M’s Panic, Do Stupid Thing

Dave · May 31, 2010 at 10:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners decided to shake up the roster after a third straight one run loss, which could have been a good thing. Instead, they decided to scapegoat Kanekoa Texeira, making the ridiculous decision to designate him for assignment, ending his career as a Mariner. More wisely, they also DFA’d Jesus Colome, using the roster spots to recall Sean White and Garrett Olson.

The M’s obsession with Sean White continues to baffle the mind. Make no mistake – Sean White is a horrible pitcher, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. He’s thrown 112 innings in the major leagues, posting an xFIP of 5.33. Replacement level for a reliever is about 4.50. White doesn’t do anything well. Despite the reputation as a sinkerball guy, he doesn’t get that many ground balls (career rate of 49 percent, 44 percent this year, league average is about 44 percent), he doesn’t strike anyone out (career 3.94 K/9, which is atrocious), and he doesn’t throw strikes (career 3.70 BB/9). He does not possess a single major league skill. He’s Triple-A fodder, the kind of mediocre middle reliever that every team in the PCL has several of. Put simply, he sucks.

You know who doesn’t suck? Kanekoa Texeira, who is better at absolutely everything than Sean White. His fastball has more movement, his breaking ball is a legitimate outpitch, and he’s shown the ability to actually get hitters from both sides of the plate out. Yes, the sample size is ridiculously small (18 2/3 innings in the majors), but even with his recent struggles, his 4.32 xFIP is a run better than White’s mark, because he actually has pitched pretty well at times. He has present value and future value – two things Sean White does not currently have, nor will he ever have.

I’d call this rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but by getting rid of Texeira, it’s more like tossing one of the life preservers over board. He’s a legitimate major league reliever, and one of the few guys in the bullpen who could get lefties out. Yes, he had a couple of bad outings, but dumping him is just dumb. You know who is still here, though? Matt Tuiasosopo, he of the .383 OPS. And now we have his equally crappy relief twin back on the team. This is all just so stupid.

Meanwhile, the problems with the roster are no more fixed than they were before this pseudo purge. This is just as useless as firing Alan Cockrell, but with more downside, as the Mariners actually got rid of part of the solution.

Remember that front office of last year that did everything right? I want that one back. This one isn’t much fun. This team could be good, but the front office is finding new and creative ways to screw it up. Chalk up another bad decision in a trend that is getting really annoying.


84 Responses to “M’s Panic, Do Stupid Thing”

  1. beadyeyes123 on June 1st, 2010 10:09 am

    Beadyeyes, there are currently two open slots. Colome and Texeira were removed from the 40 man, while White and Olson were already on it.

    I wonder if a trade is coming?

  2. Gomez on June 1st, 2010 10:10 am

    The Texeira DFA absolutely baffled me. If bad outings are a disqualifier then every pitcher in that bullpen warrants a DFA. But they should be, and he didn’t warrant a dismissal unless something was wrong behind closed doors and they felt they had to get him out of there.

    The worst is that he’s a Rule 5 guy and there isn’t even a chance he’ll outright clear waivers to Tacoma unless they pull an unlikely repeat of the R.A. Dickey scenario and send somebody over to the Yankees.

    Thing is… Kanekoa did have the capability to work longer relief outings, but that’s not how Wak used him. Eventually there’s only so much control he has over the team’s pitching, but Wak is becoming an increasingly clear common denominator in the bullpen’s struggles.

  3. SonOfZavaras on June 1st, 2010 10:14 am

    Okay. Texeira’s gone. Not only does this move stink, but it’s all kinds of wrong timing. The Yankees aren’t likely to trade a useful bullpen arm back to us with their current relief issues. They’ll probably just plug him into THEIR bullpen.

    Does Sean White own extremely embarrassing photographs of Armstrong and/or Lincoln? I’m trying to figure out this org-crush on him.

    I admit I didn’t expect Mangini to hit AAA-pitching like he has, but I don’t think another rookie is the answer.

    I don’t even know if we’re past the point where we should be looking for answers to salvage this season. Personally, I don’t think we should punt on 2010 yet (i.e. trade Lee, Aardsma and others).

    But if we’re no better off in the standings by the time the Cubbies are around on the 22nd? Time to sell.

    Jack Z didn’t go from genius to simpleton in one off-season, doubters. You could make a strong case for him not being as lucky as last year, but the truth is we have a fine, competent GM.

