Game 25, Mariners at Rays

Dave · May 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Noesi vs Moore, 4:05 pm.

The M’s went with the better option, and Mike Carp is expected to join the team in Tampa Bay today, replacing Miguel Olivo on the roster. This means that Montero and Jaso will now split the catching duties, and I’d expect Carp to mostly get DH time until he shows that he’s completely healthy. Because the Mariners are facing a lefty tonight, Carp is not in the line-up, but he’ll probably be available to pinch-hit and I’d expect him to start at DH tomorrow.

Hector Noesi will get the start for the Mariners, and he’s going to need a good performance pretty soon or we’ll have to start talking about whether his rotation spot should be in jeopardy. With Evan Longoria on the shelf, the Rays line-up takes a significant hit, so this should be an opportunity for him to show that he deserves to stick in the rotation. One interesting thing to note on Noesi:

Vs RHB: 15.4% BB%, 12.8% K%
Vs LHB: 2.4% BB%, 17.1% K%

Noesi’s best pitch is his change-up, and it’s been the only pitch he can throw for a swinging strike in the early part of the season. Since the change-up is more effective against opposite handed hitters, Noesi’s running a 7/1 K/BB ratio against lefties, but since he relies more on his fastball and breaking ball against RHBs, he’s posted a 5/6 mark against righties. The development of his breaking ball is going to be vital for Noesi’s long term success, as he needs a swing-and-miss pitch against right-handed batters. The Rays will run a bunch of left-handed bats out there tonight, so Noesi should be able to use his change-up often. The key will be how well he’s able to attack guys like B.J. Upton when he’s not able to lean on his change-up.

Ackley, DH
Liddi, 3B
Ichiro, RF
Smoak, 1B
Montero, C
Seager, 2B
Wells, LF
Saunders, CF
Ryan, SS


115 Responses to “Game 25, Mariners at Rays”

  1. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 12:36 pm

    Urgh, I’m removing most of my comment since it was based on an erroneous assumption.

    Has Figgins played third base at all this year?

  2. Paul B on May 1st, 2012 12:47 pm

    Baseball-reference says Figgins has 1 game and 11 innings at third this year.

    Why do you ask?

    Thinking Oakland might want him?

  3. Paul B on May 1st, 2012 12:48 pm

    I just saw a tweet that Jose Lopez may be DFA today, maybe another option for Oakland (who got Inge earlier today).

  4. jordan on May 1st, 2012 12:51 pm

    Anybody else feel that Noesi is probably on the starting pitcher bubble right now?

  5. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 12:59 pm

    Pretty sure Figgins was at 3rd in the first game of the season, in which Carp was injured.

    Interesting seeing Liddi hitting second. I like it.

  6. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 1:04 pm

    Actually I was asking because, after thinking about it, I couldn’t remember him being at third anytime during the regular season. :-D But I missed game one.

    Doubtful Oakland would want him if they have to pay much of anything for him. I wouldn’t mind him being given away, but I have my doubts Jack Z will do it yet. Who knows, though – the team’s surprised me once already in the last 24 hours (although their hand was forced).

  7. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 1:06 pm

    This is my favorite lineup all season. No Figgins! No Olivo! You give Ackley’s legs a rest, plus you keep giving Wells, Liddi and Seager playing time. Good job Wedge….now about that Jaso guy….

  8. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 1:08 pm

    Always nice to see all the young guys in there!

    I’m counting Ryan as one of the kids, because mentally… ;-)

  9. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 1:14 pm

    I like the lineup, too. I am not so sure I will end up liking what Matt Moore does to it today, but the intrigue is why we watch.

    All hail for Ryan to get a hit! Who’s with me on this?

  10. Jordan on May 1st, 2012 1:14 pm

    Best lineup of the season? It’s already been said but no Olivo, no Figgins, perhaps the only improvement would be to get Jaso in there while Smoak struggles.

  11. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 1:17 pm

    “Anybody else feel that Noesi is probably on the starting pitcher bubble right now?”

    Yes, definitely.

  12. just a fan on May 1st, 2012 1:17 pm

    Finally, Wedge gets some sense and benches Olivo! It’s about time!

