Random Thoughts, Week One

Dave · April 10, 2006 at 7:59 am · Filed Under Mariners 

[Watch as Dave usurpus the top spot from both JMB and DMZ. Hooray for eastern time.]

So, a week is in the books, and we stand at 3-4, built basically on a three game winning streak and the current three game losing streak. The team has looked both fantastic and terrible. What have I seen so far?

  • The team scored 30 runs in seven games at Safeco Field against the toughest group of starting pitchers any team has faced so far this year. Colon, Harden, Lackey, and Zito are all borderline all-stars, Weaver and Loiaza are upper-tier mid rotation guys, and Blanton is a second year arm with some promise. Those pitchers are going to pose a challenge to any team. Scoring 30 runs in seven games against those arms is an accomplishment.
  • Take away Felix’s velocity and command, and what do you have left? A guy with so much movement that teams still can’t get the ball out of the infield against him. That was as bad as Felix has looked since he got to the majors, stuff-wise, and he still dominated the A’s. This kid’s ridiculous.
  • This team can’t win consistently without Adrian Beltre hitting like a major league third baseman. Right now, he’s the same guy he was last year. His pitch recognition is terrible, and he’s missing easily hittable balls. If ever there was a candidate for someone to watch hours and hours of video to learn how to read a ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand, it’s Beltre.
  • Willie Bloomquist shouldn’t be an option in center field. That dive on the line drive on Saturday was one of the worst defensive plays you’ll ever see.
  • Richie Sexson has one walk and nine strikeouts in 26 at-bats. And he’s the patient hitter in the line-up.
  • For everyone concerned about the bullpen, don’t be. The M’s have options. Nageotte and Sean Green are showing off some nasty sinkers down in Tacoma. Green is a groundball machine, and even when he’s not missing bats, he’s tough.
  • Three against Cleveland and three against Boston, all on the road? I’ll be thrilled if they can pull of a .500 road trip.


57 Responses to “Random Thoughts, Week One”

  1. Oly Rainiers Fan on April 10th, 2006 10:33 pm

    So Tacoma beat itself tonight, with a heckuva lot of unearned runs coming in on errors.

    What was good about tonight’s game? Atchison looked reasonably sharp. Cabrera made a really nice play at short. And that, my friends, was about it.

  2. Dr. Johan on April 11th, 2006 3:36 pm

    loaiza is a fifth starter at best. he is not an “upper tier mid-rotation” guy.

  3. bongo on April 11th, 2006 8:54 pm

    #46 — Sitting behind home plate, Foppert’s command could use improvement. In his four innings, he walked four and struck out four. Of course, compared to Oldham and Looper, he looked great, but that is not saying much. The Rainers were quite sloppy in the field, too. Kudos go to Bohn who got on base 4 times, and Morse who got 2 hits. Johnson showed a good throwing arm (he’s thrown out ever batter who has attempted to steal on him so far), but could improve his blocking of pitches at the plate, as well as his hitting. Overall, I had the feeling of Deja Vu — the Rainers did not look as good against the Sacremento (A’s affiliate) as we had hoped going in to the series.

    On the other hand, Jeremy Brown did impress me. Hit a home run to left and did a good job catching, too. Bobby Kielty didn’t look particularly impressive, though.

  4. bongo on April 11th, 2006 9:02 pm

    #50 — The comparison to a “good” Damian Moss start is scary but accurate. Moderate velocity. Mediocre command. Looks a lot better facing AAA hitters than he would in MLB. Foppert has a better breaking ball than Moss, although he seems unable to get it over the plate consistently. Let’s hope that Foppert gains arm strength as the season goes on, so that he can be throwing in the low 90s by July/August.

  5. BelaXadux on April 11th, 2006 11:59 pm

    Beltre has had seven years at the major league level to learn to recognize pitches. His ’04 notwithstanding, his career numbers are entirely consistent with what we saw at the plate in ’05 and are seeing now. I wouldn’t be a penny on him learning to recognize what the pitcher is throwing or doing. Adrian’s glove is what you’d expect on a $13M-a-year guy, but his bat . . . . Wish they’d moved him in the offseason, but there it is.

    The sad thing about Willie B. playing CF is that it’s quite clear that he’s being written in at that position to get his bat in the lineup. He makes a bit of contact against LHPs, Reed doesn’t much, and Grover vastly overrates the difference. To play Bloomers against a LHP otherwise, Hargrove would have to sit Lopez, Beltre, or Raul, and that’s not going to happen on any frequent basis. That said, Bloomers never played CF before last year, has no apptitude whatsoever for the position, and anyone playing him there deserves what they get. CF is the most important position on the field after catcher exactly because if you screw up out there it’s extra-bases, exactly like the single Willie ‘hustled’ into a triple.

    I’m not that worried about the bullpen. There have been good performances as well as bad, no one has had time to get in any kind of groove yet, and the Ms have viable Plan Bs in Tacoma.

  6. DMZ on April 12th, 2006 12:18 am

    Bloomquist v LHP, 2003-2005: .257/.306/.350
    Reed v LHP, same: .200/.285/.273

    That’s fairly huge, if you want to put credence in them. Which you shouldn’t, for a variety of reasons, but if you really think that’s the comparison Hargrove’s making, well… that’s 100 points of OPS, and that’s pretty huge.

  7. BelaXadux on April 12th, 2006 9:10 pm

    Derek, I’m aware of that difference and it’s degree, yes, and that is the comparison I’m making. The issues with it are: a) Bloomquist is thoroughly mediocre at best, so that while he’s better than Reed against lefties you want to get someone in there who REALLY can hit, and b) Bloomquist is so inferior defensively that it’s a bad move. The point in the comment there is that Bloomers just isn’t good enough often enough. I have no problem with Reed being platooned against lefties, though, that’s the move to make.

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