Random Wednesday news

DMZ · July 20, 2005 at 10:22 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Snelling’s still with the team. The team decided to keep Hansen on the DL and Snelling traveled to Toronto with the team, though MLB.com reports he flew (!) to Tacoma, hung around for a second, and then had to fly to Phoenix to pick up his passport before joining the team for the series there, though… it’s all really strange and fishy.

The team’s also said that with the turf in Toronto, they may want to get extra rest for one or more of their regular outfielders, which… well, I’m not sure if you want to play Doyle on turf anyway. And as the P-I points out, with a rest day on Monday, that’s not a good reason to keep him on the roster.

Of particular interest, Hansen pretty much said he wasn’t hurt in the Times: “I’m ready and I want to help. They said this helps the team, and that’s what I’m all about.”

It seels a lot more likely that a deal’s in the works for Winn.


  • Hot Hand Bloomquist is not feeling so hot, which is why he’s not in the lineup.
  • Yankees may be after Winn.
  • The PI reveals that Spiezio requested a trade a couple weeks ago.
  • The PI also has injury updates on Bucky (close to playing, maybe), Madritsch (working on strength/range-of-motion stuff, not throwing), and Rafael Soriano continues his amazing return from ligament replacement surgery.
  • John McGrath at the News Tribune blasts the team for not tearing down, already
  • Chance of the M’s reaching the postseason, using BP’s Postseason Odds-o-Tron: 0.18%. Not 18%, 0.18%.


141 Responses to “Random Wednesday news”

  1. Brian Rust on July 20th, 2005 3:02 pm

    What sounds like the biggest factor is that Clement’s agency also represents the #2 guy, and they want to get #2 signed first. That ought to establish a slot price for Clement that’ll get his signature on the dotted line pretty quickly.

  2. Brett Farve on July 20th, 2005 3:05 pm

    Jeremy (#82) … debris … I love it!

  3. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 3:09 pm

    What I’m saying is, the truly crappy parts of our team can be replaced with very little effort. There is practically free talent available all over the minor leagues (not just our teams) that can outperform our junk. That’s what replacement level means.

    Finding a seriously great C/2B/SS/3B/pitcher, however, is going to be impossible — we don’t have anything to trade for one. We don’t HAVE any options, really; we’re all blowing smoke here.

    We can’t afford ANY of the good options that are out there, none of which are that great anyways. (I don’t mean money, I mean trade value).

    We’re standing in the liquor store talking about how good the $2500 Cognac is going to taste when we only have 48 cents in our pocket.

  4. The Ancient Mariner on July 20th, 2005 3:10 pm

    ec, do you actually know anything about Doyle? In 215 at-bats in AAA this season, he’s walked 33 times (and only fanned 40); and while he hasn’t hit a lot of HR (only 7), he’s racked up 15 doubles. Yeah, a lot of his value is in his batting average, but he doesn’t have to hit .363 (as he is for Tacoma) to have value; drop his BA ~80 points, to .284, and he’d still be slugging .460 with a .381 OBP. This is not a guy who can be described as “high batting average, not a lot of power, not a lot of walks” (nor, unfortunately, as having good speed anymore either, thanks to his injuries)–he’s a top-drawer pure hitter, and I still think he’s going to see a power jump around 27 along the lines of Musial and Yastrzemski (though probably not to that extent).

    Re #83: Clement’s with IMG.

  5. Jake on July 20th, 2005 3:10 pm

    Be fair, I have 50 cents in mine.

    What “seriously” great catchers, or 2nd baseman even play in the majors, or have a tremendous upside in the minors? Not many, which makes our 2006 teams and beyond look bleak.

  6. eponymous coward on July 20th, 2005 3:13 pm

    I don’t think those are unrealistic, if you have 35 HR from Beltre, 35 from Sexson, 30 from a DH and 20 from Lopez and 20 from Clement you should score runs.

