Ibanez at DH

DMZ · June 14, 2007 at 8:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

In thinking about “how you wedge Jones into the lineup” (see thread below) one of the commonly-mentioned ways is to DH Ibanez and then make Vidro disappear. That wasn’t my solution, but one of the things that’s raised in objection is, as Paul said at Mariner Morsels:

Raul Ibanez also is more comfortable when he’s playing the field, and the potential discomfort he may have could affect his hitting.

Paul doesn’t see these as major risks, but it’s worth addressing.

First, Raul says he prefers to play the field. I don’t think that means much. Bad pitchers want to be starters, or closers. Bloomquist wants to play every day. It’s entirely understandable, but we’ve seen Ibanez DH for the M’s before, and he did just fine.

Second, there’s no evidence that players hit significantly worse or better at DH. We heard similar things about Vidro, but it’s just not there. You can go hunt through those threads if you’re particularly curious, but the short version is that offensive performance isn’t affected by a DH move. What slight decline you do see in some cases is the guy being shifted to DH because of injuries and age.

A player’s preference shouldn’t affect a team’s thinking in a situation like this. If Jones every day in left upgrades the team significantly for the rest of the way, that makes them a better team and more likely to win the division/get into the playoffs/be more competitive when they get there.


46 Responses to “Ibanez at DH”

  1. TaylorD7 on June 14th, 2007 8:47 am

    Well unfortunately, making Vidro disappear seems near impossible given that nasty (and completely unecessary) extension we gave him.

    I’m still scratching my head, wondering how he’s an upgrade over Broussard.

  2. bakomariner on June 14th, 2007 8:51 am

    my solution: trade broussard for pitching (i do like him and would rather trade vidro but NOBODY would take TURBO)…bench turbo (not a bad thing to have a switch hitter that makes contact on the bench)…start raul at DH and have jones play left…this would work right? would improve the offense, defense, and pitching…

  3. batura on June 14th, 2007 8:54 am

    I think I would rather see Vidro sharing 2nd base against right handers– I just don’t think we can afford to lose another lefty bat against so many starting RHPs.

  4. bakomariner on June 14th, 2007 8:58 am

    the offense is fine…having vidro at second would hurt more than not having his bat in the line-up…

  5. Jeff Nye on June 14th, 2007 9:01 am

    More offense is always better, and you don’t have to put Vidro at second to get Jones into the lineup.

  6. dw on June 14th, 2007 9:18 am

    Re: Ibanez being uncomfortable at DH, if you offered WFB 75 starts at DH the rest of the way, I don’t think he’d refuse just because he doesn’t get to play in the field.

    Being in the lineup is better than being on the bench, especially when it’s being on Hargrove’s bench.

  7. Manzanillos Cup on June 14th, 2007 9:19 am

    If Ibanez doesn’t want to move, could we flip Guillen and his one year contract for pitching and then call up Jones in right?

  8. bignick on June 14th, 2007 9:23 am

    Why couldn’t we package Ibanez & Sexson for some pitching? That gives both Brossard and Jones places to play.

  9. manzell on June 14th, 2007 9:24 am

    I know Adam Jones used to be an infielder. For the time being, could be replace Bloomquist? Is he defensive substitute from 4 to 6, or a major downgrade?

  10. CSG on June 14th, 2007 9:31 am

    No one wants that package.

  11. Beniitec on June 14th, 2007 9:32 am

    I’m a big Ibañez fan. Truth be told, he’d stay healthier if he only DH’d. Playing in the field wears him down.. It would be so much easier on his back/shoulder if he was DHing.

  12. built2crash on June 14th, 2007 9:41 am

    how about leaving Ibanez in right and DH’ing Adam Dunn?

  13. Dave on June 14th, 2007 9:42 am

    How about not turning this into a trade speculation thread?

