Mariners make mystery moves

DMZ · July 9, 2006 at 10:14 am · Filed Under Mariners 

From the Seattle Times today.
Petagine gets DFAd after making an appearance:

After the game, the Mariners designated Roberto Petagine for assignment, and called up catcher Luis Oliveros from Class AA San Antonio. The move bolsters the catcher spot while Kenji Johjima takes a brief absence from the team. Johjima will fly to Japan today to visit his wife and new baby boy, who was born June 30.

Nice to get Johjima the time off, and yet — really? Petagine doesn’t get used but one, twice a series if he’s lucky, and now he’s dumped? This requires the team to put Oliveros on the roster, while Quiroz is still off? I don’t get it.

Hargrove’s got a new rotation after the break:

Hargrove promised he would alter the rotation after the All-Star break. He said the new order will be Gil Meche, Jamie Moyer, Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn and Joel Pineiro.

Also, Ichiro talked for seven minutes, according to the article, about his argument with Barrett.

“I reacted that way because it was obvious,” Ichiro said. “I hit it. Besides that, if I had missed the ball, I would have run to first base. Basically for him to say what he did is that he’s saying that I’m lying. So I’m disappointed and kind of sad that he saw me as a player like that, that I would lie in a situation like that.”

And Choo’s working on his defense.

In the Tacoma News Tribune, Larry LaRue writes on the team’s recent swoon and says that after the break, the M’s will ditch Oliveros so they can bring up a center fielder. Really? Who? Jones/Doyle seems unlikely. I’m not sure what he means.

Of course, that same article contains this:

This is the same Petagine deemed so valuable off the bench in April that Seattle let center fielder Joe Borchard go.

You could argue that any player is a choice between all other players, but that’s not really how things happened. Petagine’s contract was picked up 4/1. Borchard was DFAd on 4/23 and Nageotte was called up (for a game). It was Hargrove picking up more pitchers.

Update: John Hickey, in the PI blog, scratches his head over the Petagine move (and his usage). He also believes it was Petagine-or-Borchard, which may be the common wisdom but I still think is a false choice that requires you to make a set of assumptions about the way the M’s managed their roster through April.


36 Responses to “Mariners make mystery moves”

  1. idahowriter on July 9th, 2006 10:31 am

    Un-be-feaking-lievable. Petagine was such a great, low-cost addition to the team. Meanwhile, Everett’s “fiery leadership” gets Ichiro pondering his role in the upcoming blockbuster “Escape from Safeco.”

  2. eponymous coward on July 9th, 2006 10:32 am

    So the M’s dump Borchard to keep Petagine, barely use Petagine, and now dump Petagine so Johjima can get a day off.

    And Dave says that Doyle comes up after the All-Star break and C-Rex will go to the Designated To Pinch Hit Every Other Week role.

    The roster management isn’t thrilling me- we’ve discarded some useful role players (Lawton, Borchard, Petagine) to give Carl Everett extra playing time… and I think you can easily make the case that at this point, down a starting OF, getting zip out of DH, and Everett already bitching about playing time even though he doesn’t deserve to complain, you’d want ANY of those three players instead of Everett.

    But hey, waiving one of your premiere FA signings takes a bit, I guess.

  3. DMZ on July 9th, 2006 10:36 am

    I still don’t think this was a Borchard v Petagine decision. At the time, they had Lawton on the roster, too, and if anything, it was a Lawton v Borchard to get another pitcher slot.

  4. The Unknown Comic on July 9th, 2006 10:36 am

    I thought that Petagine could have done a nice job if he would have been given a chance. Of course I could be wrong. I can’t even hardly watch the M’s anymore because of Hargrove. The losing doesn’t bother me I am used to that but Hargrove is intolerable.

  5. RaoulDuke37 on July 9th, 2006 10:41 am

    Ladies and Gentlemen… YOUR Seattle Mariners.


    What was wrong with sending down one of the AAA/AA pitchers for today’s game instead?

  6. eponymous coward on July 9th, 2006 10:44 am

    Isn’t there a 10-day limit where they’d have to stay down in the minors?

    Of course, you could always promote someone else as Oliveros’s replacement…

  7. joser on July 9th, 2006 10:49 am

    When will someone in the dead tree media at least [i]ask[/i] why Hargrove insists on his huge bullpen? None of these painful tradeoffs would have been necessary if he didn’t have so many guys sitting in the bullpen gathering dust. Perhaps he has no faith in his starters, perhaps he likes having more room in the dugout to spread out, I don’t know, but would someone ask him?