    And I’m hoping he pulls something off this year that makes you bandwagon-jumpers do what you deserve to: eat poop with humble pie while looking for a spot back on the wagon.

  4. Gomez on June 1st, 2010 10:24 am

    Correction to my last post (and yes, I didn’t catch it until I came back just now):

    But they should be —> but they shouldn’t be

    The only other way this move makes sense is if there’s a trade in the pipeline for some bullpen/hitting help and they had to open up spots on the 40 man. Otherwise….

  5. Drew Garret on June 1st, 2010 10:27 am

    “You know who is still here, though? Matt Tuiasosopo, he of the .383 OPS.”
    This is a mind blower. Having wacthed him 2 years in Spring Training he has played well… but bring him up to the bigs and he doesn’t perform. This is a player that needs to play every day and develope. Leaving him up might be permantly hurting his progress. “You know who is till here…” Griffy almost ended the game… with a double play. I think he would be more productive hitting to the opposite field then trying to end the game with a home run.

  6. pumacamo on June 1st, 2010 10:29 am

    Like we have been doing so all year, I guess it’s worth us critiquing the marginal changes that occur such as the DFA’ing of Colome and demotion of Tex. Since the start of the season we’ve been talking about how this team functions on a very fine line between decent and atrocious (current) and even the seemingly small changes (not PH’ing certain people, opening up roster spots with one less reliever, etc.) are essential moves if this team wants to advance. However, I’m a little worried that even with marginal upgrades this team still doesn’t have the strength to reclaim a better record worthy of the playoffs.

    I’ve prepared myself, and am in fact in favor of a little bit of housecleaning.

    Let’s shop Lee (if we haven’t already been doing so) by keeping the lines open with contenders who might be willing to give up some valuable prospects, or proven hitters in general. It’s been nice knowing you Cliff, but let’s be honest, this isn’t going to end well for both of us if we keep you until the end of the season.

    Play Saunders more.

    Fool around with giving Alfonzo some more PAs and see what he can do. Not sure yet, but I like him.

    Explore trade options (easier said than done) to look at 1B and SS as they are glaring holes for next year.

    Let Griffey and Sweeney take hacks at DH and PH (too late to assume this bungled situation is changing anytime soon) but make the executive decision that Milton will either be our DH moving forward into next year or we need to do another platoon with DH/LF (God forbid).

    These are the marginal changes that I’d like to see. At least they have potential and upside. The status quo is hard to watch.

  7. Ironone on June 1st, 2010 10:39 am

    We were perhaps further away from being a contender than the math indicated. Much like in the investment field……when things begin to go bad, assets that math theory argue are not correlated……become correlated….to the down side. i.e. we go to hell in a hand basket…….:-)…..an option-blow the team up. Trade who can be fairly traded for prospects, replenish the farm system, and plan for 2012 or beyond…….using a patch work of AAA talent while picking up players like Lee is proving to be less than optimal.

  8. erikec on June 1st, 2010 10:51 am

    If something didn’t work before (White and Olson) just keep trying it. Very creative. Jack Z seriously has the opposite of the Midas touch this year. Building a championship team with other people’s garbage doesn’t seem to be working too well. Giving up power for better infield defense, no, that one doesn’t seem to be working out either. Build a team that sees more pitches to beat up on relief pitchers, no, not so much that one either. Too much philosophy and not enough practicality.

  9. LongDistance on June 1st, 2010 10:52 am

    Art Thiel (this season is salvageable…) has had an attack of insanity. I didn’t count how many Ifs he slathered into his piece, but I think if there was an ERA for Ifs… he’d be on the trading block.

    They’re playing .390 ball. Only in Seattle would you find anyone thinking there was something to be salvaged at this point in the season.

    We’ve now got ourselves planted, with both feet, in next year territory.

    I revise my comment… I think (hope) people are right. This is just one part of a larger strategy.

  10. ivan on June 1st, 2010 11:05 am

    I can’t stand White, or Olson, but try as I might I can’t get excited about Texeira. He has potential, sure, but for now he lacks the control to succeed at this level, and should be refining his skills in Triple-A.

    He was all over the strike zone and left too many pitches up in the zone to too many hitters.

    If he’s all Dave thinks he is — and I do not rule it out — then they should work out a deal with the Yankees and get him back so they can send him to Tacoma.

