Why Is Miguel Batista Still Around?

Dave · April 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s, just like every other team in baseball nowadays, has decided to use the 25th spot on the roster to carry a 12th pitcher instead of a 14th position player. Roy Corcoran began the season as that 25th guy, but he’s clearly moved up the pecking order a bit, based on how he’s been used. Right now, the 25th man appears to be Miguel Batista. Here’s his usage chart so far.

April 6th: 18 pitches
April 7th: 3 pitches
April 8th: DNP
April 9th: DNP
April 10th: DNP
April 11th: 22 pitches
April 12th: Day Off
April 13th: DNP
April 14th: DNP
April 15th: 9 pitches
April 16th: DNP
April 17th: DNP
April 18th: DNP
April 19th: 25 pitches

He has no role on this team. Morrow, Aardsma, and Corcoran have been the three that Wak is turning to in high leverage situations. Kelley has pitched his way into that group. Lowe is the middle guy who pitches the 7th when the high leverage guys are tired. White is the long guy until RRS comes back, at which point Jakubauskas probably becomes the long guy again.

Right now, Miguel Batista is a 38-year-old mopup reliever. He serves no function on the team. He started the season as the experienced closer who would bail out Morrow when he has a melt down, but we’re past that stage of the season. With all of the young arms throwing 95+ and getting outs, Batista has been left out of the picture. He’s not serving any real purpose right now.

When either RRS or Tyler Johnson come off the DL, he should be the one to go. There are better ways to use the roster spot than on a 38-year-old mopup guy who doesn’t want to be here anymore.


26 Responses to “Why Is Miguel Batista Still Around?”

  1. Uncle Ted on April 20th, 2009 1:27 pm

    Could it be that they like carrying a person who they believe they can slot at closer, mid relief or starting as the need may arise? I’m not sure that Batista is the best way to accommodate those tasks, but that may be his apparent appeal.

  2. CMC_Stags on April 20th, 2009 1:28 pm

    Is there even a chance that another team picks him up and pays the veteran’s minimun share of his salary for the remainder of the year or are the M’s just stuck with the full bill?

    If the answer is that another team won’t pick him up, that tells you all you need to know about whether or not the M’s should be carrying him.

  3. Five Number Ones on April 20th, 2009 1:31 pm

    Thankfully Miggy has never been mentioned as one of this team’s pillars of veteran chemistry. Maybe they’re keeping him around because he writes novels?

  4. Tek Jansen on April 20th, 2009 1:50 pm

    I would surmise that another team would pick him up for the minimum. Hell, if the M’s needed a bullpen arm and a Batista clone was freely available, I wouldn’t complain if they grabbed him.

  5. georgmi on April 20th, 2009 1:53 pm

    If the answer is that another team won’t pick him up, that tells you all you need to know about whether or not the M’s should be carrying him.

    No, sorry. Somebody on the Mariners must know the difference between a sunk cost and a marginal cost.

  6. Matthew Carruth on April 20th, 2009 1:53 pm

    Miguel Batista’s 1.82 gmLI seems awfully high for a mop up guy.

  7. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 20th, 2009 1:56 pm

    I don’t know, but the skeptic in me (despite all the good things this regime has done so far) points to two glaring things:

    1. $9.5 Million salary.
    2. Percieved and not too distant versatility in roles.

    On the former, could there be pressure to run Batista out there since he’s getting paid a ton? I suspect Z is less susceptible to that than Bavasi would be, but maybe it’s not all him.

    On the latter, there still is this lingering sense that Batista can come in on short notice and work the end of a game, set-up or mop-up. He’s talked about as valuable for those times when the other guys in roles can’t go, and you plug him in. He’s looked at as a utility reliever, if there ever were such a thing. I think the perception is wrong, but maybe Z and the crew wanted to be sure what they had in live game action. Batista’s not been in the pen all that long, after all. However, they should know by now.

  8. slescotts on April 20th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Ship him off to National League team like the, uh ‘Nationals’. Not only could they use him, I think he could probably have a resurgence and contribute. Not sure what’s reasonable to ask for, give me a minute…

  9. henryv on April 20th, 2009 2:27 pm

    Here is the M’s “depth chart” at pitching, as I think most see it.

