You Cannot Replace Past Performance

Dave · May 15, 2013 at 11:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

One of the most common questions I get asked is why won’t the Mariners bring up Nick Franklin to play shortstop, considering how poorly Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino are hitting right now. This seems to be the primary question Mariners fans are asking every writer, as Larry Stone also tackled this subject yesterday, noting that the Mariners SS tandem is hitting worse this season than the average NL pitcher. As Stone notes, even if Nick Franklin were the worst defensive shortstop in baseball, the upgrade from his offense over what the Mariners have gotten would more than outweigh the drop-off in glove work.

But here’s the thing – when you exchange one player for another, you are not replacing what they’ve already done, but you’re replacing what they’re going to do in the future. It’s one thing to note that Ryan/Andino have hit like pitchers in the first six weeks of the season, but that’s not the future baseline you work from. No matter how down you are on these two, there’s no reason to think that they’re going to keep hitting this poorly.

Ryan is truly one of the worst hitters in baseball, but that’s been true of him for basically his whole career, and he’s had extended slumps not that different from the one he’s in right now. For instance, from June 25th to September 20th of 2008, he hit .145/.244/.171 over 86 plate appearances, then had a few good games right before the season ended and followed up the second half collapse with the best offensive year of his career in 2009. From June 6th to July 22nd in 2010, he hit .141/.196/.192 over 111 plate appearances and nearly lost his job as the Cardinals everyday shortstop. They stuck with him, though, and he hit .266/.307/.320 over his final 219 PAs during the rest of the year.

Hitters as bad as Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino are going to have long stretches where they look totally helpless at the plate. They’re scraping the absolute minimum acceptable offensive line for a Major League player, so when we watch them hit and then watch other big league hitters actually do some damage, it can be easy to suggest that Ryan (and Andino) will never hit any better than they are right now, because of their total lack of offensive skills.

The reality is that terrible hitters can underperform too, so right now, Ryan and Andino are underperforming even their own low level of expectations. And it won’t last.

What you actually want to compare Franklin against is what you’d get from Ryan and Andino in the future, not what they’ve done in the first month and a half in the season. You’re replacing future production, not past performance. And while Ryan and Andino are terrible hitters, they are terrible hitters who should be expected to hit better in the future than they have so far.

You can see daily updated forecasts for every player on the Mariners roster at the new FanGraphs Depth Chart page. From now through the end of the season, the forecasts call for Robert Andino to post a .269 wOBA, while Brendan Ryan posts a .258 wOBA. Those numbers suck, but Nick Franklin’s forecast wOBA is .298, a 30-40 point improvement, not the 100-150 point improvement you’d get if you ran the calculation versus past performance.

The easiest way to translate wOBA into runs produced is that two points of wOBA equals one run per 600 plate appearances. So, 30-40 points would be 15-20 offensive runs over the course of a full season. We have less than a full season remaining, so now, the gap is more along the lines of 10-15 runs.

Do you really think it’s unlikely that a guy who scouts think belongs at second base really can’t be 10-15 runs worse with the glove a guy who is among the best defensive shortstops in baseball? Even if we think Ryan has declined some defensively, or is taking his offensive issues into the field with him, you’re looking at a guy who is probably at least still above average, so conservatively, you could call him +3 to +5 runs over the rest of the year. Do you really not think Nick Franklin might be a -10 shortstop over four months? Do you remember Yuniesky Betancourt?

I know it’s frustrating to watch Ryan and Andino make outs, and having a complete offensive black hole at the bottom of the line-up is the kind of thing that makes you think that anything would be better than the status quo. But, in this case, I think the Mariners have made the correct evaluation . Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino aren’t this bad at the plate, and the offensive gap between their current tandem going forward — the only time period that matters — and what Franklin would provide in the future isn’t nearly as large as you might think.