  13. JMHawkins on May 1st, 2012 1:27 pm

    Glad to see Jaso get more PT. He’s almost from my home town, and I think my nephew knows him (went to HS a year behind him).

    Oh, and he’s better than Olivo, so there’s that too.

  14. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 1:39 pm

    Olivo’s not been benched. He on the DL. Jaso shouldn’t face a quality lefthander with his career splits. This is about the lineup I expected for today.

  15. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 1:40 pm

    Terry: I think Just a Fan, was joking. Actually, I am quite certain he was.

  16. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 1:52 pm

    Someday … soon, hopefully:

    Ackley 2B
    Guti CF
    Ichiro RF
    Montero C
    Carp DH
    Smoak 1B
    Seager 3B
    Saunders LF
    Ryan SS

    Bench: Wells, Liddi, Jaso, Kawasaki

  17. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 2:04 pm


    That’s pretty close to the lineup I see for tomorrow’s game, minus Guti.

  18. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 2:24 pm

    Yeah, I think it has the potential to become a “standard” of sorts if everyone is firing on all cylinders; once the team purges the chaffe and gets to the meaty wheat … or at least this teams facsimile, thereof.

    I suppose for tomorrow, Figgins will be back in at leadoff and Jaso will be at C (sure would like to see him play).

    It is hard to tell how much the lineup really matters with this team when there are 5 guys with wOBA’s under .290. Montero is at exactly .290 and I have to believe that his will go up quite a bit before it is said and done. Per the Fangraphs rule of thumb “guide,” anything below .290 is AWFUL. .320 is average.

    Any guesses as to who (of the regulars) leads the team in wOBA? I will bet Westy knows the answer.

    I really, really like the wOBA stat. I would have to say that it is my favorite stat. I have warmed up to several others, but it pretty much has it all … right there … in “glorious” electronic color.

    It’s kinda hard to believe this team is around .500, all things considered. Hopefully they come away with at least one win in Tampa.

  19. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 2:32 pm

    Hehe – I’ll take “Condor” for $400, Mike.

  20. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 2:34 pm

    I agree I think Figgins will start tomorrow. I look for Jaso starting against Niemann on Thursday. It being a day game after a night game.Somebody should shoot whomever made the schedule out. It’s nuts. We have to fly across the country Thursday night and then play the Twins Friday night.

  21. Kyle Miller on May 1st, 2012 2:35 pm

    Mike, its a glorious dream. Probably a pipe dream, but a glorious one at that. Wedge has some strange attachment to Olivo that only Z can circumvent. But something tells me he won’t for a while, and that’s frustrating.

  22. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 2:36 pm

    Ding ding ding. Condor is at .369. Just a radar blip below “great” within the fangraphs scheme of things. It would be great if he could keep it up. Absolutely, great. And, please – Michael, less bunting back to the pitcher with 1 out and a man on third.

  23. TherzAlwaysHope on May 1st, 2012 2:44 pm

    low wOBA: anything to with the Wedge not appreciating walks? All I know, when the other team is pulling walks on us, I start getting real nervous.

  24. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 2:49 pm

    Kyle: I think the recently injured catcher is going to be on the IR for quite a while. I would say 6 weeks, if not longer. Please understand, my strong medical background and credential has led me to this conclusion.

    At his age and his size and with the sound of the ‘pop’ which became an issue whereby he could not bear any weight … this is going to be a several week injury. There is a tear and it is probably bleeding. When things “pop” – that is what usually happens. Plus, he has had a less severe injury of this same area, previously. The area has been “compromised” so to speak, and it isn’t getting stronger.

    Factor in constant squatting and “quick reactions” to the ball being a necessary component of the position … and he is going to need quite a bit of time to come back from this, me thinks.

  25. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 2:54 pm

    “anything to do with Wedge not appreciating walks”

    Although I do not know what Wedge does or does not actualy “appreciate” – there is a rampant, contagious, mutant growth of non-walks throughout the organization at all levels. Since Wedge is the organizational figurehead, yeah – blame him.

    More baserunners, more runs. It’s simple deduction, but apparently not a simple matter to resolve.

