Fourth Outfielder

Dave · March 23, 2008 at 11:11 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s came to spring training with the fourth outfielder job up for grabs. The competitors – Mike Morse, Wladimir Balentien, Charlton Jimerson, and Jeremy Reed – have all displayed their various skills and flaws, and right now, it should be pretty apparent to the M’s that none of the four are the right fit. Morse is as much an adventure in the outfield as Ibanez, which isn’t surprising given his minimal experience. Balentien is better served playing every day in Tacoma. Jimerson just isn’t good enough to play a real role on a contender. And Jeremy Reed is left-handed, just like all three of the Mariners starting outfielders.

Really, the M’s fourth OF should be some combination of the following: right-handed (and,
thanks to Safeco, probably a gap hitter, not a power guy), ability to hit LHPs, strong defensively (ability to cover CF a huge plus), solid to plus baserunner, some modicum of plate discipline. The ideal fourth OF for the M’s would have all those skills, but a hodgepodge of most of them would do okay and be better than the internal options. Where would they find such a player at this point?

Well, Reed Johnson just got released by Toronto and is looking for work. Let’s look at the checklist:

1. Right Handed gap hitter?

Yep.

2. Ability to hit LHPs?

.308/.371/.462 career mark against southpaws.

3. Strong defensively?

Pretty much every metric has him as a very good defensive corner outfielder and average-ish in center.

4. Solid to plus baserunner?

Has some speed, but isn’t a huge asset on the bases. Probably not.

5. Modicum of plate discipline?

Career walk rate of 5.4%, K rate of 18.4%, while most projections have him at 6% and 19% respectively. So no, not so much.

An average projection for Reed Johnson would probably come out to .270/.320/.380 in Safeco, or something along those lines. That’s not a great player, but combined with above average defense and a skillset that fills in the gaps left by the M’s starting outfielders, he’d be an asset.

The M’s repeatedly say they’re serious about winning this year. If that’s true, they should immediately throw Miguel Cairo overboard and replace him with Reed Johnson.

Comments

70 Responses to “Fourth Outfielder”

  1. Karen on March 23rd, 2008 11:32 am

    I was thinking exactly the same thing when I saw the report of Johnson’s release over at ESPN/MLB.com. He’s apparently healthy this spring after suffering through a herniated disc last season. Even WITH a herniated disc he probably runs faster than Raul. He’s 31 y/o so he’s got the “veteran-ness” cache that the M’s seem to like.

  2. Mr. Egaas on March 23rd, 2008 11:42 am

    Very much so. Agreed. Get ‘r’ done.

  3. Graham on March 23rd, 2008 11:55 am

    He also gets hit by a crazy amount of pitches… which shows grittiness and that he’s a gamer. Hopefully that appeals to our front office.

  4. currcoug on March 23rd, 2008 12:16 pm

    Morse played a solid RF yesterday, after a somewhat shaky performance on Friday (no errors, but ugh). Moreover, he crushed a double to deep right center yesterday. That was an impressive AB, as he was almost beaned, worked the count, and then drove in two runs.

    It is just an observation, but Morse gets a warm ovation when he bats down here, and is clearly a fan favorite.

    I disagree about a waiver wire player. Morse hits well at Safeco. Moreover, it is only 10 AB’s, but Morse has great numbers as a pinch hitter:

    .500 .583 .600 1.183

    I am going to Tempe to see the M’s play the Angels, where it might be in the 90′s. I wish everyone could be down here. It is beautiful.

  5. matthew on March 23rd, 2008 12:17 pm

    Have the Mariners ever come through and done something you suggested, Dave?

    Maybe it’s time to use reverse psychology on them ;)

  6. matthew on March 23rd, 2008 12:18 pm

    Ah, as soon as I posted that, I remembered how The King (your nickname, btw) took your advice and went on to finish the season strongly… I still say maybe some reverse psychology might make for a fun post ;)

  7. Graham on March 23rd, 2008 12:22 pm

    This Mike Morse fetish is verging on the bizarre.

