Second Half Suggestions

Dave · July 8, 2007 at 4:19 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

And with that 7-3 win over the A’s, the first half of the season comes to a very enjoyable end. The M’s drove a stake into the heart of the A’s playoff chances, creating even further separation from the wild card pack, and establishing themselves as the real contender to the big four. As the team now gets three days to regroup during the all-star break and prepare for a second half that will hopefully provide the first playoff race this team has seen in several years. The latter part of this season will go a long way in deciding the future of the Mariners organization – will Ichiro re-sign, does the front office get removed from their hot seats while retaining their jobs, and how close are they to taking the step towards perennial contender with this core base of talent?

Those questions become easier to answer if this team has a strong second half and makes the playoffs. However, as currently configured, the Mariners simply aren’t one of the four best teams in the American League. Los Angeles, Detroit, Cleveland, and Boston are all clearly better teams (even if the Angels aren’t playing like it right now), and the Mariners have some work to do to make up ground on quality competition. There are some definite weak points on this roster that need to be addressed in order to give the team the best possible chance of turning a solid first half into a real playoff run. Most of these, we’ve already discussed, but since we have three days without Mariner baseball, and I know you guys love your roster speculation threads, here’s my mid-season suggestions on how to upgrade this team and make it a legitimate contender.

1. Promote Adam Jones from Tacoma and make him the everyday left fielder.

There’s not a team in baseball poised to make a bigger internal improvement than the Mariners by simply promoting from within. The Mariners outfield defense has been a disaster, and Raul Ibanez is the main reason why. While not lacking in the effort department, he’s shown his age with a complete lack of range, and hamstring issues have simply compounded the fact that he can’t cover enough ground to be a major league quality defensive outfielder. Because of the way Safeco Field is aligned, left field is a vastly more important defensive position than right field, and having a premium defensive outfielder play next to Ichiro to swallow the balls hit into the LF-CF gap would give the Mariners a large competitive advantage.

How big of an upgrade would Jones’ glove in left be from Ibanez’s? Well, without getting all mathy, I can tell you that advanced defensive metrics have Ibanez’s defense costing the Mariners approximately 15 runs over the first half of the season compared to an average defensive left fielder. 15 runs below average! That makes him something like the worst defensive player in baseball not named Manny Ramirez. If Adam Jones is simply an average defensive left fielder, the Mariners should expect, at minimum, a 10 run second half improvement (Ibanez probably isn’t really a -30 defender over the course of a full season, so we regress his projected performance accordingly) simply by removing Ibanez from left field and replacing him with AJ.

Now, Adam Jones has made huge strides defensively while playing center field in Tacoma, and most scouting reports grade him out as a solid defensive center fielder right now. What happens when you take a solid defensive center fielder and stick him in left field at Safeco? Well, the Mariners did that for several years with Randy Winn, who was routinely rated as 10 to 15 runs above an average defensive left fielder while with the Mariners. Jones’ range now is superior to that of the 2003-2005 Randy Winn. Realistically, I think we should expect Jones to be something like 5 to 10 runs better than an average defensive left fielder during the second half of the season.

Combine Ibanez’s -10 with Jones +5 (and those are conservative rankings), you’re looking at a 15 run improvement on defense alone. To give you an idea of what 15 runs over half a season looks like, let’s scale it to ERA. Let’s take Miguel Batista’s current ERA, then subtract 15 runs per 90 innings and show you the new ERA as a reference point for what that kind of savings looks like in half a season.

Miguel Batista: 4.54 – 2.87

Replacing Raul Ibanez in left field with Adam Jones projects to have about the same run prevention impact on the team that trading Miguel Batista for Johan Santana would.

Let that sink in for a second.

The Mariners can, in one move, make a second half run prevention improvement equal to that of turning a #4 starter into a Cy Young winner.

