Brock and Salk Day

Dave · August 19, 2010 at 8:31 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I’ll be doing my weekly hit with Brock and Salk on ESPN 710 at 10:30 this morning. I’ll be bouncing around on Thursdays for a few weeks until we find a permanent time-slot, but I’ll let you guys know once it gets set.

Also, my latest post for their blog is now up, detailing how David Pauley is Doug Fister.


42 Responses to “Brock and Salk Day”

  1. robbbbbb on August 19th, 2010 9:05 am

    Doug Fister’s put up 2.2 WAR this year. That’s an average major leaguer. Heck, it’s above-average, ‘cuz he’s done it in only ~120 IP. If David Pauley puts up a 2 WAR season next year, we should be ecstatic. That’s a league-minimum average player.

    Of course, I’m poking Dave a little. He’s (hopefully) going to come back and tell me why WAR’s a bad stat to use here, and how it doesn’t represent what we should expect from Pauley or Fister in the future.

    (But I’ll note that Fister’s running a 4.21 xFIP. That’s significant, too.)

  2. henryv on August 19th, 2010 9:25 am

    After Tuesday’s game Mike said that he wanted to see Tui in the line-up 5-7 games a week. I’m wondering how high he was after Tuesday’s game. Could you please ask him? And maybe ask him to share?

  3. henryv on August 19th, 2010 9:31 am

    I was amazed by Jamey Wright’s movement last night, both on his fastball and his slider. There was one slider that seemed to just dive out of the strike zone. It may have been that the camera at Camden is further to the right, so it appears to have more movement than it does, but it really seemed electric.

  4. joser on August 19th, 2010 9:57 am

    You may be poking Dave, but he’ll probably just poke you back with this.

    I’ll be bouncing around on Thursdays for a few weeks until we find a permanent time-slot,

    Dave, you’ll probably be bouncing around until both college and pro football start their regular seasons; until that happens, and provides structure to their worlds, Brock and Salk are going to have all the attention span and focus of twelve-year-old girls at a Justin Beiber memorabilia auction.

  5. robbbbbb on August 19th, 2010 10:10 am

    I understand what you’re saying, joser, but isn’t WAR supposed to factor that kind of stuff out? It uses FIP to determine value, after all. So why should BABIP matter?

    I’ve got an idea of my own on why this would be the case, but I’d love to hear Dave chime in on the question before I shoot my mouth off.

  6. gwangung on August 19th, 2010 10:33 am

    Doug Fister’s put up 2.2 WAR this year. That’s an average major leaguer.

    At his price and under club control, I would think that would have plenty of value. At least for the next three years…

  7. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2010 10:33 am

    So how does Pauley fit into the 2011 pitching discussion? Is the team now looking at something like the following (without a Millwood type):

    Player, Fangraphs ZiPS RoS FIP, my guess at 2011 innings.

    1. Felix, 3.25, 200
    2. Bedard, 3.60, 80
    3. Pineda, ??, ??
    4. Vargas, 4.4, 150
    5. Fister, 4.37, 150
    6. Pauley, 4.75, 70
    7. French, 4.95, 70

    Totals excluding Pineda: 720 IP, 4.07 FIP.

    The average AL team received 942 IP from their starters in 2009 and are on pace for 984 this year. The weighted average FIP for AL starters in 2009 was 4.49 and is 4.21 for 2010. So when not counting Pineda and assuming Pauley and French are back-of-rotation spot-starters, the M’s internal options – assuming Bedard is resigned for a similar deal – for 2011 are currently short 220-260 IP.

  8. ChrisK on August 19th, 2010 11:58 am

    Matt Tuiasosopo = Willie Bloomquist 2.0 in so many ways now…

  9. Mike Snow on August 19th, 2010 12:06 pm

    Wow, counting on Erik Bedard to throw as many innings as he’s thrown in any season since 2007. I don’t want to give up on him necessarily either, but certainly wouldn’t want to plan a rotation based on his availability.

  10. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 12:33 pm

    ChrisK wrote:

    “Matt Tuiasosopo = Willie Bloomquist 2.0 in so many ways now…”

    I think I know where you are going with this, but I disagree. Jeff Sullivan had a nice piece called “What the Mariners Have in Matt Tuiasosopo” on LL that I think pretty well nails my feelings about Tui (except I’d add that as a Seattle-area native, I have a soft spot for all things Tui and would really like to see him succeed for completely fanboy reasons).

    Willie Bloomquist was and is a better overall defender than Tui (though that’s not saying much). Tui has much more plate discipline than Willie (though again, that’s not saying much), and much more power. Willie was a better contact hitter. In my mind, other than being home-grown favorites, they are not really similar players other than they both occupy a utility role (though I would argue a different utility role).

