Quick recap

Dave · May 24, 2005 at 8:19 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I’m going to have a longer post on this tomorrow, but I wanted to get this up tonight before I went to bed: Joel Pineiro was awful tonight. It might be tempting to look at his 1 ER in 5 1/3 innings and pull something optimistic out of it, but that was as bad as I’ve seen a major league pitcher look, mechanics wise, in a long time. His release point made him look like a converted outfielder throwing off a mound for the first time. That was painful.

Also, I’d be hard pressed to imagine that, in the history of baseball, a team trailing by one run in the 9th inning has sent three hitters to the plate with the following lines:

.176/.216/.235 (pinch hitter, none the less)

The fact that the M’s have three players on the roster with those lines is bad enough. That they don’t have anyone, ANYONE, on the roster who could even be perceived as an improvement for any one of the three spots, is absolutely amazing.

The 2005 Mariners bench will be taught for years in Things Not To Do When Building A Roster seminars.


30 Responses to “Quick recap”

  1. Noel on May 24th, 2005 8:34 pm

    How about Doyle off the bench?? Hopefully he won’t be kept down in the minors too much longer.

  2. Jim Thomsen on May 24th, 2005 8:36 pm

    What’s the point in having Doyle on the Mariners to bat just twice a week? I don’t want him to be a bench player, because he’s better than that … but it’s a move I could almost support if he played for a manager who knew how to build and use a bench.

  3. Vin on May 24th, 2005 8:40 pm

    If there were seminars on Things Not To Do When Building A Roster, would anyone from the Mariners attend?

  4. colin_hesse on May 24th, 2005 8:51 pm

    Those are two points that really stood out to me as well. We are just not going to come back in a lot of close games with that bottom of the lineup, and with no bench. As for Piniero, I have to say, especially the first two innings looked just terrible! What were they doing down in AAA for those two weeks?

  5. Dead Ball Tim on May 24th, 2005 8:53 pm

    Well yeah! I gotta go against the stream here in saying that allowing only 1 run in 5 1/3 innings against the AL East leader in their home park is not a bad day at the office… Damn good in fact… as far as it went. The icky bit is that he only lasted 5 1/3. The M’s need more innings from him for no other reason than it being part of the job description. They can’t lean on the pen like that every time he goes out there. It just won’t play in the long run. He’s gotta get tougher somehow.

  6. Cool Papa Bell on May 24th, 2005 9:00 pm

    Is there any reason to believe he’s not injured? With his terrible start to the season, it just seems like a matter of time before Piniero has some surgery on his arm.

  7. Scott on May 24th, 2005 9:00 pm

    #5, that is exactly what Dave was talking about. If you look at the box score, you would think hey, not too bad. But on TV, I could not believe this is the same Pineiro from before. I really had no idea what happened to his mechanics. I only got to watch the first 4 innings and he looked like short armed on everything. Aren’t they supposed to work on his mechanics?

  8. Jim Thomsen on May 24th, 2005 9:01 pm

    Tacoma winning, 5-4 in the ninth:

    — George Sherrill struck out the side in one inning of work;
    — Doyle: 0-for-1 with two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Games like that are going to get him into the Sabermetricians Hall of Fame.

  9. Dead Ball Tim on May 24th, 2005 9:31 pm

    Scott #7. Bless you, or anyone, who can see the defects in a major leaguer’s delivery when he’s heaving a ball 93 mph. I’m not that smart so I can’t comment on it. I DO recall that the last time I saw him on TV he was struggling with his fastball in the high 80’s. Tonight it was low 90’s and he had better results. Thats the extent of my knowledge of how pitchers do their jobs. I tend to look at results… good differential between offspeed and fastball, breaking ball for strikes, fastball for effect, getting ahead in the count, messing with the hitter’s timing, keeping pitch count down, pitching to the park, pitching to the defense, having the courage to pitch it down in the zone, bouncing back from ill fortune, picking up the defense when they make an error, etc… I’ll be the last person to make comments about mechanics.

  10. sodo on May 24th, 2005 9:37 pm

    One thing that I’ve noticed about Pineiro over the past couple years is that in his first couple of seasons it seemed as if he would come straight over the top, almost cricket style. He also used to use his curveball as a very useful weapon.

    On my observations, what I believe I have been seeing over his most recent seasons is that he has dropped his arm angle down a bit and his pitch selection is different. It seems that he has sacrificed velocity on his fastball in order to try and sink the ball some more, and has been throwing his slider much more than in the past.

    I’m not even sure if my observations are entirely accurate, but that is just the way that it seems to me now. I didn’t have the luxury of watching what he did today, but from what I’m hearing it wasn’t working.

    And I’m not entirely surprised that it isn’t working because the M’s have tried to do this same “mechanics” work with Gil Meche over the past two years.

    So, any response to my observations above?

  11. ChrisK on May 24th, 2005 9:37 pm

    The M’s propaganda machine will pull out their favorite saying to spin tonight’s peformance: “Effectively wild”.

  12. Dead Ball Tim on May 24th, 2005 9:43 pm

    ChriskK… I recall that being said about R. Johnson back in the Kingdome days and they weren’t kidding. June 2, 1990: 6 walks, 8 strikeouts and a no hitter against Detroit. Wild!