    I’m intrigued by the two open spots on the 40-man, and I smell a knock-your-socks-off trade coming.

  11. beadyeyes123 on June 1st, 2010 11:09 am

    Fool around with giving Alfonzo some more PAs and see what he can do. Not sure yet, but I like him.

    I was at that game and I can say the pitchers really figured him out by his 4th AB. I have a feeling he’s all we know him to be (marginal MLB backup) and I can’t wait until Bard gets back as he’s no stud but is an upgrade over what we have at the moment.

  12. Tek Jansen on June 1st, 2010 11:11 am

    I do not know if anyone else has thought of this, but,

    Wakamatsu:Sean White::Grover:Julio Mateo

  13. flashbeak on June 1st, 2010 11:12 am

    It’s actually quite frightening when every fan from the diehards to fairweathers read about this and are able to instantly deem it as an outrageously stupid move. These guys run a baseball team for a living, yet they are beginning to exemplify a serious lack of the qualifications for the job (ability to evaluate talent, for starters). If Guti wasn’t sporting blue and teal right now, Jack Z would have absolutely nothing going for him.

    Dave, I hope your graduate degree was in sports management. We need you in the Mariner FO.

  14. Statsfreak on June 1st, 2010 11:13 am

    Come on Z…..time to pull off another miracle trade(s). Like the kid at xmas seeing a pile of horsecrap beneath the tree, I cannot help but think these latest moves are a precursor. I remain convinced Z and Wak’s momma’s raised no dummies in that the time to evaluate what was taken out of spring training has expired. The front office silence helps fertilize this wish. Go Z go…….

  15. Breadbaker on June 1st, 2010 11:30 am

    Wakamatsu:Sean White::Grover:Julio Mateo

    McLaren:Rick White

  16. Xteve X on June 1st, 2010 11:48 am

    Again the stench of Lincoln and Armstrong permeates the air over some of these decisions.

  17. pumacamo on June 1st, 2010 12:02 pm

    Does anyone feel guilty about making Ichiro slog through his career as a Mariner, being so solid every year for such a crappy team that hitting .333 with 200+ hits seems pedestrian? This is his 10th year with the Ms, he’s 36, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s been to the playoffs just once (nearly 10 years ago) and he would be winning if he weren’t with us. If he was on the Yankees how many more World Series would they have won in the past ten years with him? The Phillies, Cardinals, Red Sox, etc.? I feel bad. It’s like Kevin Garnett in the T’Wolves. It’s sad. It’s pathetic. I hope he’s happy, but maybe he’s not.

  18. matthew on June 1st, 2010 12:44 pm

    Colome should have been released when Junior retired a month and a half ago. Oh wait…

    At this point I’m afraid to wear my Zduriencik jersey to Safeco. I’m afraid I might get my ass kicked 🙁

  19. djw on June 1st, 2010 12:51 pm

    One of the weirder things about M’s fans on the internet is the persistent notion, going back 3 GMs now, that any random foolish move is, in fact, dictated by Armstrong and/or Lincoln, rather than the current GM. Perhaps I just haven’t investigated thoroughly enough, but I simply have no idea what the evidenciary basis for these claims are. Why so many people believe this so deeply, with no apparent evidence, remains a deep mystery to me.

  20. msfanmike on June 1st, 2010 1:17 pm

    djw: I agree with you. I think M’s fans grew so fond of GMZ – so quickly – that they do not want to lay the blame entirely at his feet. Let’s face it, the players are to blame. GMZ and WAK together this season have made some palatably displeasurable moves – and the proof (so far) is evident on the field every damn game. I view the Olsen and White callups as last shots for those guys (why not blow a few more games along the way eh?) before they are finally DFA’d – effectively bringing the 40-man to 36 plus Bedard. Speculating that GMZ has somethign up his sleeve (with an eventual trade of Lee to the Yankees and with Teixeira somehow returning to the M’s) gives us some form of hope (as if hope can be measured in terms of a mediocre middle reliever). There are so many negatives to dwell on with this team of underperformers and with the stench cloud of perpetual losing following everyone around on a daily basis. BTW: with one out in the 9th – down by 1 run and a runner on 1B (and your team rallying by already having scored a run) … you bunt. Period. Griffey essentially hit into the predictable DP – if not for a missed scoop by Morneau. You have to get a runner into scoring position – Junior or Kotchman and then Figgins (after Ichiro intentional walk of course) could have had a chance to drive in the game tying run with any old kind of hit.