  26. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 3:04 pm

    It’s funny. Saunders didn’t walk much in his horrible 2011, but generally he’s been a “walker” and this year he’s been walking a bit – probably because he’s hitting okay and not pressuring himself (or being pressured) to swing at everything.

    I’m a bit concerned about Ackley and Montero not walking much – especially Ackley. But that may very well be simply small-sample-size theater.

    As far as wOBA goes… I’m happy to see Saunders having success right now, but at the end of the season I expect Montero and Ackley to be up there. I don’t know what to make of Condor; I don’t think any of us do yet.

  27. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 3:10 pm

    ^ agree.

    Saunders: Toolsy guy that provides glimpses into what he could be – and maybe he is on his way to becoming just “that.”

    Hey Westy, I sent an email message to an address posted on line for you. Keep an eye out for it.

  28. Ibuprofen on May 1st, 2012 3:37 pm

    “Anybody else feel that Noesi is probably on the starting pitcher bubble right now?”

    No. He’s flashed brilliance too many times already, and placing him in the bullpen would make little sense. It’d be best to give him more than a month to adjust to starting at the Major League level, especially with the promise he’s shown.

  29. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 3:44 pm

    Here is what has been wrong with Noesi in 2012. His HR/9 has more than doubled–.96 in 2011 and now it is 2.08. Hector’s GB% is unacceptably low at 28.3%. And last but not least, Noesi’s LOB% is 51.3!!! I’m hoping for regression to the mean in about 15 minutes.

  30. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 4:10 pm

    The M’s BB%:

    Yay for being “AGGRESSIVE”

  31. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:14 pm

    Sent one back at you, Mike.

  32. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:16 pm

    Why do the true start times keep getting pushed later and later? First pitch was at roughly 7:17 ET.

  33. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:20 pm

    I like the over-the-pitcher’s-shoulder camera angle. Moore’s strike 2 pitch really moved!

  34. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 4:22 pm

    They do that to mad you mad Westy. haha

  35. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 4:23 pm

    Boy, Smoak looked silly chasing that high fastball. I did not see the entire sequence (just got home). Did he get set up for the high fastball or did he simply not recognize it and went chasing?

    Roger on the message, Westy. I will pick it up tomorrow back at the ranch.

  36. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:25 pm

    Is that his change up that’s coming in at about 85?

  37. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 4:27 pm

    Saunders should have caught that. UZR hasn’t been loving his CF defense and I can see why.

  38. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:28 pm

    UZR seems to have serious fluctuations though. A lot of people say it’s only viable if you have a three season sample size to pull from so one month seems very premature to take too seriously. But I do think that was catchable and probably should have been caught.

  39. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 4:29 pm

    Smoak really looks lost at the plate right now.He seems to be just guessing where the ball is going.

  40. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 4:30 pm

    Nobody can get a clear read on the fly balls in that dome of craptitude. Ichiros hit – similar deal.

    Brooklyn or bust for the Rays. Sometime after Crash Davis becomes Commissioner.

    Time to work out.

    BTW: does anybody know if Luke Scott lost a bet?

  41. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:32 pm

    I think Condor should’ve caught that, even though it’s a difficult read. He’s supposed to be a plus fielder.

    Of course, so is Upton.

  42. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 4:33 pm

    I agree about UZR. I thought Saunders was good out there, UZR backs that up in 2011 and 2010. But this year he is negative and plays like that aren’t helping him.

  43. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 4:35 pm

    Nice mechanics, blue. The replay got the call right.

    Really time for a workout, now.

  44. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:35 pm

    Sims, I think those commercials featured Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, not Michael Jordan.

  45. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:36 pm

    No, it was definitely Michael Jordan… Sorry Westy

  46. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 4:38 pm

    Who cares? They weren’t Sonics! :)

  47. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 4:39 pm

    Monty nailed that!

  48. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:39 pm

    You’re right, Marcus –

  49. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:39 pm

    Montero seems to be driving the ball much better recently. His running however, has not improved at all.

  50. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:41 pm

    It’s a bit weird, though, because the rivalry was Bird/Johnson.

    Jordan had no rivals. ;-)

  51. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:43 pm

    This was earlier in Jordan’s career though wasn’t it? Before Jordan’s Bulls started really destroying everyone.