  8. Evan on March 23rd, 2008 12:27 pm

    A couple of seasons ago the JohnnyCat platoon (Reed Johnson and Frank Catalanotto) was one of the top LF in the AL. Plus, as Graham pointed out, he gets hit by an average of 16 pitches per year (80 HBP in 5 seasons). That’s a significant value right there.

  9. RobP on March 23rd, 2008 12:27 pm

    People loved Reed Johnson in Toronto (grit, hustle, etc.) and he could easily fourth-outfield his way to success in Safeco. He’s playable in center, not that Ichiro takes a day off, and he was used often in a platoon back when Catalanotto was still here, so job-sharing with Ibanez would be more of the same for him.

    Don’t worry too much about Reed’s back injury from last year. He’s pretty much over it and would be a great fit on the Mariners (I daresay he’d work out better than that other Reed outfielder you guys may or may not still have).

    …Miguel Cairo? Seriously?

  10. scraps on March 23rd, 2008 12:33 pm

    Morse hits well at Safeco.

    In 150 at bats, and he’s hit decently for an infielder, not especially for an outfielder who can’t field: .376 on base, .440 slugging.

    If you’re into the splits, he’s been even better in the first half of the season: .420 on base, .463 slugging. Maybe we should only play him before the all star break.

    Seriously, you can’t conclude he hits well at Safeco based on 150 at bats, especially when those data fly in the face of the rest of the data.

  11. vin on March 23rd, 2008 12:56 pm

    He looks good, but I’d rather wait to see if this guy gets released as he’s out of options. Maybe that’s just me though.

  12. Jake N. on March 23rd, 2008 3:18 pm

    The Mariners need a bat! Morse covers more ground then Ibanez. The mental errors that Morse is making Are do to him trying to do to much. Wilkerson Is decent defensively. I just do not see him do more then .250 with 55 rbi. Morse has earned a shot. It would be nice to see Morse platoon in the outfield corners. He would still be better then Ibanez when it comes to getting to the ball.

  13. scott19 on March 23rd, 2008 3:51 pm

    11: Interesting how, on his stat page, there’s an ad at the bottom for an “alternative to lower back surgery” — as if poor Doyle really needed to get any more jinxed than he’s already been in his career.

  14. MtGrizzly on March 23rd, 2008 4:17 pm

    The Mariners need a bat! Nobody disputes that.

    The assertion that Morse carries that bat, however, is just mind boggling.

  15. Graham on March 23rd, 2008 4:22 pm

    Are do? Really?

  16. Typical Idiot Fan on March 23rd, 2008 4:44 pm

    The M’s repeatedly say they’re serious about winning this year. If that’s true, they should immediately throw Miguel Cairo overboard and replace him with Reed Johnson.

    They should throw Cairo overboard anyway. I’d rather have two of Reed, Jimerson, Morse, and Balentien.

  17. DAMellen on March 23rd, 2008 4:49 pm

    So then what do you think of Morse? He seems to be enough of a hitter to be a pretty solid sub and he has some power, but more gap power than homerun power. I don’t remember him being very fast or an especially good baserunner. How’s his defense in the infield? How’s his plate discipline?

  18. Graham on March 23rd, 2008 4:53 pm

    How’s his defense in the infield? How’s his plate discipline?

    1) Terrible at SS (and assumedly similar at 2B). Probably passable at 3B and 1B.
    2) Career minor league OBP: .312. 165 walks to 452 strikeouts.

  19. Jeff Nye on March 23rd, 2008 5:23 pm

    How desperate for a reason for optimism are we when what can only be characterized as a mildly hot spring by Mike Morse generates so much irrational hope?

  20. John D. on March 23rd, 2008 5:31 pm

    Re: Morse’s hitting – Besides remembering that it’s only spring training, let us also remember the elevation of those Arizona playing fields (more than 1000 feet above sea level), that in such thin air curve balls tend not to curve, sliders tend not to slide. Everything flattens out. MORSE has merely demonstrated that he’s a good fastball hitter, but I don’t think we’re going to meet many teams with pitching coaches that say, “Throw more fastballs.”)

