The SP Depth Chart

Dave · August 19, 2009 at 11:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With Washburn traded and Bedard rehabbing, people like to describe the M’s rotation as Felix and a bunch of question marks. Which is mostly true – the Mariners don’t really have anyone besides Felix who you feel totally comfortable handing the ball to every five days. But, what the Mariners do have is a pretty remarkable amount of depth. Here’s the current depth chart for starting pitching that will head to spring training next year looking for a spot in the rotation:

1. Felix Hernandez
2. Ryan Rowland-Smith
3. Ian Snell
4. Brandon Morrow
5. Carlos Silva
6. Doug Fister
7. Luke French
8. Jason Vargas
9. Garrett Olson
10. Chris Jakubauskas

That doesn’t count guys like Nick Hill or Ryan Feierabend who will probably begin next year in Tacoma but could push themselves into the picture with a strong spring. Toss them in, and you could potentially have 12 guys in Peoria next year who harbor some hope of breaking camp with a spot in the starting rotation. Twelve!

One of the old stat-head cliches is that the best way to find a good starting pitcher is to collect 10 of them and let them fight it out. That’s basically what the M’s have done, stockpiling arms over the last year to give them an inventory of guys to pick from. Besides Felix, each of them has a pretty obvious flaw, but the fact that the M’s don’t have to count on any one of these guys next year is a pretty big bonus. They have options, and while they may not be household names, it’s a big advantage to have a back-up plan for your back-up plan.

Comments

55 Responses to “The SP Depth Chart”

  1. Liam on August 19th, 2009 11:30 am

    How many starting pitching slots are realistically open?

  2. eponymous coward on August 19th, 2009 11:33 am

    I especially like that the RH SP depth chart is MUCH better off from spring training (King Felix, Silva, Jakubauskas), without having to sign mediocre FA SPs to long-term deals, Bavasi-style.

  3. ajacobs3 on August 19th, 2009 11:39 am

    I guess I’m quality over quantity guy because that list gives me heartburn other than Felix.

    So given the old stat head cliche, we better get 40 people on this list in order to find 4 quality starters behind Felix.

    That said, I am confident Jack can solve the problem.

  4. mw3 on August 19th, 2009 11:44 am

    Because of money concerns I’m betting Snell and Silva will join Felix in the rotation at least to start the season.

  5. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2009 11:53 am

    The best part is that most of those are young, under club control, and therefore inexpensive salary wise.

    My second favorite part is that a number of the “losers” of the competition will end up solidifying the bullpen (those that don’t end up starting in Tacoma). The M’s have the 6th worst bullpen FIP in MLB this year.

  6. ewdewald on August 19th, 2009 11:57 am

    I like where we’ve positioned ourselves. I think nearly everyone after Felix can only be relied upon as a back-of-rotation quality starter. Also, pure quantity could surreptitiously produce a #2 or #3 guy for a each year or more. (a-la-Washburn)

    Mainly, going forward we are one acquisition away from having a division-leading caliber rotation. In my opinion, that could be the situation every year.

    Now we just need Ackley to get up and help keep the offense afloat consistently. Oh, plus another bat that can actually hit for extra bases out of DH.

  7. Mike Snow on August 19th, 2009 11:57 am

    Some of them are already in this year’s bullpen and not doing a whole lot of solidifying, I would say.

  8. eponymous coward on August 19th, 2009 11:58 am

    So given the old stat head cliche, we better get 40 people on this list in order to find 4 quality starters behind Felix.

    How many teams have 5 quality starters?

    Let’s try an example: the 2001 Mariners won 116 games while giving 51 starts (almost a third of all their starts!) to Paul Abbott, John Halama, Brett Tomko and Dennis Stark. The best guy on that list, career-wise, in terms of length of career/overall quality, is Brett Tomko, who’s pitched for NINE MLB teams, which is about the picture-book definition of “journeyman backend rotation guy”.

