Game Fifteen Recap

Dave · April 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yay, 8-7.

Again, comments a bit brief, since I didn’t get to see the game.

Vargas with another good performance, and at this point, I can’t see how the M’s can justify taking him out of the rotation. Five more strikeouts give him 16 in 18 1/3 innings on the season, as he’s using his change-up to generate swinging strikes. His ERA might be higher than Fister’s, but he’s showing more reasons to believe he can sustain quality performances going forward. We know what strike throwing flyball lefties can do in this park and in front of the Mariners defense, and the M’s have another opportunity to take advantage of that formula.

Oh, and I think you can officially forget about Jarrrod Washburn. If nothing else, you have to love Vargas for that.

In less happy news, Milton Bradley exits with a tight calf after the first inning. I said this in my interview with the guys at KGA the other night, but the M’s simply can’t expect Bradley to carry the burden they’ve asked him to handle in the first few weeks of the season. He’s not an everyday player, especially not when he has to also play the outfield. He needs to DH frequently and get regular days off, but unfortunately, the M’s roster isn’t really setup to handle right-handed pitchers without him. This is going to have to change, and the sooner, the better.

Chone Figgins saw 28 pitchers in four trips to the plate, but also made another out on the bases. I didn’t see it, so I’ll withhold too much judgment, but I’d still like to go at least one game without giving the other team an out.

Jose Lopez is hitting .246/.266/.262. He’s just not a clean-up hitter, not even on this team. Move him down, Wak.

Can you imagine being Dave Trembley right now? His team is 2-13, faces Felix Hernandez tomorrow, and then has 12 consecutive games against the Red Sox and Yankees before a four game series against the Twins. There’s a chance (okay, it’s pretty remote, but still) that Baltimore could be 2-30 on May 10. Pretty sure he won’t still be managing by then, though. Good luck to whoever takes over for him, because this could get real ugly in Baltimore.

Comments

75 Responses to “Game Fifteen Recap”

  1. wtnuke on April 20th, 2010 10:00 pm

    I love Doug Fister, but I guess he makes for good insurance if/when we have more rotation injury issues. Does anyone see a package of players that could be used as trade bait? I’m not thinking of a trade for anyone in particular here, but just doing some early-season speculation.

  2. Kazinski on April 20th, 2010 10:03 pm

    You can’t blame Figgins at all for the out. It was a going on contact sort of play. Lopez’s ground ball kind of led the 3rd baseman over towards the bag, and with a normal lead and a couple of steps toward home on a ground ball and he was committed to go for it, cause going back to 3rd wasn’t an option.

  3. henryv on April 20th, 2010 10:04 pm

    I love Doug Fister, but I guess he makes for good insurance if/when we have more rotation injury issues.

    Any time you have Bedard within 10 miles of your roster, you’re going to need a 6th starter somewhere close.

    Is it possible that Fister could develop a more improved hugging ability to replace Sweeney as the designated hugger, as well?

  4. naloomis on April 20th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Yes..please move lopez down

  5. henryv on April 20th, 2010 10:13 pm

    Let me get this right… If an outfielder gets hurt tomorrow, we’re going to send Griffey out there.

    I think we may want to bubble-wrap Byrnes.

  6. Dave on April 20th, 2010 10:16 pm

    Even better – Sweeney’s going to start at DH, since Wak wants to let him play once in a while, so against a right-hander, we’re going to have Byrnes/Sweeney/Johnson/Wilson in the line-up.

    Don’t expect much offense against Millwood tomorrow. Felix is going to have be brilliant.

  7. Liam on April 20th, 2010 10:16 pm

    Matt Tuiasosopo got some work in the outfield this Spring, so he’ll probably get the call if needed.

  8. Colm on April 20th, 2010 10:22 pm

    “Don’t expect much offense against Millwood tomorrow. Felix is going to have be brilliant.”

    I’m bringing my kids to the game for my birthday. There’s every chance they’ll be back by their usual bedtime.

  9. Chris_From_Bothell on April 20th, 2010 10:23 pm

    He needs to DH frequently and get regular days off, but unfortunately, the M’s roster isn’t really setup to handle right-handed pitchers without him. This is going to have to change, and the sooner, the better.

    Ok. How? Who do you replace, and with who?

  10. Colm on April 20th, 2010 10:23 pm

    “Can you imagine being Dave Trembley right now?”

