And Here Come the Changes

Dave · June 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Not exactly sure why the M’s decided to make some of these obvious changes after tonight’s game instead of doing it this afternoon, but the roster shakeup that we talked about yesterday is here. According to Ryan Divish, the moves are as follows, though they won’t be announced until tomorrow.


Mike Carp (DL)
Stephen Pryor (DL)
Alex Liddi (Tacoma)
Blake Beavan (Tacoma)


Franklin Gutierrez (activated from DL)
Erasmo Ramirez (called up from Tacoma)

Obviously, with four guys going away and only two guys listed on the arrival side, there will be two other players joining the roster as well. Steve Delabar is the obvious fit to replace Pryor, since he was the one who lost his spot in the bullpen when they called Pryor up, and it’d be a minor shock if the guy coming up to replace Liddi wasn’t Casper Wells, for all the reasons we talked about yesterday. An OF rotation of Saunders/Gutierrez/Wells/Ichiro gives the team two left-handed and two right-handed outfielders, each of whom have the ability to play any of the OF positions if need be. Guti probably needs to be a part time player until he shows that he’s healthy and has his strength back, so Saunders will likely split time between center and left, with Wells picking up at-bats when Guti sits. It’s the best OF alignment the organization can run out there.

Figgins will move into the backup 3B/pinch runner role, so you’re likely going to see even less of him than you have lately, since he won’t be needed in the outfield anymore. He’ll probably play about as often as Iwakuma pitched in April. Yes, he’s still here, but more in theory than in practice.

On the pitching side, it’s pretty much straight forward – Ramirez replaces Beavan in the rotation, while Delabar replaces Pryor in the bullpen. If Delabar can stop giving up home runs, the ‘pen won’t take a hit, and Ramirez should improve the rotation simply by not being Blake Beavan. All around, these moves are pretty much a win across the board, and the team will be better tomorrow than they were today.

The next test will come in a month or so when Mike Carp’s 20 day “rehab assignment” comes to an end. Odds are his shoulder is no big deal, and the team is just using this to get around the fact that he’s out of options in order to give him a few weeks of regular playing time to see if he can get his bat straightened out. If he goes down to Tacoma and mashes, then they’ll have to figure out where he fits in the second half of the year. For now, though, this buys them some time to see whether Gutierrez can stay healthy and in the line-up, and if so, they can adjust Carp’s role accordingly.


50 Responses to “And Here Come the Changes”

  1. marc w on June 12th, 2012 11:14 pm

    Jandy Sena takes Erasmo Ramirez’ spot for now (Erasmo was set to start vs. Salt Lake 12 hours from now), so no Hultzen just yet, though that could (hopefully!) change.

  2. PackBob on June 12th, 2012 11:29 pm

    Whatever Guti hits in CF, it probably wouldn’t be much worse, if at all, than Figgens/Carp has been, so there should be a team upgrade at the least in defense. Wells should be better than F/C on both offense and defense and if Guti can hit some, this is a very good upgrade all around.

  3. Slats on June 12th, 2012 11:31 pm

    Good to see Guti back! Lets hope he can stay healthy.

  4. Westside guy on June 12th, 2012 11:42 pm

    Holding my breath for the official announcement…

  5. Adam B. on June 12th, 2012 11:55 pm

    Carp doesn’t really worry me, if he hits his way back into some playing time, gteat. If not, simply slide him into the spot currently labelled: “Figgins, Chone: On the 25-man roster for some reason.”

  6. just a fan on June 13th, 2012 12:03 am

    Any chance Capps is the guy?

  7. Westside guy on June 13th, 2012 12:18 am

    Any chance Capps is the guy?

    Haha, I saw this and, for a moment, honestly thought you’d typed:

    “Any chance Capps is gay?”

  8. blackhook on June 13th, 2012 2:05 am

    Guti blasted 2 doubles on Sunday @ Cheney – he looks solid, like he has bulked up in a good way. His first double, a bomb over 400′ to straightaway center, probably would have been a HR at Safeco. Here’s hoping he comes back strong this time!

  9. Rainiers_fan on June 13th, 2012 3:13 am

    Marc thanks for answering the obvious queston about Hultzen moving up before it was even asked. Good call on Carp’s “injury” Dave. Any thoughts on how Guti’s arrival will impact the DH slot? They were using him as DH on days he didn’t play CF at Tacoma. I agree blackhook, Guti does look bigger and healthier than last year. He’s been driving the ball better each time I see him play. Maybe not quite where he was before IBS but not the frail shadow he was last year. I like all the moves. Feels like we are heading in the right direction. It will be fun to find out where Carp and Liddi play in Tacoma.