If the Mariners had a time machine and could go back to Opening Day, then yeah, they should use it to swap out Franklin for Ryan or Andino, and the upgrade they’d get from making that move would be substantial because of how bad the veterans have been. But that’s not how things work, of course, and no change now can undo what has already happened. You can only evaluate what you expect to happen going forward and put the players you expect to perform the best in the future on the field. Right now, the reality is that the future offensive production gap won’t be nearly so large as the current one, and given the defensive difference, there’s not really a huge upgrade to be made by making the switch.

Comments

58 Responses to “You Cannot Replace Past Performance”

  1. spuuky on May 15th, 2013 11:58 am

    I guess my opinion kind of depends on other things. Can I count on that being Ryan in the field, or do I have to assume it’s going to be Andino (not nearly as good a fielder) some large percentage of the time?

  2. MacMariner on May 15th, 2013 12:00 pm

    The other question is when might they replace Ackley with Franklin? Let Ackley work on his approach in Tacoma and bring up Miller to AAA and get him ready to replace Ryan/Andino.

  3. bookbook on May 15th, 2013 12:01 pm

    How much faith should we have in Ryan finding his “swing”? If the guy could just hit .220 with some walks, we’d all feel a bit more sanguine than we do now, i suspect.

  4. colinokeefe on May 15th, 2013 12:05 pm

    Not to sound overly blunt, but haven’t we done “Well, Ryan can’t be *this* bad at the plate” for almost his entire tenure in Seattle?

  5. Dave on May 15th, 2013 12:09 pm

    Not to be blunt, but obviously not.

    Brendan Ryan, 2012-2013: .183/.264/.252, .237 wOBA, 50 wRC+

    He currently has a .162 wOBA and a -1 wRC+. The gap between his 2013 line and his 2012-2013 line is 75 points of wOBA, which is about the same as the forecast rest of season difference between Justin Smoak and Prince Fielder.

  6. IllinoisMsFan on May 15th, 2013 12:10 pm

    colinokeefe… spot on. This isn’t something new.

    Since 2011:

    2011 – March/April: .184/.276/.224
    2011 – May: .384/.432/.479
    2011 – June: .204/.262/.237
    2011 – July: .260/.304/.385
    2011 – August: .238/.360/.330
    2011 – Sept/Oct: .208/.269/.292
    2012 – March/April: .136/.278/.254
    2012 – May: .207/.287/.280
    2012 – June: .172/.284/.266
    2012 – July: .288/.325/.384
    2012 – August: .180/.261/.230
    2012 – Sept/Oct: .162/.219/.235
    2013 – April: .149/.237/.149
    2013 – May: .056/.056/.056

  7. msfanmike on May 15th, 2013 12:12 pm

    I think I would have more faith in selling short on a stock than in Brendan Ryan hitting above .190 for the remainder of this season … even if he does “find his swing.”

    Any stock. It doesn’t matter which one.

  8. littlelinny6 on May 15th, 2013 12:20 pm

    I have to agree with MacMariner. I think the conversation is slightly misguided. I think there is reason to believe Nick Franklin is better than Dustin Ackley now and going forward. No one seems to question Franklin’s defense at 2B so bring him up and demote Ackley. Maybe in Tacoma he will figure things out. Then they can bring up Miller to play SS in Tacoma and possibly by July/August we will see our future middle infield of Miller/Franklin.

  9. Thirteen on May 15th, 2013 12:29 pm

    An understated case, I think, on both sides of the ball.

    On the anti-Franklin hand, I think the defensive gap is bigger than you’re estimating. I don’t think Ryan’s defense has declined, so he’s probably still an 8+ run defender (or thereabouts) over the rest of the season. And I have zero difficulty believing that Franklin could be a -10 run shortstop in four months. I think the defensive gap is more like 15-20 runs than your estimated 10-15.

    On the other hand, Franklin’s swing and contact rate improvements (now sustained over 275 PA going back to late 2012) lead me to think that he may be a better hitter than the projections give him credit for. Guys with that 85% contact / 40% swing profile tend to be league average or better hitters as long as they can sustain ISOs over about .130, which based on Franklin’s minor league track record and recent bulk-up I think we can expect him to do. If he hits for a .300 wOBA, sure, he’s not a better option, but what if he’s as good of a hitter as 2011-2012 Kyle Seager (i.e. slightly above average)? That’s an extra ten runs of offense.