    I bet his knees are all trembly!

    (Oh dear.)

  11. Liam on April 20th, 2010 10:23 pm

    After his hit in the eight, Sims and Blowers made mention of Griffey looking toward the dugout to see if someone was going to run for him. Then Sims made a quip about how he was on his own.

  12. wetzelcoatl on April 20th, 2010 10:24 pm

    The question is why on earth was Figgins going on contact with one out when he was on third. The Mariners essentially traded a runner on third for a runner on first.

  13. joser on April 20th, 2010 10:25 pm

    On this date in 1988, the Orioles were still more than a week away from their first win. (And it only took 6 straight losses opening the season to get the manager fired). But yeah, they could match (or worse) where they were on May 2, 1988: 2-23. And everybody thought the Jays were going to be the basketcase of the AL East. (Though… it is a long season).

    I’m much happier with where the M’s are: one Felix win and one A’s loss (to the Yankees) away from taking over first in the West.

  14. Dave on April 20th, 2010 10:26 pm

    Ok. How? Who do you replace, and with who?

    Really? You’re not sure which guy I don’t think belongs on this roster. I haven’t beaten that horse enough?

  15. MrZDevotee on April 20th, 2010 10:27 pm

    I’m liking what we’re seeing right now. The stars aligned when the schedule was put together for the early part of the season. BUT! I’m not understanding why Bradley and Kotchman continue to bat behind Lopez and Griffey.

    We need the middle of the lineup to drive in runs, obviously. Especially now that Ichiro and Figgins are dialing it in. But Lopez and Griffey aren’t doing it (4 and 4 RBI’s respectively), while Bradley and Kotchman are (10 and 12 RBI’s respectively).

    What gives? Griffey at 6, and Lopez at 7 makes more sense– where their plodding gallops, and propensity to find infielders’ gloves with ground balls won’t be as costly, and the occasional longball will be appreciated.

    Meanwhile, both Bradley and Kotchman are hitting the ball hard, and more patient at the plate.

    C’mon Wak, what are we missing? Let’s get some mileage out of Bradley before he blows a head gasket (or, er, leg gasket?).

  16. joser on April 20th, 2010 10:30 pm

    After his hit in the eight, Sims and Blowers made mention of Griffey looking toward the dugout to see if someone was going to run for him.

    Yeah, Griffey made a hands-on-shoulders sign to the dugout (I would’ve thought the “Do I get a pinch runner?” sign would be hands-clutching-knees, but whatever). And I found myself musing: Tui in to run for Griffey, and then if anybody gets hurt… how good of a hitter is Aardsma?

  17. CCW on April 20th, 2010 10:30 pm

    …the M’s roster isn’t really set up to handle right-handed pitchers without him…

    I’m sorry, but the words “set up” implies a level of a logic to the roster construction that I’m just not seeing. It’s dumb to carry a DH-platoon of two guys who can’t play the field at all, and it’s double-dumb to do so when those guys can’t hit. It’s borderline insanity to do so when your starting left-fielder is Milton Bradley.

    I know it’s fun to talk about huggability and all when the M’s are mowing down the Orioles, but when they play a real baseball team, this is going to get serious. The M’s have already passed over better choices just to get themselves into this situation. How long before they’ve really done some damage to the season?

  18. MrZDevotee on April 20th, 2010 10:37 pm

    Joser-
    Felix has the power swing of the pitching staff, remember?! (That’s still a favorite moment– Felix’s eyes closed, slack handed, one foot on the ground Grand Slam.)

    A couple of extra homeruns could help his Cy Young chances.

  19. Chris_From_Bothell on April 20th, 2010 10:38 pm

    You’re not sure which guy I don’t think belongs on this roster. I haven’t beaten that horse enough?

    Yes, I know, you’d swap Sweeney with Langerhans. But seriously, since we know that won’t happen, what would Wakamatsu and Zduriencik be likely to actually do?

  20. Kazinski on April 20th, 2010 10:42 pm

    Ok. How? Who do you replace, and with who?

    My guess right now would be Sweeney with Hannahan. I’m sure Dave would say Langerhans, but I think two infielders on the bench is a better choice, since Tui can play the corners in the OF. Langerhans doesn’t provide that flexibility, and if you replace Tui with Hannahan down the road, that still doesn’t give you any flexibility.