    Really, all the Mariners need is for TWO of, say, RRS/Morrow/Silva/Snell to do pretty OK for a full year, Felix to stay healthy, and they could patch a competitive rotation out of all of that, thanks to the defense and the park.

    The guys like Felix are extraordinarily rare, and that’s the HARD part of putting a superior rotation together. The middle/end of the staff is much easier.

  9. Liam on August 19th, 2009 12:04 pm

    You don’t pay a guy $9 million to pitch middle relief

    Batista seemed to think that his salary either guaranteed him a spot in the rotation or the closer role.

    It is hard to separate the money from the player though.

  10. Nate on August 19th, 2009 12:07 pm

    Cool! Prediction time!

    The Rotation as the season starts next spring:

    1. Felix Hernandez
    2. Ryan Rowland-Smith
    3. New Guy in offseason trade
    4. Ian Snell
    5. Carlos Silva

  11. Evan on August 19th, 2009 12:12 pm

    You don’t pay a guy $9 million to pitch middle relief

    Not on purpose, but if that’s the salary the guy best-suited to middle relief in drawing, then you do.

  12. mymrbig on August 19th, 2009 12:20 pm

    Prediction time, indeed.

    1. Felix Hernandez
    2. Snell
    3. Ryan Rowland-Smith
    4. Silva
    5. Morrow

    I could see them considering one of the risk/reward free agent signings (Bedard, Harden, Sheets) if the price, contract length and health confluence for one of those guys. Too early to try and judge the offseason market, so I left that out of my prediction.

    Silva will be given, at most, 6 weeks. If he’s league averagish, then they try to eat some salary and move him toward the deadline, to be replaced by French. Or swap him for another bad contract. If he sucks after 4-6 weeks, he’s replaced by French.

  13. ThundaPC on August 19th, 2009 12:20 pm

    Remarkably, there were/are people who think that we’re thin on starting pitching due to Jarrod Washburn being traded.

    Seriously, any combination of the back-end starters on that list can keep this team afloat. Beats going after guys like Vicente Padilla or hauling back Washburn. And ideally, we’re only going to get better offensively.

    I think our SP is going to be just fine.

  14. mw3 on August 19th, 2009 12:22 pm

    Morrow if he puts it all together could easily be a legit top end starter so the Mariners have that going for them.

  15. Iowa Ms Fan on August 19th, 2009 12:29 pm

    I think the rotation ends up being:
    Felix
    Bedard (1 yr/$5million with incentives)
    Morrow
    French
    Snell

    I bet we’ll probably end up dealing about 3 or 4 of the remaining pitchers in trades to acquire some additional middle infield depth and/or a potential replacement for Beltre.

  16. Route 21 on August 19th, 2009 12:35 pm

    each of them has a pretty obvious flaw

    Care to elaborate? Because I think the flaws range from few and not so obvious to ridiculously plentiful and readily apparent.

  17. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2009 12:37 pm

    Some of them are already in this year’s bullpen and not doing a whole lot of solidifying, I would say.

    Actually, very few of them have pitched much, if at all in this years bullpen. Half haven’t pitched in it at all. Fister and Vargas have pitched 4.2 innings total in relief. So that’s 7 of 10 who have not affected this year’s pen.

    If Fister and Vargas pitched a full season in the pen, I would expect them to be significant improvements over Bautista, Corcoran, and Jakubauskas. Those 3 have thrown 120.1 innings with a average FIP of ~5.5. Assuming Fister and Vargas produced FIPs of 4.5 (conservatively) over the same number of IP, that would be 13 runs saved in 2010. If you think they could produce a combined FIP of 4, that goes to 20 runs.

    Morrow threw 18.1 innings of relief and pitched poorly. If he’s healthy and pitches a full season in relief, I think we’d also agree he’d be an improvement.

    Olson (22.1 IP) and Jakubauskas (47.1 IP) are the only two on the list who have pitches a meaningful amount in this year’s bullpen. Olson has posted a 4.66 FIP in his first relief experience since 5 games out of the pen in short season A ball in 2005. He would also be an improvement out of the pen for a full season.

