On Wilkerson

DMZ · January 31, 2008 at 6:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

knee xray

Just a couple years ago, I was a pretty huge Wilkerson fan, and not just because Jonah Keri forced me to pay attention to the Expos so I could understand what he was talking about all the time. Wilkerson was a pretty studly player there for a while. But over the last few years, it’s really come apart for him. He’s been repeatedly injured, his hitting’s been way off his peak when he was contributing, and you don’t really know what you’re getting. If he’s healthy and the injuries haven’t robbed him of his ability, maybe you luck out and get a left-handed bat in the lineup hitting .260/.375/.470 (hot cha cha) and some of his defense comes back so he’s not a huge liability in the field. Then he’s like super-Broussard without the music, except with Jones gone, he’ll be playing all the time.

The problem is that doesn’t seem real likely. From fangraphs, here’s the three projections we have already:
Bill James: .240/.345/.451
CHONE: .240/.340/.431
Marcel: .240/.329/.427

Those aren’t Safeco Field projections, btw.

The average AL right fielder last year hit .286/.348/.465. If Wilkerson’s healthy next year and can hit well and play some defense, that’s a cheap, effective plug for the hole they just created.

But to uphold the USSM virtues of pessimism, pessimism, and pessimism, I wonder what the chances of that are. Given his recent history, it seems a lot more likely that he’s going to miss at least a decent chunk of time and be maybe a little better in right than Guillen. Ichiro’s going to need a defensive sub to rest his legs is what. And it’s a lot to expect him to hit, post-injuries, as well as he did as a peaking, healthy 25-27-year-old.

The good news is he’s a lefty, so hopefully Safeco doesn’t take much from him at all. Here’s hoping. I’d love to see Wilkerson have a career resurrection in Seattle.

I wonder if the M’s were so encouraged by Vidro that they decided to take on another guy who’d suffered a lot of leg injuries to see if they can do it again.

broken x-ray” picture from [177]‘s flickr stream, used under the Creative Commons license

Comments

139 Responses to “On Wilkerson”

  1. ctillisc on January 31st, 2008 6:49 pm

    one thing i do worry about is wilkerson’s arm compared to guillen’s. you can be assured that a lot of runners are going to challenge brad that would not challenge jose’s arm

  2. pensive on January 31st, 2008 6:51 pm

    Wonder why Front Office didn’t consider Patterson. He would appear to be a better fit, if nothing else his speed is an asset the starting lineup would benefit from.

  3. kyleharfst326 on January 31st, 2008 6:53 pm

    [violation of button terms]

  4. Carson on January 31st, 2008 6:53 pm

    Aye. We’re all a bunch of pessimists.

    Those projections aren’t great, but I’d be happy if he nails them. Surely, this was better than Gonzo. And, if somehow Sexson gets moved and Wlad figures out how to spray the ball by mid season, he can move to first base and be at least as good as Sexson was there.

  5. argh on January 31st, 2008 7:01 pm

    plug for the whole

    And you’re whacking posts for spelling errors?

  6. kyleharfst326 on January 31st, 2008 7:04 pm

    I do think that patterson would be a good choice but we need to look for clutch bats and decent outfielders. But the fact that he is better fielder and faster i do agree with you.

    What is violation of button terms

  7. JI on January 31st, 2008 7:07 pm

    I was under the impression that Wilkerson can throw.

  8. Teej on January 31st, 2008 7:08 pm

    Dude, Kyle, you’re killing me. I can’t stop laughing.

  9. CaptainPoopy on January 31st, 2008 7:19 pm

    Off topic, but [deleted, off topic]

  10. giuseppe on January 31st, 2008 7:22 pm

    First of all the button mentions “comments” being free of spelling errors. I believe what Derek wrote was a “post.” I have no idea what kind of button they have to press in order to get those up, but I’m sure they are more stringent in their scrutiny of their posts than a high percentage of the commenters here.

    Also, if you take a look at Derek’s past performance you see a very low typo and spelling error rate. Both numbers go up when posting frequently under stressful situations such as this trade fiasco. Also, when the authors have to defend themselves and watch the comments more there is a sharp increase.

    That said, everyone makes mistakes and Derek and Dave make these types very infrequently. Most often the posts that get “whacked” do not contain just one spelling error. They are comprised almost completely of spelling errors.

    Finally, to get on topic, here’s to hoping Wilkerson posts anything resembling those optimistic projections. If he does I promise I won’t compare his numbers to Adam’s every day obsessively.

    I hope Wilkerson is another in the long line of successful Mariners with no legs – Edgar, um, hmm, well, Edgar. That’s enough I guess.

  11. Lucky Number on January 31st, 2008 7:32 pm

    Jeez giuseppe, if you’re trying to score points with the authors, just buy them a beer!

  12. JMHawkins on January 31st, 2008 7:32 pm

    I hope Wilkerson is another in the long line of successful Mariners with no legs – Edgar, um, hmm, well, Edgar. That’s enough I guess.

    Johnny-O didn’t have wheels. Does that count?

  13. scott19 on January 31st, 2008 7:40 pm

    Oh lord, I hope we’re not comparing Wilkerson to Edgar here.

  14. klosetfann on January 31st, 2008 7:44 pm

    If indeed Jones is gone and we picked up Wilkerson as a stop-gap. Is there someone better out there that we could’ve taken instead?(besides jenkins)

  15. Uncle Ted on January 31st, 2008 7:46 pm

    Good lord, hasn’t MS word robbed all of you of any ability to spell like it has me? That auto correct function is just a sure way to reinforce bad habits…

    I was hoping we’d sign Wilkerson on the cheap two years ago. Anyone know any of the details of the deal?

  16. joser on January 31st, 2008 7:48 pm

    There are certain spelling errors that will get your post whacked for a single offense. Certain players’ names, for example (especially current and former Mariners).

    Given that they were going to create this hole for themselves, this late in the offseason, what other options do they have? Who’s left? Patterson. Lofton (lefty, but old. Kind of Rickey 2.0 though). Shannon Stewart (not a lefty). Reggie Saunders (also not a lefty). Reggie Sanders (also not a lefty, also old).

    I wonder if the penumbra of the Mitchell Report factored into it at all.

    if somehow Sexson gets moved and Wlad figures out how to spray the ball by mid season, he can move to first base and be at least as good as Sexson was there

    Isn’t going to happen, but you’d probably still be better off leaving him out there and moving Raul to 1st.