  21. Adam B. on April 20th, 2010 10:43 pm

    What’s the over-under on the Mariners being in contention and Griffey still picking up at-bats?

    If the sum of his production are still rolling singles between the first and second basemen in June, will we finally see a change then?

    I know being a face of a franchise earns a player a certain amount of lee-way, but didn’t he use most of that leash last year?

    It continues to boggle my mind that Wakamatsu is willing to place such an impotent bat in the middle of the line-up each day for the simple sake of “auld lang sine”.

  22. Liam on April 20th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Yes, I know, you’d swap Sweeney with Langerhans. But seriously, since we know that won’t happen, what would Wakamatsu and Zduriencik be likely to actually do?

    If Milton Bradley continues to have nagging injuries, I don’t see how they have a choice. For all the talk about how Mike Sweeney earned his spot on the team and how they needed his bat in the lineup, he’s appeared in four games. There’s an obvious need and an underused roster spot.

  23. Chris_From_Bothell on April 20th, 2010 10:48 pm

    What’s the over-under on the Mariners being in contention and Griffey still picking up at-bats?

    My dark conspiracy theory is that Wakamatsu is playing him so much, and having him run so often on the basepaths, in a subtle bid to try to get him just enough of a nagging injury to put Griffey on the DL semi-permanently but not enough to induce PTSD about his time in Cincinnati. Putting him in left field would probably do it in about 3 games, but that would be too obvious.

  24. JeffJ254 on April 20th, 2010 10:50 pm

    My guess is they’d put someone on the DL with a slightly-fake injury (Silva last year?). That way the player could stay in the dugout, but we could call someone up. Maybe Sweeney’s back injury would flare up again.

    I’m not really sure what else they could do, other than go back to a 6 man bullpen. Lately the starters have been going farther into games than during that horrible first week, they could probably make it work for a few days and send Colome back down.

  25. diderot on April 20th, 2010 10:50 pm

    when they play a real baseball team, this is going to get serious.

    What the man said.

    I know being a face of a franchise earns a player a certain amount of lee-way, but didn’t he use most of that leash last year?

    What that man said, too.

    In terms of both roster construction and lineup, there are decisions being made that hinder our performance. There’s just no question about that.

    Wak and Jack…you’re better than this.

  26. G-Man on April 20th, 2010 10:56 pm

    I keep thinking that the rationale for the current lineup is that someone of the Jr/Sweeney/Milton troika is expected to get injured, thereby making the roster decision for them. Barring that, I will pray that Sweeney will be cast off when it becomes clear that none of the above are happening. Or maybe Jr has a few 15-day DL visits written into his contract. ;)

  27. Kazinski on April 20th, 2010 11:01 pm

    I should also note that when it comes to who to replace with who, replacing Byrnes with Langerhans could start making sense pretty soon. Byrnes has not looked good defensively regardless of his small sample size offensive ineptitude. Langerhans would at least give you better options defensively.

  28. SethGrandpa on April 20th, 2010 11:04 pm

    Jack Wilson is out slugging both Griffey and Lopez. Our 4 & 5 hitters everybody!

  29. juneau_fan on April 20th, 2010 11:11 pm

    Let me get this right… If an outfielder gets hurt tomorrow, we’re going to send Griffey out there.

    I think we may want to bubble-wrap Byrnes.

    Too bad he assured us all in his post game interview the other day after all his goofball fielding and that slam into the catcher at home that he plays the way he plays and he’s not gonna stop and go all out and dirty uniforms and grit and blah, blah, tasty cakes.

    I just hope some coach claps him on the shoulder, says, you’re right Eric, now look at the bench and play it safe.

  30. Kazinski on April 20th, 2010 11:16 pm

    The Crisis is officially here. Wak says that Milton is going to be out for the next two days. That leaves either Griffey or Sweeney at DH, and Tui as the lone bench option on defense for 7 positions.

    On the bright side, Vargas just pitched, and I think he’d be a great LF option both offensively and defensively if needed.

  31. Liam on April 20th, 2010 11:17 pm

    Kazinski,

    The Mariners have an off day on Thursday.

  32. Kazinski on April 20th, 2010 11:20 pm

    What about Wednesday?

  33. G-Man on April 20th, 2010 11:23 pm

    replacing Byrnes with Langerhans could start making sense pretty soon.

