O’Flaherty up, Dobbs back to Tacoma

Dave · August 16, 2006 at 4:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s have made the first in their forthcoming series of roster moves. Eric O’Flaherty has had his contract purchased from Tacoma (thus putting him on the 40 man roster, using the last open spot) and Greg Dobbs has been optioned back to Tacoma to make room for him. The team will go with a 13 man pitching staff for tonight’s game. I’m not kidding. Tonight’s bench is going to be Rivera, Bloomquist, and Morse. It’s a trio of three of my least favorite players. They could only make it better if they brought back Rich Amaral.

Tomorrow, they’ll go back down to 12 pitchers, as Chris Snelling will be activated from the disabled list. He’s in Oakland with the team. He’s actually going to stick this time, it sounds like. A pitcher will be removed tomorrow – likely Pineiro (DFA), Soriano (DL), or Green (optioned to Tacoma).

Friday, Sexson returns to the club, which will send Mike Morse back to Tacoma.

O’Flaherty, by the way, is pretty good. He was drafted out of Walla Walla HS in the sixth round of the 2003 draft. They tried him as a starter in ’04 with poor results, but improved after a move to the bullpen and a repeat assignment in Wisconsin last year. He started the season in Inland Empire and worked his way up to Tacoma while sustaining lights out success at each level.

He throws 90-93 from the left side with good sink on his fastball. He has an above average slider and good command. The interesting thing about O’Flaherty is that he’s effective in wildly different ways against lefties and righties. Lefties can’t touch him (6 BB, 32 K), but when they do, he’s about half and half grounders or flyballs. He struggles to throw strikes to right-handed batters (16 BB, 41 K) but is a dominant groundball pitcher against them.

The best guess that I can take away from his numbers is that he’s attacking RHB’s with sinkers down in the zone, refusing to leave a pitch up, even if it costs him a walk. Lefties just can’t touch his breaking ball, and he eats them alive with it. When they do hit it, they might get it in the air, but the tradeoff is worth it.

He’s just 21 and has taken a big step forward this year. With his sinking fastball and effective out-pitch slider, he could be a very good left handed reliever. He’s pretty much major league ready, and it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see him pitch quite well the rest of the year.

Edit to add: Joel’s been removed from the rotation. Jake Woods will start Sunday. We’ll see if Joel goes away for good tomorrow.


56 Responses to “O’Flaherty up, Dobbs back to Tacoma”

  1. NODO Dweller on August 17th, 2006 2:59 am

    #50, while that might be true (not sure I agree, have you listened to the questions she asks during postgame?) it’s still not saying much…

  2. jtopps on August 17th, 2006 9:08 am

    #50 — I agree with you. I have always thought she was a great part of that team.

    Though I remember her and Mike Blowers getting kinda testy with each other on the air once. That was both awkward and entertaining. I forget the circumstances but it was last year…

  3. msb on August 17th, 2006 10:00 am

    the last couple of seasons, with the way this team has gone, towards the end of the year there have been testy moments among both the broadcast team and the post-game team 🙂

  4. Dave Clapper on August 17th, 2006 1:46 pm

    Soooooooo… any further indication today of whether or not Joel goes away for good?

  5. Adam S on August 17th, 2006 2:44 pm

    So generally I don’t put much weight into what gets said by radio personalities. However I caught the post game show and they were talking about Pineiro’s getting DFA. Someone commented that he was well liked in the clubhouse and it might not sit well with the team to discard him given that rosters expand in two weeks. They could just stash him in the bullpen.

    Obviously the goal of the team is to win and you win by having better players. But having clubhouse unhappiness (beyond what it already is) seems like a bad idea and over two weeks the difference between Pineiro and Green as the 12th pitcher is trivial.

  6. joser on August 17th, 2006 6:58 pm

    Yeah, I caught that bit of the postgame show too — it was Blowers who made that point, and it’s probably a good one. With all due respect to Drayer, it’s Blowers who has the most insight and is by far the best analyst on the broadcast team. Drayer is easily the cutest, however (not that there’s much competition).

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