    There aren’t THAT many DH’s who hit 30 HR’s (Edgar, the best DH ever, did it exactly once, and usually only one DH hits 30 in a year), and Clement’s not even in pro ball yet, let alone show that he’s a MLB-level C. Can we please stop penciling him in the 2007 lineup for 20 HRs?

    This reminds me of everyone saying “OMG we’ll have such an AWESOME rotation with Meche, Piniero, the Little Unit and Soriano in four spots in 2003!” I was hearing a few years ago.

    Basically, I agree with Steve Thornton here- counting on positions further along the defensive spectrum like C, 2B and SS to hit like a power-hitting OF and positions like RF/CF/LF to hit like a high-average, no-power speedy middle infielder seems backwards if you’re building an offense. There’s a reason why the career HR leaders for SS, C and 2B are a LOT lower than the ones for OF. It’s a great strategy if you can come up with a Bret Boone or A-Rod like the M’s have, and maybe Morse, Clement and Lopez will pay off enough to justify it. If not, this team will struggle offensively when the singles don’t fall, like Anaheim did in 2003 after they had a peak year in 2002.

  7. The Ancient Mariner on July 20th, 2005 3:19 pm

    Re #100–by definition, there can’t be many “extreme outliers”; and your shot at Bavasi is utterly gratuitous. And re #103–true, but not sufficient, as it really wouldn’t help us all that much. We do, however, have a couple of veterans with real value; the test for Bavasi, imho, is to realize that value in trade.

  8. The Ancient Mariner on July 20th, 2005 3:21 pm

    Re #106: we’re not talking about “high-average, no-power”; the idea is high average + walks + doubles, which is not the same thing.

  9. eponymous coward on July 20th, 2005 3:23 pm

    he’s a top-drawer pure hitter, and I still think he’s going to see a power jump around 27 along the lines of Musial and Yastrzemski (though probably not to that extent).

    Tony Gwynn beats Doyle in terms of minor league stats. I think we’d be pretty happy if Snelling hit like Gwynn, right? Gwynn was never a 20 HR hitter, and he did have a power spike at 17- it was mostly doubles and average, though.

    Personally, I think Doyle’s somewhere in the Gwynn to Dyskstra range of hitter. YMMV, but that’s still not a classic 3-4-5 hitter.

  10. Eric on July 20th, 2005 3:32 pm

    Why this obsession with an arbitrary number like 20 HRs?

    If Doyle hits 15 HR while slugging .470 he is hitting a lot of doubles and driving in plenty of runs.

  11. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 3:34 pm

    by definition, there can’t be many “extreme outliers”

    Yes, when you are trying to compare them to the major leagues, there can be lots and lots of extreme outliers in the minors. Some entire leagues need to be adjusted dramatically upward or downward to get a good idea of what the numbers mean.

    But in any case, you can have 100% extreme outliers in any average. Say you have a roomful of people, three of whom earn $100 million a year, and 97 of whom are homeless and earn nothing.

    your shot at Bavasi is utterly gratuitous

    It was meant to be. The question stands, though. Put it a different way: do you think Bavasi knows, within 25 points, what the league average OBP or SLG in the Midwest League is? Do you think he knows, within 25 points, what the league average OBP or SLG in the MAJOR leagues is?

  12. Brian Rust on July 20th, 2005 3:36 pm


  13. Christopher Michael on July 20th, 2005 3:37 pm

    I’m pretty sure the stat guy he hired does.

  14. Gregor on July 20th, 2005 3:40 pm

    Re: 111, in your example, the 97 people who make nothing are well within one standard deviation of the mean, so you’d be hard-pressed to call any more than the three who make $100 million “extreme outliers” by any meaningful statistical definition.

  15. Eric on July 20th, 2005 3:41 pm

    I hope Bavasi isn’t wasting his time remembering what the league average OBP in the Midwest league is, he has people to do that for him.