    Of course adding another body to the bench doesn’t help when they all are gathering dust too. Other teams rotate bench guys through the lineup to give the regulars a rest and keep the bench guys sharp. Sure, there’s a risk to taking a bat out of the lineup but there’s a risk to keeping them in there only to have them all start falling down at the same time in August/September due to fatigue — heck, after this torrid June that might be happening right now. And if you’re going to have a dead weight like Everett on the team anyway, how bad could it be to cycle another bat through?

    Sorry, didn’t mean to turn this into a rant on stupid, stupid Hargrove. But I don’t understand why the media gives him such a free pass. The M’s were playing the hottest team in baseball last night, and could easily have won the game — it was able to overcome bad calls, but not Hargrove.

  8. eponymous coward on July 9th, 2006 11:02 am

    Here’s an interesting data point- the Mariners have underperformed Pythag projections 3 years running, and their managers have been Box Melvin and Hargrove.

    It didn’t really matter the last two years…but this year…ouch.

    Also, something to cheer you up even more: Hargrove had a couple of Oriole teams that were around .500 at this point in the season (with appropriate Pythags) go completely south. These teams also underperformed their Pythag projections.

  9. Rick L on July 9th, 2006 11:17 am

    5. Good point. Sending Lowe down would have made more sense.

  10. PLU Tim on July 9th, 2006 11:20 am

    Dave said yesterday that Snelling is getting called up to assume the DH role against RHP, with Perez being the LHP DH.

    Still, Petagine is a better piece to have than Everett.

  11. PLU Tim on July 9th, 2006 11:21 am

    Lowe would have to go down for 10 days.

  12. John in L.A. on July 9th, 2006 11:22 am

    Dave touched on this after the game in the game thread. He said it was Oliveros over Quiroz because whichever got called up was going right back down after the game or All-Star break…. and that with Quiroz that would have required him passing through waivers, which he wouldn’t.

    That is what I recall from Dave, anyway.

    I was pretty blinded by the idea that Doyle will be up within the week and our new most-of-the-time DH!

    And that our new bench bat, Everett, is not going to be a long-term Mariner.

    Went to bed happy, woke up happy.

  13. scraps on July 9th, 2006 11:27 am

    Boy, we treated Petagine shabbily. He has almost no remaining chances to establish himself in the big leagues; we pretended to offer him one, never really gave him the chance, and threw him away.

  14. PLU Tim on July 9th, 2006 11:29 am

    13: Yeah, I hope there is an imanginative GM out there on a good team that needs a DH that’s willing to take a no risk chance on him and allow him to slug away for a month or so.

  15. DMZ on July 9th, 2006 12:02 pm

    But the same thing applies to Oliveros – you have to get him down again. If that’s the case, they’ve declared that they think Oliveros isn’t worth a waiver claim, and that Quiroz is better, but also that Quiroz isn’t worth finding a 40-man spot for… I guess it makes sense a way, but it still doesn’t seem like the best roster management.

  16. eponymous coward on July 9th, 2006 12:06 pm

    They could always send Rivera down, but that would mean they’d be keeping the useful backup C on the 25 man roster.

    Gah. The way this team manages the roster makes my brain hurt.

  17. Oly Rainiers Fan on July 9th, 2006 12:06 pm

    Yeah, I misquoted in the other thread and thought the ‘bringing up a CF’ thing was in the Times, but it was in the TNT.

    Still wondering though, why even think of bringing up Jones this season? (Comments from the other thread, but relevant to this one, I think).

    And really, who is to say that even if the FO does bring up Doyle, that Everett is the one who will be benched (Hargrove has history with him, and is the one who wanted him here). And who’s to say that we’ll ever see Eduardo Perez actually get ABs (is he the new Petagine?) in a DH platoon? Hargrove, after all, is still managing this team.

    (and if he isn’t, all the talking to in the world ain’t gonna change Dan Rohn from being a big advocate of aggressive baserunning himself).

  18. scraps on July 9th, 2006 12:07 pm

    Is it possible that Hargrove could be fired soon enough to salvage the pennant race? It isn’t, is it.

  19. DMZ on July 9th, 2006 12:15 pm

    If they bring up Doyle and Hargrove doesn’t play him in favor of Everett, that’ll be his ass, I think. They’re not bringing him up to have him sit on the bench.

  20. eponymous coward on July 9th, 2006 12:18 pm

    And I’m guessing Hargrove knows which side of his bread is buttered.

    It’s not Carl’s side- it’s the one where the general manager and the field manager know the clock is ticking and the attendance is down, so their jobs aren’t particularly secure.

  21. Dave on July 9th, 2006 12:29 pm

    Oliveros can be optioned back after the game. Quiroz would have had to clear waivers. There was literally no reason to bring Quiroz up today.

  22. John in L.A. on July 9th, 2006 12:33 pm

    17 – “Who is to say…”

    Well, Dave. That’s how I read it, anyway. And it didn’t sound too speculative. It sounded like Dave had a pretty good idea of how things were going to shake out.

