Minor League Wrap (4/7-17/11)

Jay Yencich · April 18, 2011 at 8:30 am · Filed Under Mariners, Minor Leagues 

Hello, and welcome to the first giant wall of text this season, to be followed by more, sometimes even larger walls of text later in the season. We have a listing of games for you, some transactions, some items of interest, and a whole lot of real and pretended analysis.

To the jump!

Storylines for 2011:

I’ve done team-by-team previews and told you what to look for out of each player, if anything, but I haven’t yet talked about the broader themes I’m looking at within the system . So here are some morsels pertaining to that.

Plate Discipline:

The past season, we had a lot of egregious offenders in the strikeout department between Almonte, Peguero, Liddi, and Halman. On its own, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you’re getting some kind of production, but there are additional reasons to be concerned. I sat down with a Baseball-Reference window open and decided that I was going to sit down and crunch some numbers for each organization’s four full-season affiliates. The Mariners came in with 3972 Ks, which isn’t that bad, as more teams topped 4000 than didn’t. The issue is that most of those teams had more walks than we did. The Mariners’ 1627 walks ranked ahead of just the Braves (by one), the White Sox, the Mets, and the Reds last season. The average was about 1871.

Right now, as far as plate discipline goes, we’re probably in the bottom sixth of all systems. The new scouting department has been putting a greater emphasis on walks and guys that don’t give away outs, but the work is still in progress, and the organization would do well to try to help out those still around.

Tandem Starters:

One of the weird bits of information to come out of the breaking of camp was that the Mariners were going to use a partial tandem starter system in Clinton. Forrest Snow, George Mieses, and Seon Gi Kim will all be getting regular spots in the rotation as the 1, 3, and 5 starters, but in between, you have Anthony Fernandez and Steve Kohlscheen trading starts as number two and Brandon Maurer and Fray Martinez doing the same as number four.

There haven’t been too many systems over the past several years that have employed this kind of system, even though it’s been talked about quite a bit, and the way it’s being implemented with the M’s only kind of makes sense as well. I recognize the importance of getting Snow his reps if he’s moving in from the bullpen, but if you’re concerned about the younger players, wouldn’t Mieses and Kim both be on the short list? I’ll give it to them though, switching up the frequently-injured Maurer with the live-armed, but inexperienced Martinez gets a pass in my mind. Maurer was interviewed about the decision and said that pitching coach Rich Dorman hadn’t given them any notion as to whether it was going to resolve into one side or the other taking the bulk of the starts, so this could be a trial run for more of the same in the coming years.

The Training Program:

Before I go into this, I’m going to use all caps for a little while because not enough people were paying attention.


Now that we have that cleared up, we’re now in year two of the program and still trying to figure out what exactly it means for the system. In some cases, we can guess at tweaks in swings and general conditioning resulting in the power upticks experienced by Mangini, Tenbrink, and of course, Nick Franklin, as well as possibly the restructuring of Steve Baron’s swing (yeah, don’t go looking at his stats right now). One thing we’ve talked a little less about is that there were a few cases of guys playing more taxing positions than they were accustomed to. Seager was regarded as a 3B with a limited bat and played second and a little bit of short. Various others were tried out in center field where previously they had only been at corners. This is obviously not the case throughout, Tenbrink didn’t play one game on the middle infield last year where he had before, and Liddi was pointed to as a guy who had trouble at the hot corner, but with Carlos Peguero getting tried out in center field and Stefen Romero playing second, it seems that some of these position challenges are still taking place.

I’d caution not to swing to the other extreme either: we don’t know enough about the program relative to the players we’re drafting to directly correlate any increase in output, but anything that seems capable of helping us is worth paying attention to.

