M’s adjust rotation

DMZ · April 12, 2005 at 10:01 am · Filed Under Mariners 

From MLB.com:

Gil Meche, who has been bothered by a sore right elbow in his first two starts, will start on Saturday, instead of Friday. Right-hander Joel Pineiro, who began the season on the disabled list with a tender shoulder, will be activated and start on Friday.

Um… wow.

The Mariners had Meche’s bothersome elbow X-rayed after he left the game on Sunday.

“It was absolutely and purely precautionary,” Hargrove said of the X-rays. “Everything was normal on it. We decided to give him an extra day because of the stiffness. Other than that I don’t think we are really that concerned. I think it’s just one of those things.”

In the event the Mariners have to put Meche on the DL, they anticipate calling up both Baek and Campillo, anticipating that one of the two will explode or otherwise injure themselves badly enough such that they can’t pitch before they’re able to report (not really).


31 Responses to “M’s adjust rotation”

  1. Jeff on April 12th, 2005 10:10 am

    I was going to post a long comment in response to this, but my elbow hurts too much. And I’m just a fan!

  2. Jim Thomsen on April 12th, 2005 10:11 am

    If anybody should be getting X-rays, or MRIs, it should be Guardado. His velocity was off, and he got killed as a result. If fears, real or imagined, about his rotator cuff are causing him to hold back, that needs to be known … and dealt with.

  3. Paul Covert on April 12th, 2005 10:14 am

    Wow… for his own safety, Felix ought to jump ship and get a nice safe job, like playing drums for Spinal Tap….

  4. Jim Thomsen on April 12th, 2005 10:15 am

    I can just see it now …..

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Felix Hernandez, former Seattle Mariners pitching prospect, was killed today in what authorities are terming “a horrible gardening accident” ….

  5. Evan on April 12th, 2005 10:17 am

    As much as I think it’s more likely that Meche (rather than Baek or Campillo) would pull a Snelling and burst into flame like Jack Jack, I’d much rather see it happen to Sele.

    Let’s see: Pineiro, Moyer, Franklin, Baek, Campillo. That’s an entertaining rotation right there. One genuinely good pitcher, one innings-eater, two junkballers, and a rookie.

  6. Vince Naimoli on April 12th, 2005 10:21 am

    Every pitch Guardado threw on Sunday was between 87 and 89. Every one. Hargrove said his velocity was good, but if you throw every pitch the same speed you’ll get hit — especially if that speed isn’t very fast. Is that as fast as Eddie ever was?

  7. Evan on April 12th, 2005 10:23 am

    Yes. That’s why The Twins were making cracks about how “even Eddie looked like he was throwing gas” after Moyer went out there throwing 59 mph curveballs.

  8. Aaron on April 12th, 2005 10:31 am

    Instead of those ‘hit a basket from half court and win a car’ contests you see in basketball all the time, maybe the Mariners should have a ‘throw three strikes before you throw four balls and win a multi-year contract’ contest before every game.

    At this rate, they’re going to have to restock the system with warm bodies who can throw the ball 60.5 feet SOMEHOW.

  9. Morisseau on April 12th, 2005 10:36 am

    If anybody should have an X-ray / MRI, it’s boone. How many losses can we chalk up to him so far — 2 ?

  10. Jim Thomsen on April 12th, 2005 10:42 am

    I can just see it now ….

    SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mariners second baseman Bret Boone was placed today on the 15-day disabled list with what team physician Larry Pedegana is terming “cranial tunnel syndrome” …..

  11. Mark Bruso on April 12th, 2005 11:11 am

    If Meche’s elbow continues to be a problem, where it always stiffens up between innings, would a better spot be a one inning reliever? Maybe he could be a very effective 8th inning setup guy?

  12. Evan on April 12th, 2005 11:21 am

    Meche is going to get expensive one of these seasons. Perhaps turning him into a high-priced closer would make him good trade bait.

  13. Kelly M on April 12th, 2005 11:31 am

    Is Guardado’s contract up at the end of the year, or was it one of those “mutual” options for the third year? Let’s hope Eddie gets healthy or, at least, looks healthy. A proven closer would fetch something interesting in July.

  14. Todd on April 12th, 2005 11:34 am

    In regards to turning Meche into a reliever, I always thought that his past shoulder injury made it more difficult to be a reliever, and that he functions better when he has four days to recover from a heavy workload. Getting up in the pen and throwing every or every other day could prohibit him from getting the maximum amount of rest he needs, even if his in-game workloads would not be as taxing.

  15. eponymous coward on April 12th, 2005 11:47 am

    like playing drums for Spinal Tap

    So that explains why the dial for Mariner Pitching Staff Injuries goes to 11…

  16. Ralph Malph on April 12th, 2005 12:09 pm

    The Braves made Smoltz into a reliever because of his elbow injury. But that was after Tommy John surgery. I think it’s a little early to think about doing that with Meche. But I am worried.