And that’s just the defensive improvement! That doesn’t even factor in the possibility that Adam Jones becomes Seattle’s version of Ryan Braun (called up from Triple-A in May, currently hitting .342/.382/.645 as the #3 hitter for the first place Brewers) and gives the Mariners a significant offensive boost over the nothing performance they got from Jose Vidro in the first half.

This move has to happen. It’s such a monumental upgrade that the team cannot continue to ignore the tangible, real effects it would have on making the playoffs, and that’s what this second half has to be all about.

2. Do not trade for Matt Morris. Whatever you do, leave him alone.

I wrote this post before Mark Buehrle re-signed with the White Sox, and #2 was originally an advocation for the M’s to get a deal done for the Chicago lefty. Now that that’s not an option, I’m simply asking the organization to please, please, please not be fooled by the mirage that is Matt Morris’ ERA. I know that he’s a veteran, and he’s playoff tested, and the sparkly ERA makes it a trifecta of things the franchise usually looks for in a pitcher, but you guys usually pick sucky pitchers, so let’s try to not fall into the same trap that keeps bringing us bad pitchers at high costs again, okay?

Yes, the team needs another starter. I’ll figure out who I want that to be in a few days. But I know that I don’t want it to be Matt Morris. Please don’t trade for him. Please.

3. Option Brandon Morrow to Triple-A Tacoma, promote Kam Mickolio to Seattle.

For all the talk about the potential return of Mark Lowe, Mickolio may very well have the best arm of any guy in Tacoma and be in the best position to help the Mariners as a power right-handed reliever down the stretch. He’s 6’9, throws a 96 MPH four-seam fastball, has a sinking two-seamer and a cut fastball that keep left-handers off balance, and has dominated since the Mariners selected him in the 18th round last summer. Remember Brandon Morrow’s dominant May, where he threw 18 consecutive scoreless innings with simply an overpowering fastball? That’s Kam Mickolio right now, except Mickolio is a few inches taller and has better command.

Bring Mickolio up to work some low leverage innings in the old Jason Davis role and get his feet wet in the majors for a few weeks. By the time mid-August rolls around, if he’s made the proper adjustments and is pitching as well as I suspect he may, you have yet another power arm to put in front of J.J. Putz and get strikeouts from the right side in the 8th inning. Mickolio’s trial also buys Mark Lowe time to work on his arm strength and rust after a year off from pitching, and gives Morrow a chance to improve his command and breaking ball in a low stress environment. The six weeks both can spend down in Triple-A would give the Mariners a chance to evaluate their progress and potentially bring them back up at the end of August if they’d shown they’re ready to go.

Ideally, the team would head into the September stretch run with a bullpen of Putz-Sherrill-Mickolio-Green-O’Flaherty-Lowe/Morrow-Reitsma, giving them a variety of power arms from the left and right side and allowing the team to be extremely aggressive in removing struggling starting pitchers early in critical games.

And, really, there’s almost no downside to this move. If I’m wrong about Mickolio, and he doesn’t adjust well to the majors right away, you simply ship him back to Tacoma and promote Mark Lowe, giving him the spot the team had been reserving for him anyways. No harm, no foul.

4. Platoon Broussard, Ibanez, Guillen, Sexson, and Vidro.

With the Adam Jones promotion, the M’s would have three spots for five guys. Thankfully, two of them are left-handed, two are right-handed, and the other is a switch hitter, making for easy natural platoons and many interchangeable pieces. Guillen/Ibanez can run a platoon in right field, with Sexson/Broussard platooning at first base, and whichever of those two aren’t playing can rotate at DH with Jose Vidro. Vidro should get the least amount of playing time in these scenarios, essentially being limited to DH against lefties, with Sexson/Ibanez getting most of the DH time against right-handed pitching.

The M’s are shooting themselves in the foot by ignoring the huge platoon splits their veteran hitters are putting up. Raul Ibanez is hitting .258/.272/.315 against left-handed pitching. Jose Guillen is hitting .242/.306/.361 against right-handed pitching. Those are horrible marks, and both guys are consistently being put in the middle of the line-up against same-handed pitchers, despite the fact that they’re killing the team by being put into situations they simply don’t have the skills to succeed in.

