioned the following predictable failures: Gil, Gutierrez, Santiago, Bloomquist, etc. Now our hand is forced at SS, like we have known it would be all along. I can’t believe that there have been no other solid alternatives out there in the last three months that we could either trade for or sign within our budget.

    5. djw on April 3rd, 2005 9:38 am

      Forget Santiago; I’d rather have seen Leone on the roster in Dobbs spot, playing Shortstop, with a better defender in the Valdez spot (maybe Santiago, maybe Valdez) as a late inning replacement. Would that be too much to ask?

    6. JMB on April 3rd, 2005 9:54 am

      Maybe Valdez *is* a better defender than Santiago? I’ve been on the “Santiago can pick it” bandwagon too, but Jeff and I discussed this back in reserve infield roundtable and he had some pretty damning numbers with respect to Santiago’s defense. I hate that we’re at the point where Valdez has to be on the roster, but I think we should at least give him a look before we bash his glove.


    7. Pilots fan on April 3rd, 2005 9:56 am

      Since Valdez is probably on our 25-man for the next 2 weeks, does anyone have some more info than the quick post Jason did the day he was claimed? We know he can’t hit, but can he at least field well (how well) and can he run?

    8. JPWood on April 3rd, 2005 9:59 am

      This is the kind of thing that happens when you start the season with 5 players on the 40-man roster on the DL plus your closer unable to field bunts and a possible break-out SS with a jammed wrist.
      A great big bravo to the medical staff for all the great work and anticipation. I think Bavasi has just learned in spades the long-time weakness of a Mariners organization that is in most every other respect at least competent.

    9. firova on April 3rd, 2005 10:49 am

      #8 Yes, the medical situation is compromising a roster with little margin to begin with. We can only hope that it will look better May 1.

      In looking at this roster, I notice that fully 28 percent of it (7 of 25 players) played for the Mariners in the 2000 playoffs, the 2001 playoffs, or in both.

      Ibanez (2000)


      Then there is Piniero on the DL (2001 ALCS). When he comes back, almost a third of the roster (32 percent) will be veterans of the last two playoff runs. Nelson and Wilson, of course, go all the way back to 1995.

    10. Christopher Michael on April 3rd, 2005 11:10 am

      It just seems more like they are hoping Valdez will pass waivers so they can have some more insurance down in AAA. Better to shuttle journeyman back and forth than Lopez I guess.

    11. err0r on April 3rd, 2005 11:21 am

      Well at the least we won’t have to see willy at SS and uh yeah.

      just a stop gap guys.

    12. Todd on April 3rd, 2005 11:30 am

      If Pokey does come done with some sort of major issue with his shoulder that will sideline him for months, then I would like to see Lopez (provided that he is healthy) up with the M’s. A Valdez or Santiago could serve as his defensive backup.

      But I do hope that Pokey is well in two weeks. I really enjoy watching him play SS, or any infield position.

    13. bilbo on April 3rd, 2005 12:11 pm

      Angels put Escobar on DL with the famous “strained elbow”.

      Not to put the cart before the horse, but I have been saying for some time that the Angels will suffer some key injuries this year and they won’t win 90 games. 90 will win this division.

    14. bilbo on April 3rd, 2005 12:23 pm

      found this on Valdez on (Jim Callis on the Koch trade):

      “Valdez, 25, signed out of the Dominican Republic with the Expos in 1997 and went to the Marlins on a waiver claim in March 2002. His career began to turn around last year after a long talk with then-Florida third-base coach Ozzie Guillen, whom he’s now reunited with in the White Sox organization, with Guillen serving his first year as Chicago’s manager. Valdez is a line-drive, contact hitter who could bat second in a lineup if he drew some more walks. He has plus speed and good baserunning skills, and he has thrived at shortstop since moving from second base last year. His arm and range are assets. In 66 games at Triple-A Albuquerque, Valdez hit .319/.357/.400 with two homers, 25 RBIs and 19 steals in 31 attempts.”

      Sounds like his glove is an asset, so he could be a good fill-in for Pokey for a couple of weeks. Honestly, I don’t think the “sky is falling” like some of the others on this thread. As bodies get healthy, this team will look much different/better. Hey, maybe Valdez even bumps WFB back to Tacoma!