    Tui came up two years earlier, by age, and even if Tui = Willie, then it still behooves the Mariners to see what they have with Tui. If he ends up being not much more than Bloomquist, that’s OK. Even Willie’s most ardent critics would say that he filled a useful role, and most of the criticism was directed to those who suggested he could or should play a more meaninful role than the one he had. Tui, too, can have a meaninful role – and, at only 24, could still possibly develop into something better.

  11. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 12:44 pm

    I don’t disagree with what Jeff said there, at least inasmuch as it falls under the “why not give Tui a chance to develop” category.

    But I just don’t see a whole lot in his past to get me excited about him, and if there’s a roster crunch that necessitates punting him, I’ll do it so fast your head would spin.

  12. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 1:02 pm

    I don’t really disagree with you, Jeff, but it is still a matter of degree. There are guys on this 25-man roster that I would punt before Tui – Kotchman, Woodward, Langerhans even, and if we extend that to pitchers, I’d probably punt Jamie Wright before Tui, as well. That probably speaks more to how bad the current roster is than how relatively good Tui is, though, so point taken.

  13. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2010 2:02 pm

    On Tui-

    Assuming that the M’s are very unlikely to contend in 2011, punting Tui doesn’t make a ton of sense. As Pete said, there’s a list of players who you’d punt first. Arguably, anyone who will not be on the team in 2012 should go before Tui does. While he might flame out, he might also hit enough to be a useful RH bench guy and spot starter.

    And with the team’s recent shift to be overly reliant on lefties or lefty dominant switch hitters, having a decent RH bat that could spell Saunders or Smoak against a really strong LH starter or pitch hit against a LOOGY would be useful.

  14. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 2:02 pm

    Comparing Tui to Bloomquist is a little stretch, but not insane. Tui can cover LF, 3B, 2B, 1B, and be the emergency C, and SS. He has a little offensive upside, and time to learn multiple positions.

    How many 22-24 year olds are asked to play/learn all those positions in the majors, with random, and inconsistent playing time, and are able to succeed immediately? I would much rather suffer through some defensive miscues by Tui than watch the offensively inept Kotchman, Lopez or Josh Wilson.

  15. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2010 2:05 pm

    On Bedard-

    If the M’s re-sign him, they would obviously only do it if they thought there was the chance he could start some non-zero number of games in 2011. In that case, something like 12-15 starts at 5-6 IP each seems to be a reasonable expected outcome. There is a chance he’d throw 0 IP and some chance that he’d throw 150+, but a reasonable estimate I would think would be around 80.

  16. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Tui would be an absolute disaster anywhere in the middle infield on a regular basis. And watching him try to catch would be hilarious.

  17. ChrisK on August 19th, 2010 2:15 pm

    I guess it’s more the perceptions of Tui are starting to mirror Willie among the casual fan base:

    – Local kid favoritism? Check.
    – Perception of being able to play any position well? Check.
    – A small sample size of good hitting leading to a chorus of “Let Him Play Everyday!” sentiment? Check.

    I guess I just see a strong parallel in their reputations amongst casual fans.

  18. Breadbaker on August 19th, 2010 2:16 pm

    I would be very surprised if Erik Bedard ever threw another pitch in the major leagues. I would not be surprised if he were paid several million dollars to not pitch.

  19. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 2:22 pm

    ChrisK, that’s why I lead off with “I think I know where you are going with this, but…” Now I know where you were going and it is where I thought you were. I just chose to address the player comparison, rather than the similarity of the perceptions of the players among casual fans (which, I agree, there is some similarity regarding).

    I just don’t think they are similar players any more than Bloomquist and Mike Morse, who were contemporaries, were similar. They both played multiple positions in a utility role, but beyond that, they were pretty dissimilar.

  20. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 2:27 pm

    I agree Jeff Nye. He isn’t an everyday middle infielder. Neither was Bloomquist, or Josh Wilson, or Jose Lopez. And watching him at C would be hilarious. But he was the designated-emergency C by Wak earlier this year. So he has SOME experience, which is better than none, and it adds a minute amount of value to him. I’m just saying some people have already buried Tui before he has been given any consistent playing time at a steady position. And yet we watch veterans players with no upside left to fulfill, that won’t be here next year playing everyday

  21. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 2:35 pm

    Agreed, spanky. It is less about claiming or predicting Tui has some potential than about finding out what that potential may be one way or the other, in a lost season where the players he might displace really have no future in the rebuilding process.

  22. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I guess that my question is, like it was on LL, what do you think Tui might turn into?

    In order to have any chance at being a regular, he has to improve either his offense or his defense significantly. To be a good player, he’d have to improve both significantly.