An Ibanez/Guillen platoon would give the Mariners one of the more productive offensive right-fielders in baseball. Broussard getting at-bats in lieu of Vidro would also be an instant upgrade, and by rotating the five guys through the RF/1B/DH roles, you keep the banged up veterans more healthy by giving them partial days off and not forcing them to play the field everyday.

Manage the roster to put players in roles they are best suited to succeed in.

5. Restructure the batting orders to account for the roster moves.

The team’s line-up would have a different look to it with Adam Jones in it, and it needs a slight overhaul anyways. So, here are my proposed normal line-ups, with their OPS (as of Saturday, when I wrote this) vs LH/RH to the side.


1. Ichiro, CF, .860
2. Ibanez, RF, .819
3. Beltre, 3B, .800
4. Broussard, 1B, .808
5. Sexson, DH, .724
6. Johjima, C, .701
7. Lopez, 2B, .745
8. Jones, LF, (AAA – .938)
9. Betancourt, SS, .626


1. Ichiro, CF, .903
2. Betancourt, SS, .829
3. Guillen, RF, 1.117
4. Beltre, 3B, .817
5. Sexson, 1B, .730
6. Johjima, C, 1.094
7. Lopez, 2B, .648
8. Jones, LF, (AAA – .981)
9. Vidro, DH, .723

In both line-ups, the Mariners are grouping their good hitters at the top of the order, and getting power guys behind Ichiro to start driving him in. They’ve been wasting far too many chances with the powerless Jose Vidro hitting second and sticking Ibanez/Guillen in RBI spots against same-handed pitchers. This gets away from Hargrove’s “same line-up, everyday” approach, but hopefully John McLaren is smart enough to realize that’s a foolish way to run a ballclub. The other contenders don’t follow that belief, and there’s no evidence supporting the idea that guys perform better if they’re locked into a certain spot in the batting order. Put the best team on the field to beat that day’s starting pitcher.

After implementing all these moves, the team would have a stronger offense against both lefties and righties, a significantly improved defense that would have a tremendous positive impact on the pitching staff, and a bullpen that rivals any in baseball.

This is a roster that you can contend with, one that can give the Angels a run for the division and makes the Mariners legitimate wild-card contenders. Most of these moves should be relatively simple to pull off, and serve to set the team up better for both the stretch run as well as 2008 and beyond.

These are bold moves, and a significant reshaping of a team in a playoff race, but they’re the kind of moves that the organization needs to make. Don’t rest on your laurels – improve the roster and give us a winning team.

(And yes, you guys can use this thread to post your own trade/roster suggestions. It’s the only one you’re getting the rest of the year, so have fun.)


389 Responses to “Second Half Suggestions”

  1. smac on July 10th, 2007 12:40 am

    “We don’t need surface area, reach, or any of that. It’s a waste of time. If he catches that ball over his head because he’s 6′8, but can’t catch the one around his ankles because he’s 6′8, then the value of his height cancels each other out.”

    I’m really trying to understand. To me this either says he can’t scoop because he’s tall so the heighth cancels itself out (that can’t be true because Oly was also tall), or that heighth does matter, but that Richie particularly sucks at scooping so no net gain. (This is what I have been arguing, so I am now more confused)

    Please answer this question and I will go to bed and I won’t write for weeks/ months.

    If you had John Olerud and John Olerud’s clone in ability, but the clone was 6 inches taller. Would they statistically be equal defensive first baseman, or do you think the taller one would turn more throws into outs?