  14. PositivePaul on June 14th, 2007 9:45 am

    It’s too bad, really, that Hargrove doesn’t use his bench much (except, of course, when he’s forced to by playing in NL parks). Shifting Raul to DH and moving Jones to LF and Vidro to the bench would help the probability of this team winning more games, it’s not even funny! Vidro DHs vs. lefties, sticking Raul on the bench for later innings. Broussard is another pinch hitter off the bench, and gets the occasional start at first. Bloomie’s the Pinch Runner extraordinaire, and emergency starter in situations like these where you have an injury and don’t really have a player in the minors to call up.

    And if Raul’s the team player they tout him to be, then he’ll make this move, as will Vidro. With Vidro’s splits showing a ~70 point OPS dip in the second half on the average, it’s a lineup adjustment that can only help. And, besides, so long as there’s not a runner on first, I wouldn’t mind having Vidro in as a pinch hitter.

    There’s so much minor tweaking that can be done with this team to get a few more wins out of it. Yes, Hargrove’s managed the ‘pen very well lately. He still is a manager that isn’t helping this team.

  15. built2crash on June 14th, 2007 9:45 am

    #11 just kidding, didnt want to post that yet.. no we dont need another Richie Sexson. I do think it is time to bring up Jones, but I feel he should be playing center field and that would only work if we DH Ibanez, move Guillen to left and Ichiro to right. Wow! try to run on that OF

  16. JMHawkins on June 14th, 2007 9:50 am

    If the M’s weren’t playing in NL parks (without the DH) the next few days, maybe we’d find out. Beltre is hurt, and if Lopez goes home for a few days with his family, we might have Vidro playing 2B (not even the post-game show callers think Willie is versitile enough to play 2B and 3B at the same time…).

    But, by the time we have DH in the lineup again, Lopez should be back and Beltre (hopefully, knock on wood) healthy.

    BTW, you guys realize you’ve invited everyone to a rosterbation thread.

  17. IdahoInvader on June 14th, 2007 10:00 am

    Raul has been pretty worthless vs lefties the past two years. On base percentage around .300 and a slugging closer to .350, so even Vidro could probably top that. I like the thought of dh-ing Raul vs righties and letting Jones play in the outfield.

    Raul looks like he’s shagging shells most of the time anyway.

  18. MedicineHat on June 14th, 2007 10:10 am

    I don’t see why you couldn’t just run a 4-man OF?

    Day 1, Ibanez, Ichiro, Guillen
    Day 2, Jones, Ichiro, Guillen
    Day 3, Ibanez, Jones, Guillen
    Day 4, Ibanez, Ichiro, Jones

    The guy getting the “day off” is the DH that day and Vidro gets himself gone or becomes a pinch hitter. All four of the guys play 3 days in a row, then a DH day. Jones is the only one playing multiple positions but he’s young and can handle it.

  19. bakomariner on June 14th, 2007 10:17 am

    that’s WAAAAAYYY too much thinking for grover…

  20. KingFelix21 on June 14th, 2007 10:18 am

    18-I would rather have Ichiro in the field as much as possible. So Day 3 leave ichiro in and have Ibanez DH again. I dont want one of the best defenders in the league off the field every forth game.

  21. gwangung on June 14th, 2007 10:38 am

    that’s WAAAAAYYY too much thinking for grover…

    Well, yeah…but it’s probably the only line that could get past his hidebound conservatism. Talk to McLaren and Grove; McLaren might be able to cast it as a way to keep the regulars fresh.

  22. Mike G. on June 14th, 2007 10:51 am

    Also that line of thinking in Grover’s head may lead to Willie doing the same thing in the infield.

  23. VaughnStreet on June 14th, 2007 11:08 am

    So Vidro is signed for three years at $12 million, thus the question arises: what do we do with him and his deal? Last year, in roughly the same situation (a dinosaur who couldn’t hit) the DH was DFA’d after playing 92 games.

    This situation, as I understand it (and could be wrong) is a little different in that Vidro’s contract for the 3rd year is vested after a certain # of at bats. Is that true? How many ABs? When do we reach that point? Does anybody think that Bavasi would get rid of him to clear a roster and lineup spot for Jones? Is it worth kissing some $$millions goodbye in pursuit of a pennant?