    BTW, Dave’s The M’s repeatedly say they’re serious about winning this year. If that’s true, they should immediately throw Miguel Cairo overboard and replace him with Reed Johnson.
    BTW, does anyone know if the Ms put in a waiver claim on JUAN URIBE, who is (IMO) a better infielder than Miguel Cairo ?

  21. DAMellen on March 23rd, 2008 5:34 pm

    I don’t think a mildly hot spring has generated irrational hope. Several people (myself included) think Mike Morse’d be a decent bat off the bench. We’re not saying he’s gonna replace Adam Jones as a near gold glover that bats .280 with 25 jacks.

  22. JH on March 23rd, 2008 5:35 pm

    Dave,

    You say Balentien will be better served playing in right. While this is no doubt true, do you think Reed Johnson is a better fit for the win-now mentality? He might not be ready to be a regular, but Wlad gives the team right-handed power off the bench and a defensive upgrade in left (and maybe right, I know squat about Wilkerson’s defense). Given that the team’s not in prudent long-term health of the franchise mode, do you still see Johnson as an upgrade in 2008 over giving Balentien the Morrow treatment?

  23. JH on March 23rd, 2008 5:36 pm

    Bah, that first sentence should read “You say Balentien will be better served playing in Tacoma.”

  24. TonyStarks on March 23rd, 2008 6:14 pm

    #19,
    While the value of spring training statistics is probably not very high, it is pretty disingenuous to claim Morse’s spring can only be characterized as mildly hot. His .519/.576/.788 line may be a product of small sample size, crappy pitching, or Arizona weather, etc. But he has had an undeniably hot spring.

  25. okobojicat on March 23rd, 2008 6:33 pm

    While I am a fan of Morse, I think that Reed makes the M’s a lot better team. Wlad should start the year at AAA and if Sexson, Raul, Vidro or Wilkerson falter, and if Wlad is tearing it up, then you can bring Wlad up. Wilkerson gets little hurts and has to miss four or five games. Ibanez will too. Having a guy like Reed who has been the first-half of a platoon gives you some options to play everyday. Reed might even play his way into a platoon with Wilkerson. Which would be great.

    Also, Reed J. is better than J.Reed because not a LH hitter and has succeeded at the ML level offensively, which is more than we can say for Reed.

    The biggest problem (for the organization at least) is that the M’s will have to give Morse his walking papers (out of options because I don’t think he’ll clear waivers).

  26. Wishhiker on March 23rd, 2008 6:34 pm

    RH means nothing to me when the next check is “Ability to hit LH pitching”…Seems redundant to me in every way. Ichiro says hi .354/.396/.460 career vs. LH.

  27. Graham on March 23rd, 2008 6:39 pm

    Is expecting Ichiro’s rather unique set of talents to generalise to the rest of the population of MLB wise?

  28. currcoug on March 23rd, 2008 6:43 pm

    I’d rather have Morse, than take yet another player off another team’s scrap heap.

    As I stated, I think Morse hits well at Safeco because of his style of hitting, especially because he has the ability to go the other way. He has also shown he come off the bench late in the game and get big hits.

    Today was depressing. The team was beyond flat. The pitching was awful, the defense shaky, timely hitting was missing, and the Angels were impressive. It was surprising to see Norton batting fourth. Morse made the plays at 3B, but his range wasn’t impressive.

    The only bright spot was Lowe’s solid inning of work.

  29. msb on March 23rd, 2008 7:06 pm

    maybe it was a cunning plan to lull the Halos into underestimating the Ms…

  30. Wishhiker on March 23rd, 2008 7:44 pm

    Graham…you missed the point. Ability to hit LH pitching is already covered without concerning yourself with what side of the plate they do it from.

