Return of return of Doyle

DMZ · June 8, 2008 at 9:58 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Many people noted yesterday that the Phillies DFA’d Chris Snelling’s when they brought Jayson Werth off the DL. Which is Greg-Norton-style ungrateful, given that he’d been hitting like crazy. In, uh, his 4 at-bats.

Snelling’s 27 now, his career delayed and savaged by injuries, and in the last year he’s been signed, traded, traded, optioned, claimed, released and probably folded, spindled, and mutilated flying from team to team. Not surprisingly, I have a couple of arguments for why the M’s should put in their bid.

1. He’s Snelling. He’s awesome.
2. Everyone in baseball (nearly) agrees that Snelling can hit but can’t stay healthy. This was the argument for acquiring Vidro not that long ago, and that held up okay. This requires the M’s to either DH him and spot-start him in the outfield, or use him in a bench role. Either way, it helps: the M’s need offense any way they can get it, and Wlad’s not helping, and they need defense in an even worse way, and Snelling is, at least, an upgrade over Raul in left. And he’s free and if he works out, you try and find a spot for him next year somehow.

And 3 is all about chemistry.
If you think part of the M’s problem is that they don’t have a winning attitude, or their clubhouse is fractured, or whatever your theory might be, Snelling helps. You can go back through his minor league career and see what people said about him, but it’s crazy — he’s been a huge clubhouse leader. If you want a full-effort player who’s all about the competition and can’t wait for his next at-bat, who starts brawls heckling from the dugout, here you go. His managers love him, even if sometimes they’re annoyed by him.

So maybe he’ll help the team cohesion. And if he doesn’t, what do they lose?

Wait, 4: The M’s could really use someone who does awesome interviews.

Comments

69 Responses to “Return of return of Doyle”

  1. Matthew Carruth on June 8th, 2008 10:15 am

    We need a Reed-Ichiro-Snelling outfield in a game so badly.

  2. bermanator on June 8th, 2008 10:27 am

    Wait … I think I must have gotten decaf instead of regular this morning, because I think I just read a post on USSM advocating acquiring a player because he might help team chemisty. Any way we could get that value quantified?

    But it sounds good to me … although if the M’s sign him and demote Wlad I’d probably think differently.

  3. TomC on June 8th, 2008 10:37 am

    and: 5. The season is lost anyway, why not? He can’t hurt us anymore than Cairo, Vidro or Sexson does.

  4. Mr. Egaas on June 8th, 2008 10:46 am

    We need a Reed-Ichiro-Snelling outfield in a game so badly.

    No we don’t. I want him at DH.

  5. DoesntCompute on June 8th, 2008 11:08 am

    6: Yoda

  6. jephdood on June 8th, 2008 11:13 am

    Can we put him in some kind of Gump-like leg braces to protect those knees?

    “Run Doyle! Run!”

  7. Benne on June 8th, 2008 11:19 am

    Will he have to sit in a plastic bubble in between at-bats to avoid getting injured?

  8. metz123 on June 8th, 2008 11:28 am

    Guy can hit? Career AVG .244, career SLG .400….hit? No so much. Guy can get on base though w/ a career OBP of .360….

    Vidro’s numbers – AVG .299, SLG .447 OBP .361.

    Doyle’s a cheaper, worse version of Vidro. Is that really where we want to take the franchise in one of it’s worst years ever?

    I love the gritty factor of Doyle, but there is a reason he’s had the career he’s had even when he’s been healthy enough to play. The major knee injuries he had robbed him of any potential to have a MLB career.

    He’s not a solution….

  9. msb on June 8th, 2008 11:35 am

    He’s not a solution….

    He doesn’t have to be. He’s just Doyle.

  10. hairofthedawg on June 8th, 2008 11:41 am

    Exactly, msb, and I have a jersey that I’d send back so my step-mom could wear it should he sign. The season’s already a bust and given regular playing time, or ABs, who knows what he might do without having to play the field? Ichiro and Doyle interviewed together? That could be very entertaining!

  11. arbeck on June 8th, 2008 11:47 am

    Metz,

    I don’t think using Vidro’s career numbers is a very good way to win an argument. I’m wouldn’t argue that Doyle is better now than Vidro in his prime. Unfortunately we don’t have Vidro in his prime we have .220/.267/.316 Vidro. Doyle is a better option than that. Especially if he plays the field.

  12. bermanator on June 8th, 2008 12:18 pm

    Depending on the bill for Snelling’s inevitable operations, he might wind up costing the M’s more than Vidro.