  10. kuptain on June 13th, 2012 6:23 am

    Kinda surprised that Guti is coming back so early. Didn’t Wedge say that he was going to take advantage of ALL 20 days that Franklin could spend on his rehab assignment? I’m sure he didn’t use all of them. Glad to see him back though, it’ll be nice to have a completely healthy team again…

  11. Mekias on June 13th, 2012 6:37 am

    I’m a little disappointed that Iwakuma isn’t being given a chance. Other than the walks, he’s been pretty good I think. Not sure why they’ve relegated him to mop up work all year. At first I thought it was because his contract has significant incentives regarding innings pitched but he’s in little danger of reaching those now.

    On the other hand, Ramirez has a long future with the M’s and it’s good to give him a shot at nailing down a spot now, before the big 3 arrive.

    I’m hoping Guti can come in and perform but I’m definitely worried. He’s struggled with the bat for a long time now. He’ll certainly be a step up from Figgins though and having Guti/Saunders/Ichiro out in the outfield gives me a lot of confidence.

  12. Mariners35 on June 13th, 2012 7:08 am

    Bring up Peguero! We’ll have Guti in left, Saunders in center, Peguero in right and Ichiro batting 7th as DH…

    …seriously, though, here’s hoping Wells gets back today and catches fire for the next month. The schedule is weak and Guti isn’t ready for fulltime duty as you noted. This could be one of Wells’ last major chances to stick.

    And poor Carp. He’s got to be so sick of Tacoma.

  13. Jay R. on June 13th, 2012 8:25 am

    Sorry to see Pryor get hurt, but the rest seems all positive, especially if FG can return to some semblance of the player he was early in his Mariner career. Feel for Carp, but he is just a disaster right now and needs some low pressure ABs.

  14. raul_podzednick on June 13th, 2012 8:28 am

    any idea whats wrong with Pryor?

  15. vetted_coach on June 13th, 2012 8:35 am

    Do not under estimate Casper Wells. This guy is a 5-tool major league ready guy and has never really been given an honest shot by the Mariners. And it’s way too soon to count on Gutierrez. His ailment was a serious one and has a track record of being a long-term pain in the butt.

  16. msfanmike on June 13th, 2012 8:58 am

    “Kinda surprised that Guti is coming back so early”

    I am a bit surprised by this too, because Guti has essentially had a 10 game Spring Training in Tacoma … with some of those games as the DH.

    The practical answer to this question might be related to ticket sales and the hopeful invigoration of a ticket buying fan base.

    Since there are now 3 other viable outfielders on the roster, it will allow Guti to be “eased” back into the lineup. Not “eased” like Olivo, but the real meaning of the word “eased.”

  17. marc w on June 13th, 2012 9:29 am

    Raul –
    He strained his groin covering the first base bag last night.


    I think it’s less related to ticket sales and more related to the outfield defense. They’ve tried Figgins in LF, and it just didn’t work. Sounds like Wedge was pissed at the defense last night, and Figgins wasn’t good enough. The play that was initially ruled an error on Ryan was a medium fly ball to LF, and there’s no reason Figgins shouldn’t have been able to grab it. Bringing up Wells too would allow them to give Guti more time off and play the platoon advantages.

    Now sounds like Hultzen may start for Tacoma on Thursday.

  18. TheMightyMariner on June 13th, 2012 9:46 am

    They needed to make some moves and I don’t mind those. It’d be nice to see League and Ichiro dealt at the deadline. I am not sure what they can do with Chone with …yeah… If Carp gets the bat figured out then he might be OK to get into RF from time to time (with Ichiro gone).

    Anyway, still a lot of work to do with the offence. The trades should be heating up and in Jack we trust! πŸ™‚

  19. msfanmike on June 13th, 2012 9:53 am

    No arguments here, Marc … I definitely agree with the outfield defense upgrade need.

    My premise was related to the callup being ‘timed’ after only 10 rehab starts in Tacoma, instead of the 20 that the team reportedly had in mind (based on various Shannon Drayer updates in weeks past).

    If Guti is ready to compete at the MLB level after 10 games in Tacoma; okay – he is ready. Good enough for me.

  20. jimabbottsrightarm on June 13th, 2012 9:58 am

    It doesn’t really matter at all, but why does the team insist on keeping Figgins around?

  21. kuptain on June 13th, 2012 9:59 am

    Hultzen to AAA and’ll start Thursday? Awesome! Hope that’s the case. If he keeps this up in AAA we’ll see him no later than September, I hope.

  22. marc w on June 13th, 2012 10:16 am

    Sounds like the other two are, semi-officially, Steve Delabar and Casper Wells. Nothing surprising there, of course, but probably the right moves.

    I know some wanted to see a different reliever – maybe Oliver Perez – but they’d have to make a 40 man move. There’ll be time for that soon enough.

