Isotopes at Rainiers game report, 5/14

DMZ · May 14, 2006 at 11:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I was so excited about today’s Meche v Weaver matchup I drove to Tacoma (which took me over an hour: 405 crawled all through the S-curves and then I-5 crawled from miles ahead of the Highway 16 exit and then, on H-16, crawled at half speed)(on a Sunday, before noon!).

My reward was one of the worst-played games I’ve ever seen in my life of watching baseball, at any level. It took 3:42 to play out this 3-0 shutout of the Rainiers. If I’d written the game story, it would have led “The Rainiers and Isotopes played an interminable, painful game this Mother’s day, perhaps in the hopes that in some small way it would remind of us of what our own moms went through for us.”

I have many notes, which I’ll relate in somewhat random order:
– I saw Michael Garciaparra’s debut (this year) for the Rainiers, playing second. Scrawny dude.
– Hunter Brown’s intro music is the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” which is inappropriate in a number of ways
– Appier looked quite hittable and shaky. The crowd booed him in the first inning
– Concessions at Cheney Stadium are horrible. Ugh. I understand there’s a polish sausage that’s good, but I didn’t luck into that. I had the pizza. Bleah.
– Adam Jones is taking huge cuts at pitches, but he’s not taking cuts at bad pitches. When he gets bat on ball, the ball just takes off. When he shortened his swing and tried to make contact, he didn’t look so good. Also, he’s what, 20?
– Jones’ defense is potentially standout: he’s got a great first move, he’s fast, and he gets in a position to come forward when he’s catching it to be in better throwing position. His routes aren’t always the best, but again, he just converted.
– Jones has an amazing arm for a centerfielder. He’s not hitting his man consistently, but he did just convert in the AFL this last year. Seriously, it’s a cannon. If you promoted him today (which you shouldn’t) he’d have one of the strongest outfield arms (you hope accuracy comes). In this game, he almost nailed a runner going 2nd to 3rd on a deep fly ball.
– Despite the PA announcement, I don’t think the Fun Patrol makes any effort to target the specific fans who are screaming for T-shirts the loudest
– Appier sucks at backing up plays. Imagine a 1998 Frank Thomas trying to back up third.
– Appier sucks at defense: he made a stop on a ground ball up the middle, turned to second and threw it into center field, turning a potential double play into 1st and 3rd. Throwing the ball away was a running theme: Hunter did it later, backhanding a grounder at first and then hurling it almost into the stands.
– Appier sucks
– Doyle got big applause from the crowd
– Doyle gets up way before his turn and starts to stretch, get his helmet on, and likes to stand near the on-deck circle when he’s in the hole (I hear this has led umpires to shoo him back to the dugout). Really, he’ll get ready to bat four batters ahead of his turn when there are two outs and the chances he’ll bat are next to nothing. I’m surprised he doesn’t try to impersonate other batters to get more at-bats
– By contrast, other guys might only stand up off the bench when it was they were in the hole
– When Doyle makes contact, the ball still leaps off the bat. He’s something
– The scab umps suck
– Asdrubal Cabrera’s going to present the Mariners with a difficult question sooner than I think people realize. He’s good defensively and he can hit (though, admittedly, whether his current offensive game can move up a level is open to question). What do the M’s do with a guy like that next year?
– I saw Cabrera swipe second and when, sliding in, he saw the ball go past the fielder, he got up and just tore into third. Nice play.
– Rainier batter is up, bases loaded, full count, they announce that if he hits a grand slam, some dude gets a car. The batter grounds out on the next pitch.
– Foppert looked bad
– A kid did a sweep-the-bases thing and after he was done, he brushed off the umpire’s feet, and the ump gave him a ball. Implied message: do as you’re told and debase yourself to authority, and you’ll be rewarded.
– With guys on 1-2, 1 out, the team down by 3 and TJ Bohn up, Brundage called for a double-steal early in the count and then, when the count was full, did it again. Bohn swung and struck out and the runner was picked off at third. Doyle was left standing in the on-deck circle.
– What a ridiculous call that was. I’m sorry, but down by three with a strikeout threat at the plate and a good hitter on-deck? What the heck was Brundage thinking was going to happen there?
– Doyle’s intro song is Pearl Jam’s “Alive”

People in Tacoma on Doyle:
– he’s a cutie
– he’s a Mariner who’s only down here for an injury rehab
– he’s a great player who can’t stay healthy


80 Responses to “Isotopes at Rainiers game report, 5/14”

  1. Bender on May 15th, 2006 4:42 pm

    If Clement’s meniscus surgery went anything like the one I just had he’ll never catch again.

