Updated OF/DH Playing Time Chart

Dave · January 31, 2010 at 1:49 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

A month ago, I laid out the expected playing time for the LF/DH group on the roster. Since then, the team has made a few roster changes, so it’s worth re-evaluating how we expect the at-bats to be portioned out.

Again, quick refresher – there are approximately 1,400 plate appearances to go around, 1,000 of those coming against RHP and 400 against LHP. Because Bradley is expected to play both LF and DH, we won’t see straight platoons, where two guys share one job and two guys share the other. Instead, we’re going to get a lot of mixing and matching, depending on who is pitching, who is healthy, and whether Wak wants offense or defense on that particular day.

Here’s my take on the playing time split, as of right now.

Against left-handers, it’s pretty easy. Assuming Byrnes is healthy and makes the club in spring training, he’s the starting LF against LHP, with Bradley DH’ing on days that he’s available to do so. Since Wak is not a big fan of pinch-hitting, they’ll accumulate at-bats against RHPs in these starts as well, which is why you see PA totals for batters against same handed pitchers, even if they’re going to be platooned.

Against right-handers, it’s a bit more complicated. You’ll see days with Bradley in left and Griffey at DH when both are healthy, probably towards the beginning of the season. As the bumps and bruises pile up, I’d expect to see this less and less. When either Bradley or Griffey need a day off, or Wak wants his best defensive team on the field against an opposing right hander, Langerhans would play left.

This leads to the following playing time totals for each player.

A few points, based on these projections.

1. I know some of you want Byrnes to take Langerhans’ spot on the roster. It can’t happen. You can’t make this work with Bradley/Byrnes/Griffey trying to hold down these two spots between them. Sorry, but three unreliable, injury prone, middle-aged guys with leg problems are not enough to cover two positions by themselves. On days when Bradley starts at DH, you’d have three outfielders on the team. That doesn’t work.

2. Given the amount of playing time available for an LF vs RHP, you’ll hopefully see why we’re giving this spot to Langerhans and not to Saunders. Bradley and Byrnes are going to eat up at least half of the at-bats against an RHP from the LF spot, not leaving enough for a young kid who should be playing regularly. If either Bradley or Junior land on the DL, then there’s room for him, but when those two are healthy, there’s not enough at-bats to go around, so he’s best served hanging out in Tacoma.

3. I know people are speculating about the team adding another RH 1B/DH type to the roster based on Jeff Kingston’s comments at FanFest yesterday, but I’d be willing to bet that he was referring to the team looking for depth at that position from a non-roster kind of player. The M’s have done a nice job of building depth across the organization at most spots, but after DFA’ing Tommy Everidge to put Byrnes on the 40-man, they don’t really have a Triple-A right-handed 1B/DH type who they could call-up if Bradley landed on the DL. Given the current setup, there aren’t any DH at-bats available for a right-handed hitter, so the prospective player they’d bring in would be limited to platooning with Kotchman at first base, and there’s no indication that they want to platoon Kotchman.

4. I’m sure there will be a flood of people complaining that this group doesn’t look very impressive. You’re used to teams having power hitters at these spots, and you just can’t accept that this is the plan. This group is significantly better than you guys think. In fact, I’d bet that the M’s could expect something like +4 wins from this group, which would equal about league average production. A Langerhans/Byrnes/Bradley job share in left field should be above average defensively and about average offensively, while Junior and Bradley should produce at an above average level while DH’ing. The various roster filler guys who inevitably have to fill-in when the injuries pile up will drag down the performance, but shouldn’t play enough to cause too many problems.

All told, the total cost of the guys sharing these two positions is about $7 million (Silva’s contract was a sunk cost, so the true cost of Bradley to the M’s is the $3 million that they’re paying the Cubs), and they’re going to get something around a +4 win return on that investment. That’s a bargain, and one of the main reasons why the team was able to spend money to bring in guys like Figgins and Lee. What they’re not spending on overpriced traditional LF/DH types is being allocated to other parts of the roster, and it’s one of the reasons why the M’s were able to be so active this winter.

This LF/DH job share may not be your ideal, but it’s a pretty good use of resources. The M’s have mixed and matched a bunch of players with complementing strengths and weaknesses, given Wakamatsu a lot of flexibility in the line-ups he can put on the field in any given day, and managed to create a situation where they’ll get solid performance for a low cost. It’s a good plan.

Comments

98 Responses to “Updated OF/DH Playing Time Chart”

  1. stevie_j13 on January 31st, 2010 2:12 pm

    Dave,

    I have to disagree with your first point. If Langerhans is not on the team and Bradley is the DH, Figgins would move to left and Hannahan would be your third baseman if Byrnes needed to come out or the opponent brought in a right-handed reliever. If there is a choice between having a righty 1B platoon option with Kotchman and a 5th outfielder who will struggle to get 200 PA this year, I would prefer the platoon option on the bench.

  2. Dave on January 31st, 2010 2:16 pm

    Figgins is not going to play a utility role on this team. They promised him that he would know what position he would be playing before spring training began, and that he would play that position almost exclusively. He could be moved to 2B or LF in an emergency, but they’re not going to build a roster that requires them to move him around regularly.

    I know a lot of you don’t like this, but this is the plan. I’m not making this stuff up.

  3. nathaniel dawson on January 31st, 2010 2:25 pm

    I’m surprised you have Byrnes penciled in for so many at bats against righties. I would think he’d get very few starts against righties, with the 3 other lefthanded options to choose from. And while Wak doesn’t seem to pinch-hit much, he should feel like he has a bit more flexibility to do that in this case, with 2 lefties on the bench to bring in for Byrnes. He’ll get some at bats against righties, for sure, but I’m sure they’d like to see Langerhans with the vast majority of those.