    15. Joe on April 3rd, 2005 12:24 pm

      I can’t believe you had to type that, either. Who would have though a month ago that Wilson Valdez would be the M’s opening day shortstop? I think the M’s must like him more than Santiago, and they must have wanted Lopez (injury and all) to start the year in AAA no matter what. Dude raked this spring! On another note, is anyone else counting down the days until Pokey’s days in a M’s uniform are over?

    16. JMB on April 3rd, 2005 12:28 pm

      Hey bilbo, thanks for tracking that down on Valdez.


    17. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2005 12:44 pm

      In other Times-Mariners news, Seattle’s second-best daily newspaper has hired a stathead columnist, has a new weekly minor-league-report writer and touts Bob Finnigan as a solid veretan presence who provides great Times clubhouse chemistry:

    18. Jeff Sullivan on April 3rd, 2005 12:52 pm

      Quote Finnigan in that article:

      “I like to think of myself as competitive, curious, creative and a good balance of solid reporting and writing.”


      As for Valdez’s numbers at Albuquerque, keep the environment in mind. That place is a mile above sea level.

    19. JMHawkins on April 3rd, 2005 1:06 pm

      Yes, we’re all doomed. A guy everyone knew was a stop-gap is on the DL and replaced by another stop-gap, so we might as well toss the season down the drain. Probably throw next year down after it too – it’s obviously a mistake Bavasi can never recover from. Oh, woe is us. And it’s raining…

      Cubs fans got nothing on this crowd.

    20. Dave on April 3rd, 2005 1:18 pm

      For what its worth, Jeff Angus is really good, and congratulations to him on getting the gig at the Times.

    21. eric on April 3rd, 2005 1:26 pm

      whos starting at shortstop opening day?

    22. Jeff Sullivan on April 3rd, 2005 1:29 pm

      Will almost certainly be Valdez.

    23. DMZ on April 3rd, 2005 2:02 pm

      Wow, in print, too. That must be nice.

    24. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2005 2:39 pm

      In other shocking developments, Bob Melvin gave the final bench spot on the Arizona Diamondbacks roster to … Quinton McCracken.

    25. DMZ on April 3rd, 2005 3:05 pm

      I can’t be the only person who heard that and immediately thought “hey, maybe he’d be up for taking on his favorite Mariner projects of the past…”

    26. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2005 3:15 pm

      And Jeff Fassero and Jeff Cirillo are back on major league rosters, auditioning for the leads in “Evil Dead 3” ….

    27. eponymous coward on April 3rd, 2005 5:35 pm

      Yeah- Leone’s pretty marginal as a SS, like WFB. His bat’s better, obviously, but defensively they both are very much stopgaps.

      Ramon Santiago’s lifetime minor league OPS: .685
      Wilson Valdez’s lifetime minor league OPS: .692

      They are both 5’11” and from the Dominican Republic too. Has anyone actually seen both of them at the same time?

      If this how Mats Olkin’s going to have an effect on Bavasi’s decision making, it’s really hard to see from here what difference it’s making. Clearly the only reason why Valdez is hot and Santiago’s not is Santiago sucked in limited time in AAA and the majors last year, and Valdez didn’t- but it’s really hard to see a lot of difference in the skill set.

    28. Elliott on April 3rd, 2005 6:00 pm

      Could we hear something more about Angus? I’m excited about a good stats writer in print (more than one would be cool too…).

    29. firova on April 3rd, 2005 6:06 pm

      The Ex-Mariner Roster, or, What Could Have Been, For Better or Worse

      c Veritek, Bos.
      1b T.Martinez, NYY
      2b Bell, Phila.
      ss Guillen, Det.
      3b Rodriguez, NYY
      of Cruz, SF
      of Cameron, NYM
      of Griffey, Cin
      dh Ortiz, Bos.
      Vizquel, SF
      Cirillo, Mil
      Widger, CWS
      Podsednik, CC
      Sierra, NYY
      Johnson, NYY
      Hampton, Atl.
      Lowe, LA
      Garcia, CWS
      Mays, Min
      Myers, Bos
      Halama, Bos.
      Fuentes, Col.
      Mecir, Fla.
      Rhodes, Cle.
      Mesa, Pitt.

      You could always substitute:
      if Vazquez, Bos.
      ss Aurilia, Cin
      if Perez, LA
      if Sanchez, NYY
      of Mabry, StL (he’ll always have a job in either StL or Sea)
      of McCracken, Ariz.

      p Estes, Ariz.
      p Timlin, Bos.
      p Tomko, SF
      p Torres, Pitt.
      p Simpson, Col.
      p Mulholland, Minn.
      p Fassero, SF
      p Valdes, Fla.
      p Carrara, LA (!)