    I think that Franklin would be a slight upgrade over Ryan for the rest of 2013. However, I stand by my earlier conclusion: I wouldn’t promote him yet, because I don’t think improving this mediocre 2013 squad by 5-10 runs is worth A) rushing Franklin up to the majors before the club is SURE he’s ready and B) paying for Super Two, either financially or in trade value.

  10. californiamariner on May 15th, 2013 12:32 pm

    Ackley still projects to be about a 2 win player, I just don’t understand the sentiment for replacing him with Franklin. If you wanna argue Ryan/Andino I understand the argument.

  11. colinokeefe on May 15th, 2013 12:36 pm

    Brendan Ryan is projected for a .258 wOBA the rest of the way? He’s posted a >.200 wOBA just twice in the past eight months of play. He’s posted a >.250 WOBA in a month once since 2011.

    Here’s it wOBA month by month since he’s joined Seattle: http://www.evernote.com/shard/s202/sh/6758637c-8d35-4b25-bd0f-0a96ff892314/fe1eb963af29d6833aa8689cabebcda9

    Here’s WRC+: http://www.evernote.com/shard/s202/sh/eed58e5c-716e-4f2b-88b1-b5ce10bd486e/10be811c8252fbcd0847c0af167ef5c6

  12. PackBob on May 15th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Ryan suffers from being great at defense which draws less attention than being great at hitting. Morse is a lousy fielder and a worse base runner, but catches little flack because he hits well enough, especially dingers.

    Projections aren’t fact, and it’s possible that Ryan could have a season-long slump. Then too, Franklin could come up and not hit to his projections either. He’s untested at the ML level.

    The reality is that the M’s have a lot of holes to fill and Ryan isn’t the only question mark, maybe just the most obvious.

  13. coreyjro on May 15th, 2013 12:39 pm

    There is a non zero chance that Franklin could be significantly better than both Ryan and Andino. We simply don’t know, “…what Franklin would provide in the future…” There are legitimate reasons to keep Franklin in AAA, but arguing that he’s probably just going to be as terrible as Andino and Ryan isn’t going to hold up.

  14. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 12:41 pm

    So frustrating. Can’t argue with Dave, except how long is your leash with Ryan? He will probably return to tolerable hitting and have 1 good month but what if he doesn’t?

    You’d think we could upgrade at least 1 of Brendino. I guess replacing Andino wouldn’t help much. Dave, you really think Triunfel is worse than Andino?

  15. Dave on May 15th, 2013 12:53 pm

    There is a non zero chance that Franklin could be significantly better than both Ryan and Andino.

    And there was a non-zero chance that Raul Ibanez would hit a home run off CC Sabathia last night. It even happened. Starting him was still not a good decision.

    You don’t make decisions based off the idea that everything has some possibility of happening, and since we can’t know exactly what will happen, everything should just be treated as equally probable. That’s a great way to make a lot of awful decisions.

  16. ndevale on May 15th, 2013 1:07 pm

    I watched this guy a lot as a kid

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1005387&position=SS

    His team went to the world series.
    just saying.

  17. billT on May 15th, 2013 1:11 pm

    I also remember scouts saying that Ackley couldn’t stick at 2B but would contend for batting titles. They appear to have been wrong on both counts.

    That said, I’d rather see Ackley go back down with explicit instructions to start getting on base again and let Franklin get some ABs in the majors at 2B with the occasional game at SS.

  18. coreyjro on May 15th, 2013 1:12 pm

    “You don’t make decisions based off the idea that everything has some possibility of happening, and since we can’t know exactly what will happen, everything should just be treated as equally probable. That’s a great way to make a lot of awful decisions.”

    Sure, if I never got in my car because there is a non-zero chance I’ll die in a car wreck I’d never get anything done. I guess my point is that there isn’t a ton of harm in checking what is behind the curtain, and seeing if Franklin is a good player at the Major League level. If he isn’t we can just send him back down for Triunfel.