  17. Taylor H on January 31st, 2008 7:48 pm

    The details are: 1yr, 3 million.
    However, they seem pretty unimportant, given the implications of the signing.
    Bedard will be a Mariner, it is now 90% sure of it.
    But, hey, we can always get a new top prospect. (yes he’s not a prospect anymore).

  18. Uncle Ted on January 31st, 2008 7:53 pm

    Yes, obviously Wilkerson is Jones’ replacement, but for 3 million he’s also a half decent cover your ass option in case of an injury ridden season or Sexson getting even worse even if the Jones trade doesn’t go through is he not?

  19. joser on January 31st, 2008 7:57 pm

    Good lord, hasn’t MS word robbed all of you of any ability to spell like it has me? That auto correct function is just a sure way to reinforce bad habits…

    So get Firefox, which does the background spellcheck in textareas (including the wavy red underlines) just like Word.

  20. Taylor H on January 31st, 2008 8:23 pm

    Well, the management is counting on his defense and his left-handedness really. But you are most likely correct, Uncle Ted. They ought to have tried for Cammy when he was still available.

  21. Mr. Egaas on January 31st, 2008 8:40 pm

    Best available, in my opinion.

    He’d always struck me as a Billy Beane type guy, and I’m surprised he never pryed him away from the Nats.

    Had this happened two years ago, I be super stoked. Maybe he’ll stay healthy and we’ll catch lightning in a bottle. Maybe Wlad will refine his game and they’ll be splitting time toward the end of the year to give Bubba Wilks a rest now and then.

    Here’s your uh, Carl Everett/Jose Vidro lefty sock addition of the offseason.

  22. msb on January 31st, 2008 8:48 pm

    say, that’s one handsome set of bones up there.

  23. msb on January 31st, 2008 8:49 pm

    thinking about it, if there is one thing Rick Griffin has experience with, it’s balky hamstrings.

  24. HamNasty on January 31st, 2008 8:54 pm

    DMZ, you raised an excellent point. When Ichiro needs a rest who gets CF? Are they going to have to keep Reed on the 25 man just for that purpose?

  25. thefin190 on January 31st, 2008 8:57 pm

    Like others have said, this is alot better than signing the shell of Luis Gonzalez. I would still prefer the Mariners to trade Morrow instead of Jones and have both Jones and Bedard, but that is not going to happen. I guess as the old saying goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” But it does ease the pain just slightly knowing that the organization isn’t overpaying for a senior citizen to start, throwing an unprepared Balentien out there to start, or most fortunately, not having WFB start at right field. But if Wilkerson does get injured, is there a chance WFB will get regular starting time? Now that does scare me.

    Did anyone figure out how many wins having Wilkerson will contribute? My guess is +1. So Having Wilkerson and Bedard but losing Jones, Sherrill, et al in total gives you 3 more wins then having Jones, Sherrill, et al in 2008? Correct me if I am wrong here.

    Also who feels like the Mariners got Ichiro for an extremely good value, now that he will be playing left center – right center?

  26. Carson on January 31st, 2008 9:00 pm

    HamNasty – That important duty belongs to Kitsap’s favorite son (get it.. Kitsap Sun.. son? teehee).

    Willie Ballgame!

  27. coasty141 on January 31st, 2008 9:17 pm

    I’m pegging Wilkey for 400 PA’s and a niftly little 245/345/435 line.

  28. Dayve on January 31st, 2008 9:19 pm

    I don’t mind getting a proven number one pitcher for a few unproven pitchers, a reliever who is probably nearing his downside soon and a prospect who still has a few years to go to find himself, if he actually ever does. It hurts to lose a stud like Jones, but outfielders grow on trees and number one major league pitchers who are 28 do not.

    Wilkerson, however. Might as well have kept Guillen. He was a sure thing and a solid competitor.
    We’ll be lucky is Wilks pushes past Sexson numbers.

  29. Dave on January 31st, 2008 9:20 pm

    Believing that Adam Jones grows on trees: -1
    Spelling Dave with a y in it: -100

  30. giuseppe on January 31st, 2008 9:23 pm

    Lucky Number, you’re right, that was a bit over the top. But I would gladly buy some beers for the authors and the mods after this crazy off-season is over and we can get back to the normal 1 or 2 a day post pattern. Sooner if the button goes back up.

    JMHawkins, John Olerud was slow, but he had legs. Edgar made my hamstrings sore when he ran. Same goes for Griffey near the end a few times.

    I would like to second (or third or fourth) the notion of how happy we should be about Luis Gonzalez not signing with the Mariners. I’ve watched him slowly move around the outfield of Dodger Stadium too many times recently. Granted the rainbows and bounces he uses to get the ball into the infield area are aesthetically pleasing, but they were maddening to those of us that wanted the opposing teams to score less frequently. Also his prowess at the plate has not been prowess for many years. The worst part was, he’s a great guy by the looks of things and fans love him. I have friends I share season tickets with that are sad to see him go despite the pain he put us through.

    I welcome Brad Wilkerson and hope he has an amazing career resurgence in Seattle. It’s not his fault his new boss made bad decisions before he got here. Go Mariners.

  31. Tek Jansen on January 31st, 2008 9:23 pm

    There is nothing wrong with the price that they are paying for Wilkerson. Planning on him being effective as a full-time OF is the mistake. Let’s say the 1% chance of the Bedard trade falling through happens. Wilkerson is a good bench player, lefty, and could spell Raul in the late innings. As a fulltime OF, I have large doubts.

    I hope he succeeds, but I suspect that the M’s are going to try to find a defensive OF with a solid bat at the trading deadline. They will look for someone like, oh I don’t know, Adam Jones.

    And if M’s also need a lefty reliever/8th inning set-up man to keep pace with the Halos, I hear the O’s are willing to flip Sherrill for a couple of propects. Bavasi should inquire about picking him up.

  32. shortbus on January 31st, 2008 9:28 pm

    HamNasty: DMZ was kidding about Ichiro needing rest. He doesn’t actually take days off except at gunpoint. His unflagging consistency is one of the big reasons he’s such a very special player.