  2. hcoguy on July 10th, 2007 12:43 am

    Using the horrible, terrible, fielding “stat” known as “errors,” Ibanez has the most of ALL ML LEFTFIELDERS!!! He is tied with Jason Bay. Now, one game in particular I can think of was against the yankees in NYC, he missed two routine flyballs due to the sun. Although no other outfielder in the game missed one. One was immediatle ruled an error, but several innings later was changed to a hit, apparently because Hideki Matsui needed another hit to reach some obscure trans-pacific hitting accomplishment mileston. Anyways, Ibanez has at least, the most errors of a leftfielder. Anyone who has watched more than 5 M’s games this year should be able to discern that he is a horrible fielder. Bad reads, bad routes, doesn’t even reach balls that 60-70 percent of leftfielders catch easily. Yuni and Ichiro even cover a good chunk of his zone and still the hits fall in. That said, I love Raul. Nice guy, I would love to see his name next to DH every time we face a righty and occasionally against the weak lefties.

  3. Bodhizefa on July 10th, 2007 12:47 am


    Just a counterpoint to your assertion that (and I’m paraphrasing) the M’s went out and got a right-handed pull-hitting third baseman in Beltre…

    His stellar 2004 was due in part to his tendency to go the opposite way an awful lot — especially for his flyballs, doubles, and homers. It was this fact that I thought he would be PERFECT for Safeco at the time, and I was giddy about that signing for months up until he actually came in and hit for squat because he started to pull everything again. It’s odd that he gets frustrated at times because his flyballs to left and left-center get eaten up by the park, because he’s got the power and skill to go the other way with authority. He simply hasn’t concentrated nearly as much on his hitting since he’s come to Seattle, which is a shame. I still long to see him put a season together where he trusts his power to the opposite field in our park.

  4. hcoguy on July 10th, 2007 12:49 am

    Oh and btw, “we need to draw walks and k less” Um, yes to the first, the latter is impossible as we have the fewest K’s in baseball. By 30 of em.

  5. hcoguy on July 10th, 2007 12:50 am

    “He simply hasn’t concentrated nearly as much on his hitting since he’s come to Seattle”

    bold statement.

  6. baseballismylyf4 on July 10th, 2007 12:58 am

    This is mainly to the people who want to see Jones in left becuase of Ibanez’s “poor defense”.

    By your own standards, Betancourt shouldn’t be playing SS. He leads the MLB SSs in errors with 19, and his average vs. Righties is .264.
    –People used Ibanez’s lefty average against him, so why not fire back with showing Betancourt’s poor, if not worse, performance?

  7. eponymous coward on July 10th, 2007 12:58 am


    Now, lemme say that Jones is good, but what do you find wrong with Ibanez that Jones is that much better?

    Raul’s range is clearly suffering. The stats and watching the games shows it. At this point, he’s a DH and only an intermittent OF. (Though looking at Guillen, really, I’m surprised Ichiro’s holding up this well. The dude has two statues on either side of him.)

    Seems that by your logic we’d be better off sticking Jones in his original position.

    I don’t think Dave’s message should be read as “let’s shift Adam Jones to a position he hasn’t played in years and bench Yuni in order to improve the defense”.

    Seems to me that we need to draw walks and K less, something that Balentien has been pretty good at in comparison to Jones.

    The Mariners are dead last in MLB in strikeouts by hitters. We aren’t suffering from too many Ks. Realistically, the small difference between Jones and Wlad’s walk rates (because it’s not huge) is going to be swamped by the defensive upgrade, because conversely, the Mariners are near the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency (turning balls in play into outs). A defensive shot in the arm in LF would go a big way to helping that change.

  8. hcoguy on July 10th, 2007 1:49 am

    356. You are wrong, plain and simple.

    A .264 avg, (really, we’re using avg now?) against your own handedness pitcher is not lousy. Especially when your season avg is only 5 points higher. An even platoon split is valuable (see Ichiro). That said, Yuni is 23, future SS because well, no one else is beating down the door and his range is excellent. Throwing can be taught, range is talent. This whole article has nothing to do with Yuni’s fielding or hitting. In fact, who would you rather have playing? Bringing up Yuni’s throwing woes and recent hitting slump have nothing do with Ibanez’s declining speed and ability to play the fieild. NOTHING. I brought up errors, the ultimate useless stat, because you relied on it and even with it, you were wrong. Seriously, if you are dead set on believing Ibanez as a good field, you cannot possibly be watching enough M’s games. Get a subscription and watch him play by play if you have too. Every ball hit to him is a scary adventure.

