On Nick Franklin and Promotions

Dave · May 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I guess this is the off-day topic du jour: should the Mariners promote Nick Franklin, who was hitting .400/.524/.600 in Tacoma before his 0-4 night tonight? Marc emailed me to find out if I had a take, so I guess I should weigh in. I will note, though, that my opinion is basically ambivalence.

I think you can make a pretty good case that Nick Franklin is a better player, right now, than Robert Andino, because Robert Andino is basically a scrub, so the bar we’re asking Franklin to clear is very low. So, if the only question that mattered was whether or not Franklin would make the 2013 Mariners better, then yes, I’d probably support calling him up, and either jettisoning Andino — who would almost certainly clear waivers, given his salary, so putting him through waivers doesn’t guarantee you’d lose him — or dumping Ibanez and giving the team a little more flexibility on the bench. But, I think we all know the latter has no chance of happening, so we’ll set that aside for now.

But promoting a player from Triple-A isn’t simply about whether he’s better than a bad player on the big league roster, especially for a team in the Mariners situation. I know there’s some optimism returning now that the Mariners spent a week beating up on bad pitching staffs — their last 10 games have come against the teams rated 27th, 29th, and 30th in the majors in xFIP, and the Blue Jays are rated 28th, so this is the softest possible schedule to hit against — but the chances of the 2013 Mariners making the playoffs are essentially slim to none.

Dan Szymborski re-ran his ZIPS projections on May 1st, and he had the Mariners with a playoff probability of 2.5%, down from 10% on opening day. While you can say that April was just one month, it was a month that made it exceedingly unlikely that this team would put together a surprise run to October this year.

So, I don’t think the Mariners should be attempting to maximize 2013 wins at all cost right now. If they’re going to promote a player from the minor leagues, it should be because his development will be more fruitful facing Major League competition than facing minor league competition. And I don’t think I can say that’s true of Nick Franklin.

Yes, the batting line is fantastic, but please keep a few things in mind:

1. It’s not even 90 plate appearances. Weird things happen in a month. Carlos Gomez is currently the fourth best hitter in MLB. Lucas Duda is hitting as well as Prince Fielder. 90 plate appearances, at any level, simply do not tell a real story. Nick Franklin has been very good in Triple-A for a month, but he was pretty bad there for a few months last year. There are signs that he’s improving, which is good, but it’s not like he’s dominated PCL pitching.

Right now, he’s drawing walks and he has a high BABIP. The BABIP is almost certainly not going to carry over, and the walks aren’t that likely to either, unfortunately. Walk rate has one of the weakest correlations of any statistic between the minors and the majors. That he’s making better contact and controlling the strike zone is certainly a positive development, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to do that exact same thing when he faces big league pitching.

2. It’s the PCL. You have to heavily discount offensive numbers for everyone in Tacoma because of the league they play in. It is the most hitter friendly league in the entire sport. The difference between the run environment in Tacoma and in Seattle is as stark as any you’ll find. Not only is Franklin facing minor league pitching, he’s facing minor league pitching in ballparks where is downright scary to throw a strike.

People underestimate park effects for non-HR events. You hear that a guy got hurt by Safeco when his long fly ball gets caught at the warning track, but people don’t talk about the rest of the things that go along with high run environments. Because there are more baserunners, it’s more likely that a hitter will face the same pitcher multiple times, and hitters perform better against pitchers they’ve already faced that day, with the improvement increasing each time around the order. Most Triple-A teams don’t have great middle relievers, either, so high scoring games lead to the worst pitchers on the staff getting onto the mound at increased frequency.

It’s not as simple as noting that Franklin only has three home runs so the PCL effects aren’t helping him. It’s a great league for hitters for a variety of reasons, and you have to account for those whenever you’re looking at any PCL hitter, not just the guys like Carlos Peguero or Mike Carp.

3. Nick Franklin has primarily been playing second base. His start at shortstop tonight was only his seventh of the year at the position, even though the obvious playing time for him in Seattle would be at short. Put simply, there aren’t that many people who think that he’s physically capable of playing shortstop in the big leagues at an acceptable level. Now, I think it’s at least somewhat humorous that the Mariners might not be willing to play Franklin at short while also catching Jesus Montero and using guys like Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez in the outfield, but if Franklin is to shortstops what Jesus Montero is to catching, then playing him there probably won’t help the team in a meaningful way and may very well hurt his trade value.

There’s an old phrase that goes something like this: “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” A lot of people think Nick Franklin probably can’t play shortstop long term, but sticking him there in the big leagues will essentially give every team a chance to see his shortcomings for themselves, on a pretty grand stage. Especially if you’re scouting the Mariners and you get Franklin one day and Brendan Ryan the next, or if Ryan comes in as a late inning defensive replacement, the contrast is going to be highly unflattering.

The Mariners already traded Nick Franklin once. Assuming they’re not ready to give up on Dustin Ackley, I wouldn’t be surprised if they expected to try and trade him again at some point in the future. Brad Miller is the current shortstop of the future, so Franklin would just be auditioning to play out of position for a while until Miller took his job — which he might be ready to do later this year, if he can stop making so many errors, anyway — and the potential damage that might do to Franklin’s trade value has to be a consideration.

Nick Franklin would probably make the Mariners a little bit better, if they dumped Robert Andino in order to call him up. He would probably make the Mariners no better, or not significantly better, if they dumped Brendan Ryan in order to call him up. He would not make the Mariners drastically better, and the difference in 2013 value probably wouldn’t have any meaningful positive impact on the franchise long term.

You don’t call Nick Franklin up because you’re tired of Brendan Ryan making outs, or because you just want to try something different. That’s not a good thought process. That’s an emotional reaction to frustration, and it isn’t how the Mariners should be deciding who is on the roster. You call up Nick Franklin if you think you have an everyday job for him that he’s capable of succeeding in. I don’t know too many people who think Nick Franklin is ready to handle an everyday SS job in the big leagues. It won’t hurt him to spend more time in Tacoma. It won’t hurt the Mariners to keep playing Brendan Ryan at shortstop.

If they make the switch, I won’t be outraged. After all, they’ve already rushed Brandon Maurer into a rotation spot he’s not ready for, and they’re asking Jesus Montero to play a position he can’t physically play, and there’s no way Franklin’s defense at short can be as embarrassing as Ibanez’s in the outfield. But I’m not sure calling up Nick Franklin actually solves any problems for the Mariners unless your view of a team’s problems are so narrow that they’re constrained to “we need more offense from the shortstop position.” That shouldn’t be how the organization views it’s problems. The Mariners roster needs more talented players, but it needs those talented players to be put in a position to succeed. Forcing a round peg into a square hole simply because you really want the peg to be square doesn’t work.

