Spiezio encore performance

DMZ · May 31, 2005 at 2:43 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Get out those lighters, folks, and wave them gently from side to side…

Scott Spiezio, who you may remember as the guy who injured himself getting his only hit of the year and has been out since with a “strained oblique” was on the field for batting practice yesterday. His recovery from the oblique strain was hampered by a brief bout with illness, but not, it appears, the Mariner Jeff Cirillo Memorial Mystery Injury, which keeps players on the DL with different symptoms, rehab schedules, and rehabs until rosters expand in September.

If (when) Spiezio returns, that’ll be another roster spot the team needs to clear on the 25-man major league roster. Obvious suspects include his younger, harder-working (with sweeter-looking swing) twin in production Greg Dobbs, and one of the back-of-the-bullpen guys. The question now is how long can the team put off that return and unimportant transaction?


38 Responses to “Spiezio encore performance”

  1. Evan on May 31st, 2005 2:49 pm

    I’d almost welcome Spiezio back if it meant reducing the size of the bullpen.

    And he’d probably be our best hitter off the bench.

  2. Brett Farve on May 31st, 2005 2:49 pm

    Why did you have to remind us of Spiezio?

  3. David J Corcoran on May 31st, 2005 2:51 pm

    Spiezio-Hansen-Dobbs is a little redunant, isn’t it?

  4. Jeremy on May 31st, 2005 2:54 pm

    Let’s just hope that the Mariners don’t bring in Sandfrog for a pre-game concert. If you think Spiezio’s been bad as a Mariner, his work with Sandfrog is even worse.

    That being said, I’d take Spiezio over Dobbs.

  5. firova on May 31st, 2005 2:54 pm

    I’m going to be positive: Spiezio will give the team a much-needed right-handed (switch) bat on the bench. Or perhaps a package player in a trade with the Mariners eating most of his salary. Oh no, there we go. Will it be okay if he hits .250? Its the Lowered Expectations Game, brought to you by Miguel Olivo, Kevin Jarvis, Ramon Santiago, Rich Aurilia, Pokey Reese, and, temporarily we pray, Adrian Beltre (sorry).

  6. David J Corcoran on May 31st, 2005 2:55 pm

    I’d release Spiezio right now.

  7. Todd on May 31st, 2005 2:58 pm

    I would keep Spiezio on the bench, send Dobbs to AAA. There is a chance that Hargrove might actually rest Beltre or Sexson and start Spiezio against a tough righty. He’s a veteran after all.

  8. Scott S on May 31st, 2005 2:58 pm

    Is there any reason the Mariners shouldn’t designate Spiezio for assignment? He’s signed through 2006, but I can’t imagine the club squeezing any usefulness out of him this year or next. Perhaps a better question: is there any chance the M’s will give him the boot?

  9. Shoeless Jose on May 31st, 2005 2:58 pm

    Something I was idly mulling over the other night: why doesn’t Hargrove put Ibanez into left field, make Hansen the DH, and leave Winn on the bench? Not everyday, or even most days, but every once in a while to give Ibanez the field time he desires and to have a switch-hitter on the bench? Particularly when you think Hansen might be a good matchup with the opposing starter?

  10. firova on May 31st, 2005 2:59 pm

    He’s got what, 4.5 mil left on the deal? What is an acceptable breakup point? He’ll be at about 4 mill by the end of July, which is Fahrenheit Jeff Cirillo: the point at which flammable salary burns.

  11. firova on May 31st, 2005 3:01 pm

    9 I just really wonder, beyond the obvious conclusion of laziness, why Hargrove feels it is so important to have a “set lineup.” I don’t think any of the journalists have asked him.

  12. David J Corcoran on May 31st, 2005 3:04 pm

    I’d say Bob Melvin’s bench usage was the only thing I miss about him compared to Hargrove. He was willing to try new things.

  13. Jim Thomsen on May 31st, 2005 3:11 pm

    Is there any reason to think Spiezio can still hit? When we talk about him as a valuable bench player, I wondeer if we’re wishcasting back to what he used to be and not necessarily what he is now.