  23. marc w on June 13th, 2012 10:18 am

    mike –

    They need OFs, and so they went and grabbed two of them. They could’ve waited another ten days, but they clearly don’t want Figgins out there anymore, so they made the move now.

    I would’ve liked to see Guti stay down a bit longer, actually, but with Carp’s DL stint, it wasn’t going to happen.

  24. stevemotivateir on June 13th, 2012 10:49 am

    It’s funny that we can go from having possibly the worst platoon of left fielders in baseball one night, to one of the best defensive outfields, the next.Even if Guti was played more as the fourth outfielder to start, this is a huge upgrade.

    I cant help but wonder if Z has a potential trade in the works, and wants to take a hard look at Guti, before committing.

  25. msfanmike on June 13th, 2012 10:50 am

    Do the callups from Tacoma (Wells and Guti) potentially create a back-fill promotion opportunity for Denny Almonte? Is he ready? His K rate is still high, but not quite the “God awful high” from years past.

    I can’t see Carp playing in AAA right away – assuming he is hurt … and when he does play, I imagine he would see a lot of time at 1B. Liddi will likely see time at 3B, 1B and LF, so Tacoma might need help in the OF sooner rather than later. Catricala, also plays into the mix for playing time at 3B, 1B, obviously.

    I am interested in your thoughts/ideas on this, Marc.

  26. marc w on June 13th, 2012 11:36 am

    I don’t know, Mike. The Rainiers started the year with a ton of OFs, and now many are healthy again. Trayvon Robinson gets to play CF again w/Guti gone, and Mike Wilson and Peguero are still there. They’ve used Johan Limonta in the OF at times, and while that’s not ideal, it can get guys a break until Carp’s ready, and as you say, Liddi can play LF sometimes too. I’d really rather Liddi play 3B, but who knows. They may need to go back to the Catricala-as-supersub plan that they toyed with at the beginning of spring training.

    They’re going to need bodies, but in the past they’ve brought in guys like Leury Bonilla. They may look at an Almonte, but it’d probably be easier to go get Pettit – I thought he was going to Tacoma initially. They need both Almonte and Robinson to play, and it’s tougher (not impossible) to do when they’re on the same team.

  27. Westside guy on June 13th, 2012 11:47 am

    Maybe I’m wrong (and I’m sure we’ll be finding out) – but I don’t think Liddi looks like a guy who can EVER be turned into even a marginally acceptable left fielder.

  28. bookbook on June 13th, 2012 12:18 pm

    All of this dancing around reminds me of last year’s trade deadline. Not in a good way.

    It’s hard to remember having justifiable hope for Robinson, Chaing, and Francisco Martinez (not to mention Furbush and Ruffin and Wells, who I still believe in). It feels to me that, through little fault of his own, Z struck out on all of last year’s deadline trades. On the bright side, if Almonte’s promotion were to curtail Robinson’s playing time, I for one would get over it.

    I guess I shouldn’t be too disappointed that the M’s don’t have much to offer at this year’s deadline.

  29. stevemotivateir on June 13th, 2012 1:03 pm

    ^What probably disappoints me most, were the deals that weren’t made. League probably should have been dealt last year when his value peaked. He was on top of his game and unlikely to be a long-term fit here. The same could be said for Aardsma the year before.

    Although I’m not a fan of the Fister trade, yet, I have hope for Martinez and Wells. The Bedard deal wasn’t such an issue. He couldn’t net much of a return and he was easily replaced.

  30. marc w on June 13th, 2012 2:01 pm

    Damn. Hultzen’s starting tonight for Jackson, so he obviously isn’t starting for Tacoma tomorrow. We’ll see. Still think a move to AAA is imminent.

  31. MissouriMariner on June 13th, 2012 2:21 pm

    Like everyone else I am looking forward to the day that Figgins is history and all but am sure glad to start seeing these young guys playing relatively well. It gives me hope for a better day. Hoping Wells can put it together like Saunders…

  32. marc w on June 13th, 2012 2:26 pm

    bookbook – Yeah, I know what you mean. Chiang and Robinson in particular. Though you may be the last person to believe in Ruffin. After another awful outing today, it’s just getting really tough to see him turning out. Still more runs allowed than innings at this point.

  33. stevemotivateir on June 13th, 2012 2:35 pm

    I can’t see Chiang, Robinson, Peguero, or Wilson, having a future on this team. The lack of (near-ready) OF depth still really worries me.

  34. stevemotivateir on June 13th, 2012 2:38 pm

    Mike, I’d like to warn you to stay away from the Mariners website today. The fence-pushers are in full-force, with plenty of stupidity!

  35. Rick L on June 13th, 2012 3:11 pm

    The fence pushers claim, I gather, that the deep outfield keeps the Mariners from scoring. It doesn’t seem to keep our opponents from scoring, though. The field is the same for both teams. The depth of the fences doesn’t matter.