    I hope I didn’t read it wrong. So happy to see Doyle, AND so happy to see much less of Carl. Also intrigued by the tantrums that will ensue.

  23. Free Dan Rohn! on July 9th, 2006 12:36 pm

    Doyle isn’t up and playing regularly yet. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  24. Jim Thomsen on July 9th, 2006 12:37 pm

    DMZ, I think you could write your next baseball book about Petagine’s career and what many people thought it could have been, as opposed to what it turned out to be. It could be a good offbeat book in the tradition of Steve Fireovid’s excellent “The 26th Man: One Minor Leaguer’s Pursuit of a Dream.” It could work if Petagine is a forthcoming subject of great humor and wisdom.

    Re the rotation realignment: I wonder if Meche is being showcased for a trade. If so, extra exposure will likely hurt than help his trade value.

    Also, what if the Mariners, unlikely as it seems, suddenly spin off seven wins in a row? The weird thing is that it could happen and the M’s could still be a bad team in doing so.

  25. John in L.A. on July 9th, 2006 12:49 pm

    24 – All I hope is that if they do win seven in a row, they do it after making smart moves, not dumb ones.

    23 – Guess we’ll see. Dave has a pretty good track record from my cheap seats.

  26. Rain Delay on July 9th, 2006 12:58 pm

    25- Yeah I wouldn’t bet against Dave either.

  27. Ralph Malph on July 9th, 2006 1:42 pm

    Isn’t the fact that Choo didn’t start in CF last night against a RHP a clue that Hargrove doesn’t want to use him in CF? Playing Bloomquist in CF last night against a righthander was every bit as silly as putting Everett in right.

    This tells me they’re calling Jones up to play CF. Who else could it be?

  28. David J. Corcoran I on July 9th, 2006 3:54 pm

    I think that they honestly think Bloomquist is a better defensive CF than Everett and that they could make up for the badness of Everett by putting Bloomquist in.

  29. Ralph Malph on July 9th, 2006 4:12 pm

    I assume you mean they think Bloomquist is a better defensive CF than Choo.

  30. JMB on July 9th, 2006 5:56 pm

    Oliveros wasn’t on the 40-man roster prior to being called up (and technically I don’t think he was “called up” — because he wasn’t on the 40-man, he had his contract purchased). In any event, his three option years now begin. They can send him right back down. Of course, he’s now sadly taking up a spot on the 40-man, but they’ll be able to get him off of it after the season if they want to.

  31. Ralph Malph on July 9th, 2006 7:30 pm

    Whether they called up Quiroz or Oliveros, they’d have to add the guy to the 40 man roster. And after the game he’d either have to be left on the 40 or clear waivers. So if you’re going to give up a spot on the 40-man roster for the rest of the year, why not just use it on the guy who’s 30 miles away — and who has some MLB experience? I don’t see the difference.

    It’s amazing that they’d burn up a roster spot for half a season — and cost a minor league player an option year — in order to give Kenji a day off.

  32. Dave on July 9th, 2006 8:14 pm

    Whether they called up Quiroz or Oliveros, they’d have to add the guy to the 40 man roster. And after the game he’d either have to be left on the 40 or clear waivers. So if you’re going to give up a spot on the 40-man roster for the rest of the year, why not just use it on the guy who’s 30 miles away — and who has some MLB experience? I don’t see the difference.

    The forty man roster isn’t full, so they don’t need to DFA Oliveros after the game to send him back to the minors. If they need the 40 man spot at a later date, he’ll be DFA’d. And he won’t be claimed, because he’s terrible.

    It’s amazing that they’d burn up a roster spot for half a season — and cost a minor league player an option year — in order to give Kenji a day off.

    They don’t burn an option. If a player spends less than 20 days in the majors before being returned, there is no option.

    Not to pick on you Ralph, but fans really shouldn’t assume that the people in the Mariners front office is less aware of the transaction rules than we are. If they do something like this that doesn’t appear to make any sense, there’s a pretty good chance that they know something you don’t know, rather than vice versa.

  33. Mr. Egaas on July 9th, 2006 9:02 pm

    All signs point to Doyle being called up on Thursday. If not him, then who, T.J. Bohn?

  34. msb on July 9th, 2006 9:06 pm

    isn’t Bohn on the DL? when is he due off?

  35. Jim Thomsen on July 10th, 2006 6:54 pm

    #33: Study Adam Jones’ numbers over the last 4-6 weeks. He’s made huge strides in adjustment to Triple-A, in terms of plate discipline, power and defense. He’s very close to being ready to test the major leagues.

  36. DMZ on July 10th, 2006 7:10 pm

    Also, Jones is totally awesome and USSM-endorsed.

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