  33. giuseppe on January 31st, 2008 9:30 pm

    Guillen was not only a sure thing and a solid competitor he was also clutch and so, so gritty. Oh, but he also cost a hell of a lot more than Wilkerson. All that solidity and surety is worth 9 million to you? (I don’t know the exact details of Guillen’s 3/$36m deal, so I’m estimating the difference. But I used my veteran estimation skills.) You’re right, might as well.

  34. milendriel on January 31st, 2008 10:02 pm

    Wait a sec, let me get this straight…

    Mariners’ 2007-2008 offseason:

    1) Declined Jose Guillen option and non-tendered him because Adam Jones needs a spot to start.

    2) Gave Horacio Ramirez $2.75 million to “secure” 5th starter spot.

    3) Traded Jones for Erik Bedard, creating hole in outfield and turing Ramirez into ludicrously expensive (and bad) long reliever.

    4) Picked up Brad Wilkerson off scrapheap.

    Did I get that right? Is there any evidence at all the organization is able to think even 24 hours ahead?

  35. thefin190 on January 31st, 2008 10:31 pm

    Well, maybe HoRam can blossom into a lefty specialist in place of Sherrill. Maybe the deal won’t look so bad then.

    Just Kidding…

  36. MyOhMy on January 31st, 2008 10:38 pm

    Not to mention by non-tendering Guillen, lost out on sandwich pick in next years draft! That still boggles my mind … along with everything else this off-season and as stated in #33

  37. JMHawkins on January 31st, 2008 10:46 pm

    Did I get that right? Is there any evidence at all the organization is able to think even 24 hours ahead?

    I dunno. Those Yankee games they’re charging a premium for are months from now. I guess they can think ahead on some subjects. Not so much on others.

  38. gwangung on January 31st, 2008 10:47 pm

    Not to mention by non-tendering Guillen, lost out on sandwich pick in next years draft! That still boggles my mind … along with everything else this off-season and as stated in #33

    Why is this surprising, given the sloppiness in the way this team has been run? A sloppiness that runs from Randy Johnson to the A-Rod negotiations to the way Piniella was run out of town to the way Carlos Guillen was run out of town and the way Freddy Garcia was nickled and dimed in arbitration…and…and…

    This is a team that refuses to sweat the small details. Is it any wonder that they can’t handle the big details? This just does not seem like an operation that is professional in its outlook and handling of baseball details.

  39. coasty141 on January 31st, 2008 10:54 pm

    #34
    “Sherill is not a loogy”. That was the t-shirt I wore to a game last year. By the way this year I think I’m going with a simple “where is adam jones” tee.

  40. scott19 on January 31st, 2008 10:58 pm

    33: Or, as Bruce Springsteen once said, “one step up and two steps back.”

  41. shortbus on January 31st, 2008 10:59 pm

    It’s like a clown fire crew that runs around inadvertently starting as many fires as it puts out. “I’ll trade a great reliever for a cruddy starter! OH NO, my bullpen stinks!! I’ll shove my rookie starter in there! OH NO my rotation’s no good!! I’ll trade my right fielder, reliever and a future starter AND reliever for a starting pitcher!!”

  42. scott19 on January 31st, 2008 11:10 pm

    40: Love that analogy there on the clown fire crew, Shortbus — and also quite appropriate, since HoRam’s apparently the newly-appointed “official” Gas Can of the Year! :)

  43. jlc on January 31st, 2008 11:15 pm

    Much as I love the pink pony, the clown fire crew is what will stay in my heart through ’08.

  44. milendriel on January 31st, 2008 11:23 pm

    40- It’s amazing to think just how awful the Soriano for HoRam trade has proven to be. It’s a self-perpetuating debacle, and I doubt it ends with Brad Wilkerson.

    I kinda like Wilkerson though. He’s probably more “garage sale” quality rather than “scrapheap.” Ahh, this is gonna be an interesting season, that’s for sure.

  45. NBarnes on January 31st, 2008 11:37 pm

    40 wins.

  46. shortbus on January 31st, 2008 11:46 pm

    I don’t hate the Wilkerson deal per se. It’s just that it shows how difficult it will be to replace Jones in the OF and should be a real wakeup call to those who think it’s trivial to send a “prospect” like Jones to Baltimore as only one of four or five talented players in exchange for one pitcher.

  47. scott19 on February 1st, 2008 12:23 am

    44: I don’t think it’s THAT bad, yet — geez, even the Tigers got 43 with that motley crew they ran out there back in ’03.

  48. scott19 on February 1st, 2008 12:26 am

    44: Duh, my apologies for being a dumbass…I finally figured out where you were going with that.

  49. vj on February 1st, 2008 3:55 am

    By comparison, here’s Geoff Jenkins’ deal acc. to Cots Contracts:

    Geoff Jenkins of
    2 years/$13M (2008-09), plus 2010 mutual option

    - signed as a free agent 12/20/07
    - 2010 option guaranteed at $7.5M with 925 PAs 2008-09 or 525 PAs in 2009
    - limited no-trade clause allowing Jenkins to block deals to 6 clubs

    So the question is: do we expect Jenkins to be enough of an improvement over Wilkerson to justify the additional commitment?

  50. Tek Jansen on February 1st, 2008 6:51 am

    I expect Jenkins to to be worth the commitment. It goes back to a much earlier post by Dave (apologies to DMZ if it was his post). Dave’s point was that if the M’s wanted to go all in this year by acquiring Bedard, they should have planned ahead and built a team capable of competing. That would require a better OF (Jenkins), signing a reliever to replace Sherrill (Affeldt), and other improvements.

  51. gk91 on February 1st, 2008 7:44 am

    McLaren says in the Times this morning the Ms would have made this deal whether or not Jones was on the team…is this just PR talk or more evidence of McLaren’s irrational love of one legged veterans?

  52. et_blankenship on February 1st, 2008 7:50 am

    Geoff Jenkins signed with the Phillies over 40 days ago. What if Seattle had signed Jenkins and then had been unable to acquire Bedard?

  53. snapper on February 1st, 2008 7:53 am

    I like Wilkerson for the M’s.

    He young enough, that if he’s healthy he could give you a really nice 450 ABs.

  54. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 7:53 am

    Geoff Jenkins signed with the Phillies over 40 days ago. What if Seattle had signed Jenkins and then had been unable to acquire Bedard?

    Ibanez to 1st/DH. Jenkins OF/insurance if Jones struggles.

