USSM Q&A Q collection thread

DMZ · January 16, 2007 at 6:00 pm · Filed Under General baseball, Mariners, Site information 

and not the Q from Star Trek.

I got a lot of positive comments and emails from the last Q&A we did two weeks ago, so I thought we might give this another shot. I don’t know if two weeks between these in the off-season is too frequent, but we’re tinkering, and if it sucks, hey, everyone gets the day’s subscription fees back.

So toss your question in the comments and I’ll run through answer them tomorrow.


44 Responses to “USSM Q&A Q collection thread”

  1. bongo on January 16th, 2007 7:12 pm

    Some questions on Tacoma players:

    a. Does Hunter Brown have a future?
    b. Should we expect Brian LaHair to make his MLB debut this year?
    c. Where do we think Broussard/Reed/Woods will end up?

  2. terry on January 16th, 2007 7:19 pm

    Assuming defense is the final frontier in sabermetrics and basically even that is getting charted at light speed by systems like UZR (albeit with proprietary access), whats left for the next generation of Palmers/McCrackens/Davenports to discover and contribute? Or to put it another way, is the next generation more likely to be educators or innovators? If innovators, what still awaits?

  3. ConorGlassey on January 16th, 2007 7:29 pm

    If Tui doesn’t break out bigtime, what are the chances the M’s will try him out on the mound – as Sickels suggested on his blog today?

  4. Goose on January 16th, 2007 7:30 pm

    Too bad one of us wasn’t a Q. It’d be nice just to snap your fingers and undo the damage this offseason has caused.

  5. Goose on January 16th, 2007 7:32 pm

    Oh and my question would be, with The Master of the Sweet Swing now the property of the Phillies, what do you think Burroughs chances are of breaking camp with the team on the bench?

  6. Tak on January 16th, 2007 7:56 pm

    Q1. Assuming every player performs at around the same level they did last season, what do you think is the most ideal batting order? (especially interested in where Johjima fits in)
    Q2. Should the Ms go with the same “aggressive baserunning” strategy this season as well? (and a quick analysis/opinion on how well it went last season would be great)


  7. Jared on January 16th, 2007 7:59 pm

    Which one of the pitchers vying for the 5th starter spot has the most upside?

  8. Jared on January 16th, 2007 8:01 pm

    How much influence does Chaves have when it comes to the pitchers that we sign in the off-season?

  9. Tom on January 16th, 2007 8:04 pm

    This is not necessarily a Marinesr question, but just a general baseball and USSMariner question, but. . .

    Could you remind me again of the seemingly millions of statistics you use to evaluate pitchers besides W-L and ERA, what they all mean, and how to evaluate whether a pitcher is doing good or bad in a specific statistical category?

  10. Tom on January 16th, 2007 8:04 pm


    Sorry for the misspelling.

  11. Enrique on January 16th, 2007 8:39 pm

    Tom- There’s a great link on the left side of the page listed under features that says “Evaluating Pitcher Talent”. I think it should help. It’s a good read.

    I’m currently wondering about the team in general. I know we were all but assured that Grover would be axed at the end of the season, but when the time came, he was given an extension. Given what we know of the front office, and assuming this team plays as good or better than we expect (say 82-88 wins), would it be reasonable to assume that Bavasi and Grover would hang around for another season? There hasn’t exactly been a propensity for change and innovation by our boys upstairs. Also, wouldn’t such a win increase be reason for Bavasi to point to his success. Granted, it didn’t take much to increase the team’s productivity (just fix CF/DH–CF is better at least), but I’m worried that a marked, steady increase in wins over the last few years could be viewed as substantial progress. Now, I’ve never been one to actually root against my team just because I want someone fired, a higher draft pick, or anything of that sort, but with the absolutely horrid “deals” that have been made, I suppose my question boils down to this: even though the front office has shown a lack of creativity, would a less than stellar performance (guillen flames out, vidro has leg amputated, etc) be better for the Ms fortunes in the long run, as the manager/GM would get canned, or do we expect them to be gone barring anything short of a playoff berth? Oh, and would the team even be better off with others? As I understand it, there isn’t exactly a great track record of brilliant minds being hired for the home team. Thanks for getting through all that (and the slight run-on sentences).

  12. Jeff Nye on January 16th, 2007 8:41 pm

    My question is:

    Who said something so rude to Bavasi at the feed he appeared at that he suddenly became bent on utterly destroying the team?

  13. Cap on January 16th, 2007 8:55 pm

    If you were to tear down the team’s roster today and rebuild it over the course of the 2007 season, which current pieces would you keep and which would you try to trade for younger talent? Where would you target your searches for trading partners? What area would you focus on first (SP, RP, IF, OF, etc)? Which area of a team is the toughest to build around (I would assume SP)?