  13. Jim Thomsen on June 8th, 2008 12:43 pm

    While I support Doyle’s return, I wonder if bermantor has a point … if teams factor in the costs of a player’s medical care into a signing decision. It would interesting to know the dollar value of Doyle’s health care while he was in the Mariner organization.

    But signing him makes sense — too much sense — for the Mariners. He’s low-risk, medium-reward. I can’t imagine there’s any credible argument that, for one-thirtieth of what Vidro makes, Doyle would:

    a) hit for a higher average;

    b) post an on-base percentage 100 points higher; and

    c) hit for more extra-base power.

    Then again, so would 50 guys currently trapped in the minors. And the M’s haven’t thought to tap any of that free talent.

    The clue to the Mariners’ thinking comes in the Bavasi quote about there being no point in replacing Richie Sexson on the roster right now because there’s nobody out there right now to replace him. Bavasi thinks that because he doesn’t believe in free talent, it would seem — he believes only in names and status and salaries (as in, the higher the better). And we all know there are also 50 guys out there who could significantly outhit Sexson for the rest of the season for major-league-minimum pay.

  14. fetish on June 8th, 2008 12:56 pm

    Whoa, are you saying Snelling’s gritty get-injuredness is a boon to the club? The argument for re-acquiring him is pretty thin – with points 1, 3 and 4 being non-arguments, and point 2 being moot because he can’t stay healthy anyhow.

    But let’s talk about the ‘clubhouse’ part. I’m a total believer in Clubhouse Chemistry. But I certainly don’t think it’s a property of individual players, and you can’t import good chemistry (other than to replace an outright clubhouse cancer) or predict how two guys will work with each other w/r/t clubhouse chemistry. Bringing in a guy based on his clubhouseness is definitely a black art which only the most powerful GM’s (holding a Chemistry Amulet +3 at minimum) should indulge in. Of course, using the Chemistry Amulet has been the downfall of many GM’s (we see how well it’s worked in Seattle).

  15. fetish on June 8th, 2008 1:03 pm

    if teams factor in the costs of a player’s medical care into a signing decision. It would interesting to know the dollar value of Doyle’s health care while he was in the Mariner organization.

    I think this is a non-factor for all major-league organizations. I’m sure all clubs have a standard insurance policy with sky-high premiums but without limits. When a club signs a mega-free-agent who gets injured, not only is the medical portion covered, but also the salary as well. So getting injured probably saves the team money for even mid-payroll guys.

    Also, we’re not talking about lifesaving, intensive surgery which runs $100,000 in addition to hospital time. Knee Surgery runs probably 25k a pop which is a pittance in comparison to the salaries they are paying these guys, so it’s not like anyone could cost a club more than $500,000 over a career even if they were paying outright for medical care.

  16. CC03 on June 8th, 2008 1:05 pm

    RF would be his only chance to play, and I’d rather Wlad get that spot. Snelling could PH I guess.

  17. area 51 on June 8th, 2008 1:31 pm

    And it all goes back to Snelling blowing out his knee because of a bad third base coach call. Remember? It was in his first few games or may be even first game after being called up. Snelling got the pass to go home, but after shortly rounding third he got the stop call, thus causing him to stop akwardly and blow out his knee. Right?

  18. Jeff Nye on June 8th, 2008 1:36 pm

    We’re all aware of Doyle’s injury history, thanks; how is the point about Doyle being able to hit made “moot” by that, when DMZ specifically calls out that he can hit WHEN HEALTHY? Or did you just not read that part?

    As far as chemistry goes, whether we think it’s real/has an effect or not, the Mariners value it, and Doyle’s a guy you can point to that has “clubhouse leadership” going for him. And he can do that even when he’s not healthy.

    Even if you subtract out the admittedly somewhat irrational love a lot of us have for Doyle (which seems to bring out people who simply want to be contrarian, but I digress) this pickup makes sense because there is zero risk involved, and some upside. If he doesn’t end up adding anything to the team, you’re not out anything except a small salary, and when Doyle’s been healthy in the past he’s been a serious asset with the bat.

  19. Adam S on June 8th, 2008 1:41 pm

    Career AVG .244, career SLG .400….hit? No so much. Guy can get on base though w/ a career OBP of .360.
    Small sample size caveats apply as we’re looking at less then half a season, but a 760 OPS is better than everyone in the Mariners lineup but Ibanez so far this year. And 360 would be the best OBP. He’s a pretty big upgrade over Reed, Balentin, Vidro, or Sexson, none of whom I believe can put up a 700 OPS at this point. Worst case, he’s a better bat off the bench than Cairo.

