Projecting the 2008 Mariners team

DMZ · January 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Using random guesses, hunches, wishcasting, and general skullduggery. You can, as I frequently note, get extremely close to a good projection using a player’s three-year average. Therefore!

C-R: Johjima. No change. I still (as always) think he might outdo himself, but .285/.325/.435, no problem.
1B-R: Sexson. Ugh. Dead cat bounce. .245/.330/.460 … that looks high, now that I check it. Oh well.
2B-R: Lopez. I’m bullish on his 08 season. .275/.320/.400 on the low end. The more Cairo plays, the worse this gets.
SS-R: Betancourt. Last year’s about as well as you can expect him to hit without a change in what he’s doing up there. Step back a little, he’s still a .290/.315/.410 hitter. If he’s playing good defense, you take it.
3B-R: Beltre. Wooo! Beltreeeee! Call me a fan, but .275/.325/.460 is entirely realistic.
LF-L: Ibanez. .280/.350/.455.
CF-L: Ichiro. .330/.380/.420
RF-R: Jones. .270/.330/.440. I have no idea. OBP’s probably high, SLG might be low.
DH-B: Vidro. .280/.350/.380. Really. I realize I’m going to have to write up a long post on this at some point, but I’ve been spending a lot of time studying Vidro’s balls-in-play charts and I think he’s nearly done as a hitter, and if he doesn’t go off the cliff next year, we’ll still see a lot less. Now that I think about it, there will probably be two reactions to that post, and they’d run
– yeah, I see those same warning signs
– Vidro’s on fire! Revitalized! You hate him because of the Snelling trade!!!11!!oneone!!

which makes me wonder if it’s worth writing.

Bench: Burke/WFB/Cairo/?. They’ll drag down the line a bit.

So as a team, that’s a line of about .280/.340/.430, which is… drum roll please… about what they hit last year, when they scored 794 runs. No surprise there.

Defensively, it’s a step up. Replacing Guillen with Jones is a huge upgrade. Perhaps he and Ichiro can play left-center and right-center, and Ibanez can back up Sexson at first.

So to the pitching, then.
SP-R Felix Hernandez. Continues to progress.
SP-L Jarrod Washburn. Continues to be Jarrod.
SP-R Carlos Silva. Even if his fundamental stats don’t change, he’ll likely have an ERA of 4.50 or more.
SP-R Miguel Batista. Figure another year eats into his K rate a little, and he’ll still be pretty effective.
SP-? ?

That last one’s a pick-em: Baek, HoRam, Morrow, whoever you want. Who it is, and how they do, could make a huge difference. Hard to be worse than HoRam.

Just swapping out Weaver for someone decent is worth 20 runs, at least. And then if you replace HoRam with any decent pitcher, that’s another 20. They’re not going to have any trouble putting a dramatically improved rotation out there.

Bullpen: I don’t think they’ll have any problem throwing together an equally-effective bullpen for next year, even with Putz bound to come down a little.

Overall on the pitching side, let’s call it… fifty runs. Might be better than that, but that’s reasonable, especially considering the defense with Jones offset somewhat by Ibanez and Sexson both getting a little creakier, then Betancourt not making as many errors.

We’re at ~795 runs scored, and ~780 runs allowed. That’s an over-.500 team, though not by a lot.

You can immediately identify where this could go wrong on the scoring side (Sexson not hitting would kill that offensive number, as would Cairo playing) or right (Vidro somehow sustains his crazy hit rate, Lopez breaks out) and on the pitching side (Felix breaks out/Jarrod breaks down).

But I don’t see a team that’s ready to challenge the Angels, and I don’t understand why people think they might be competitive. A lot of things have to break the M’s way, while a lot of other things can’t go wrong (particularly, this is not a deep squad that could take any serious injury to… well, I won’t point out who, because I’m paranoid). The Angels are pretty easily a 90-win team, and the Mariners as presently constituted aren’t close. Luck can swing a season, certainly, but hoping both that the M’s get lucky and the Angels suffer a catastrophe seems unrealistic and, if that view leads to trades that hurt the team’s chances to compete for a championship in the long term, harmful.


57 Responses to “Projecting the 2008 Mariners team”

  1. hcoguy on January 22nd, 2008 12:23 pm

    So you have Beltre declining from his previous two years?
    I am really excited for AB this year. I’d like him to have an .810ish OPS and see him extended and finish as a mariner. It is not out of the realm of possibility given the weaker rotations he’ll face in Oakland and Texas. Although, he did kill Danny Haren quite often. SSS aside, I think he can put up his second best year before a decline phase.

  2. Wishhiker on January 22nd, 2008 12:37 pm

    I understand and agree with the forcasts. I think the evaluation is a bit on the pessimistic side, but not overly. You guys seem to tend that way and it seems safer to do so. There’s always things that turn out different than anyone could guess at, but I certainly don’t think I could predict any better than this.

    Mere Tantalisers #30 ~ Lopez optimism hits it’s peak towards the end of May when he is hitting well and has been for over a month. Only a couple years to go on, but that’s how those went.

    I’m always hopeful that Lopez will continue hitting the way he starts, but things have changed a couple months in to each season so far. I agree with sentiments that he should be given most of this year to prove he can keep it together more. I don’t like the idea of any other options the team has right now for starting.

    NBarnes #13 ~ Defensively Cairo is a better option than any other bench player on the team at 1B, 2B and SS, he can also play 3B fairly well. St. L. might have played him in LF, but I wouldn’t. Bloomquist and Morse are not good defensive options at positions up the middle. Chen missed a lot of time last year and probably needs to get regular time somewhere to get back in the swing. Chen still looks like a good replacement for Bloomquist next year (if he’s not re-signed) and Cairo was only signed for 1 year. I like Cairo better as a stopgap starter than anyone on the team other than Lopez, but unless Lopez gets injured I like him better than Cairo. They’ve had some recent ‘injuries’ to players who need re-instruction, so maybe that’s the backup plan if Lopez doesn’t put together consistent approaches from March through September.

    I understand that there may be better options than Cairo among FA’s, but I’ve gotten used to the team not getting the best FA options. I can’t say that it’s merely because they haven’t tried. Every year I hear about more players not wanting to play in Seattle, whatever their reasons may be.

  3. Tom on January 22nd, 2008 1:11 pm

    You know, I can picture it now two weeks into the season as Richie Sexson crawls to a .150 batting average. . .

    Desperate and confused Mariners fans looking for hope will stand up and start chanting:

    “Dil-fer! Dil-fer! Dil-fer! Dil-Fer!”

  4. Bearman on January 22nd, 2008 1:29 pm

    [rosterbation, you’ve been warned about this before]

  5. Tek Jansen on January 22nd, 2008 1:47 pm

    #54 — I cannot imagine Mac platooning Chen with someone if Lopez struggles. Cairo or WFB will get the ABs and playing time, and that is bad news for everyone, minus Cairo and WFB of course.

  6. Matthew Carruth on January 22nd, 2008 2:04 pm

    believe if the M’s had packaged Sexson and say one of the AA level SS prospects with a cash consideration of $8 mil for salary.
    I’m positive the Giants would of parted with P Noah Lowry.

    You are flat out wrong about this.

  7. Wishhiker on January 22nd, 2008 6:25 pm

    I actually like to think of it this way too…The signing of Cairo may show that the team realizes putting Vidro at 2nd base is a bad idea. At least we shouldn’t have to see that again. (I hope…)

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