Saturday: 12 pitchers again! Wheee!
PI: M’s lose, but Everett hits his first homer. Not of his career, of course. Despite the hype, neither Vina or Bloomquist played. Appier hurt himself.
Since Mike Hargrove plans to keep a dozen pitchers, the Mariners will have 13 position players on the 25-man active major-league roster on opening day.
This is so dumb. 5 starters + 6 relievers didn’t work out so well for us last year.
Anyway, Finnigan figures that with C = Johjima, 1B = Sexson, 2B = Lopez/?, SS = Betancourt, 3B = Beltre, LF = Ibanez, CF = Reed, RF = Ichiro!, and DH = clubhouse leader Everett, that leaves 4 spots left. A backup catcher, then Bloomquist takes one if he’s not the 2B, Lawton’s the backup OF, and that means you only get to pick one of “Roberto Petagine, Greg Dobbs, Mike Morse or Cody Ransom.”
Cody Ransom? They’d consider that?
So look at what these guys offer:
Petagine: left-handed bat, might rake. Can’t play good defense anywhere, may be passable at 1B. (PECOTA: .257 .349 .419 ) No speed.
Dobbs: left-handed hitter (PECOTA: 246 .274 .356). No speed.
Morse: right-handed hitter (PECOTA: .252 .301 .397). Was decent at short, bad in left, may have improved his defense there.
Ransom: right-handed hitter. No PECOTA, but he can’t hit. No speed. Plays the infield reasonably well.
When you look at this team, then, which of these guys would provide the most value? Ransom’s Bloomquist without any basestealing ability. Petagine is the best bat of the bunch, but given that the team’s got two DHs in Ibanez and Everett, Lawton probably chewing up some LF time, finding him any kind of regular ABs is likely to be a challenge.
The nature of building a bench is that you don’t get to pick starter-quality players. I don’t get to say “well, obviously, the team needs a crackerjack switch-hitter with a great glove” because you don’t get that.
Instead, how about this: the M’s play in a huge, spacious park with a massive outfield. Every candidate on the roster who supposedly plays LF is bad at it (well, Bloomquist isn’t bad). No one can play center well behind Reed except perhaps Ichiro. There are pitchers on the team who could really use a solid defensive upgrade there, some of them in the bullpen. It’s not a huge deal, but unlike the skill set of Morse (can’t hit, can’t field) it does offer the team something they don’t have. Even playing Choo as a 5th OF (with primary Reed-resting responsibility) gives the team some options (PECOTA, btw, .268 .337 .396) and he has some baserunning speed.
I’m not convinced Choo’s the answer (or Bohn or anyone). It’s strange that besides Petagine, the players being discussed as candidates for the bench don’t offer the manager anything, be it additional tools or options within a game. There’s no need they fill or help they offer.