    F. Hernández
    E. Bedard
    C. Silva
    J. Washburn
    R. Rowland-Smith
    C. Jakubauskas
    M. Batista

    B. Morrow
    M. Lowe
    D. Aardsma
    M. Batista

    T. Johnson (DL)

    D. Aardsma
    M. Lowe
    R. Corcoran
    S. Kelley
    M. Batista
    S. White

    So, Batista is effectively the 7th starter, 4th closer, and probably the 5th best RHRP on the team. I would challenge someone to find a team that would carry such a player for “versatility”. I mean, in order for him to be relevant two starters or three relievers. I mean, basically Batista has a better chance to play shortstop than he has to pitch in meaningful games.

    The M’s are going to have to clear 3 roster spots in the next few weeks with Johnson, Kenji, and RRS coming back.

    How can Miggy not be one of the ones to go?

    However, I should note that if the team plans of trading Washburn and Bedard in the next couple months, releasing the team’s Rhodes Scholar might be a mistake. Unless, that is, that they feel that they have a kid or two coming up that can fill the slots opened, assuming you always have one reliever in the bullpen who can start when needed.

  10. AdamN on April 20th, 2009 2:34 pm

    HenryV your comments about trading washburn and bedard I think are completely false. A team that is currently first in their division doesn’t go off and trade their pitchers esspecially their number 2 guy. I think if Bedard pitches well they’ll extent him at a discounted price. Washburn is a possible trade, but with his contract price I don’t think the mariners will be able to come out ahead in a trade.

    Going into the season I believed your view point, but the way these guys are playing and the big if, is if it continues, the trading is not going to occur.

  11. guschiggins on April 20th, 2009 2:39 pm

    3 roster spots… after Sean White and Jamie Burke both get sent down, it does look more and more like Batista would the next to go…

    Does Corcoran have any minors options left or would he have to go through waivers? He’s really the only other pitcher I can see that would make any sense at all to send down

  12. CMC_Stags on April 20th, 2009 3:21 pm

    A team that is currently first in their division doesn’t go off and trade their pitchers esspecially their number 2 guy.

    Just like Beane didn’t dump his injury prone but lights out starter last year when they were at the top with the LAngels?

    Oh, Rich Harden is a Cub now?

    The M’s, if the right deal came along, should trade any player (even Ichiro and/or Felix). If you went to the last LL/USS Mariner event at the Seattle Public Library, the tenor of the management team is that they will do whatever they can to make the team better for the long hall. If you can get a CC Sabathia type package or something like what the M’s gave up to get Bedard, then you have to consider trading him, regardless of your place in the standings.

  13. Paul B on April 20th, 2009 3:47 pm

    The 12th pitcher is always a mop up guy. I guess the question is whether you would want to have a mop up guy that has some small upside possibility, as opposed to someone who is 38 years old.

    I’m not a fan of 12 man pitching staff, because that 12th man pretty much is only called upon in blowouts and his role is basically to save the arms of the rest of the bullpen. That is definitely not a high leverage role.

  14. Steve T on April 20th, 2009 4:10 pm

    Besides, we’re not REALLY in first place. It’s an illusion. Small sample size.

  15. joser on April 20th, 2009 5:46 pm

    I think if Bedard pitches well they’ll extent him at a discounted price.

    What makes people think they’ll be able to get Bedard at a discount? He’s a high-K lefty starter. Those guys are always in demand, no matter the market or injury history. Last year he was hurt, so that would’ve have discounted his price last year. This year, assuming he continues to pitch the way he has and shows no sign of lingering injury, there’s no way he takes a discount. Teams will be lining up in the offseason for his services. The only advantage the M’s have is the opportunity to negotiate first. But if they get him back at all, it’s because they paid the going rate.

  16. Breadbaker on April 20th, 2009 6:04 pm

    If you can get a CC Sabathia type package or something like what the M’s gave up to get Bedard, then you have to consider trading him, regardless of your place in the standings.

    Presumably, even in Bill Bavasi’s world, a few months of Bedard is worth less than two seasons’ worth.

  17. egreenlaw9 on April 20th, 2009 6:08 pm

    I’m sort of praying that at some point before the All-Star break they announce a 5 year deal for Felix and a 3-4 year deal with Bedard.