Nick Franklin’s real value to the Mariners is insurance in case Ackley continues to suck or a trade chip in case he does not. Could they play him at short for a while and get away with it? Maybe, and it might even get them an extra win in a season where an extra win won’t matter. But I don’t see a compelling case to push Franklin into a role he’s probably not suited for in order to chase that kind of upgrade.

Comments

93 Responses to “On Nick Franklin and Promotions”

  1. mrakbaseball on May 2nd, 2013 9:25 pm

    Is Franklin still on his 6,500 calorie a day diet, or did the Mariners put a stop to it?

  2. Bodhizefa on May 2nd, 2013 9:36 pm

    Dave, at what point would you demote Ackley if his struggles (i.e. lack of any power whatsoever coupled with his inability to draw a walk) continue? There’s no way I’m dealing Franklin off right now with Ackley being such a zero. Plus, why do we have to trade Franklin? Couldn’t we utilize all four of the young infielders (Seager, Ackley, Franklin, and Miller) by using Franklin as a utility guy? Maybe we even teach him how to play a corner and increase his versatility, too? I’m just not sure that trading him is entirely the brightest thing to do.

  3. Dave on May 2nd, 2013 9:43 pm

    I’m not giving up on Ackley as long as Mr. Aggressive is the manager and is yelling at anyone who dares draw a walk. Ackley clearly understands the value of the base on balls, but I think it’s certainly possible that his manager does not, and thus he’s attempting to make the changes the guy in charge is suggesting, and those changes have had a significant negative impact.

    And keeping Franklin as a utility infielder is a waste. You can get a decent utility infielder for a couple million bucks every winter. There are teams that would give you the equivalent of a lot more than that in order to have Franklin as their second baseman. If you want a utility guy, just trade Franklin, sign a utility guy, and make use of the surplus.

  4. ck on May 2nd, 2013 9:58 pm

    Thank you, Dave. Franklin’s numbers are buzz-worthy, and you have clarified his situation. You are right that Franklin should be playing every day now, period. It he continues to rake for another month, then things will get more interesting.

  5. thehemogoblin on May 2nd, 2013 10:11 pm

    “You don’t call Nick Franklin up because you’re tired of Brendan Ryan making outs, or because you just want to try something different. That’s not a good thought process. That’s an emotional reaction to frustration, and it isn’t how the Mariners should be deciding who is on the roster.”

    $2 says he gets called up tomorrow.

  6. dc24 on May 2nd, 2013 10:39 pm

    I’m still wondering why more people aren’t on the Triunfel bandwagon. I’d rather see him called up to play short than Franklin right now.

  7. GLS on May 2nd, 2013 10:43 pm

    Yeah, Triunfel makes a lot of sense.

  8. The_Waco_Kid on May 2nd, 2013 10:57 pm

    I agree. Calling up Triunfel would be interesting.

    The team sounds like they’re not about to panic and start rushing guys up, but we’ll see how May goes. Things look a lot better now than they did a week ago. If May goes poorly, I expect that will change.

    Bonderman just threw 8 innings with 2 hits and a walk. They may call him up soon.

  9. Dave on May 2nd, 2013 11:35 pm

    Carlos Triunfel is Robert Andino with more errors. There’s nothing in his profile that suggests he’s any kind of improvement.

  10. Bodhizefa on May 2nd, 2013 11:52 pm

    Dave, one last thought. I didn’t mean use Franklin as a strict utility guy so much as a super utility player a la Ben Zobrist (except without the exceptional defense, of course). Having a guy like that could really boost our versatility in the face of injury as well as maximize production in the lineup. I don’t think Wedge would have a clue how to use someone like that, but a more progressive manager would.

  11. Sportszilla on May 2nd, 2013 11:55 pm

    I know you’re not ready to give up on Ackley, but I might be hesitant to trade Franklin (depending of course on the return) because I think at this point it’s hard to have a lot of confidence that Ackley is going to be an everyday 2B for the next 5-10 years. Granted, Franklin isn’t a sure thing either, and it’s certainly possible that Ackley gets things together, but I’m not sure the M’s should trade away their fallback plan. Unless you think that Romero is a better long-term prospect anyhow…

  12. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2013 12:13 am

    People who are writing off Ackley might benefit from a broader view. Go look at FanGraph’s second basemen rankings, sorted by WAR. Ackley, as disappointing as he’s been, is 14th out of 24. It’s nowhere near what we’ve hoped to see from him; but so far in 2013 there’ve been 10 starting second basemen who’ve performed worse.

    Not every second baseman is Bret Boone.

  13. Sportszilla on May 3rd, 2013 12:25 am

    @Westside guy: Sure, I’m not saying Ackley is completely worthless, but at the moment he’s deriving all of his value from baserunning and fielding. I know, runs are runs are runs, but at the moment Ackley looks like a 1-1.5 win player, and those are eminently replaceable. Franklin might be just as good a defender/baserunner, with the potential to actually produce at the plate.

  14. PackBob on May 3rd, 2013 12:52 am

    Ryan’s woes at the plate, with Ryan’s pitcher-like batting line, is getting to be as if the Mariners don’t have the advantage of the DH. The other team gets a free out several times a game, and the potential for the Mariners’ best hitters to have someone on base to drive in gets reduced. Even with Ryan’s defense, It’s hard to see the M’s continuing to leave him in there when the focus has been to score more runs. It’s pretty bad when just getting up to the Mendoza line would be a huge improvement.

    I love Ryan’s defense, but it’s painful to watch him try to hit anymore.

  15. Spanky on May 3rd, 2013 1:19 am

    Just a thought (because I’m bored with this team already and just am interested in seeing something different!): Since we seem to be thin in the outfield at this time, what if we moved Ackley back to the outfield as he played in college and brought up Franklin to play 2nd base. It would create a lot more flexibility for the team. I would think Ackley could handle LF.

  16. bookbook on May 3rd, 2013 4:22 am

    Dave, your point about Ackley and Mr. aggressive is a good one. It also dirctly contradicts your recent post about it not mattering if we fire Wedgie now or at the end of the season.

    I’m sure they’ll play just well enough to avoid it, but this team needs a managerial housecleaning ASAP.

  17. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 4:57 am

    I agree so completely with the Mr Aggressive comments.. Eric Wedge is a rock. If I read one more comment about “hunting fastballs”, I may explode. We have got a bunch of guys who won’t or can’t hit a hanging breaking pitch.

    We see it in Ackley and we see it in Montero. Guys changing a successful minor league approach to please a manager.

    We also see “the rock” who has is afraid to pinch hit because of what the other manager will do later or afraid to offend a veteran. Or, as last year’s wacko roster suggested, afraid to lose his dh for half a game by carrying only two catchers. Manager of the year Bob Melvin regularly uses Jaso and Norris in the same game.

    We have or have had talent but the manager refuses to utilize it to maximum benefit.