  31. Dave on March 23rd, 2008 7:47 pm

    Morse hits well at Safeco. Moreover, it is only 10 AB’s, but Morse has great numbers as a pinch hitter…

    If Morse was 0 for 10 in those pinch hit appearances, would you be in favor of cutting him? Do you believe that those 10 at-bats tell you anything about his actual level of ability? If not, then why mention it?

    So then what do you think of Morse?

    The same thing I’ve thought about him since the day he the M’s traded for him; he’s a 3B/1B who you can stick in LF/RF in an emergency but he’ll hurt you defensively in the outfield more than his bat will help you. He’s got a decent line drive stroke and enough bat control to be a .280 hitter, but lacks real power and has a mediocre approach at the plate, making him a below average offensive player. He’s okay as a reserve/platoon corner infielder, but if he’s anything more than that, he’s hurting the team. He should make the roster, but more because the M’s bench sucks than because he’s any good.

    While this is no doubt true, do you think Reed Johnson is a better fit for the win-now mentality?

    Yes. The power difference between the two is negated by Johnson’s superior defense, better skill set for Safeco, and the fact that McLaren might actually be willing to start him against lefties, since he’s a veteran with a track record and all that.

    And, really, signing Reed Johnson isn’t a one or the other proposition. You sign Reed Johnson and you still have Wlad in Tacoma, and if I’m totally wrong about him and he just mashes the crap out of the ball in the PCL, he’s in the organization and can be called up. If you go with Wlad, ignore Johnson, and I’m right about Wlad needing more time in Triple-A, then what?

    While the value of spring training statistics is probably not very high…

    Spring training statistics mean nothing. Zero. Zilch. Absolutely nothing. I don’t care if Mike Morse is 50 for 50 – it doesn’t matter.

    I’d rather have Morse, than take yet another player off another team’s scrap heap.

    Right – because Toronto doesn’t think that they can use Reed Johnson enough to justify his salary (releasing him was a financial move), he’s totally useless. That’s logical…

    As I stated, I think Morse hits well at Safeco because of his style of hitting, especially because he has the ability to go the other way. He has also shown he come off the bench late in the game and get big hits.

    I’ve shown that when I clap three times in a row while wearing a hat backwards and hopping on one foot, the Mariners are undefeated on Tuesdays. Clearly, the M’s should pay me to perform this ritual and they’ll go undefeated.

    What? You mean the fact that happened doesn’t mean anything about what is going to happen in the future? Oh…

  32. Dave on March 23rd, 2008 7:50 pm

    Ability to hit LH pitching is already covered without concerning yourself with what side of the plate they do it from.

    No, it’s not. There are right-handed hitters who can’t hit left handed pitching (like Willie Bloomquist, for instance – they just suck). And there are left-handed hitters who can hit left handed pitching (Ichiro, for instance). Assuming that every RHB satisfies the “can hit LHP” need is false, as is assuming that every “can hit LHP” batter satisfies the RHB need.

  33. Dayve on March 23rd, 2008 9:09 pm

    Right on. Way to keep the heat on the sorry bunch of front office fools.

  34. JerBear on March 23rd, 2008 9:38 pm

    He should make the roster, but more because the M’s bench sucks than because he’s any good.

    That pretty much sums it up. It’s not that (most of) the “pro-Morse” crowd are arguing that he’s really something special. It’s just that they’re reacting with desperation because he’s the best option as the last bench spot right now, and with frustration because a guy like Cairo is somehow guaranteed a spot and doesn’t even have to compete for it. It’s mind boggling, really. I think Morse should make the team, UNLESS the FO is willing to pick up Reed Johnson (which they definitely should do)…I’m just not holding my breath.

  35. seadiv88 on March 23rd, 2008 9:41 pm

    I have a boat, and some chum. Give me a shout when one of ya’ bags Cairo.

    I wonder how our battery feels about the corner outfielders. Bedard and Silva have probably been throwing ‘em right down the pipe, hoping they don’t yank/slice ‘em at the corners.