  2. Thingray on May 15th, 2006 4:43 pm

    Please don’t say that!

  3. Bob Loblaw on May 15th, 2006 4:50 pm

    50 – Nice problem to have.

  4. Bender on May 15th, 2006 4:51 pm

    It all depends on if he had a repair or a removal and what kind of tear it was. I’m betting/hoping it was a minor fray and he had a partial removal, in which case he should be basically fine in 3 or 4 weeks. If it was a major tear and he had a full removal or a repair…yeah. Not so good.

  5. Thingray on May 15th, 2006 4:51 pm

    It seems like just two years ago the position player cupboard was bare!

  6. dw on May 15th, 2006 4:54 pm

    I’m really starting to wonder if we may have a logjam of players happening in the next few months to a year.

    And that’s bad why? If they can hit and field, they will break into the lineup. If we end up with multiple shortstops, we can deal one of them for more pitching.

    It’s early, but the farm system is starting to show signs of life again.

  7. Thingray on May 15th, 2006 5:00 pm

    I wasn’t complaining about having too many prospects waiting in the wings! I was just noting that the farm system seems to have bounced back fairly quickly.

    Can any of this credit go to Bavasi, or is it just that we quit trading them away?

  8. gwangung on May 15th, 2006 5:36 pm

    Can any of this credit go to Bavasi, or is it just that we quit trading them away?

    That goes back to Bavasi, either way….

  9. Bender on May 15th, 2006 5:41 pm

    I was thinking of writing up a bunch of crap about meniscus surgery if there was interest, but it would probabaly be wierd to post in a huge thread and until we somehow find out some more info from the team it’s all speculation.

    Basically if it was a minor tear or a frayed meniscus and he had a partial removal you’re looking a 3-4 weeks max. If it was a bad tear and he had a full removal it can vary, but usually not much longer, but the chance for arthritis in the future is way high. If it was a tear on the outer part of the meniscus where there’s good blood supply they’ll probably try to repair it, especially given his age.

    If they do a repair you’re looking at 6-8 weeks of recoery if everything goes swimmingly. If he gets a blood clot like I did, it’s a lot longer. If everything doesn’t go smoothly (like it didn’t with mine) he probably would need another surgery to catch again.

    The meniscus is not as bad as an ACL, but it’s an integral part of a healthy knee, so lets hope it was just a small tear or frayed edge and they cleaned it up with no problems.

  10. msb on May 15th, 2006 5:56 pm

    FWIW, Jason Churchill phrased it as: “May 6 had a surgery to repair a tear in the meniscus of his left knee and another procedure to remove bone chips from his left elbow, will miss the next six to eight weeks.”

    so we can hope for a tear, not a torn, if that makes sense…

  11. Bender on May 15th, 2006 6:42 pm

    Well, the 6 to 8 weeks could be from the elbow, but if it’s the knee he probably had a repair. I had mine three months ago and it’s still swolen and I can’t crouch. Granted I’m not a pro athlete (though I did participate in college sports) and I don’t have access to the medical care he does, but still, it’s worrisome. Given his age and the good doctors he’s got access too and the 6-8 week thing he probably had a meniscus repair.

    God I hope it went better than mine.

  12. Mr. Egaas on May 15th, 2006 6:58 pm

    Could be the decision maker between DH and catcher.

    If he can hit, I really don’t care.

  13. msb on May 15th, 2006 7:24 pm

    you know, there was some discussion earlier about a shirt for Doyle (I forwarded some Classic Quotes at the time) but I think perhaps just a plain shirt with the simple phrase “The Cult of Doyle” might suffice… I suppose one could have something on the back like “Free the Biscuit” 🙂

  14. Mr. Egaas on May 15th, 2006 7:43 pm

    Picture of Yoda on the back maybe.

  15. joser on May 15th, 2006 7:57 pm

    And a hand with crossed fingers.

  16. Mr. Egaas on May 15th, 2006 8:20 pm

    Bandaids on both fingers.

  17. Rick L on May 15th, 2006 9:04 pm

    6. I am also intrigued by Cabrera. He seems to be better with the bat at AAA than Betancourt is in the majors, although Yuni is a pleasant surprise (to me) with his bat so far. I wonder if Cabrera could play third. Any take on how strong his arm is?