    And with Z and the new clubhouse, I think it’s actually a possibility.

  18. tmac9311 on April 20th, 2009 7:34 pm

    the only thing i can take out of it is Wak has some desire to have a veteran in the bullpen. sending 6 or 7 first or second year players out there. I suppose Aardsma and Johnson could be considered in that role, so Batista really is useless. Wak and Z will probably realize that Batista’s 9 million dollars is better spent on developing a White or Kelley, then it is on a 38 year old mop up pitcher

  19. nickwest1976 on April 20th, 2009 8:03 pm

    I actually think the M’s are in a great position to extend Bedard. He HATES large markets where the media bombards players so that takes out teams like NY, Boston, Philly, LA. From all accounts he seems happy with the new management, Wak and the direction of the team. He seems like a better teammate so far this year. Maybe that is him in a contract year but I am going to except that it’s geniune and the guy learned from last year.

    Where Batista plays in to this (since this thread is about Batista) is the $9 mil that comes off the books after the year when he is gone. That along with the $10 mil to Washburn is $19 mil. Bedard already makes $9 mil now.

    Would a 4 year, $60 mil deal get it done? That’s $15 mil per year and if Bedard pitches like an ace that seems like a bargin. That’s about $6 mil more than he makes now.

    The only positive about Batista is that he is in the last year of his deal and I think the M’s should capitalize on that and use some of this salary slot to keep Bedard. They gave up the farm for Bedard and when healthy he is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

    As for Batista, cut him right now and move one. It’s a sunk cost that the M’s have no prayer of moving to another team.

  20. MadGirlDragon on April 20th, 2009 9:04 pm

    We’re in first place, damnit – get used to it!!!

  21. henryv on April 20th, 2009 9:10 pm

    AdamN, I didn’t say that they should trade Washburn and Bedard right now, I said “if”. And I think they’re true. IF the team has a long-term intent of trading them when the team plays to its expectations, they would want to keep Batista. But that’s an if, also. IF the team plays back down to its ability, and IF the team gets a good price for the great white hypes, then Batista might have a role on the team again, as a starter.

    Its not unimaginable to believe that the depth chart of the rotation could be Felix, RRS, Silva, Jakubauskas and Batista. If it was, you could easily assume that the season had gone to heck in a handbasket, but that’s not unreasonable, either. And with Silva struggling, and seemingly losing his “stuff”, it might very well be that the roster includes one or two starters that started in Tacoma, or even AA. Garrett Olsen is down there, and who knows who the M’s get back in return.

    I’m not saying that’s what should happen, and definitely not what I want to happen, but it MAY be what Dr. Z has rolling around in that giant bald melon.

  22. henryv on April 20th, 2009 10:17 pm

    Rumor is Bedard wants to be traded to the Montreal Expos.

    4 years at $60M seems a little high. AJ Burnett got 6 years and $82M. I’d expect something more in the Oliver Perez area, especially if its in Seattle.

  23. Soonerman22 on April 21st, 2009 6:39 am

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    P.S. Has anyone been down to Tacoma? How does Tyler Johnson look?

  24. AdamN on April 21st, 2009 10:49 am

    Why Bedard at a discount? He is comming off an injury plagued year and career. Mark Molder can’t go out and demand high pay because of his injuries. with that being said, bedard knows this is a risk and knows that high contract prices were far and few between in the last off season. You sign him at Abreau like contract, its a discount, a huge discount. Extensions tend to be at a discount and are largely accepted because the player doesn’t want to change teams. I.e. money isn’t everything. I hope my logic makes sense…if not oh well.

    i do agree if the right deal comes along to trade any player off, they should go for it. heck maybe Baltimore may want to trade back like padres did with Burke. Lets hit their boards make them feel guilty.

  25. Dave on April 21st, 2009 11:11 am

    That might be the worst comment anyone has left all year.

  26. nvn8vbryce on April 22nd, 2009 8:59 am

    Rumor is Bedard wants to be traded to the Montreal Expos.

    Last time I checked, the Expos aren’t in Montreal anymore, and they’re not the Expos. Now, my geography may be a little rusty, but I think that they’re called the Washington Nationals now…

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