    And there’s just nothing substantial to support the idea of him doing that, either in his minor league track record or from what is observable about him. People say he’s young, but 24 isn’t THAT young for a baseball player; and people say he’s athletic, but that doesn’t actually seem to be true except to the extent that anyone with his last name has a reputation for athleticism among the people of this town.

    Does it hurt to give him some playing time the rest of this season to see if he can suddenly turn it on? Sure, but the odds are very much stacked against him, and the idea that we don’t really know what Tui is as a player is about 95% untrue.

  23. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 3:13 pm

    Jeff, I’ll try to answer your question as directly as I can, but I have to preface that by saying that what you are asking for is mostly speculative, and I think the main point here from the “play Tui” supporters is not to speculate but to see if he can develop into something more – whether there is prior evidence to suggest that is likely, or not.

    With that said, I can’t see him becoming more than a corner IF / corner OF type of player, and probably not more than as a utility guy at that, but I do think there is room for his bat to develop. His patience and approach at the plate has shown signs of developing, and I think he has a body that may project into more power as he gets older. What I don’t see any signs of is an ability to hit for much contact, and probably not enough to hit for enough AVG that, even with more developed power, would justify a starter’s role for him on anything but a bad team.

    But, stranger things have happened. If Tui has an option left (as I think he does – one more) then the M’s have a little more than a season and a third to figure this out. Why not get a head start on that now? Where’s the harm if he fails, in this lost season?

  24. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 3:22 pm

    Jeff Nye

    I don’t expect Tui to ever blossom into some star player. He may not ever be an everyday player at any position. But I believe he could post better numbers than Lopez, or Kotchman–with consistent playing time. Tui is younger, cheaper, and more versatile than those guys. Why not play him over Lopez and his 0.0WAR, .269wOBA, and an -21.5RAA?

  25. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Did you guys know Lopez has NEVER posted a positive RAA? Why is he still wearing a major league uniform?

  26. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 3:29 pm

    What happens for the rest of this year is almost entirely irrelevant, aside from just trying to produce moderately watchable baseball.

    But as we go into next year, unless Tui just absolutely goes nuts between now and then, it’s time to move on.

  27. CMC_Stags on August 19th, 2010 4:10 pm

    But as we go into next year, unless Tui just absolutely goes nuts between now and then, it’s time to move on.

    So Jeff, are you saying you expect the team to be in contention next year?

  28. Carson on August 19th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Just trying to think about the logistics.

    Is it safe to assume, if a return isn’t big enough to move him this month or in the winter, that Figgins will move back to 3B?

    If so, that takes away the one spot you could let Tui play, even if you have some sort of hope he could develop, right?

    If you really want to see the bat develop, I guess 2B – but as soon as you’re ready to give Ackley a taste, there goes that. 1B? Nope. LF? Nope.

    I just don’t see any place to let him play on a consistent basis even if you wanted, unless someone gets hurt and there is no better option.

  29. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 4:19 pm

    “But as we go into next year, unless Tui just absolutely goes nuts between now and then, it’s time to move on.”

    I disagree with that, but only to the extent that CMC’s post suggests: if the team is not going to contend next year, either (and I think it would be a stretch to suggest it can), then I don’t see a reason to cut bait on Tui when he still has an option year to burn. That is, unless there is some market for Tui, and having an option left increases that market somehow. I don’t think either of those things is true, though, and the reality is that on a team like the 2011 Mariners are likely to be, there is a spot for a guy like Tui, and there is no harm in seeing what he can do, and no reason to not start now. There is some urgency to find out what he has, and that is why I am suggesting they play him (and what is the alternative…Lopez? Why?). Two months of regular playing time is not irrelevant. I’d submit that it is far more relevant and telling than, say, Spring Training.

  30. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 4:24 pm

    So Jeff, are you saying you expect the team to be in contention next year?

    Way too soon to tell (probably not is my guess, but it’s just a guess). But that wasn’t the premise of my comment anyway.

    Let’s look at where Tui could potentially get at-bats next year:

    3B: Maybe for a little bit, but the likelihood is that Figgins will be moved back there unless he is traded, to make room for Ackley.
    LF: Hell no. Saunders’ development is approximately ten million times more important to the team’s future than Tui’s.
    2B: Would be a defensive disaster in all likelihood, and again it’d only be until Ackley is ready.
    1B: Again, hell no; substitute Smoak for Saunders in my above statement.
    SS: Honestly, if the org is really really high on Tui, this is probably the best place to try to get him some consistent playing time, but I don’t want to watch it.

    This doesn’t even take into account guys who have more upside than Tui who might push for major league playing time sometime next season.

  31. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 4:25 pm

    In other words, what Carson said faster than I did. My post had more detail though, dammit.