  14. Shoeless Jose on May 31st, 2005 3:15 pm

    10: I like that. We have the Mendoza Line, and now the Crillo Salary. The M’s may not win the WS, but they contribute terminology to the rest of baseball…

    As to Hargrove — if a “set lineup” is such an important factor in baseball, then what use is a manager after April 1? Particularly when he never comes out of the dugout to argue a call or otherwise make his presence felt. Presumbably he could just sit on a beach in Florida with a cell phone that rings every couple of weeks when there is an injury. Melvin might have been willing to try new things; I’m not convinced Hargrove would know a new thing if he saw one.

  15. Digger on May 31st, 2005 3:25 pm

    It seems reasonable to expect that over the next 2 months the Ms will add Spiezio, Lopez, Doyle, Jacobsen, and Reese to the 25 man roster. In which case Morse(Valdez), Dobbs, hansen, Bloomquist, and a RP will have to go. That ought to provide a pretty good bench.

    Soriano’s return will mean another RP goes. And when King Felix arrives that might bump Franklin back to the pen, so 3 of the current 7 would be gone. That should be interesting (can they possibly keep Thornton while going down to a 6 man bullpen?)

  16. Evan on May 31st, 2005 3:33 pm

    “Fahrenheit Jeff Cirillo: the point at which flammable salary burns.”

    That was expertly phrased. Bravo (or Brava, as the case may be).

    If Spiezio can’t hit at least as well as Greg Dobbs, I’ll agree he should be released upon reaching Fahrenheit Jeff Cirillo. But hitting that poorly would be an appalling collapse for the Speez – not to say he hasn’t fallen that far, but whouldn’t we find out?

  17. Brett Farve on May 31st, 2005 4:00 pm

    This “Cirillo Salary” point is a very interesting question.

    Just how crappy does a player have to play in order to get dumped; is it a function of the players’ salary (ie, price/performance ratio)?

    It seems to me that higher paid players stick around a little longer than they ought to. Is that because of publicity; because management does not want to admit a mistake? Is it because they are typically older players who have “earned it?”

    Just pondering…

  18. ChrisK on May 31st, 2005 4:17 pm

    #17, it is an interesting study. I think M’s management stays with low-performing players even longer than most teams b/c they are so ridiculously conservative (or there are PR reasons like keeping hometown boys Sele, Willie et al). And then, when they do reach a point when the player absolutely has to go, they spin it to the public as such: “Hey fans, look. We’re willing to eat salary to give you a championship. See how committed we are!”. Even when the team isn’t really eating salary at all.

  19. firova on May 31st, 2005 4:23 pm

    #18 If attendance continues to be historically low at the Safe, how will that fit into the reasoning, I wonder? Does low attendance make Spiezio’s salary less likely to ignite? Or would it seem all the more heroic to dump the guy, or anyone else with the dire Jeff Cirillo salary/performance combo?

  20. ChrisK on May 31st, 2005 4:33 pm

    #19 yeah that’s another factor in the “equation”. More important than attendance, I think the M’s are just too conservative in admitting their mistakes – always thinking “let’s give the guy another week”, week after week. For some players like Jarvis, Ben Davis and now Olivo, it got so bad that even the M’s knew they had to make a change. However, for community heroes Moyer, Wilson, Bloomquist et al, I honestly don’t think the M’s would EVER get rid of them under any circumstance (well maybe Willie I’m hoping). But Moyer and Wilson…never. Even if Moyer was sporting a 15.00+ ERA in mid-July, the M’s would probably just invent an injury to put him on the DL, then have him announce his retirement and talk about how he left the game as a warrior, etc.

  21. Evan on May 31st, 2005 4:46 pm

    Now that Willie’s probably our starting shortstop, I’m not holding out much hope that we’ll ever get rid of him.

  22. firova on May 31st, 2005 4:48 pm

    #17 They did DFA Olerud last year with about 3 mil left on his deal, but they figured someone would pick him up. His performance was not as bad as Cirillo’s or Spiezio’s. Another reason was the need to see what Bucky could do. By the way, Olerud is hitting .455 with Boston. (okay, only 11 at-bats).

    What makes me think that Spiezio is going to have a tough time coming back is that his weight loss was extremely passive. The first stories mentioned him simply laying off the cheeseburgers. Then, much later, we learned that he actually had mono during the offseason. Then, he got hit harder than anyone but Sexson when the flu bug came around. I just don’t think the guy is physically an elite athlete at this point. Perhaps he’ll be good for some pinch-hits or to give the corner men a breather now and again. If he isn’t, I’d say he’s well within FJC territory. For a few weeks, they can use him, but once it is all over but the tryouts, they’ll probably light a match.

