In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion will be of no use

DMZ · March 8, 2007 at 10:41 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Injury scenarios and cost to the team. Advanced warning: some of this is scary to contemplate.

Starters: pitcher is replaced by Baek/Woods in the rotation. Cost ranges from about a run a start (Felix) to no impact (Batista). Worst case is Felix goes down for the season before Opening Day, and you can add at least 30 runs allowed to your guess at the team’s totals. And likely a lot more, since that saps the bullpen, too.

Relievers: replaced by Tacoma call-up. Putz down means the ninth gets much rockier, and whole bullpen takes a step back to earth. It’s not going to be have an effect every day, but as a unit, they’re going to give up more runs. But even in the worst case, with Putz out all year, replacing his seventy innings only hurts the team fifteen, maybe twenty runs.

Catcher: Johjima’s replaced everyday by Rivera/Rob Johnson/?. Offensively, that’s a disaster. A full year without Johjima’s 20 runs shaved easily. If Clement’s bat finds him in Tacoma, he’d be a better option, but at this point in his development it’s hard to argue for promoting him again, and almost certainly still a big step back.

First base: If Sexson goes down right now, the best option’s Broussard, and in total production, it depends on your opinion of Broussard – given his career numbers, last year’s time with the M’s looks like a fluke, but you saw him, right? He looked baaaaaaaaaad. His defense at first might even be worse than Sexson’s. Potentially this is a wash, or ten runs back for a season. If Broussard’s not around, it’s likely we see Morse or a reasonable facsimilie, or even an emergency Ibanez move, with an outfield replacement. LaHair’s a better first base option than Morse, I’d say.

Second base: nowww we’re in trouble. Lopez to Bloomquist for a season’s twenty runs easily. A Garciaparra/Tui/Navarro replacement’s unlikely to be an improvement.

Shortstop: same deal

Third base: same deal. But worse.

Outfield: right now, any significant outfield injury presents the team with a choice between calling up Jones and playing Reed. In left, either of those guys would be massive defensive upgrades on Ibanez at the cost of hitting. The no-hit Reed for Ibanez is easily 20 runs a season, for Ichiro it’s ridiculous, losing the offense and glove cost maybe 40, even 50 runs, and Guillen we don’t know, but it’s likely to be 20. A Reed that hits like it once looked like he could hit puts 10-20 runs back.

Jones, if he’s ready and driving the snot out of the ball, is still young and developing, and could be better offensively and defensively than our memory of Reed-to-be. But if looks like he needs more time in Tacoma, Reed should get the call, since he’d be better to contribute immediately and Jones’ development helps the team down the road, when they’re potentially competitive.

In the corners, we could also get Morse. I don’t think I have to say too much more about that.

DH: Like first, it’s Broussard now. A season of Broussard (and likely platoon partner) over Vidro… well, that depends on your opinion of Vidro and Broussard. If you think Vidro’s going to be awesome and Broussard’s a total scrub, swapping them for a year’s a 30-run loss. More likely, it’d be a wash.

A moment of reflection: the team’s extremely vulnerable to injuries. Losing Ichiro or Felix for a couple of months almost means you should turn out the lights and walk away, and the infield situation’s almost as bad. The team, to be competitive, doesn’t need everyone to stay healthy all year, but it does desperately need those two players all season, at least, and the infield as a unit to not miss much time, and even then, whether you’re a believer in lineup presence and bullpen anchoring or not, losing Putz or one of the team’s core hitters would likely cause a lot of disarray as Hargrove shuffled lineups, positions, and bullpen roles trying to find something he’s comfortable with, and that’s no fun to watch.


44 Responses to “In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion will be of no use”

  1. S-Mac on March 8th, 2007 10:54 am

    I would think Beltre going down would cost us a bit more than Yuni or Jose, right? Especially if Jose continues his Hargrovian ways and Yuni fails to maximize his skillset like he did last year.

  2. DMZ on March 8th, 2007 10:58 am

    The community projection doesn’t seem to think that’s going to happen, and I still have hope he’ll be let loose to pull, pull, pull, so call me an optimist.

    Added a note to Beltre

  3. Mr. Egaas on March 8th, 2007 11:09 am

    How much does Oakland lose by Kotsay undergoing back surgery?

  4. Tek Jansen on March 8th, 2007 11:24 am

    If Johjima was felled by a serious injury, would the M’s be forced to make a trade for a catcher? Bavasi and Hargrove would know that replacing him with their in-house candidates would nearly ruin their season. They still have Pat Borders’ number, right?

  5. MrIncognito on March 8th, 2007 11:24 am

    That depends on what you think of Kotsay and Dan Johnson. Kotsay has lost a step on defense, and his .275/.332/.386 line couldn’t have made many A’s fans happy last year.

