Ryan Drese

Dave · June 10, 2005 at 6:53 am · Filed Under Mariners 

So, the P-I notebook this morning contains the following blurb:

According to club sources, the Mariners are discussing whether to make a waiver claim on right-handed pitcher Ryan Drese. He was the Texas starting pitcher on Opening Day, but was designated for assignment Wednesday by the Rangers. Any team in baseball can claim him by the end of business today. However, any team that does so will have to pay Drese the remainer of the $700,000 he’s owed for this year and his $1.75 million contract for 2006.

Ugh. Ryan Ludwick isn’t their kind of player, but Ryan Drese tickles their fancy? Look at this:

ERA, by year: 6.55, 6.85, 4.20, 6.46. Career: 5.36.
K/9, by year: 6.68, 5.09, 4.25, 2.58(!). Career: 4.89
BB/K, by year: 1.65, 1.08, 1.69, 0.83. Career: 1.48
Opposing hitters, by year: .317/.386/.494, .314/.404/.500, .285/.339/.409, .334/.390/.470.

He’s an extreme groundball pitcher with mediocre control who doesn’t miss bats. He’s Dan Reichert’s twin, who we got to spring training on a non-guaranteed minor league deal, and then released. There’s no reason to want Drese on the roster. At a guaranteed $1.75 million next year, the fact that they’re even considering it is scary.

Just say no to Ryan Drese.


39 Responses to “Ryan Drese”

  1. fiction on June 10th, 2005 7:33 am

    Why wouldn’t they want Josh Phelps? Is there an attitude problem with him? He would be an immediate upgrade to M’s bench.

  2. David J Corcoran on June 10th, 2005 8:14 am

    OK, so that means he’ll be in an M’s uniform by the end of the day. Pardon my cynicism.

  3. David J Corcoran on June 10th, 2005 8:17 am

    Wait…who do you dump to pick him up?

  4. Jimmie the Geek on June 10th, 2005 8:17 am

    Hey, they’re both named “Ryan”… perhaps the front office has the two confused? :rolleyes:


  5. sodo on June 10th, 2005 8:43 am

    Drese is the anti-Franklin but their end results are the same.

  6. Russ on June 10th, 2005 9:01 am

    Please no. ESPN has something on the IN (which I won’t subscribe for) alluding to a SF deal for Drese. I can only hope SF takes him fast.

    Just because I like the way he plays, anyone noticied Cameron’s numbers since coming off the DL? His OBS is insane. Small sample I know but I still like seeing that guy do well.

  7. msb on June 10th, 2005 9:04 am

    fwiw, the front office may have also ‘discussed’ Ryan Ludwick, but if a reporter doesn’t ask his ‘front office sources’ if they are discussing it, it doesn’t get into the papers…

  8. Adam B. on June 10th, 2005 9:08 am

    Speaking of San Fran and acquiring a pitcher; ESPN Insider also is talking about Jason Schimdt being available around the deadline because of a bad ERA and some shoulder issues.

    Despite his ERA his important numbers (K/9, K/BB, etc.) are still very good and if the health problems aren’t real serious I think the M’s should do EVERYTHING in their power to pick him up… He’s a Washington native to boot. =)

  9. Grizz on June 10th, 2005 9:14 am

    The interest in Drese might be related to the fact that the M’s have exactly one starter under contract for next year (Pineiro). I suspect the M’s will be linked to the name of every available starter for the rest of the year. But with that guaranteed $1.75 million, Bavasi better not be that desperate to pick up a starer.

  10. Gil on June 10th, 2005 9:27 am

    I wonder if they taken a look at Josh Phelps who was just DFA by the Rays. His OBP is nothing to write home about but he’d be a significantly better bat off the bench than the Dobber.

  11. ray on June 10th, 2005 9:27 am

    Well, heck, they took Sele and Nelson. They “fixed” Sele so they probably think they can make Drese better. On top of that he is a fellow Cal alum — BP connection. Anything thing that connects to the M’s in some way they love. And is it true that Bavasi said, on the radio the other day, he is looking to add veterans instead of getting rid of them? Jeez, what the heck is this, the Yankees? What is the farm system for?

  12. Xteve X on June 10th, 2005 9:40 am

    I heard Bavasi on KJR yesterday afternoon. Gas Man was asking him if he thought they’d be trading their veteran players if the record didn’t improve shortly. Presumably he was talking about guys like Boone, Winn, etc. Bavasi said (paraphrasing) the team as presently constructed wasn’t complete yet and that they’d be looking to add more veterans rather than subtract. All I could think of was Seattle mgmt’s definition of adding veterans is exemplified by guys like Drese — garbage players that they can acquire without giving up farm system players, even minor ones. It’s moves like this that sorely test their credibility with me. They’ll balk or cry poor about spending money for top-tier talent, but they’ve got no problem dropping $1.75 mil on a crap pitcher like Drese without batting an eyelid.