Tacoma Rainiers (3-8 overall)

The Week in Review:
Thursday, April 7th 2011
Tacoma 2, Sacramento 6 (OAK)
W: Chulk (1-0, 0.00) L: French (0-1, 13.50)

Friday, April 8th 2011
Tacoma 3, Sacramento 1 (OAK 0)
W: Jimenez (1-0, 0.00) L: DeHoyos (0-1, 10.80) S: Smith (1)

Saturday, April 9th 2011
Tacoma 4, Sacramento 2 (OAK – 1)
W: Cortes (1-0, 0.00) L: Chulk (1-1, 6.00)

Sunday, April 10th 2011
Tacoma 3, Sacramento 11 (OAK 0)
W: Daley (1-0, 5.40) L: Roe (0-1, 37.80)

Monday, April 11th 2011
Tacoma 6, Fresno 7 (SF + 1)
W: Kown (1-0, 1.80) L: Castro (0-1, 6.75) S: Daigle (1)

Tuesday, April 12th 2011
Tacoma 2, Fresno 10 (SF + 2)
W: Vogelsong (2-0, 1.59) L: French (0-2, 8.00) S: Mixon (1)|

Wednesday, April 13th 2011
Tacoma 3, Fresno 1 (SF + 1)
W: Beavan (1-0, 0.90) L: Loux (0-2, 2.57) S: Ring (1)

Thursday, April 14th 2011
Tacoma 2, Fresno 3 (SF + 2) (ten innings)
W: Kroon (1-0, 0.00) L: Smith (0-1, 5.40)

Friday, April 15th 2011
Sacramento 6 (OAK – 1), Tacoma 5
W: Cabrera (1-1, 9.00) L: Bautista (0-1, 6.23) S: DeHoyos (1)

Saturday, April 16th 2011
Sacramento 3 (OAK 0), Tacoma 1
W: Chulk (2-1, 2.35) L: Paredes (0-1, 12.60) S: Bateman (1)

Sunday, April 17th 2011
Sacramento 3 (OAK + 1), Tacoma 1
W: Godfrey (1-0, 3.00) L: Jimenez (1-1, 3.52) S: Farquhar (1)

Hitter of the Week:
OF Carlos Peguero, L/L, 2/22/1987
11 G, 41 AB, 7 R, 13 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 9/4 K/BB, .317/.378/.512

In his first eleven games played in triple-A, Carlos Peguero is not leading the team in Ks. He’s not even top three (tied for fourth though). That’s once every five plate appearances, where it was a little over once every three before. He’s also stealing bases, which is unusual for a guy who has seven as a career high, but it seems that this year he’s starting out eager to make his presence known out there. But we’ve also seen some hot Aprils out of Peguero before, and while the strikeouts have come down significantly, the approach may be more geared towards putting balls in play, as he’s a little off last year’s pace in walks. Still, if he is going to shave a few dozen Ks off his season totals, that may not be so horrible a trade off.

Switch-hitting Catcher Mention:
C Josh Bard, S/R, 3/30/1978
8 G, 31 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 3/1 K/BB, .323/.344/.452

Pitcher of the Week:
LHP Chris Seddon, 10/13/1983
0-0, 2 GS, 0.00 ERA in 13.0 IP, 6 H, 10/4 K/BB, 14/8 G/F

Who has the longest scoreless inning streak in the PCL to start the season? This guy. Seddon’s two starts looked remarkably similar to one another, both were over six innings and had a 5/2 K/BB, but the more recent one was an inning longer and featured only two hits. All this took him only eighty-four pitches, and if he had been on a more normal count, he probably would have notched the first shutout of the season, the way he was going. Like a lot of pitchers on the Tacoma roster, there isn’t so much that you can expect out of him at this point in his career, but he’s in his physical prime and he’s set to eat a lot of innings as the third starter, and those two factors might help the Rainiers stay in contention throughout the season.

