Angels take another blow; yet another roster suggestion

Dave · March 26, 2008 at 3:05 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s apparently news day, so we’re inundating you with new posts. A few quick notes here.

Angels starter Kelvim Escobar revealed that he may have a torn ligament in his shoulder that could require surgery that would wipe out his 2008 season. No official decision has been made yet on whether they’re going to cut him open, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the Angels will get much from one of their main cogs this year. Make no doubt about it – this is a big blow to the Angels. Escobar is probably a +3 win pitcher, and while the Angels have some solid potential replacement arms, none of them can make up for this loss. The gap between LAA and the M’s has certainly diminished.

Also, in the never ending series of suggestions of ways the M’s could improve their ballclub, I present Matt Murton. He lost his spot on the Cubs when they signed Reed Johnson (also a USSM suggested acquisition), and today they announced they’re not even going to carry Murton as a reserve. He simply needs a new organization, and like Johnson, he brings a perfect package of skills to the table in terms of what the M’s should be looking for in a fourth OF; right-handed, gap power, lefty masher, solid to plus defender in a corner OF. Toss in the fact that Murton is just 26 years old and has only two years of service time, and he’s the kind of player who could help the team both in 2008 and beyond. With players like Murton available, the M’s simply shouldn’t settle for their internal candidates for the fourth OF job – they can do better.

In other news, USSM endorsed Tacoma Rainiers announcer Mike Curto checks in with a few notes from Peoria as he blogs his way through minor league spring training. Go Curto Go.

And yes, for those asking, we saw Rob Neyer’s list of the 50 most valuable players over the next 5 years on ESPN. And yes, I’m intentionally not linking to it, mainly because it’s not very good. All you need to know – Felix and Bedard aren’t on the list, but Melky Cabrera is. Yep.


120 Responses to “Angels take another blow; yet another roster suggestion”

  1. galaxieboi on March 27th, 2008 4:16 pm

    Also, the Kiger that hit the homerun today was one Mark Kiger, former 5th rounder of the A’s, I think. Utility fielder, right-handed, typical A’s-style prospect. He’ll be 28 on May 30th.

  2. currcoug on March 27th, 2008 4:22 pm

    Wow, I am amazed you missed my misspelling of a player’s name earlier in this discussion.


  3. eponymous coward on March 27th, 2008 4:24 pm

    Remember Rich Aurilla, Al Martin, and Jeff Cirillo?

    So? I just told you there are players who’ve come to Seattle, played at Safeco, and had great seasons in Mariner uniforms out of the NL. Your argument is “oh noes, we can’t have NL players, they always crash coming here”. The possible other explanations for some players coming over from the NL and having bad seasons stem from:

    – Safeco is a hard place to hit, arguably the toughest park in the majors, and
    – Most of the players that are being brought over are in their 30’s and subject to declines in performance, anyway.

    But anyways, Bret Boone had LESS than a full season in the AL during the two years he played here, and then spent a number of years in the NL… and somehow, I’m supposed to think 400+ plate apperances in the AL years and years ago taught him how to hit in that league for all eternity? Especially when most of the pitchers in 1993 and 2001 aren’t even the same guys he faced? And he was playing in a different park, too?

    Oh, so does Jose Vidro, who improved from 2006 to 2007 going from the Nats to here, and who never played a day in the AL before coming over.

    Also: how come Ken Griffey didn’t own the NL when he left Seattle, if that league sucks so badly? How about Carlos Delgado- he didn’t become superhuman in another league. How come Vlad Guerrero didn’t suddenly collapse coming to the AL? How is it Pedro Martinez improved coming over to the AL from the “inferior league”? Or is it mystical Kryptonite radiation coming from the “S” on your chest as a Mariner, and it only affects NL players not named Vidro?

    Also, we’ve had plenty of players from the AL come in and crash their offensive stats, too: Scott Spiezio, Eduardo Perez, Carl Everett come to mind.

    I think your argument isn’t well thought out, because it’s contradicted by a boatload of easily available evidence, and can easily be explained by the two other factors I mentioned above (Safeco sucks, and a lot of Mariners we’ve acquired would naturally decline with age). I simply don’t buy the idea that we should blow off half of MLB as trade or waiver acquisitions, simply because they play in the NL, and we’ve had some bad players. It seems to me we should realistically evaluate talent and make our decisions from there.

  4. scott19 on March 27th, 2008 4:33 pm

    Wishful thinking perhaps, but wouldn’t Morse (+?) to the Cubbies for Murton be a nice thought?

  5. marc w on March 27th, 2008 4:34 pm

    96 – Chick came to seattle in the Eddie Guardado deal. Moyer netted the M’s Andys Baldwin and Barb.

  6. Jeff Nye on March 27th, 2008 4:35 pm

    Oh no, don’t start the Morse discussion again, aieeeeeeee!

    *exploding head noises*

  7. currcoug on March 27th, 2008 4:39 pm

    Actually, I think you guys are unhappy because the Mariners obviously don’t agree with your ideas about signing Johnson or Murton. I certainly don’t. I also think my point about Murton not adapting to Safeco and AL pitching in time to help the M’s this season is well taken.

    I admit the Boone argument was weak. Moreover, that is what I get for not checking Cirillo’s splits before relying on my memory (although I could use the small sample size argument).

    You blithely ignore the reality of what happened to Beltre in his first season in the AL. Beltre was only 26, and coming off a monstrous season.