  18. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 5:13 am

    And I will disagree strongly with one point that I have seen over and over again from Dave and so many of the contributors on this site. Why are we so afraid of putting a possibly sub par defensive player in our line up who can hit. Yet when it comes to Brendan Ryan we are content to continue to trot out an absolutely horrendous hitter day after day because of his defensive “value”.

    One of my favourite quotes ever was during
    Terry Francona’s ESPN tenure. They were talking about how the Angels jettisoned Mike Napoli because Mike the Manager did not like his defensive abilities as a catcher. Francona made the comment that “34 homers makes you forget about pitch framing in a hurry”. So what if Franklin is not the greatest SS. If he hits, he is worth it. Remember how everyone was laughing about Cabrera’s return to 3B last year? I think the Tigers made it to the World Series with their third basemen who was and is physically unable to play the field. Let’s hit and score some runs and get rid of the shortstop whose offensive deficiencies embarrass and debilitate the team on a daily basis far more than bad range and a few errors ever would. Bring up Carlos!!

  19. scraps on May 3rd, 2013 5:27 am

    “Value”?

  20. groundzero55 on May 3rd, 2013 5:59 am

    “We have got a bunch of guys who won’t or can’t hit a hanging breaking pitch.”

    If we had a bunch of guys who could, at minimum, hit fastballs well, we would be in much better shape. It’s not just breaking pitches that are causing us trouble.

  21. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 6:27 am

    groundzero–

    I agree one hundred per cent. My point of view is that the Mariners via Eric Wedge seem to be insisting on a hitting approach that is in contrast to most successful offensive teams.

    I wish we had a commentator similar to David Cone who appears to be an avid reader and supporter of statistical evidence. “A good pitcher throws balls that the hitter wants to swing at and throws strikes that are difficult to hit.” Seems like the Mariner hitters accommodate these pitchers quite well. I would just love to see them make pitchers pay for hittable strikes more much more often, whether they be fastballs or breaking pitches.

  22. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 6:29 am

    Adding to the bit on Triunfel, he’s had a lot of errors in recent games, all coming at SS. He was looking decent for a while, and I was certainly curious, but that abruptly came to an end. Funny how small sample sizes tend to mislead, eh? Combine the bad defense with a high K rate and it’s easy to see why his chances probably wouldn’t be very good.

    Why are we so afraid of putting a possibly sub par defensive player in our line up who can hit. Yet when it comes to Brendan Ryan we are content to continue to trot out an absolutely horrendous hitter day after day because of his defensive “value”.

    Nobody’s arguing Ryan is a great choice. The problem is that the alternatives aren’t better.

    Regardless of your stance on Franklin’s chances, he’s still unproven. There’s no guarantee he’ll hit and you run the risk of stunting his development or exposing him as another PCL guy who can’t perform at the ML level. Of course, he could hit well and play adequate defense, but as Dave pointed out, it’s really not worth taking that risk. It won’t benefit the team much, if any, this year.

    Franklin is no Cabrera and he’s not going to be. A more comparable example to Detroit’s use of Cabrera would be our use of Morse as outfielder. Franklin’s not likely going to hit as well as Morse either. And we’re not exactly in the hunt for a playoff spot, yet alone the World Series.

  23. eponymous coward on May 3rd, 2013 6:37 am

    Let’s hit and score some runs and get rid of the shortstop whose offensive deficiencies embarrass and debilitate the team on a daily basis far more than bad range and a few errors ever would. Bring up Carlos!!

    Did you actually read Dave’s article? You know, the spot where he talks about it being the PCL and discounting numbers?

    Triunfel has a lifetime .667 OPS in that league, and an OPS of under .700 overall. He’s drawn 3 walks and struck out 23 times this year (so he’s not particularly selective).

    He’s Willie Bloomquist. If you think Willie Bloomquist is the answer to our problems, you should share whatever it is you’re smoking.

    Just a thought (because I’m bored with this team already and just am interested in seeing something different!): Since we seem to be thin in the outfield at this time, what if we moved Ackley back to the outfield as he played in college and brought up Franklin to play 2nd base. It would create a lot more flexibility for the team. I would think Ackley could handle LF.

    Something different and bad is still bad. Ackley would be replacement level as an OF unless he starts hitting. You don’t improve teams by adding replacement level OF-ers.

  24. CCW on May 3rd, 2013 6:56 am

    If his bat is MLB ready (and I understand that maybe it isn’t), he should be up to play OF, 2B, 3B, and SS in a pinch, and Ibanez should go away. That’s the way to get the most value out of him and challenge him with major league pitching. It’s what a smart organization would do.

  25. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 7:04 am

    ^How do you get value from a guy playing a position he doesn’t play? Franklin’s not a third baseman and not an outfielder.

  26. groundzero55 on May 3rd, 2013 7:07 am

    Then he would be essentially replacing both Ibanez and Andino…while I support cutting both loose, I’m not certain that using a young guy as a super-utility guy is the best for his development.

  27. bookbook on May 3rd, 2013 7:10 am

    Franklin needs to get 100 PAs or so against left handed pitching. I’d almost argue that the M’s should call him up when they know they’re about to face a lefty, then send him back down again.

    (The M’s, after a recent, unsustainable hot streak wherein Saunders and Harang pitched well, Smoak hit well, and all sorts of improbable events happened, are still barely over a 70-win pace. There ain’t no playoffs coming to Alaska this year.)

  28. Westside guy on May 3rd, 2013 7:19 am

    “| know, runs are runs are runs, but at the moment Ackley looks like a 1-1.5 win player, and those are eminently replaceable.”

    And yet ten teams have not been able to do so.

    Remember, a 1-1.5 win player is defined against the “R”, for his position, in WAR.

  29. CCW on May 3rd, 2013 7:21 am

    If he’s athletic enough to play 2B, I’m comfortable, based solely on that information, concluding he could play OF better than Ibanez. His arm isn’t good enough to be a good 3B, but 3B is really low priority because of Seager. It comes down to his bat. If it’s for real, the M’s should find a way to get him into the lineup 4-5 times per week. Ibanez has the same look about him as Griffey in that last year. We’ll see, but I have a feeling the organization is going to give up on the Ibanez experience within a month or so.

  30. Ralph Malph on May 3rd, 2013 7:23 am

    Alaska?

  31. Rainiers_fan on May 3rd, 2013 7:26 am

    Really glad to see this post and some of the comments cautioning that Franklin needs more time in Tacoma to demonstrate what he is doing this year is real improvement over his get acquainted with AAA performance last year. I think the world of Nick as a person and a player but he needs AAA time at the position he will play in the big leagues or he will be just another guy blasted in game threads for poor performace. Give the guy a chance and do it the right way without rushing him and the odds go up that we develop a good player.