    That’s a rational plan.

  55. Tek Jansen on February 1st, 2008 8:05 am

    #51 — It is actually a good move if the AJ/Bedard trade falls through. Mac may have just been spouting off managerial speak, but the M’s should not regret the move if they can’t land Bedard and keep AJ.

  56. Jonah Keri on February 1st, 2008 8:13 am

    One good thing I’ll say about Wilkerson: He’s never shown any hard splits, meaning there shouldn’t be any need to platoon him, other than to spot for him on occasion in an effort keep him fresh, healthy and reasonably productive. In fact he’s often hit a bit better vs. LH than RH in his career. Also, the comparisons to Edgar’s D and mobility are silly. Even after injuries and now being over 30, he’s still got a bit of athleticism–back in the day he was a downright able basestealer, with pretty decent range. If I’m the M’s, I’d be looking for a cheap Reed Johnson type to mash LH and spot for Wilkerson (reasonably often) and Ichiro (on rare occasions).

    With Wilks (one of my all-time favorites) and Vidro on the club, the M’s are starting to resemble the 2002 Expos, a scrappy, extremely lovable team…minus Vidro and Wilkerson still being great players, of course. This in turn means that I’m back to rooting for the Mariners this year. Which means the Mariners are now cursed…ummm…more so than they already are.

  57. JMHawkins on February 1st, 2008 8:17 am

    McLaren says in the Times this morning the Ms would have made this deal whether or not Jones was on the team…is this just PR talk or more evidence of McLaren’s irrational love of one legged veterans?

    I think it’s actually a reasonable idea. Wilkerson isn’t terrible, plus he’s left-handed. He’s actually the kind of guy who has surprise upside potential (though with a high degree of risk). One thing that hasn’t been mentioned very much in all the Jones trade talk is that Ibanez, Sexson and Vidro all ought to be considered injury risks. Ibanez and Sexson were hurt for much of last year, and Vidro for much of the two years before that. They’re all a year older, and even if they aren’t injured could use regular time off. Given that there are three of them, having a qualified replacement at $3M is not a bad idea. I don’t really believe that’s the main reason the M’s acquired him, but Mac’s statement is reasonable and probably accurate.

    Geoff Jenkins signed with the Phillies over 40 days ago. What if Seattle had signed Jenkins and then had been unable to acquire Bedard?

    Then they could have moved Raul to 1B/DH and worked really, really hard to move Sexson. Just like one of Dave’s offseaon plans!

    But that’s a weakness in how the organization goes about things. They’re very inflexible. They get an idea in their head and pursue exactly that plan, with no room for adjustments. They could improve their efficiency in acquiring talent if they were a little more creative in team construction.

  58. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 8:21 am

    Who will be the 4th outfielder now? All three starters are left-handed, so it would be safe to assume that the back-up would have to be a righty right? Jimerson? WLAD? Morse is out of options, so it makes the most sense…

    Or will they just use Willie Boom-Boom?

  59. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 8:24 am

    But that’s a weakness in how the organization goes about things. They’re very inflexible. They get an idea in their head and pursue exactly that plan, with no room for adjustments. They could improve their efficiency in acquiring talent if they were a little more creative in team construction.

    Or implementation. Whatever happened to creative use of the bench? With the use of a super-sub ala McLemore? Given the age of the outfield and 1B, shouldn’t some thought be given to resting them more? So they don’t droop during the home stretch…like they have over the PAST SEVEN YEARS????

  60. msb on February 1st, 2008 8:29 am

    sigh. TR Sullivan was just on, detailing the sadness of Brad Wilkerson playing in Arlington last season.

    He was great in the clubhouse, though.

  61. TumwaterMike on February 1st, 2008 8:33 am

    Wilkerson could have Guillen type numbers if he stays healthy. That would leave the starting line-up virtually the same as last year. With the starting pitching improved and the bull pen about the same (I don’t like losing Sherrill though, maybe Rhodes or O’Flaherty can step up)it is not unreasoanbale to project 5-8 more wins for the M’s.

  62. et_blankenship on February 1st, 2008 8:36 am

    54

    It’s a rational plan for the Mariners but not for Jenkins, especially in December. Why would Jenkins commit himself to the bench four months before the start of the season and with so many starting jobs still available?

  63. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 8:41 am

    It’s a rational plan for the Mariners but not for Jenkins, especially in December. Why would Jenkins commit himself to the bench four months before the start of the season and with so many starting jobs still available?

    Sorry, wasn’t being clear.

    Jenkins would start, period. Whether it was RF or LF, he’d start. THis would put Ibanez between DH/1B. If Jones struggled, you could put Ibanez out in the field and use Sexson/Vidro at 1B/DH.

  64. Oolon on February 1st, 2008 8:41 am

    Hmmm… So that button down there that says, “This comment is free of spelling errors” isn’t a spell checker telling me I done good? I expected it to turn red when there was an error and the message to change to something like “This comment has one spelling error”…

    I’ll have to be more careful in the future…

  65. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 8:47 am

    Wilkerson could have Guillen type numbers if he stays healthy.

    Problem is…he hasn’t stayed healthy over the past few years. I don’t think this is like Guillen, who came back after a single catastrophic injury. This looks more like chronic problems that indicate he’s not going to be healthy full time next year.

  66. et_blankenship on February 1st, 2008 8:54 am

    You were clear and I agree, it sounds great . . . but not if I am Geoff Jenkins. If the alternative to what you have described above (i.e. a promise from the FO/MGR for a lineup shuffle sure to make you unpopular with your new teammates, IF it even happens) is a clear-cut starting job in RF with a fellow fringe contender, I’m taking the latter. From the player’s perspective, I don’t believe Seattle was ever a realistic possibility.

    If Jenkins were available now, sure. If Jones or Sexy had been traded on December 18th, sure.

  67. TacomaFan on February 1st, 2008 9:49 am

    I can’t understand why the Mariners aren’t willing to give their minor leaguers a chance, before wasting lots of money on over the hill veterans with limited defensive skills. If Jones is traded (a fait accomplit, apparently), then why not try Morse/Balentien in right? I’m sure they could do better than .240 with 15-20 HRs, for a lot less than $3M, and with better defense.

    Same with Vidro at DH. Morse could probably hit for a decent average with much greater power potential.