  52. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:45 pm

    Regardless of result, this is a great at bat by Wells. We need at bats like this because I think Moore might have the best pure “stuff” of any lefty we’ll see this year.

  53. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 4:45 pm

    This is turning into on hell of an at-bat for Wells.

  54. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 4:46 pm

    That’s ok, glad he made him work!

  55. nvn8vbryce on May 1st, 2012 4:49 pm

    Did anyone else picture what I did when Montero ran the bases? You know… Someone running around the bases with concrete filled buckets around them….

  56. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 4:52 pm

    Montero is likely told not to run too hard. And I can understand that. Maybe we’d see a little more hustle if Olivo hadn’t been injured.

  57. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 4:55 pm

    Wow! Saunders!!

  58. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:55 pm


  59. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 4:55 pm

    OK Saunders I forgive you for missing that catch.

  60. nvn8vbryce on May 1st, 2012 4:55 pm


  61. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:55 pm


  62. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 4:56 pm

    Saunders is showing something against lefties this year!

  63. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 4:58 pm

    I really didn’t think Saunders would develop in to one of the guys that I want to see in the lineup every day, but he really is.

    Does anyone else notice that the question asks who the active leader is and then clarifies (in the live ball era)? Is there anyone active that accumulated some of those games before 1920?

  64. stevemotivateir on May 1st, 2012 4:58 pm

    Yeah, that’s a very encouraging sign!

  65. 9inningknowitall on May 1st, 2012 4:59 pm

    I remember watching Saunders when he was first brought up to play with Tacoma and he just looked different then the rest of the players on the field. I’ve been pulling for him for a few years now and am really glad he is starting to come around. Seems like a fun guy too from the few times I’ve interacted with him.

  66. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 5:04 pm

    Well he is Canadian, 9inning. It was probably the toque. :-P

  67. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:07 pm

    Great turn there. Seager seems really comfortable at second.

  68. greentunic on May 1st, 2012 5:07 pm

    In reference to the commentators, how much leadership does your worst performer really have?

    I mean if my boss was way worse than me at our job, I wouldn’t refer to his expertise or atitude too much…

  69. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 5:10 pm

    That was a Branyan-esque shot.

  70. greentunic on May 1st, 2012 5:11 pm

    Iwakuma… Iwakuma… Iwakuma…
    Ramirez… Ramirez… Ramirez…

    Cheer with me!

  71. TherzAlwaysHope on May 1st, 2012 5:22 pm

    Saunders in CF: he has sucked so many times when getting close to the wall. They ought to give him 50 flyballs a day over his head and near the wall. Wait … make that a 100.

  72. greentunic on May 1st, 2012 5:22 pm

    What is that like 0-185 with RISP now?

  73. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:23 pm

    Really frustrating inning there. Strikeouts on straight fastballs

  74. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 5:23 pm

    Ugh. I love and hate fangraphs for its honesty:
    Michael Saunders career wRC+ splits
    Saunders’ 2012 wRC+ (SSS)
    LHP-307 (can’t sustain this)
    Jesus Montero’s wRC+ career (verySSS)
    RHP-68-(please improve)

  75. hidalgo on May 1st, 2012 5:25 pm

    Jeez. What is the record for consecutive 0 for Risp?

  76. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:27 pm

    Wow Scott just crushed that foul ball and then juuuuuuust missed the next pitch.

  77. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 5:27 pm

    Man, is there something about Noesi’s pitches that encourages moon shots?

  78. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:27 pm

    Wow great play by Liddi!

  79. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:31 pm


    Perhaps the fact that he places them right in the middle of the plate?

  80. hidalgo on May 1st, 2012 5:32 pm

    Last hit with a risp was Saunders slam in the 10th at Toronto. Since then, M’s have scored 5 runs, all on solo HR’s. That’s just weird.

  81. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 5:34 pm

    I thought choking up on the bat was to help shorten your swing? apparently Brendan Ryan is the exception to this rule.

  82. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:35 pm

    Wow, another graphic that seems like it came straight from this site!

