Clement Out For Season

Dave · September 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Jeff Clement has a torn meniscus and will have surgery that will sideline him for the rest of 2008. The new general manager will have to be one to make the call, but at this point, moving Clement to first base seems like the right move. He’s pretty lousy behind the plate, and knee problems for a catcher aren’t a minor deal.

Comments

58 Responses to “Clement Out For Season”

  1. msb on September 6th, 2008 10:09 pm

    Riggleman just said that they decided to just go ahead and do it now to get ahead start on the recovery time. According to Riggleman it was normal catcher wear & tear, not a specific incident that caused it.

  2. Slurve on September 6th, 2008 10:24 pm

    I’d like him to go to winter ball to refine his catching skills or if the new GM wills make him go to first base I’m not giving up on Clement yet at catcher and would like him in that spot if he could get his defensive skills up.

  3. Dave on September 6th, 2008 10:28 pm

    He’s 25 – he’s been working on his defense for years, and he’s still lousy. Winter ball won’t change that fact.

  4. wickethewok on September 6th, 2008 10:33 pm

    Even with lousy defense at catcher, his potential offense could still have made him a plus. But, yeah, knee issues – kind of a big deal for a catcher. If you wanna look on the bright side, you might be able to slot him in next year as your fantasy catcher while he plays almost every day at first.

  5. Slurve on September 6th, 2008 10:35 pm

    I need to find his minor league defensive stats like runner thrown out or something like that and this is only his second year up so I’m gonna say AGAIN I’m not giving up on him yet. Rob Johnson made a throw today but he overthrew it and then let Damon take another right after that am I looking at a black hole at the catching spot or is it just a rookie overthrowing a ball…

  6. Dave on September 6th, 2008 10:39 pm

    Reiterating a point doesn’t make it any more true.

  7. Slurve on September 6th, 2008 10:41 pm

    You know I’m one of those guys that think if I yell it louder I’m right. ;) You can think what you want and I’ll think what I want and you can call me hopeless or something like that.=\

  8. Benne on September 6th, 2008 10:45 pm

    This sucks. I’d really hate if we had to move Clement to 1B, because that leaves us with the corpse of Johjima behind the plate. Unless Rob Johnson is ready for the big leagues, I can’t like our catcher situation going into ’09.

  9. HeyItsTodd on September 6th, 2008 11:00 pm

    If they think he’ll be an everyday firstbaseman, wouldn’t it mean definitely letting Ibanez go? (Based on the possibly unrealistic assumption that the FO recognizes that he is NOT a major league defender)

  10. wlad on September 6th, 2008 11:04 pm

    I’ve torn my meniscus. And sitting cross legged (something I used to do all the time) is completely out of the question. It’s not that it’s painful to bend my knees, but you’re always just really apprehensive.

    So since I can’t sit cross legged because of a torn meniscus, I am assuming Jeff won’t be able to catch.

  11. Joe on September 6th, 2008 11:06 pm

    This front office still thinks Ibañez is a plus defender in the outfield (how many games has he played 1st since the let Sexson go?) A new GM might think differently, and let him go for the draft picks (the smart move). But if they retained him, he could DH…barring some asinine “bring back Griffey to DH” PR move. You’d want to see Clement take some time learning 1B though. If you want to see Clement in winter ball, that’s probably the way to use him.

  12. Slurve on September 6th, 2008 11:14 pm

    I’d still seeing him taking winter ball after coming off the injury so he doesn’t go in too spring training rusty.

  13. Benne on September 6th, 2008 11:30 pm

    “I’d still seeing him taking winter ball after coming off the injury so he doesn’t go in too spring training rusty.”

    Why? Wouldn’t you rather see him use that time to recover fully and be 100% for the spring? Dave is right–he’s 25, he’s hitting his ceiling defensively, and now he has bad knees to boot. Winter ball won’t make a bit of difference.

  14. gwangung on September 6th, 2008 11:35 pm

    This front office still thinks Ibañez is a plus defender in the outfield (how many games has he played 1st since the let Sexson go?) A new GM might think differently, and let him go for the draft picks (the smart move).

    Yeah, but HowChuck would block that and force the new GM to re-sign Raul, like they insisted on getting rid of Carlos Guillen.

  15. John D. on September 6th, 2008 11:56 pm

    Re: Even with lousy defense at catcher,

    It’s worse than lousy. A major league catcher should be able to block most pitches in the dirt, not let them become wild pitches.
    Felix lost a game (1-0) recently on a wild pitch, a pitch that most catchers would have blocked–but Clement didn’t.

