Mailbag: Hargrove says Foppert’s ‘in the mix’

Jeff · February 14, 2006 at 11:09 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get with’s Mariners Mailbag.

Mixed in with an assortment of questions best described as “random,” this one contains a brief remark from Mike Hargrove about how Jesse Foppert will get a shot to crack the rotation.

While the Mariners starting rotation appears to be set with Jamie Moyer, Joel Pineiro, Jarrod Washburn, Gil Meche and Felix Hernandez, manager Mike Hargrove said recently that Foppert has a chance to impress the team in March.

“He’s coming to Spring Training,” Hargrove said. “We will see. I think that given the state of our starting rotation at the end of the year last year, going into Spring Training, everybody is in the mix.”

Sure, this is manager-speak, and it’s important not to put too much stock in it. If Foppert’s healthy and gets a chance, though, I’m really excited to see what the prize acquisition of the Randy Winn trade can do.

[An important sidenote: can we agree that Jesse Foppert’s nickname should be “Fopp?” It’s unique, it fits, and it even has a local connection due to Soundgarden’s cover of the Ohio Players nugget.

Of course, we all know he will end up being called “Foppie,” but let’s beat on, boats against the current, anyhow.]


31 Responses to “Mailbag: Hargrove says Foppert’s ‘in the mix’”

  1. phildopip on February 14th, 2006 11:14 am

    It’s more likely his nickname will be “Flopp”

  2. DanO on February 14th, 2006 11:17 am

    I kind of like Rock Foppster.

    Also, as a transplanted Giants fan who remembers when Foppert was supposed to be the best pitching prospect in baseball, I’m really excited to see him get a shot this spring, and am very hopeful that he can boot Meche out of the rotation.

  3. jtopps on February 14th, 2006 11:22 am

    Blitzkrieg Fopp. Too bad pitchers don’t have theme songs the way hitters do when they come to the plate.

  4. Jeff on February 14th, 2006 11:23 am

    Let me drop a link to Dave’s trade analysis from last year, which contains his breakdown of Foppert.

  5. Joe C. in Buffalo on February 14th, 2006 11:52 am

    So, Foppert is the only one vying with Meche for that spot in the rotation? Who else could? Nagoette? Where’s Livingston’s stock gone to? I assume Jeff Harris is the AAA insurance in case of a starter injury.

  6. msb on February 14th, 2006 11:55 am

    Hargrove has also said Nageotte will get a shot to try for the starter’s job

  7. Matthew Carruth on February 14th, 2006 12:32 pm

    Don’t forget Dave Burba, Kevin Appier, Chris Bosio, and Brian Holman

  8. etowncoug on February 14th, 2006 1:04 pm

    Personally I prefer “The Fopp”, but “Fopp” is better than “Foppie”.

  9. msb on February 14th, 2006 1:21 pm

    well, with The King and The Fop, sounds like we have the beginnings of a royal court…. so, who’s the jester?

  10. deltwelve on February 14th, 2006 1:22 pm

    I don’t know about Fop. I’m more of a Dapper Dan man.

  11. kenshin on February 14th, 2006 1:24 pm

    Re 9:

    The jester – any fan masochistic enough to cheer for the Mariners. ZING!

  12. Joe C. in Buffalo on February 14th, 2006 1:38 pm

    Yeah, see, I meant realistic possibilities for the rotation that wouldn’t cause me to throw my computer out the nearest window. Having a laptop can be so hazardous.

  13. msb on February 14th, 2006 2:24 pm

    discussed as in ‘is he any good’? or discussed as in ‘availability to the M’s’?

    FWIW, Bavasi said they wouldn’t mind Weaver if he came in cheap, but that he would have to decide whether he was willing to take a paycut. At this point Anaheim has the advantages of being SoCal, employing his little bro, and being willing to pay him something:

    “The Angels continue to work on persuading pitcher Jeff Weaver to accept a short-term contract offer, but the team’s patience isn’t unlimited. Manager Mike Scioscia made a recruitment call to Weaver recently, but Scioscia said it is important that Weaver be in camp when the rest of the pitchers start working out Thursday. That means Weaver likely will have to decide by Wednesday whether he wants to take the Angels’ offer of a one- or two-year contract, likely in the $9million-per-year range.”