  36. thenatural on March 23rd, 2008 11:06 pm

    Dave,

    Mike Morse is doing well in Spring Training and has been mildly successful in a very small sample of plate appearances at Safeco Field. Since it is clear that he will be an above average player, isn’t this whole topic a moot point?

    Some numbers to back me up:

    Mike Morse (ST 2008): .543 avg
    Reed Johnson (2007): .236 avg
    Alex Rodriguez (1994): .204 avg
    Rob Deer (1991): .179 avg
    Billy Crystal (ST 2008): .000 avg

    To me, our choice seems pretty obvious…

  37. Wishhiker on March 23rd, 2008 11:06 pm

    Dave you are misreading what I said as well. What side of the plate they hit from doesn’t matter. The main concern with what side of the plate they hit from is already covered with their ability to hit LH Pitching.

    There’s really no reason to care what side they hit from. That’s what I was saying. If they hit well off of Lefties why concern yourself with whether they do it from the right or left side of the box?

  38. Wishhiker on March 23rd, 2008 11:16 pm

    I was under the impression that the M’s were short on LHB, not RHB. So what if they have 4 OF that are all LH when the other 5 positions are all manned by RHB. The starters at C, 1B, 2B, 3B and SS are all Right-Handed. The backup catcher, 2B, SS and maybe 3B and 1B will all be RH. We need a lefty on the bench and Norton is not the only answer.

  39. seadiv88 on March 23rd, 2008 11:52 pm

    So what you’re saying is Vidro would be perfect for that bench position.

  40. Wishhiker on March 24th, 2008 12:06 am

    Yes.

  41. scraps on March 24th, 2008 5:17 am

    He has also shown he come off the bench late in the game and get big hits.

    I’m always puzzled by people who think this is a plus. Even if it were true — even if a player actually showed a consistent, non-anecdotal ability to hit well late and get big hits — shouldn’t that be a knock against them? If they can hit better when they want to, when they concentrate, shouldn’t they be able to hit better all the time? Do they have a finite amount of hitting concentration to spend, so they have to save it up, or something?

  42. pygmalion on March 24th, 2008 7:18 am

    41 Some other options:

    Maybe these hitters are nocturnal and hit better the later in the day it is.

    Or maybe that have blackmail material on all the closers in the league.

    Or it could be that they hit better when they are drunk, but they are superstitious and can’t drink until the 7th inning stretch (because they once hit a walk-off homer doing the same).

  43. pygmalion on March 24th, 2008 7:22 am

    Seriously though, isn’t there a limited subclass of hitters who are good pinch-hitters, able to hit well even when riding the bench most of the time? Most guys’ pinch hitting numbers are well below their career averages, but there are some who fare better than others.

    Add to this the fact that pinch hitters are generally inserted late in games.

    Taken together you have a positive take on “able to come into games late and get big hits”: This just indicates that a guy is a good pinch hitter, who usually appears late in games but would get big hits in the 3rd inning too if he were around then.

    Still, no idea if Morse is one of these or not.

  44. scraps on March 24th, 2008 8:00 am

    Is there in fact any hitter whose historical pinch-hitting ability, exceeding their everyday ability, has enough data to be statistically significant? And can be separated from the effect of being inserted for advantageous matchups, etc?

  45. pygmalion on March 24th, 2008 9:00 am

    44 Well there are a few hitters with pretty large sample sizes as pinch hitters. Take Lenny Harris. Harris had 212 hits in 804 at bats, for a .264 average, basically matching his career average of .269 (1055 hits in 3924 at bats).

    I thought I’d read something about the fact that, overall, players hit worse as pinch hitters, but I can’t find that information anymore. Obviously, though, no sample size problem here. But I can’t find the evidence I thought I had, so, there is a problem there.

    But, if it is true that there is a significant enough drop-off for hitters when pinch hitting, then Harris would have a decent case built on his 800+ at bats as an exception to the trend, since he hits just about the same no matter his role.