  32. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 7:34 am

    Yes, I read Dave’s article in its entirety but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. Franklin has hit everywhere he has been. Everywhere. We discount High Desert because of the altitude. We dismiss a league (or team?) homerun record at Clinton for some unknown reason. Now, we are dismissing a 968 OPS at Tacoma this year when I think they play in the same miserable cold weather that the M’s do, without a roof, and I don’t think Cheney is a hitters’ park. Is it? Remember no one was particularly high on Seager either, but he hit everywhere. Everywhere.

    And now a question. The PCL must have a unusually low number of LH pitchers this year. I think it might take Franklin two years to get 100 ABs against southpaws at this rate. Bring him up…hit him against righties. Another thing we seem to be so afraid of…bringing up guys and not immediately playing them full time. Other teams seem to do it all the time. I think it is just fine that Montero is on track to get 350 at bats or so. Give him a chance to adjust and learn, catch without doing damage everyday, and learn the league.

    Whatever the options are we just can not keep trotting a pitcher out to hit in the number nine spot–especially one who can’t even bunt to save his job. There is a reason why the NL runs are so much lower than the AL–the pitcher hits. And the M’s does too.

  33. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 7:38 am

    Well said, Rainiers_fan.

    One thing that really jumps out to me, is the fact that he’s seeing so few starts at SS. Maybe Dave’s onto something about ‘keepin’ him quite’ so that he’s sold high as a prospect with great potential, rather than a prospect who showed significant flaws when it appeared he was ready?

    No matter how I look at this, I just don’t see Franklin stickin’ around here.

  34. currcoug on May 3rd, 2013 7:44 am

    In my view, trading Franklin would be a monumental mistake (see, Vizquel, Morse, Jones, Cabrera, Choo, etc.). It is also worth noting that some wanted to trade Seager, using many of the same arguments.

    If we are so unlikely to make the playoffs, we should trade Ryan, Andino, Bay, Guiterrez, and Morales (unlikely to sign an extension). They are not in the M’s future.

    Move Ackley to LF, Franklin to 2B, Triunfel to SS. If Triunfel falls on his face, call up Miller. Extend Morse. I would wait until June to call up Franklin, however.

    While the sample size is limited, Franklin dominated AAA for the month of April. What else would you call it? Luck? Does he have flaws? Of course, most prospects do.

    Finally, after a hot start, Miller cooled off, and has 5 errors at SS…I love the guy, but he hardly looks ready for MLB.

  35. Paul B on May 3rd, 2013 7:44 am

    If Andino is going to play 5 games a week (he’s played 18 games out of 30 so far this year), then jettisoning him and replacing him with Franklin has some merit. Franklin would be playing both SS and 2B, basically sliding into Andino’s role, while getting experience at the big league level.

    The M’s wouldn’t have to trade him, he’s a young player under team control at a low salary, so he could be that 3rd middle infielder for a long time.

    Would that hurt his career? I don’t know, but if he started hitting really well, you could always slide him into a starting position at second.

  36. Paul B on May 3rd, 2013 7:46 am

    Move Ackley to LF,

    No. If Ackley can’t hit well enough to start at second, why would you want him in Left? that makes no sense, never did make any sense. If he can’t hit well enough to start at second, his big league career is over.

  37. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 7:50 am

    Nick Franklin has RC numbers and at bats in the minors that are wonderfully close to Mike Trout’s. Mike Trout had 93 ABs in the and a 181 RC with Salt Lake. Nick Franklin has more ABs in AAA and performed similarly with more ABs in the lower minors.

    Now, I am not comparing him to Trout, but I really don’t think anyone knows when is the right time to bring a kid to the show… I say bring him up while he is hot and confident and put him in there.. play him at short for the rest of the season and see how he does. I would love to see him get 400 PAs in the bigs now and spare us the futility we have been watching for two years.

    The definition of insanity is putting the same guy out at SS day after day and expecting a different result

  38. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 7:58 am

    Let’s not get stuck in the same type of thinking that gave us Jimmy Presley at 3B for three years too long and robbed us of 3 years at least of Edgar and him of the Hall of Fame.

    Can’t do this, can’t do that, too slow, too many errors….but yeah, he can hit.. But Jimmy is a great athlete and we have a lot invested in him… And the fans really like Brendan and those funny commercials that help up forget we have been laughable for a decade.

  39. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 7:59 am

    What has Ackley done in the outfield in recent years that suggests he could just step right in and be productive there? And what has he failed to do as a second baseman that suggests Franklin would be a better choice? His defense was just fine last year, and while he didn’t hit that well, he’s been hitting considerably better over the last two weeks. Certainly hasn’t done anything to warrant a benching or position change.

    Again, Franklin hasn’t proven anything yet and the area of need is short. Why is Ackley getting dragged into this?

  40. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 8:08 am

    Mike Trout’s minor league batting line:
    .342/.425/.516

    Nick Franklin’s minor league batting line:
    .282/.359/.463

    They’re not that close, and that’s not considering defense, speed, contact rate, or K rate.

  41. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 8:08 am

    I agree. Ackley is a good second basemen and with his bat it is the only place where he has a chance of being a valuable player. I think he will hit, but only enough to be a 3 win 2B and that will be great.

    Put Franklin at short. End of story. If he hits 270 with 15 homers and a good approach it doesn’t matter if he is a less than average 2B. From everything I have read and more importantly from the numbers I see this is a guy who has responded to every challenge at a very young age..

    What a future infield if we have Seager, Franklin and Ackley playing and hitting well.

  42. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 8:13 am

    Short’s really the only place they can put Franklin, but again, it doesn’t appear he’s being groomed for that, or we’d see him playing there more in Tacoma.

    Maybe things will change over the next month?

  43. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 8:32 am

    I know I ran the risk when I made the comparison to Trout, but while were at it:

    Franklin: AAA 2013 87 ABs 182 RC

    Trout AAA 2012 93 ABs 179 RC

    Franklin AA 2012 239 ABs 151 RC

    Trout AA 2011 439 ABs 156 RC

    Overall numbers put too much emphasis on Trout’s lower minor numbers which inflate his stats.

    Franklin has had substantially more minor league ABs than Trout did. My point is not that Franklin is Mike Trout. It is that he has proven he is ready for a shot. If we had a decent shortstop–yes give him some more time. But we need him now and he is hot so if not now when?

    I have not seen any evidence that rushing a player inhibits his development. I might argue that Trout’s disappointing trial by fire in 2011 may have helped him. I have seen a lot of evidence that scouts overestimate players they have always loved like Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero and underestimate players that they thought were a draft “reach” like Franklin, Seager, Miller, Danny Hultzen…….They nitpick with Franklin and ignored that Smoak never hit for power in the minors

    If Franklin can come up and hit right handers, let’s just go find a back up who can hit left handers or even suffer with Ryan one day a week.

  44. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 8:52 am

    Franklin has had substantially more minor league ABs than Trout did. My point is not that Franklin is Mike Trout. It is that he has proven he is ready for a shot. If we had a decent shortstop–yes give him some more time. But we need him now and he is hot so if not now when?