  21. msfanmike on June 1st, 2010 1:29 pm

    46 year old person with a “rookie” editing mistake right out of the shoot. DAMN! I meant to say “with no outs in the 9th” … not “with one out in the 9th.” I should probably leave the pontification to the professionals and go back to reading (only) for my daily need of M’s games post-script therapy; but I doubt that I am smart enough to do that.

  22. Nate on June 1st, 2010 1:48 pm

    Isn’t the fact that they’re (Armstron and Lincoln) the constant, not the GM’s, evidence to that purported fact?

  23. NV M's fan on June 1st, 2010 1:55 pm

    Read the whole box score from yesterday here in Vegas: Sean White got the win but he was TERRIBLE. Then they actually call him up??? I don’t know how I tell my young son that he’s back with the M’s after we had to boo him yesterday for the Rainiers… It’s the very last thing we expected to see.

  24. beadyeyes123 on June 1st, 2010 2:18 pm

    Isn’t the fact that they’re (Armstron and Lincoln) the constant, not the GM’s, evidence to that purported fact?

    No, I see these moves as a GM trying to field what Chuck and Howie see as a team they can market filled with good chemistry guys that make average fans want to cheer.

    Until Jack Z has the minor leagues restocked with his draft picks and he proves us wrong and signs more junk players to obscene contracts, ala Bill B., I believe it is Jack’s team but I am still going to give him a break.

    He’s still done many GOOD things versus bad to make me jump off the bandwagon. Y’all can be down on Figgy but who here thought it was a bad signing? We all had our doubts about Sexson’s long term ability to hit and we all had issues with Bavasi signings such as Spiezio, Silva, Batista and much more. For me recalling Sean White sucks but isn’t enough for me to beat Jack up over it.

    We are all frustrated but to call Jack a one year wonder is premature. The evidence supports that he can make solid trades and has an eye for talent. He has shown a willingness to listen to his saber guys. Billy Beane has had his ups and downs yet nobody in Oakland has called for his head?

  25. beadyeyes123 on June 1st, 2010 2:19 pm

    Sean White got the win but he was TERRIBLE. Then they actually call him up???

    He’s still on the 40 man and that is most likely why he got the call over Sweeney. I think it’s a mix of misplaced love by Wak and Z needing to make a change while maybe setting up for a trade or signing.

  26. djw on June 1st, 2010 2:22 pm

    Isn’t the fact that they’re (Armstrong and Lincoln) the constant, not the GM’s, evidence to that purported fact?

    Well, per Lionel Hutz, esq., conjecture is a kind of evidence….

    More seriously, how is this “evidence”? Imagine I own a store. Over the course of the last decade, I’ve hired three sales managers. The tenure of each of these sales has included some mix of screw-ups and some savvy moves.

    Is the above paragraph evidence that I am somehow behind all the crappy moves? Why? (Especially since “responsible for some crappy moves” is part of the description of everyone to hold the position of GM at the major league level for any length of time…)

  27. Gomez on June 1st, 2010 2:58 pm

    Isn’t the fact that they’re (Armstrong and Lincoln) the constant, not the GM’s, evidence to that purported fact?

    Somebody please refresh my memory on what logical fallacy this is.

  28. charliebrown on June 1st, 2010 3:09 pm

    Somebody please refresh my memory on what logical fallacy this is.

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    An example….I only make dumb roster moves on days that end in Y (MondaY, TuesdaY…etc), therefore days that end in Y cause me to make dumb roster moves.

  29. Nate on June 1st, 2010 3:29 pm

    What?, you mean just because B is true every time A happens, it doesn’t follow that B causes A?? yeah, I get that, and I posted my ‘evidence’ with a smirk on my face.
    It’s a bit more interesting to me when you add in the reports that Howard and Chuck have been involved in roster decisions in the past though.

    and chuck, that’s a fun example, since an amazingly high percentage of our roster moves actually were made on days that end in Y.

  30. Westside guy on June 1st, 2010 4:04 pm

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    An example….I only make dumb roster moves on days that end in Y (MondaY, TuesdaY…etc), therefore days that end in Y cause me to make dumb roster moves.