  14. Evan on February 14th, 2006 2:55 pm

    Rock Foppster. Nice. Here comes a bikini whale!

    I’d like to replace any two of Meche, Pineiro, and Washburn with Fopper and Livingston, if only because they have at least a hint of upside.

  15. JI on February 14th, 2006 3:16 pm

    Hell yeah, An obscure Soundgarden reference!

    It’s about damn time Meche earned his spot in the rotation. A move to the pen would be nice…

    I love the Mariners mailbag; Jim Street once sent me an e-mail of apology once when I pointed out that the 95 season was only 145 games long.

    Side note: What are the odds Randy Winn continues to go bananas?

  16. Evan on February 14th, 2006 3:33 pm

    I don’t know (though I’ve also received an apology from Jim Street). I wish our mailbag responses were more snarky. Like this one from the Mets’ site:

    Whatever happened to the Mets trying to obtain Alfonso Soriano? He is fantastic at second base, and he’d be great batting second after Reyes. The Mets could get rid of Matsui, Bret Boone, Victor Zambrano and two or three more pitchers. What a great idea, huh?
    — Dennis C., Bronx, N.Y.

    “Great” isn’t my first choice for a modifier to characterize your idea. Soriano isn’t a fantastic second baseman. He probably would have been a career outfielder, except that Chuck Knoblauch, the Yankees’ incumbent second baseman, had severe problems throwing in 2001, Soriano’s rookie season. Moreover, he strikes out far too much to bat second, and his power would be negated somewhat by the dimensions of Shea Stadium. Otherwise, it’s a sound proposal.

  17. chico ruiz on February 14th, 2006 4:06 pm

    #9–I like your observation. With a first name of Jesse and a last name of Foppert, he could be either The Jester or The Fop, or both.

  18. marc w on February 14th, 2006 4:22 pm

    16 – if by ‘go bananas’ you mean repeat his line with the giants of .360/.390/680, i’d say the odds are somewhere between no-chance-in-hell and zero.

  19. David J. Corcoran on February 14th, 2006 4:22 pm

    It should be pointed out that Doug Miller wrote this weeks mailbag.

  20. Mike Lien on February 14th, 2006 4:36 pm

    My nickname vote goes for pert plus.

  21. MedicineHat on February 14th, 2006 5:05 pm

    Jesse “the body” Foppert

    F – Fu##ed up
    O – Old
    P – Pitcher

  22. Dave in Palo Alto on February 14th, 2006 8:02 pm

    Messy Jesse
    El Fop
    Fop on Pop
    The Fopper

  23. Goose on February 14th, 2006 8:17 pm


    If I remember right, Seattle was one of the places Weaver didn’t want to go to.

  24. jerful on February 14th, 2006 8:24 pm

    For what’s it worth, here’s what PECOTA has to say:

    Jesse Foppert: 6.07 ERA, 8% breakout
    Felix King: 3.27 ERA, 15% breakout
    Jeff Harris: 4.94 ERA, 5% breakout
    Bobby Livingston: 4.87 ERA, 13% breakout
    Gil Meche: 4.88 ERA, 21% breakout
    Jamie Moyer: 5.08 ERA, 13% breakout
    Clint Nageotte: 5.00 ERA, 25% breakout
    Joel Pineiro: 4.44 ERA, 15% breakout
    Rafael Soriano: 3.51 ERA, 15% breakout
    Jarrod Washburn: 4.34 ERA, 4% breakout

    Felix and Washburn are projected as almost all starting, Nageotte and Soriano almost all relieving, and everyone else in the middle. PECOTA probably didn’t take into account better medicine in regards to Foppert and Nageotte (and Soriano).

  25. jerful on February 14th, 2006 8:35 pm

    Just because I’m curious, here’s how baseball’s #1 staff compares in a little less favorable ballpark:

    Joe Blanton: 4.32 ERA, 8% breakout
    Juan Cruz: 4.07 ERA, 19% breakout
    Justin Duchscherer: 3.87 ERA, 18% breakout
    Rich Harden: 3.53 ERA, 18% breakout
    Danny Haren: 3.93 ERA, 27% breakout
    Joe Kennedy: 4.50 ERA, 30% breakout
    Esteban Loaiza: 4.27 ERA, 13% breakout
    Dan Meyer: 5.24 ERA, 9% breakout
    Kirk Saarloos: 4.70 ERA, 13% breakout
    Barry Zito: 4.07 ERA, 11% breakout

  26. Typical Idiot Fan on February 14th, 2006 9:20 pm

    I just noticed the login is case sensitive.