  23. Evan on May 31st, 2005 4:58 pm

    Speaking of Olerud, he just pinch-hit for Johnny Damon in the third inning. Johnny must be hurt.

  24. JMB on May 31st, 2005 5:10 pm

    Speaking of Olerud, he just pinch-hit for Johnny Damon in the third inning. Johnny must be hurt.

    Yes, but which one?! Oh, the horror!


  25. Shoeless Jose on May 31st, 2005 5:10 pm

    I don’t know all the details of Spiezio’s illness, but if it was as severe as it sounds it’s certainly possible he could become an elite athlete again… but not this year. If his weightloss was due to illness, and not calorie reduction and aerobic training, then he needs to spend time conditioning at his new weight; the fact that he’s been pulling muscles merely swinging a bat is just proof of that.

    This is a little (not a lot, but a little) analagous to Guillen’s TB. When that was diagnosed I was predicting he would become a better athlete than he was before, but it would take a couple of years for that to show up as his lungs healed. I didn’t expect his hitting to get as much better as it did, but I did think it would take more than a year for him to improve.

  26. Jeff Sullivan on May 31st, 2005 5:34 pm

    Not that it matters that much, but Damon ran his face into the wall in center field. He’ll be fine.

  27. Ralph Malph on May 31st, 2005 5:48 pm

    This is off topic but the USSM homepage has gotten really wide on my computer — I have to scroll to the right to see the number of comments and the link. It’s slightly annoying. Is that just me or has the look of the page somehow changed for everyone?

  28. bilbo on May 31st, 2005 5:50 pm

    actually, it changed for me too. I figured my browser was incompetent.

  29. G-Man on May 31st, 2005 5:52 pm

    Damon’s face plant was led by his glove hand. It hit the wall at an angle quite reminiscent of Griffey’s crash of ’95 that broke his wrist.

    In Olerud’s second AB tonight, he doubled in the tying run.

    I thought Spiezio had the emakings of an acceptable bench player coming into this season. Might as well see if he can get it together again; why pay him for another 1.7 years and have him go Olerud on us?

    I like the idea of Hansen at DH and Winn on the bench at times. Seeing Willie B bat against a lefty in an obvious PH situation is alarming.

  30. G-Man on May 31st, 2005 5:54 pm

    Wilson Valdez DFA’ed.

    My page is wide, too. I’ve emailed The USS Mariner Tech Support Staff, though they probably know it anyway.

  31. anotherjeff on May 31st, 2005 5:59 pm

    I think it has to do with the width required for the opening statment on last nights game thread. Thats when I noticed it.

  32. Ralph Malph on May 31st, 2005 6:11 pm

    Right, the incomprehensible bullpen usage chart. I wish someone would explain to me what point was made by that chart.

    I don’t mean that as a criticism, I just couldn’t figure out what lesson the chart taught me.

  33. kenshin on May 31st, 2005 6:14 pm

    I agree with #32. The chart looked like code from the matrix, to use a dated reference

  34. ray on May 31st, 2005 6:30 pm

    Isn’t is funny… the FO really has some… the bench is so terrible that people welcome back a guy like Spaz. The FO certainly can make nightmares look like dreams.

  35. ray on May 31st, 2005 6:33 pm

    Also, I thought I heard someone say Budafuko (spelling?) was sent to Spaz’s house… So is Grover going to treat Spaz like his other bench players — like furniture?

  36. wabbles on May 31st, 2005 7:07 pm

    The return of Spiezio….Be afraid, M’s fans, be VERY afraid!

  37. wabbles on May 31st, 2005 7:13 pm

    I’ve been calling for Spiezio’s head for weeks/months now. I think we should just designate him for assignment, eat the salary and free up the roster spot for someone who might actually contribute. But let’s get one thing straight. Based upon our collective observations of the last several years, does anyone seriously think we are going to get rid of Bloomquist, either to Tacoma or elsewhere? If that were so, it would have been a long time ago. He’s our fourth outfielder for (bleep)-ing sake.

  38. Evan on June 1st, 2005 9:31 am


    I have no idea why I remember that.