    Trout also flashed more (productive) power, a better contact rate, and a lower K rate to go along with beter defense. RC isn’t the only stat you should look at.

    Franklin’s cut down on the K’s so far this season, but he’s played just 18 games, so the argument for a larger sample size is understandable. As to when, I myself would probably suggest mid June, if he continues the way he has and sees enough time at short. That would give him another 130-150 PA’s or so.

    I have not seen any evidence that rushing a player inhibits his development.

    Really? Even if scouts overrated players like Smoak or Montero, look at their minor league service time, what they’ve done at this level, and try to make an argument that they couldn’t have benefited (or might not still benefit) from more time in the minors. They certainly haven’t gotten things figured out at this level.

  45. dc24 on May 3rd, 2013 9:09 am

    His (Triunfel) defense might be worse, but let’s face it, we aren’t going to find ANYONE better defensively than Ryan at short on another team or in our minors system. I just want to see what Carlos can do. Surely he can hit better than what we have, and he’s played all the infield positions too. Andino doesn’t have a future here and maybe Carlos has some extra motivation if we promote him.

    Most of the same could be said of Franklin as well I guess, but if he isn’t good enough to uproot Triunfel at Tacoma, why would he be good enough to play SS at the MLB level?

    Basically, I’m just thinking that if we call SOMEONE up, it should be Triunfel because, despite what Dave thinks, I don’t think he’s any worse than Andino and could be better at the plate than both of them. Calling up Franklin too soon could really come back to bite us. Also, getting Triunfel out of Tacoma allows them to play Franklin at SS and see if he can do it everyday.

    Just my opinion though.

  46. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 9:12 am

    I would be very happy to see Franklin up in mid-June as well. But what do we do for the next six weeks? Give Carlos a shot. Can it be any worse?

    Thanks for the info on Franklin.

    Montero had two completely full years in Triple A. And looking at his numbers I will never know how he got the “he’s a monster” tag that I saw so often when he was with the Yankees organization. Can we hire some of their prospect PR guys?

    As for Smoak, looking at his numbers it is hard to believe he was still rated so highly when we got him. Why? College career? Draft position? Good looking girlfriend?

  47. currcoug on May 3rd, 2013 9:15 am

    Steve,

    It is more about getting Franklin’s bat in the lineup, than anything else…and Franklin belongs at 2B. Ackley is in the discussion, because he was pretty much awful in 2012, and much of April 2013.

    As for putting Ackley in LF, we are currently trotting Bay/Chavez/Ibanez out there…and we don’t exactly have LF’s coming out of our ears at AA/AAA (although Romero might be the guy).

    I don’t think Ackley would have any difficulty playing LF, do you? I would also think about moving Ackley to 1B, if Smoak doesn’t pan out.

  48. MrZDevotee on May 3rd, 2013 9:35 am

    Steve said:
    “Even if scouts overrated players like Smoak or Montero, look at their minor league service time, what they’ve done at this level, and try to make an argument that they couldn’t have benefited (or might not still benefit) from more time in the minors. They certainly haven’t gotten things figured out at this level.”

    Might even add Ackley to this list… Given he spent most of his small minor league time learning a position he had never played before, which you’d think might increase his minor league time, not shorten it. Yet he came up rather quickly.

  49. MrZDevotee on May 3rd, 2013 9:42 am

    Also, GoPilots-

    It’s hard to ignore during our worst seasons we were either a) jettisoning our best prospects to other teams for rental veterans, or b) bringing up young guys unusually quickly…

    Both routes have not be successful methods.

    I’m not against bringing up Franklin. But it IS the same method that has us where we are, with Smoak, Montero, Ackley, etc, all considered much closer to “sure things” than Franklin.

    And I’m not arguing the idea, I’m suggesting the Mariners have a way of doing this type of move which isn’t working.

    If we were a winning team, we’d be bringing up guys like Montero, Smoak, Ackley, Franklin after probably two more years in the minors… Should we act like a winning team, or a desperate one? I’m not actually sure of the answer to that, but they’re clearly two different methods of developing your players… (Comparing, say, the Yankees and Cardinals timelines, to the Royals and Pirates timelines for minor leaguers.)

  50. casey on May 3rd, 2013 10:01 am

    last 21 days on Ackley (so about 20 games)he is hitting .312 and .360 slugging. Not much power but he is getting his hits after slow start. Expect to see some more power and walks over the next 20 games – if he reverts to the .150 with no power Ackley in this timeframe then time to start thinking about Franklin at 2b (provided he continues to hit at Tacoma over next 20 games).

  51. eponymous coward on May 3rd, 2013 10:03 am

    Carlos Triunfel’s minor league splits:
    .276/.319/.379

    Robert Andino’s minor league splits:
    .264/.302/.405

    Willie Bloomquist’s minor league splits:
    .282 /.337/.377

    Sooooo… can we officially stop thinking that Carlos Triunfel is going to be some major improvement on any random replacement level infielder already? Or are we going to continue the Two Minutes Hate about Brendan Ryan?

  52. Rainiers_fan on May 3rd, 2013 10:08 am

    Good point Steve, I very much agree. To address your very valid concern Gopilots, holding Edgar back in Calgary was a deplorable situation that still bothers me. As you correctly point out that very likely impacted his HOF chances. I can assure you that none of us here advocates asking Franklin to spend a huge chunk of his career in AAA and turn into Edgar 2.0.

    What I am hoping for is simply a reasonable approach of figuring out where they want to play him and giving him some time at that position before promoting him. At 21 Franklin was the youngest position player in the PCL last year and his numbers were so so so once he hit AAA. I coud post them but it looks like you have seen them already. He looks to have made great progress this year especially with his switch hitting and if that continues then by all means call him up!

    Again Gopilots, I concur with what you said about Edgar, but I think this is a totally different situation and if the trade off for increasing Franklins chances of ultimate success is another month or two of AAA ball then I don’t think that will drastically impact a 22 year old players HOF chances. If he sustains his success and is held back for an extended period of time then I will be at your disposal if you wish to launch a free Nick campaign.

  53. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 10:10 am

    It is more about getting Franklin’s bat in the lineup, than anything else…and Franklin belongs at 2B. Ackley is in the discussion, because he was pretty much awful in 2012, and much of April 2013.

    As for putting Ackley in LF, we are currently trotting Bay/Chavez/Ibanez out there…and we don’t exactly have LF’s coming out of our ears at AA/AAA (although Romero might be the guy).

    I don’t think Ackley would have any difficulty playing LF, do you? I would also think about moving Ackley to 1B, if Smoak doesn’t pan out.

    Ackley’s not sucking right now. Started slow, but he’s been playing fine, again, for two weeks now and his defense has never been a question. Franklin’s not going to come up to replace him while the team ignores SS, so I don’t see how this relates.

