The Roster Now

Dave · February 19, 2009 at 7:22 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With Junior in the fold, the roster comes into a bit more focus. Let’s take a look at what we should expect now.

Catchers: Johjima, Clement
Infield: Branyan, Lopez, Betancourt, Beltre, Cedeno, Shelton, Corona
Outfield: Chavez, Gutierrez, Ichiro, Balentien, Griffey

That’s assuming they go with 14 position players and 11 pitchers. If they go 13/12, then Corona probably goes away. Shelton could turn into Morse or Sweeney, but you can bet on one of those three making the roster as a RH platoon 1B/DH type. Carrying three catchers goes out the window now, as you won’t be seeing Clement or Johjima getting many at-bats at DH with Griffey around.

So, what about the line-ups? Wakamatsu sounds like he’s a fan of platoons, so don’t expect the team to run out the same line-up against RHP and LHPs, and with this roster, there’s lots of opportunities for doing that with this roster. Here’s my best guess, as of now.


1. Ichiro, RF
2. Gutierrez, CF
3. Griffey, DH
4. Beltre, 3B
5. Branyan, 1B
6. Lopez, 2B
7. Clement, C
8. Betancourt, SS
9. Chavez, LF

Pinch Hitter for Branyan: Shelton
Pinch Hitter for Chavez: Balentien
Pinch Runner: Corona
Defense Subs: Johjima and Cedeno


1. Ichiro, RF
2. Gutierrez, CF
3. Lopez, 2B
4. Beltre, 3B
5. Shelton, 1B
6. Johjima, C
7. Balentien, DH
8. Betancourt, SS
9. Chavez, LF

Pinch Hitter for Shelton: Branyan
Pinch Hitter for Balentien: Clement
Pinch Hitter for Chavez: Griffey
Pinch Runner: Corona
Defensive Sub: Cedeno

Despite the doom and gloom about the lack of power, those line-ups aren’t that bad. The vs LHP line-up, especially, might not be full of sexy names, but you run out seven straight right-handed bats, and you can drive even good LHPs batty.

If Wakamatsu can manage to get everyone to go along with the job sharing, limits Griffey to DH vs RHP, goes with a regular outfield of Chavez/Gutierrez/Ichiro, and Clement can handle most of the catching duties, then this group of position players are probably league average overall. This is what we should be rooting for, at least – there are other, worse potential permutations of the roster that would involve Griffey in the outfield, but so far, Wakamatsu and his staff have earned the benefit of the doubt.


66 Responses to “The Roster Now”

  1. joser on February 19th, 2009 12:33 pm

    Kansas City is quickly becomming Seatlle’s trash bin…

    Except they seem to only get the ones that slip past Gillick and the Phillies.

  2. Mike Snow on February 19th, 2009 1:04 pm

    Has there been any more talk of Lopez doing some 1b work against RHP

    No, and with good reason. His offense doesn’t hold up at first base.

  3. diderot on February 19th, 2009 1:08 pm

    His offense doesn’t hold up at first base.

    Man, and speaking of ‘holding up’. Did you see the video Baker posted of him running those 300 yard sprints yesterday? I know there was a lot of discussion about Yuni working his way into better shape over the winter…but if possible, it seems like Lopez may have actually regressed. Scary.

  4. Sam Rocket on February 19th, 2009 1:34 pm

    But Washburn cautioned about expecting too much from the 39-year-old Griffey.

    “I think you guys [in the media] have to be careful of saying he’s going to be the savior,” Washburn said. “I don’t think you can put too much on him and say, ‘Well [the Mariners] have Ken Griffey Jr., so all the problems are solved.’

    Man I hate this guy so much. What has Washburn done to even qualify to speak on behalf of this team?

  5. joser on February 19th, 2009 1:40 pm

    Except in this case Washburn is right (however unqualified he might be to speak on behalf of anyone). Though I’d say the media isn’t really leading the general public on this, unfortunately.

  6. msb on February 19th, 2009 2:06 pm

    Man I hate this guy so much. What has Washburn done to even qualify to speak on behalf of this team?

    be willing to answer questions?

  7. Catherwood on February 19th, 2009 2:47 pm

    Everyone seems sure that Griffey’s done in the OF, so does that mean we’re not giving any credence to his surgeon’s characterization of him being “back to 2007 form”?

    It always seemed to me that Ibanez was godawful in left, yes, because he was slow and had a pretty crummy arm, but mostly because he didn’t seem to know how to play the outfield — he took horrible lines on balls hit toward him, he constantly misread flies, and he got an awful jump on the ball. Surely Griffey, with a history of knowing how to play, will be better than that? How much will his possibly sub-par defensive play hurt us? Is there any way to know until we see how much his surgery has helped?

  8. don52656 on February 19th, 2009 2:54 pm

    Two reasons immediately spring to mind that might make the lineup more productive than expected:

    1. Griffey as a DH will almost certainly get more PA’s because of the reduced likelihood of injury. I would be surprised if Wakamatsu let’s Griffey play much OF for that reason.