  16. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 3:44 pm

    Maybe he does. Maybe Bavasi really reads the reports he gets. Maybe he gets the right reports. But I haven’t seen any evidence of that aside from his bald assertion that “we use stats and scouting”. Assertions are easy to make. I want to see proof on the ballfield. I want to stop seeing games like yesterday’s there instead.

  17. roger tang on July 20th, 2005 3:44 pm

    re 103

    Given what you said about the impossibility of finding the great parts, what is the implication for building a team? If you CAN’T get those great parts with what we have, what’s our strategy?

    What I’m afraid is that going after the high quality corner outfielders is going to be self defeating, as we’ll be concentrating resources on obtaining them externally when they should be developed from within, through the farm system (which is where I see Bavasi concentrating his effort). That you leaves you without the resources to go after the rare star talent that is a high level talent and IS available on the market.

    I’m fumbling around here to state the argument, but my sense is that concentrating too much on getting the corner outfield would be counterproductive (I’m excluding transactions that would net us a superior player for a nominal cost, of course).

  18. paul on July 20th, 2005 3:45 pm

    #111 –

    Do you think Bavasi knows…what the league average OBP or SLG in the Midwest League is?

    without trying to sound snarky, do you (without looking it up)? Bavasi knows enough about stats to have hired Mat Olkin to run these sorts of numbers for him; if he needs to know them, he’ll ask. All that Bavasi’s knowing these numbers would prove is that he can memorize numbers – it’s not if he knows them, it’s what he does with them once he knows them.

    It just so happens I’m not sold that he knows what he’s doing with this team, but it’s not because he can’t quote the Midwest League’s average OBP at any given time from memory.

  19. Christopher Michael on July 20th, 2005 3:49 pm

    #116 If anything I want to see more games like yesterday. We knew before the season started that our starting rotation was crap. Games like yesterday are what I was wanting to see all season.

    And I’m not sure what about yesterday shows that he doesn’t look at stats. So enlighten me.

  20. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 3:50 pm

    Oh fer chrissake, who cares? The point is that minor league numbers can be very meaningful, as meaningful as major league numbers, IF AND ONLY IF YOU ADJUST THEM FOR LEAGUE AND PARK, and in many cases those adjustments are extreme.

    The first part of that (“as meaningful”) might be controversial to followers of Joe Morgan, but the second part (“adjust”) can’t possibly be.

  21. msb on July 20th, 2005 3:50 pm

    hmm. speaking of power, last night on the postgame show a fellow called and wanted to get some lefty power by trading for Jim Thome to DH (he apparently had misssed the whole DL + salary + signed through 2009 issues….)

  22. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 3:50 pm

    Does the name Scott Spiezio ring a bell?

  23. jimbo on July 20th, 2005 3:51 pm


    dave cameron, wrong on so many counts:

    “Beckett in a landslide
    For me, this isn’t even close. But I think Rich Harden is pretty overrated, so take that for what its worth.”

    “Yes, clearly I have a strong anti-A’s bias which colors all my views because I don’t think that Huston Street is one of the best few pitching prospects in the game. That goes a long ways to explaining why I tell anyone who will listen that Dan Meyer is a pretty good bet to outperform Mark Mulder in 2005 and I think the A’s are right there with the Angels as the best team in the AL West.”

    beckett over harden in a landslide: wrong
    harden overrated: wrong
    street overrated: wrong
    meyer outperforms mulder in 05: wrong
    a’s right up there with angels: wrong

    it takes skill to be wrong on so many counts!

  24. Eric on July 20th, 2005 3:57 pm

    Bavasi has consistently said they use numbers more at the higher levels (I assume AA and AAA) and rely on scouting at the lower levels. I don’t see anything in how they have handled players that really disputes that.

  25. Christopher Michael on July 20th, 2005 4:00 pm

    #122 Thats great looking at it now but I don’t see what stat showed he was going to completely collapse at the age of 32. He should have been a servicable third baseman and you can point at a stat that says otherwise.

