Spring Training Preview

DMZ · February 16, 2007 at 1:22 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With training opening, this is a good point to look at the team the M’s are bringing in and how things might break down.

Rotation (5)
SP-R Felix Hernandez
SP-L Jarrod Washburn
SP-L Horacio Ramirez
SP-R Miguel Batista
SP-R Jeff Weaver

Possible flux: without a job up in the air, it’s going to take an injury or total abject ineffectiveness to get one of those out.

Other candidates in that case:
SP-L Jake Woods
SP-R Cha Baek

Bullpen (7-8)
RP-R J.J. Putz
RP-R Chris Reitsma
RP-R Julio Mateo
RP-L George Sherrill

Possible flux: Lots. The first three there have been described as “locks” already, with Sherill, RP-L Arthur Rhodes and Jake Woods described as “in”.

Candidates: That would still leave 1-2 spots for RP-R Jon Huber, RP-L Eric O’Flaherty, RP-L Ryan Feierabend and hopefully, if he’s able to come back, RP-R Mark Lowe (among others).

Starting lineup (9)
DH-B Jose Vidro
C-R Kenji Johjima
1B-R Richie Sexson
2B-R Jose Lopez
SS-R Yuniesky Betancourt
3B-R Adrian Beltre
LF-L Raul Ibanez
CF-L Ichiro!
RF-R Jose Guillen

Possible flux: barring injury, this is the lineup they’ll go into the season with

Candidates: An outfield injury likely puts OF-L Jeremy Reed into a starting job for a while. You might hope for an Adam Jones appearance, but it’s not going to matter how well he does until the team has a manager willing to play him. It may be a question of whether he dislikes Jones or Reed less, which is always a great way to pick your lineup.

An infield injury could see DH-L Ben Broussard or DH-R Mike Morse, though it does still seem likely Broussard’s going to be moved. To fill a middle infield or third need, that’ll be UT-R Willie Bloomquist. IF-R Oswaldo Navarro, Bust-R Michael Garciaparra, and ?-L Bryan LaHair are all on the 40m, but it seems unlikely that they’d ascend. They’ve got about as much a chance as non-roster invitees 3B-L Sean Burroughs, IF-R Gookie Dawkins, or IF-R Rey Ordonez, which really zero.

Bench (3-4)
With 21-22 roster spots already spent (5+7 or 8+9), this’ll be thin.
UT-R Bloomquist
OF-R Reed
C-R Rene Rivera

Flux: possible. Reed may still get moved, say if some other team suffers an injury and the M’s sense opportunity. I thought C-R Rob Johnson might get considered for the backup catcher slot, but the team doesn’t really care about it, and Rivera’s already on the 40-man roster, so that’s less thinking the team has to do. Except–

Candidates: If there’s a fourth bench spot open, Broussard gets paid way more than Morse does. Broussard’s salary might be so large as to force Hargrove to only carry 12 pitchers.

What’s there to watch for, then?
Without position battles, we’re going to be hoping not to see gruesome injuries, first, but moreover, looking to see if the team was out of their gourd this off season:

Is Jose Vidro in good health and hitting as well as his peak form, as the team hopes?
Is Horacio Ramirez a solid middle-rotation starter with the potential to be a #1 starter, as the team hopes?
For Miguel Batista, nearly the same question.

If I’m reading the schedule right, the first broadcast game is March 15th. Until then… I guess we just hope.


80 Responses to “Spring Training Preview”

  1. Thingray on February 16th, 2007 2:11 pm

    I think that some of Cirillo’s issue was the pressure of coming back to play in his hometown. He mentioned that in quite a few interviews after he left.

  2. bmanuw2 on February 16th, 2007 2:19 pm

    When looking at the Starting lineup and rotation actually on paper, I get nervous. FOr this team to succeed, mostly everyone will have to have a career year.

  3. Newby on February 16th, 2007 2:39 pm

    52- thats not evenly close to being true. Heck, everyone being average plus a career year out of beltre and ichiro would win us the division.

  4. msb on February 16th, 2007 2:58 pm

    FWIW, from Dayn Perry on the AL West today:

    9. Will the Mariners be the surprise team in the AL?

    The AL West is the weakest division in the AL, and that means at least a puncher’s chance for all comers. So that leads us to the Mariners. If Felix Hernandez breaks out as anticipated (a Cy Young-caliber season is very much a possibility), if the defense is as good as advertised, and if they scare up some middle relief, then the M’s could win the flag. They won’t be, by any stretch of the imagination, a great team, but Seattle could be this year’s dark horse in the junior circuit.

  5. terrybenish on February 16th, 2007 3:16 pm

    51 This is Cirillo’s wife’s hometown. Not his.

    Geoff Baker notes Guillen can’t throw well enough to play yet.

  6. chrisisasavage on February 16th, 2007 3:24 pm

    Soooo, who plays right until he’s ready?

  7. msb on February 16th, 2007 3:29 pm

    The one thing he won’t be doing as quickly is starting any Cactus League games in right field. The plan for now is to use him as DH the first 10 to 14 days in order to get his arm back to 100 per cent when he throws. Hargrove feels there is still a slight “hump” in the throws Guillen is currently attempting.

    maybe Reed?

  8. Evan on February 16th, 2007 3:29 pm

    Reed, probably.