  24. Paul B on June 14th, 2007 11:14 am

    I don’t think this is rocket science.

    You’ve got 5 guys, 2 lefties (Ibanez, Broussard), 2 righties (Sexson, Jones) and a switch (Turbo), to play 3 positions (left, first, DH).

    You pick the 3 of them on any given day that are likely to hit best against the starting pitcher, and the other 2 start the game on the bench.

    Geez, what are we paying Grover for if he can’t figure this out? It’s not that difficult, really.

    The only downside I see is that Grover would play Turbo every day because he’s a switch hitter.

  25. msb on June 14th, 2007 11:15 am

    “Jose Vidro 2b, acquired in trade (from Washington) 12/06. Mariners added 2009 vesting option in exchange for Vidro waiving his no-trade clause”

    isn’t it usually 450-500 ABs for an option to vest?

  26. colm on June 14th, 2007 11:20 am

    Let me get this straight:
    The Mariners wanted Vidro to waive his no trade clause so badly that they vested the third year on his inflated contract, making the expensive declining hitter UNTRADEABLE!?
    WTF were they thinking?

  27. colm on June 14th, 2007 11:21 am

    Or maybe I misunderstood. Is 2009 not yet guaranteed to our JV hitter?

  28. Joe Bag o' Doughnuts on June 14th, 2007 11:32 am

    I say we bring up Gookie Dawkins from Tacoma as a reserve 2B, just because I want a player named “Gookie.”

  29. VaughnStreet on June 14th, 2007 11:38 am

    If Raul is the ultimate team player, and the team is in hot pursuit of a pennant, does anyone seriously believe he wouldn’t move to DH if it were in the best interests of the team? Of course he would.

  30. CPB on June 14th, 2007 12:35 pm

    No evidence of players hitting sigificantly worse as a DH? According to The Book, there is a significant penalty for pinch-hitting. The impact of DH’ing is about half as much as that for the average batter, but there is a wide variance among individual players. Some hit the same as the DH as they do when they take the field, and others hit as badly as when they pinch-hit.

    As for Ibanez, his overall line since his renaissance in 2001 is 290/.350/.479. As a DH (681 AB’s), he has hit .283/.350/.442. So he hits for a lower average, walks a bit more, and hits for less power. That’s exactly what happens to pinch-hitters according to Tango/MGL/Dolphin’s book, and I would guess the same applies to DH’s, just to less of a degree (again, depending on the batter). Therefore, expect Raul to have about the same OBP if he is made the full time DH but a significantly lower Slugging Average. That is, unless he gets more comfortable in that role.

  31. CPB on June 14th, 2007 12:41 pm

    Note: I’m not arguing against Ibanez as a DH. I’m all in favor of Jones in left, Ibanez ditching his glove, and Vidro becoming the second bench bat.

  32. Mr. Egaas on June 14th, 2007 1:17 pm

    Something tells me the team doesn’t give up on Vidro as long as he’s hitting ~.300 being that we have so much invested in him.

    The latte fans will hate it: “What’d they get rid of him for? he was a consistent .300 hitter!”

  33. S-Mac on June 14th, 2007 1:43 pm

    This is probably complete insanity, but what if the Mariners included Richie in a trade package for a starting pitcher. What are the odds they’d put Jones in left, Ibanez at DH and have Vidro and Ben platoon at first? Probably pretty low, Vidro’d be too expensive for them to justify playing him in only a quarter or so of the games.

    I dunno, I guess I just don’t seem them getting rid of Vidro outright, leaving no open spots in the outfield.

  34. bradderup on June 14th, 2007 2:15 pm

    1. Platoon Jones with all the outfielders when a day off is needed.
    2. Hope Jones outproduces Vidro, and if he does, give Vidro the “Crazy Carl, Thanks for comin’ out,” but keep him. Due to the Lincoln Administration’s desperate need to win, they shouldn’t hesitate.
    3. Ask Vidro and Ibanez to take one for the team, like Ryan Freel did for Josh Hamilton in Cincinasty. Vidro can play when Jones, Ichiro, Guillen or Ibanez needs a day off (Jones to CF/RF, Ibanez to LF, Vidro DH, etc.)
    4. Trade Broussard for P.

