Running Low On OFs

Dave · February 26, 2009 at 7:18 am · Filed Under Mariners 

As we all know, the Mariners brought a ton of guys to camp this year, loading up on organizational depth and creating a lot of competition at various positions. However, that depth is being tested, as come Monday, they’re gonna be fairly low on outfielders.

Wladimir Balentien is still not in camp. Freddy Guzman just broke his hamate bone. Endy Chavez and Greg Halman are leaving next week to go play in the WBC, where they’ll join Ichiro on leave to their countries. That leaves the outfielders on the 40 man roster actually in camp at Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Morse, and Ken Griffey Jr. And calling Morse and Griffey outfielders is pretty generous. Morse was expected to fight for the RH 1B bench job, while Griffey should be DH’ing whenever possible.

Prentice Redman and Mike Wilson are the two NRI outfielders in camp, but even with those two, you’re only looking at three real outfielders plus Griffey and Morse. Balentien needs to bribe someone to get back into the country pronto, because he’s wasting a massive opportunity to get some real playing time. With the roster the way it is, the M’s might need to bring some minor league OFs to camp early, because right now, they’re running short on bodies out there.


41 Responses to “Running Low On OFs”

  1. msb on February 26th, 2009 7:31 am

    well, running Jr out there a lot during spring might answer the “Is he a DH?” question once and for all …

  2. smb on February 26th, 2009 7:34 am

    So is Wlad having visa issues, then? As long as he didn’t go Ugueth Urbina on someone, I don’t see how it can hold him up much longer, but yeah, if anyone needs to be there getting at bats, it’s gotta be him. I don’t imagine Jr. would be happy seeing a kid who missed all or most of camp roaming the outfield in his place.

  3. Replacementlvlposter on February 26th, 2009 7:45 am

    I agree that Griffey should DH only, or at least as much as possible, but everything I’ve been reading has me really worried.

  4. The Ancient Mariner on February 26th, 2009 7:49 am


  5. Mayberry RFD on February 26th, 2009 7:53 am

    Sounds like its time to sign Doyle to a minor league deal

  6. bakomariner on February 26th, 2009 8:01 am

    Has Victor Diaz been signed? I always thought he was good AAA filler…they should bring him back…

    Have Saunders come over to major league camp as well…

    WLAD really is killing himself here with this visa mess…

  7. Slippery Elmer on February 26th, 2009 8:16 am

    I know it’s not a great solution, but I heard Branyan on a Hot Stove League broadcast a week or two ago expressing his willingness to play any position on the field, including the outfield. Could he at least be able to fill some innings out there until the real OFs return?

  8. Slurve on February 26th, 2009 8:20 am

    Sounds like its time to sign Doyle to a minor league deal

    YES BRING DOYLE! Heck he could win that LF job if he would stop breaking/spraining/straining *insert body part here*.

  9. kinbote on February 26th, 2009 8:36 am

    The Dodgers might give you Juan Pierre for Carlos Silva/$. He’s got GREAT character (when he isn’t whining about playing time).

  10. BigB on February 26th, 2009 8:41 am

    I heard Branyan on a Hot Stove League broadcast a week or two ago expressing his willingness to play any position on the field

    I love that willingness and team spirit, but I cringe at the though of him roaming left or right field, even in spring training.

  11. Mike Snow on February 26th, 2009 8:45 am

    And note that even Pravda says Griffey isn’t expected in a lineup until Wednesday, and then only at DH.

  12. JerBear on February 26th, 2009 8:48 am

    Branyan’s previous forays in the outfield don’t look disastrous, but it’s a pretty small sample size. It’s hard to imagine he would be any worse in LF than Ibanez or Griffey though…

  13. PositivePaul on February 26th, 2009 9:00 am

    Jeez. I’m the biggest Mike Morse fanboy homer in the world, and even I recognize that he should not be allowed anywhere NEAR an OF’ers glove…

    Certainly Bowden has an extra OF’er he could send our direction to atone for the Vidro trade. I hear he could use some good karma about now…

  14. Dave on February 26th, 2009 9:14 am

    You can’t really trade with a GM who is about to be fired.

  15. BigB on February 26th, 2009 9:22 am

    Now that I think of it, this is an all too familiar situation for Seattle Sports… Seahawks and their WRs, anyone?

    Dave, any Sweeny-esque OF’ers looking for a minor league deal that could add some depth? Or is this just something the M’s will deal with until the WBC is over?

  16. Joe C on February 26th, 2009 9:27 am

    Snelling is going to the WBC too, so that won’t help the spring training outfield depth.

  17. MarinerDan on February 26th, 2009 9:34 am

    Bone is clunking around making Mariners commercials as we speak. He covers at least as much ground these days as Junior!

  18. coasty141 on February 26th, 2009 9:34 am

    “You can’t really trade with a GM who is about to be fired”

    I sure wish someone would have told Baltimore that 14 months ago.

  19. JI on February 26th, 2009 9:39 am

    I wish Bowden wasn’t in trouble because Willie Harris Willie Harris Willie Harris.

  20. marc w on February 26th, 2009 10:05 am

    They can presumably grab some org. depth from minor league camp.
    This has got to be the best opportunity Wilson’s ever had. It’s kind of odd to say that in the week in which he was booted from the 40 man, but just being present and ambulatory might count for a lot right now.

    Any updates on Wlad? He was supposedly going to arrive today, but who knows.

  21. rcc on February 26th, 2009 10:07 am

    Who is Doyle signed with? What about Todd Linden or Jeff Fiorintino, or Ryan Langerhous?