  83. Carson on May 1st, 2012 5:36 pm

    Yet another conveniently timed stat from Mariners TV that matches a recent USSM post.

  84. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:37 pm

    While Moore is carving up our lineup, he has thrown 97 pitches and he’s on a pretty tight pitch count I would imagine so he could be gone after this inning.

  85. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 5:37 pm

    ok great group hug everybody.

  86. Westside guy on May 1st, 2012 5:41 pm

    I think it’s great that the ROOT guys appear to be looking at sites like USSM. Many, many people who would never even think about visiting here, or Lookout Landing, or FanGraphs, are being exposed to alternative ways of looking at things.

  87. justdave on May 1st, 2012 5:48 pm

    OK, we got wild thang out of there and we’re into the pen. Time to score some runs guys.

    And Montero is 3-3, maybe there is something to the “hits better when he catches” theory.

  88. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 5:48 pm

    So I know statistics show that they’re helpful and all, but it seems like the Rays’ shifts have done them more harm than good so far in this series. That’s another example where that’s an out with a normal defense but gets through the shift.

  89. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 5:54 pm


    It could also be that he’s hitting .391 against lefthanders and only .207 against righthanders. Maybe?

  90. justdave on May 1st, 2012 5:56 pm

    Now that sounds like more than a theory, terry.

  91. spankystout on May 1st, 2012 5:59 pm

    Most hitters do perform below their talent level when they DH. So yes, Montero should hit a little bit better when catching.

  92. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 6:18 pm

    So who does everyone think is the next person called up since the obvious one (Carp) has already happened?

  93. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 6:28 pm

    Wow great game for Monty

  94. MrZDevotee on May 1st, 2012 6:34 pm

    “Here I come to save the day!” Am I too late to get us a couple runs?

    How do you put up 9 hits and only 1 run? That’s hard to do ON PURPOSE.

  95. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 6:34 pm

    Would it be appropriate to say that Jesus’ bat likes to catch?

    Would it be redundant to say that there is a giant chasm in the 4-hole?

    Would it be realistic to assume a change will be made soon in regard to said “hole”

    Tony Horton inspired dopamine increase was effective, but it has not yet done a thing to help this offense.

  96. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 6:34 pm

    No, you are right on time!

  97. MrZDevotee on May 1st, 2012 6:38 pm

    Did Noesi do okay today, or did he just get lucky?

    Also, what was the stat it appeared that Root borrowed from USSMariner?

  98. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 6:39 pm

    We out hit them 3 to 1. They out score us 3 to 1. There is something weird in that.

  99. marcus_andrews on May 1st, 2012 6:44 pm

    Noesi looked pretty good actually. He had some long out but his stuff looked good and after a rocky first he settled down and did well.

    Wow, Kawasaki first guy off the bench to pinch hit.? Huh… Surprising to say the least.

  100. just a fan on May 1st, 2012 6:47 pm

    MrZ – Root stole Liddi’s swing & miss rate comparison from this year to last year from yesterday’s Quick Note. Thiefs.

  101. msfanmike on May 1st, 2012 6:48 pm

    Always have used a 2 for 1 rule of thumb for runs scored per hits. For every two hits, your team should have a run. Approximately. Not a hard and fast rule, but my rule and my thumb.

    What kind of follow through is Carp using? God, that looked awful – twice. Plew!

  102. MrZDevotee on May 1st, 2012 6:49 pm

    I tried… That sucks, only 3 hits given up and we lose by 2 runs…

    And those K’s in the 9th are a little ugly.

  103. terryoftacoma on May 1st, 2012 6:50 pm

    Keep in mind that we just saw Kawasaki and Carp pitch hit and not Jaso. I think it speaks volumes has to how Wedge plans on using Jaso.

  104. MrZDevotee on May 1st, 2012 6:52 pm

    Is it wrong to say “something seems dangerously normal about the last 2 losses” so early in the season? Harkens back to the 2nd half of last season, where we competed pretty good, but just didn’t really have enough to get to the 9th and finish out ballgames.

    Although, granted, I didn’t watch the games I just read the recaps and caught the 9th tonight.