    There are too many positives for the FO not to try something involving Jones. He’d be a legitimate 9 hitter, the complete opposite of Vidro on the base paths, and would give the M’s the best group of Outfield arms in the majors.

  35. hub on June 14th, 2007 2:27 pm

    There’s one thing we may all be missing here. Is the FO desperate (or stupid) enough to actually move JONES for ‘help now’? I fear that scenario more than I trust them to actually make ‘room’ for Adam.

  36. PositivePaul on June 14th, 2007 2:37 pm

    There’s one thing we may all be missing here. Is the FO desperate (or stupid) enough to actually move JONES for ‘help now’? I fear that scenario more than I trust them to actually make ‘room’ for Adam.

    Every behind-the-curtains convo that I’ve gotten wind of says that Bavasi’s made Jones untouchable.

  37. hub on June 14th, 2007 2:44 pm

    “Every behind-the-curtains convo that I’ve gotten wind of says that Bavasi’s made Jones untouchable.”

    Good to know. If they start losing again, and fall back to/below .500…I can only hope that Bavasi and Co. would ‘take one for the team’ before sacrificing Jones to save their jobs.

  38. StinkyCheese on June 14th, 2007 5:25 pm

    Seems to me that Beltre going down is a little bit of a blessing in disguise, as it will help us get Jones in the lineup.

    Beltre to DL
    Adam to Left
    Ibanez to DH
    Vidro to 2B or 3B
    Lopez to 3B if Vidro goes to 2B
    Willie back to the bench where he belongs!

    Yeah we take a bit of a hit at defense (wherever Vidro is), but it isn’t like Willie was providing gold glove defense at third! Plus we would get better D with Adam in Left.

  39. wfan99 on June 14th, 2007 6:22 pm



  40. davepaisley on June 14th, 2007 6:41 pm


  41. terry on June 14th, 2007 8:08 pm

    To me it’s pretty simple. The Ms aren’t going to upgrade their rotation so they might as well upgrade their defense at what is a premium defensive position in their home park.

    I’m not so scared of all those ROOGY types… 😉

    BTW, how does a team that plays 82 games in Safeco end up with a righty-heavy lineup?

  42. Mike G. on June 14th, 2007 8:23 pm

    Man I love trade speculation threads, always good readin’. This is a trade speculation thread isn’t it?

  43. gwangung on June 14th, 2007 8:23 pm

    BTW, how does a team that plays 82 games in Safeco end up with a righty-heavy lineup?

    Look who’s in charge. Then look to who’s feeding him information.

  44. IMissBenDavis on June 14th, 2007 10:02 pm

    you folks are talking about an organization makeing intelligent moves with Vidro and Ibanez when they can’t even sit Weaver down

    I don’t mind Dudley’s managing lately, but organizational changes like these will probably happen when hell freezes over,…or we go significantly below .500.

  45. Bodhizefa on June 15th, 2007 2:09 am

    Dave, what do you think the odds are that Vidro gets benched, Jones takes over in left field, and Ibanez moves to DH? 20/80? 40/60? 50/50? If there is a possibility, when would we see something like this? During an elongated losing streak? What’s the vibe you’re getting from your contacts on the Adam Jones vs. Jose Vidro situation at this point in the front office?

    I know this may sound like a very odd idea, but if Beltre has to go on the DL (a possibility at this point), is there any way we see Vidro at 2B, Lopez at 3B, and Jones called up? Just curious.

  46. Bodhizefa on June 15th, 2007 3:35 am

    P.S. Dave,

    I know you’ve discussed Jones’ ceiling before, but have your feelings changes on the matter given his absolute tear on AAA pitching at 21 years of age at this point? Has his ceiling evolved, and, if so, where is it moving towards at this point?

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