    The question though isn’t whether Snelling helps the team, the question is can the M’s find a better cheap option for RF/DH. Then again, they have more than one hole to fill and should grab “both” guys.

  20. rcc on June 8th, 2008 2:02 pm

    I would love for the M’s to pick up Doyle, but it would make too much sense, in this dismal season, to drop Cairo or Vidro and pick up Doyle. Did you forget that Bavasi is still running the show?

  21. terry on June 8th, 2008 3:12 pm

    He’s not a solution….

    Doyle’s presence probably buys the Ms (or whatever team they trade him to) another year of Wlad which could be considered increasing Wlad’s value.

  22. bratman on June 8th, 2008 3:49 pm

    I would love to see him back … but we shouldn’t get carried away. If they bring him in based on the requirements that got us in this mess in the first place, I’m highly against it.

    It’s a nice thought

  23. jsa on June 8th, 2008 3:53 pm

    # 8 and # 11

    So reading between the lines I hear a reason to bring Doyle back is so we can prevent Vidro’s option from vesting?

    In the process we pay way less money and get the same production that Vidro was once capable of, and we keep Doyle’s Number One Fanboy (DMZ) happy.

    Running and ducking… (Don’t hurt me DMZ, I bought your book and I know your Grandmother from Juneau)…

  24. Crushgroovin on June 8th, 2008 3:55 pm

    The clue to the Mariners’ thinking comes in the Bavasi quote about there being no point in replacing Richie Sexson on the roster right now because there’s nobody out there right now to replace him. Bavasi thinks that because he doesn’t believe in free talent, it would seem — he believes only in names and status and salaries (as in, the higher the better). And we all know there are also 50 guys out there who could significantly outhit Sexson for the rest of the season for major-league-minimum pay.

    Pounding Head against wall! wife begging me to quit following the M’s for fear of major injury.

  25. jsa on June 8th, 2008 3:58 pm

    # 15 Knee Surgery runs probably 25k a pop

    Oh the imagery that brings up….

    But Its more than 25k, believe me. Some of us have personal acquaintance with the costs…

  26. thefin190 on June 8th, 2008 4:20 pm

    (O’) Doyle Rules!

  27. terry on June 8th, 2008 4:40 pm

    Apparently the requirement for Vidro’s option to vest is so high that it can be considered a moot point (i.e. his option won’t).

  28. mln on June 8th, 2008 5:00 pm

    I like the idea somebody mentioned of putting Snelling in a bubble between at bats. Or maybe wrapping him in bubble wrap when he plays the field.

  29. MattThompson on June 8th, 2008 5:52 pm

    Could Doyle be a Jack Cust-esque pickup for some smart team? i.e., a once highly-touted player who can’t play the field (Cust, because he has an iron glove, Doyle due to general fragileness), but who, given 500 inexpensive ABs at DH, could be a very valiable hitter?

  30. Jeff Nye on June 8th, 2008 6:06 pm

    I’d love to see that happen, but I can also see teams being scared away by his injury history, not realizing that there’s no real risk to them for picking him up.

    Go Doyle.

  31. planB on June 8th, 2008 6:08 pm

    Vidro’s numbers – AVG .299, SLG .447 OBP .361.

    Ugh how relevant are career numbers for a player obviously in the latest stage of decline?

  32. bradguy on June 8th, 2008 6:22 pm

    Wouldn’t you love to see a guy who averages between 4 and 5 pitches an at-bat showing the rest of the team you don’t have to swing at the first pitch all the time?

  33. MattThompson on June 8th, 2008 6:25 pm

    Jeff, yes, I get the injury fears. But, for the MLB minimum, and without Dan Rohn, Doyle Killer, coaching at third, how big is the true (not perceived) risk? Please note the qualifier ‘smart’ applied to ‘teams’ in my first post (which is not extended to the Mariners, duh, and D’OH!).

  34. planB on June 8th, 2008 6:30 pm

    Risk: none?

  35. bradguy on June 8th, 2008 6:32 pm

    The only true risk is not doing something now and losing more of the fan base.

  36. MattThompson on June 8th, 2008 6:33 pm

    And I just noted your qualifier ‘some’ teams. I guess the real answer is the risk is small, and the potential reward is…the big question. Big reward? Small reward?

    I guess where you believe Doyle fits along that spectrum determines whether you give him a shot or not.

    Me, I say, ‘Goodbye Cairo’ first chance I get.