  46. Wishhiker on March 24th, 2008 9:28 am

    Forgot Greg Colbrunn already? Career .289/.338/.460 hitter with a .304/.370/.473 career as PH. It is a valuable commodity when it’s found, but rare. The only way to really know if Morse has it is to try him in those situations.

  47. Jeff Sullivan on March 24th, 2008 9:32 am

    That Greg Colbrunn had a better batting line in 224 AB’s off the bench is in no way proof that he was a better hitter when he pinch-hit than when he started.

  48. terry on March 24th, 2008 9:37 am

    He looks good, but I’d rather wait to see if this guy gets released as he’s out of options. Maybe that’s just me though.

    He’s a lefty too…..

  49. zeke5123 on March 24th, 2008 9:44 am

    I think Morse can rake against lefties at the same level against lefties that Johnson can. Morse’s career splits against lefties are slightly better (but only around 140 ab’s) then Johnson. I was looking at baseball cube but I couldn’t find splits against lefties. I noticed Morse had a very good showing last year. I guess the largest difference is that Johnson provides more value because of his defense to platoon with Ibanez. Ideally, we could keep Morse to back up 1B/3B/5th outfielder, Johnson as fourth outfielder/platoon partner with Ibanez, Willie 2B/SS backup, Burke, and Norton as the leftie off the bench.

  50. terry on March 24th, 2008 9:51 am

    I’ve shown that when I clap three times in a row while wearing a hat backwards and hopping on one foot, the Mariners are undefeated on Tuesdays. Clearly, the M’s should pay me to perform this ritual and they’ll go undefeated.

    By my count, the Ms were 10-14 on Tuesdays in ’07. The Ms missed the playoffs because of you, you lazy poop….

  51. rea on March 24th, 2008 10:00 am

    If you’re looking for a righty with a good glove in the OF, you could always offer the Tigers a reliever in return for Brandon Inge (who will probably start in CF for the Tigers on opening day, barring a trade or an unexpectedly rapid recovery from a broken hand by Curtis Granderson. . . .)

  52. JI on March 24th, 2008 10:08 am

    So I am the only person left who thinks Mike Morse sucks?

    Check out his skillset:

    -Slow singles hitter
    -(which implies) no power
    -Won’t really take a walk if offered
    -Blows at defense

    What am I missing?

    The only possible use I can think of for Morse is that of a 25th man on an NL team where you need more disposable pinch hitters. Trade him, or cut him and be done with it. He doesn’t fit here.

  53. Steve T on March 24th, 2008 10:24 am

    Mike Morse is doing well in Spring Training and has been mildly successful in a very small sample of plate appearances at Safeco Field. Since it is clear that he will be an above average player, isn’t this whole topic a moot point?

    Dave, be careful banging your head against the desk. It’s bad for the head and for the desk.

  54. Carson on March 24th, 2008 11:05 am

    So, I can’t help but to be a little excited.

    Edgar just walked by my [cubicle].

    Apparently he’s here to do some business with us. [Thankfully] none of the 80-100 people in my area who started popping up to peer out of their cubes at him ran up and asked for an [autograph] or anything.

  55. jlc on March 24th, 2008 11:26 am

    54- For all that I love the statistical approach to baseball between games, when I’m actually watching it, I turn into a 10-year old. I even get a thrill seeing the sons of my childhood heros coaching at A level. An Edgar sighting definitely rates a little excitement.

  56. Ralph_Malph on March 24th, 2008 12:13 pm

    let us also remember the elevation of those Arizona playing fields (more than 1000 feet above sea level), that in such thin air curve balls tend not to curve, sliders tend not to slide.

    At 1000 feet, the atmospheric pressure is 3.6% lower than at sea level. At 5,000 feet, by comparison, the atmospheric pressure is 16.8% lower than at sea level. The pressure difference in Arizona is insignificant.

    Atlanta, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh are all over 1000 feet; Minneapolis and Cleveland are around 800. Chicago, Detroit, Arlington (Texas) and Milwaukee are all over 600 feet.

    The altitude in Arizona is irrelevant to spring training stats.