  36. MissouriMariner on June 13th, 2012 3:17 pm

    Makes a lot of sense to bring the fences in and take away our biggest strength….run prevention. Some folks are idiots.

  37. marcus_andrews on June 13th, 2012 3:23 pm

    All arguments against moving the fences in are trumped by one word…


    I mean come on guys, if we hit more home runs we will win more games. That’s why we need to call up peguero, bring back alex liddi, and sign barry bonds to a big league deal. And most importantly move the fences in!

  38. justdave on June 13th, 2012 3:32 pm

    I’m sorta neutral on the fence question.

    It does seem like it should be a slight advantage to have a “unique” park so you can tailor your team to it. The Mariners have just been incompetent at doing that over the last 10 years!

    Maybe they could put the balls in an oven to dry them out before the game. That would be cheaper πŸ˜‰

  39. msfanmike on June 13th, 2012 3:36 pm

    Yeah, I presumed the fence pushers would be out in full force after the very eloquent, nearly audible and hardly even approximating mumbling quote by Justin Smoak. “I hit it as hard as I could … and it is what it is.”

    My translation – no you didn’t and shut up. Whatever it was he hit (as my pre-rant memory may be somewhat cloudy) he didn’t quite reach the warning track with it. The warning track is approx 12′ – 15′ wide. They aren’t going to move the fences in that far and if they did, his “blast” would have just reached the wall.

    I would sit Smoak because I now think he is just a big pussy. Not gritty and still a borderline’ish talent with a medium length rope.

    In reality, and I said this a few days ago – if the team decides to slightly pinch in the power alleys by a few feet (5′-8′) it would still be a very fair park, and the Mariners may hit a few more home runs there per year. So would the other team. Net gain: zippo.

    As an overall personal sentiment – leave the Golden Goose alone.

    Thanks for the heads up, Steve. I have been in meetings most of the afternoon and actually missed the talk radio blather.

  40. gwangung on June 13th, 2012 3:38 pm

    I would sit Smoak because I now think he is just a big pussy

    Now you’re trying to turn this into talk radio.


  41. Kyle Miller on June 13th, 2012 3:40 pm

    ‘Tis official. Wells and Delabar are coming back with Ramirez and Guti. Wells should have never been sent down, but OKAY.

    Can anyone tell me anything about Josh Kinney? I’m looking at his stats and they’re some of the best on the pitching side in Tacoma.

  42. stevemotivateir on June 13th, 2012 4:45 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m excited (maybe “relieved” is the better word?) to see a real outfield tonight!

  43. WTF_Ms on June 13th, 2012 4:50 pm

    Steve, I’ll be relieved when Guti performs up to his talent. Until then, I’m not holding my breath!

  44. Mariners35 on June 13th, 2012 5:13 pm

    Steve – If by real outfield you mean Wells, Saunders and Ichiro, yes. Guti is up with the club but he isn’t starting tonight.

    Which is fine by me; he has a lot to prove. Ease him in at DH or defensive replacements, hell, stick him in left and keep Saunders in center for a week or so, so as not to disturb Saunders’ great year so far, since this team is all about making batters “comfortable”. πŸ™‚

    Whatever. Guti is going to have to stay healthy, and contribute with a nice robust wOBA for a long time, for me to believe he’s really back.

  45. stevemotivateir on June 13th, 2012 5:20 pm

    Any combo of the current outfield roster is a relief! If or when Guti regains his form, I’ll be thrilled!

  46. msfanmike on June 13th, 2012 5:35 pm

    At gwangung: you know what .., you are right. I kind of did, didn’t I. My error.

  47. MKT on June 13th, 2012 5:37 pm

    “Maybe they could put the balls in an oven to dry them out before the game. ”

    I’ve been thinking that same thought over the years. It seems clear that it’s more than just the dimensions of the ballpark. In theory the Mariners can structure their roster to take advantage of their home field: flyball pitchers, outfield defense over offense, etc. but it doesn’t seem to be working. If the Rockies can use that humidor, maybe the M’s ought to resort to an oven.

  48. wabbles on June 13th, 2012 6:26 pm

    The Mariners are talking about moving in the fences to increase the number of home runs? Whatever happened to the old fashioned method? You know, steroids.

  49. B on June 13th, 2012 7:21 pm

    Isn’t the wind coming in from left field part of the problem? Maybe they should build a barrier above and behind the left field seats to reduce the wind.

  50. Westside guy on June 13th, 2012 11:46 pm

    Isn’t the wind coming in from left field part of the problem? Maybe they should build a barrier above and behind the left field seats to reduce the wind.

    You mean something like, oh I don’t know, a big green wall?

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