  4. stevie_j13 on January 31st, 2010 2:33 pm

    It might be the plan, but it does not mean that we have to agree with it. They do have options if they are in a pinch that do not require carrying a 5th outfielder, Langerhans or otherwise. If Byrnes gets hurt in-game, Figgins could fill-in. If Byrnes is day-to-day, Bradley moves to LF and Griffey is the DH against all pitchers. If Byrnes and Bradley are day-to-day, or Byrnes, Bradley, and Griffey are all day-to-day, they DL Byrnes and bring up Langerhans/Saunders until we are at full strength. I just don’t understand why they have no choice but to carry a 5th outfielder instead of a righty 1B platoon partner for Kotchman.

  5. Dave on January 31st, 2010 2:37 pm

    Because Figgins doesn’t want to be a utility guy, and signing him was conditional upon promising him a regular job at one spot.

  6. CMC_Stags on January 31st, 2010 2:40 pm

    but after DFA’ing Tommy Everidge to put Byrnes on the 40-man, they don’t really have a Triple-A right-handed 1B/DH type who they could call-up if Bradley landed on the DL

    Chris Shelton?

    If Byrnes gets hurt in-game, Figgins could fill-in. If Byrnes is day-to-day, Bradley moves to LF and Griffey is the DH against all pitchers. If Byrnes and Bradley are day-to-day, or Byrnes, Bradley, and Griffey are all day-to-day, they DL Byrnes and bring up Langerhans/Saunders until we are at full strength.

    What happens if Bradley, Griffey, and Byrnes are all listed as day to day? Do you put one on the DL just to call up Saunders and burn another option?

    I just don’t understand why they have no choice but to carry a 5th outfielder instead of a righty 1B platoon partner for Kotchman.

  7. CMC_Stags on January 31st, 2010 2:41 pm

    removed, duplicate

  8. Ralph_Malph on January 31st, 2010 2:44 pm

    Calling up Saunders from Tacoma doesn’t burn an option. Optioning him to Tacoma to start the season burns his option for the year. Once you’ve done that, you can move him up and down as much as you want — the option is already used. All it costs you, if you have to bring him up for 20 days, is 20 days service time.

    At least that’s the way I understand it.

  9. Liam on January 31st, 2010 2:44 pm

    Chris Shelton signed with the Astros in December.

  10. Arron on January 31st, 2010 2:46 pm

    Chris Shelton? No longer in the org…you must have been reading Jim Street lately.

  11. CMC_Stags on January 31st, 2010 2:47 pm

    The last sentence of my above post should have been a quote…

    I don’t see why the team “needs” to have a RH 1B option any more than it “needs” to have a credible 5th OF. There are points in time when both would be nice, but as long as the team has a 12 man pitching staff and the current roster of position players, you’re only going to have one or the other.

    If the team had signed a RH 1B/LF/DH instead of Byrnes, maybe that makes a bit more sense, but they didn’t.

  12. stevie_j13 on January 31st, 2010 2:53 pm

    What happens if Bradley, Griffey, and Byrnes are all listed as day to day? Do you put one on the DL just to call up Saunders and burn another option?

    Absolutely, you put Byrnes, your 4th outfielder, on the DL and bring up a nearly equivalent player from AAA. The M’s have exposed themselves to a major vulnerability by having, by my count, six position players (Wilson, Figgins, Bradley, Griffey, Byrnes, Johnson) with significant injury histories. They have to be willing to sacrifice a few games from someone like Byrnes to maintain depth if they have several players listed as day-to-day.

    Also, if Wilson and Kotchman are both unavailable, what is the M’s plan?

  13. MarinerManMatt on January 31st, 2010 2:54 pm

    Heard Kingston say today that he expected the M’s to acquire a RH 1b/dh and a pitcher within the next week on the fanfest live feed. Did anyone else hear this too or did i just misunderstand what he said?

  14. CMC_Stags on January 31st, 2010 2:54 pm

    I was definately mistaken on Shelton. It’s amazing how LH this org is now after the Bavasi years.

  15. Brzeczyszczykiewicza on January 31st, 2010 3:15 pm

    This doesn’t look ideal. Bradley should get all the DH vs. LHP PAs, except when Griffey gets his once or twice per week start vs. a RH starter and then a LH reliever comes in. Bradley should also get most of the DH PAs vs. RHP, since we’ll probably face 3-5 RHP starters per week and Griffey will only get 1 or 2 starts.

    Also, Byrnes should never start vs. RHP and I doubt he’ll get very many PA vs. RH relievers. And the RH DH who takes over vs LHP when Bradley gets kicked off the team should get a lot more of the Various PAs.

  16. Liam on January 31st, 2010 3:34 pm

    Milton Bradley’s projected plate appearances also reflect the reality that the last time he played more than 130 games was in 2004.

  17. thehemogoblin on January 31st, 2010 3:34 pm

    Also, Byrnes should never start vs. RHP and I doubt he’ll get very many PA vs. RH relievers. And the RH DH who takes over vs LHP when Bradley gets kicked off the team should get a lot more of the Various PAs.

    Way to keep the faith there, unintelligible Polish name person.

    Bradley has shown that he is quite successful in smaller media markets. He only imploded in LA and Chicago… to be honest, I’d probably implode there too.

  18. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 3:48 pm

    I guess we’ll see, but I think you’re expecting Griffey to play more than he will. If Garko is the guy they add, he’ll probably DH at least half the time. Has anyone from the M’s actually said they’d DH Bradley or is this just speculation?

  19. Dave on January 31st, 2010 3:53 pm

    Jack said Bradley would play both LF and DH when he made the trade.