  26. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 4:02 pm

    It takes even more skill to cherry-pick such a nice handful like that to prove, well, I’m not sure what exactly. That you don’t like Dave, or something. The season isn’t close to over yet.

    And if they keep up their current pace, the A’s will pass the Angels into first in less than a month. They’re a half-game out of second.

  27. Jim Osmer on July 20th, 2005 4:02 pm

    Matt Morrison = oxygen thief

  28. Todd in Phoenix on July 20th, 2005 4:03 pm

    jimbo, what does your post have to do with anything?

  29. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 4:07 pm

    125: how about “all of 2004”? What do you think 3B typically do when they’re 32 and hit like that?

    More examples: Why is Bloomquist on the team, or at least why does he have more than 30 PA? Why did Greg Dobbs suck varnish off the bench for three months? Why does Dave Hanson exist? Why is Matt Thornton still alive? Why is Jeff Nelson on this team? Why does Hasegawa earn so much money? I could go on. Notice these are MLB examples, meaning supposedly where Bavasi puts the most emphasis on statistics.

  30. eponymous coward on July 20th, 2005 4:11 pm

    OK, let’s put it this way, with the help of BP’s EqA stats:


    There are 2 SS’s, 3 2B and 1 C among the 40 top MLB players in EqA this year.

    There are 18 outfielders. (Ichiro ain’t one of them, BTW.)

    Moral: it’s a lot easier to find OF’ers who can hit than C’s, 2B and SS’s.

    In addition, care to guess how many of those players in the top 40 have less than 10 HRs (remember, this is just over half a season so far)?

    Basically, one- Johnny Damon. Who’s near the bottom of the list (.301- the cutoff’s .300).

    Second moral of the story: good offense usually includes some power in the modern game, and the exceptions (like Ichiro, Gywnn or Boggs) are fairly rare.

    Also, note how Boston, Texas, NYY, St. Louis, Florida and Baltimore have multiple people in the top 40 and are scoring lots of runs? Not. A. Coincidence.

    Third moral: thumpers help you score runs.

    I’ll be thrilled if Beltre hits like it’s 2004 and Lopez and Morse turn into Boone and A-Rod, and I’m not saying “DOYLE SUXX0RS, REEDS SUXX0RS, TRADE THEM”. But gosh, wouldn’t a power hitting OF look real nice coming through our system for the first time in a billion years right about now?

  31. Christopher Michael on July 20th, 2005 4:14 pm

    #129 All of 2004? You mean after he was aready signed? He is on the roster because he isn’t blocking anyone from starting and they’d rather not throw away the money for this year and next year.

    Willy is in the team because he fills the super utility position. He has more than 30 PAs because he had a hot streak and for awhile he was the only other outfielder to play. Greg Dobbs was a healthy left handed bat from the minors. Dave Hanson exists because our healthy left handed bat from the minors sucks. Matt Thornton is alive because he has no options and the team doesn’t want to let him go for nothing. Jeff Nelson has played fine enough and I’m pretty sure Bavasi had nothing to do with Hasegawa’s contract.

    Stating that Bavasi doesn’t look at any stats because you have a blind hate to the guy is just foolish.

  32. Christopher Michael on July 20th, 2005 4:16 pm

    #130 Yes but since we don’t have one what good does it make to argue about all this? Would you rather us trade our prospects for starting pitching or for a power outfielder? Which do you think will get us more wins next year?

  33. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 4:33 pm

    He is on the roster because he isn’t blocking anyone from starting and they’d rather not throw away the money for this year and next year.

    But they ARE THROWING AWAY THE MONEY. He’s a sunk cost. They have to pay him no matter WHAT happens. The way to reduce the cost of Scott Spiezio to the Seattle Mariners is to CUT HIM. At least that way you aren’t letting him take up space on your roster, which is the ONLY cost savings available to us; someone else could be sitting there. Maybe that someone else could do something last night besides stand next to the plate like an automaton watching strike three blow by. That’s a very real cost that we CAN do something about. You can’t trade him because no one wants him, not for anything, not even for free.