  9. naviomelo on July 10th, 2007 2:16 am

    356 – You should really read the blog very carefully; words are chosen precisely here. Errors are not a good defensive metric. Betancourt clearly has above average ability and range at SS, which Ibanez does not have in LF.

  10. zzyzx on July 10th, 2007 5:28 am

    Sickles on Adam Jones:

    “Although Jones has made major progress this year no question, there are still some issues here and the Mariners are wise to give him additional Triple-A time. He is striking out more than once per game, 81 K in 76 games, 319 at-bats, with 27 walks. If you put him in the majors now, I think he’s hit for power but would have a hard time keeping his batting average over .250 due to contact issues, at least once the pitchers learned him. ”

    Just thought it was interesting to read that someone thinks it’s wise to keep him down, even if Dave would be happy with .250.

  11. msb on July 10th, 2007 6:01 am


  12. msb on July 10th, 2007 6:09 am

    oh, thank goodness. Scott Boras has solved this messy defense question for us.

    is Scott lobbying to take over for Selig? this is on the heels of his “best of 9 World Series” proposal ….

  13. Dave on July 10th, 2007 6:25 am

    Now, lemme say that Jones is good, but what do you find wrong with Ibanez that Jones is that much better?

    It’s in the post. Ibanez is horrible defensively.

    If you had John Olerud and John Olerud’s clone in ability, but the clone was 6 inches taller. Would they statistically be equal defensive first baseman, or do you think the taller one would turn more throws into outs?

    If you had a 6’10 clone of John Olerud, that guy would probably be better than 6’4 John Olerud. But, just like your “four foot first baseman” example, this isn’t practical – there aren’t any 6’10 first baseman with exceptional defensive skills.

    There’s a mythical world where your 6’10 John Olerud is significantly better than your 4’0 first baseman playing for other teams and adds a lot of value by virtue of being tall. This isn’t that world, though.

    By your own standards, Betancourt shouldn’t be playing SS. He leads the MLB SSs in errors with 19, and his average vs. Righties is .264.

    When your case is based on errors and batting average, just give up and say “you know what, this is a losing battle. I’m wrong.”

    Sickles on Adam Jones…

    John Sickles: Nice guy, opinion on Adam Jones not important.

  14. Paul B on July 10th, 2007 7:23 am

    –People used Ibanez’s lefty average against him, so why not fire back with showing Betancourt’s poor, if not worse, performance?

    Ooh,ooh, I know this one! It’s because Betancourt is a shortstop who has good range partially negated this year by throwing errors early, whereas Ibanez is one of the worst fielding outfielders in MLB because his range is horrible!

    and, and, let’s see, Betancourt’s OPS is .794 against lefties and .623 against righties. A significant difference, but Betancourt isn’t in the majors because of his hitting.

    Meanwhile, Raul, who certainly isn’t in the majors because of his range afield, has a .825 OPS against righties and a .580 OPS against lefties.

    So, against lefties, Raul becomes a “worse hitting than a slap hitting no power shortstop” corner outfielder. Yum.

  15. baseballismylyf4 on July 10th, 2007 7:36 am

    By your own standards, Betancourt shouldn’t be playing SS. He leads the MLB SSs in errors with 19, and his average vs. Righties is .264.

    When your case is based on errors and batting average, just give up and say “you know what, this is a losing battle. I’m wrong.”