    Even if you think they’ll sign a Garko like player, there’s little chance he’d DH against an RHP in lieu of Griffey. And, unless you think they signed Byrnes to just sit around and twiddle his thumbs, the DH vs LHP spot is taken. The only job the M’s could offer a Garko-type is Kotchman’s platoon partner, and they’d have to be willing to go with 11 pitchers to even pull that off.

  20. wsm on January 31st, 2010 3:53 pm

    Because Figgins doesn’t want to be a utility guy, and signing him was conditional upon promising him a regular job at one spot.

    Sort of like Byrnes signing on the condition he’d get to play as much as his could. If Jack had told him he’d get to be the LF against LHP and that’s pretty much it, he wouldn’t be a Mariner today.

    Byrnes isn’t the day-to-day aches-and-pains risk that Griffey and Bradley are. He’s either healthy or he’s got a fractured hand or a torn hammy. Right now he’s healthy. He’s not going to limp through April and May having to sit with nagging injuries. He’ll be ready to go or he’ll be on the DL.

    And Chone Figgins will most definitely play LF for a game or two if the team needs him to. That’s not the same thing as a utility role. Rob Johnson and Jack Hannahan can also play LF on rare occasions (and probably do a better job than more than a few big league regulars).

  21. wsm on January 31st, 2010 3:56 pm

    I know a lot of you don’t like this, but this is the plan.

    I don’t see how this could possibly be true based on the words and actions of the front office. Non-tendering the guy, sigining him to a non-guaranteed deal, and then telling the public that you plan to add someone who will take his roster spot doesn’t sound like he’s part of the plan at all.

  22. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 3:56 pm

    I know some of you want Byrnes to take Langerhans’ spot on the roster. It can’t happen. You can’t make this work with Bradley/Byrnes/Griffey trying to hold down these two spots between them. Sorry, but three unreliable, injury prone, middle-aged guys with leg problems are not enough to cover two positions by themselves. On days when Bradley starts at DH, you’d have three outfielders on the team. That doesn’t work.

    But, of course, it depends on who they add. If it is Garko, then he can play LF in a pinch. Same with Figgins. Bradley can always move from DH to OF, if necessary, provided Wak can accept the loss of the DH.

    Adding a guy like Garko would seem to make sense in the “three unreliable, injury prone, middle-aged guys with leg problems” context.

  23. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 4:02 pm

    Jack said Bradley would play both LF and DH when he made the trade.

    Okay, thanks. That does make Garko less likely (or at least less useful).

    Even if you think they’ll sign a Garko like player, there’s little chance he’d DH against an RHP in lieu of Griffey.

    If he hits like he has the last couple of years, I disagree.

    And, unless you think they signed Byrnes to just sit around and twiddle his thumbs, the DH vs LHP spot is taken.

    Or, unless I think he is competition for Langerhans and the 4th OF spot.

    The only job the M’s could offer a Garko-type is Kotchman’s platoon partner, and they’d have to be willing to go with 11 pitchers to even pull that off.

    These are both options, but not the only ones. Griffey insurance and a RH DH (as I mentioned) are two other options.

  24. Mr. Egaas on January 31st, 2010 4:03 pm

    Something tells me Langerhans and Byrnes get some reps at 1B in the spring.

  25. Bodhizefa on January 31st, 2010 4:04 pm

    It’s amazing how LH this org is now after the Bavasi years.

    Or written another way, it’s amazing how efficient this org is now after the Bavasi years. My God, what a dark period of my life!

  26. Dave on January 31st, 2010 4:05 pm

    If the Mariners were going to sign a guy to take DH at-bats from Griffey against RHP, it would not be Ryan Garko. They would have signed Jim Thome or something. They’re not interested in doing that.

    And, I’m sorry, but the idea that you can run a Ichiro-Gutierrez-Bradley-Byrnes outfield and call that good is just beyond stupid.

  27. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 4:12 pm

    If the Mariners were going to sign a guy to take DH at-bats from Griffey against RHP, it would not be Ryan Garko. They would have signed Jim Thome or something. They’re not interested in doing that.

    They may not be interested in doing that, but they realize they may have to. It’s better to have more than you think you’ll need than to not have enough when you need it. And Garko is not cost prohibitive. (I think :) )

    And, I’m sorry, but the idea that you can run a Ichiro-Gutierrez-Bradley-Byrnes outfield and call that good is just beyond stupid.

    What is beyond stupid is only having one backup infielder, especially when he is your only LH bat off the bench. And, of course, Garko and Figgins can both play OF.

  28. HoustonMarinerFan on January 31st, 2010 4:14 pm

    “three unreliable, injury prone, middle-aged guys with leg problems”
    When did a 31 year old and a 33 year old become “middle aged?” I know we’re dealing in the world of pro athletics, but this is a little bit of a sensitive issue with me.

  29. Dave on January 31st, 2010 4:19 pm

    Yes, you definitely want to have multiple backups for Figgins and Kotchman, who are known for their frequent trips to the DL, while counting on Mr. Durability Milton Bradley to play the outfield regularly.

    By the way, there’s zero evidence that Garko would be anything besides a total disaster in the outfield. He has less than 100 career innings out there, so experience is an obvious problem. He’s a pudgy former catcher who runs like one and has been a below average defender at first. Remember how good Mike Morse was in the outfield? He’s 10 times the athlete that Garko is.

    Garko is not an outfielder any more than Adam Moore is an outfielder.

  30. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 4:32 pm

    Yes, you definitely want to have multiple backups for Figgins and Kotchman, who are known for their frequent trips to the DL, while counting on Mr. Durability Milton Bradley to play the outfield regularly.