      You could certainly shuffle around the relievers and get a younger group. I wonder what this roster would project to.

    30. Todd on April 3rd, 2005 7:45 pm

      I would not say that Olkin has absolutely no voice because of the Nunez and Valdez pick-ups. These were guys that, for some reason or another, were probably on Bavasi’s radar for a while, and he snapped them up when he had a chance. Olkin will contribute to a variety of voices to which Bavasi will listen, but I doubt that he will become the dominant voice.

    31. JMHawkins on April 3rd, 2005 8:24 pm

      Okay Bavasi-bashers – so Pokey’s on the DL. Who should they pick up?

    32. eponymous coward on April 3rd, 2005 8:44 pm

      During the offseason we just had? Someone like Chris Gomez to fill out the bench at SS and back Pokey “Glass” Reese up, as Bavasi pointed out.

      Instead, we had dumpster diving (Benji Gil and so on), and this. A 26 year old who hits an empty .300 in AAA isn’t really an improvement over Santiago.

    33. Steve on April 3rd, 2005 8:59 pm

      You can plenty of Jeff Angus at his outstanding Management by Baseball blog.

    34. err0r on April 3rd, 2005 9:15 pm

      Well coward he did pick up betancourt

    35. Steve on April 3rd, 2005 11:12 pm

      If it was up to me, no major league players would be allowed to talk to Ozzie Guillen ever about anything.

      How much of a hitter’s park is Albuquerque? Baseball Prospectus translates Valdez’s bigbigbig 319/357/400 as 255/296/318. Mmm, tasty. I sure hope the defense is as good as advertised.

      It’s funny to see such chaos at a position the P-I just rated “10 out of 10” in prospects — apparently on the strength of the bizarre idea that Matt Tuiasosopo is a shortstop and a future star, when he ain’t. We’ve got a lot of bodies, but no players. Adam Jones, anyone?

      What would be even funny is if it turns out that the best option on the team for short really is WFB. It’s kind of like being in the National League; in addition to having a Designated Hitter, we’ve got a Designated Pitcher Batting spot. Only it’s not a pitcher.

    36. Kelly M on April 4th, 2005 7:13 am

      I haven’t heard anything about Bobby Livingston, either here or in the MSM. Baseball Prospectus loves him. What is up with Bobby?

    37. Jason on April 4th, 2005 7:20 am

      #26, Evil Dead 3 has already been made, it’s called Army of Darkness (Which might be a good name for some Mariner teams..)

    38. JPWood on April 4th, 2005 7:31 am

      I’m not pleased with having Valdez start the season at SS but I am happy to see that Bavasi, once his hand was forced, chose a respectable defensive option who has a highly expendable contract. Buying time at the start of the season is bad news but far preferable to starting Bloomquist or finishing the season in the same position. Trying my best to be optimistic: I think Thornton is in about the same boat.
      And since this thread has wandered and wondered some, I thought ESPN’s reviled projections did show one very interesting take from a solid analyst: Alan Schwartz has Felix getting called up early enough in the season and pitching well enough to win AL ROY.

    39. Tad Trammell on April 4th, 2005 7:41 am

      Trolling throuhg waivers to find useful players is not a bad idea. But being caught with your pants down when your fragile shortstop breaks down is poor planning. You can’t tell me that hoping that Valdez would get waived twice was the backup plan.

    40. jc on April 4th, 2005 8:10 am

      News flash jose lopez out 4-6 weeks broken hamat bone..i dont know if i spelled it right…

    41. eponymous coward on April 4th, 2005 8:27 am

      Well coward he did pick up betancourt

      Cuban =League stats don’t project out well (nearly every Cuban League hitter hasn’t done much in MLB), and Betancourt’s pretty young. He’s probably a couple of years away from being in the Ramon Santiago/Wilson Valdez zone of being a good glove, marginal hitting SS from Latin America. If we get VERY lucky, he’s Cristian Guzman in a year or two.

    42. JPWood on April 4th, 2005 9:52 am

      jc: Not that I’m doubting, but: source for the Lopez trick-wrist?!
      Snelling did the same thing last year.

    43. jc on April 4th, 2005 10:35 am

      got the info from a front office person close to the situation…if he is wrong then so be it…but i think he has a clue better then me are you…