    Jakubauskas is the only one who would not be an improvement to the bullpen if he was there the whole season. This may have something to do with the fact that he’s the worst pitcher on the list (and properly listed as the last option).

  18. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2009 12:47 pm

    Bedard (1 yr/$5million with incentives)

    I got the feeling that Bedard is done for most of 2010. Matthew’s article at Fangraphs suggests a mid-to-late 2010 return at the earliest. In that scenario, you offer him $500k with incentives.

    On the other hand, I’m all for taking that deal and offering it to Sheets, Harden, other high injury risk, high end starter.

    With the number of above replacement level but below average starters the M’s have available, taking a shot or two on a Sheets type pitcher would make alot of sense. The downside for the M’s isn’t nearly so great as it would be for a team with no depth.

  19. robbbbbb on August 19th, 2009 12:59 pm

    With the number of above replacement level but below average starters the M’s have available, taking a shot or two on a Sheets type pitcher would make alot of sense. The downside for the M’s isn’t nearly so great as it would be for a team with no depth.

    The downside risk is less, but then, so is the upside potential. The M’s would be replacing a 0.5 WAR player with (potentially) a 3 WAR player (if someone like Bedard, Sheets, etc. stayed healthy.) They get +2.5 games.

    Another team might end up replacing a -0.5 WAR pitcher with a 3 WAR player, and get +3.5 games. So they have more incentive to offer a larger contract.

    Of course, we’re talking about expected value, here, and not variance.

  20. LewLegend on August 19th, 2009 1:00 pm

    Felix
    RRS
    Morrow
    French
    Snell

    Silva will take over Badtista’s role in the 20/20 position. Up by 20, down by 20…that’s your time to pitch.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a high injury roll-the-dice type signing with Harden, Sheets, or maybe even Schmidt. I think he’s a free agent after the year.

  21. Mike Snow on August 19th, 2009 1:01 pm

    If Fister and Vargas pitched a full season in the pen, I would expect them to be significant improvements over Bautista, Corcoran, and Jakubauskas.

    Sure, but your 6th and 7th starters don’t get to pitch a full season in the pen, because they have to cover for the guys ahead of them. Which still leaves you resorting to Batista and Corcoran equivalents.

    Morrow threw 18.1 innings of relief and pitched poorly. If he’s healthy and pitches a full season in relief, I think we’d also agree he’d be an improvement.

    Why on earth is Morrow even a consideration? The front office has been quite clear that he’s a starter going forward. If he’s not in the rotation in Seattle, he’s in Tacoma.

    Olson has posted a 4.66 FIP in his first relief experience since 5 games out of the pen in short season A ball in 2005. He would also be an improvement out of the pen for a full season.

    I don’t buy it. That FIP is worse than the overall bullpen’s, which you pointed out is one of the worst in baseball, and that’s weighed down by people like Corcoran and Stark who are no longer in it.

    It’s easy to talk about how much better the bullpen would be if you put all the starters in it. That neglects the fact that most of the starters will be needed to start, and the ones that are left over will hardly be more exciting than fungible relief arms named Sean/Shawn.

  22. TranquilPsychosis on August 19th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Morrow threw 18.1 innings of relief and pitched poorly. If he’s healthy and pitches a full season in relief, I think we’d also agree he’d be an improvement.

    Isn’t Morrow going to be a starter next season?

  23. Jake N. on August 19th, 2009 1:06 pm

    Thanks Dave for the post. I harbor many doubts about the effectiveness of rotation buy commity. I think the rest of this year we will all see why a rotation like this will really hammer a bullpen. Where there is smoke there is fire! IE see Mark Lowe.

  24. joser on August 19th, 2009 1:11 pm

    Yeah, a lot of people seem to be from the Hargrove School of Roles, demanding that there be a “#2 guy” and a “#3 guy” for whatever reason. As soon as the possibility of trading Washburn arose there were people falling all over themselves in worry about where to find another “#2″ — despite the fact that Washburn wasn’t hired to be a #2 and certainly didn’t pitch like one until this year; he seemed to fall into that role essentially through a process of attrition.