    Hmm, I am thinking that I like this idea.

  34. Liam on April 20th, 2010 11:23 pm

    It’s not an ideal situation to be in, but it’s only one game.

  35. CMC_Stags on April 20th, 2010 11:37 pm

    Ok. How? Who do you replace, and with who?

    Full shuffle -

    Griffey and Sweenedy to DL/cut/etc and replaced with Langerhans and Hannahan (when healthy).

    Langerhans/Byrnes platoon in LF and Bradley is the every day DH. Hannahan backs up 1B/2B/SS/3B and is LH bench bat. Tui backs up 1B/2B/3B/RF/LF and is RH bench bat.

    Each day the bench would be Langerhans/Byrnes, Hannahan, Tui, and Johnson/Moore.

  36. JMHawkins on April 20th, 2010 11:46 pm

    Yes, I know, you’d swap Sweeney with Langerhans. But seriously, since we know that won’t happen, what would Wakamatsu and Zduriencik be likely to actually do?

    It sure looks like they’re going to stick with the current ThinIce(tm) roster until Bradley lands on the DL. I really don’t understand it.

    Seeney’s a nice guy, had a great spring, I wish him well, but at this point in his career he’s a role player and he doesn’t have a role on this team. Bring up Langerhans and move Bradley to DH. Then when Hannahan is ready, decide which they’d rather have: the Ghost as a PH or that 7th bullpen arm. Personally I’d send Coloume out and keep Junior, but then I hate 7-man bullpens. Espeicially when there’s no LOOGY.

  37. Adam S on April 20th, 2010 11:47 pm

    2-30 is less than 1% chance, but something like 5-27 or 6-26 has a good chance of happening. How did the Orioles get so bad?

    Dave, with Vargas locked in, does Snell or Fister get bumped from the rotation when Lee returns next Sunday?

  38. PackBob on April 21st, 2010 12:17 am

    Griffey looks fat and slow; Lopez looks lost. The way they look right now, it’s hard to imagine them ever getting close to even a sub-par 4/5 combo.

  39. Kazinski on April 21st, 2010 12:19 am

    does Snell or Fister get bumped from the rotation when Lee returns next Sunday?

    That is Sunday after next, there are still two turns through the rotation (1 for Vargas), before Lee’s May 2nd start. There is no reason for Wakamatsu to make any sort of a decision yet.

  40. naviomelo on April 21st, 2010 12:31 am

    Snell’s the only starter that’s really looked terrible so far. I suppose he gets a pass for being under the weather and having just dealt with family obligations last time out. Does he have any options? Maybe he could just request an AAA assignment again.

    Yes, Lopez needs to be moved down in the order.

    Griffey and Sweenedy to DL/cut/etc and replaced with Langerhans and Hannahan (when healthy).

    Great idea, but very unlikely. As long as we’re carrying Griffey and Sweeney, we’re going to have the problem of putting Bradley in the field more often than he should be just so one of them can DH.

  41. Breadbaker on April 21st, 2010 2:36 am

    I presume Snell is a good candidate to be the long man after Lee is back, and one of the kids goes down to Tacoma where he can pitch again (we needed that extra pitcher exactly one game, right?).

    Reason not to run aggressively for the next few days: imagine Wilson, Gutierrez or Figgins hurt in a play at the plate. Adam Moore, left fielder?

  42. mstrofppts on April 21st, 2010 3:36 am

    Does anybody know who we have in the pen with remaining options? What are the chances that someone from there would get demoted instead of Vargas/Fister?

  43. Mekias on April 21st, 2010 5:33 am

    I think there’s a good chance that Colome goes down when Lee comes back. I don’t know if he has any options and I don’t particularly care.

    I love that Byrnes goes all out on every play. Even if he gets injured, Langerhans and even Saunders are only a call away. It’s not like they can be worse than Byrnes has been so far.

    Lopez and Griffey in 4 & 5 spots is getting ridiculous. Wak moves Bradley and Kotchman down in the order based on handful of at-bats but yet will keep Lopey & Griff flailing away for weeks just because we’re winning. Either Wak is seriously superstitious or he’s blind. I just don’t get it. All the belief systems in the world won’t give Griffey back his bat speed.