  14. msb on January 16th, 2007 8:57 pm

    John Moses just reminded me that John McLaren is coming back as bench coach, which I had completely forgotten. Will Mac provide enough of a comfort level for Howard to feel he can dump Mike if they start slow out of the gate?

  15. wabbles on January 16th, 2007 9:01 pm

    Okay, I’ll bite. This is kinda relevant since I guess we just moved our AA team from San Antonio to Tennessee somewhere. It’s probably a stupid question, but when the M’s switched their AAA affiliate from Calgary to Tacoma in the early 1990s, did all the Cannons players just suddenly become Rainiers, leaving the Cannons owner to find another Major League team to affiliate with? So the Cannons fans came to the ballpark the next year rooting for the same team but with completely different players?

  16. CSG on January 16th, 2007 9:04 pm

    Which trade is more easily likened to the irrational killing of the albatross from the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”: Rafael Soriano or Chris Snelling?

  17. David J. Corcoran I on January 16th, 2007 9:21 pm

    What would fair value have been for Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto?

    Rafael Soriano?

  18. Kirk D on January 16th, 2007 9:26 pm

    In a recent Keith Law article on, he paints a very gloomy picture of the M’s decision to draft Jeff Clement, citing his lack of power and relatively poor showing in Tacoma last year and what he describes as a poor Hawaiian League showing this Winter.

    Are there concerns among the USSM staff about Clement’s recent performance? Is Law being unreasonably negative about Clement?

  19. F-Rod on January 16th, 2007 9:37 pm

    F-Rod—-Is Johjima a free agent when his contract expires, or is he arbitration eligible? Will this have an effect on a possible Clement trade? What are the chances that Rivera is on the roster this year? I know a lot of people dislike Bloomquist getting at bats, but Rivera at bats bother me even more.

  20. Spanky on January 16th, 2007 9:43 pm

    I’ve seen mentioned the the M’s have a good “core” to build around. But I don’t see it. If Ichiro leaves after this season, who do you have left as the “core”? Do you consider it Beltre, Betancourt, Lopez, and Felix? Is that core solid enough to build a contender around around?

  21. coasty on January 16th, 2007 10:20 pm

    If the front office of the M’s gathered enough info to determine they have no chance at retaining Ichiro!, would they ever trade him? I personally believe that Ichiro would never request a trade and he will leave at the end of the season. If the front office feels the same way, what should they do?

  22. bellacaramella on January 16th, 2007 10:31 pm

    What’s the over-under on attendance this year? How will attendance affect FO decisions about player-personnel and the manager?

  23. dw on January 16th, 2007 10:37 pm

    I dropped a $200 deposit on our two 16-game plans back in November — before the really dumb trades happened. Give me three good reasons why I should send them the remaining $280 for the tickets rather than blowing it all on building my own baseball team, with hookers and blackjack.

  24. katal on January 16th, 2007 10:56 pm

    Q1: Would you rather see the Mariners compete for the division title this upcoming season and fall short, or would you rather have a 70-80 win season full of unfulfilled potential, which at least has the potential to lead to a major overhaul in the front office?

    Q2: How do you see the next couple years for Jose Lopez panning out?

    Q3: What are the odds of the Mariners retaining Bob Fontaine after Bavasi is let go?

  25. Replacement level poster on January 16th, 2007 11:49 pm

    If you could only recommend one baseball book this year what would it be? (There you go, I put it on the tee for you.)

    What is your best guess for M’s win total this year. I realize this is completely impossible to predict but I want your one number absolute best guess.

    Following up on that what place in the AL West will the M’s finish?

  26. five toed sloth on January 16th, 2007 11:56 pm

    I’ve got a question related to the in-season jobs of the GM and the manager. Frequently it’s been mentioned that the GM *never* questions the manager’s in-game decisions – and that makes sense. But does a conversation like this ever happen?

    Bavasi: Mike, is X (left-handed pinch hitter/defensive sub) having problems? He hasn’t had an at-bat in 10 games.
    Hargrove: No, Bill, there just hasn’t been a good spot to get him into the game.
    B: (sigh) OK, well, do you need him or not? Because Team A has some interest and they’re offering Y (decent pitching prospect).
    H: Well, I need that left-handed sock on the bench, and X is an a proven veteran, after all.
    B: As much as I love me some proven veterans, we’re paying $3 million for X to sit on the bench. If you’re not going to play him, we might as well call Z up and give him the 20 at-bats for league minimum.
    H: Fine, send me the rookie (mumble mumble jerk mumble).

    The implication, as I have (mis)understood it, has been that Bavasi just makes deals for players, and then Hargrove has total control over the lineup. But, over the course of a month or so, wouldn’t the GM at least ask why a player he took great pains to acquire isn’t getting playing time?

    Second related question: Who decides which players get called up from (or sent down to) Tacoma? Does Hargrove get to pick a 25-man roster from the 40-man?