    Don’t get me wrong: better pitchers are better, period, and I’d rather have three great ones than ten below-average ones (though we have to remember that “average” used in this way refers to a player that is pretty good, not one that is mediocre). World Series have been won with just two. But starting from twelve we might find at least a couple that have a chance at being pretty good, and with Felix and a great defense and a bolstered offense, that can work too.

  25. Snarf15 on August 19th, 2009 1:13 pm

    1. Felix
    2. Ryan Rowland-Smith
    3. Snell
    4. French
    5. Fister

    I like my list because it has a constant change of right to left, and it’s just a solid rotation. I used only the list provided above, so I didn’t include any potential free agents. Realistically, we will probably use Silva instead of French or Fister, but probably just for the sake of not eating his contract. I think Silva would be a fine long reliever, but I doubt that will happen either. And last, I think Fister is for real and is capable of going deep into ballgames on a consitant basis and would be a great back of the rotation starter.

  26. JMHawkins on August 19th, 2009 1:18 pm

    The 2001 club is a great example to bring up.

    Look at the rotation going into that year.

    1. Freddy Garcia – young kid with potential who only threw 124 innings the year before.

    2. Aaron Sele – Reliable but generally average SP who saw a significant drop off in K rate the year before.

    3. Jamie Moyer – 38 year old coming off a broken knee-cap and a 5.49 ERA

    4 – Paul Abbott – 33 year old journeyman who’d never had a full-time job until the year before.

    5 – John Halama – 29 year old journeyman with a career ERA close to 5.00

    6 – Joel Pineiro – 22 year old kid with all of 19 1/3 MLB IP and more BBs than Ks the year before.

    7 – Ryan Franklin – 28 year old with even fewer MLB IP than Pineiro.

    8 – Brett Tomko – former Rookie of the Year who’s K and BB rates, as well as IP, had been going the wrong direction for three years.

    9 – Gil Meche – Top prospect (unsuccessfully) attempting to come back from injury.

    Every single one of those guys had major question marks, except perhaps for Sele, and the pitching staff that came out of that group led the league in run-prevention. A big part of that was courtesy of a great defense (hmmm….). Some of them (e.g. Meche, Tomko) didn’t contribute, others (Franklin, Pineiro) were effective in bullpen roles, and still others (Halama, Abbott) were simply competent #5 starters taking advantage of a great defense. They didn’t need “two aces” or “Top-of-the-rotation” guys (neither Garcia or Moyer were really #1s), and they could afford to have guys get injured or struggle.

    Roll the dice enough times and you get the number you need.

  27. Dash on August 19th, 2009 1:28 pm

    Bedard (1 yr/$5million with incentives)

    I got the feeling that Bedard is done for most of 2010. Matthew’s article at Fangraphs suggests a mid-to-late 2010 return at the earliest. In that scenario, you offer him $500k with incentives.

    Isn’t there something in the CBA, and correct me if I’m wrong, stating that when a player signs a new contract with his current team, his new salary can’t be below a certain percentage of his old salary? So wouldn’t a base salary of $500k be outside of that pay cut. Or does that only apply to renegotiated contracts?

    Either way, I’m not so sure Bedard is back next year even on a $500k contract.

  28. ajacobs3 on August 19th, 2009 1:33 pm

    Let’s try an example: the 2001 Mariners won 116 games while giving 51 starts (almost a third of all their starts!) to Paul Abbott, John Halama, Brett Tomko and Dennis Stark.

    They also had a much more potent offense that scored a lot more runs. Run differential is the key. Assuming we keep the core position players we have today, either the team hits better or we improve pitching and/or defense behind them.

  29. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2009 1:37 pm

    Why on earth is Morrow even a consideration? The front office has been quite clear that he’s a starter going forward. If he’s not in the rotation in Seattle, he’s in Tacoma.