Tenth-Youngest Player in the League Mention:
RHP Blake Beavan, 1/17/1989
1-0, 2 GS, 0.90 ERA in 10.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 8/3 K/BB, 7/12 G/F

From The Training Room:
As would be expected when a catcher is injured at the major league level, there was a domino effect which brought Jose Yepez from Jackson to replace Gimenez… Fabio Castro, the team’s #5 starter, wasn’t on the roster to begin the season and it looked as though some kind of move would need to be made to get him there. The move was made for the Rainiers, as OF Greg Halman got hit on the wrist by a pitch and landed on the DL… Jetsy Extrano, who didn’t really have a place on this roster anyway, was replaced on Wednesday by Johan Limonta from Jackson. Can’t get enough of those corner infield/outfield types.

Strange Happenings:
The team was already in a shaky position as center field went, what with Halman being regarded more as a right fielder with good wheels these days, so when he was injured, my expectation was that Leury Bonilla, who has played the utility role and taken over in center in the past (and played all nine positions in the final game of last season), would take over. Seems sensible, right? Wrong. Center field has been manned by Carlos Peguero most of the time. Peguero had five stint in center last season and none before that going back to the start of his stateside tenure… Liddi has struck out nineteen times in forty at-bats, which is six more Ks than second-placers Mike Carp and Matt Tuiasosopo can boast. Bad. News… On the plus side, even if Ackley’s average is down, he has a 6/8 K/BB, and has already hit two home runs. Ackley hit two home runs in his entire West Tenn tenure last year.

Jackson Generals (4-6 overall)

The Week in Review:
Thursday, April 7th 2011
Jackson 6, Mississippi 9 (ATL)
W: Delgado (1-0, 0.00) L: Vasquez (0-1, 6.23)

Friday, April 8th 2011
Jackson 3, Mississippi 2 (ATL 0) (ten innings)
W: Patterson (1-0, 0.00) L: Hardy (0-1, 9.00)

Saturday, April 9th 2011
Jackson 5, Mississippi 6 (ATL + 1)
W: Chapman (1-0, 0.00) L: Patterson (1-1, 6.75)

Sunday, April 10th 2011
Jackson 2, Mississippi 1 (ATL 0) (ten innings)
W: Moran (1-0, 0.00) L: Hardy (0-2, 4.50)

Monday, April 11th 2011
Jackson 3, Mississippi 0 (ATL – 1)
W: Kasparek (1-0, 0.00) L: Kawakami (0-1, 4.76) S: Penney (1)

Tuesday, April 12th 2011
Off day

Wednesday, April 13th 2011
Jacksonville 2 (FLA 0), Jackson 0
W: Poveda (1-0, 2.45) L: Vasquez (0-2, 3.97) S: Rosario (2)

Thursday, April 14th 2011
Jacksonville 3 (FLA + 1), Jackson 0
W: Hand (1-1, 3.27) L: Hensley (0-1, 2.38) S: Rosario (3)

Friday, April 15th 2011

Saturday, April 16th 2011
Jacksonville 2 (FLA 0), Jackson 3
W: Penney (1-0, 2.25) L: Marinez (0-1, 4.91)

Jacksonville 13 (+ 1), Jackson 7
W: Andrelczyk (2-1, 5.62) L: Moran (1-1, 10.50)

Sunday, April 17th 2011
Jacksonville 8 (FLA + 2), Jackson 7 (eleven innings)
W: Madden (1-0, 2.45) L: LaFromboise (0-1, 3.60) S: Korpi (1)

Hitter of the Week:
1B Rich Poythress, R/R, 8/11/1987
10 G, 31 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, CS, 6/8 K/BB, .226/.405/.516

I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do this. How could I justify the average, even if the peripherals were so very good? Even so, thumb on the scale for a guy who seems to be some kind of prospect. Poythress has as many home runs as he does singles at this point. His seven hits ranks sixth on the team, but his total bases is tied for second. Through ten games, he has accumulated 15.4% of his walk total from last season and all the while is striking out about once every seven plate appearances, compared to once every five-and-a-half before. I’m thinking that the average might come around at some point. I don’t know what kind of player he’s trying to turn himself into, but I would number myself among the intrigued.

