Game 18, Mariners at Tigers

Dave · April 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Vargas vs Scherzer, 4:05 pm.

Well, apparently, Justin Smoak won’t be trying to solve his contact issues today, as he’s getting the day off to rest up his hamstring. Performance issues aside, Smoak has been dealing with one kind of nagging injury or another for most of his Mariner career. Whether that is a mitigating circumstance for his poor performance or just means that the guy has durability issues, I’ll leave up to you to decide.

In Smoak’s place, Alex Liddi gets his first start against a right-hander. Also, Munenori Kawasaki gets the start at shortstop in place of Brendan Ryan. We haven’t heard anything about Ryan being hurt, but he’s probably not a guy you want to run out there for 150 games a year, so giving him a day off against a right-hander isn’t the worst idea ever.

Figgins, LF
Ackley, 2B
Ichiro, RF
Montero, DH
Seager, 3B
Liddi, 1B
Saunders, CF
Olivo, C
Kawasaki, SS


174 Responses to “Game 18, Mariners at Tigers”

  1. marcus_andrews on April 24th, 2012 8:23 pm

    JoshJones I really don’t think you can say we gave up on Morse or Lahair too early. Lahair is a 29 year old rookie who plays first base without a ton of power. We had plenty of options that were performing as well or better than him and it’s also been two weeks of pt so far.

    As for Morse, he was a shortstop who couldn’t play shortstop and looked HORRIBLE in the outfield and he wasn’t hitting at all. I mean sure, that type of thing happens from time to time that he ends up hitting it big, but there’s nothing in his Mariner career that would really make anyone think he could hit 30 homers in a season. Hindsight is 20/20 but if you look at the decision at the time for those two guys, you really can’t fault the front office at all.

    Choo and Cabrera are different stories… Freaking Bavasi

  2. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2012 8:30 pm


    Seager isn’t likely going anywhere (soon) and Saunders hasn’t done enough to create any real value.

    The real value we have is in the pitching. Vargas, Noesi (maybe), Beavan, Furbush, and Millwood (though I doubt Millwood will be shipped), are the real trade-candidates. Ryan probably goes as well, as Kawasaki can take the spot til Franklin is ready.

  3. msfanmike on April 24th, 2012 8:30 pm

    I am so happy with today’s win that I am watching the A’s – White Sox game on purpose. Yeah, the A’s. I Can’t get enough of them

  4. msfanmike on April 24th, 2012 8:38 pm

    I think League will end up being the strongest trade candidate. I also think miggy will be moved later in the year … For a middle of the road A-ball prospect. I yearn for the day (yes, yearn) when we have a real lead off hitter. Assuming we can’t get one and assuming ackley assumes that role, a lineup of ackley, Seager, Ichiro, Montero would be a decent top four. Followed by Carp (if right) Guti if healthy, Smoak if awake, Saunders if decent, Jaso if not rigid from lack of playing and a serviceable shortstop; plus two starters and a better bullpen ,.. Then last in the west probably won’t occur. Playoffs! Did someone say playoffs??? It weren’t me.

  5. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2012 8:40 pm

    Ah, yes, I left League off that list. He’ll have value as well.

  6. msfanmike on April 24th, 2012 8:51 pm

    When one of the three headed monster or carraway or even erasmo is ready to move up, I think millwood would be traded in a heartbeat. He might be traded without that occurring, actually. He is nothing more than a stopgap. Why don’t you think he would be traded down the road … If not outright released down the road to make room for someone else? Just curious about your thought process, Steve. Plus this iPhone is addictive.

  7. msfanmike on April 24th, 2012 8:55 pm

    Franklin has a long way to go and there is no real proof that he can be a major league caliber shortstop. I know we would like for it to happen, but that comes with the perils of falling in love with a player with a good summer in A-ball who was a high draft pick. Jay and others and others more all have concerns about Franklin. If you saw him at all in the spring, you would probably be concerned too. Still high on the prospect list, but those lists change all the time.

  8. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2012 9:00 pm

    Millwood doesn’t seem to have a lot of gas in the tank and it seems like Wedge wants him around to mentor the younger pitchers. His return would probably net the least of the other starters, so I could see him stickin’ around -even if moved to the pen. Wedge has shown strange loyalty (stubbornness) to worse players, so it really wouldn’t surprise me.

  9. Westside guy on April 24th, 2012 9:00 pm

    Millwood won’t be traded unless his ERA starts coming down…

    (Yes I have looked up his FIP)

  10. Kazinski on April 24th, 2012 9:03 pm

    I wonder if Wedge knows his everyday catcher has an OPS of .375, if not maybe somebody should tell him.

    I hope Liddi’s day might convince Wedge to give him a few more AB’s, hopefully mostly at Olivo’s expense, and Smoak’s durability issues might also be helped by one or two days off a week. When Carp comes back, I hope Figgins is the one that feels the most impact on his playing time. It’s becoming apparent there is a real improvement in Saunders, and he needs to keep building on that. He’s leading the team in doubles, and its not a fluke the way he keeps putting line drives in the gap.

  11. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2012 9:05 pm

    I’d be surprised if Franklin was ready next year. I know he has a way to go. To be fair, where he really stunk this spring, was at 2nd. But I could see the M’s shipping Ryan this year and stickin’ with Kawasaki for a while. Ryan’s in the last year of his contract and arbitration-eligible for 2013.

