Lopez down, Betancourt up

DMZ · July 28, 2005 at 3:58 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Betancourt’s been hitting better than expected in AAA, but this is a rapid ascent for him. Lopez is down, having hit poorly since his recall… but wow, that’s not a long trial. And where would Betancourt play?

ESPN has the AP story.

I don’t understand the logic here. Betancourt’s defense has earned rave reviews, but say you plug him in at second as an attempt to help the ball-in-play rotation… then what happens to Morse? And then who’s playing second?


112 Responses to “Lopez down, Betancourt up”

  1. Bela Txadux on July 28th, 2005 9:07 pm

    While I like Lopez, I wasn’t sold on him being promoted at the start of July, actually. He’d already missed more than half the season with two rounds of injuries, and had been back on the field less than three weeks at the time the Ms decided that Boone had become an embarassment to the FO’s credibility, and DFoffed him. Jose just wasn’t going to be sharp, especially at the plate. And he didn’t even start full time; WB got a game or two, and then Lopez got dinged and missed a couple. In short, Lopez wasn’t going to be sharp, wasn’t sharp, didn’t get a real trial, and is now sent back down with the message that ‘he doesn’t measure up. Yet.’

    If this were just one instance, I’d take the stance that Dave does in #79, and as he says, I’m sure that the Ms ‘had a reason,’ not only for promoting Lopez in the first place, but in sending him back down. In fairness to the Ms player development crew, the organization has a lot of players with similar, fairly narrow skillsets—Winn, Reed, D’Oyle, Choo in the OF; Morse, Lopez, Betancourt, and many to come in the middle infield; a raft of pitchers with less than outstanding control, and modest K rates at best—and that makes it difficult to assess who’s the best of the lot. And clearly, the Ms brass is _terrified_ to trade any of these guys, and have him turn out to be The Best One. A good deal of the roster churn we’ve seen in the last year and a half does not strike me as real ‘trial promotions,’ i.e extended playing time to demonstrate skills against superior competition, so much as ‘let’s see how he handles himself’ run throughs. —But I loathe that approach. And as mentioned by someone far above, teams which are actually good at player development such as Atlanta and Oakland _don’t_ handle their prospects in such a manner, don’t at all. Now, Bavasi and Fontaine arrived in res media, whereas those other organizations have a decade of continuity at a minimum, so I’d be inclined to cut them some slack.

    Or I was inclined to give them some slack, but they’ve done this ‘run him up the flag pole’ player promotion thing so many times the FO is just _looking_ slack to me at this point. Bill Bavasi’s specialty is supposed to be player development. Give him credit: he’s trying to bring more talent into the organization, that’s fact. But once that talent’s here, I just don’t get the feeling he can figure out what to do with it. The ceiling on these various guys IS hard to assess, yes—but that’s his job. If Bill B. and the FO can’t settle on an assessment of their guys, make a plan based on that assessment, and stick to it, what does that say? Because this is what I see.

    There ARE trades coming up; we can be sure of that. This talent mix needs both subtractions and additions. In two weeks, we will have a better idea of what plan, if any, Bill Bavasi is working from. If at that point his schema is as much mystery as it is now, if he still seems to be saying, “Wait to the offseason, and we’ll sort if out then,” I’m done with Bill Bavasi. Because two years without a plan is too long.

  2. RickL on July 28th, 2005 9:29 pm

    OKay, Nelson seems to be able to find the plate tonight.

  3. RickL on July 28th, 2005 9:29 pm


  4. RickL on July 28th, 2005 9:34 pm

    Villone does it again.

  5. Evan on July 28th, 2005 10:46 pm

    I watched Edgar bat 360 at AAA (Calgary)

    Calgary was a pretty extreme hitters park. Not only a small PCL park, but at altitude. I’m not sure hitting .360 there was a sure sign of greatness.

  6. eponymous coward on July 28th, 2005 11:01 pm

    True, except Edgar had a career OBP in Calgary of around .460. That’s pretty insane.