    Willie: there’s no such thing as a hot streak, and there in fact are about a dozen other outfielders to play, they’re just not on the big club’s bench, because our bench is filled with Spiezios and Bloomquists and Borderses. Dobbs: healthy in what sense? As in “not sick or injured”, sure, but “healthy” as in “some reason for a rational person to think he can hit MLB pitching even a little bit”? No. Et cetera.

    I’m not talking about contracts. I’m talking about guys who can PLAY BASEBALL.

    Let me put it the other way: please outline the statistical analysis component of the decision to employ Pat Borders. No matter how small; just show something, anything. Now try Dobbs. Anything?

    I don’t hate Bavasi at all; I feel sorry for him in his current situation, because as I have explained numerous times I don’t think he has any leverage to achieve what he needs to achieve through trades, which is the topic under discussion. I think he can rearrange the deck chairs a bit, and maybe trade for a couple of points of VORP here and there if he can pull it off, but none of the trades available to him are likely to help us very much. That’s not entirely or even mostly his fault.

    But I do think he could help himself a lot more than he has done by judiciously using analysis. I actually think the evidence points to the opposite of what Bavasi says; I see them making more supportable-by-analysis decisions at the LOWER levels than at the AAA-MLB level.

    I realize that the attitude in the Mariners’ front office can’t be good right now, and that they must feel thunderstruck by how badly almost everything they’ve tried has turned out. A guy like Olivo, who has played so incredibly badly, beyond even the power of statistics to understand (he’s far below his even his 10th percentile PECOTA), has to have them pulling their hair out. But that doesn’t excuse the numerous moves they’ve made that just can’t be justified at all.

  34. Steve Thornton on July 20th, 2005 4:33 pm

    132: neither one.

  35. Jon Wells on July 20th, 2005 4:59 pm

    With the M’s in need of a starting catcher for 2005, perhaps they could sign slugging Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima, who is planning on moving to the majors in ’05. Sure he speaks no English and that could be a problem handling the pitchers, but couldn’t they put him on a crash course over the winter to learn a ton of English?

  36. Grizz on July 20th, 2005 5:08 pm

    #135: It’s nice to see Chuck Armstrong bashing is not limited to this side of the Pacific. I wonder how much “considerable and expensive interest” Johjima actually draws from MLB teams.

  37. Mountainman Ernie on July 20th, 2005 5:58 pm

    Be Real!

    Who could use our players? What real value does anyone have? To make a trade work it has to help both teams. No one on this team is untouchable, no one! Turn every player without value loose. Trade who you can, and see whats left. We would be better off with a team of AAA players and low payroll than a 100 mil. team of spare parts.


  38. firova on July 20th, 2005 6:57 pm

    It seems that moving Ichiro to centerfield may have to become an open option in order to give this team more choices and build more power into the lineup over time. Are there any reasonable objections to this from an analysis point of view? In other words, is there any scenario where Ichiro becomes less valuable as a centerfielder?

  39. Adam S on July 20th, 2005 10:44 pm

    Yes, if playing CF affects Ichiro’s offense, he would be less valuable as a CF. Or if he isn’t as good a CF as Reed is now.

    Unless you’re going to give up on Jeremy Reed, moving Ichiro to CF doesn’t really help the offense. Reed in CF, Ichiro in RF or Ichiro in CF, Reed in LF leaves one corner OF spot available.

    Of course with Floyd, Choo, and Strong, it doesn’t seem we’re going to go outside the organization to get an OF in the near future anyway.

  40. mln on July 21st, 2005 5:06 am

    The solution to the Mariners outfield power problems is very simple: Play Willie Bloomquist everyday. Willie is a savior and very hometown scrappy.

  41. strong silence on July 21st, 2005 6:11 am

    I would love 4 guys who gave you .310/380/440, 2 guys who could hit .270/370/550. 2 defenders. Boom, thems are good times.