    You mentioned that many of the pitchers on the list had been used out of the bullpen this year. Morrow was one of them so I included him. I agree that he should/will be a starter either in Tacoma or Seattle next year.

    Sure, but your 6th and 7th starters don’t get to pitch a full season in the pen, because they have to cover for the guys ahead of them. Which still leaves you resorting to Batista and Corcoran equivalents.

    The chances that the 6-8 starters on Dave’s list – Fister, Vargas, and French – would be there for most of ths season are good. Especially if the team picks up a high risk/reward pitcher like Sheets, causing all of the above to slot down a spot on the list. If they do miss time, you’re still looking at Olson, Feirabend, etc. who are improvements over Bautista and Corcoran equivalents.

  30. Liam on August 19th, 2009 1:39 pm

    Isn’t there something in the CBA, and correct me if I’m wrong, stating that when a player signs a new contract with his current team, his new salary can’t be below a certain percentage of his old salary?

    You’re thinking of arbitration.

  31. eponymous coward on August 19th, 2009 1:43 pm

    Assuming we keep the core position players we have today, either the team hits better or we improve pitching and/or defense behind them.

    Well, right now the team’s second in the league in run prevention… and dead last in scoring runs. I’d say improving to the middle of the pack in offense by adding ~a run scored a game would be considerably easier than taking a run a game off pitching and defense that’s among the league-leaders.

  32. Grizz on August 19th, 2009 1:54 pm

    Isn’t there something in the CBA, and correct me if I’m wrong, stating that when a player signs a new contract with his current team, his new salary can’t be below a certain percentage of his old salary?

    That rule does not apply to free agents where the team does not offer arbitration (or where the free agent player declines the team’s offer of arbitration). If the team does not offer arbitration to Bedard (a certainty given his injury), the team can re-sign him for any amount. If the team offers arbitration to Bedard and he accepts, the team has to offer him at least 80% of his 2009 salary.

    This rule poses an interesting issue with Beltre, but that is a topic for another thread.

  33. mw3 on August 19th, 2009 1:54 pm

    Not having an ace like Felix is what doomed the 2001 team in the playoffs.

  34. Matt the Dragon on August 19th, 2009 1:57 pm

    Isn’t there something in the CBA, and correct me if I’m wrong, stating that when a player signs a new contract with his current team, his new salary can’t be below a certain percentage of his old salary? So wouldn’t a base salary of $500k be outside of that pay cut. Or does that only apply to renegotiated contracts?

    Yes.

    Basically, a team tendering a contract to a non-free agent (e.g. arbitration, pre-arbitration) can not reduce the amount of the salary by more than 20% over the previous year’s salary.

    Free agent contracts have no such restriction.

  35. eponymous coward on August 19th, 2009 2:01 pm

    Oh, and elaborate on my second post…

    The Mariners are second in the AL in run prevention in 2009 and have massively improved on their 2008 performance, despite a staff whose “#2″ (in terms of innings pitched) was Jarrod Washburn, who is not a particularly good MLB pitcher and was mediocre last year, and whose putative #2 (in terms of talent) pitched 83 innings before having his labrum explode again, They have had 33 of their 119 starts from Jason Vargas, Chris Jakubauskas, and Garrett Olson (again, about a THIRD of the total starts, similar to 2001). Those three players are # 8, 9 and 10 on that list above.

    Really, folks, defense and a deep pitching staff covers a lot of your sins. Stop thinking that the Mariners have to do a lot to improve the pitching going into 2010- they don’t; they could easily be among the league leaders in 2010, as long as they don’t degrade the defense and Felix stays healthy. They need to figure out who on that list can be reasonably effective, sort out their bullpen (which even Bill freakin’ Bavasi knew how to do), and they will be fine. Worry about other things for 2010, but the starting pitching should be fine.