    When Doyle comes up, it will be a problem for Hargrove to find a spot for him. DHing Raul and putting him in left (or putting Raul at first, and putting him in left) are two possibilities. I suspect, however, that he will just sit on the bench gathering rust, leading to mass suicides by USS mariner contributors. I assume Lawton will be traded or released to make room for him.

  18. Mr. Egaas on May 15th, 2006 9:10 pm

    At this stage, I think Doyle just needs to play, anywhere. If he stays in AAA until September, I wouldn’t really care, as long as he’s healthy.

    Re-assess the situation in the offseason, and maybe pencil him in for the DH job in 2007… pending Everett isn’t still around.

    Who plays left… Ibanez who sucks, or Doyle, who is injury prone?

    Lot of finger crossing going on.

  19. gwangung on May 15th, 2006 9:12 pm

    I suspect, however, that he will just sit on the bench gathering rust, leading to mass suicides by USS mariner contributors.

    Given the idiot way he was treated last year, I’d say that was spot on.

    Hot bat, need offense? Sit him for 10 days.


  20. Bender on May 15th, 2006 9:26 pm

    Given how Bavasi talked at the meet and greet, it sounds like Doyle will replace Everett in the lineup when he comes up.

    Hopefully that will allow us to concentrate all our grit in the one place it belongs: the bench.

  21. Oly Rainiers Fan on May 15th, 2006 9:28 pm

    #67: when doyle comes up, hopefully it won’t be hargrove deciding what to do with him. hopefully, it’ll be rohn. because i suspect, there’s a big (huge) difference between the two on what they’d do with him.

    Personally, being a Rainiers season ticket holder, I’m fine with him staying there all summer. (that’s me being selfish)

    Rainiers lost again tonight, 1-0. Beautiful (no hit complete game shutout) by Nick Ungs of Albuquerque. We couldn’t get anything going. (And it was Doyle’s day to sit). Jimenez pitched a really nice 6 innings himself, and Livingston pitched 3 good innings in relief (Curto said the Rainiers didn’t know whether Livingston would go back into the rotation, or work in relief from now on. Please, rotation…..)

  22. Oly Rainiers Fan on May 15th, 2006 9:29 pm

    BTW, DMZ, what were you thinking? The pizza? Have you ever had good pizza at a ballpark ANYWHERE? You gotta go with the baked potato, the chicken strips, or the chicken sandwich when you go to Cheney. Anything else is foolhardy.

  23. John in L.A. on May 15th, 2006 9:35 pm

    I actually think that Doyle needs the work less than anyone else I can think of in the minors. He knows how to hit, he doesn’t have gaping holes he has to work on, and he doesn’t seem to be the type that needs time to get back into the groove.

    If I had to rank my preferences on how the organization deals with him right now, it would be:

    1. My first choice is for Doyle to come up to the Mariners as their full time DH starting now or very soon. Up to me, I’d make him DH for a long while, until I had some reason to believe he was past his injury bug. I’d just make him DH.

    I would want Bavasi to actively shop Everett right now. Even if we get little for him, I want the DH space for Doyle and I don’t want a bitter Everett anywhere near the team. This is a pretty easy wish since I don’t want Everett on the team anyway.

    2. My second choice, if they won’t make him DH, is for him to come up and sit on the bench.

    I don’t think he needs the work in Tacoma, and why do I want him risking injury with meaningless at bats? I also, though I hope this is not true, worry that in his great desire to come back he will press more in the minors than he would in the majors.

    He’ll do his work here, same as he would there. And since every at bat carries a risk, however small, I would rather he took that risk in at bats that at least happened on the big club.

    So if he had to rot on the bench and just pinch hit, so be it.

    But I’d rather slap some knee braces on that little dude, pin a DH badge on his chest and tell him to go be our new Edgar.

  24. joser on May 15th, 2006 9:54 pm

    Plus he gets to travel / hang with the team, eat the per-diem, etc. It’s not like he has family in Tacoma he’d be away from on road trips.

    What’s the story with his option status? Has this been just one nightmarishly long stint on the DL, and he’s never really gone back to the minors, burned an option year, etc?

  25. DMZ on May 15th, 2006 9:57 pm

    Short version: I didn’t see that BBQ stand with the grilled chicken, which I’d have gone for. I thought my options were hotdogs/nachos/etc or the only somewhat disgusting-looking pizza, and I went with the pizza.