Better Average, Worse OPS Mention:
OF Jake Shaffer, L/L, 8/16/1987
9 G, 41 AB, 7 R, 15 H, 4 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 6/0 K/BB, .324/.359/.405

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, 5/2/1990
0-0, 2 GS, 1.50 ERA in 12.0 IP, 9 H (HR), 3 R (2 ER), 2/1 K/BB, 24/5 G/F

In selecting the pitcher of the week, I found myself choosing between a guy who is currently running a K/9 of 1.5 and a guy who is known to be an injury risk and recently landed on the DL. I decided to go with the former, because he’s the youngest pitcher in the league, because he’s leading the team in innings pitched, and because he’s been running some insane groundball numbers. And we knew that he had that last part in him. In his final year in the VSL, MiLB.com had him at a GO/AO of 3.51, so it’s a skill that he seems to have a handle on. However, it doesn’t take any sort of professional analysis to point to where things could go awry, as he’s gone from striking out a few guys to striking out no one. I still expect him to be moved back to a more reasonable level once someone comes of the DL, but until then, it’s looking to be an interesting ride.

Back Strain, Injury Risk Mention:
RHP Steven Hensley, 12/27/1986
0-1, 2 GS, 2.38 ERA in 11.1 IP, 12 H, 5 R (3 ER), 10/4 K/BB, 12/6 G/F

From the Training Room:
Yepez going to Tacoma meant that Ralph Henriquez came up from California to take the backup catcher duties… When Limonta headed west, OF Eddy Martinez-Esteve was activated from the DL… Another pitcher landed on the DL, as RHP Steven Hensley is now out with a lower back strain, which might explain some of the recent lost command. RHP Steven Richard was pulled off the temporarily inactive list to take the spot. Some quota of Stevens/Stephens must be maintained.

Strange Happenings:
Through ten games, the Generals rank dead last in strikeouts for the league, thirty-three below the league leader. They’re also tied for third in fewest walks. Hensley is the only pitcher to have cracked double digits in Ks, with two turns through the rotation.

High Desert Mavericks (6-5 overall)

The Week in Review:
Thursday, April 7th 2011
High Desert 0, Lancaster 5 (HOU)
W: Cisnero (1-0, 0.00) L: Medina (0-1, 1.80)

Friday, April 8th 2011
High Desert 6, Lancaster 4 (HOU 0)
W: Stanton (1-0, 0.00) L: Robinson (0-1, 5.40) S: Jimenez (1)

Saturday, April 9th 2011
High Desert 7, Lancaster 8 (HOU + 1)
W: Trinidad (1-0, 0.00) L: Hudson (0-1, 6.75) S: Clark (1)

Sunday, April 10th 2011
High Desert 3, Lancaster 1 (HOU 0)
W: Sorce (1-0, 1.50) L: Buchanan (0-1, 1.29) S: Diaz (1)

Monday, April 11th 2011
High Desert 6, Inland Empire 0 (LA – 1)
W: Czyz (1-0, 0.00) L: Locke (0-1, 9.00)

Tuesday, April 12th 2011
High Desert 1, Inland Empire 3 (LA 0)
W: Chaffee (1-0, 1.69) L: Medina (0-2, 2.45) S: Carpenter (1)

Wednesday, April 13th 2011
High Desert 4, Inland Empire 7 (LA + 1)
W: Pena (1-0, 4.22) L: Hesketh (0-1, 4.05) S: Perez (1)

Thursday, April 14th 2011
Lake Elsinore 0 (SD – 2), High Desert 4
W: Gillheeney (1-0, 2.00) L: Fetter (0-2, 3.86)

Friday, April 15th 2011
Lake Elsinore 1 (SD – 3), High Desert 2
W: Boyce (1-0, 9.00) L: Herr (0-1, 0.00)

Saturday, April 16th 2011
Lake Elsinore 12 (SD – 2), High Desert 6
W: Sullivan (2-0, 4.50) L: Czyz (1-1, 6.52)