    That’s why we have the 6th highest payroll in the league with very little to show for it.

  68. Paul B on February 1st, 2008 10:00 am

    Maybe…

    Maybe Wilkerson will have a career year.

    Maybe the Bedard deal will be nixed by the O’s, and Jones will be an all star.

    Maybe Sexson will go oh-for-May, be benched, and Ibanez will be moved to first.

    “… to dream, the impossible dream…”

  69. Pete Livengood on February 1st, 2008 10:08 am

    pensive wrote:

    “Wonder why Front Office didn’t consider Patterson. He would appear to be a better fit….”

    I agree, pensive. I think he would have cost more, though. He’s one of the few remaining FA outfielders under 30, and he made $4.3M last year. Despite better fan “friendly” numbers (BA of .269), he was actually worse in some ways than Wilkerson last year (Wilkerson with a 104 OPS+ last year, while Patterson had an 80 OPS+).

    As someone else observed, though, with all the age/potential injury concerns with Raul, Vidro, Wilkerson, and the likely need to rest Ichiro a bit more, they may need to sign another outfielder. Of course, they think that by signing Cairo and keeping Willie around, they already have that, which I can’t help. I hope they at least ask for Luke Scott back in the Bedard deal.

    Mr. Egaas wrote:

    “[Wilkerson's the b]est available, in my opinion. …He’d always struck me as a Billy Beane type guy….”

    I looked around, and other than Patterson (who is also a risky play), there aren’t many good options – especially if left-handed batting is a requirement. Trot Nixon? He’ll be 34, and had a 76 OPS+ last year. Already mentioned Patterson’s shortcomings. Bobby Kielty is a switch, but he was horrible last year. If he’s available two weeks hence and would accept a NRI, that’d probably be a decent move. Lofton is the next best LH-batting bat, but he’s ancient, and has possibly the worst arm ever seen in a guy with as many outfield games played as he has.

    I think Wilkerson is a reasonable move. Certainly better than many the M’s have made over the last few years. We just shouldn’t be surprised if the last couple of years’ slide doesn’t prove to be the beginning of the end. Wilkerson’s top 4 B-Ref comps were all finished between 30 and 32, and fell off the proverbial cliff pretty hard and pretty quick….

  70. vj on February 1st, 2008 10:24 am

    Pete, I can think of one available free agent outfielder who bats left-handed and seems to be a safe bet to post better offensive numbers than either Wilkerson, Patterson or Jenkins. Probably not a plus defender, though.

  71. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 10:26 am

    Pete, it would seem reasonable that they’d send Scott back in the deal, especially since the most recent reports are a 5 for 1 deal, but Scott is also left-handed…are they really going to have 4 left-handed outfielders?

  72. Evan on February 1st, 2008 10:29 am

    An unrepentant optimist might argue that this means Sexson is gone, Raul is playing first, and we need Wilkerson to fill the hole in right because Jones is moving to left.

    An unrepetant optimist isn’t me.

  73. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 10:29 am

    70- Bonds will be in prison…don’t even start that mess…

  74. Pete Livengood on February 1st, 2008 10:31 am

    VJ – I know. :) ‘Cept I don’t think anybody ought to think of him as an oufielder anymore, and he ain’t coming for the money Wilkerson agreed to.

  75. Pete Livengood on February 1st, 2008 10:32 am

    I hear ya, bako – though Wilkerson doesn’t have a platoon split to speak of….

  76. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 10:44 am

    Not just thinking about Wilk…if you want to rest Ichiro or Raul, wouldn’t you want the option of a RH hitting outfielder? Especially if they are playing against a lefty?

  77. Pete Livengood on February 1st, 2008 11:02 am

    Well, Ichiro has that weird reverse split, and as I said, historically Wilkerson hasn’t had a platoon split to speak of (though I think that could be something that begins to show as he ages). I definitely think Raul could use a platoon partner. Unfortunately, I think the M’s think Cairo and/or Willie (or possibly Morse) are that guy. I actually think Morse will be able to contribute offensively if he gets some platoon time against LHP this year – I just cringe thinking about his defense (especially OF defense).

  78. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 11:05 am

    Morse is out of options too, so I would assume if they don’t bring anyone else in, he’d be their guy…

    Imagine a bench of Boom-Boom, Cairo, Burke, and Morse.

    I wouldn’t mind them giving Jimerson a look at the 4th outfielder and partner with Raul in left…

  79. floydwaterson on February 1st, 2008 11:15 am

    I know everyone says the Bedard – Jones trade is a done deal but my understanding is Angelos is indeed worried about Jones’ hip. I also understand the hip is not a big deal but there is a very small issue with it. Perhaps Angelos has been convinced it’s no big deal now but as of the other day he wasn’t. I understand as of yesterday the deal was 50 – 50 whether it would go through.

  80. jamesllegade on February 1st, 2008 11:21 am

    S let me knock on some wood here… but if Sherril is in the Jones/Bedard deal who closes if Putz gets hurt?

    Kameron Mickolio?

  81. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 11:22 am

    80- Mickolio is the 5th player in the Bedard deal…

  82. JMHawkins on February 1st, 2008 11:23 am

    Imagine a bench of Boom-Boom, Cairo, Burke, and Morse.

    Yeah, if the Jones-Bedard deal goes through, you would hope they wouldn’t insist on carrying 12 pitchers again. If we have a rotation of Felix-Bedard-Silva-Batista-Washburn, we can at least expect deeper starts than last year, and can maybe get by with a 6 person bullpen like most normal adults. (Even if the deal doesn’t go through, you would hope). If Sherrill is gone, maybe it’s even easier (in the wacky world of Marinerlogic), since he was “only a LOOGY” so you needed an extra arm out there…

    So there should be room for a five person bench. Whether Mac would use it or not, I don’t know.

  83. David* on February 1st, 2008 11:23 am

    80:

    Rafael Soriano :)

  84. SpokaneMsFan on February 1st, 2008 11:26 am

    TumwaterMike 61 – The Ms VASTLY outperformed their run differential last year. It was a fluke, without improving the defense and with the same lineup production we’d be lucky if improved starting pitching would even win us the same number of games.