  22. KeiferNandez on February 26th, 2009 10:12 am

    My apologies if this has been covered, but [this has been covered]

  23. Kazinski on February 26th, 2009 10:28 am

    Whatever happened to that Adam Jones kid we had a few years back? He looked like he could play the outfield.

  24. SonOfZavaras on February 26th, 2009 10:32 am

    Poor Wlad. I’m pretty sure he’d rather be out playing for us than whatever he’s having to do in visa-limbo. I’d like to say I don’t think he’s deliberately wasting what would be the best opportunity he’s had to date.

    And Doyle is Phillies property, so far as I know.

    He could be had for a song, I’m sure…and I’d love to see him back. Because (don’t laugh), I think this could be the year he finally stays healthy a whole year….

    Before Doyle, I thought Paul Molitor in his 20s was the poster-boy for “potential-erasing injuries throughout a career”.

    I mean, he’s got to be due for some good luck. And if I’m right, and he is due in 2009, it’d sure be nice to see us reap the benefit…

  25. joser on February 26th, 2009 10:35 am

    As Joe C noted, Doyle is just as unavailable as Ichiro or Endy. (Well, ok, he’s probably less unavailable than them since they both have a good chance of going on with their teams to later rounds. But he’s as unavailable as Halman, anyway).

    Wlad is just screwed.

  26. joser on February 26th, 2009 10:45 am

    Hey, Ronnie Cedeno played one inning in LF. And he’s batting 1.000 (a 2.000 OPS!) when playing that position. Surely that’s worth a look, especially if he’s gunning to be the new everywhere-all-the-time igniter?

  27. bermanator on February 26th, 2009 10:46 am

    When looking at Nats outfielders, don’t forget about this guy, who would be extremely cheap when and if Washington ever gets its act together in the front office.

  28. Mike Snow on February 26th, 2009 10:52 am

    LaHair was saying things last year about being able to play the outfield. And as Baker recently told us, the Mets had Carp playing outfield in winter ball before the trade, given that he was blocked at the time by Delgado.

    That’s two more options. And really, I could imagine one of the non-roster infielders being run out there, like Crabbe or Woodward. I think this is less of a roster crunch issue – having enough catchers in camp is typically the bigger challenge – and mostly just a wasted opportunity for Balentien. It will be interesting to see who they use in split-squad games, though.

  29. TumwaterMike on February 26th, 2009 10:56 am

    Bring Saunders and Steve Moss to camp. I believe Moss was a former #1 pick of the Brewers and was signed by GMZ earlier this year.

  30. J on February 26th, 2009 11:04 am

    Saunders actually isn’t on the Canadian roster. That surprises me. Well, better him and Moss, I suppose, than bringing in Almonte and Carroll for the early games just because the org likes them.

    Who else would there be? Limonta could theoretically play a corner. In practice, I’m not so sure. There’s always Brent Johnson in center, I suppose. Peguero might still be hurting. McOwen is probably not a great idea. Gillies would be in way over his head, but is a pass in center.

  31. PositivePaul on February 26th, 2009 11:08 am

    Free Robbie Johnson!!!

    (I’d actually rather see HIM out in LF than Morse)


  32. Dave on February 26th, 2009 11:32 am

    Saunders is still rehabbing his shoulder problems. Not sure he’s available.

  33. micahjr on February 26th, 2009 12:24 pm

    I was hoping for a Saunders opportunity. Too bad about the shoulder.

    Rob Johnson in LF? Hmmmm… He would have the best arm, and is pretty fast for a catcher. Hmmmm…

  34. Typical Idiot Fan on February 26th, 2009 12:35 pm

    You can’t really trade with a GM who is about to be fired.

    I would argue this is the best time to try to trade with him. What’re they going to do, fire him twice?

  35. Dave on February 26th, 2009 1:00 pm

    Not let him make any transactions until they figure out what they’re going to do.

  36. Breadbaker on February 26th, 2009 1:26 pm

    Freddy Guzman just broke his hamate bone.

    Imaginary conversation.

    Guzman: I broke my hamate bone.
    Griffey: The only reason anyone in Seattle knows what a hamate bone is, is because I broke mine when I was a kid.
    Guzman: I remember that. I was still in junior high.

  37. Breadbaker on February 26th, 2009 1:45 pm

    Fwiw, LaHair is playing LF right now.

  38. joser on February 26th, 2009 1:48 pm

    Not let him make any transactions until they figure out what they’re going to do.

    c.f. trading Washburn to the Yankees.

  39. marc w on February 26th, 2009 2:28 pm

    Nice call, J – there’s Gillies in RF, replacing Wilson.

  40. qwerty on February 26th, 2009 11:59 pm

    Endy Chavez and Greg Halman are leaving next week to go play in the WBC, where they’ll join Ichiro on leave to their countries

    I really don’t like the WBC at all. It should be done in January.

  41. micahjr on March 1st, 2009 12:14 am

    I don’t have any problem with WBC. I think it gives teams a lot better idea of what they have in their farm systems. So what if you lose some of your stars for a few weeks, they are no more likely to be injured in WBC than in Spring Training. You get extended looks at folks you wouldn’t otherwise, which gives you an idea of your depth, and you get to coach the young’ns a little longer.

    On the fielders for the Mariners, it seems they caught on to the fact that we have some SS and 1B that could play out there. Woodward made a nice throw out there today. We could also teach Reegie LF.

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