Sunday, April 17th 2011
Lancaster 8 (HOU – 1), High Desert 15
W: Hesketh (1-1, 1.80) L: Cisnero (1-1, 6.35)

Hitter of the Week:
3B Vinnie Catricala, R/R, 10/31/1988
11 G, 44 AB, 4 R, 17 H, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 11 RBI, SB, 5/1 K/BB, .386/.396/.545

I can’t say I was totally sold on doing this either, but relative to his competitors who seem to have a thing for striking out every fourth at-bat, I think Cat is more of a complete hitter, even if the walks are limited at this point. He’s another one of the system’s sluggers looking to curtail the strikeout tendencies a little after hitting triple digits last year, but like Poythress, it seems like he was given orders to put the ball in play more often. It’s hard to argue with the results, as the hits lead the team and the average is way up there, but please, some walks now and then would be lovely.

Didn’t Strike Out Until His Third Game Mention:
CF Denny Almonte, S/R, 9/24/1988
11 G, 46 AB, 4 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 4 CS, 12/1 K/BB, .326/.340/.609

Please Walk Mention:
1B/DH Dennis Raben, L/L, 7/31/1987
11 G, 49 AB, 9 R, 16 H, 5 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 11/0 K/BB, .327/.320/.612

One Single Mention:
RF Kalian Sams, R/R, 8/25/1986
8 G, 28 AB, 5 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 12/0 K/BB, .250/.250/.714

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Chris Sorce, 10/28/1987
1-0, 2 GS, 0.69 ERA in 13.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (ER), 7/0 K/BB, 18/6 G/F

There are certain things one can do in order to be effective in High Desert. One is to never put a ball in play. The other is to never walk anyone. Sorce is managing to do the second thus far, and has gotten deeper into his starts than anyone else on the staff. A third thing one can try out, if the first is not an option, is to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible and hope that the infield sorts it out, and to this point, it’s worked for Sorce (it’s been less successful for others). His overall future is still a bit hazy to me. I’m thinking he could top out as a groundball-oriented Steve Bray/Jarrett Grube-type pitcher, but he’s been moved somewhat aggressively and succeeded to this point, so it could be a higher ceiling than that.

Low ER, but Walks #1 Mention:
LHP Jonathan Hesketh, 6/3/1986
1-1, 4 G (GS), 1.80 ERA in 10.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R (2 ER), 10/6 K/BB, 5/8 G/F

Low ER, but Walks #2 Mention:
LHP Jimmy Gillheeney, 11/8/1987
1-0, 2 GS, 2.00 ERA in 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 13/7 K/BB, 8/4 G/F

From the Training Room:
When Henriquez went to double-A, C Andrew Giobbi was called up from extended spring training. That was all. CF Franklin Gutierrez was assigned to the Mavs, but never suited up.

Strange Happenings:
Among the other names who have some odd walk numbers to start the season, we have Daniel Carroll. Carroll has walked eight times. His career high is twenty-seven, which, oddly enough, was set in half a season of rookie ball. Since then, his full-season high is twenty-three, though one must consider that his tendency towards injury means he usually only plays two-thirds of a season anyway… Nick Franklin was slow out of the gate, but has recently surged and might make POTW next week at his current pace. He has made three errors thus far, though… I’d like to write more, but you know Sams’ line is just weird enough on its own…

Clinton Lumberkings (4-7 overall)

The Week in Review:
Thursday, April 7th 2011
Burlington 9 (OAK), Clinton 5
W: Long (1-0, 3.00) L: Kohlscheen (0-1, 7.36)

Friday, April 8th 2011
Burlington 2 (OAK 0), Clinton 3 (seven innings)
W: Markovitz (1-0, 0.00) L: Mederos (0-1, 4.50) S: Burgoon (1)

Saturday, April 9th 2011
Burlington 9 (OAK + 1), Clinton 5
W: Tyson (1-0, 9.00) L: Bischoff (0-1, 4.50) S: Tenholder (1)