    You mean a second plausible backup for Figgins, Wilson, Lopez, and Kotchman. Under your scenario, what happens if Hannahan is used as a PH (or if one of the starters is unavailable that day) and then someone (an infielder) gets hurt?

    What do you think is going to happen to the OF in the course of a game that Byrnes, Figgins, Griffey, and Garko can’t handle? If Bradley is unavailable for an extended period of time, you make a roster move.

  31. Dave on January 31st, 2010 4:33 pm

    Wak doesn’t pinch hit. He’s definitely going to use Hannahan as a pinch-hitter.

  32. CCW on January 31st, 2010 4:35 pm

    This seems just about right to me. I can imagine Griffey getting fewer ABs, and Bradley more, and Byrnes fewer against righties, but the most you could do is quibble, I think.

    I think the roster is extremely well built. It’s obviously slanted towards OBP and defense, but everyone’s role is fairly well defined up front. It has been remarkable how Jack Z has made move after move, preserving flexibility while locking up harder to fill positions. He left himself with the easiest hole in the world to fill, a RH platoon bat, and of course he filled it for free.

    I like.

  33. eponymous coward on January 31st, 2010 5:14 pm

    This group is significantly better than you guys think. In fact, I’d bet that the M’s could expect something like +4 wins from this group, which would equal about league average production.

    You can expect ~0 (give or take half a win on either side) of those to come from Griffey, of course. Oh, well.

    One thing that struck me yesterday at FanFest is that Wakamatsu emphasized that Sweeney was HIS GUY, that he wanted him as a positive influence in the clubhouse, as a way to jump start the belief system (saying Sweeney was one of the best people he’s seen in a clubhouse, ever)- he asked Jack to sign him, and he got him. My suspicion is Griffey has that job this year.

    Under your scenario, what happens if Hannahan is used as a PH (or if one of the starters is unavailable that day) and then someone (an infielder) gets hurt?

    Why would you use Hannahan as a PH over the two of Griffey/Bradley/Byrnes/Langerhans who are NOT starting?

  34. nathaniel dawson on January 31st, 2010 5:18 pm

    what happens if Hannahan is used as a PH?

    Why the heck would they use Hannahan as a pinch-hitter? Who is he a better hitter than to use him to pinch-hit for?

  35. JH on January 31st, 2010 5:18 pm

    This seems about right. Zduriencik really needs to focus on AAAA/swing players. If Bradley goes down, current in-house options are: A) call up Saunders for regular playing time, B) straight platoon of Langerhans and Byrnes, C) call up Corey Patterson, maintain the 3-man LF/DH rotation. Options A and B both involve Griffey playing as the everyday DH, and in option C, you’re letting Byrnes or Langerhans take the DH at-bats currently slated for Bradley. Ugh.

    If Kotchman goes down, our options are Hannahan at 1B and calling up another utility infielder like Josh Wilson (ugh), or one of Mike Carp or Brad Nelson taking over the everyday 1B duties (double-ugh).

    Those are really bad contingencies for scenarios that have a pretty strong chance of occurring. We need a much better plan B.

  36. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 5:18 pm

    Why would you use Hannahan as a PH over the two of Griffey/Bradley/Byrnes/Langerhans who are NOT starting?

    Good point. Assuming that Griffey and Bradley were in the game and Langerhans was on the roster – you’d use Langerhans. But, if the M’s do sign a RH 1B/DH guy and Langerhans goes to Tacoma, then Hannahan would be your only LH on the bench. But, Dave seems to think that the 1B/DH guy is a minor league, depth move.

  37. Breadbaker on January 31st, 2010 5:28 pm

    I’m at the “acceptance” stage of grief here, so I figured out where Dave’s numbers were coming from even before I got to this point in the discussion:

    Since Wak is not a big fan of pinch-hitting, they’ll accumulate at-bats against RHPs in these starts as well, which is why you see PA totals for batters against same handed pitchers, even if they’re going to be platooned.

    You build your roster to match your manager’s tendencies; if Wak liked to pinch hit more, you’d see a different kind of bench. You’d probably not have traded Bill Hall. You’d have an obvious designated pinch runner for Griffey. But Wak has pretty much shown his hand on how he’s going to run the club day by day and that he kind of puts his lineup out there and runs with it, regardless of the other manager’s countermoves. And Jack has constructed a bench to deal with it.

  38. J-Dog on January 31st, 2010 5:36 pm

    Under your scenario, what happens if Hannahan is used as a PH (or if one of the starters is unavailable that day) and then someone (an infielder) gets hurt?

    Leroy, I share your concern about our depth at backup infielder. If Jack Wilson (or any other infielder) were to be day-to-day, we would not have a backup infielder. However, I think that the M’s could go with a 4 man bench, a 6 man bullpen, and use the last spot as a position that alternates between a bullpen spot or bench spot. Thus, at some points during the season, the M’s could have a 7-man bullpen (4 man bench). At other points during the season, the M’s could have a 6-man bullpen (5 man bench).

    I’m at the “acceptance” stage of grief here, so I figured out where Dave’s numbers were coming from even before I got to this point in the discussion

    Agreed.

  39. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 5:48 pm

    However, I think that the M’s could go with a 4 man bench, a 6 man bullpen, and use the last spot as a position that alternates between a bullpen spot or bench spot. Thus, at some points during the season, the M’s could have a 7-man bullpen (4 man bench). At other points during the season, the M’s could have a 6-man bullpen (5 man bench).

    J-Dog,

    I suspect you’re right and that we’ll see both of those configurations. I also think the M’s could go for someone like Jesus Guzman, who’d be an IF/OF type with Langerhans starting the season in Tacoma. The benefit of that approach is that you could audition Byrnes and Guzman and keep the more productive bat.