    Ackley playing left… yes, I do think he’d have trouble. It’s been years now since he’s played the outfield and he plays a better 2B than anyone else we have in the organization right now. There’s no reason to move him.

    The team will have to address the outfield eventually, and if they do so internally, I would guess Romero does have the best shot. But how long will it take him? My guess is that we’ll see a trade, before and/or after the deadline, or a FA signing in the offseason (or both) to address that.

    What we’re seeing from Ryan and Andino right now sucks, but it’s not going to last forever. Might not even last a couple weeks for all we know. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can live with it a while longer -as long as I can bitch about it here;)

  54. make_dave_proud on May 3rd, 2013 10:13 am

    “I’m not giving up on Ackley as long as Mr. Aggressive is the manager and is yelling at anyone who dares draw a walk.”

    Wedge gets on to players who get on base via walks?

  55. eponymous coward on May 3rd, 2013 10:16 am

    As for putting Ackley in LF, we are currently trotting Bay/Chavez/Ibanez out there…and we don’t exactly have LF’s coming out of our ears at AA/AAA (although Romero might be the guy).

    I don’t think Ackley would have any difficulty playing LF, do you? I would also think about moving Ackley to 1B, if Smoak doesn’t pan out.

    Seattle LFers so far in 2013:
    .663 OPS

    Seattle 1B so far in 2013:
    .614 OPS

    Dustin Ackley so far in 2013:
    .559 OPS

    The defensive spectrum? You’re doing it wrong.

  56. Rainiers_fan on May 3rd, 2013 10:18 am

    I was going to mention some of the same points MrZ and Steve made in my next post. So I will say: “what MrZ and Steve said”

  57. eponymous coward on May 3rd, 2013 10:21 am

    What I am hoping for is simply a reasonable approach of figuring out where they want to play him and giving him some time at that position before promoting him.

    YES. THIS. EXACTLY THIS.

    Not promoting a 22 year old before you figure out if he can hold down SS or 2B every day in MLB, or not wanting to cut bait on your 2009 1st round draft pick just QUITE yet, isn’t quite the same as letting Edgar collect multiple batting titles in Calgary at ages 24 and 25.

  58. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 10:24 am

    Oh yeah? Well I was going to point out the age factor, applying it to both Franklin and Montero, so I’ll just say “What Rainiers_Fan said”!

  59. ballet dad on May 3rd, 2013 10:27 am

    Just curious, is there evidence that promoting a player too soon has negative consequences for future success of the player?

  60. Sports on a Shtick on May 3rd, 2013 10:31 am

    I’m not exactly sure why there is so much sentiment on trading Franklin. This team needs good players, good hitters and good hitters that play up the middle.

    I’d rather let the 2B/SS situation play out and go from there.

  61. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 10:59 am

    It’s not so much that anyone here wants to see Franklin traded, it’s that many of us expect it. Considering the fact that they already tried to trade him once, it’s a reasonable assumption.

  62. californiamariner on May 3rd, 2013 11:12 am

    I can’t figure out why people who read this site regularly constantly comment about how they want Carlos Triunfel called up. He has done absolutely nothing in the minors to make anybody think he will be anything in the majors. It’s long past time to stop clinging to the hope of what he was supposed to be when he was signed. He will never be a major part of the this team and calling him up because you’re tired of Brendan Ryan is not a logical decision.

    As for Franklin, I’d like to see him get more time at short in the minors before he’s called up. If they are going to bring him up and play him for Ryan I’d like to see him get a little more comfortable at the position.

  63. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 11:32 am

    Triunfel got off to a hot start this season, wasn’t making errors, and despite a high K rate, was hitting the ball real well. Still is hitting fairly well.

    I understand the thought behind promoting him to replace Andino. It would appear to free-up a spot in Tacoma for Romero or Miller while giving him a look, and since he’s unlikely seen as part of the future, the risk isn’t as high. He’s still young, but he’s been in the system for quite a while.

    But that’s just one way to look at it and that was before his defense started to look like the Carlos of old, and before Romero was moved to left. And that’s not considering the possibility of Andino clearing waivers (not that it would be a big deal either way).

    The one thing I would say, is that having high expectations of him is far more ridiculous than the idea of having him simply replacing Andino. Personally, I really don’t care if they promote him or leave him. I can’t see there being a drastic difference. But I don’t think it would be the worst idea to give it a shot. He’d simply be serving as a stop-gap.

  64. msfanmike on May 3rd, 2013 11:35 am

    Remember way, way back to the 2011 season when Kyle Seager played a few games at SS?

    I am sure Nick Franklin will eventually get a “look” at SS. Whether it be out of desperation or an actual “look” I do not know … but he will get some time there and it will occur sometime this season.

    And although I do not expect much from one Carlos Triunfel, he can probably become Andino+ someday without breaking a sweat – and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him inherit that type of role within the next couple of months.

    Just think of the possibilities, Carlos Peguero can put on batting practice shows while Carlos Triunfel simultaneously puts on arm strength/radar gun shows. The Dueling Carlos’

  65. kaleyk on May 3rd, 2013 11:52 am

    The primary reason to bring Franklin up now is the entertainment value to the major league club. Even casual fans are dejected when Ryan/Andino come to the plate. Does anyone want to watch/listen to five more months of Ryan/Andino? Meanwhile, we have a 22-year old potential phenom at AAA, a switch hitter with maybe some speed and some power. If the Mariners player/personnel management thinks Franklin is capable of playing a reasonable defense at shortstop, then he should be our starting shortstop for the rest of the season. If he adds…. or subtracts…. a win in 2013, it doesn’t matter, but at least it would be more entertaining than the current duo.

  66. GarForever on May 3rd, 2013 12:03 pm

    Now, I am not comparing him to Trout, but I really don’t think anyone knows when is the right time to bring a kid to the show

    Perhaps, but everyone knows when it’s the right time NOT to bring someone to the show if you don’t want to hamper his development, and that’s if you can’t get him in the lineup virtually every day, because young players who project as starters need constant PAs. If the M’s are serious about bringing him up in the near future, then they need to start playing him more regularly at SS in Tacoma, because with the roster constructed as it currently is, that’s where he would have the most potential value on the big-league club (the point has already been made that sticking Ackley in the OF with the way he’s hitting right now significantly decreases his value).

    There’s a difference between a player who hits well and provides average-ish defense (or vice versa), and one who hits well and is atrocious in the field. And there’s a reason that even beer-league softball teams don’t “hide” a liability at SS: you can’t. As long as Miguel Cabrera posts Triple-Crown numbers, he’s a 7 fWAR player at 3B. That’s right: even with the monster season he had at the plate, he gave so much back in the field that Trout, Cano, Braun, Posey, Wright, and Headley all finished ahead of him in fWAR. But, however talented Franklin is, no one in their right minds expects him to hit like Cabrera, and as Dave points out, no one in baseball seriously thinks he can hack it as an MLB SS. They could always be wrong, but at the very least the M’s need to get him more reps at SS before he plays that position in the bigs. And if the M’s were to bring him up and play him at SS and the scouts were all proved right, I can just imagine the howling that would take place here each time he cost Felix a gem by not executing a routine play in the late innings.