  105. msfanmike on May 2nd, 2012 9:32 am

    “something seems dangerously normal about the last 2 losses”

    No doubt about it. The game Friday night was a 1-2 times per year occurrence. The game last night … very familiar in taste, quality and texture. All part of the growing process, I suppose. How much longer the homes fans will tolerate said growing process is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the next Ichiro bobblehead giveway night will shed some light on their feelings, if “smoakamotive” night, does not provide that type of insight later this week.

    The team is 0-30 with runners in scoring position over its last 3 games. Is there a more pronounced adjective to use than “abysmal”? Bad luck certainly isn’t the answer.

    If there is a better descriptor than “abysmal,” please – someone … use it. My mastery of the English language is somewhat limited with its ability to describe the recent rate of success.

    And, someone other than Ryan – please work a damn walk. Enough already, for Phooking Phrack sake! The opposing teams know the Mariners are going to hack, so there is no reason to pitch around anybody. They also know the team does not have a plethora of accomplished hitters, so again – there is no reason to pitch around anybody. The advance scouts know this. The teams approach has made the opposing teams job even easier than it used to be … and that IS SAYING SOMETHING

    Post script: Wells did have a real good AB last night (10 or 11 pitches). I can’t remember how it turned out, but I could probably guess. Anyway, making the pitcher work resulted in the pitcher having to work … and having to leave early from the game. Not that it mattered, because most any teams bullpen is enough to mow down the Mariner lineup, but it was a real good AB. There were a couple others too, but certainly not enough – and it has become an ever growing problem.

  106. MrZDevotee on May 2nd, 2012 9:53 am

    Yeah, Ryan had a walk yesterday (the only one)… The fact that he’s walking regularly leaves no excuses for anyone else, because it’s not like anyone is carefully pitching around the guy. If Brendan Ryan can put up a .320+ OBP, everyone else on the roster should be near that level.

    And I think Smoak needs to get a medical waiver to smoke pot… ANYTHING to clear his head, because his talent level at the plate is obviously higher than Mario Mendoza’s. He’s scrapping and flailing and lunging at pitches. Just his quote after yesterday’s game screams “I’m flailing!” He ranted about “can’t just say it’s ‘early’ we need to be getting it done… Everyday… That’s what winner’s do…” Which is an attitude I love, but if I attach it to his current performance it seems to translate to: “**** I suck… What the hell is wrong with me… I’m letting this team down… Everyone is depending on me.”

    I think it may be time to give Montero a shot at #4 and move Smoak down to 6th or so. Montero is a true hitter, and I really don’t think he’d feel overmatched in the 4 hole. To him it seems like his at bat is a competition between him and the BALL, doens’t matter the pitcher or the situation. He’s gonna get the best of that ball, if he can.

    There is, though, a tiny voice inside me saying “relax… 9 hits and 1 run, how often is that gonna happen… we’re hitting the ball pretty well, just not at the right times.”

    Regardless, Figgins days have to be numbered, because if we’re not gonna compete, it’s not gonna matter how much we’re paying him… it’ll make more sense to give experience to someone ELSE who fits the future plans. Or hell, can Jaso play the outfield.

    Just to be funny:

    Ichiro RF
    Ackley RF
    Liddi 3B
    Montero C
    Carp DH
    Smoak 1B
    Jaso LF (I kid)
    Ryan SS
    Seager 2B (in the “2nd leadoff position)

  107. vj on May 2nd, 2012 10:21 am

    “Keep in mind that we just saw Kawasaki and Carp pitch hit and not Jaso. I think it speaks volumes has to how Wedge plans on using Jaso.”

    I don’t think it does. If he uses Jaso as a pinch-hitter, he’s without a backup catcher. Most managers want to avoid that.

  108. msfanmike on May 2nd, 2012 10:21 am

    Personally, and only if it were possible, I’d go with:

    Real # 3 hitter

    But alas, we have no real #3 hitter and there is nobody projected to be good enough to place there for a while. Montero could slide there, but then we get the #4 chasm. Ordinarily, a guy with some ability to run also fits into the #3 hole (and we know that ain’t Monty). Ichiro will have to hold down the fort until that problem is resolved. I like Guti in the #2 spot if/when he ever comes back and is playing at a productive level. A real, quality, productive with power #3 hitter would sure help, but ……..