  19. rick m on May 15th, 2013 1:31 pm

    If we start the timeline on the “call up Nick Franklin!” movement at the time of Logan Davis’ LL article, that would be May 2. If this were some sort of democracy, and Zduriencik had listened, we would have lost out on the following hitting prowess our shortstops have offered since then:

    BA/OBP/SLG/OPS
    Ryan: .056/.056/.056/.111
    Andino: .125/.263/.125/.388

    I would have preferred seeing what Franklin would have done during those two weeks, and have the added bonus of giving Nick the first two weeks of valuable MLB experience. I don’t see why offering Ryan/Andino another couple weeks is preferable, based on the idea that “they can’t be any worse than they have been to date.” They’ve been clearly worse since the time was obvious to most fans that a change should be made.

    The biggest problem is these two have no power, so even if they scratch out a hit here and there, we’re looking at Figlet II, without the benefit of a history of selectivity at the plate in either player’s case. We aren’t even certain that Ryan can even lay down a decent bunt.

  20. Logan Davis on May 15th, 2013 1:34 pm

    Well, except my article didn’t argue that Franklin should be called up, and it wasn’t the first one talking about him. I believe the rolling of the ball was started a bit earlier than that, by one of the beat writers.

    (I’m Thirteen above, by the way. Just changed my nickname.)

  21. scraps on May 15th, 2013 1:47 pm

    Thank you, Dave. Though apparently you are in the vanishingly small minority, you make sense to me.

    (I admit that I’m a fan of defense, and I would be sad if Ryan lost his job. Still, you make sense.)

  22. McExpos on May 15th, 2013 2:02 pm

    I get what you’re trying to say, Dave, but I think that the only question to ask would be “Is Nick Franklin ready?” I love Brendan Ryan’s defense as much as the next guy, but I would also kick him off the team in a heartbeat if it turns out Franklin is a two win hitter and a -1 win fielder.

    I DO remember Yuni, and I remember that in 2006 and 2007 he was worth 1.5 fWAR per season. Last year Brendan Ryan hit under .200 and, thanks to stellar defense, put up a fWAR of roughly 1.5. He’s been worth roughly -0.7 fWAR this season so far.

    Even if Ryan was still at 1.5 fWAR player, which doesn’t appear to be the case, it’s worth considering. Two player who put up the exact same fWAR are not created equal – the one who hits is going to have a more positive effect on the fanbase, and if we’re not rushing him (if the scouts think that he’s ready) and if money isn’t a primary concern (which it shouldn’t be, given the new television deal), then we’re basically just pushing the status quo because defense is what Smart Baseball Fans like.

    If and when Franklin is ready, call him up. There’s no reason not to. I don’t think he’s quite ready yet, but it’s a discussion worth having.

  23. GLS on May 15th, 2013 2:23 pm

    I just don’t know how long you can keep trotting out the Ryan/Andino bottom of the order when you have a legitimate offensive middle infielder available in AAA that shows every indication of having mastered that level. Franklin has 1,716 plate appearances in the minor leagues, which is slightly fewer PA’s than Smoak and Ackley combined (in the minors). 764 of his plate appearances are at AA or AAA. He’s in his 5th season as a professional. This is not a case of a player being rushed to the majors before he’s ready.

    The super two argument is stupid. If he turns out to be worth super two status, why wouldn’t you want to pay him?

  24. DarkKnight1680 on May 15th, 2013 2:26 pm

    Maybe I’m in a tiny minority here, but I don’t quite understand why the options are a) stick with RyAndino or b) Call up Franklin. He’s not going to set the world on fire, but why can’t they call up Triunfel to replace Andino? I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that Triunfel can outhit either of the RyAndino brothers, he’s young, he’s a SS (though not terrific at short, I think most would have him as better than Franklin). He’s been up before, no one is concerned over his Super 2 status, and he’s hit passably well at AAA this season. He’s already on the 40 man. Additionally, it opens a middle infield spot at AAA for Miller.