  67. NorthofWrigleyField on May 3rd, 2013 12:06 pm

    It won’t hurt the Mariners to keep playing Brendan Ryan at shortstop.

    Except Robert Andino is now the starting shortstop… which does hurt the Mariners.

  68. Badbadger on May 3rd, 2013 12:14 pm

    “I’m not exactly sure why there is so much sentiment on trading Franklin. This team needs good players, good hitters and good hitters that play up the middle”

    The idea is that we’d get a good player back in return. If we could cash Franklin in for a outfield prospect who was of equivalent talent, that would be a win for us.

  69. Sports on a Shtick on May 3rd, 2013 12:56 pm

    I understand the sentiment of grabbing an outfielder for this particular organization (large stadium to cover, lack of OFs in system) but let’s not pretend the M’s are overflowing with infielders. Miller isn’t ready, Franklin isn’t ready, Romero isn’t ready, Ackley might not be an answer and Ryan is an answer no one on the coaching staff wants to hear.

    Look at what the Rangers are doing. Acquire quality players, let them play and then go from there.

  70. The_Waco_Kid on May 3rd, 2013 1:01 pm

    I can’t speak for the others, but I’m interested in calling up Triunfel exactly because he doesn’t seem like he’ll amount to much. Franklin has promise and shouldn’t be rushed. With Triunfel, there’s nothing to lose. He couldn’t be much worse than Ryan/Andino. Maybe he’ll come up and hit pretty well. Probably not for long. But he could be a stopgap. If there’s a better option to play SS and hit, you tell me. Seems like it’s worth a try. But I don’t think they’re willing to cut anyone on this roster right now. Which is sad.

  71. Badbadger on May 3rd, 2013 1:18 pm

    @Sports on a shtick-

    I’m not sure I’m getting your point. Our minors are pretty barren with regards to outfielders. We have a lot of infielders who aren’t ready yet. Why wouldn’t it be a good idea to trade a not-ready-yet infielder for a not-ready-yet outfielder?

  72. GarForever on May 3rd, 2013 1:26 pm

    Waco Kid: I can see your point. I guess I’m in the minority in that, because his glove work is so damned good, I’m willing to give Ryan a little more rope (though granted, not much). His BABIP is crazy low, and while that is surely a manifestation of the crazy high infield fly rate, he ran more or less that same rate last year and still had a BABIP 50 points higher (and in a small sample size, his line drive percentage is up slightly this year, though I realize that’s somewhat problematic). As painful as it was to watch him at the plate, he still had an fWAR of 1.5 in 2012, so I guess I’m willing to wait a little while for regression.

    That said, if Ryan doesn’t start to regress I’d be happy to let Triunfel come up and flail while Franklin got more time at SS in AAA, even if he is Andino with more errors. If the season isn’t going anywhere, then if nothing else if Triunfel came up, got an extended chance and didn’t produce, we could finally get people to move past him (hopefully).

  73. The_Waco_Kid on May 3rd, 2013 1:33 pm

    Believe me Gar, I’d really really miss Ryan’s glove. But I don’t know how much longer we can endure the offensive black hole.

  74. djw on May 3rd, 2013 1:48 pm

    I just want to see what Carlos can do. Surely he can hit better than what we have, and he’s played all the infield positions too.

    The word “surely” is doing some work it was never designed to do here.

    Really, I just don’t understand the fascination with him. He’s made no discernable progress in five years. His offensive production, and the underlying approach at the plate, have been atrocious in a hitters league. There really isn’t much reason to expect him to be better than Andino or Ryan.

    You were excited about his future 5 years ago, and I was too. It’s time to let that dream go.

  75. Dave on May 3rd, 2013 1:49 pm

    I continue to be amazed that people are willing to accept a worse team as long as it is worse in a different way. If you can’t stand to watch Brendan Ryan hit, just turn off the TV when he comes up. Lobbying for the team to replace him with a worse player because you’re frustrated is just dumb.

  76. GarForever on May 3rd, 2013 2:00 pm

    Dave, just to be clear, I agree (although maybe you’re referring to others anyway): given the lack of a manifestly better overall option, I am more inclined to keep running Ryan out there if he can regress even to where he was last year. I’d gladly take his 1.5 WAR over watching Triunfel be a less-competent Andino, or watching Franklin (maybe) hit much better but then boot the ball all over the place or not be able to make routine plays. If the team isn’t going anywhere this year, I was merely conceding Waco Kid’s point, and seeing that there might be some (non-baseball) value in a probably lost season in having Triunfel prove to everyone who still thinks he amounts to something that that is not the case.

  77. currcoug on May 3rd, 2013 2:07 pm

    Steve,

    Two weeks is a small sample size, and Ackley is currently posting a horrific .231 OPS against LHP.

    Actually, I breathed a sigh of relief when Upton negated the trade.

    Ackley is a great athlete, and I don’t think he would have a problem moving to LF…but I agree that is an unlikely scenario.

  78. spuuky on May 3rd, 2013 2:33 pm

    Too bad the Mariners can’t just draft Ken Griffey III.

  79. NorthofWrigleyField on May 3rd, 2013 2:49 pm

    I continue to be amazed that people are willing to accept a worse team as long as it is worse in a different way. If you can’t stand to watch Brendan Ryan hit, just turn off the TV when he comes up. Lobbying for the team to replace him with a worse player because you’re frustrated is just dumb.

    I continue to be amazed that you’re willing to remain a fan of a team that constantly does what you say is dumb.

  80. eponymous coward on May 3rd, 2013 3:09 pm

    I was merely conceding Waco Kid’s point, and seeing that there might be some (non-baseball) value in a probably lost season in having Triunfel prove to everyone who still thinks he amounts to something that that is not the case.

    Why do we care about non-baseball value? Is Ryan the 2013 version of Milton Bradley, a “cancer”? Again, we’re talking about over 2000 minor league plate appearances that indicate that Carlos Triunfel is comparable to (insert name of random replacement level middle infielder here) at the plate, with crappy defense to go with it. He’s not particularly young for his leagues any more, and you can’t point to a particular year of his and go “wow, those are really good numbers for his league”. Oh, and he’s a .940 lifetime fielder at short, which is just terrible.

    I see no non-baseball value in dumb decisions. Giving Carlos Triunfel playing time at the major league level because you’re sick of Brendan Ryan making outs is a dumb decision. If It’s July, the season’s toast and Nick Franklin’s played passable short for a couple of months in Tacoma (even if he’d clearly be a bat-first SS) and is hitting, sure, why not- but let’s not make dumb decisions.