    I can’t believe no one has brought up Jack Wilson’s advance to third right after Izturis threw the ball to first for 2 outs. Some might say that it was smart base running but I though that was pretty risky and the benefits were minimal. But I can’t get too mad at Jack, his defense has been stellar and he’s actually hitting now too.

    BTW, grats to Moore for his ringing double and to Jack for knocking him in. That’s an unlikely run scoring tandem right there.

  44. Paul B on April 21st, 2010 6:51 am

    It’s not an ideal situation to be in, but it’s only one game.

    Until Bradley tweaks something again.

  45. Paul B on April 21st, 2010 6:54 am

    Reason not to run aggressively for the next few days: imagine Wilson, Gutierrez or Figgins hurt in a play at the plate. Adam Moore, left fielder?

    Or they’d find Griffey a glove and prop him up in left.

  46. LongTimeFan on April 21st, 2010 7:08 am

    My dream scenario (given the current roster construct) would be for Griffey to go on the DL and the return of the 6-man bullpen which would allow Langerhans/Byrnes in left and Bradley to DH with Sweeney getting a few reps there and Hannahan on the bench. I would prefer Sweeney’s bat off the bench to Griffey’s,at least Sweeney can still hit some rocket line drives and appears to be a step or two quicker than Grandpa. This proposed scenario seems very doable to me, how can we make it happen?

  47. Chris_From_Bothell on April 21st, 2010 7:14 am

    My dream scenario (given the current roster construct) would be for Griffey to go on the DL …. This proposed scenario seems very doable to me, how can we make it happen?

    And now, here they come, your 2010 Seattle Mariners… in left field, #24, Ken Griffey Jr. …

  48. LongTimeFan on April 21st, 2010 7:19 am

    No jinx intended, but Felix has an excellent chance to throw a no-hitter tonight. Stay tuned.

  49. tubbabubba22 on April 21st, 2010 7:20 am

    Guys, Easy on Griffey. Geez. I understand what bothers you, I really do. But he is not the one making the roster moves! Yesterday he had two solid hits and a walk. I understand some people being mad, but almost every comment has been negatively directed ken griffey jr, after he had a pretty good game.

  50. Paul B on April 21st, 2010 7:41 am

    Fangraphs has posted UZR ratings for the first time this season.

    SSS, of course, but fun nonetheless.

    The Mariners are on pace for a 9.4/150, which puts them 5th in all of the major leagues.

    Among individual players, Kotchman, Wilson, and Bradley are in negative territory.

    In addition to being fragile, Bradley’s not a particularly good fielder. Not horrible, but not good either. So further reason to move him to being a DH most of the time.

    I don’t have an explanation for Wilson’s UZR.

    Lopez has been very good at third.

    Catcher’s don’t have a rating. And regarding first, since I was surprised by Kotchman’s UZR, they say

    Also keep in mind that UZR does not include first basemen “scoops” or the ability of the first baseman to influence hits and errors caused by errant throws from the other infielders. According to my (MGL) research, yearly “scoops” numbers are generally in the 1-4 run range, which means that the true talent range of most first basemen with respect to “scoops” is probably in the plus or minus 2 runs per year range – i.e., not much.

    And for fun, I had to check how Yuni is doing. He’s on pace for slightly worse than last year.

  51. Paul B on April 21st, 2010 7:52 am

    after he had a pretty good game.

    One game is a pretty small sample to make any decisions on, don’t you think?

  52. tubbabubba22 on April 21st, 2010 8:11 am

    I totally agree Paul B. It is just surprising to me that all this bashing is coming right after a decent game. And secondly, it is just kind of depressing to come to USS mariner and have all the comments be so negative. We won 3-1, we are on a GREAT homestand, above .500 without cliff lee and erik bedard, and Griffey had a decent game. I know you have to be realistic too but at least enjoy the win for a while. It is just not fun when everyone is soo negative. Here’s what I mean,

    Griffey looks fat and slow; Lopez looks lost. The way they look right now, it’s hard to imagine them ever getting close to even a sub-par 4/5 combo.

    True, but harsh.

    My dark conspiracy theory is that Wakamatsu is playing him so much, and having him run so often on the basepaths, in a subtle bid to try to get him just enough of a nagging injury to put Griffey on the DL semi-permanently but not enough to induce PTSD about his time in Cincinnati. Putting him in left field would probably do it in about 3 games, but that would be too obvious.

    Really?