    Anyway, isn’t a “Fop” considered to be a less then manly man, generally the early term for calling someone gay without actually wanting to acknowledge that they were gay?

  27. davepaisley on February 15th, 2006 12:12 am

    #27 – not exactly, just a vain person or a “dandy”. It takes a bit of extrapolation to get to “gay”.

  28. Jeff on February 15th, 2006 1:21 am

    On second thought, as long as no one busts out “J-Fopp,” I can put up with pretty much any other nickname. Although “Foppie” conjures up a kind of muppet-like creature, so I’m drawing the line there.

  29. DMZ on February 15th, 2006 8:39 am

    It would be awesome if by ‘in the mix’ Hargrove meant that Foppert was working on a whole album of new stadium anthems with popular turntable masters like Q-bert and Kid Koala and other dudes.

  30. Jerry on February 15th, 2006 8:53 am

    Barring injury, I see Foppert starting in Tacoma. Hopefully, that is the way that it plays out.

    Despite the pretty serious lack of blue-chip startings in the M’s farm system, they will have some interesting guys in the upper levels of the system. In the TNT today, there is a little blurb about how well Travis Blackley’s rehab has been going, and that he threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session the other day. Who knows how accurate that report is, but it is promising.

    While they may lack elite prospects, the M’s make up for it in depth. They have a lot of guys who could emerge as options midway through the season.

    As it stands now, Foppert, Bobby Livingston, Yorman Bazardo, Clint Nageotte, Ryan Feierabend, and Marcos Carvajal should be spread out between AAA and AA. If Blackley is as healthy as that report suggests, he could end up in Tacoma. Jeff Harris and Kevin Appier could figure in there somewhere as well. The M’s are also rumored to be considering moving Cesar Jimenez and Emiliano Fruto to the starting rotation.

    That is a lot of arms. I hope that the M’s do keep all of these guys as starters. The team is very likely to be promoting a few pitchers by mid-season. If they don’t contend (which is likely), we could see Meche released or traded. Pineiro is also a good bet to be traded. Moyer isn’t likely to be back with the club in 2007, so they will also be looking for someone to take his place in the rotation.

    It will be interesting to see what they do with all these guys. If the club does go ahead and shift Fruto, Carvajal, and Nageotte to starting, the upper levels of the organization could look something like this:

    Tacoma: Foppert, Nageotte, Livingston, Bazardo, Blackley with Harris as the 6th starter/long reliever

    San Antonio: Carvajal, Fruto, Jimenez, Feierabend, and Tom Oldham. That would leave little room for Jason Mackintosh, Chad Fillinger, and Brandon Moorehead.

    Surely, a few of these guys are going to go down with injury, and a few will stick in the bullpen. However, by actually listing all these guys, the M’s do have a good group of arms in the upper levels of their system. In particular, Foppert, Nageotte, Livingston, and Bazardo could all be ready for a promotion early. Having Blackley get back on track would be great for the organization, as he had the best stuff out of our glut of crafty lefty types. Plus, guys like Carvajal and Fruto are interesting pitchers with good arms. Both are guys that are worth keeping an eye on.

    That is a lot of depth. The bad thing about pitching prospects is that they are unpredictable and far more prone to major injuries. The good thing about pitchers is that they are unpredictable, and mediocre prospects can come from nowhere and emerge as good major league performers. The nice thing about the M’s current situation is that they have a big group of guys. I would be suprised if three or four of these guys do really well this upcoming season, and that one or two of them make an impact on the big league club. Attrition is always a problem, but it seems to me like the M’s have a better pool of talent now than they did in the past.

    There might not be as many top-rated prospects, but there are more sleepers. As most M’s fans know, a lot of times sleepers (like Bobby Madritsch) can end up being better players than the top prospects (like Nageotte and Blackley).

  31. Evan on February 15th, 2006 9:26 am

    Q-bert? That little guy who jumps around on cubes?

    Am I the only one who LOVES that we have a guy in the minors named Feierabend? Now all we need is Popper and Kuhn.

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