Sunday, April 10th 2011
Burlington 4 (OAK + 2), Clinton 3 (ten innings)
W: Mederos (1-1, 2.70) L: Blandford (0-1, 0.00)

Monday, April 11th 2011
Clinton 2, Beloit 7 (MIN + 1)
W: Weller (1-0, 0.00) L: Kim (0-1, 7.20) S: Dempster (1)

Tuesday, April 12th 2011
Clinton 0, Beloit 1 (MIN + 2)
W: Garcia (1-0, 4.15) L: Bischoff (0-2, 6.00) S: Hauser (1)

Wednesday, April 13th 2011
Clinton 4, Beloit 10 (MIN +3)
W: Hermsen (1-1, 1.59) L: Kohlscheen (0-2, 7.71)

Thursday, April 14th 2011
Clinton 3, Beloit 0 (MIN +2) (thirteen innings)
W: Burgoon (1-0, 0.00) L: Dempster (0-1, 6.75)

Friday, April 15th 2011
Also rain

Saturday, April 16th 2011
Kane County 4 (KC – 3), Clinton 6 (seven innings)
W: Maurer (1-0, 1.29) L: Odenbach (0-1, 1.93)

Kane County 1 (- 4), Clinton 2 (seven innings)
W: Kesler (1-0, 2.57) L: Simmons (0-2, 6.75)

Sunday, April 17th 2011
Kane County 6 (KC – 3), Clinton 1
W: Santiago (1-2, 6.59) L: Snow (0-1, 3.86)

Hitter of the Week:
RF/CF Julio Morban, L/L, 2/13/1992
11 G, 45 AB, 7 R, 16 H, 2 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, SB, CS, 14/2 K/BB, .356/.396/.444

This wasn’t what I was expecting to lead off the year with, in no small part due to the fact that it seems like forever since we’ve seen Morban healthy and on the field. About all we knew for certain is that when healthy, he could hit, and he’s done just that while splitting time between the outfield corners and center (he’s even had an outfield assist!). However, he was touted as a guy with an advanced approach, and I don’t think we’re quite seeing that yet. His K/BB is the same as Ramon Morla’s, and Morla is batting .086/.135/.171 at the moment, which is awful. At the same time, one is sort of inclined to credit him for doing so well in a notoriously nasty April league and after only seeing a handful of games last season, and skipping over the Northwest League entirely.

Return Tour Mention:
1B Tim Morris, L/L, 12/11/1987
10 G, 36 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, 9/3 K/BB, .278/.350/.389

Pitcher of the Week:
RHP Brandon Maurer, 7/30/1990
1-0, 2 G (GS), 1.29 ERA in 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, ER, 10/1 K/BB, 7/1 G/F

So I’m kind of a Maurer fan these days. The winter league performance for the Adelaide Bite was a start of it, but I’ve generally been intrigued by fellows that can throw the ball hard and with some sink. Maurer seems to satisfy this role within our system. I’m wanting to make something out of the strikeouts too, which rank second on the team behind Forrest Snow’s sixteen, despite Maurer’s pitching in seven fewer innings, but for all I know, he could be cutting loose more in his limited time. Then again, it doesn’t seem to be directly benefiting Fernandez or Martinez, so maybe it is worth mentally filing away. Let’s keep watching.

Still Trying to Figure out How to Pitch with his Stuff Mention:
RHP George Mieses, 5/31/1991
0-0, 2 GS, 2.08 ERA in 13.0 IP, 6 H (HR), 3 R, 7/2 K/BB, 15/9 G/F, HB

From the Training Room:
No transactions. Things are as they were to start the season.

