Confirmation links to follow.
Guillermo Quiroz got pushed out in the Blue Jays catcher battle, and the M’s picked him up, presumably to back up while Rivera seasons in the minors. Quiroz is 24, right-handed, and hasn’t hit well since 2003, when he put up a stellar season in AA. Since then he’s bounced between levels and hasn’t gotten consistent playing time.
Quiroz, despite having a couple poor seasons, is a much better bet to hit a little than Rivera, and has a lot more potential to turn into something really interesting — though with Johjima and Clement, the M’s don’t have a lot of playing time to offer.
Nice little move.
Two days left until the big event at Safeco Field, and we still have some spots available. If you’re interested in attending, the information is below. The only difference for late registrars is that we cannot guarantee you that we’ll have snacks for you, since I already placed the food quantity order. But you’re still welcome to come.
Sunday, April 2nd, from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Safeco Field
We’ve got space for 200 people to come join Derek, Jeff, Jason, and myself for four hours inside Safeco on the eve of opening day. 24 hours before the season kicks off, you get to come hang out with us as we spend a few hours talking baseball and having a good ol time.
Of course, we won’t be the only people talking. Once again, Mariners General Manager Bill Bavasi has graciously agreed to give up a good portion of his free time and participate in a question and answer session. Quite simply, this is a unique opportunity for Mariner fans to get together and pick the brain of the guy who makes the decisions.
Four hours of baseball talk, including time with the number one guy in the front office the day before the season starts? Hard to beat that, honestly.
We’ve done our best to keep the costs as low as possible, and we’re really happy we can offer this get together for $15 per person. That will include snacks and drinks, so while it’s not a feed, you will be able to get fatter while attending, which is a nice plus.
If you’re interested in attending, here’s what you need to do: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people you’re requesting spots for in the subject. In the body of the message, I need full names of those who will be coming under your reservation.
Due to the event being just nine days away, we’re going to have you pay-as-you-enter to avoid problems with the postal service and getting checks around in time. We’re counting on your good faith to attend the event if you sign up; we’re paying for your spot whether you come or not, so if you don’t come and don’t pay, that’s money out of our pockets.
One last note; we’re making one minor change to how we handled the event last summer. Instead of a free-for-all where everyone gets the mic and we pray that they ask a question that isn’t insulting and makes sense, this time around, the Q&A will be moderated. If you have a question you’d like to hear Bavasi answer, leave it in the comments of this thread, and we’ll cull the best ones and make sure they get asked.
Also, any general questions that you think may be of interest to others, feel free and ask in the comments.
Unnoticed as the televised match featured the M’s beating the Dodgers in Las Vegas (booth interview with some guy from the Chamber of Commerce or something, presumably hired goons had producer/engineer Kevin Cremin in the desert somewhere, with a gun on him) was the ugly performance of Pineiro, who went six innings, gave up ten hits, two walks, and got one strike out. Throw in a home run, and you’ve got yourself Ryan Franlin. Teams, btw, are required to have at least two starters in any split-squad game (so paying fans see someone they know). The Seattle @ San Diego game featured Ibanez and Sexson, and maybe you can excuse Bloomquist. Other than that:
Even the serious Mariner fan would have difficulty recognizing these guys on the street. And the three — Sexson, Ibanez, and Bloomquist — came out after one plate appearance, presumably to catch a limo to the airport for their flight to Vegas, where they all played. The replacements for that talent-light lineup? Bunch of guys named Monzon, Rogelstad, Bubela, LaHair, Guzman, Schweiger, and Heid. At some point, it’s only the family members who can still pick them out.
The Padres treated the game only slightly more seriously, for the benefit of the 6,689 fans that came out: they played more starters (Mike Cameron!) and for a little longer.
Anyway, to the news!
Chaves is optimistic, and you should be too. [PI]
While the back of the bullpen may still be open to flux, the bench looks like
Scrappy Doo: Willy Bloomquist
1B/DH/PH: Roberto Petagine
More stories as they’re posted.
Update! Portland M’s fans have a meetup going on down there before their exhibition game today, if you’re in that area.
The Rainiers v Mariners exhibition game Saturday would be played at Safeco and would be free! free! free! to all fans if it’s rained out in Tacoma.