    Optimistic version for the A’s goes like this: Milton Bradley slides into CF, and if he stays healthy it’s probably a wash on defense. That also puts Dan Johnson into the regular lineup at 1B. He absolutely terrorized AAA for a couple years, so if you see Johnson’s 2006 as an aberration that’s big upgrade offensively.

    Pessimistically, Bradley can’t stay healthy and the A’s end up giving playing time to Charles Thomas. Johnson can’t hit Major League pitching and platoons with Durazo. A’s lose a lot of outs on defense at CF and 1B, and offensive production takes a hit as well.

  6. wsm on March 8th, 2007 11:33 am

    1B/LF/CF/RF/DH don’t worry me too much. Most of those positions are three or four deep and you can go with the hot hand. Reed should be the go-to guy in all of those positions (displacing Raul in LF, of course). I still want to see him get another chance at playing every day.

    An injury at any other position means the team will venture into the blackness where managers go to get fired. So, its not all bad.

  7. terry on March 8th, 2007 11:36 am

    Chris Snelling just bunted for a hit….

  8. pmccollum on March 8th, 2007 11:37 am

    I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  9. Ralph_Malph on March 8th, 2007 11:42 am

    Snelling learned that from Hargrove last year….

    So who’s the closer if Putz goes down? Reitsma? Rhodes? Sherrill? Mateo? Those all sound pretty ugly.

    Closer-of-the-day most likely, I suppose.

  10. Evan on March 8th, 2007 11:55 am

    Chris Snelling just bunted for a hit…….

    Getting Doyle’s hands closer to the ball doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

  11. DMZ on March 8th, 2007 11:57 am


  12. Evan on March 8th, 2007 12:16 pm

    *Evan saves the thread*

    Getting Vidro’s hands closer to the ball, however, could improve the team. Sure, Vidro isn’t the worst team ever, but surely Bavasi would start looking for replacements rather than let Willie DH for an extended period.

  13. Evan on March 8th, 2007 12:17 pm

    Team. Hitter. Same difference.

  14. msb on March 8th, 2007 12:22 pm

    listening to the last few games, Broussard seems to really want to stick with the team.

  15. tad on March 8th, 2007 12:23 pm

    The lack of depth is frightening, especially considering this is probably the best bench Bavasi/Hargrove have ever built. Assuming Broussard and Reed don’t get traded.

    But if you were a decent bench guy would you come here? Anybody seen Petagine lately?

  16. IdahoInvader on March 8th, 2007 12:28 pm

    Sure we’d be in trouble if Kenji got hurt. Like catcher is a smart position to count on no injuries…sigh

    I guess that’s why most teams actually bother to have a back up catcher who out hits the pitchers. Burke at least would be a decent back up. Rivera is very hard on the eyes when he hits.

  17. RabidMsFan on March 8th, 2007 12:31 pm

    Thanks DMZ, this addresses my question in the previous thread about bench help for Betre, Betancourt and Lopez. Your post addresses my concerns and then takes them to the next level. I was worried about fatigue, god forbid injury. You addressed runs we’d lose but wouldn’t our ground ball pitchers give up more runs too?

  18. Manzanillos Cup on March 8th, 2007 12:33 pm

    On the bright side, if WFB goes down, you gotta add like 10-20 runs to the season. \not wishing injury upon anyone

  19. RabidMsFan on March 8th, 2007 12:40 pm

    I mean Willie at SS has to give up a handful of runs both earned and un-earned. Don’t even want to think about him being there for a month or more, let alone the entire year. Ouch! I’d have to imagine that would force the M’s to look elsewhere.

  20. apunetid on March 8th, 2007 12:44 pm

    Who is this Torcata fellow who’s playing right now, and what’s he doing hitting .625?

  21. msb on March 8th, 2007 12:47 pm

    um, it’s spring?

  22. DMZ on March 8th, 2007 12:50 pm

    For defense and ground-ball pitching, I tried to error a little on the high side in estimating how many rund the team concedes defensively. Obviously, they’re all large, round numbers anyway.

  23. Seth on March 8th, 2007 1:00 pm

    Morse put a couple of nice swings on the ball after working deep into the count in the game at Peoria vs. Cubs. I know his minor league stats are garbage, but every time I see him, the guy hits–and he’s patient.

  24. eponymous coward on March 8th, 2007 1:04 pm

    Reed+Broussard look like reasonable backup plans for 1B and the OF. The problem is there’s zero depth at C and the other infield positions (especially since the organization believes that WFB constitutes depth, as opposed to him likely being one of the worst players in baseball if he starts regularly).

  25. David J. Corcoran I on March 8th, 2007 1:09 pm

    An injury at 3B would put Morse there, I would hope.

    And potentially Burroughs, if he ever recovers. Burroughs could also fill in at 2nd, maybe even short, and be a slight upgrade over WFB.

  26. msb on March 8th, 2007 1:19 pm

    and Campillo shoots himself in the foot again.