    I fail to see how I’m wrong. You and other people based your Ibanez arguments on defense and his hitting against left handed hitters.
    –I just used the same thing to explain Betancourts proneness to making errors and his low batting average against righties…

  16. Dave on July 10th, 2007 7:41 am

    I fail to see how I’m wrong. You and other people based your Ibanez arguments on defense and his hitting against left handed hitters.
    –I just used the same thing to explain Betancourts proneness to making errors and his low batting average against righties…

    1. You’re using useless statistics to support your claim. Batting average and errors are not how you evaluate a player, unless you want to come to erroneous conclusions like “Jose Vidro is the second best hitter on the team!” or “Derek Jeter is a great defensive shortstop.”

    2. The Mariners don’t have a better shortstop in Tacoma waiting to take Betancourt’s job.

    3. Betancourt’s throwing problem is fixable. Raul’s being old is not.

  17. bakomariner on July 10th, 2007 7:44 am

    do you really think they’d have players in the minors (jones, morse, etc.) switch positions if yuni wasn’t going to be around a while? his recent woes are fixable…the kid is young…sexson and ibanez have learned all they will learn…they WON’T improve…they are old…period…

  18. Jeff Nye on July 10th, 2007 8:15 am

    Maybe if we were to slingshot Raul Ibanez around the sun, time would reverse and he’d get younger…

  19. bakomariner on July 10th, 2007 8:28 am

    but when raul was really young, he couldn’t hit…so either way, we’re screwed…

  20. quickkick87 on July 10th, 2007 9:06 am

    I could be wrong, but it seems like in a situation like this (Ibanez’s defense vs. Betancourt’s), that “wow” factor actually can be useful. The sheer number of times Yuni has made an absurd play deep in the hole at short that looked impossible and made us say “wow” really serves as evidence that his defensive foundation is there, his throwing mechanics just need work. On the flip side, while maybe Raul has made a couple of “wow” plays, most of the time I’m just thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe he didn’t catch that.”

    Big difference.

  21. Ralph Malph on July 10th, 2007 9:26 am

    Is anyone in favor of trading for Troy Glaus to be the DH?

    Let’s see…

    Right handed
    Wrong side of 30
    Making $10.5M this year, $12.5M in 2008
    Doesn’t play defense very well
    Injury history

    Sounds like a perfect fit!

    I guess the one thing I can say for him is he’s better than Vidro!

    When you’ve got Adam Jones sitting in AAA with no place to play on the current roster, which of the M’s problems exactly would Glaus fill?

  22. bakomariner on July 10th, 2007 9:31 am

    i think i said this a couple times this post already…we don’t need ANY position players added but JONES…promote him, and then dip your feet in the trade pool and see if we can upgrade the starting pitching…that’s it…in my mind at least…

  23. awolfgang on July 10th, 2007 9:46 am

    Not sure if this has been brought up yet, but in the conversation on errors and defense, one thing I’ve noticed is that the Official Scorekeeper at Safeco will give just about everyone a hit. A couple weeks ago I think Niehaus even was opening griping about the scorekeeper. Which begs the question. Do scorekeepers get evaluated like umpires do by MLB? I think you can probably add 5-10 errors to the M’s if another scorekeeper was making the calls.

  24. gwangung on July 10th, 2007 9:49 am

    and, and, let’s see, Betancourt’s OPS is .794 against lefties and .623 against righties. A significant difference, but Betancourt isn’t in the majors because of his hitting.

    Meanwhile, Raul, who certainly isn’t in the majors because of his range afield, has a .825 OPS against righties and a .580 OPS against lefties.

    Given THESE kinds of differences…I had to laugh at the comment about Jones’ 1.000/.950 “split.”

  25. david h on July 10th, 2007 10:04 am

    After promoting Jones, Troy Glaus would be pretty cool to have if we didn’t have Sexson and Vidro, and Glaus played first. Of course, then you’d have Ibanez and Broussard as viable DH’s with the same platoon split, which is no good. So with the team the way it is currently constructed, and with Jones ready for the call, there is no point to go after Glaus even if he is being sold on the cheap.

