Gimenez, Jimenez, and Kelley Added
Two of these were the obvious moves once rosters expanded. The addition of Kelley probably does the most for us, and is really the only one I’m all that interested in. You may remember that Kelley was out for a while having a ligament in his elbow re-attached, sort of like TJ except minus the severity and about a year in recovery time. While in Tacoma, he got 14.2 innings in and had a .208 average against with a 15/6 K/BB. That sounds less impressive than it is because five of those walks inexplicably came in one outing. Kelley proving that he’s healthy will go a long way towards shoring up the bullpen for next season. The Mariners lucked out in the early part of the year in that their Franken-bullpen managed to turn in a series of good performances, but as time went on we learned why guys like Wright and Laffey and Ray and Gray were having a hard time holding down major league jobs in the first place. Ideally, Kelley would provide us an actual setup reliever or something resembling one.
We knew that Chris Gimenez was going to come back as soon as he recovered from the oblique injury, and the last couple of weeks, he’s been down in Tacoma batting .265/.357/.347 over forty-nine at-bats. Seeing as how the Mariners are trying to figure out what they have in Robinson and Wells in the outfield, I doubt that Gimenez is much more than our third catcher at the moment. The org had a use for him out of spring training, but since that time it seems like his versatility has become less of a factor. It just makes more sense right now to have Bard around with various recent Rainiers on the staff.
The addition of Jimenez is a head-scratcher for me because it requires a 40-man spot and Jimenez has not recently become good or anything. He’s basically showing the same issues that he’s always had with his splits: he holds right-handers to a decent-ish average at .246, but left-handers are batting .283 off of him. Except, even considering that, he’s had a 56/26 K/BB against right handers, walking more than a batter every two innings, and his 25/9 K/BB against lefties in 25.1 IP, while better, is nothing special. If you think that the Ks are any good, well, he’s done that since 2008 in Tacoma and this year is his worst walk rate yet there. A less desperate club would probably leave him there, and he’s definitely among the first on the cutting block if we need another spot in the offseason.
Edit: The corresponding move to Jimenez getting added as that the M’s released Matt Tuiasosopo. This might shock some because, hey, local kid (Woodinville High School!), but in reality Tui has been defensively limited in the past year or so, spending much of his time at first and in left, with some starts at second after both Ackley and Seager left. The decreased pressure on him on the field hasn’t helped his bat any, and it’s been stagnant for the past couple of years. Maybe he needs a change of scenery. Maybe he’s just not that good. Either way, I couldn’t have come up with a reason to keep him around unless I was really stretching.