    My understanding is that Langerhans could start in Tacoma without the risk of losing him and then get called up later. However, if he is then sent back down, he’d have to clear waivers. Does anyone have any insight into this?

  40. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 5:53 pm

    I’m at the “acceptance” stage of grief here…

    Not me. I’m excited, but anxious. I can see Griffey, Bradley, Byrnes, and Kotchman performing really well. I’m not even worried about the 5th (3rd?) starter problem, I’m sure one of those guys will work out.

    I like how this team is built. I haven’t been this excited about baseball in a long, long time.

  41. diderot on January 31st, 2010 5:58 pm

    ’m sure there will be a flood of people complaining that this group doesn’t look very impressive. You’re used to teams having power hitters at these spots, and you just can’t accept that this is the plan.

    No, for my two cents, I think this group doesn’t look impressive because we’ve used the power hitter plan– in regards to Griffey.

    I honestly can’t think of a single reason to give your DH spot to anyone with a projected negative WAR. And the idea of giving that person, no matter who he is, 375 at bats is just sad.

    If clubhouse chemistry is reason enough to essentially play with a 24-man roster, so be it. But getting nothing out of 375 at bats does not make baseball sense.

  42. J-Dog on January 31st, 2010 6:14 pm

    My understanding is that Langerhans could start in Tacoma without the risk of losing him and then get called up later. However, if he is then sent back down, he’d have to clear waivers. Does anyone have any insight into this?

    Leroy, Rob Neyer has a short article on MLB transactions. Rob says:

    When a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the 25-man Major League roster, he is on “optional assignment.” One common misconception about the rules is that a player may only be “optioned out” three times. Actually, each player has three option years, and he can be sent up and down as many times as the club chooses within those three seasons.

    When you hear that a player is “out of options,” that means he’s been on the 40-man roster during three different seasons, beginning with his fourth as a pro, and to be sent down again he’ll have to clear waivers

    Since Langerhans is on the 40-man roster, I think that this means that Langerhans would have to clear waivers before going to Tacoma – even at the beginning of the season.

  43. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 6:28 pm

    J-Dog,

    Thanks for that, very interesting article. I guess you’re right, he probably would have to clear waivers.

  44. J-Dog on January 31st, 2010 6:29 pm

    It looks like the Tacoma bound infielders will include Carp, Tuiasosopo, Chris Woodward, Brad Nelson, and Josh Wilson. Of these infielders, I think that Carp, Tuiasosop, Brad Nelson, and Josh Wilson (Wilson played 11 games in 2005. If that counts as a season, Wilson is out of options) have options remaining.

    However, Woodward, Nelson, and Wilson will not have to clear waivers to start the season at Tacoma, because they are no on the 40-man roster.

  45. stevie_j13 on January 31st, 2010 6:52 pm

    Dave,

    Figgins played 115 games in 2007, 116 games in 2008. Jack Wilson (not Kotchman) is coming off stints on the DL last year with the Mariners and has been nagged by injuries the last four years of his career. The thing is, you know all of this. Yet, you are characterizing the people who are concerned about depth on other areas of the team as “beyond stupid.” Sorry, but that is just plain offensive.
    The problem is, Hannahan is the only backup for two injury-prone guys in Figgins and Wilson, and when he is on the field, there is literally no one who could replace Kotchman if he got hurt. Meanwhile, for your outfielders, at least Griffey or Figgins theoretically could play LF if there was an emergency (not in a utility role, even though you attempted to mischaracterize that point, as well). It sounds to me like you have a real problem with the Byrnes signing because of his lack of reliability, and less of a problem with the notion of a 1B platoon.
    Just because you have well-founded disagreements does not mean the other point of view is “beyond stupid.” I enjoy reading this blog a lot and make it a daily habit, but that was a major downer.

  46. Dave on January 31st, 2010 6:59 pm

    I didn’t characterize anyone as beyond stupid. I’ve said that the idea that Bradley can be looked at as a regular outfielder with Byrnes as the only reserve outfielder is beyond stupid… and it is.

    I don’t have a problem with the Byrnes signing. I was in favor of the Byrnes signing. I did a long post explaining why a week before it happened. Maybe you should go read that, or the post where we announced the signing, where I said “I like this move.”

  47. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 7:18 pm

    Yet, you are characterizing the people who are concerned about depth on other areas of the team as “beyond stupid.” Sorry, but that is just plain offensive.

    @stevie_j13

    Dave’s right – he didn’t characterize me as “beyond stupid” (but I suspect he thought it). However, yesterday he did say I was “nuts” for making roughly the same argument. That’s okay, I’m taking his opinion to heart and, starting tomorrow, I’m seeking psychological counseling as well as enrolling in several adult education classes. I hope it helps with my conditions.

    Just remember though, when you’re reading the comments, that what you perceive as insults, are really just Dave’s way of saying: “I respectfully disagree”. ;)

  48. Marinersmanjk on January 31st, 2010 7:36 pm

    wow Leroy I really wouldn’t want to piss off the person who runs the site.

  49. Marinersmanjk on January 31st, 2010 7:36 pm

    Adding sarcasm really doesn’t help you out either…. Just saying.

  50. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 7:49 pm

    wow Leroy I really wouldn’t want to piss off the person who runs the site.

    Somehow I don’t think what I said would piss Dave off. He does have a sense of humor you know.

  51. Pine Tar on January 31st, 2010 7:55 pm

    Thanks for the analysis Dave. This really clarifies the problem of having Griffey on the roster. I think if Byrnes can come back at all, especially when it comes to to hitting RHP he’ll be replacing Griffey in the lineup (Bradley shifts to DH). Langerhans is a defensive replacement/4th outfielder.