  37. bradguy on June 8th, 2008 6:39 pm

    To me it’s Doyle’s “True Grit” vs. others’ perceived “grittiness.”

  38. Jeff Nye on June 8th, 2008 6:52 pm

    I’m not sure that anyone would say that Doyle is likely to be of more than moderate reward, at this point. We all know where he’s been.

    But potentially, he could be a very nice left-handed hitter that you can pick up for basically nothing. Smart teams take advantage of those situations.

    And yes, I know the Mariners aren’t a smart team, but adding that caveat to every post gets tiring.

  39. Bender on June 8th, 2008 7:23 pm

    You guys know that the Mariners aren’t going to do this explicitly because they hate the blog-o-sphere, right?

    Seriously, this is their chance to strike back!

  40. BigB on June 8th, 2008 7:38 pm

    This would be classified as one of the moves that makes “too much sense” for the Mariners to make.

  41. rcc on June 8th, 2008 7:39 pm

    It is interesting that the only two places where Doyle has value is on this blog, and for A’s fans on Athleticsnation. They have a man crush on Doyle as well as here. A quick check on a big Phillies blog shows ho hum….Snelling DFA’d.

    The M’s have so much dead weight ready to be cut loose it will be a real shame when Bavasi takes a pass on Doyle to keep Cairo & Vidro.

  42. bradguy on June 8th, 2008 8:17 pm

    Bavasi said when Doyle was traded Doyle was his son’s favorite player. Maybe his son will influence him…

  43. msb on June 8th, 2008 8:26 pm

    without Dan Rohn, Doyle Killer

    it wasn’t Dan Rohn, it was Dave Myers.

  44. bradguy on June 8th, 2008 8:38 pm

    Dan Rohn, good managerial candidate.

  45. Jeff Nye on June 8th, 2008 8:45 pm

    Pretty sure we’ll never see Dan Rohn back in the Mariners organization.

  46. msb on June 8th, 2008 8:53 pm

    from the Morning Call:

    “Outfielder Chris Snelling was outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to clear a roster spot for Werth. Snelling has three days to accept or reject the assignment. If he rejects it, he can become a free agent.

    Snelling has a guaranteed $450,000 contract for this year, so he likely will report to the IronPigs. Manuel would like to see Snelling stick in the organization.

    ”Snelling can hit,” [Charlie] Manuel said. ”He’s got a good swing, and he works hard at hitting.””

  47. bradguy on June 8th, 2008 9:13 pm

    That’s why the M’s need Doyle: he works hard at hitting, while the M’s hardly hit.

  48. bratman on June 8th, 2008 9:58 pm

    Maybe bringing back Doyle will ‘reverse the curse’.

  49. birdwatcher on June 9th, 2008 12:45 am

    [curtains]

  50. giuseppe on June 9th, 2008 1:10 am

    Wow, birdwatcher. You never want to post here again do you?

    All the authors of this blog freely admit their Doyle love is not quite rational, but this move would be a smart one as outlined above quite clearly by Derek and then many posters after him. If Doyle is what you so eloquently call him in your first (quasi-)sentence, what does that make the half of our roster that can’t match his production?

    Also, the authors of this blog are not “just as bad” as the incompetent people in the front office. Derek and Dave aren’t getting paid millions to objectively use information freely available to them to build a better baseball team and refusing to do it. Derek and Dave are getting paid nothing to write about a sport and team they love. Oh, and they’re fans, so they get a free pass on their irrational love of a player now and then.

    Go spend your nights reading something you might understand. I think the PI has a forum that might be about your speed.

    Go Doyle! C’mon Bavasi, you can’t salvage this season or your job, at least try to make it interesting. Make your son happy. Get Doyle on a plane to Seattle.

  51. giuseppe on June 9th, 2008 1:10 am

    d’oh!

  52. bakomariner on June 9th, 2008 7:46 am

    One question that I don’t think has been covered…why would ANY free-agent, even the beloved Doyle, want to sign with Seattle? I’m sure he knows what’s going on here…unless there is a new FO in the near future, it’s going to be hard to get any quality FA signings, unless there is a boat load of money thrown at them, which we know is a terrible way to build the team…

  53. jro on June 9th, 2008 8:18 am

    why would ANY free-agent, even the beloved Doyle, want to sign with Seattle?

    This has never been MORE true than this year. The front-office instability and the lack of competitiveness are piled on top of geographic challenges (long trips, grand total of 15 minutes of sunshine in the month of June).