Strange Happenings:
I don’t know if you, the USS Mariner reader, were aware of it, but reality TV personality and former (former?) rapper Flavor Flav has opened up a fast food franchise called Flav’s Fried Chicken, and the flagship store is in Clinton, Iowa. You can read all about it here, in an article in the Atlantic written by a guy who’s in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. So why do I mention this? How do I even know this with the very limited amount of TV I watch? Because Flav was supposed to make an appearance to throw out the first pitch at a Lumberkings game Friday, April 8th, and cancelled due to a scheduling conflict… In actual baseball news, the Lumberkings have been changing things up by putting Stefen Romero at second and Mickey Wiswall in the outfield, despite both being previously known as corner infielders. Versatility!.. Some interesting-positive plate discipline news of the week is that SS Marcus Littlewood has started out with a 8/6 K/BB in his first thirty-six at-bats. Still waiting on the first extra-base knock though. Carlos Ramirez is putting together and even more impressive and weird 3/8 K/BB, but he’s got a good amount of plate discipline for a Latin signing.


9 Responses to “Minor League Wrap (4/7-17/11)”

  1. dgood on April 18th, 2011 9:11 am

    I have a related question. Where has James Paxton been placed? I didn’t see him on any minor league roster.

  2. MacMariner on April 18th, 2011 9:12 am

    Thanks Jay. Much appreciated as always. What’s the scoop on Carlos Ramirez – don’t know anything about him at all really. How is he regarded in prospect circles. Cheers.

  3. Westside guy on April 18th, 2011 9:59 am

    Thank you Jay! I came to the site looking to see what’s new, and found your wrap-up – a great read to start off this week.

  4. msfanmike on April 18th, 2011 10:50 am

    Where has James Paxton been placed?

    I had the same question, but then I remember having read something about him being left in Arizona at extended spring training … for the time being, at least.

    I have a question about Ken Kasparek. His first AA start was very good. He appears to be kind of “Fister-esque” in ability/talent (at least based on the blog/reading materials I have available to me).

    Jay, what is the org’s assessment of Ken Kasparek at this point? Is he a legit prospect? Is he the kind of guy who could follow a similar path as Fister to the Big Leagues – in a pinch?

  5. maqman on April 18th, 2011 11:20 am

    Good stuff Jay, informative as always. These guys are going to have to go some to equal their performances from last year.

  6. Jay Yencich on April 18th, 2011 11:47 am

    Where has James Paxton been placed? I didn’t see him on any minor league roster.

    Still building up strength and working out in Peoria. He’ll be around, eventually, but it seems like they wanted to take it slow with him.

    What’s the scoop on Carlos Ramirez – don’t know anything about him at all really. How is he regarded in prospect circles. Cheers.

    Probably not all too highly. He spent four years in the VSL before moving over, and the list of players that have done that and turned out to be notable major leaguers is quite small indeed. Good batting eye and ability to hit for average, negligible power, probably a decent second baseman defensively.

    I have a question about Ken Kasparek. His first AA start was very good. He appears to be kind of “Fister-esque” in ability/talent (at least based on the blog/reading materials I have available to me).

    That’s Kenn. Two Ns! It’s important.

    He is kind of Fister-like in that they’re both 6’8, but the comparisons fall apart after that. For one, he’s a pretty solid flyball pitcher in the same way that Fister is regarded as a groundball pitcher. Second, Kasparek’s Ks have disappeared as he’s moved up. Fister was on the edge of what’s considered to be dangerous levels there, but Kasparek has been wandering around in no man’s land for over a year now (Fister was also there once, but that was after jumping from Everett to West Tenn), and until those strikeouts start rebounding, I can’t really convince myself that he has much of a future.

  7. dgood on April 18th, 2011 12:04 pm

    I love that Ackley has a higher OPS than most the mariners team while only batting .209. His OPS is still .682. When can they bring him up? Even if just to fill tickets? I’m going to the first game I can when I get back from England.

  8. themedia on April 18th, 2011 4:02 pm

    Jay Yencich, you’re awesome. Thanks, man.

  9. gag harbor on April 19th, 2011 12:44 am

    I was hoping I’d like the game threads this year a lot more than I like these reports. Thanks Jay, at times this is all I have to get happy about with regards to the Mariners.

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