    Another possible scenario is that Saunders has a monster spring and takes Bynes’s spot. Then I guess we would need a right handed back up outfielder. Luke Scott anyone?

  52. Marinersmanjk on January 31st, 2010 7:58 pm

    It was kind of snide humor. I didn’t really seem like you were making a joke, rather making a joke out of Dave’s point.

  53. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 8:00 pm

    Another possible scenario is that Saunders has a monster spring and takes Bynes’s spot. Then I guess we would need a right handed back up outfielder. Luke Scott anyone?

    Did you really just write this?

  54. Pine Tar on January 31st, 2010 8:03 pm

    Sorry. Luke Scott is a lefty. A righty who can handle 1B and OF would be perfect whoever that is.

  55. Marinersmanjk on January 31st, 2010 8:08 pm

    What about McLemore? lol

  56. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 8:09 pm

    It was kind of snide humor. I didn’t really seem like you were making a joke, rather making a joke out of Dave’s point

    No, Dave’s “point” was actually a statement of fact. I was making light of the supposed insults. Dave has his own style, and yes, it is sometimes harsh, but it’s not meant to be personal. That’s what I was alluding to.

  57. Leroy Stanton on January 31st, 2010 8:12 pm

    Sorry. Luke Scott is a lefty. A righty who can handle 1B and OF would be perfect whoever that is.

    Yes, he is. But, in your scenario, wouldn’t Byrnes just become the backup OF?

  58. Pine Tar on January 31st, 2010 8:16 pm

    Oh Yeah. Perfect. Saunders starts. Byrnes backs up. If Saunders can’t win the job he’s the starter in Tacoma

  59. nathaniel dawson on January 31st, 2010 8:19 pm

    The problem is, Hannahan is the only backup for two injury-prone guys in Figgins and Wilson

    You really shouldn’t characterize Figgins as injury prone. He’s only had two injuries in his 6 year Major League career, and has average 142 games over that span. As well, he played 158 games last year and from the way he played, he looked pretty damn healthy. Very few players are going to be able to play their entire career without suffering from inuries occasionally. Figgins is as durable as most other players are.

  60. Mister Baseball on January 31st, 2010 9:26 pm

    Langerhans signed a minor league contract. So doesn’t it make sense to park him in Tacoma if Byrnes comes out of spring training healthy? Then Byrnes will be the LF against RHP, and the 4th outfielder. In that case you have not burned a roster spot on a 5th outfielder. In an emergency you can send Chone out to the OF, and Griffey, though not a reliable guy to trot out there regularly, can play LF or RF in a pinch. That is enough flexibility for game day emergencies.

    So if Griffey is dinged up, and Bradley is dinged up, and Byrnes is dinged up – what do you have? A hell of a mess. Someone needs to go on the DL and someone needs to be called up. But wasting a roster spot on Langerhans seems to not be a wise use of resources when you are so thin in the infield.

    I can tell from the little reading I have done on this site that Dave seems to really have a thing for Langerhans, but unless the guy can play some infield spot he needs to be parked in Tacoma should the need arise, and his spot on the 25 man roster needs to be filled with a more versatile player who can go to the outfield if the need arises, but could also cover infield spots if needed. I think one possible guy is Tui – he is a good natural athlete who has not long term position on the team – Figgens will be at 3rd and Ackerly (eventually) at 2nd, so perhaps Tui should be groomed for a utility role. He can play 3rd or 2nd already, has played SS in the minors – give him some time during spring training in the OF and at SS and 1st. Develop Tui in this way, and let Langerhans be your deep OF backup in Tacoma – called up if required. I like this better – develop a young player and add some flexibility to the infield, rather than parking a .220 hitter in a roster spot due to lack of imagination.

  61. Mike Snow on January 31st, 2010 10:37 pm

    Your premise is mistaken, Langerhans signed a major league contract.

  62. Dave on January 31st, 2010 10:54 pm

    Come on Mike, give him a break. Clearly, I lack imagination – you know, the thing that allows you to think that Langerhans signed a minor league contract, that the team has players named Ackerly and Figgens, and that batting average is a good tool to evaluate offensive performance.

  63. Miles on January 31st, 2010 11:42 pm

    And, I’m sorry, but the idea that you can run a Ichiro-Gutierrez-Bradley-Byrnes outfield and call that good is just beyond stupid.

    Sounds like you’re calling Zduriencik and Wakamatsu stupid. This just may be what they do.

  64. Mister Baseball on February 1st, 2010 12:14 am

    Mike and Dave – There seems to be some confusion in the sources on the web about whether he signed a minor or a major league contract. Sports Illustrated online called it a minor league contract(as does Wikipedia, that rag!!. The SI Online article also stated that the contract calls out a specific salary (90k) if he is in the minor leagues. I know he is on the 40 man roster, but my assumption was that he could be kept in Tacoma in reserve – just like Ackley who also signed a major league contract – perhaps my premise is wrong. Anyone know how this would work with Langerhans?

    Dave – I am sorry if I seemed to insult you when I spoke of imagination. What I meant was that, though it would be great to have the luxury of a 5th outfielder, with a little bit of imagination about how the team can be put together on the field, a 5th outfielder is really not the biggest need. If you take Tui down the road towards being a utility guy, you likely have most of the advantages of carrying a 5th outfielder anyway.