    The M’s tended to be more impressed by power numbers in those years than OBP- guys like Coles, Brantley, Briley and Tartabull moved through the system MUCH faster than Edgar, and they stuck with Jimmy Presley and his sub-.300 OBP. (Imagine Miguel Olivo with more power, or Bret Boone with no .300 years. The dude swang out of his shoes at stuff that was low and away. I swear, opposing managers fined pitchers if they threw in the strike zone to Presley.) There are some eye-popping stats from those years…but they needed serious discounts. A BB/K ratio and OBP like Edgar’s is pretty hard to discount THAT much due to altitude, though.

  7. AK1984 on July 29th, 2005 2:59 am

    In regards to the middle infield:

    I know this may sound like an inane idea, but do any of y’all find some merit in the thought of promoting Asdrubal Cabrera (.292/.326/.458) to double-AA San Antonio, while demoting Ismael Castro (.257/.276/.370) to high-level single-A Inland Empire. As it is, Cabrera could shift over to second base to form a sweet double play combination with Adam Jones over in Texas, while Castro (who has done poorly this year since coming back from his knee injuries — which included a torn ACL, a torn MCL, and a meniscus tear — that he sufferd last season; he hit .303/.343/.500 in 66 at-bats for Inland Empire during 2004.) and Michael Garciaparra could — at second base and shortstop, respectively — continue their disappointing careers down in California. Besides, if nothing else, it allows Cabrera to quickly ascend the organizational ladder, which thereby sets it up so that he and Jones could — if either Mike Morse, Yuniesky Betancourt, or Jose Lopez fail — debut for the M’s in September of 2006.

    In regards to minor league catchers:

    Inland Empire has two awful catchers on their staff, with those two guys being Luis Oliveros (.200/.228./.291) & Justin Ruchti (.203/.255/.336); thus, my question is this: what justifiable reason is there for having Jeff Clement play for Everett in short-season single-A, rather than for Inland Empire in high-level single-A? At any rate, from what I’m aware of, Clement’s defense leaves a lot to be desired; nevertheless, he’s got a potent bat and in just two games has already hit the tar out of Northwest League pitching (.429/.556/.571). All in all, with what little I know, it seems as if he should have skipped the first three levels of the M’s minor league farm system and be playing in the California League.

  8. Typical Idiot Fan on July 29th, 2005 3:09 am

    Dave may be right.

    Remember about a week ago when Lopez slid into third base and looked like he jammed his leg? It’s entirely possible he’s not 100 percent healty and they want him to recouperate down in Tacoma. His hand might not be healed either.

  9. Mr. Egaas on July 29th, 2005 5:38 am

    I can dig this.

    They’ve been saying that Morse’s final position probably won’t be at SS, a spot which Betancourt can probably fill for years to come, if he can hit ML pitching. Once Winn is dealt (Should be inevitable), have Snelling and Morse play LF for the remainder of the year, potentially having Bloomie and Lopez fill in at 2B.

    I’m not a fan of Bloomie starting. Period. I’d also like to see Snelling play everyday, but a platoon of Snelling and Morse in LF makes sense to me.

  10. Joseph on July 29th, 2005 10:06 am

    I think that sending Jose Lopez to Tacoma was one of the stupidest thing i’ve seen from Bavasi yet. I mean… what’s the M’s plan?

  11. Swersh on July 29th, 2005 11:41 am

    ok how bout this . . . work Ibanez in a bit in left field and at first base, while occasionally giving Morse starts at Third, where he is more likely to have a future. Give Beltre a few days at DH to rest the hammy, and occassionally sit ibanez against tough lefties. Give Betancourt a serious look at short, Lopez a serious look at 2B, trade Winn, and give snelling most of the at bats in left. This way, veterans get a little rest, dont get hurt, and see favorable matchups, and we get some of our 4 more promising hitters in there almost ever day. Start being creative hargrove. Instead of just inserting Willie Bloomquist wherever you want to take someone else out.

  12. Andrew on July 29th, 2005 12:57 pm

    Can someone who is more familiar with the CBA verify the truth of this? If what this guy says is true it might explain why Lopez was sent down:


    Although, I would think if Lopez falls just a few days short of the required number of days he might be able to file some sort of grievance .