  85. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 11:32 am

    82- If they had a 5th bench player, they’d probably make the mistake of bringing up Clement too soon…

    The mailbag on the official site has stated numerous times that they will probaly carry three catchers (Joh, Burke, Clement)…

  86. et_blankenship on February 1st, 2008 11:37 am

    RE: Jones/Bedard, arthritic hip, Venezuelan reporters, Mark Pieper, mlb.com, Peter Angelos, Bill Bavasi, contract extension, physical technicalities, Triunfel, George Sherrill’s wife, Finkle/Einhorn, Einhorn/Finkle, sanity . . .

    Perhaps its best if we all take the Nihilistic approach until this whole thing blows over. “Ve believe in nozzing, Lebowski!”

  87. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 11:37 am

    86- nice…

  88. shortbus on February 1st, 2008 11:40 am

    84

    Is there anything to the critique of pythagorean win calcualation that says a team with a very poor starting rotation that gives up a lot of runs in a few games will be underestimated by the pythagorean expectation? I still think the M’s were lucky last year…winning a lot of close games…but it would make sense that a team that lost a bunch of blowout games would look worse under pythagorean analysis.

  89. terry on February 1st, 2008 12:09 pm

    “Sherill is not a loogy”.

    Right on.

  90. Wood Dog on February 1st, 2008 12:13 pm

    80 – Lowe. He’s healthly, and throws gas. GREAT closer backup I think.

  91. JMHawkins on February 1st, 2008 12:16 pm

    Is there anything to the critique of pythagorean win calcualation that says a team with a very poor starting rotation that gives up a lot of runs in a few games will be underestimated by the pythagorean expectation? I still think the M’s were lucky last year…winning a lot of close games…but it would make sense that a team that lost a bunch of blowout games would look worse under pythagorean analysis.

    Re-do the pythag from last year excluding HoRam and Weaver’s games, and see if there’s a noticable difference.

  92. et_blankenship on February 1st, 2008 12:18 pm

    88

    I tried. But before I could finish factoring in a) the 13 starts in which Horjeffio Weaveramirez allowed 6 or more earned runs, b) Feierabends 4 starts that resulted in 30 earned runs and, c) Baek’s 10.27 ERA as a starter, my Excel spread sheet burst into flames.

  93. zzyzx on February 1st, 2008 12:21 pm

    “Is there anything to the critique of pythagorean win calcualation that says a team with a very poor starting rotation that gives up a lot of runs in a few games will be underestimated by the pythagorean expectation?”

    I do think that a team like the post-trade M’s here might give the Pythagorean calculation some problems. When 40% of your team’s pitchers give up (say) 4 runs per game and the other 60% give up (say) 7, it might make sense to isolate the two groups, figure out their winning percentages, and do a weighted average.

  94. Jeff Nye on February 1st, 2008 12:24 pm

    I’ll do a search a little later to see if I can get the detail, but I remember either Dave or DMZ posting specifically about the assertion that HoRam and Weaver “unfairly” skewed the Pythag win total; they found that the effect was there, but very very minimal.

  95. IdahoInvader on February 1st, 2008 12:27 pm

    92

    With that many gas cans on paper, you had to know there was danger, lol

  96. terry on February 1st, 2008 12:28 pm

    Re-do the pythag from last year excluding HoRam and Weaver’s games, and see if there’s a noticable difference.

    I’m fixin’ to tease out the undesirable data from the Ms ’07 pythag and have just one question. I’ve already removed the 37 games where their opponents scored 8 or more runs. Should I also remove the 29 games where the M’s scored 8 or more runs too??????

    :-p

  97. Evan R. on February 1st, 2008 12:37 pm

    10 – There is irony in giuseppe’s incorrect use of “comprised” during a rant on spelling and grammar.

  98. zzyzx on February 1st, 2008 12:54 pm

    “I’m fixin’ to tease out the undesirable data from the Ms ‘07 pythag and have just one question. I’ve already removed the 37 games where their opponents scored 8 or more runs. Should I also remove the 29 games where the M’s scored 8 or more runs too??????”

    Terry, in this case though it seems like we have repeatable skills at play, rather than the random events that happen over a 162 game season.

    I’d be curious to see if

    (number of games started by good pitchers * phytag winning percentage based on their starts, but keeping the offense constant) + (number of games started by the unwatchables * their phytag percentage) is greater than that of combining at the beginning.

    The M’s scored 4.9 runs per game and gave up 5.0. That’s obviously a tad below .500 (79 wins). If I divide the team up into competent starters and lame ones (I’ll put Baek with the competent ones), 106 were started by the good ones, 56 by the others.

    I’m going to simplify this model in order to see if there is any effect, so I’m going to assume that the bullpen doesn’t exist at all. This will bias things in my direction a bit, but I am at work now so don’t have time for more than a ballpark estimate.

    The 106 games give an estimated 455 runs given up and 519 runs scored – a .565 winning percentage or 60 wins.

    The other 56 games had 383 estimated runs given up and 274 runs scored – a .339 winning percentage or 19 wins.

    Wow, that was a whole lot of work to say that it didn’t seem to have much of an effect; I got the same 79 wins either way. Errr, never mind then ;)

  99. marinerfaninvenice on February 1st, 2008 1:01 pm

    [ot]

  100. shortbus on February 1st, 2008 1:08 pm

    Ok, so some analysis of the Mariners’ close games last year shows the following:

    Wins by 1 run: 27
    Losses by 1 run: 20

    So they got lucky in about three or four more very close games than they probably should have. But look at this:

    Wins by 1 or 2 runs: 40
    Losses by 1 or 2 runs: 28

    They got lucky in six more somewhat close games than average (assuming an average team should win and lose about the same number of two-run games).

    So what does this mean? That they tended to win games by a little and lose games by a lot? Does this mean that luck played a big role, or that they had a really good bullpen which was not engaged when they were behind?

  101. scott19 on February 1st, 2008 1:09 pm

    92 & 95: Guess we know now why the Dodgers & Angels both ran Weaver out of town — they couldn’t afford to have him starting the infield grass on fire come August.

  102. zzyzx on February 1st, 2008 1:10 pm

    Upon thinking about it, it occurs to me that the effect does exist, but only if the differences were much larger than could ever be tolerated on a MLB roster. Suppose the M’s scored 794 runs but had only two pitchers who pitched equally, one who never gave up a run and one who gave up 30 runs a game. That team would be (most likely) 81-81. They’d only project to 52 wins though.