    On the other hand, Guardado isn’t much of a closer at this point. And there are likely to be a lot of mediocre Proven Closers on the trade market this year.

    I’m hoping Soriano is able to assume the closer job at some point this year. Speaking of closers with Tommy John surgery.

  17. Steve on April 12th, 2005 12:12 pm

    re #12: Meche is going to get expensive one of these seasons. Perhaps turning him into a high-priced closer would make him good trade bait.

    If becoming expensive would make him unattractive to the Mariners, wouldn’t it make him equally unattractive to other teams?

    No question that Meche will get even more expensive as he goes proceeds through his arb years. But if his salary gets ahead of his performance, he is unattractive to all teams, not just the Mariners.

    If there are other teams that are interested in Meche, their best strategy is to let the Mariners deal with the situation and pick him up if the Mariners non-tender him. Otherwise, the other team gets stuck overpaying, and they’re not going to do that. Of, if they do trade for him, what they offer in return is their own arb player who’s also going to get a bigger contract than he warrants.

  18. err0r on April 12th, 2005 12:17 pm

    Eddy has one blown start and he isnt much of a closer?

    If you say so.

  19. Ralph Malph on April 12th, 2005 12:48 pm

    If he’s only throwing 87-89 and not changing speeds he’s not much of a closer.

    Although his numbers were good last year, his BABIP was very low(.213), which is a harbinger of trouble.

  20. Jesse on April 12th, 2005 12:49 pm

    In fairness, I don’t think most of the readers here ever thought that much of Guardado to begin with. Remember, even the Mariners didn’t want him to be a closer at first, he was brought in to be Sasaki’s lefty set-up man.

    I was thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing if by the end of the year we had a bullpen in which the set up guy (Soriano) was more reliable than the closer (Guardado), because then maybe they’d actually always use him in the most important situations and leave the 1 inning 3 run saves to Eddie, which he should USUALLY be able get out of just fine.

    But mostly I still want Soriano to start. Maybe if the starting staff is still a mess when he’s ready to come back, they’ll give him another chance at starting? Probably not, I guess, because they’ll want to ease him in through the bullpen in terms of workload even if they sort of want him to start, and then he’ll probably get stuck there again. Well, if he does, they better find time for him to get some 3 inning saves in the playoffs and really make his mark.

  21. Troy on April 12th, 2005 1:03 pm

    I don’t think Soriano will ever be a starter again, and I don’t think we can count on him to be better than Guardado during this season. Perhaps by the start of next year, but asking him to recover his health and his feel for pitching that quickly is a bit optimistic, IMHO.

  22. Evan on April 12th, 2005 1:28 pm

    “If becoming expensive would make him unattractive to the Mariners, wouldn’t it make him equally unattractive to other teams?”

    Less so if he had PROVEN CLOSER stamped on his head.

    It looks like Toronto’s trying to do the same with Miguel Batista. I wonder if Toronto would so for a stragiht trade…

  23. Rusty on April 12th, 2005 1:54 pm

    I will state the obvious…

    The status quo on policies and personnel responsible for keeping young arms healthy is absolutely unacceptable.

  24. Ralph Malph on April 12th, 2005 4:21 pm

    Which policies are you talking about?

  25. John D. on April 12th, 2005 4:50 pm

    Re: (# 20) The GUARDADO ACQUISITION – “Remember, even the Mariners didn’t want him to be a closer at first, he was brought in to be SASAKI’s set-up man.”
    (TNX. I

  26. Rusty on April 12th, 2005 4:59 pm

    Re: 24 (assuming some sarcasm in reply but I’ll reply nonetheless)

    Policies such as allowing minor leaguers to pitch as many innings as the manager chooses as long as he looks good.. within certain limits of course.

    I don’t know if this has ever been done but why not make all minor league pitchers equal and give them 3 innings on each outing, max? Why bother dividing them up into starters, relievers and closers in the minor leagues. From the few studies that I’ve seen, overthrowing doesn’t necessarily harm an arm until the pitch count creeps North of 100 or 120 pitches. Why even let a kid get that close. Why not cut them off at 3 innings? Inevitably, people will complain that you’re tying a minor league manager’s hands in his attempt to win the game. Not so. As long as he knows he has 3 innings max from every kid then he can use that constraint strategically across his entire staff.

    Building arm strength is still important. After each outing you can have the kid throw 50 pitches on the side. He won’t be over-throwing because these throws don’t count.

    Then, when a kid reaches the bigs just put him in the pen. Maybe give him spot starts until 25. At that point, you’ll know whether he’s best suited for starts, long relief, setup or closing.