    Dry air might possibly be a factor, but not altitude or heat. Dry air is, actually, heavier than wet air, counterintuitively, because water molecules are lighter than nitrogen.

  57. bakomariner on March 24th, 2008 12:29 pm

    WLAD just got dropped down to Tacoma…one less candidate…

  58. Carson on March 24th, 2008 12:41 pm

    Dammit. I just came back from lunch to an IM that he was going around signing autographs for all comers.

    Do I even need to say how extremely bummed out I am right now?

  59. scott19 on March 24th, 2008 2:20 pm

    56: I would tend to agree that the altitude factor (except in Denver) is a bit overrated as well. Though ST and the regular season might be apples and oranges, it’s interesting how the “thin, dry air” never really seemed to stop RJ and Schilling back about 6-7 years ago or Brandon Webb these days.

  60. marinerfaninvenice on March 24th, 2008 5:18 pm

    There’s not a great fit for Morse on M’s — or not a good enough fit. I think (or hope) Bavasi is showcasing his spring to swing a trade for some bullpen arms. Maybe package Cairo/WFB in there, too. I see a great fit for Morse in Cincy or SD.

    Subtract Morse & Cairo/WFB, move Vidro to bench. Reed J and J Reed in OF. If J Reed doesn’t perform in April, bring up Wlad/Clement.

  61. Breadbaker on March 24th, 2008 6:23 pm

    Does anyone know why Johnson was cut by Toronto?

  62. scraps on March 24th, 2008 7:10 pm

    61: A glut of good outfielders.

  63. currcoug on March 24th, 2008 7:16 pm

    Dave,

    I mentioned Morse’s limited pinch hit stats because some had argued that Norton was a superior pinch hitter. I submitted Norton’s PH stats over the last three years (32 AB’s), which are awful.

    We can all agree that Morse is not an everyday player. Morse’s roll on the team is to PH for Ibanez, Wilkerson, etc., late in the game, and/or face lefties (if only McLaren understood this concept). That is also the reason I mentioned his success at coming off the bench late in the game and getting hits.

    One factor that has not been mentioned is: what happens if Beltre’s ligament tears completely? I would rather have Morse, than Bloomquist or Cairo at 3B. If Morse doesn’t make the team, and Beltre is injured, would it surprise anyone to see Bavasi trade a top prospect away for another 3B?

  64. BillyJive on March 24th, 2008 7:34 pm

    Does anyone remember who was the M’s best hitter last ST?
    Answer: Willie Bloomquist
    Just thought I’d throw that out there…
    Being a Canadian means I am forced to watch a lot of Blue Jays baseball. Reed Johnson would be a good addition to the team…heck…I’d start him over Wilkerson.
    I’ll take Reed J. over J. Reed anyday…

  65. scott19 on March 24th, 2008 7:56 pm

    I am forced to watch a lot of Blue Jay baseball

    So the Baseball Gods of the North have tied you to a chair whenever the Jays are playing…LOL! ;)

    Actually, though, I agree…I think Reed J. would be a nice addition to the M’s roster as well.

  66. Taylor H on March 25th, 2008 8:12 am

    So about how much would we be paying Johnson. Would his old salary carry over to us, or would we need to offer him like a 1 year deal?

  67. currcoug on March 25th, 2008 11:12 am

    If Johnson is signed, I hope he gets rid of his horrid goatee, which brings back unpleasant memories of Rick White’s red, hairy obscenity.

  68. currcoug on March 25th, 2008 5:21 pm
  69. Steve T on March 25th, 2008 7:00 pm

    If Beltre’s ligament goes, we’re screwed. We cannot afford to have another crappy hitter in the lineup AND another crappy defender in the field. Morse, Bloomquist, Cairo — it doesn’t matter, we cannot afford to have any of these guys playing every day at third (or anywhere else).

  70. JerBear on March 25th, 2008 8:27 pm

    …memories of Rick White’s red, hairy obscenity.

    Dude, that thing was naaaaasty.

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