    371 – THT’s Zone Rating had Glaus at +10 through June 14, and he’s had a pretty good defensive reputation throughout his career, at least from what I’ve read. Of course, THT had Beltre at -4 at that point, so who knows.

  26. Chris Miller on July 10th, 2007 10:56 am

    RE: Much of this thread.

    It just blows my mind that despite all the talk moneyball generated, and all the talk over the last few years about Beane using market inefficiencies, particularly OBP and defense, to build a team, and it seemed people might have started to “get it”, that people STILL criminally underrate OBP and defense. Both fans AND front offices.

    RE: #375
    Small sample size.

  27. Chris Miller on July 10th, 2007 11:18 am

    If you bring up anyone, to me it would make sense to bring up Balentien. The Mariners have trouble with getting the round tripper when needed, seeing how we rank 10th in the AL (out of 14) in HRs. The man has power.

    Just wanted to point out, the mariners are 6th in OBP, and just a skip to 5th place (Angels have a .003 point lead). When you account for the park, that’s huge. Sure Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Detroit are better in that regard, but they are Boston, New York, and Cleveland. Being a top team in OBP is far more important to being a good offense than the total number of Home-runs. Do you think Balentien will really help in that regard? Sure he has a .395 OBP in AAA, but what will that translate to in the majors, and will it be THAT much better than AJ. Also will the difference between the two be as big of an improvement as the defensive upgrade Jones give you? I doubt it.

  28. Oysterpirate on July 10th, 2007 12:31 pm

    Could Oakland’s Lenny DiNardo possibly be a good fit for the Mariners as a starter? He’s left handed with a high GO/AO ratio of 2.59 (which is a bit less than his career average of 2.75), and is 28 years old. Scouting reports I read say he’s not overpowering (fastball consistently at 88.0 mph), but he knows how to change speeds. He’s been used mainly in relief role since joining the majors, but has started 7 games this season with the A’s and started 22 games in 2005 with Pawtucket.

    He gave up a lot of runs last year, but strangely enough, had an even higher GO/AO rate at 3.5. His GO/AO rate is consistently about 2.56, which he set his first year up. With a such a rate, he’d appear to do pretty well with Beltre, Betancourt, and Lopez behind him. Since he’s a lefty and not overpowering, I’m ASSUMING that this would lead to a lot of groundballs in the direction of Beltre and Betancourt. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems logical that right handed hitters would try and pull him. His only problem might be his BB, shown through his K/BB rate, which is about 1.39 now, up from an 0.85 last year where he completely crashed.

    Now, this would mean dealing with Billy Beane, but Oakland doesn’t seem to suit groundball pitching with their defense. Yet, Oaklands starting rotation has been injured a lot this year, so he might be harder to persuade to trade him. I’m only guessing that he’d want some pitching in return. Perhaps we could put Feirabend in the deal and the maximum being Balentien perhaps? I don’t really know how to judge how much DiNardo is worth, but he’s not a superstar and seems to fit well in Safeco with our infield.

    Anyway, that’s what I’ve got. Is trading for DiNardo plausibly a good move?

  29. planB on July 10th, 2007 12:41 pm

    This is old now, but it’s not that height doesn’t matter. It’s just that it’s one of many things that might matter. The Olerud example was given because he is the only first baseman that demonstrably affected the performance of the rest of the infield on his team. Out of thousands, of all different heights. He is somewhat tall, and I’m sure that contributed, but there are a whole lot of other reasons Sexson isn’t Olerud.

    You have to look at a defender’s performance overall. A short guy could be good, and a tall guy could be bad. A large wingspan alone doesn’t automatically make you a good first baseman; just like muscles alone don’t automatically make you a good hitter.

    And unless you have multiple copies of the same person at different heights, you can’t measure the influence of height alone. Even if you could, that’s irrelevant, because defensive ability overall is the useful measure. What good is it to say, “Smith is bad, but at least he is 7′ tall, otherwise he’d be awful” or “Jones is good, but he’d be great if he were 6″ taller.”