  9. Ralph Malph on February 16th, 2007 4:38 pm

    It’s the first week or two of spring training — nobody is going to play more than a few innings anyway.

  10. C. Cheetah on February 16th, 2007 4:39 pm

    I would hope Reed in LF, and Ibanez in RF…

  11. Dave in Palo Alto on February 16th, 2007 4:42 pm

    Unless, of course, you’re looking for RF grit . . . .

  12. Thingray on February 16th, 2007 4:53 pm

    #55: His wife’s hometown, okay. Wouldn’t that make it almost worse? I don’t want my in-laws watching me at work everyday! 🙂

  13. CSG on February 16th, 2007 5:02 pm

    I sincerely hope that Reed gets a shot in the outfield with Guillen unable to play. It just doesn’t make sense to move Reed and be left with Bloomquist as the fourth outfielder. Reed may not be the player we thought he could be a couple years ago, but I think he could be one of the better fourth outfielders in the league, and someone you wouldn’t mind having in the starting lineup for a stretch in case of an injury.

  14. bmanuw2 on February 16th, 2007 5:21 pm

    53. First of all , your name is fitting. But yes, yes it is true what I had said that everyone would have to have a career year to win the Division.

    WE are not the most talented team in the west. If most guys play average like you have stated, we are in for another disapointing year.

  15. Deanna on February 16th, 2007 5:29 pm

    Man, is it me, or did the Mariners go from being at least a little lefty-heavy to being almost completely righties? I feel like they’re going to be fed into the big gaping maw of Safeco’s left field or something.

    As an aside, today is the 47th birthday of Pecota.

  16. gwangung on February 16th, 2007 5:41 pm

    But yes, yes it is true what I had said that everyone would have to have a career year to win the Division.

    Actually, I don’t think it is. Felix? Yes. Lopez? Yes. Johjima? Yes. Beltre? Maybe.

    But note that some of these folks are quite young players; good seasons would be by definition career years.

    What you’re looking for is for no one to have below average seasons and one or two career seasons.

  17. Joe on February 16th, 2007 5:43 pm

    So that link about Soriano’s visa troubles also includes a note about the Braves not liking the red accent over the ears on their ST caps. Looks like adding accents to the caps is an MLB-wide thing. The trim color for the M’s just happens to make them look old.

  18. terry on February 16th, 2007 6:12 pm

    I’d take career years from Ichiro and Beltre and career average from everyone else…….

  19. QuoVadis on February 16th, 2007 6:54 pm

    I’d take career years from Ichiro and Beltre and career average from everyone else…….

    I think Ichiro and Beltre have had their career years respectively. Unfortunately I think the same applies to Ibanez. There are few in the projected starting 9 who have not had their career years. I’m thinking of Yuni and Lopez.

  20. Typical Idiot Fan on February 16th, 2007 7:19 pm

    I’ve often wondered why more people don’t compare Garciaparra to Rickey Henderson……I mean aren’t the similarities just so eerie?

    Are you saying Garciaparra is probably younger then people think he is?

  21. fornnwet on February 16th, 2007 11:33 pm

    The idea of an 8 man bullpen/13 man pitching staff has been flamed a few times, but I don’t think anyone has brought it up in the light that – for all the gaping flaws of our non-Felix SPs – we have a durable, innings-eating front 5. These are all guys who have shown 200 IP seasons (barring the King, who seems a lock to do it this year), and that’s not the kind of rotation you throw 8 RP behind on opening day. I’m calling 7 the safe bet, with 6 even a possibility if we need some increased versatility on the bench (and have a manager who knows what to do with it).

  22. DMZ on February 16th, 2007 11:45 pm

    When has rational evaluation ever made any difference on Hargrove’s decision making?

  23. David J. Corcoran I on February 17th, 2007 12:17 am

    DMZ: Hargrove has NEVER had an 8 man bullpen before. Why would he start?

  24. DMZ on February 17th, 2007 12:30 am

    Why would he give 200+ at-bats to Bloomquist?

  25. pablothegreat on February 17th, 2007 1:44 am

    DMZ: He’s scrappy.

  26. kentroyals5 on February 17th, 2007 2:39 am

    75: and gritty….DAMNIT..I hate that guy….but I named my fantasy league as “scrappy and gritty” with the password as “bloomquist” just to spite the M’s and Hargrove

  27. colm on February 17th, 2007 12:05 pm

    It’s not the naked stupidity of some of the moves that depresses me so much as the consistent utter lack of imagination.

  28. eponymous coward on February 17th, 2007 12:30 pm

    Read my sentence again, junglist:

    “What exactly is the proof of this assertion, that a discernable difference in skill level exists between leagues that will affect player projections?”

    Hint: all the words count.

    PECOTA forecasts that the increased quality of the AL adds about 0.25 to the ERA of a pitcher over what he could do in the NL. But that might be a new phenomenon.

    So shouldn’t that show up in some hitting lines, too?

  29. Evan on February 17th, 2007 2:52 pm

    Sure it should, but I don’t know to what extent or in what way it does, so I didn’t mention it.

  30. fornnwet on February 18th, 2007 11:29 pm

    72: Not talking about Hargrove’s decisions. Talking about the apparent lack of “rational evaluation” in your projected lineup… Seeing as how right now it seems to merely be “since Hargrove has never done this and it’s a bad idea, he’s bound to now”. Why not a 10 man bullpen then?

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