    Or maybe Jr has a few 15-day DL visits written into his contract. ;)

    This is the guy that built baseball in Seattle, and now we are cheering for him to get hurt? I understand that the Mariners have better options, I really do. But at the same time, it is not up to us to cheer for a man that as clearly earned our respect to get hurt. It is also not our job to call him names. Regardless of how you feel, name calling and DL calling is not really cool.

  53. Coach24 on April 21st, 2010 8:49 am

    @ wetzelcoatl:
    With a runner on 3rd and 1 out, especially with a fast runner on 3rd and the infield back the runner is going for home as soon as he reads the ball on the ground. Most of the time the runner scores with no problem. In this case the Lopez at bat was so bad that the 3rd Baseman had to charge it and had an easy throw home. Don’t blame Figgins for being able to recognize ground ball off of the bat and do his job. The blame for this play rest completely on another BAD at bat for Lopez.

  54. Snuffleupagus on April 21st, 2010 8:54 am

    I don’t see negativism on this site, I see reality.

    No one is trashing Griffey as a person, they are pointing out that he isn’t very good at hitting a baseball anymore. It’s a fact. It’s not meant to be mean to him. People go out of their way around here to talk about how Griffey is great and they’re sure Sweeney is nice.

    The point is that the decisions now are hurting the team because they are hurting Bradley and limiting our flexibility. We’ve also managed to forget during all of this that Jack Wilson is injury prone too.

    What are we going to do when both Jack Wilson and Milton Bradley need a day of rest? Our bench will be a catcher? What the hell is that?

    I’m happy to find the criticism here on USS because it’s criticism that the mainstream media in Seattle should be bringing on the organization. The post game interviews with Wak should be pushing this issue and forcing him to answer it.

    If the media makes the stupidity of the current situation apparent to the general sports fandom in Seattle, it will no longer be worth it for the organization to force this idiocy on the club (my assumption).

    And yes, I would replace Sweeney with Langerhans or with Hannahan. I think the people talking about Griffey going on the DL are *not* rooting for him to get hurt. We are rooting for the team to pretend he is hurt so they can field the best team possible.

    All during last year I was a huge defender of Griffey on the team and even the resigning. But, the current situation is ridiculous.

  55. zjmuglidny on April 21st, 2010 9:20 am

    Let me get this right… If an outfielder gets hurt tomorrow, we’re going to send Griffey out there.

    It’s been made clear that Figgins is not a utility man, but I like to think he would be willing to play the outfield for half a game if absolutely needed (bringing Tui off the bench). Does anybody know if Wak or any other M higher-up has spoken to this? How etched in stone is this agreement with Figgins?

  56. G-Man on April 21st, 2010 9:21 am

    To explain wisecrack about Griffey having “a few 15-day DL visits written into his contract.” I am not rooting for injury; I was tongue-in-cheek wondering if Ken had agreed in advance to go on the DL a few times to get some rest. He’d stay fresher without taking up a roster spot grabbing pine a couple times a week. He could still be Designated Practical Joker in the clubhouse at these times.

  57. mironos on April 21st, 2010 9:25 am

    Before I get to roster complaints — boy, I’m sure having fun watching Jack Wilson’s defense. He is so smooth and quick. Beautiful to watch. And now that he’s starting to hit a little, the fun of watching his defense is a little less tainted.

    Good to see Moore get a hit. Sure would love to see him hit more consistently, and see Rob Johnson…well…never.

    As for the roster — doesn’t it seem like we’re really just missing a good/decent LF who isn’t injury prone? Put that guy in left, Bradley to DH/backup OF, Griffey to pinch hitter/prankster, Sweeney to the free agent list. There, problem solved. See, easy. ;-)

  58. Jeff Nye on April 21st, 2010 9:26 am

    Here’s the thing:

    You can make a good argument that Griffey “earned” last year’s farewell tour with his past heroics. I would disagree, but I can see the case for it.

    But now, Griffey is a year older, slower, and fatter, and his presence is an active detriment to the team’s roster flexibility and performance on the field.

    You can’t expect people to keep giving him a pass indefinitely for something that is ten years in the past now, even if you accept the premise that Griffey single-handedly “saved” baseball in Seattle.

  59. Ralph_Malph on April 21st, 2010 9:30 am

    With a runner on 3rd and 1 out, especially with a fast runner on 3rd and the infield back the runner is going for home as soon as he reads the ball on the ground.