  16. JLP on September 7th, 2008 12:01 am

    Hopefully he recovers fully in the off-season and comes back ready for some baseball in the spring. I’d love to see him move to first, play adequate defense there, and absolutely rip the cover off the ball next season.

  17. Bender on September 7th, 2008 3:10 am

    I’ve had two meniscus knee surgeries, and I’ve had good care and great PT afterwards. As it stands right now, I can squat…somewhat. I caught all my life and I can’t imagine catching a game right now.

    If people are interested I could go into some detail about the meniscus and what all happens when it’s torn and you get it repaired (or more likely removed) and what happens to the joint afterwards.

    I’d put really good money on one of two scenarios: the first tear being minor and the second being worse, or the first surgery was a repair and this injury is the repair coming apart. The latter happens a lot as there’s basically no blood flow to the meniscus.

    I don’t want to bore anyone if they’re not interested, but I would bet against him catching in the future.

  18. Teej on September 7th, 2008 3:20 am

    It’s hard to admit that he can’t be a catcher. That’s what made him so exciting. This sucks.

    Oh well. Cut your losses and get it over with, I guess. And considering the black holes we’ve had at first and DH for the past two years, we could use a good bat wherever we can find one.

    Also, I’m not convinced that Kenji is dead.

  19. terry on September 7th, 2008 7:06 am

    At this point, anyone on the Ms that can be a legitimate major league bat is exciting.

  20. msb on September 7th, 2008 7:33 am

    turns out it is actually two tears– the lateral and medial meniscus (the medial is on the inside, the lateral on the outside of the knee, and they help balance the body’s weight across the knee)

  21. Corey on September 7th, 2008 7:43 am

    I really agree with Teej’s sentiments. The cool thing about Clement was bringing some nice offense to a position typically sacrificing it. Looking at what the Twins have with Mauer can make any team envious.

    And the Johjima situation, I would love to add something useful and intelligent here but I just have no idea what to do. Let the people far above my pay grade decide, and then be accountable for that move.

  22. certaindoom on September 7th, 2008 8:05 am

    What is absolutely maddening about this Mariners org is that if Clement’s footwork is so bad and so fundamentally flawed, why is it nobody throughout the org was ever quoted ever that I found in 2 years of watching as saying he needs work? Why was this allowed to continue from college through the minors to starting at Tacoma to the M’s ?

    You guys all say his footwork is bad, ok so why do they keep promoting him, wouldn’t you think this is something that might be relevant, are you folks the first ones throughout the entire pacific northwest who noticed his lacking footwork?

    Just seems ridiculous. Rooting for a guy, hearing him touted for two years, now he makes the majors and suddenly his footwork is incapable of playing catcher.

    Where were all you geniuses when he was starting at Tacoma ? Why was this not “obvious” then? And if it wasn’t obvious to you why wasn’t it at the least obvious to the Mariners?

    No finger pointing intended, its just frustrating. One of the great things I thought about the Mariners future was a slugging catcher, finally erasing the mistake of Jason Varitek. Instead thanks to USSM’s astute observation over the past 5 months, I now can look forward to apparently a medium hitting possibly replacement level platoon first baseman, maybe.

    Nice work.

  23. metz123 on September 7th, 2008 8:17 am

    lots of people have torn a meniscus. There’s no point in comparing your operation and recovery to Clements. Torn meniscus can mean anything to a little nip tuck clean up to microfracture surgery. Recovery can mean anything from complete lack of pain and no loss of function to loss of stability and chronic pain and end of career. Proposing clement move to 1st base because he now has “bad knees” is premature at best and bordering on over reaction. Make the proposal based on his defensive metrics not a medical diagnosis from the paper.

    That being said, recovery from minor meniscus surgery is around 6 weeks. Having it done during the season means that either it isn’t minor or or they do want him recovered in time to send him to winter ball.

    I’m fortunate that my surgery resulted in little to no loss in function.

  24. msb on September 7th, 2008 8:25 am

    What is absolutely maddening about this Mariners org is that if Clement’s footwork is so bad and so fundamentally flawed, why is it nobody throughout the org was ever quoted ever that I found in 2 years of watching as saying he needs work?

    why do you think Roger Hansen shows up at what ever level Clement is catching?