  12. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2012 9:11 pm

    Liddi was the one who surprised me the most this spring. He shortened his swing, showed better pitch recognition and plate-discipline. Seems to be carrying over. It’s early, but he’s making the most of his opportunities. Gotta love that! The one thing I was nervous about, was his defense at 1st. Didn’t look bad today though, so maybe he’s been working on it before the games?

  13. Mid80sRighty on April 24th, 2012 9:13 pm

    Just because Saunders had some good results today doesn’t mean he had a good process. I didn’t see the game, but following Gameday and listening it seemed like he was behind some inside fastballs. And it also seems he’s letting some good pitches go by. Yes, from time to time he’s driving the ball the other way, but it seems at the expense of the inside fastball. Which tells me he’s still got a long swing. He’s good in the field, but his hitting is still a bad process.

    I’m loving Seager, though. I always said, or at least to my friends, that he was going to be All-Star potential. Good swing and he makes adjustments quick. He doesn’t have the raw talent of Ackley, but he makes adjustments quicker.

  14. Mid80sRighty on April 24th, 2012 9:18 pm

    Nice call about Liddi, Steve. I’ve been thinking the same thing.

    And I wouldn’t worry about his first base defense. He’s a third baseman, so first shouldn’t be too difficult

  15. Westside guy on April 24th, 2012 9:40 pm

    If you want to rate Saunders based on what you see on Gameday, that’s fine. But to go by what you heard? That’s not really a good idea, unless Dave C. or Jeff S. started offering regular alternative game audio. If we go by that, we start thinking, oh I don’t know… Olivo’s got a good approach.

    He’s swung and missed on some prime pitches. But the stuff he let go by today was mostly stuff where I thought he made the right decision – even if it ended up being called a strike.

  16. Mid80sRighty on April 24th, 2012 9:47 pm

    Easy Westy, I combine the two to get a mental picture. I understand the flaws with both, but I think eventually the truth comes out combining the two. Not quite the same as seeing it, I understand. And Saunders, from what I can gather, still has a bad approach…it’s just a changed bad approach lol

  17. Zero Gravitas on April 24th, 2012 10:16 pm

    Just watched the 8th inning again. Wilhelmsen was terrific getting those last 2 K’s on very different out pitches.

  18. msfanmike on April 24th, 2012 10:23 pm


    I wonder if the lineup is created with a similar visualization techique. The visceral sensation of creating mental images could just be too tempting to pass up. It would certainly help explain some of the decisions, too.

  19. Kazinski on April 24th, 2012 11:27 pm

    But I could see the M’s shipping Ryan this year and stickin’ with Kawasaki for a while.

    They’d be nuts if they did, the team is much better with Ryan on the field, he is better with the glove and he is better with the bat than Kawasaki. Kawasaki is fine as a backup, but he is not an everyday player by any stretch of the imagination. It’s hard to know what Wedge is going to do, but I can guarantee you Jack isn’t going to make that move.

  20. stevemotivateir on April 24th, 2012 11:34 pm

    ^You don’t know that. Kawasaki could be better with the bat, though that’s not saying much. He absolutely could be an every day player. Why on Earth would you he isn’t “by any stretch of the imagination”? He was for many years in Japan. Probably not as good with the glove as Ryan, but nobody is.

    Having said that, I’m not even saying they should deal Ryan this year. But for the right return… we do have a capable replacement in Kawasaki.

  21. Westside guy on April 24th, 2012 11:42 pm

    I wonder if Carp has been trying to come back too quickly? It’s hard to see how he could be hitting as badly as he currently is in AAA, if he’s healthy.

  22. MrZDevotee on April 25th, 2012 12:23 am

    Westy I love it when Saunders plays well, but I don’t think he’s proven yet that he can play consistently, even just average Major League baseball. I know you’ve been rooting for him for a longtime now, and I hope he does you proud, but there’s a part of me always fearing his “one step forward, two steps back” development. Everytime I think I’m wrong, and get to enjoy him proving me wrong, he falls back to earth again, in a hole ever so slightly deeper than the last– like his statistical dopple-ganger Mike Carp.

    Fingers crossed though.

  23. MrZDevotee on April 25th, 2012 12:47 am

    Note to Wedge…

    Miguel Olivo, .192 Slg%, 3 OPS+ (NOT a typo, yes, “3”)

    3 passed balls*

    *already leading the league, on pace for 28, which would be the 3rd highest total ever in a season for the modern era (Gino Petralli had 35 in 63 games in 1987- WOW! Caught a knuckleballer?).

    Name me another starting Major League Player able to keep his starting job with this line…

    8 for 52
    1 BB
    11 K’s
    While leading the league in defensive inefficiency at his position?

    Can we hear the “guys are gonna be held accountable” speech again, Mr. Wedge?

    (Or at least, can you have a sit down with Brendan Ryan and explain how these decisions get made, something like “a throwing error is way worse than 3 K’s with runners on and a passed ball that moves up the winning run… Plus he’s got more ‘grit’ than you do… And he’s more aggressive… And alright, I’ll say it, I’ve never forgiven you for that GAWDAWFUL mustache last year…”)

  24. PinedaExpress on April 25th, 2012 2:32 pm

    ESPN reporting Pineda out for the season with a shoulder injury.

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