  32. Pete Livengood on August 19th, 2010 4:50 pm

    Both you and Carson make good points regarding positional opportunities for next year, but that doesn’t mean Tui shouldn’t get the bulk of the ABs at 3B (and, if Saunders is injured, in LF) the rest of this year.

    Also, I do not think it is a given that Chone Figgins will be back next year, and the need to leave the team open to making a trade involving him lends further urgency to finding out what Tui can do at 3B. Even if Figgins is kept and moves to 3B, while Ackley comes up and plays 2B, Tui remains an asset as a utility guy that should be developed, evaluated, and if there is no place for him here going forward, possibly marketed based on what he can show between now and the end of the season and/or the end of next Spring Training.

    The only places I would consider playing Tui are the corners in both the INF and OF, and I wouldn’t play him at 1B except in an emergency, given the need to develop young players better suited to that position there, too. I too would hate the idea of playing Tui at SS, but I’d settle for him at 2B for a very short term while waiting for Ackley to be ready, if necessary. I don’t think it will be. Ackley is more ready to be a starter right now than Tui is, IMO.

  33. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 4:59 pm

    That is a very good argument to play him this year to see if Tui can contribute next season, most likely as a utility player against LHP. Which Saunders LF, Smoak, 1B Ackley, 2B and Figgins 2B/3B, have all had issues handling.

  34. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 5:27 pm

    Again, what happens the rest of this year is pretty much irrelevant. I’d like the team to stay as watchable as they can manage, but I really wouldn’t care if they put the Moose at third base for the rest of the season. It just doesn’t matter.

    Tui would be a terrible utility guy. Utility guys need to be able to play passable defense at several positions. Tui can’t.

    And nobody is trading anything for him, for God’s sake. Every team has their own Tui stashed in their minor leagues somewhere.

    If Figgins doesn’t move to 3B next year, Tui is still well behind Mangini as far as guys I’d be getting playing time at 3B in the majors. He might even be behind Liddi and/or Triunfel depending on how they start the season next year.

    He’s not good now, shows very little promise to ever be good, and he isn’t worth creating opportunities for. This really is turning out to be Bloomquist 2.0.

  35. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 5:41 pm

    Hell, I might prefer Mangini to Tui for the rest of THIS season, much less next.

  36. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 5:41 pm

    Hey if Tui fails I will buy you a beer, or soda sometime Jeff. I just want to see him get a halfway decent shot while the games are truly irrelevant, and the lineup is filled with underachieving over-the-hill veterans.

  37. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 5:46 pm

    I’m not as invested in it as it might appear, so nothing like that is necessary; I just think people don’t understand how low Tui’s likely ceiling is. Even Jeff Sullivan’s defense of him on LL equated him with Mike Morse, and when’s the last time you said to yourself, “Damn, this team would be awesome if we STILL HAD MIKE MORSE”?

    If the team wants to run him out at 3B for the rest of the season and see if he can take a big step forward, that’s fine; but unless that happens before next season, the development of other players with higher and more reachable ceilings simply has to take precedence.

  38. spankystout on August 19th, 2010 6:06 pm

    Sorry if that seemed it was laced with the machismo “I will bet you” kind of attitude. It was not my intention……Anyways, you do have a point about Morse/Tui comparison.

  39. Mike Snow on August 19th, 2010 10:23 pm

    Utility guys need to be able to play passable defense at several positions. Tui can’t.

    He has the potential to be passable (not good, just passable) at the corner positions. As Pete was saying, it’s a different kind of utility player, which is why Morse and not Bloomquist is the right comparison. However, this kind of player is also of more practical utility on a National League team. Maybe we can trade him to the Phillies.

  40. Jeff Nye on August 19th, 2010 10:50 pm

    I’d argue that the current version of Tui isn’t good enough defensively to be at anywhere other than first base for a contending team, even on a spot-start basis. But that’s me.

    I do agree that his particular breed of “utility player” has more value to a NL team though. I just don’t think spending at-bats to develop him into something we might get another mediocre prospect back for is particularly worthwhile.

  41. Breadbaker on August 19th, 2010 11:09 pm

    I just don’t think spending at-bats to develop him into something we might get another mediocre prospect back for is particularly worthwhile.

    At this point in this lost season, it’s not clear that there is any point in giving anyone at-bats other than letting Ichiro get to 200 hits again, so it’s not like any particular choice is critical one way or the other. We’re quite likely to have a lot of high stakes gamble moves again this offseason in the hope that our luck will gravitate more to the mean, so why not?

  42. Jeff Nye on August 20th, 2010 12:43 am

    Come on. I talked about the remainder of this year a whopping 8 comments ago.

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