    Let’s assume that multiple guys are banged up and you need to put something reasonable on the field for a game or two until you make a roster move.
    The way I see it, you have 4 potential CFs – Guitie, Ichiro, Figgins (he played 96 games there in 2006), and Byrnes (he’s played 287 games there in his career, including 6 last year). I think you can count on one of these fellas to be available. Then we need 2 corner outfielders to be chosen from a list of Ichiro, Bradley, Byrnes, Figgins, and in a real emergency, Griffey. Considering Ichi is an almost automatic in, you really have to chose one from Griffey, Bradley and Byrnes, with Figgens a deep reserve. Certainly one of these three can take the field, or a roster move should already be in process.

    What I am proposing is to give Tui some reps on in the outfield, some career advice to consider becoming a utility man (for the time being, at least) and see what happens. I have faith that Tui could be a more than adequate corner outfielder with a bit of time spent there. I would certainly think a Tui who could play LF, RF, 2nd, 3rd, and SS would provide better flexibility and be more valuable than Langerhans, who is only on the team really because you are worried about the durability of Griffey/Bradley/Byrnes. I would think that if it was handled right, you could get about 80% of what you get with Langerhans in the outfield, plus much more versatility in the infield should Tui be developed that way.

    So should they develop Tui in this way, you would have to choose 2 corner outfielders from Ichiro/Byrnes/Bradley/Tui/Figgins/Griffey. That would seem to be quite an adequate list to work from.

    And please give me a break on the misspelled names. If my points are not valid, blast away. I am hoping this is not a spelling bee as I will have nothing to contribute. “Figgens” may be less excusable, but Ackerly, in this town, is an easy slip up to make.

  65. bookbook on February 1st, 2010 5:02 am

    I believe Dave has the plan down, at least as of this moment, I’m suspecting they’re hoping to squeeze another 50-75 ABs vs RHs out of Bradley.

    I think it’s reasonable to expect Langerhans to get 75 ABs in CF and 75 in Right (or something like that). But I bet they don’t particularly want Langerhans to get more than 300 ABs. Or does Byrnes do some of the backing up at other OF positions?

    I do think Tui’s best bet is to go to Takoma and play regularly. If he’s ready, in 2-3 months he’ll force his way into the starting line-up either at 2b or 3b (or even 1b!), potentially freeing Z to do some very creative maneuvering at the deadline.

  66. Arron on February 1st, 2010 5:36 am

    Dave,

    Jon at ProballNW is reporting that according to “the grapevine” Jermaine Dye is in Seattle, possibly taking a physical.

    Any truth to this rumor that you know of?

    And if true, what does that do to the roster at DH, LF, and 1B?

  67. wsm on February 1st, 2010 5:57 am

    Your premise is mistaken, Langerhans signed a major league contract.

    Technically its a major league contract, but it can also be a minor league contract if the M’s so choose. For 90k, they can outright him to AAA and he has to accept. Of course, he has to clear waivers, but that hasn’t been a problem thus far in his career.

  68. DaddyO on February 1st, 2010 6:46 am

    Mister Baseball,

    There was a Mr. Baseball from an M’s board who many of us miss. From your writing style I don’t believe it is you, but if it is you will recognize my User Name. If it is you, please stop by and say hello.

  69. Mister Baseball on February 1st, 2010 7:47 am

    wsm –

    So what makes his contract different than Ackley’s? Certainly Ackley doesn’t need to clear waivers to be put in the minors. Does anyone know the actual rules about this?

  70. msb on February 1st, 2010 8:09 am

    Adding to the intrigue, on sunday Jeff Kingston elaborated on his saturday comment that they were looking at a 1B bat– Jon Shields transcribed it from the feed:

    “We are still talking to some right handed bats that are out there on the market right now; we hope to land one here in the next week or so. I think our vision is someone who can help Ken Griffey in the DH spot, maybe spell Casey Kotchman at first base at times against left handed pitching; that’s where we see this player fitting in.”

  71. Mike Snow on February 1st, 2010 8:14 am

    A split contract, which provides for a different salary when the player is sent to the minors, is not the same thing as a minor league contract. A minor league contract means the player is not on the 40-man roster.

  72. Liam on February 1st, 2010 8:15 am

    So what makes his contract different than Ackley’s? Certainly Ackley doesn’t need to clear waivers to be put in the minors. Does anyone know the actual rules about this?

    Quick Primer On Major League Contracts

  73. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 8:18 am

    … I think our vision is someone who can help Ken Griffey in the DH spot, maybe spell Casey Kotchman at first base at times against left handed pitching; that’s where we see this player fitting in.

    That’s my vision too. Notice he didn’t say anything about DHing against left-handers, but he did mention left-handers as it pertained to Kotchman. Also, no mention of Bradley at DH. It could be Ryan Garko.

  74. luckyscrubs on February 1st, 2010 8:38 am

    Arron, I read the rumors on Dye as well, but they seem to be speculation more than anything. He turned down a $3.3 million contract from the Cubs and he doesn’t seem to be a player Jack Z would give that kind of money to. Plus, I don’t think Dye would make any sense for this roster as it is constructed. This rumor doesn’t passes the smell test.

  75. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 8:41 am

    lus, I don’t think Dye would make any sense for this roster as it is constructed. This rumor doesn’t passes the smell test.

    Not to mention that he’d cost a draft pick.

  76. Liam on February 1st, 2010 8:50 am

    Jermaine Dye was not offered arbitration, so he would not cost the team a draft pick.

  77. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 8:53 am

    Okay, thanks Liam.

  78. TumwaterMike on February 1st, 2010 9:25 am

    [dupe]

  79. Martin Blank on February 1st, 2010 9:28 am

    The only way the team would pursue a RH 1B/DH is if:
    a) they are committed to an 11-man staff;
    b) they want to reduce Griffey’s ABs to about 250;
    c) they don’t want to add to Bradley’s load;
    d) they don’t want Kotchman to face LHPs

    Garko is the name that is most obvious, but is there any indication that he’d be willing to take this type of spot? Also, he would take away some of Hannahan’s versatility, so they would probably need a more “pure” back up infielder, like Josh Wilson.