  27. Cynical Optimist on March 8th, 2007 1:34 pm


  28. TheEmrys on March 8th, 2007 1:41 pm

    Ichiro! cannot be hurt. He is bulletproof, shatterproof, rust-resistant, and prevents cavities.

    Ichiro! deserves his own cult. Not like the Cult of Doyle. Like guys in with tamborines, robes, and shaved heads pushing flowers on weary travelers. Our faith alone will keep Ichiro! healthy.

  29. TheEmrys on March 8th, 2007 1:42 pm


  30. DMZ on March 8th, 2007 1:46 pm

    There’s a whole news-of-the-day post, guys, come on.

  31. Hooligan on March 8th, 2007 3:16 pm

    No question, Derek, we’re kiddie pool deep. It must be nice to be an Angels fan, knowing that an injury to a veteran probably makes your squad better.

  32. frenchonion on March 8th, 2007 3:49 pm

    I don’t know if this has any actual basis in fact, but:

    I would assume that “good” teams tend to have “good” benches, and bad teams tend to have “bad” benches. Given all the variables that go into a bench and how teams might want to compose it (LH/RH balance, power, speed, contact, defense, keeping a legit backup for an injury prone starter, working in a young player, etc) I don’t think you could really quantify “good” or “bad” bench very well. All those intangibles would tend to defy being quantified.

    Still, I’d guess there’s a correlation between bench quality and team quality.

  33. Evan on March 8th, 2007 4:15 pm

    There is a correlation between bench quality (or team depth) and season-long performance, but post-season performance isn’t affected by depth much at all.

    This is why Billy Beane’s “shit doesn’t work in the playoffs”. Beane’s very good at filling the holes in him team with high-value low-cost players (improving team depth, consistently winning 90 games), but those guys play effectively no role in the postseason, because in a short series you only use your best guys.

  34. Tek Jansen on March 8th, 2007 4:25 pm

    There is also a correlation between “good” teams and lack of injuries to key players. Few teams can survive devestating and long term injuries to their most valuable players.

  35. Kazinski on March 8th, 2007 5:05 pm

    I’m farily optimistic about the situation at DH, meaning its not as bad as it seems at first look. Because they kept Broussard then your DH projection (absent injury) should really be the better of Broussard/Vidro. So even if the projection for both players is .270/.333/.380, the chances that either player is much better than that say .285/.350/.400 are pretty good. There is nothing to keep Reed out of the mix either. So my optimisim stems from figuring that the odds are pretty low that the best of Vidro and Broussard and Reed will suck half as bad as Everett/Broussard/Perez did last season.

  36. Ralph on March 8th, 2007 7:01 pm

    Nothing to keep Reed out of the mix? Except for his ability to hit a baseball. Keep in mind that he was platooned last year, so his numbers would be worse if he were a regular last year.

  37. bigred on March 8th, 2007 8:19 pm

    Broussard having no impact over Sexson? Really?

    I know there are a bunch Sexson haters here, and I don’t think he’s all that great either, but Broussard would SUCK compared to Sexson.

  38. DMZ on March 8th, 2007 8:51 pm

    I would disagree that I said there was no impact (I said depending on your view of defense/etc, it’d be 0-10 runs).

    I’d also disagree that there are “haters” in the sense that people irrationally dislike Sexson, much less dislike him personally.

  39. David J. Corcoran I on March 8th, 2007 9:59 pm

    I irrationally dislike Sexson. I have a raging desire to eat his kittens.

  40. Josh on March 8th, 2007 10:29 pm

    I would take Broussard over Vidro, and it’s not even close in my mind. That’s after I was above the average on the Vidro projections. I don’t think Broussard is great, but he, likely, is better than a slightly optimistic outcome by Vidro. Broussard is simply a better hitter, has more upside, and is better suited for Safeco.

    Using Vidro against lefties would be a possibility, but I’m not even sure how well he would do then. Accounting for the left-center outfield, he loses most of the little remaining power, I would imagine, and becomes something of a .270-.290 singles “machine”. I might rather have Broussard there, too.

  41. vj on March 9th, 2007 2:21 am

    I think the 2B/3B situation depends a bit on how much fielding Vidro has left in him. If he can back up either of these positions every other day, I’d expect him to be quite an offensive upgrade over Bloomquist, with Broussard moving to DH. Also, I hear that they’ve been trying out Broussard in the corner outfield spots.

  42. Tak on March 9th, 2007 3:59 am

    Could we get a similar kind of analysis for the other AL West teams? That would be awesome! (and probably a lot of work)

  43. Adam S on March 9th, 2007 9:46 am

    Vidro at 2B and Brossard in LF/RF look like emergency plans — Broussard hasn’t play OF regularly in eight years — something that would work well for 40-50 innings per season. At least, we can hope that’s the case.

  44. mln on March 9th, 2007 12:46 pm

    This analysis doesn’t make any sense. How can the Mariners’ bench be so weak when they clearly have The Best Utility Player in Baseball (TM)?

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