  13. Xteve X on June 10th, 2005 9:42 am

    Excuse me, that last sentence should read “dropping a good portion of $1.75 mil on …” I realize they aren’t on the hook for all that money, but Drese isn’t an improvement over anybody they could bring up from Tacoma at half the price.

  14. Mycroft on June 10th, 2005 9:45 am

    I feel like I’m missing something on Phelps. One minute he’s starting at DH, then he’s DFA. Then, not only have the Mariners passed on him, but it seems every other team has, as well. Does anyone have any insight?

    Do you think they’ve already pencilled in Spezio to replace Dobbs, and they’re done with the bench? Bummer.

  15. Brock on June 10th, 2005 9:45 am

    You know with our infield defense, maybe an extreme gound ball pitcher is just what we need! It’s not like any of our other pitchers miss bats either, so maybe they are just trying to disprove the theories of BAA.

  16. Steve on June 10th, 2005 9:48 am

    The only people who want a Drese pickup are the guys who have him on their Hacking MASS team, where he currently stands sixth overall amongst all players in suckiness. Seriously, he’s putrid. We’d get better results from throwing a random mediocre AA pitcher into the fray. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Horrible. Putrid.

    If the M’s sign him, I will officially stop being a fan after 28 years.

  17. Typical Idiot Fan on June 10th, 2005 10:26 am

    If the M’s sign him, I will officially stop being a fan after 28 years.

    Can I hold you to that? Because, seriously, if you are going to quit being a fan because of this, then “see ya.”

    I just want to point out that while some of the bellyaching here might be warranted, can we at least save it until something happens? I think we’re all getting edgy because we’re as close to being .500 and being in contention as we have in a couple of years. We all miss it; being in the thick of the hunt and pushing past the other AL West teams to take the title once more. Bavasi must be feeling it a bit too if he’s considering making moves for veteran leadership. The only reason to get veterans is to get players that can contribute now and help make that playoff run. He has time before the trade deadline to wait and see if the M’s are going to actually be competitive material.

    In any event, as someone has pointed out, we don’t exactly have a ton of starters signed for next year already. Drese may not be a great pitcher, but put him in a bigger park like SafeCo with a good defense that can handle ground balls and he might drop that ERA to the league average. Or he may flop. Even if we took our AAA Talent and put them in the Majors, that’s .. what?… 3 starters + Piniero? With no guarantees that any of them will fit into the rotation next year as top notch starters to carry us to the playoffs?

    I like Felix too, but he’s one man. Baek and Campillo are the only two slated projected MLB starters who are currently healthy. So this blind love for our farm system needs to be reigned in a bit.

    I wanna see kids too, I love watching the kids play. But would you seriously consider a rotation of AAA talent + Piniero to be worthy of making a 2006 run at the playoffs?

  18. Evan on June 10th, 2005 10:27 am

    Miguel Olivo is still the HACKING MASS all-star catcher.

    That says something.

  19. Grizz on June 10th, 2005 10:52 am

    The M’s need starters, but guaranteeing $1.75 million in 2006 to a pitcher likely to flop is not the way to do it. Save the money for the offseason. (In fact, if the M’s really want Drese, I bet he will be available this offseason for virtually nothing.) It is nice to see the M’s playing better, but please, keep it in context. Winning 8 out of 11 puts the M’s back on pace to win a whopping 72 games. The worst thing this team could do right now is to sacrifice young talent or future payroll flexibility to chase delusions of contending this year.

  20. Brett Farve on June 10th, 2005 11:05 am

    The worst thing this team could do right now is to sacrifice young talent or future payroll flexibility to chase delusions of contending this year.

    I think that statement needed to be repeated in a white background.

    Well said.

  21. Pete Livengood on June 10th, 2005 11:12 am

    I’m kind of with Typical Idiot Fan here. We have very few starters under contract for next year, and as long as the team is flirting with getting back into contention, veteran major-leaguers (even those with 6-plus ERAs) are a better bet than guys like Baek and Campillo, IMO. At least from a stats perspective (I haven’t seen the guy pitch . . .), Drese has been horrible this year. BUT (1) he’s pitched less than 70 innings so far, (2) he was a pretty good innings-eating pitcher LAST year in a hitter’s park (4.20 ERA in over 200 innings of work), and (3) we ought to trust our scouts to tell us if he is beyond salvageability or not.