    An 11 man staff only makes sense if they can sign another starter whow will eat innings, reducing the load on the bullpen.

  80. clambaker on February 1st, 2010 9:42 am

    Seattle PI is reporting they signed Garko.

  81. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 9:50 am

    Awesome!!!

  82. Mekias on February 1st, 2010 9:50 am

    Garko for $550,000 with plate appearance incentives up to 1.1 mill (600 PAs). Unlikely he goes much past 550,000 unless Kotchman gets hurt.

    Nice signing. Still low cost and a big bat against lefties. But who does this knock off the team? A relief pitcher? Langerhans? I think those are the only options.

  83. Arron on February 1st, 2010 9:51 am

    Lol…I guess we can stop the speculation now…

    Question is, who is gone to Tacoma? Byrnes, Langerhans, or Saunders?

    This is terrible…Bradley should be the full-time DH…oh well.

  84. Arron on February 1st, 2010 9:52 am

    Now maybe Leroy will shut up about Garko…

    Kidding Leroy!!!

  85. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 9:55 am

    Now maybe Leroy will shut up about Garko…

    Are you kidding me? I’m only getting started… :)

  86. gwangung on February 1st, 2010 10:01 am

    Seems to me that these are all cheap signings; if any of them suck, we just drop ‘em and not miss a thing. I mean, $600K or so is less than 1% of payroll, more or less….Three or four of them isn’t going to hurt…

  87. luckyscrubs on February 1st, 2010 10:04 am

    Dave’s sales pitch must have worked :)

  88. nathaniel dawson on February 1st, 2010 10:05 am

    Garko is the name that is most obvious, but is there any indication that he’d be willing to take this type of spot

    At some point this offseason, Garko might be willing to take any spot he can get. The same could be said about Dye. There have been several free agents that have turned down deals only to sign later for less money.

  89. Dobbs on February 1st, 2010 10:08 am

    After years of quality writing and so rarely being wrong, you’d think people would just give Dave/DMZ the benefit of the doubt on any M’s-related subject there is to be had.

    Have an opinion of what the M’s should do all you want, but you may want to read back through *all* of the posts here at USSM before attempting to discredit something Dave says.

  90. Arron on February 1st, 2010 10:11 am

    So against RHP:

    DH- Griffey
    LF- Bradley
    1B- Kotchman

    Against LHP:

    DH- Bradley
    LF- Byrnes
    1B- Garko

    The bench is C, Hannahan, 1B Platoon and DH/LF Platoon.

    We REALLY need a five-man bench…

  91. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 10:14 am

    Have an opinion of what the M’s should do all you want, but you may want to read back through *all* of the posts here at USSM before attempting to discredit something Dave says.

    Maybe you should have waited with this comment until someone attempted to discredit Dave.

  92. TumwaterMike on February 1st, 2010 10:19 am

    If Garko has a Major League contract, who comes off the 40 man roster?

  93. Arron on February 1st, 2010 10:24 am

    Langerhans has to be gone. Hopefully he will stay in Tacoma.

    Maybe a pitcher if they are wise and go with a five-man bench.

  94. joser on February 1st, 2010 10:30 am

    Seems to me that these are all cheap signings; if any of them suck, we just drop ‘em and not miss a thing. I mean, $600K or so is less than 1% of payroll, more or less….Three or four of them isn’t going to hurt…

    Exactly. People were asking for a “Plan B” — well, Plan B is whichever of these guys turns out not to be Plan A. Throw the rats in a cage and shake it, and see which one emerges the winner. Maybe Byrnes shows up looking lost at the plate and unable to run in the field, and they cut him. Maybe they just stash Langerhans in Tacoma as insurance. Maybe all of them look good, and the team comes out of Spring Training confident enough in their starters and bullpen that they decide to go with an 11 man pitching staff at least for the early part of the season.

    At the end of the day ( ;) ) the key word with Zduriencik is “options” — whether it’s the positions guys can play, the side of the plate they stand on, or the flexibility they give Wakamatsu filling out the lineup card or in the late innings, Zduriencik does not want a roster that traps the team into having nothing but bad choices. And clearly that applies to figuring out last couple of guys on the 25 man roster in spring training, too. Signing a few players to relatively cheap contracts and seeing how they look in Arizona is insurance against injuries and suckiness and whatever.

  95. tmac9311 on February 1st, 2010 10:33 am

    We really need a post about this Garko signing, does this mean 11 man pitching staff? I don’t see who you send down, Hannahan, Langerhauns, Johnson are all required on the bench. If you send Langerhuans down your fourth outfielder is Griffey. I think you could survive with an 11 man pitching staff, especially with the King and Lee pitching 2/5ths of the games. Maybe Brynes isn’t expected to make the team, but then you’re still left with Griffey as the 4th OF.

    EDIT: You just put it up, you can just delete this now.

  96. Dobbs on February 1st, 2010 12:01 pm

    “Maybe you should have waited with this comment until someone attempted to discredit Dave.”

    People are attempting to discredit or question Dave’s intel on every post I read here.

  97. Leroy Stanton on February 1st, 2010 12:15 pm

    People are attempting to discredit or question Dave’s intel on every post I read here.

    There’s a HUGE difference between discrediting (Dave) and questioning (an opinion). And Dave’s “intel” is his opinion, albeit a very informed opinion.

  98. Dobbs on February 1st, 2010 2:35 pm

    Ah man, I’m going to skip this conversation. Enjoy doing what you do.

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