  25. msb on September 7th, 2008 8:28 am

    Torn meniscus can mean anything to a little nip tuck clean up to microfracture surgery. Recovery can mean anything from complete lack of pain and no loss of function to loss of stability and chronic pain and end of career.

    FWIW, per Clement: “It’s not a complicated procedure, I’ve had it done once before, so I figure let’s get it over with and come back fresh”

  26. bakomariner on September 7th, 2008 8:35 am

    He probably won’t make it at 1B either…so unless they re-sign Raul to be the DH, I think we know who it will be…Jeff Clement, Mariners DH…

  27. gwangung on September 7th, 2008 8:47 am

    Where were all you geniuses when he was starting at Tacoma ? Why was this not “obvious” then?

    Us geniuses were noting that then. It was obvious then. It was COMMENTED upon then.

  28. bakomariner on September 7th, 2008 8:56 am

    certaindoom-

    If you didn’t intend to point fingers, then why did you?

  29. killer_ewok18 on September 7th, 2008 9:16 am

    Even more motivation for us to draft some bats next year, since Strasburg will likely sign with the Padres…

  30. Slurve on September 7th, 2008 9:18 am

    “I’d still seeing him taking winter ball after coming off the injury so he doesn’t go in too spring training rusty.”

    Why? Wouldn’t you rather see him use that time to recover fully and be 100% for the spring? Dave is right–he’s 25, he’s hitting his ceiling defensively, and now he has bad knees to boot. Winter ball won’t make a bit of difference.

    Well i never said for him to be in the catchers role did I. I just said he needs winter ball after the surgery to see
    1.If he can still catch or not.
    2.If he cannot catch see how he takes 1b.
    3.If his swing or power has lost anything.
    4.So he can get back into a routine of playing before spring.

  31. Slurve on September 7th, 2008 9:21 am

    Or he might just end up as trade bait and Moore or Rob will step in…

  32. Jon on September 7th, 2008 10:00 am

    [ot]

  33. DMZ on September 7th, 2008 10:09 am

    Instead thanks to USSM’s astute observation over the past 5 months, I now can look forward to apparently a medium hitting possibly replacement level platoon first baseman, maybe.

    Nice work.

    Yes! Clearly this is all Dave’s fault! Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!

  34. Breadbaker on September 7th, 2008 10:11 am

    A damn shame. Clement was, with Adam Jones, the position player prospect I was most excited about since A-Rod. As a first baseman/DH, positions that you don’t use the number three pick in the draft on, he’s less exciting.

  35. terry on September 7th, 2008 10:21 am

    Frankly, I still blame Dave for the breakup of Jennifer and Brad… he probably killed production of “Friends” too….

  36. SequimRealEstate on September 7th, 2008 10:43 am

    Fianally some one figured it out. DMZ on September 7th, 2008 10:09 am Dave’s fault. I told him not to draft Clement because his foot work would never come around. Did he listen to me.. No! Sighhhh I guess he will never learn.

  37. Steve T on September 7th, 2008 11:21 am

    You think Clement will ever hit well enough to knock Cairo off of first base? I’m not so sure.

  38. msb on September 7th, 2008 11:23 am

    Galloping Gertie?

    Dave did that.

  39. Joe on September 7th, 2008 11:38 am

    Clement’s best month so far this year (August, at least part of it with a bum knee): .325/.373/.416
    Cairo’s best month so far this year .283/.356/.377

    Yeah, Cairo had better months in his career (see his crazy Sept/Oct in 2004 with the Yankees) but how likely is he to repeat them at this point in his career? Clement has an upside. With Cairo, it’s pretty much what you see is what you get.

    Also there’s money and contract. Cairo is on a one-year deal, which means he’s going to be a free agent and, based on his performance, will certainly want more than this year’s $850K. Clement is under team control and getting the league minimum. That’s nickel and dime stuff, of course (I’m sure the M’s regularly lose half a million in between the cushions of the couch in the owner’s suite) but having team control over a still-developing hitter (even if he’s no longer a catcher) still makes for one less thing for a GM to worry about and makes him a valuable trade piece (if I had any faith in the FO’s ability to not get fleeced in trades).

  40. Steve T on September 7th, 2008 12:02 pm

    I was joking. Cairo is a total freaking disaster at first base, an embarrassment to the sport. If you can’t hit better than Cairo you shouldn’t have a uniform. I’m worried that Clement’s not going to be a whole lot better. Whatever happened to the idea of a first baseman who can MASH?

    I hate this team.