    That doesn’t mean I am in favor or a waiver claim that means he costs $2.5M over a year and a half. It means he would be on my radar, too, and if (as I suspect) nobody claims him and the Rangers are forced to eat that, at THAT point I think it makes some sense to approach Texas with a trade proposal that diminishes their financial responsibility to Drese somewhat, and doesn’t saddle the M’s with the burden entirely either. If that can’t happen because Texas doesn’t want to deal with a division rival, then listen to your scouts. If they say he can be as effective as he was in 2004 (or possibly better, with the aid of Safeco — though it shouldn’t affect a groundballer all that much — and a good defense behind him), then decide whether to bite the bullet and claim him. $2.5M is not Cirillo-esque or even Jarvis-esque, after all. I’ve long thought the M’s are hiding/disclaiming scads of profits. Why should I be advocating for penny-pinching over $2.5M if our scouts say it’s a worthwhile gamble, baseball-wise?

  22. David J Corcoran on June 10th, 2005 11:17 am

    21: I believe that the Rangers are praying that Drese slips through waivers, and they are planning on assigning him to AA for a little while till he gets back to form. It’s just like we did with Gil Meche last year, only they don’t have any options left.

  23. David J Corcoran on June 10th, 2005 11:22 am

    Wait! The Nats just traded away tonights starter Ohka, and claimed Drese off waivers!

  24. David J Corcoran on June 10th, 2005 11:25 am

    Shit Dang! The Nats are going on a waiver spree. Jacobo Sequea is also a Nat now.

  25. Pete Livengood on June 10th, 2005 11:30 am

    #22/DJC — I am aware that is probably their plan, but *if* our scouts say this is a worthwhile risk, baseball-wise, they might well consider a trade if they can dump some of his salary. If not, and again *if* our scouts say it is a worthwhile risk, then $2.5M is not a huge risk for a team with profits and a revenue stream like the M’s when they need innings-eaters and lack experienced starting pitching. I’m not necessarily advocating it, I just wouldn’t reject it as knee-jerkingly as most here have.

  26. jaketrash on June 10th, 2005 11:46 am

    A pitcher just has to be careful when his manager asks for the ball.

    Hitchcock slams the ball into Lou’s hand and bye-bye Sterling.
    Ohka hides the ball from Frank and the Mariners now face a pitcher with a total of 4-5 innings thrown with the Nationals this year.

  27. Grizz on June 10th, 2005 12:15 pm

    Pete, Ryan Drese is 29 years old. His career major league numbers are 497 IP, 5.36 ERA, 1.571 WHIP. His minor league numbers were not great. In 70 IP this year, he is pitching even worse than his career averages. Two organizations starved for pitching at the time have given up on him. The M’s should take a look every starting pitcher who passes through waivers this year, but passing on Drese at $2.5 million (when you can sign a similar talent for a non-guaranteed $350,000 contract this offseason) should be a pretty easy decision to make.

  28. Pete Livengood on June 10th, 2005 12:32 pm

    #27/Grizz — I don’t disagree with much of what you say. I would, however, not make this decision based solely on statistical analysis or the lemming-mentality that just because a couple of organizations give up on a guy, we don’t have to make an independent analysis. That analysis should incorporate both statistical analysis and scouting opinion. I’ve not advocated one way or the other, just said that 70 innings is a fairly small sample, he ate innings well and was moderately decent in a hitter’s park last year, and I think our deep pockets and lack of starting pitching depth means you have to take a long look and make a fully-considered decision.

    I would point out, though, that 29 is not far past peak for pitchers. I do not believe Drese is in full-on decline. He could be hurt, he could be mechanically messed-up, but I don’t think you are seeing the effects of full-on age-related decline. Pass? That’s fine, just don’t knee-jerk dismiss the idea because he’s owed $2.5M over a year and a half and he has pitched like Bad Aaron Sele (or Bad Ryan Franklin, who is older and makes more money, . . . or Bad Jamie Moyer, who is *really* older and makes a *lot* more money) for 70 innings. This is a *relative* risk-reward analysis, and frankly on this one I would put more faith in scouting than performance analysis, at least if it is as overly weighted to his 2005 70 innings as this group seems to want to do.

  29. Dave on June 10th, 2005 12:47 pm

    Pete, give me a break. You’ve known me far too long to think this is some kind of knee jerk analysis due to a poor two month stretch.