    Maybe I’m way off, but where’s the downside in jettisoning Andino and bringing up Carlos? You can always replace him with Ryan for defense in the late innings.

  25. Klatz on May 15th, 2013 2:29 pm

    What about Carlos Triunfel. While is offense doesn’t project to be that much better than average Ryan/Andino (as opposed to terrible Ryan/Andino), he does provide more upside.

    Unless he’s just not an MLB level shortstop defensively, why not see what he can do? It’s not like he needs more seasoning like Franklin does. He’s relatively young and perhaps we can catch lightning in a bottle.

  26. greentunic on May 15th, 2013 2:34 pm

    Colinokeefe is right. That projection seems to have no root in reality, considering the evidence. Unless we want to argue he’s been underperforming for 8 months but these next few will suddenly be magical?

    I’m sorry but I’ll take the under. By a lot.

  27. Logan Davis on May 15th, 2013 2:34 pm

    “The super two argument is stupid. If he turns out to be worth super two status, why wouldn’t you want to pay him?”

    Leaving aside the absurdity of asking why the Mariners wouldn’t want to give a player a few million more dollars for the same performance, another answer: Because, in all likelihood, the Mariners WON’T be paying him. I still think Franklin is trade bait long term, and he’ll be more attractive to pennypinching teams (like, say, the Miami Marlins) with a smaller price tag attached.

  28. GLS on May 15th, 2013 2:58 pm

    If a player turned out to be good enough to qualify as a super-two arbitration eligible player, shouldn’t the rational response be happiness that such a player was in the organization? I don’t get all this hand wringing over super two status. Considering all of the mistakes this team has made paying veterans more than they’re worth, it seems truly ludicrous to me that anyone would blink an eye over something like possible, theoretical super two status.

  29. DarkKnight1680 on May 15th, 2013 3:01 pm

    GLS – It’s simply prudent financial planning. Would adding Frankling make the team better? Likely yes (though no guarantee). Would it make them better enough to make a difference this season, playoffs-wise? Probably not. So your options are, put yourself at risk to have to pay/lose a guy earlier, and gain nothing, or don’t put yourself at risk. Seems like a reasonably easy call. If there was something to gain, then maybe the money isn’t an issue. But those dollars saved can be put towards other players…why waste them?

  30. californiamariner on May 15th, 2013 3:09 pm

    Carlos Triunfel has literally never shown anything. I don’t get why people want him

  31. stevemotivateir on May 15th, 2013 3:14 pm

    Franklin’s still had only a dozen starts at SS this year in Tacoma. So he’s suppose to adapt to MLB pitching while trying to get comfortable at the busiest position on the field?

    I can live with him stickin’ around Tacoma a little longer. I’m more curious with how they plan to address the outfield for the future.

  32. ivan on May 15th, 2013 3:15 pm

    I know what I would do if I was managing this team. I’d put Brendan Ryan in the lineup and keep him there. I watched Mark Belanger play his entire career. He couldn’t hit any better than Ryan, but with the glove — wow! I rate him right up there with Ozzie Smith as the best I ever saw. Ryan, I think, is at that level, or damn near it, defensively. If Mark Belanger was good enough for Earl Weaver, then Brendan Ryan is good enough for me.

    No better defensive SS has ever worn a Mariners uniform, I’ll tell you that. Not young Alex, not Todd Cruz, not Rey Quinones. You don’t throw a glove like that out of the lineup for some rookie. At least I don’t.

  33. DarkKnight1680 on May 15th, 2013 3:20 pm

    californiamariner – He’s only just 23, an import, and a SS. Expectations were too high for him, but most prospects with those first 3 attributes aren’t burning it up either, or they are top prospects. I don’t think anyone is saying he’s going to be an all-star – I’m certainly not. But at AAA and age 23, he’s got a 308/354/473 slash line, his platoon splits aren’t terrible, his home/away splits aren’t terrible, he’s got a little bit of speed and he’s not a total embarrassment at short. If he was 28 I’d say sure, write him off. But at 23 and clearly a better offensive player than either of the existing ML SS’, why wouldn’t you want to give him a shot?