    Absolutely right. If no one went on contact on this play, then there would be no reason to ever play the infield in. You play the infield in so you can throw the guy out if he goes on contact.

    As far as Langerhans, now that he cleared waivers he’s off the 40-man roster, right? So to bring him up they’d have to get rid of somebody (assuming they put Sweeney or Griffey on the DL with a phantom injury). That’s why I’d have to figure if it’s between Hannahan and Langerhans to bring up it would be Hannahan.

    If they released Sweeney, they could put Langerhans back on the 40, of course.

    By the way, Saunders’ early line in Tacoma is 167/239/167.

  60. mlathrop3 on April 21st, 2010 9:34 am

    Even better – Sweeney’s going to start at DH, since Wak wants to let him play once in a while, so against a right-hander, we’re going to have Byrnes/Sweeney/Johnson/Wilson in the line-up.

    Don’t expect much offense against Millwood tomorrow. Felix is going to have be brilliant.

    Don’t expect much offense at all… the over/under is 7 for this game, trending to 6 1/2.

  61. Kazinski on April 21st, 2010 9:41 am

    It’s been made clear that Figgins is not a utility man, but I like to think he would be willing to play the outfield for half a game if absolutely needed…

    What purpose is being served by having Figgins play the outfield even in an emergency? Tuiosopo is a perfectly adequate corner outfielder. And you’d gain absolutely nothing by putting Tui in at second and Figgins in the outfield.

  62. LongTimeFan on April 21st, 2010 9:44 am

    I hoped for a Griffey return to Seattle for years and I love that he is on this team and I would be over the moon if the Mariners could punch through and win their first World Series with the Seattle Kid, Ken Griffey, Jr. on the team and then he rides off into the sunset. Believe me, that would keep me on a high note for years!

    But it is becoming more and more obvious that the best chance the Mariners have of winning a WS is if Griffey cedes a great deal of his playing time to others. He just doesn’t appear to have a whole lot left in the talent tank and he tires easily, but I would love to have some key Griffey pinch hits or spot starts in the playoffs.

  63. fret_24 on April 21st, 2010 9:44 am

    Figgins didn’t make a base running error. You just can’t get back to the 3b bag when a grounder is hit at it. He made the only move that had a potential outcome that was positive. Even if he wasn’t going on contact he would have had to go on that one.

  64. zjmuglidny on April 21st, 2010 9:47 am

    Tuiosopo is a perfectly adequate corner outfielder.

    I didn’t know Tui could adequately handle the outfield. If you’re just as sound defensively with him in LF and Figgins at 2B as vice versa, great.

    What’s all this talk about Griffey in the outfield if Tui can play there?

  65. MuadDib on April 21st, 2010 10:24 am

    I hate to be the rain at the parade, but I think we need to keep a couple things in mind. Yes, the bats started perking up against Detroit. Yes, the team as a whole is bound to hit better than it did on the opening road trip…..BUT this is still not a proficient run scoring team and due to our recent personnel actions we are quite shallow when it comes to bench depth. We are currently playing the Orioles who are a bad team playing badly. We should expect to be winning series against an opponent like this. I’m a diehard Mariners fan and I will support them no matter what thier record, but lets not get too excited until we show we can bang with the big boys on the east coast.

  66. eponymous coward on April 21st, 2010 10:53 am

    Guys, Easy on Griffey. Geez. I understand what bothers you, I really do. But he is not the one making the roster moves! Yesterday he had two solid hits and a walk. I understand some people being mad, but almost every comment has been negatively directed ken griffey jr, after he had a pretty good game.

    Griffey’s hitting .263/.317/.289, with a .326 BABIP (which, if he sustained it over an entire season, would be his best since 1991, when he was 21). ZIPS is projecting him for a season OPS of .670.

    Basically, Griffey’s turned into a version of Richie Sexson (OPS last two seasons, mostly with Mariners: ~.700) that hugs teammates and can be used for marketing.

  67. Kazinski on April 21st, 2010 11:10 am

    What’s all this talk about Griffey in the outfield if Tui can play there?

    Tui is the only reserve infielder, and when Bradley is out, he is the only one who can play outfield on the bench too. I guess it is not a huge concern, but with Bradley out we are two injuries/ejections away from Griffey playing the outfield.