  41. kenshin on September 7th, 2008 12:08 pm

    It truly irks me that Dave decided to unleash his pent-up frustrations of a lost season by clubbing Jeff Clement’s knee.

    Perhaps if Dave had spent the past 5 months praising Clement for his truly superlative defense, the M’s would now have a slugging catcher.

    Instead Dave selfishly visualized Clement’s menisci as baby seals and we are all left to reap the consequences.

  42. MattThompson on September 7th, 2008 12:36 pm

    Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!

    Hmmmm. I’m sensing a meme here.

    M’s pass on an available Strasburg, to adhere to Bud’s slotting system? Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!

    Ichiro suffers a season-ending hamstring tear? Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!

    Hordes of locusts descend on Safeco, and devour it down to its framework? Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!

    USSM’s very own guttural howl at the baseball gods.

  43. msb on September 7th, 2008 12:45 pm

    personally I am visualizing the “Planet of the Apes” Chuck Heston clutching the back of his neck, and howling “Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!”

  44. gwangung on September 7th, 2008 12:56 pm

    Oh? I’m thinking more of William Shatner.

  45. Slurve on September 7th, 2008 12:56 pm

    Or when Tom Hanks is in the movie castaway and Wilson is drifting away “Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaave!”

  46. terry on September 7th, 2008 1:09 pm

    Speaking of Strasburg, I think it’s bunk that the draft order is set by W-L record. It should be determined by the number of games out of first place…

  47. msb on September 7th, 2008 1:15 pm

    and maybe “strength of schedule” …

  48. msb on September 7th, 2008 1:27 pm

    Oh? I’m thinking more of William Shatner.

    wouldn’t that be more “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaavvvve!!!!” ?

  49. Dave on September 7th, 2008 1:41 pm

    For what its worth, there have been talks of Clement not being able to catch forever – in high school, in college, when he was drafted, and at every stop along the way. This isn’t something we’re just bringing up now – his defense has always been a concern.

  50. msb on September 7th, 2008 1:55 pm

    yup. all you have to do is use The Google.

  51. metz123 on September 7th, 2008 3:28 pm

    Are there no defensive metrics other than passed balls and caught stealing that truly evaluate the defensive prowess of a catcher?

    Other than Gold gloves of course, we all know that they are truly the best judge of defensive abilities.

    I’m hoping that the guys that love numbers (everyone not just the USSM authors) actually have numbers that show Clement’s defensive shortcomings.

  52. JI on September 7th, 2008 3:57 pm

    “Are there no defensive metrics other than passed balls and caught stealing that truly evaluate the defensive prowess of a catcher?”

    How about…

    http://i34.tinypic.com/2yltn4k.jpg

  53. Steve T on September 7th, 2008 4:05 pm

    The problem with evaluating “defensive prowess” for catchers is that it’s pretty difficult to even say what that phrase means. It’s the only position where the ability to get balls and turn them into outs isn’t the primary responsibility. “Working with the pitchers” is hopelessly vague and impossible to judge. So you end up with… passed balls and caught stealing.

  54. doorbot on September 7th, 2008 9:24 pm

    For what its worth, there have been talks of Clement not being able to catch forever – in high school, in college, when he was drafted, and at every stop along the way. This isn’t something we’re just bringing up now – his defense has always been a concern.

    Damn you Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave!

  55. bookbook on September 7th, 2008 9:41 pm

    I’ve been reading posts over at baseballthinkfactory about first the horrors of Pete Rose playing a 99 OPS+ 1st baseman (himself) in pursuit of the hits record. Then, the fact that Rose would have outhit 13 of the 1B’s and DHs of 2008. Thirteen!!! The average OPS for all 1B’s was only 109.

    Clement as a 110-120 OPS+ first baseman for a handful of years would be a darn valuable commodity.

    Not a superstar, but a plus contributor to championship teams potentially (if the Griffey-ARod-Edgar-Randy M’s had only had one!!!) Also worth more than the average result for his draft slot, I’d bet.

  56. Breadbaker on September 8th, 2008 12:47 am

    Bookbook, I have no idea what you’re talking about. The M’s first basemen from 1995 to 1999 were Tino Martinez, Paul Sorrento and David Segui. All of them had OPS+ at or above the range you describe, except for Segui in 1999, who was shipped to Toronto and replaced by John Olerud the next year.

  57. msb on September 8th, 2008 9:02 am

    I miss Olerud.

  58. jbarr08 on September 8th, 2008 11:54 am

    [ot]

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