  30. jake squid on July 10th, 2007 1:18 pm

    A large wingspan alone doesn’t automatically make you a good first baseman…

    Yes, indeed. Remember what a great first baseman Dave Kingman was?

  31. Chris Miller on July 10th, 2007 1:29 pm

    #379, I don’t think I could have put that any better. It’s kind of like people looking for the next Randy Johnson. Being “6’9”, lefthanded, and throwing heat doesn’t automagically turn you into one of the best 5-10 pitchers in history.

    Physical comps are only useful in addition to statistical comps, and alone is not predictive of a players stats. Being fast doesnt automatically make you a good defender. Being a good athelete doesn’t make you doesn’t automatically make you a good ball player. Heck, you can have no stuff (speed + movement) and still be one of the better pitchers around, and have all the stuff in the world and still suck.

    Also there’s more to defense than catching throws a few inches outside of what another player would. Defense is speed, positioning, routes, arm, fielding ability (ability to catch the balls thrown at you), and footwork, and I’m sure somthing I’ve missed. The best bet is too look at all the various (good) PBP defensive metrics like ZR and UZR and PMR over about a 3 year span to gauge defense, and if you do that it’s obvious Sexson and Ibanez are two of the worst defenders allowed to play in the field every day.

  32. LoydKristmis on July 10th, 2007 1:35 pm

    “…I think you can probably add 5-10 errors to the M’s if another scorekeeper was making the calls…”

    I think you can say that about the effect of any scorekeeper on the home team.

  33. mwick243 on July 10th, 2007 1:41 pm

    Glaus was just an idea that came up… I think you are correct though, that the current situation does not call for bringing in a slugger who could only be counted on realistically to DH.

    Who would the Mariners have to give up from their system to get Kyle Lohse?

    Also, I havent been able to find any “on-the-block” news from the Devil Rays, but I was wondering if there was maybe an outside chance at landing Scott Kazmir. I know he has a lot of promise, but do you think that Tampa would be willing to give him up for a combination of a vet (Vidro or Ibanez) and a decent prospect?

  34. mwick243 on July 10th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Also, does anyone think that maybe Adam Jones will not be able to live up to these ‘savior’ expectations? I understand that he has improved in the minors since last season, but isn’t this a little too much pressure to be placing on the best prospect in the organization?

    What is more important: Adding Jones to be a factor in this year’s playoff push… or easing Jones into the Bigs to ensure a very productive 5+ years out of him?

  35. thepull on July 10th, 2007 1:56 pm

    Kazmir? I hope that was some kind of huge joke, or maybe you are high?

  36. Chris Miller on July 10th, 2007 2:00 pm

    I got it, I got it, Victor Zambrano just got released. Maybe we can pick him up with the hopes of trading him to Tampa Bay for Kazmir ….

  37. kidlondon on July 10th, 2007 2:01 pm

    It may seem like there’d be a lot of pressure on Jones, but there really isn’t any easing into the bigs in my opinion. Besides, he doesn’t have to live up to our expectations to be an improvement: I agree with what Dave has already said that he can bat .230 and it won’t hurt, and an athletic chimpanzee could outfield Raul.

    Plain and simple, we can tell Adam to go out there and just have a good time playing ball and he’ll still improve our chances in the second half.

  38. John in L.A. on July 10th, 2007 2:46 pm

    384 – why are those things mutually exclusive?

  39. mwick243 on July 10th, 2007 8:29 pm

    I know the Kazmir suggestion was a bit out there, that’s why I said “outside chance.” But I figured, of all the decently promising youngsters in the league, Kazmir has been struggling more than most.

    This may be another crazy suggestion, but let’s say, even though they are apparently close to a deal, the M’s were to willing to part with Ichiro.
    How about a deal with Boston for Crisp, Hansen, and either Lester or Buchholz?

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