    It is not too hard to envision Wilson and Byrnes running into each other on a pop fly tonight and then you’d be treated to the sight of Tui at SS and Griffey in LF.

  68. eponymous coward on April 21st, 2010 11:17 am

    To be honest, if you’re going to play Griffey in the OF as a result of having to carry him and Mascot and needing to fill in for Bradley, you might as well do it tonight: you’ve got a dominant pitcher on the mound capable of striking a lot of guys out or making them hit weak grounders, facing a bewildered and slumping lineup on the road. Sub in Byrnes in the late innings as a defensive replacement, hopefully after you’ve taken a lead. It’s not like you’re throwing a flyball pitcher like Hyphen.

  69. MrZDevotee on April 21st, 2010 11:35 am

    I have a fear that the decision necessary to get us on a better track is marred by a lot of politics in the front office. And as such, just like with politics, the decision won’t come until the situation is past its breaking point. (Isn’t it George Carlin who said “Once a problem reaches the level of politics it is, by definition, unfixable?”)

    Griffey and Sweeney are like Michael Clark Duncan and Tom Hanks in the Green Mile. Sitting in the locker room, clanging empty metal cups on the bars of the cell, waiting for the electric chair.

    It’s only a matter of time.

    It’s also like the major problem in American healthcare that nobody wants to touch with a ten-foot-pole… At what point, and at what cost, does keeping the elderly alive unbalance and tip over completely the scales of quality of life? (I don’t have the answers mind you, just personally going through that with two different 90+ year old great grandmothers… One with dementia, and one about to get a hip replacement that won’t be covered by insurance.)

  70. MrZDevotee on April 21st, 2010 11:37 am

    Eponymous-
    Excellent point. Wasn’t it Felix’s last start where he was into the 6th inning before a ball had left the infield? This would be a good game to get Griffey in the outfield, if you absolutely had to.

  71. CCW on April 21st, 2010 11:50 am

    I think I speak for most people here when I say that I certainly don’t *want* Griffey to get hurt, nor do I want him to be unceremoniously released, or anything like that. What I REALLY want is for him to exit gracefully, to the accolades and applause he deserves. Caveat: I’d like that happen soon.

    The problem is that it’s hard to come up with a realistic scenario in which that happens and, frankly, I blame Griffey for this to a degree. When he said he wanted to come back for another year, he put the organization in a somewhat difficult position. Yes, the FO agreed to bring him back, but I believe there was a tacit agreement that he would act in the best interests of the team as the year unfolded. Now, I think he owes it to the team to help it out of this situation.

    Griffey should hang up the spikes. His legacy can only be tarnished from here on out. He should become a coach for the rest of 2010 so he can celebrate the World Series victory with the rest of the team and we can see his smiling face at the bottom of another pile.

  72. LongTimeFan on April 21st, 2010 1:13 pm

    To be honest, if you’re going to play Griffey in the OF … you might as well do it tonight …

    Except you’d hate to see Felix’s no hitter ruined on a catchable sinking liner to left that Griffey lets fall in or gets burned over the top on a line drive. 1-hit ball is infinitely less charming than the alternate outcome.

  73. tubbabubba22 on April 21st, 2010 2:20 pm

    I understand. I wasn’t trying to be mean, I just didn’t want people to be angry. Sorry. Maybe part of my sadness comes from the fact that he isn’t what he used to be anymore.

  74. eponymous coward on April 21st, 2010 2:47 pm

    Except you’d hate to see Felix’s no hitter ruined on a catchable sinking liner to left that Griffey lets fall in or gets burned over the top on a line drive. 1-hit ball is infinitely less charming than the alternate outcome.

    Right, but given the universe of suboptimal options we have here due to management’s insistence on keeping two bad players on the roster for non-baseball related reasons, I’d say playing Griffey in LF during a Felix start, and using Byrnes as his legs in the late innings is a pretty defensible option.

  75. Jeff Nye on April 21st, 2010 3:31 pm

    Part of the frustration people have, too, is watching an otherwise very smart organization be held back by being mired in (sorry but I have to be candid) a past that wasn’t that great in the first place.

    At some point, 1995 has to take its place in the history books. It isn’t coming back, and the players who could be part of the NEXT great Mariners team should be getting more attention than trying to recreate the past.

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