    Vidro sucks, and Bavasi should not have acquired him.

    Griffey in the NL? Injuries.

  8. scott19 on March 27th, 2008 4:49 pm

    106: Sorry about that, Jeff — I should’ve used initials in that trade proposal to ward off a potential curse.

  9. Graham on March 27th, 2008 4:50 pm

    You know, as a moderator I do sort of try to set a good example when I’m on USSM by being all nice, etc etc etc.

    With that said, would you please stop making stupid arguments, currcoug?

  10. galaxieboi on March 27th, 2008 4:51 pm

    Actually, I think you guys are unhappy

    I’m actually a really happy person, don’t judge.

    I also think my point about Murton not adapting to Safeco and AL pitching in time to help the M’s this season is well taken.

    No, it’s not. Nice try though.

    although I could use the small sample size argument).

    Yes, and we could to with regards to his season and a half of at bats here (even less if you take out those 160PAs against lefties in ’02).

    Beltre was only 26, and coming off a monstrous season.

    A montrous season that was so far above and away of anything else he’d ever done only a damned fool would’ve expected him to get close to it again.

    Vidro sucks, and Bavasi should not have acquired him.

    Well, that’s not to far off. It’s too bad he’s our DH, but it could be a lot worse.

    Griffey in the NL? Injuries.


  11. galaxieboi on March 27th, 2008 4:52 pm

    marc- Thanks! I stand corrected.

  12. currcoug on March 27th, 2008 4:52 pm

    Yes, I hit the nail on the head.

  13. Jeff Nye on March 27th, 2008 4:53 pm

    It’s also interesting to note, too, that saying that something is beyond dispute, apparently doesn’t actually get people to stop trying to dispute it.

    You learn something new every day.

  14. Graham on March 27th, 2008 4:55 pm

    How dare people not take my words as gospel.

  15. currcoug on March 27th, 2008 5:00 pm


    Thanks for being courteous and fair.

    In regards to Beltre, however, he didn’t return to his average stats prior to 2004, he fell off a cliff in 2005.

    Dave described it in detail:

    “…Obviously, that first year was rough. He couldn’t have started his Mariner career any worse. His first two months in Seattle, he received 199 at-bats and hit a staggeringly terrible .236/.264/.357…”

    Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I fully supported signing Beltre. I also support an extension.

  16. eponymous coward on March 27th, 2008 5:01 pm

    You blithely ignore the reality of what happened to Beltre in his first season in the AL. Beltre was only 26, and coming off a monstrous season.

    Sometimes you have your career peak at 25 (Beltre so far), sometimes it’s in your 30’s (Boone). That doesn’t make a categorical argument to me that we can’t acquire Player X because he’s an NL player. Jose Guillen has switched leagues MULTIPLE times, and been consistent (his big leap came playing in Cincinnati, but it was at an age where that often happens). There’s Jim Thome. Richie Sexson. Carlos Beltran. Mike Cameron. Mike Lowell. LOTS of players switch leagues without a) collapsing in the AL or b) going from mediocre to Hall of Famers in the NL.

    Vidro sucks, and Bavasi should not have acquired him.

    Which is irrelevant to the question of whether or not his performance IMPROVED coming from the NL to the AL- and it did, by any objective standard.

    Griffey in the NL? Injuries.

    Griffey spent the 2000 season healthy until the end of the season. It’s not particularly different from his 1999 season except for that.

    Basically, the argument you are making comes down to having to special-case and say that being a Mariner screws you in some special way if you are an NL player, except if your name is Vidro or Boone. I don’t buy it. Martin, Cirillo, and Aurilia can all be easily explained by a) they were in middling at best players, in their 30’s and b) they came to a tough park. Period. No special pleading needs to be made that their time in the NL screwed them for coming to the AL, and we CERTAINLY should not keep from acquiring useful players under 30 because guys in their 30’s collapsed in Mariner uniforms. The lesson we should learn is “quit acquiring mediocre veterans as patch jobs and use free talent better”.

  17. galaxieboi on March 27th, 2008 5:08 pm

    Beltre returned to his normal OPS+ numbers in ’05 though. Check this out.

    Year OPS+

    ’98 73
    ’99 101
    ’00 114
    ’01 91
    ’02 97
    ’03 88
    ’04 163 (!)
    ’05 93
    ’06 105
    ’07 112

    Hope it all lines up.

  18. currcoug on March 27th, 2008 5:15 pm

    I agree with your last statement, which is why I was so upset when Bavasi gave Cabrera away.

    I would rather have Jones and/or Balentien in the outfield than Wilkerson. I would rather have Soriano and Sherrill in bullpen. I want a lot of those kinds of things, but as long as Bavasi is GM, they are not going to happen.

  19. currcoug on March 27th, 2008 5:21 pm


    You would not believe the crap I took on another site for supporting Beltre through his struggles in 2005. In fact, I cited those very numbers in support of my position. Essentially, I argued that Beltre’s contract was reasonable, that his glove was worth gold at third base, and that Beltre was only 26 and would get better (which he has).

    Finally, I just got through defending Beltre against those who tried to blame him for not discovering the torn ligament sooner.

  20. Bremerton guy on March 28th, 2008 6:13 pm

    I can’t believe Neyer didn’t include Mike Morse in his top 50. What’s he thinking?

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