    These might be pretty radical organizational ideas but you can see that Anaheim with FRod and Minnesota with Johan allowed them to develop before pushing them into their final role. Why have such policies for certain pitchers? Why not just institute them across the entire organization?

  27. The Ancient Mariner on April 12th, 2005 6:54 pm

    Re #26: They have pitch counts in the minors; it’s not like the organization is leaving our pitchers to be abused at will.

  28. Ralph Malph on April 12th, 2005 7:01 pm

    Interesting ideas but what I’m wondering is whether there is anything different about the way the M’s system handles young pitchers that could account for the injury bug.

    Obviously the M’s have an undue number of pitching injuries but if they’re not doing anything different from other organizations I’d have a hard time blaming it on “policies”.

    I’m not saying they’re blameless. Clearly they have to get to the bottom of this. What I’m saying is that we don’t have enough information to know what the cause is.

  29. Mords on April 12th, 2005 9:45 pm

    Believe it or not, there are teams that have bigger problems than the Mariners and even they do not learn. Take, for example, the Florida Marlins. They currently lead the majors with three complete games: one each from Beckett, Burnett and Willis. Two of these guys are young and the middle one is still coming of Tommy John. And that was after he’d been overworked. Basically, the Marlins are throwing their young starters into the fire, but, quite frankly, I’m worried it’s getting to be a little too much. The Mariners have a similar disregard for such things. For example, Bobby Madritsch, who has a history of medical problems (although they might not all be related) should not have been going as many innings as he was, especially last year. I’d rather burn out Ron Villone’s and Ryan Franklin’s arms this year and save Madritsch’s, Pineiro’s, Soriano’s and companies’ arms for when the Mariners plan to contend.

    And WRT to letting minor leaguers only pitch three innings– why wouldn’t their 50 bullpen throws ‘count’? And why not let them get them in games? I’m not understanding exactly why a pitch thrown in a game is more taxing than a pitch thrown outside. And, if it is somehow more taxing, then why will 50 throws make a difference? Please enlighten me.

  30. Rusty on April 13th, 2005 12:24 am

    Re: 29

    I’m going off a shaky memory here but I remember reading about a study (maybe from a Neyer column) stating that it’s those pitches that are overthrown late in a game that possibly do the most damage. When kids are throwing on the side after they come out of a 3 inning game, I doubt that they will be overthrowing pitches because it isn’t a game situation nor will on-the-side pitches show up in their minor league stats.

    One other anecdotal note… Kazuhiro Sasaki had a regimen of throwing countless warm up pitches even on days that he didn’t get into games. Did he get tired throwing all those warmup pitches? It didn’t appear so since he was usually ready when he came into the game in the 9th. This is one of the reasons why I think game pitches really are more harmful to the arm than warmup pitches.

    I hope that’s clear now. Again, I see a 3 inning limit for all minor league pitchers conducive to avoiding hi-impact throws at high pitch counts when a pitcher is tiring. Personally, I don’t see why a 3 inning scheme couldn’t work in the major leagues. Conventional wisdom says that starters start and pitch the whole game. But we know that CW has been chipped away at for years. Used to be CG’s were the norm. Then getting to the closer in the 9th was the goal. Then getting to the setup men in the 7th or 8th became the goal. Now, if you can get 5 or 6 innings from just about any starter during the early spring games, you’re considered lucky. So if we’re really down to 5 innings as an acceptable # for a starter, why not go 3 across your entire staff.

    Hitters would sometimes get to see the same pitcher twice in one game, but never 3 times. The pitchers wouldn’t hold anything in reserve. Other than the first 3 inning starter, the opposing manager and hitters would find it difficult to know who they will end up facing in a particular game making scouting and strategizing quite difficult.

    But obviously this would throw the game on its head because “that’s not the way you do it.” Wins would be awarded arbitrarily to the guys who get up in the middle of the game. Saves might become non-existent. The pitchers would hate not having statistics awarded for their performances, and fans wouldn’t be able to point to stats to prove that their hometown pitchers were better than their rivals. Nevertheless, on the minor league level with the transient nature of player movement across teams, these statistics based factors would mean less.

  31. wabbles on April 13th, 2005 3:32 am

    While training for my first marathon in the spring of 2002, I did something to my Achilles tendon. (If you don’t appreciate the myth of ‘Achilles heel’ try doing something to it.) When I went to the doctor, she told me I had just pulled it, not torn it. If I had torn it, she said, she wouldn’t be able to move it the way she was moving it. Sooooo, if Madritsch has torn (not pulled) something in his shoulder, let’s consider him out until after the All-star break, if not the entire season. I haven’t heard what’s up with Mechoe. But given his history and this team’s track record, let’s assume he is out of commission too. Soooo, we have a rehabbed Pinerio, Moyer, Franklin, Sele and….anyone????