  13. sodo on May 24th, 2005 9:46 pm


    Not as bad as A.J. Burnett’s no-hitter line of 9 walks and 7 k’s.

  14. G-Man on May 24th, 2005 9:58 pm

    It was a pitiful collection of hitters (and I use the term loosely) available in the 9th. I like Dave Hansen, but he and Dobbs are redundant. They need a viable right-handed bat, but it isn’t worth any organizational capital to get one.

  15. Scott on May 24th, 2005 10:06 pm

    David Bell, it has nothing to do with the IQ. And by the way, it does not matter he is throwing 98 mph or 89mph, you watch the release point not the ball.

  16. Jim Osmer on May 24th, 2005 10:10 pm

    Sherrill also came out of the Tacoma game with an injury tonight.
    Doyle hit a triple off the wall in the 11th and scored the winning run on a wild pitch.

  17. LB on May 24th, 2005 10:20 pm

    Wasn’t the 2004 Mariners bench a poster child for Things Not To Do When Building A Roster?

  18. Dash on May 24th, 2005 10:24 pm

    [deleted — your laziness does not create an obligation to serve you in others]

  19. eponymous coward on May 24th, 2005 11:05 pm


    The 2005 bench is just as awful (not surprising since it’s the Usual Suspects), and the 2005 Mariners added to that by forgetting that Pokey Reese is made out of glass- thus having to pick up their Opening Day SS off the waiver wire.

    We can add going for veteran retreads like Sele and Nelson, who aren’t adding a whole lot over younger and cheaper options, and are helping make a 12 man bullpen a requirement- thus making the bench very very weak.

  20. LB on May 24th, 2005 11:19 pm

    #19: EC, I think we find ourselves in a state of violent agreement.
    But if last year’s bench was a poster child, and this years is worse, my fear is that the 2006 bench, if the trend continues, “top” both of them.

    I haven’t seen anything about Bavasi’s roster construction since he’s been with the M’s to inspire any confidence in next year’s bench. I guess it could be worse: we don’t have Tony Womack playing in LF for us.

  21. Jon Wells on May 24th, 2005 11:42 pm

    I agree — Pineiro was awful tonight. It was incredible that they were in position to actually win this game when he was taken out.

    Also agreed about the bad bench but Hargrove makes it worse by a) insisting on carrying 12 pitchers, leaving him with 3 bench players he’ll use — cause he won’t use his backup catcher b) not making the right pinch-hitting move when he needs to.

    Wilson Valdez in the 9th inning? I don’t care if Pat Borders is your backup catcher. You’re down one run and you have one out left and you’ve already lucked out and had Bloomquist get a pinch-hit. You go down with all your bullets – who cares if Borders is the second catcher — he had to have a better shot of working a walk or getting a single than Wilson “I’m a .200 Hitter But I Can’t Bunt” Valdez. If Borders could have gotten a walk, Ichiro gets to hit and maybe they can tie the game up. To go down meekly with Valdez up there was absolutely pathetic…

    This team has played poorly for a good portion of the season but if Hargrove had managed better they’d probably have won at least 3 or 4 more games — in which case they’d only be 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 out instead of being 7 1/2 games out.

  22. LB on May 25th, 2005 12:21 am

    [deleted, if you’re going to mention a player like 4+ times, spell their name right]

  23. LB on May 25th, 2005 12:45 am

    #22: Point well taken. Sorry.

  24. ray on May 25th, 2005 2:08 am

    [deleted – impersonation of mgmt]

  25. ray on May 25th, 2005 2:15 am

    [deleted, see previous complaint]

  26. Bela Txadux on May 25th, 2005 5:19 am

    I commented ten days ago that the farce of ‘sending Pinero down’—he never spend 60 seconds in Tacoma, they just skipped a start while he threw on the side—was going to achieve nada. That’s just not enough time for the guy to get straightened out, assuming that’s possible in the near term, which at this point I don’t believe it is.

    Pinero’s release point and general mechanics were frightful. 107 pitches in 5.1 innings. He “went to his change-up” for outs after the first two inning when he couldn’t buy a strike, which is just what he did in the only other game he’s held the score close. Joel is either going to injure himself big time, or pitch his way out of the rotation, but he’s not throwing like a major leaguer at all now. He won’t admit it, and the team’s in a bind. . . . It hurts to watch this train wreck in progress. Joel is going to have to fail spectacularly before the team will get real. Which means more loses. *sigh*

  27. Bela Txadux on May 25th, 2005 5:47 am

    I’ve tried to keep a positive attitude about the ’05 Mariners to this point. Now, I’ll call it like I see it, just because: This team is a dog. It’s not a dead dog hit by a semi like the ’04 Mariners, a genuinely ugly team. But a dog, as in ‘performs like a dog.’ And it’s going to stay that way as long as the basic talent set stays the same, which is to say all year.