    With Ackley in the leadoff spot and Ichiro hitting #2, it would probably require the Manager to put the game into motion more often. Ichiro might find even more holes that way. Or, hit into more DP’s. Hard to say … but I think he is talented enough to figure it out. Ackley BTW: needs to pick it up, but there is not a lot of worry around him at the moment, because talent and athletic ability usually prevail. We know he has it. We don’t know that Smoak does. No positional flexibility. No quick reactions. No real evidence of athleticism. Not sure what he is, exactly.

  109. Westside guy on May 2nd, 2012 10:31 am

    I’d like to see Ichiro moved back into the leadoff spot, with Ackley batting #2 – just because Ackley seems more likely to hit with some punch, and therefore perhaps a bit more likely to drive Ichiro in than Ichiro is to drive Ackley in. Also, having Ichiro on base ahead of him might force Ackley to be a little more patient at the plate… something I thought he was, until this year and Wedgie’s influence. ;-)

  110. msfanmike on May 2nd, 2012 10:36 am

    Hard to argue with either one, actually. I think I lean toward Ackley in the leadoff spot because that is more geared toward the teams “future”. Six of one, half a dozen ….

    I would like to see the best 4 hitters have the most opportunity to hit. Whomever they are. Do we have 4?

    Also, I just realized this – Figgins is still on the team. Crap, I hate it when I remember that. Addition by subtraction time – is fast approaching. If Jaso is going to rot on the bench becuase he is the backup C and Wedge can’t risk losing him and doesn’t want to wrap his mind around the late inning potential of losing the DH, I would rather see a third Catcher brought up and let Figgins rot on the bench. Or, resume whatever remains of his career rotting on someone else’s bench.

    A third catcher could also mean one less man in the pen. If given a choice, I would go with one less man in the pen. Based on how Wedge uses the pen, there is at least .9 of a roster spot being wasted in the pen, right now.

  111. MrZDevotee on May 2nd, 2012 12:27 pm

    Isn’t Iwakuma ALREADY “one less man in the pen”… We could send him down, and since neither he nor Jaso gets used, Jaso could be the “one less man in the pen, too”– he could cover TWO unused players positions with one guy. Makes perfect sense somehow in the Wedge world. It only takes ONE guy to fill both “I won’t use him ’cause he’s not my type of player” roles.

    (totally unrelated, other than a sports related story that just came on the air– Junior Seau killed himself… Sad stuff, 3 kids left behind)

  112. Westside guy on May 2nd, 2012 12:32 pm

    MrZ, you may be on to something…

    (sad about Seau though)

  113. msfanmike on May 2nd, 2012 1:41 pm

    Seau … go figure? WTF, Junior

    I kinda like Mr Z’s one stop shop-gap filler do it all (i.e. nothing) employee.

    In regard to the FTE (Full Time Equivalent) conundrum: I equate Wedge’s use of his roster to having authority to hire a full time person, but only putting them to work for 2 hours per week. He is eating the FTE and getting very little for it. Yes, yes I (and everybody else) knows – that bullpen pieces are not supposed to be used “full time.” I am just trying to equate what Wedge has done to this point – with the pseudo real world in which I exist for 40 hours per week; and to make an attempt to better understand it for what it is.

    I am probably a bit too old to completely “appreciate” 48% of the roster being dedicated to pitchers … with at least one of those pitchers throwing 2 innings per month.

    If the team could somehow use Figgins to cover the following roles simultaneously, I might be in favor of seeing him stick around:

    12th man in pen
    3rd catcher
    Pinch Runner
    16th inning defensive replacement
    21st inning pinch hitter

  114. Westside guy on May 2nd, 2012 1:55 pm

    Looking at today’s roster – I think Wedgie has forgotten he has a left-handed catcher again.

  115. msfanmike on May 2nd, 2012 2:04 pm

    ^what’s new.

    Jaso is his safety (can’t ever let the guy get hurt or play) valve. Jaso must be a really, really shitty catcher. Afterall, isn’t that why Jack went out and got him prior to the Montero trade … since Jack knows nothing about player evals.

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