Tacoma’s Playing, Though

Dave · April 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Since the M’s are rained out, here’s a game thread for the Rainiers match-up against Colorado Springs. Chris Seddon vs Jason Hirsh, with Jeff Clement playing first base for the first time as a professional.


15 Responses to “Tacoma’s Playing, Though”

  1. markatoolio on April 27th, 2009 5:46 pm

    Finally, we are seeing a legit reason as to why Clement is still in AAA. I played with Jeff from age 9 to 18, so I will share that he played some third base in high school; I’m looking forward to him learning a new position and getting called back up soon.

    Keep up the great work on this site, I’m very glad I found it.

  2. JMK on April 27th, 2009 7:03 pm

    I can’t get the audio through tacomarainiers.com, any suggestions? Or is it unavailable?

  3. Mid80sRighty on April 27th, 2009 8:12 pm

    Hm, couldn’t get it through the Colorado site either…

  4. henryv on April 27th, 2009 9:34 pm

    Finally, Clement at first!

    The 2010 picture gets a little clearer, I think.

  5. hub on April 27th, 2009 10:32 pm

    Is this any hint that Clement will stay in AAA for the majority of 2009? How long does it usually take for a professional baseball athlete to adequately make a positional transition to 1B? Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!

  6. henryv on April 27th, 2009 11:04 pm

    Not even close to that long.

    But the problem is the M’s already have 2 1B currently… And a 12 man bullpen.

    I mean, how many first baseman does this team need? And you can’t remove RB, and if you remove Sweeney to put in Clement, you have no right-handed 1B…

    So, I don’t think its a question of him learning the position, as him not fitting on a roster with Griffey and RB, and with Kenji, Rob Johnson, and Jamie Burke being better catchers.

    Of course, if Beltre goes before the trade deadline, and RB moves to third, and maybe Clement moves to first..

    And then by 2010 Tui is the 3B?

    Just thinking out loud…

  7. hub on April 27th, 2009 11:58 pm

    Given the history of others transitioning to 1B, what is a realistic long-term possibility for Clement’s defensive range at the position? Is there prior evidence that average defenders elsewhere can make a mid-career transition into positive defenders at 1B?

  8. SonOfZavaras on April 28th, 2009 3:45 am


    I think the best thing we’ll be able to say about Jeff Clement as a first baseman defensively is that he won’t be as bad as a Prince Fielder or a Frank Thomas.

    He’s a barrel-chested kid with thick legs, and slow feet- and the ball will probably find him more often than what we’d want, no matter where he plays in the field.

    There really arent’t that many cases I can think of where a negative-value defender elsewhere became a plus-value defender at first base (and anyone else who can think of some I’m not mentioning, feel free to say so).

    If I remember right, The Brewers back in the 1990s had Dave Nilsson and B.J. Surhoff come up as catchers, and they moved to outfield and third base, respectively.

    But both were better pure athletes than what Clement is.

    In today’s era, I can’t think of an example. Sorry, it’s 3:30 in the morning, maybe I can think of some later.

    But, if you ask me- a player lacking in defensive prowess at another position usually takes the same lack of skills/athleticism with him to first base, and the best-case scenario for that player’s defensive future winds up as “adequate at best, not stellar”.

    But in Clement, we’re talking about a very hard worker who seems intelligent…and is only 25 years old. I would give the over/under on his transition-timeline to first base adequacy at about 3-4 months, or enough to amass 300 ABs in AAA-Tacoma.

    I don’t seem him ever making us forget John Olerud’s glovework. (But, let me note that no one thought Olerud would turn out to be great with the leather when he first broke into the bigs, either….)

    Whether he’s going to be happy becoming a first baseman for us is anybody’s guess.

    I got every idea that he preferred to remain a catcher, but he’s likely to stay a good soldier and do as the org wishes.

    Clement at 1B, Tui at 3B in 2010 is my prediction.

  9. fitz1425 on April 28th, 2009 6:31 am

    Isn’t Mike Carp tearing it up at 1b for Tacoma? Isn’t he the future at 1b? Just how much of a prospect is he?

    With Kenji’s contract, the way RJ seems to be playing well (and hitting OK), and “the future” being Adam Moore, I don’t see a place for Clement at all unless he is the DH.

    Yeah, it would be nice to see his bat develop like everyone hopes it can, but is that the only reason to hang on to him? What would his value be in a trade?

  10. ThePopeofChilitown on April 28th, 2009 7:20 am

    There really arent’t that many cases I can think of where a negative-value defender elsewhere became a plus-value defender at first base (and anyone else who can think of some I’m not mentioning, feel free to say so).

    If I recall, Albert Pujols was a mediocre to bad third baseman/outfielder when he came up. While I realize that was due to him being blocked by a hall of fame caliber first baseman, he seems to be generally regarded as a superior defender today.

  11. joser on April 28th, 2009 8:29 am

    What was the story with Brandon Inge? I haven’t followed him closely, but I didn’t get the impression he was a great defensive catcher before he was moved off that position by I-Rod. And yet he seems to be a pretty good 3rd baseman (not Beltre or Longoria, certainly, but not bad). Of course he’s enough of an athlete to not embarrass himself playing in the outfield, so that’s not the best comparison either.

    BTW, am I the only person that parses Tacomarainiers.com as Taco – Mariners…hey, they misspelled mariners… oh, wait…

  12. jimmylauderdale on April 28th, 2009 8:42 am

    I was wondering about Carp as well. How exactly does 1b Jeff Clement compare to 1b Mike Carp in terms of prospect-ness?

  13. Mike Snow on April 28th, 2009 9:09 am

    BTW, am I the only person that parses Tacomarainiers.com as Taco – Mariners

    Yes, you are. Pretty funny, though.

  14. joser on April 28th, 2009 2:12 pm

    Well, I’m going to be calling them the “Taco Marinaras” from now on. Yes, AAA taco shells in tomato sauce, a meal fit for… uh, fat DHs?

  15. henryv on April 28th, 2009 2:21 pm

    Well, with Branyan, Griffey, and Sweeney all likely to be gone, we’re still looking for a DH, probably, as well. Carp or Clement might fit that roll.

    However, it should be noted that this team is in DESPERATE need of 2B and SS depth. And one of them might be on the way out for that, too.

    Look at the future forty. 2 SS’s and ZERO 2B.

    It will be exciting to see Carp’s September call-up, for sure.

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