  27. Senor Romo on January 17th, 2007 12:01 am

    There were a couple of us hanging around here the last couple of years, but overall, everyone was bearish on Jorge Campillo, not even deeming him worth discussing. Why? He seemed to pitch OK at Tacoma till getting hurt with the M’s, but my understanding anyway was that basically as a junkballer, he could be expected to bounce back pretty well from his surgery. Info was hard to find, but out there, and he seemed to have pitched nicely this year in winter ball. And with the Mariners digging up graves for a 2007 fifth starter, and he is one, why in the world wouldn’t they at least give him a crack at camp this spring?

  28. Mike G. on January 17th, 2007 12:32 am

    23- You gave two really good reasons not to send them the money.

    My question to you DMZ: If you can’t convince dw, would you pony up some of that fat book money to make his team a reality?

  29. pensive on January 17th, 2007 12:40 am

    How did the Asdrubal Cabrera for Eduardo Perez trade help the Mariners at all? Other than releasing Everett the trade wasn’t really necessary since Perez was released was it?

    Any rumors that the Ownership maybe looking to sell majority interest. It just feels to have the feel of an organisation in state of flux and no real future plan. They seemed to be building through the farm system but this off season has gone against having good,young players under team control. The Vidro deal just makes no rational logical reasoning even if Vidro wasn’t making so much. The moves just seem contrary to what Bavasi was building up to the winter give away and take on salary.

    Last year towards the end of the season Derek did this who would you rather have theirs or ours. As I recall it usually came pretty close. Wonder how it will be this year? Also more interesting to compare end of last years roster to current one as of today.

  30. sankthetank on January 17th, 2007 12:44 am

    Is it true that PECOTA projections are so-named to honor the great Bill Pecota?

  31. Spanky on January 17th, 2007 6:04 am

    Earlier, I asked about our core. One follow-up I failed to put out there… If you don’t think B, B, L, F are good enough to build a contender with, who goes and who stays?

  32. Slovakian Mariner on January 17th, 2007 6:10 am

    Can you please advise the best web sites for fantasy baseball info and the ones that bring the news fastest? thanks

  33. stoyboy on January 17th, 2007 6:43 am

    Dave: Who are the Mariners going to sign (FA or Trade)prior to spring training 07?

  34. msb on January 17th, 2007 8:09 am

    As his name has come up so frequently in the last few weeks, should we care what Keith Law thinks about the Mariners?

    I know about his background, but I don’t know enough about his work (not having been a BP subscriber or a fly on the wall of the Blue Jays’ offices) to know if I should care when he makes a pronouncement I can’t read on ESPN Insider.

  35. MarinerDan on January 17th, 2007 8:42 am

    Can you tell us once and for all what happened between you and Baseball Prospectus? It seems like there is a fair amount of antipathy between you and Dave and BP. What gives?

  36. jfinn on January 17th, 2007 9:02 am

    What is happening with those other two gals from Destiny’s Child? As smokin hot as Beyonce is, how much should she be concerned with their careers, and is there any system similar to PECOTA that predicts the ‘hotness’ of solo albums?

  37. Slippery Elmer on January 17th, 2007 9:07 am

    Prior to the birth of his child during last season, Jose Lopez was hitting at All-Star level. Postnatum, he had absolutely zero power or pitch selection. What happened? Was it corporal or mental?

  38. Slippery Elmer on January 17th, 2007 9:09 am

    Also, is there a chance Lopez will return to first-half-2006 form, or will he continue to be an effete out machine?

  39. Manzanillos Cup on January 17th, 2007 9:11 am

    Is moving the left field fence in even on the the club’s radar?

  40. Plim on January 17th, 2007 9:15 am

    Okay, so this season may already be toast, and I’ve seen the BBA rankings that have our farm system ranked near the bottom. So what do the great minds at USSM have to say about our chances in the division over the next 3-5 years. Are we a rudderless ship or can this team go back to where it was at the start of the decade?

    Thanks in advance

  41. bat guano on January 17th, 2007 9:35 am

    Despite the apparent improvement in the broadcast team, there’s still one glaring problem. What can we collectively do to get rid of Rick Rizzs?

  42. Evan on January 17th, 2007 9:39 am

    Will we ever again see a ballpark with really deep fences (I’m thinking Polo Grounds or farther)?

  43. Evan on January 17th, 2007 9:53 am

    Here’s a better question:

    On outfield arms, which team do you see having the strongest arms in the AL this coming season? The worst? Where would the 2007 Mariners rank in that?

  44. edgar is go(o)d on January 17th, 2007 9:58 am

    If the 2007 season is a disaster, what are the chances of Lincoln/Armstrong exiting (along with Bavasi and Hargrove)? Any chance at all of Chris Larson taking the reins in the near future?