  36. bilbo27 on August 19th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Don’t forget Feierabend. To me he’s about equivalent to Fister, French, Vargas, Olson, and Jak in terms of more or less what we could expect. Obviously he might need a couple months at the start of the season to get the rust out in AAA, but then I’d think he’d be a viable candidate for the rotation if needs be.

    If nothing else, would be a nice lefty specialist out of the pen. It would up his fastball a couple miles per hour and with that nice change he has, he could be quite successful in that role. And of course he’s still only 24 years old, so there is possibly room for improvement as with a lot of the other young back of the rotation guys the M’s are featuring.

  37. Mike Snow on August 19th, 2009 2:14 pm

    You mentioned that many of the pitchers on the list had been used out of the bullpen this year. Morrow was one of them so I included him.

    “Some”, not “many”, and “are”, not “had been”. Specifically, that would fit Olson and Jakubauskas. But even if you want to tack on Morrow, then no, he didn’t do much to solidify the bullpen this year.

  38. mw3 on August 19th, 2009 2:21 pm

    Not having a lefty for close and late situations has killed us this year. The guy I see in that role is French he doesn’t throw hard but his height and arm-angle could be very tough on lefties in limited at bats.

  39. wabbles on August 19th, 2009 2:22 pm

    Can’t we just tell Silva that spring training is in Florida next year and then suspend for the year for missing spring training? Please?

  40. gwangung on August 19th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Not having a lefty for close and late situations has killed us this year. The guy I see in that role is French he doesn’t throw hard but his height and arm-angle could be very tough on lefties in limited at bats.

    Could also be very tough on lefties during the first several innings.

    Dude, think it through. Make sure he can’t be a starting pitcher before you start dreaming about him as a reliever. Constructing a bullpen is A LOT easier than constructing a rotation.

  41. Jimmie the Geek on August 19th, 2009 2:34 pm

    Not having an ace like Felix is what doomed the 2001 team in the playoffs.

    Ipscone, is that you? Dude… not scoring any runs in the 2001 playoffs killed that team. The pitching was fine.

    Jimmie

  42. scott19 on August 19th, 2009 2:36 pm

    Not having an ace like Felix is what doomed the 2001 team in the playoffs.

    Then again, the ’06 Cards got a heck of a lot of mileage out of that fabulous combo of Chris Carpenter and the question marks.

  43. cdowley on August 19th, 2009 3:11 pm

    [off-topic]

  44. Mike Honcho on August 19th, 2009 3:12 pm

    [off-topic]

  45. Shizane on August 19th, 2009 3:20 pm

    [off-topic]

  46. georgmi on August 19th, 2009 3:25 pm

    I wish we could get JJ back.

    Just once, I’d like to hear Niehaus say, “And with two outs in the eighth, Fister gives way to Putz.”

  47. scott19 on August 19th, 2009 3:35 pm

    I was about to say something like, “the dominant Putz from a couple of years ago, maybe…the washed-up one we’re seeing in NY these days, no way”…

    Then I read your next paragraph.

  48. Route 21 on August 19th, 2009 3:47 pm

    All this talk about the 2001 playoffs – let’s not forget that Paul freaking Abbott took a perfect game into the 6th in Game 4 of the ALCS, with Steroids in the Rear Clemens on the mound for them.

    Yes, scoring more runs in that series would have helped a lot. Or, scoring the same number of runs, spread out over more games.

  49. stevie_j13 on August 19th, 2009 4:00 pm

    I’m a little concerned that, with all of the talk of the M’s getting arms that fit Safeco, RRS is the only one of the top six that is left-handed. I think the rotation will start as:

    1. Felix
    2. RRS
    3. Morrow
    4. Snell
    5. Fister

    Silva is the long guy, and the winner of French/Vargas is the first one to get the callup when someone gets hurt or struggles mightily.

    This depth chart and the Bill Hall move also makes me think that the M’s will be players for Ben Sheets this off-season. If Sheets get 1yr/$10 million and flames out, you still have plenty of depth to cover his innings. Plus, Z is showing a very strong affinity for his former players. I know Sheets is another righty, but he could be that additional stopper that makes the M’s rotation very tough and leaves some money to go get a Delgado/Thome for DH.