    But we’re still a great landing for those post-prime players looking for a payday in an environment where they will continue to play in spite of their accelerated decline in productivity. ;-)

  54. bradguy on June 9th, 2008 8:29 am

    Doyle’s been assigned to Lehigh Valley. Think the Mariners, even in their condition, wouldn’t be his choice?

  55. bakomariner on June 9th, 2008 8:30 am

    I have a feeling that not only will we NOT get Snelling back, but we’re going to trade WLAD and Clement as well…I would be all for Snelling coming back as the 4th outfielder/DH although I don’t have a man crush on him like most here do…mine is for ICHIRO!…

  56. Jeff Nye on June 9th, 2008 8:41 am

    Don’t mess with Doyle.

  57. Buckj64 on June 9th, 2008 8:56 am

    So if Doyle has his choice between Seattle and Lehigh what does he choose? Better question who would win a 7 game series between Lehigh Valley and Seattle?

    I figure Felix throws 2 no hitters and Bedard and Silva get bombed in their two games a piece, we never get to Felix for game 7 the fighting IronPigs win the series in 6 games, with Former Mariners Snelling, Travis Blackley, and T.J. Bohn leading the way…

    As an aside I do hope we have the ability to beat a AAA baseball team, and a piss-poor AAA baseball team.

  58. jimbob on June 9th, 2008 9:10 am

    Wow. Talk about the USSM having a man crush on a player. What happened to to all of your Saber whatever? I’m extremely disappointed that you’ve abandoned all that makes the USSM the greatest baseball blog on the planet in favor of emotion. Would Doyle become the new “ignitor”?

  59. Graham on June 9th, 2008 9:31 am

    Wow. Talk about the USSM having a man crush on a player. What happened to to all of your Saber whatever? I’m extremely disappointed that you’ve abandoned all that makes the USSM the greatest baseball blog on the planet in favor of emotion. Would Doyle become the new “ignitor”?

    My mother always told me that if all I had to say was ‘[expletive] jimbob’, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

    So I’m not going to say anything.

  60. DMZ on June 9th, 2008 9:39 am

    My mom never told me to say that, but I don’t want to offend Graham’s mom, so…

    Seriously, the whole paragraph there is called out with “if you believe…” and then talks about that. I don’t know if you want a larger, neon-red blinking qualifier there or what, but…

  61. Jeff Nye on June 9th, 2008 9:55 am

    This is why we can’t have nice things. :(

  62. bakomariner on June 9th, 2008 10:06 am

    I think we can say whatever we want if we have admitted man-crushes…It’s fine…At the Dodgers/Cubs game last night (NL ball is boring as hell) every time Fukudome came up to the plate, I said, in a VERY pro-Cubbie section, “He’s alright, but he’s no ICHIRO!”

    Needless to say, I wasn’t the most popular guy there, and the only one in an Ms hat and Felix jersey…

    The guy next to me was a HUGE Marmol fan (nver heard of the guy) and when he came in to relieve Marquis, the dude was going on and on…

    We all love who we love…you just can’t explain it sometimes…

  63. jase411 on June 9th, 2008 10:16 am

    [ot, we know about it, there will probably be a post soon]

  64. giuseppe on June 9th, 2008 10:25 am

    bakomariner, Were you sitting in section 33? I think I saw you as everyone was getting up to leave. Not often you see someone in Dodger Stadium sporting the navy blue and “northwest green.”

  65. gwangung on June 9th, 2008 10:28 am

    Well, it IS an irrational man-crush….but it’s tempered by some realism….

  66. gps on June 9th, 2008 10:34 am

    I see “injury history” as akin to the stock market; past results are not necessarily a predictor of future performance.

    I often think of Paul Molitor in this regard. He broke in at 21 but played in 150 or more games just twice through his age 30 season. He did it six times after 30, and probably would have had eight had it not been for the strike-shortened seasons in 1994-95. He was mostly a DH after 34 but still played a handful of games at 1b every year.

    Doyle is no Molitor, but fear of injury isn’t a great reason not to consider signing him. (Doyle, though Molitor would probably be an improvement as well…)

  67. G-Man on June 9th, 2008 11:00 am

    DMZ would get to proudly wear his Snelling jersey again, and half of the so-called local baseball fans wouldn’t be asking him “Who the heck is Snelling?”

  68. Karen on June 9th, 2008 10:45 pm

    Molitor didn’t do much for the Mariners as a hitting coach…

    (but then again, that was the year the M’s started getting old…and some of them are still hanging around!)

  69. edgar for mayor on June 9th, 2008 11:08 pm

    Um…5.) He’s Australian

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