  81. Sports on a Shtick on May 3rd, 2013 3:12 pm

    I don’t necessarily think the M’s have a lot of depth at infield considering Ryan is already in the doghouse and Ackley is working his way there. If you trade Franklin you’re banking on Miller and Romero to succeed.

    That being said I wouldn’t be opposed to trading Nick or anyone in the organization. Just feels like Franklin and Paxton already have one foot out the door.

  82. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 3:33 pm

    I don’t think anyone is lobbying for a worse player to replace Brendan Ryan. Except our manager who just did it last week. We are lobbying because we have two players in the minor leagues who potentially could be better than Ryan right now. Nobody knows for sure how they will do when they reach the majors. The numbers show that Dave’s opinion is probably true, but nobody knows for sure.

    I am not lobbying for Ryan’s replacement because I a frustrated, even though I am. I want somebody else because Ryan is killing this “offense”. I don’t believe the minor league numbers predict that either Franklin or Carlos will hit 150 and not even be able to lay a bunt down.

  83. GLS on May 3rd, 2013 4:01 pm

    What blows my mind is when Ackley sits like he did a few days ago and we have both Ryan and Andino at the bottom of the order – 2 near automatic outs.

    I don’t know who all these people are around MLB that have formed a consensus opinion that Nick Franklin can’t play shortstop. My suspicion is that’s a load of crap. While I will concede that he probably has a fringy arm and his range may be suspect, I haven’t seen the proof that he can’t play the position. And can we really quantify the difference in defensive value at this point between Franklin and an average defensive shortstop?

    But, if that is the case, and everyone around MLB agrees he can’t play short, the Mariners must not agree because they’re still giving him starts there, albeit only about 1/3 of the time. What I don’t understand at all is why they aren’t giving him time in the outfield. If he can’t play short and he’s blocked at second, wouldn’t you want to at least start making him familiar with the outfield?

    One month into the season, I don’t agree that the Mariners should stop trying to win. I want Franklin’s bat in our lineup. I would prefer to see them try him first at shortstop and if he fails there, then consider moving him to the outfield or start taking time away from Ackley at second. But lets see how he does at short first.

    Personally, I don’t want to see Franklin traded. I think we could really regret it. I would much rather see Ackley traded at this point.

  84. gopilots70 on May 3rd, 2013 4:11 pm

    I agree. I don’t know how we went so fast from Franklin may have some problems at short to “nobody in baseball thinks he can play there”.

    I think the M’s organization is finally being smart by giving minor leaguers experience at several positions. See Franklin, Triunfel, Romero, Tenebrink, Miller. Why not prepare players for eventual Zobrist roles or at least prepare for roster changes/

    I don’t think Franklin has suddenly forgotten how to play short after playing there all his baseball life. And remember when “no one” thought that Doug Fister would amount to much as a major league pitcher.

    Franklin will be fine. If it’s mid-June or July that would be great. If it’s now we will see earlier.

  85. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 4:18 pm

    Two weeks is a small sample size, and Ackley is currently posting a horrific .231 OPS against LHP.

    Yeah, I was actually off. He’s been hitting well for three weeks. And that OPS you’re worried about with lefties covers just 21 AB’s. He’s shown the ability to hit lefties before, so I don’t see any reason to worry.

  86. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 4:33 pm

    Personally, I don’t want to see Franklin traded. I think we could really regret it. I would much rather see Ackley traded at this point.

    That’s funny for me, because I feel the exact opposite. I think if we traded Ackley, we’ll really regret it. Franklin may end up having a decent career, whether it’s here, or elsewhere. But Ackley has all the tools to be a star fielder and hitter. And I really think he’ll take a huge step forward this year.

  87. djw on May 3rd, 2013 5:19 pm

    I see no non-baseball value in dumb decisions. Giving Carlos Triunfel playing time at the major league level because you’re sick of Brendan Ryan making outs is a dumb decision.

    And the worst case scenario, given the current brain trust, is he lucks into a high BABIP streak to start his MLB career, and the organization gets irrationally excited. This is basically what happened with Bloomquist–his 400+ batting average in his first call-up was a disaster for the organization in the long run.

  88. GLS on May 3rd, 2013 5:43 pm

    That’s funny for me, because I feel the exact opposite. I think if we traded Ackley, we’ll really regret it. Franklin may end up having a decent career, whether it’s here, or elsewhere. But Ackley has all the tools to be a star fielder and hitter. And I really think he’ll take a huge step forward this year.

    To clarify, I’m really not down on Ackley at all. I think he could benefit from some strength training, but for the most part he seems to be coming around finally. Sometimes it takes players a year or more to adjust once the league figures them out. Plus, who knows what kind of nonsense Sgt. Wedge put in his head to change his approach.

    But I really think we’ll regret it if we trade Franklin. People like Churchill complained that he was over drafted, but he’s done nothing but prove them wrong at every step. Plus, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that he tried to get stronger this offseason. Good for him. Strength matters and no, getting stronger doesn’t mean losing mobility. That’s a load of crap.

  89. GarForever on May 3rd, 2013 6:44 pm

    eponymous — you and I agree more than we don’t, and there’s a difference between conceding a rhetorical point and advocating that something actually happen, as you seem more than educated enough to understand. But as a frequent contributor to these discussions, if you see “no value” during a lost season in shutting people up about Triunfel once and for all, then I don’t know what to say :)

    And, djw, you make a good point: of course Triunfel would come up and have some freakish, BABIP-driven, three-week hitting orgy, and then we’d have to deal with the Geoff Bakers and meathead fans demanding that he remain a fixture for years to come as we traded away Franklin, Brad Miller and every other SS prospect in the system because, you know, Mariners…

  90. currcoug on May 3rd, 2013 6:55 pm

    Steve,

    Franklin isn’t exactly chopped liver…he was the 27th pick in the 2009 draft…and he has all the tools to be a star fielder/hitter.

    I hope Ackley takes a huge step forward with his bat, but he still hasn’t hit a HR, and only has 3 extra base hits…not acceptable for the #2 pick from the same draft Franklin was taken in.

  91. stevemotivateir on May 3rd, 2013 7:27 pm

    Franklin isn’t exactly chopped liver…he was the 27th pick in the 2009 draft…and he has all the tools to be a star fielder/hitter.

    Not like Ackley, or he would been drafted ahead of him, right? My comment wasn’t meant to be a taken as a knock on Franklin, though.

  92. GLS on May 3rd, 2013 7:47 pm

    Ackley was drafted out of college though, and if I recall correctly, he went undrafted out of HS.

  93. GLS on May 3rd, 2013 10:35 pm

    If they brought Franklin up and installed him at shortstop, how would he compare defensively to other shortstops in the MLB? B-R has some defensive statistics for minor leaguers, but honestly I don’t know defensive metrics nearly as well as some on here. So, this is a legitimate question on my part, not just an attempt at snark.

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