“Hopefully, the game between Mariners and Rainiers will be played as scheduled at Cheney Stadium on Saturday, and every attempt will be made do so. We appreciate the interest of the fans in the Tacoma area who are planning to attend. However, just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate, we have a backup plan to play the game at Safeco Field. If the game is moved to Seattle, all fans will be welcome to come to the game free of charge,” said Mariners president Chuck Armstrong.
That’d be kinda cool. Further updates as events warrant.
…by Baseball America.
“Utter lack of pitching prospects has roots in run of poor drafts in late 1990s, early 2000s.”
or, as the in-depth look writes:
“By contrast, Seattle’s 1998-2002 were extremely barren, peaking with Willie Bloomquist and featuring a series of expensive reaches such as Michael Garciaparra and Sam Hays.”
To look on the upside, I’ll say this — prospect lists, and particularly BA’s lists, look for potential major leaguers and only pick out players in A-ball if they’re really interesting. If the Mariners (as we’ve argued) are doing a much better job drafting talent now, that’s not going to show up yet. Of course, you could say that about every team.
There’s a split-squad game v San Diego @ 11 and a split-squad game v the Dodgers in Vegas that’ll be on TV at 7. It’d be shocking if they didn’t send almost all the starters to Vegas.
And yes, there’s a Craig Wilson-for-Pineiro rumor. I’m not sure where they’d put him or how they’d patch the rotation.
Nageotte and Morse optioned to Tacoma.
Appier, Atchison, Cruceta, Green, Dobbs, Morban, Ransom, Jones, and Miller reassigned to minor league camp.
The last two bullpen spots are down to a fight between Jake Woods, Luis Gonzalez, Jeff Harris, and Emiliano Fruto. Harris is the only non-roster player on the list, so he’s fighting an uphill battle to begin with. I’d be surprised if they carried Fruto, but they like him a lot more than I do. So my guess is Woods and Gonzalez, giving the team four lefty relievers. Prepare for some LONG innings.
Dobbs and Morse both going away means that Petagine and Borchard both make the opening day roster. When Lawton returns from his suspension, they’ll pick one of the two to try to sneak through waivers. Pretty surprising that Petagine made the club over organizational favorite Greg Dobbs, but surprising in a “I just found $1,000 in my jeans!” way.
PI: Random notebook stuff, including this cool tidbit:
Rafael Soriano was warming up in the bottom of the third inning when Betancourt homered into the bullpen. Without stepping off the mound, Soriano caught the ball on the fly, flipped the ball into the stands and continued warming up.
Betancourt has worked all spring on hitting to the right side of the diamond, and he should be a good bunter and hit-and-run threat.
Be afraid, fans.
Times: Guardado is a prankster. In tomorrow’s paper: dog bites man.
“And now I must leave — for no raisin!” — Giant Brain
Ryan Church got tossed off the Nationals. Church is a 27-year old, left-handed-hitting outfielder who can play center field fine and is good defensively in the corners.
A while ago, I was bitching about the M’s roster makeup and how their bench choices as discussed then didn’t really help them solve their problems. Look! Right here! You can have him be Ibanez’s defensive caddy and general all-around 4th OFer! He hits for some power! He’s fricking free!
Ryan Church’s weighted mean PECOTA forecast: .272/.337/.468 (!)
Carl Everett, just to bring this up again, weighted mean .268/.334/.449
(Hee Choi: .270/.371/.511)
Church had a really nice year last season, too, which makes the decision to toss him even more baffling. There are a lot of teams that could use him. The M’s should be first in line.
Or the Royals just tossed Chip Ambres in the scrap pile. Ambres is 26, right handed (for that L/R balance) and plays the outfield too. I don’t think he’s quite the fielder that Church is, and his weighted mean forecast is .251/.341/.438 — hey, that’s still Everett-esque — but here’s another guy available for nothing. And Ambres has some really strange comperable players on his PECOTA card: maybe he stinks, and maybe he turns into something useful.
Borchard was a nice pickup, but Church would be a far better fit as a backup outfielder. And this whole sampler table of talent only serves to further illustrate that Carl Everett was a massive overpayment.
Times: Lopez “makes most of 2nd chance“… at second, get it?
They shot some X-rays through King Felix’s leg. Looks fine [PI].
That’s it: two stories.
Update! The Seattle Times is reporting Reed’s wrist isn’t broken. The fracture they saw on the X-rays was an old injury.