    Well, the issue here is just because you can make up an example that shows correlation does not equal causation doesn’t disprove (or prove, for that matter) the original unrelated conjecture.

    The bottom line is we don’t know what’s going on in the front office. People can speculate it’s interference from Howard and Chuck, but there’s no evidence. If we feel like Jack Z is operating in a fundamentally different manner than he did last year – and I understand that’s not a consensus or even a majority opinion – then we can speculate why that might be; but speculation is all it is.

    I do have to admit, though, that I’ve wondered the same thing…

  31. eponymous coward on June 1st, 2010 4:11 pm

    It’s pretty simple. Zduriencik was handed a salary budget cut (see Larry Stone’s article this past Sunday). Because of that, he made a series of moves that had upside risk that wouldn’t blow the budget: Dumping Silva for Bradley, signing Kotchman, signing Figgins, sticking with the Griffey/Sweeney Hugging DH tandem, signing Wilson to a new deal, no upgrade at C, no depth at SS, no bullpen upgrades, trading for Lee.

    All told, almost nothing’s worked out: the FA signings/resignings have either been terrible, or injured, or both.

    To put it another way: if you were playing poker and were dealt pocket aces, you still might lose. Many of the offseason decisions were reasonable (OK, Griffey wasn’t, really, but how exactly do you tell the Franchise Icon “sorry, you’re done”?) It’s just that ALL of them have gone the wrong way, the same way that the Putz trade paid off ridiculously well last year, far beyond expectations. That’s the way it works- sometimes you’ll hit your mark, sometimes you won’t.

    I probably have more issues with use patterns of certain players (*cough*SeanWhite*cough*Griffey*cough) than with what GMZ did this offseason. The thing is that Kotchman, Sweeney and Griffey aren’t stuck on a boat anchor contract that will linger into 2011, Bradley was replacing someone who was a big huge (hahaha) salary suck anyways, Lee will either fetch good value in trade or not, Figgins is a good bet to rebound, and Wilson… well, OK, we’ll probably be stuck paying $4 million a year to a reserve infielder for a while. That’s not terrible. (Oh, and Snell and Lopez come off the books at the end of the year, too.)

    All told, yeah, this sucks, but I think they’ll learn from this. Let’s see what the rest of the year teaches them.

  32. Westside guy on June 1st, 2010 4:51 pm

    Eponymous, you make a lot of good points. I still think longer-term some of the moves (e.g. Bradley, Figgins) will be beneficial. Maybe people like me had unrealistic expectations about this year, though – without the bad luck we’d be in the thick of it, but we’d certainly not be running away from the pack.

    I do think the franchise icon is going to have to be dealt with, however. He’s at least mused about playing another year.

  33. beadyeyes123 on June 1st, 2010 6:29 pm

    It’s pretty simple. Zduriencik was handed a salary budget cut (see Larry Stone’s article this past Sunday). Because of that, he made a series of moves that had upside risk that wouldn’t blow the budget: Dumping Silva for Bradley, signing Kotchman, signing Figgins, sticking with the Griffey/Sweeney Hugging DH tandem, signing Wilson to a new deal, no upgrade at C, no depth at SS, no bullpen upgrades, trading for Lee.

    I agree with you 100%. What’s that say about the depth in our minor leagues (C especially)? I can’t blame Z for any of it so I have to give him some more time with drafts, signings and trades to truly make an informed decision on his ability as GM.

    Z has made many good trades that made us good. The Figgy signing had some risks regarding length of contract but can we chalk up his slow start to luck? He’s now starting to hit his holes so I have to hope we are now starting to see the sparkplug we all were excited about.

    Yes, resigning Jr was a mistake but I have to think if Chuck was involved in any decision it was this one. What to do? Many of us felt Wak would use him sparingly, not use him as the primary DH. Sweeney is what he is, so I have to believe he will be here longer than many of us would like.

    Overall Z has made more good moves than bad ones. Even his sideways moves have been better than we could hope for from any of our past GMs minus maybe Gillick.

  34. Droid Rage on June 1st, 2010 8:21 pm

    This is going to make the team harder to watch too. Sean White gets the benefit of Wak’s belief system and will show up in high leverage situations on a regular basis. This drives me crazy while watching games.

    White is not only worse than Texeira but he will be used in more important situations. This makes the Mariners worse in two ways with just one move.

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