    2. Remember Beltre’s last “pre-free agent” season? Between that and his wrist being (hopefully) fully healed, I’m optimistic that his production will increase, perhaps significantly.

  9. joser on February 19th, 2009 3:01 pm

    It’s not that we necessarily think he’s done in left, but there’s a good chance that regular play there will finish him. Given the other fielding options on the team, all of his value is found in his bat, so anything that might negate that by putting him in a cast on the bench is not a good thing.

    And you do realize he hasn’t been a positive contributer in the outfield for most of this century (and 2007 was no exception). Even healthy, he’s pushing 40 and carrying a lot of scar tissue. Reading balls off the bat and instinctively taking great lines counts for something, but it only takes you so far. It doesn’t make you faster, and it doesn’t protect you from the walls or turf.

  10. Sam Rocket on February 19th, 2009 3:15 pm

    Except in this case Washburn is right (however unqualified he might be to speak on behalf of anyone). Though I’d say the media isn’t really leading the general public on this, unfortunately

    I don’t think he is right because I don’t know anyone who is saying Griffey is going to be our “savior”. If anything everyone (including the media) is going out of their way to say they understand he isn’t 28 year old Griffey anymore. Everyone is just happy that he is back and someone in the sports world decided to return to Seattle.

    My issue with Washburn is that there is no reason for the comment. Everyone in the clubhouse is talking about what an icon Griffey is and how it will be nice to have someone like him in the clubhouse. Then you have this 7th spot starting pitcher bringing everyone down with his comments.

    One of the other players summed it up best- Griffey brings in fans and that extra excitement makes an atmosphere conducive to winning. I’m a Baseball by the Numbers guy all the way- but you do have to appreciate some of the intangible factors when dealing with human players.

    Washburn is not conducive to winning- within the clubhouse or by the numbers.

  11. Puffy on February 19th, 2009 8:30 pm

    Wow. That lineup looks like it will require a lot of praying this year.

  12. MI5 on February 21st, 2009 12:51 am

    Can’t disagree with your player selections, but how did you come up with their places in the batting order. I’ll admit I’m a novice in the world of Sabermetrics, but is there some logic behind why you picked who would hit where?

  13. henryv on February 21st, 2009 11:43 pm

    Not meaning to question you, oh mighty gods of the blogosphere, but what is the reason for putting Chris Shelton in over Mike Sweeney?

    Yes, I realize Sweeney is at the end of his shelf life, but Shelton doesn’t show anything against LHP. Career he is a .254 against LHP, with very little pop. Not a ton of at bats, but he is 28, an will turn 29 later this year. Sweeney, on the other hand, has posted .300+ numbers against LHP over the last two years.

    Shelton, on the other hand, has actually done MUCH better against RHP. And if you take away his April of 2006, the guy’s career numbers go from mediocre to fairly bad. Over 1/4 of his home runs have come in one month, in one year.

    I would rather have another veteran leader on a team that is going to lose a lot of games this year, than a guy who will be done at the age of 30. I mean, given the choice between a has-been and a probably never will be… Meh, give me the friendly one.

    Is Corona really fast enough, and good enough on the base paths to keep him on the roster, giving up a pitcher or Morse/Sweeney? I have to admit, I know nothing about the kid, and unless he’s got some real future on this team, I have no problem sending him back to the Yankees. Lets not make him another Sean White, sitting on the roster.

  14. henryv on February 21st, 2009 11:52 pm

    Additionally, I don’t want Corona on the roster cause his first name is Reegie. Really? Reegie? I mean, how many times are we going to mess that up?

    Additionally, looking at his minor league fielding stats. Apparently, he’s not capable of throwing the ball accurately more than 90 feet. At 2B, he’s a reasonably good .984, but at SS and 3B, apparently he can’t his the broad side of a barn (.937 and .889).

    But, to by honest, its mostly the spelling issue. 🙂

  15. DMZ on February 22nd, 2009 12:54 am

    You’re using… fielding percentage across positions as a relative measure of ability?

    Really? That’s not a particularly useful way to look at things.

  16. henryv on February 22nd, 2009 2:36 pm

    You’re using… fielding percentage across positions as a relative measure of ability?

    Really? That’s not a particularly useful way to look at things.

    No, I totally agree. To be honest, I was just looking for an excuse to not like him. However, given that availability of stats on him, defensively, I did the best I could. His range factors aren’t bad. But for a kid in AA to be put into a major league opening day 25 man, I’d hope to see something special.

    Looking over a few other things on him, his sb% is very nice, and he did have a good hitting year at AA Trenton, but has virtually no power. I’ve seen the 3 youtube videos on him, and there isn’t much there. Don’t get to see him see a pitch, and he appears to be a little slow out of the box. But that’s unfair because 2 of the hits are fly balls. However, on all 3, he stands and watch the ball before running. Meh, not significant, just a note.

    Switch hitting is an interesting asset.

    I mean, is there anyone who fills the role of late inning runner besides him?

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