  26. mara on May 15th, 2006 10:10 pm

    I got bored.

    Cult of Doyle

    I wasn’t sure what year to use… 1999 (signed by Mariners), 2002 (first call-up), 2005 (dubbing of ‘Doyle’), etc.

  27. Ed on May 15th, 2006 10:23 pm

    You know there hasn’t been much in the papers or on this site of Clements injury. Why is that–outside of this thread. You would think a number one draft choice who is a catcher and does potentially serious damage to his knee would get some attention. What’s the latest prognosis? Any specifics other than the hypothetical information in this thread?

  28. BelaXadux on May 16th, 2006 4:08 am

    Doyle is still re-habbing; it doesn’t look like it, but he is. The team needs to see how his graft takes to the irritation of runnning the bases, and how stable it is. It’s not a question of Doyle working on anything at the plate: it’s his knee. He should be there for another three weeks or so. By mid-June, everyone will have a good idea how his knee is taking it, and at that point the rest of his season can be penciled in. He’ll probably be promoted if he knee gets a good pass by the medical people. Doyle should DH only for the remainder of the year; he’s still re-habbing. Maybe, _maybe_ next year, if everything’s on track, he could do a little outfield. Doyl’e actually an outstanding LFer. But then again, he may never play the field again on any regular basis, I don’t know.

    There’ll be a market for Everett, at least enough to move him, but maybe not to the break. The team won’t get anything for him, and won’t move him unless Doyle is totally healthy, but that’s the potential scenario. It’ll be awkward getting them both ABs once Doyle is up, though, since they’re both lefthanders.

    Something which also is not on the radar scree on even most of us en blog, although Dave has had his eye on it and spoken to it in passing over the winter: the Ms are going to have a deep, deep, dominating bullpen for _years_. They have so many power pen arms coming up that even if half of them blow up, there will still be more guys than there will be slots to put them in. I can’t stress this enough. Starting pitching in the org has some question marks, although there are some back-of-the-rotation guys at least in prospect. But there are boodles of guys not that different from Fruto. We’re really going to like this part of the development plan. While many of the guys coming up for the Ms were either in the organization when Bavasi and Fontaine came on board or are products of the Ms Venezuelan operation which was in place at the time they arrived, this plethora of bullpen guys is specifically a result of their plan, and they will deserve fulsome credit in this regard when it pays of.

  29. BelaXadux on May 16th, 2006 4:16 am

    The word on Cabrera defensively is that he is so good he could push Betancourt, although probably not surpass him. Putting Asdrubal at 3B would be a total waste. Jose Lopez, with his so-so footwork and power arm, is holding his own at 2B now, but really he has 3B written all over him. He won’t be remotely as good as Beltre, who is legitimately great there, but Lopez will play that position just fine. Too me, the issue is, can Adrian hit enough to stay in the line-up? It sounds weird to put it that way, but that is how I see it. If the team deals Cabrera or Lopez but keeps Beltre, Adrian had better be just murdering the ball on an AB by AB basis; I don’t think we’ll see this at anytime in Beltre’s tenure here, frankly.

    The organization is going to be faced with an interesting, difficult choice on the infield in the near future, maybe as early as this offseason. Being the Ms, we should anticipate that they’ll totally blow it and trade the wrong guy. But I can hope for a change, and I will. TRADE THE GUY WITH THE WORST NUMBERS. Please. I can accept that, now matter who it is. But don’t trade a great, cheap, young, guy with room to improve to keep driving a lemon sports coupe to try and ‘prove something to the fans.’

  30. BelaXadux on May 16th, 2006 4:22 am

    Mauer in Minnesota had a meniscus tear last year; it effectively wrote off his season. He’s catching now, and will for a while, but we can expect that the tear will carve several years off his effective duration as a catcher.

    Personally, with Johjima here now, and clearly well on his way to being a fixture behind the plate, I think Clement is in for a position switch anyway. Yes, yes, it would be _great_ to have that bat at the catcher’s spot, and I could see him getting, say, 50 games a year behind the plate to spell Johjima. But what’s special about Clement is his bat; that’s real special. He’s likely going to end up at 1B unless he has the athletcism for LF, which I rather doubt. I’m not going to worry about him as a catcher, but I’m still plenty glad he was drafted.

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