    The difference between 7 runs a game and 4 just wasn’t enough to trigger that.

    So much for an argument for (relative) optimism for next year. *shakes fist*

  103. Graham on February 1st, 2008 1:15 pm

    Pythag is skewed by having a bullpen composed of really really good relief aces and really really bad mop up guys. That results in a team winning more close games while losing efforts tend to get worse.

    I believe THT did a piece on this a while ago – I’ll try to find it.

  104. TumwaterMike on February 1st, 2008 1:27 pm

    SpokaneMsFan 84-We’ll see.

  105. goraniers on February 1st, 2008 1:32 pm

    Doesn’t it make sense that Bavasi would want to push Wlad up this year in some capacity (e.g. platoon with Brad in the second half) given his record of pushing players to the majors quickly? Is there room for him on the bench with Boom Boom backing up the outfield?

  106. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 1:39 pm

    Bavasi’s philosophy is to make minor leaguers face adversity so they can learn how to overcome it, not necessarily force them to the majors quickly. He believes the biggest step is to go from AAA to the majors. That does not necessarily mean that he will promote Wlad to the big club quickly.

  107. Gregor on February 1st, 2008 1:45 pm

    Perhaps its best if we all take the Nihilistic approach until this whole thing blows over. “Ve believe in nozzing, Lebowski!”

    Nice marmot!

  108. shortbus on February 1st, 2008 1:52 pm

    So on the optimistic side the M’s could theoretically repeat their defiance of Pythagoras if their bullpen holds leads as effectively as it did last year…something which is within their power to control and not due entirely to luck. However, by trading Sherrill, we will be significanlty less likely to be able to do so. Optimism crushed!

  109. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 2:04 pm

    However, by trading Sherrill, we will be significanlty less likely to be able to do so.

    And we probably will be trading one of his most ready replacements….

  110. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 2:08 pm

    I don’t think the loss of Sherril will be that huge…all the balls landing in LF and RF once Ichiro gets hurt from covering their asses all year is what will hurt…

  111. et_blankenship on February 1st, 2008 2:32 pm

    “Nice Marmot!”

    Greatest movie ever.

    Back to Wlad/RF. If the right field position generates a total of 700 plate appearances, and Wilkerson gets 450 of those, that leaves 250 PA’s for the jackals. So who are the jackals? Bloomquist? His expeditions in RF rarely venture beyond late-inning replacement duty. So that leaves . . . what, maybe 235 PA’s lying around for some combination of Wlad/Reed/Jimerson/Morse? That’s a lot of run, especially for a young guy like Wlad if he’s given the opportunity to fill in regularly for an injured Wilkerson.

    I have no idea where I am going with this . . . and if Wilkerson is a bastion of health and production in 2008, this becomes even more pointless. Carry on.

  112. TumwaterMike on February 1st, 2008 2:35 pm

    [I think we should rename this comment 'deleted']

  113. TumwaterMike on February 1st, 2008 2:39 pm

    [I'm positive that results-based analysis of won-loss totals is bad and tells you nothing useful]

  114. lailaihei on February 1st, 2008 2:42 pm

    What if we win 85 and miss the playoffs by 10 games like I think?

  115. tgf on February 1st, 2008 2:44 pm

    I think we should rename this site the USSPessimist.

    Wow, I’ve never heard that before…

  116. shortbus on February 1st, 2008 2:45 pm

    bakomariner

    You really think Sherrill’s contribution will be that easy to make up? He only gave up 12 runs in 45 innings. O’Flaherty was pretty effective vs. lefties last year with a .482 OPS.

  117. Sec 108 on February 1st, 2008 2:53 pm

    I grew up and live in Seattle, thus my Mariner fandom makes sense. I am a Cub by birth however. Passed down many generations. Cubs fans go into every year very optimistic. What has that gotten them?

    Being realistic is not pessimism. I call it being positive in a negative world.

  118. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 2:56 pm

    Sherrill will be missed, but I was saying that the outfield defense is a more blatant problem…With Rauls bad legs and Wilks bad everything, not to mention they aren’t good defenders when healthy, Ichiro is going to have the most outfield outs in the majors trying to cover the whole damn yard…and God forbid he get hurt…

    In summary, I think the pen will be a strength as usual even without George…the outfield defense is gonna be terrible…

  119. Wishhiker on February 1st, 2008 3:09 pm

    My knuckles are sore from reading all this injury talk. 3 of the 4 names the team could least handle getting injured have been mentioned on this thread. It’d really suck if Bavasi got a bum leg and they had to take him out back and shoot him. I didn’t knock on wood that time.

  120. JMHawkins on February 1st, 2008 3:10 pm

    Okay, so some pyth-y calculations. Last year we were RS-RA: 794-813, for a pythProj of 79-81. Our RA avg was 5.0 per game.

    Ramirez started 20 games and in those games our RA avg was 6.5. Feierabend started 9 games with a RAA of 7.8 (yikes). Weaver started 27 games with a RAA of 6.0.

    If you remove Ramirez and Feierabend from the record and extrapolate everyone else to a full season, we would have a RS-RA of 794-747, giving a pythProj of 86-76. Remove all three and it’s 794-691 for a projected 91-71 (which would have still be 3 games short of a playoff berth).

    Now, neither calculation is completely “fair” since they exclude our worst pitchers and replace them with an average of our best pitchers. More accurate would be to replace the Ramirez, Feierabend and Weaver starts with an average 4/5 pitcher and see what happens then. Hey, we have one of those – Jarrod Washburn. We gave up an average of 4.75 RA in his starts. Assuming we got a couple of clones of Wash to start the 56 games Ramirez, Feierabend and Weaver started, we’d have RS-RA of 794-718, for a projected…

    …drum roll please…

    88-74.

    So, the Baseball Gods were generous last year and gave us the record we should have had if we’d been smarter about constructing the back end of the rotation.

    That’s still 6 games out of the playoffs.