    The guy has a long, long track record of being a bad pitcher. He has mediocre stuff, at best. He has one pitch, a sinker, that he can’t control. He’s absolutely no different than Dan Reichert. There’s no reason to pay $2.5 million for a reclamation project. There are pitchers that you could make the exact same arguments for just laying around, waiting to get a minor league contract.

  30. Jeremy on June 10th, 2005 12:51 pm

    Thank God for Jim Bowden.

  31. Pete Livengood on June 10th, 2005 1:07 pm

    Dave — I wasn’t referring so much to you as to the bulk of commenters who seem to think Drese is completely useless. I read you piece to be mostly a money argument. That’s fine, I usually agree with that, it’s just that (a) I don’t see $2.5M as a huge risk to anything (if your scouts say he is worth a reclamation project because he is as good or better than what you have — I don’t think the M’s have set the bar too high here), and (b) based on last year, I think Drese is better than you think he is. I think he is better than Aaron Sele, Ryan Franklin, and at this year’s version of Jamie Moyer. And none of those pitchers will be here next year.

    Not saying it should be done, just that you shouldn’t conclude that a team with the M’s resources and needs shouldn’t for only financial reasons. I know you weren’t making that argument (though you were edging up to it), but others here seemed to be.

    Fair enough. It’s moot now, anyway.

  32. Grizz on June 10th, 2005 1:13 pm

    Pete, I don’t see anywhere in this thread where anyone suggested that you ignore the scouting report. Statistical analysis and scouting analysis should operate as a system of checks and balances on each other. With 500 major league innings, it is not a “knee jerk” reaction to say from a statistical perspective that Drese has performed and projects to continue to perform as a lousy pitcher. Considering his cost for a team with declining attendance, it would take one hell of a scouting report to overcome the very negative performance analysis. I saw his last two starts in Seattle, and after watching him struggle to throw strikes (other than right down the middle of the plate), I am guessing his scouting report rated him somewhere south of Josh Beckett.

  33. Pete Livengood on June 10th, 2005 1:14 pm

    And oh yeah — Drese and Reichert may have similar stuff, but Reichert never came close to pitching 207+ innings, or a 4.20 ERA in his prime.

  34. John in NV on June 10th, 2005 1:44 pm

    I’ve read all of these comments but not one person has examined the REAL reason the M’s historically would have interest in Drese: good performance(s) against the Mariners. Do other teams go against plain evidence and their own scouting system in favor of “hey, so and so looked great against US last year, let’s nab him” as much as we do?

  35. Dave on June 10th, 2005 2:13 pm

    Ryan Drese, 2004

    897 batters faced
    58 walks (6.5 percent of total)
    98 strikeouts (11 percent)
    16 home runs (2 percent)
    278 baserunners (31 percent)

    Ryan Franklin, 2004

    870 batters faced
    61 walks (7 percent)
    104 strikeouts (12 percent)
    33 home runs (4 percent)
    262 baserunners (30 percent)

    Drese wasn’t clearly more effective than Ryan Franklin last year. In his career year, he was similarly effective to a guy we all mostly agree shouldn’t be in a starting rotation. During his career year!

    You know why Ryan Drese posted a 4.20 ERA last year? Batters hit .263/.325/.339 against him with runners on and .250/.326/.330 against him with runners in scoring position. They hit .302/.346/.463 against him with the bases empty. He became the master of putting runners on and stranding them there. Drese’s expected ERA was closer 5.00 than 4.00.

    He’s a historically bad pitcher who had a mediocre year masked by a string of stranding runners. He’s a bad Triple-A pitcher, and there’s no way any major league team should be paying him, or anyone like him, more than the league minimum.

  36. Morisseau on June 10th, 2005 3:14 pm

    well, the good news is, the Nationals grabbed him off waivers — we’re safe. As for the fact that the front office was considering making a pickup … from that we’ll never be safe, I reckon.

  37. Man from Nantucket on June 10th, 2005 3:39 pm

    Not to be too positive or anything, but I am glad the M’s brass is watching the waiver wires and I am encouraged by the fact they considered but decided to pass on picking up Drese.

  38. eponymous coward on June 10th, 2005 4:00 pm

    Well, that’s a relief.

    And I’m with Dave- reclamation projects are best when they are cheap. Heck, all Aaron Sele cost was 700K.

  39. ray on June 11th, 2005 3:16 am

    I think Bavasi will go back to his old ways, Aurilla and Spezio type players that he thinks will be just enough to pick up the M’s but not help them contend. But in the end they will be saving money for the FO.