  50. scott19 on August 19th, 2009 4:04 pm

    Well, also Lou running Arthur Lee Rhodes out there to get shelled yet again by the Yanks in a key game of the championship series for the second year in a row (see also: 2000 ALCS, Game 2) didn’t help matters much, either.

  51. ajacobs3 on August 19th, 2009 4:59 pm

    Well, right now the team’s second in the league in run prevention… and dead last in scoring runs. I’d say improving to the middle of the pack in offense by adding ~a run scored a game would be considerably easier than taking a run a game off pitching and defense that’s among the league-leaders.

    Agree that scoring more runs is a must. You can argue the defensive contribution to run prevention should remain constant for next year but wouldn’t you agree that taking out Washburn and Bedard’s results and replacing them with French and Snell will likely make us worse in run prevention?

  52. Jake N. on August 19th, 2009 9:05 pm

    I still cannot see how this rotation is going to be anything but mediocre. We all agree Felix is just fantastic, that every fifth day is really enjoyable. Out of the eleven other suitors I see a couple of guys that can pitch to either handed batters with out much tap dancing, RRS and Snell. The others have some pretty weighted splits. I really do not consider Vargas and Olson starters along with Silva.

    Ok yes, The Mariners are building. With their defense, run prevention is vastly improved. We can use a less effective starter and still be competitive. But I digress, That will not win a division title or a World Series. And it will continue to tax your bullpen making it musical chairs constantly. Mark Lowe is great, he has developed nicely and will continue. Why Blow him up?

    Everyone likes to rosterbate, it seems a fair conclusion that the offense is number one this winter. I would not count on Branyan giving us some discount because Jak showed him some love and a shot. This team will need atleast three pieces this winter. DH, 1B, 2B. We are still a couple off years out to really make noise. But considering our prospects last year we have come lightyears… I would take Figgins in a NY minute!

    My Rotation guess is

    Felix
    RRS
    Snell
    French
    Silva/Morrow

    All I want this winter is a real DH! 285/340/550

  53. Dave on August 19th, 2009 10:11 pm

    Actually, no one here likes to rosterbate. We also like to back up our opinions with facts, which isn’t something you’ve showed yourself to be much of a fan of.

    As long as you keep spewing useless cliches, people are going to gloss over your comments.

  54. eponymous coward on August 19th, 2009 10:47 pm

    Agree that scoring more runs is a must. You can argue the defensive contribution to run prevention should remain constant for next year but wouldn’t you agree that taking out Washburn and Bedard’s results and replacing them with French and Snell will likely make us worse in run prevention?

    Yeah, but two things:

    - Jarrod Washburn is still Jarrod Washburn, and downgrading to RRS/French isn’t a huge loss, and,

    - Bedard pitched a total of 83 innings. Great innings when he could go out, but only 83 of them.

    I am not sold that an entire season of Snell/RRS/Morrow/Silva/etc. (assuming two of them stay healthy and perform at a decent level) is that far behind a combo of (Washburn+Bedard when his labrum isn’t in tatters+whoever replaces him). If THREE of them were pretty good (say, RRS/Silva/Snell, just for fun), they’d definitely be better.

    As for “we’re a couple years away”: the Mariners immediately preceded their 1995 and 2000 playoff teams with sub-.500 teams. The list of teams jumping from below-.500 to the playoffs is very, very long. It is silly to think the 2010 Mariners can’t do this. This isn’t to say they WILL, but we’re not talking about turning a 60-ish win roster into a contender, which is a monumentally harder feat than turning a team that’s close to .500 into a contender.

  55. John D. on August 20th, 2009 4:06 pm

    I guess I’m quality over quantity guy because that list gives me heartburn other than Felix.

    Umm-hmm! Except for FELIX, it looks like the largest collection of AAAA starting pitchers in captivity.

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