    When the starters keep the game close, the offense doesn’t score. When the team gets a lead, the bullpen kicks it. If they score big, they don’t play add on. If they come back, they have to come from a long way back because the starter flatlined. If the game’s close, the defense has an infarction. The manager has generally done a good job, but he doesn’t push hard to get the win in the late innings when he could actually impact the outcome. The FO has gone out and actively plugged holes, but the team started with a rubber legged rotation and a bench beyond pathetic, and little has happened to change that. These. Guys. Just. Don’t. Win. They played _exactly_ like this all through Spring Training, and it worried me. I’m not worried anymore, I’m wise. One could come up with a lot of reasons, but that’s exactly the point: it’s not just a few guys who can’t play (although they have several of those it goes without saying), but this group doesn’t mesh their skill sets, and play smart, close, winning baseball.

    There are really three teams within the ’05 Mariners, to me: the Has Beens, the Rookies, and the Hired Guns. The Has Beens have been around for several years, on and off some of them, but hey were here when the Mariners played good baseball, and after the ugliness of ’04 they have something to prove. By and large, they’ve been carrying the team this year: Moyer, Meche, Franklin, Ibanez, Boone, Hasegawa, Mateo, Winn, Nelson sort of. I’m not saying they’ve been great, they’ve all racked up some losses, but they do go out and execute, if with diminishing skills. Ichiro’s in a category by himself, but he’s with the Old Guys, too. The Rookies are just trying to establish themselves in the majors, and mostly, well _not_ being too effective at that: Olivo, Reed, Putz, Valdez, Gonzalez, Thornton. Precious few wins have come out of that group, and their talent contribution to this point is, frankly, a drag on the team effort. That may change for some of them, but we’re just not seeing much out of the lot. The Hired Guns are all professionals. In effect, Bavasi is reshaping the team around them, because he in fact acquired nearly all of them: Sexson, Beltre, Guardado, Villone, Hansen if you will, Sele if I must. These guys are just going about their individual games, some executing, sort of, some not really; none of them are dominating anybody, with the possible exception of Sexson, but as a group they’re not really playing well enough to be a core group, not yet, and I don’t know when or whether, either. The point is, there are three groups with fundamentally different agendas, and their games and their skills just aren’t meshing, to me, to produce a consistent effort that will yield wins. I’m not saying there’s an attitude problem, just a group performance problem. Several times it looked like they were going to get it together and start executing as a group; the Texas series, the Boston series at Safeco. —Then they didn’t. They still haven’t.

    I don’t see it happening, either. This group is just a dog. WYSIWYG, and I’m seeing spots. : (

  28. David J Corcoran on May 25th, 2005 6:42 am

    The solution to our roster problems are quite simple. We need to restructure our 4 man bench as:


    Two simple roster moves. Two very simple roster moves. You get lefty who, although he won’t hit for a real high average, is pretty disciplined and has some power, as well as a slightly more versatile righty version of the same player. You get an extra backup shortstop, so you aren’t sacrificing valuable bench spots when PHing for Valdez (a manuvre that currently requires two bench players to go in).

  29. chris w on May 25th, 2005 7:11 am

    I think the Ms are very much like the Orioles of a few years ago:

    1) They are now suffering from post-Gillick-era syndrome… the farm system is depleted from signing a bunch of free agents, and the free agents that were signed are old and overpaid.

    2) They are beginning to accumulate offensive talent, both from within the system and without. Our Beltre and Sexson are much like the Orioles’ Tejada and Javy Lopez, except Bavasi went with corner guys instead fixing our problems up the middle. This could come back to haunt us.

    3) Their pitching staff is terrible, but enough young guys are coming through the system or are already here and have potential to offer some hope. In 2 years, Felix might do what Bedard is currently doing. Soriano might become BJ Ryan (i.e. stopper in bullpen). Pineiro, Meche, Nageotte, etc. are probably good enough to help a strong offensive team win, as Ponson, Cabrera, and Chen, etc. are currently doing for the Orioles.

    Bottom line… the Orioles didn’t do things the way I would have done it. They spent too much money for big names who are going to be past their primes when their contracts expire, and they might suffer for it later. But eventually, if you build a huge offense, and you do any sort of job of developing your own pitchers, you’ll have a good season, as the Orioles are doing now and the Ms are likely to do in the next few years. The problem is that the bad seasons leading up to it are painful and, quite frankly, boring.

  30. Dead Ball Tim on May 25th, 2005 7:52 am

    If the planets all line up properly we could see a rotation of Madritsch, Hernandez, Meche, Pineiro, and Franklin next year, BM being the only lefty. We’ve all been witness to the possibilities and probabilities of Meche, Pineiro and Franklin. At times they flirt with brilliance but for the most part are just competent. Add a little spark, a little momentum to those three and I’d expect much better results. We’d be hoping for that spark to come from Madritsch and Hernandez at this point. But they have plenty of question marks of their own to go with boatloads of potential. Their primary troubles are inexperience (both) and in Madritsch’s case health. Sometimes inexperience can be overcome by just dumb luck and cockeyed bravado which is also a possiblity with those two. Though we might despair of seeing a winning season this year, for me its not a dead loss particularly as we see what moves are made around the trading deadline and who gets called up. There are no guarantees as we all know but to me, the starting five for next year looks like it has a chance to cook.