  121. Wishhiker on February 1st, 2008 3:27 pm

    Pythag is not that accurate. It’s a nice test, but the noise in the losses kills it’s accuracy. Especially when you’re down by 5 going in to the second, it’s harder to be positive in each at bat and the other team piles on more runs. Then you put a mop-up reliever out there and things get worse. This has all been gone over before, but it wasn’t luck that they had such high percentage in close games. They have names and numbers, none of them are luck. When they had a good lead the lesser bullpen pitchers give up a few runs and it’s close again. Once they were being blown out the blowout got worse when the back end of the bullpen (Reitsma, Campillo, Parish, Davis, Woods, Lowe and both Whites) gave up more. This team had the perfect differential between TOR to BOR as well as TOBP to BOBP to really skew the pythag’s accuracy. I will continue to submit this as being the roster that most skews the pythagorean theorums in the history of the game.

  122. lailaihei on February 1st, 2008 3:39 pm

    Even if pythag isn’t completely accurate (which it isn’t), we still got a few lucky wins. the difference between TOR to BOR and TOBP to BOBP skewed it maybe… 3-4 wins? I don’t see it being much more than that, though.

    It’s getting pretty late in the day… does that mean that the trade will be postponed until Monday?

  123. awolfgang on February 1st, 2008 3:43 pm

    In defense of Pythag:
    Before I got so involved in the metrics and intricacies of baseball, I was generally satisfied if the M’s won more than lost, cause that would be a net gain of happy days. But, now I’m more learned, and I found that last year even on M’s wins I was not totally happy because we’d win in spite of making the right decisions. Kind of like your kid getting the right answer but going about it all wrong, so in defense of Pythag, I think it accurately reflected my happy/sad day ratio while not matching the W/L pct.

  124. bakomariner on February 1st, 2008 3:45 pm

    123- Don’t let the math of baseball ruin the fun of the game man…enjoy the wins…

  125. BrianV on February 1st, 2008 3:55 pm

    Pythag is not that accurate. It’s a nice test, but the noise in the losses kills it’s accuracy. Especially when you’re down by 5 going in to the second, it’s harder to be positive in each at bat and the other team piles on more runs.

    If this were the case, every team would outperform its pythagorean record, but they don’t.

    If you want to make up a factor like “noise in the losses,” you have to consider “noise in the wins,” too.

  126. Graham on February 1st, 2008 4:00 pm

    Time for this conversation to drift back towards Brad Wilkerson methinks.

  127. gwangung on February 1st, 2008 4:03 pm

    Um, dudes….like most measures, Pythag has cases where the prediction doesn’t match the reality. Doesn’t erase the fact that for the most part it predicts a team’s record.

    Trying to beat the Pythag consistently is trying to bet consistently on one or two numbers at the roulette wheel–the house is gonna take your money.

  128. Evan on February 1st, 2008 4:26 pm

    BP just released the first 2008 PECOTA projections.

    Brad Wilkerson in a neutral park:

    .235/.330/.447 in 363 PA.

  129. shortbus on February 1st, 2008 4:28 pm

    We need a thread on why this is deal taking so !@#$! long to come to a conclusion. I guess this is what happens when two of the dumbest organizations in baseball try to make a deal. It’s like watching two retarded rabbits trying to mate. They both really want something to happen but until a smarter rabbit comes along neither one is going to get what they want.

  130. SpokaneMsFan on February 1st, 2008 5:06 pm

    Good question, why is this taking so long? I am beginning to wonder if we gave Bavasi too much credit in assuming this meant the Jones deal was done. I mean why call up Jeremy Reed to shore up defense as a 4th outfielder and possibly hit some doubles from the left side of the plate on the cheap when you can have Brad Wilkerson for a mere 3 million. In and of itself it is a pretty Bill like move. That being said it probably is at least a move based on the likelihood of the Jones trade.

  131. shemberry on February 1st, 2008 5:37 pm

    I am tired of hearing how pessimistic this site is. I don’t comment often, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the facts. The USSM has suggested a specific way to build a team, the M’s have done things very differently. The M’s haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001.

    It’s not pessimism it’s realism. I will be excited if the M’s make the playoffs with Bedard in the next two years, but I just don’t see it happening. If it does, I will come on here and admit that I was wrong. I hope all of you that are saying this is a pessimistic site will do the same when we finish with 80-85 wins for the next two seasons.

  132. Dayve on February 1st, 2008 6:20 pm

    Hey, I have a question and it’s not a new one…why is this deal taking so long? And why no inside information? No speculation, no nothing?

  133. zackr on February 1st, 2008 6:28 pm

    Why are we not talking about the obvious, cheap right field solution? FREE DOYLE!!!!!!’

  134. dlb on February 1st, 2008 6:58 pm

    [Santana has his own post now]

  135. msb on February 1st, 2008 8:17 pm

    Hey, I have a question and it’s not a new one…why is this deal taking so long? And why no inside information? No speculation, no nothing?

    hey, that’s what The Google is for.

  136. 300ZXNA on February 2nd, 2008 12:37 am

    *praying quietly to self*

    “may this holdup PLEASE be a sign that Bavasi is trying to bait and switch Balt with Morrow for Jones in the deal”

    “PLEASE!!”

  137. BillyJive on February 2nd, 2008 6:26 pm

    Why would you want to sub Morrow for Jones? Aren’t we already giving up 4 pitchers in this deal? With pitchers being such a hot commodity I’m sure in a few years we can trade Morrow for 5 outfielders…
    How come so many math geeks are Mariners fans?
    kidding…

  138. slescotts on March 24th, 2008 4:31 pm

    I don’t think Wilkerson should be starting in the outfield. Balentien should be in his place. We’d save $2.6 million What is the use of a left-handed bat with those numbers? Sorry to be so harsh, I just don’t get it. Save some money, give Balentien a chance. Wilkerson’s numbers are not worth 3 million bucks. Left handed, .234 at 3 million or ‘DEFT’ handed, .260-300 for 400 g’s? Save some money and spend it on keeping Kenji.

    Take a ‘gamble’ on young talent (e.g Sox and Pedroia) Our current RF ‘plug’ is a far bigger risk. 3 million bucks isn’t a deal.

  139. slescotts on March 24th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Furthermore, there is nothing in his ‘make-up’ that suggests a career revival, resurgence, explosion, reinvigoration… whatever word you wanna throw out there is realistic. The guy hit .268 peaking… Sure he hit 32 hr’s, the same year he had a ton of strikeouts. His numbers aren’t all ponies and puppy dogs. He’s expensive. I agree with “milendriel” that this organization is pathetic when it comes to forward thinking. I disagree that this is a garage sale or a scrap heap deal. We simply overpaid as usual.

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