  34. DarkKnight1680 on May 15th, 2013 3:21 pm

    Ivan – Ryan is a terrific defensive SS, but you forgot Omar Vizquel in your list, and that guy could flash the leather with the all time greats.

  35. rick m on May 15th, 2013 3:23 pm

    stevem: Franklin’s been playing shortstop all his life, including A, A+, AA and AAA ball. Sticking around Tacoma a few more months will hardly change anything. What he can do at short, he can do. If anything, he probably needs reps at 2nd base.

  36. rick m on May 15th, 2013 3:34 pm

    ivan: Good comparison. Ryan and Belanger are incredibly comparable as ballplayers. There was never any question about keeping Belanger in the lineup. If we can get Dustin Ackley to hit like Davey Johnson, I might sign onto that.

  37. leftfield limey on May 15th, 2013 3:35 pm

    1. The contrast is drawn between Ryan and Franklin based on their WoBA and likely defensive performance and then the assumption appears to be made that Franklin would replace Ryan. What about Franklin replacing Andino whose defence looks to be not nearly as good? I can rationally believe Ryan could make up the difference to Franklin’s projected offence in defence but I have a harder time believing Andino would do the same.

    2. On top of that the additional benefit of removing Andino would be that it would prevent Wedge fom playing Ryan and Andino together. Avoiding two sub-NL pitcher batters in one line up must surely be an extra consideration.

    3. Having seen how all position players seem to struggle in Seattle I would not be surprised if Franklin underperformed his offensive projection but at least there would be a longer term purpose to it. Ryan (probably) and Andino (certainly)have no long term future in Seattle and to the extent the season is done (and when they wheel out both Ryan and Andino there is little other rational conclusion).

  38. marcus_andrews on May 15th, 2013 3:47 pm

    While I certainly don’t love him, I wouldn’t mind seeing Truinfel called up and Andino DFA’d. I still would have Ryan be the starting shortstop most days but play Truinfel about as often as Andino is currently being played.

    Benefits to the big league team:

    You get to at least see what Truinfel can do. I don’t think it will be much and I think you’re basically replacing Andino with a version of himself with some power and less defense, but hey, maybe he has actually progressed and his stats in Tacoma aren’t all PCL or SSS noise.

    Benefits to the farm system:

    This is the big reason I like the move. There are a couple different ways to go and I think all of them are better than our current set up.
    1. Put Franklin at short in Tacoma and see if hey can handle it.
    2. Call Miller up to Tacoma. Most seem to agree he’s our shortstop of the future and he’s had 300 at bats at AA at this point with an OBP north of .400. He hasn’t proven to dominate the level but he’s proven very good there.

    I know that you shouldn’t make a move on your big league roster to accomodate your minor league roster, but frankly, I think calling Truinfel up gives us a chance to get a much better idea of who our SS will be in 2014. If Franklin proves that he can handle it, great. If Miller shows that he’s ready for the big leagues next year, fantastic. If Truinfel succeeds (not likely) maybe he gets first crack. The point is, it gives us an opportunity to see what we have while keeping our big league team almost the exact same skill level.

    Also: I don’t think the Super Two deadline is a concern with Truinfel like it could be with Franklin.

  39. GLS on May 15th, 2013 4:01 pm

    Sorry DarkKnight, I don’t buy the financial planning argument. If the guy turns out to be good enough to qualify for super-two, then you can always sign him to a multi-year deal. It isn’t the end of the world, and like I said, we’ve signed enough shitty veterans over the years that I can’t imagine that extra money would really make that much difference.

    On days Wedge puts both Ryan and Andino out there, which is happening with some regularity, we basically have a gaping black hole of anguish and despair at the bottom of the lineup. The Mariners have the ability to improve that situation without making a trade, and yet they refuse to do so. I’m really getting mad about this. It’s like there’s no will to win. It’s May and the team is hovering around .500 and they’re actually competitive and people are letting the Mariners get away with not trying to win because of concerns over financial planning? Even though the postseason seems unlikely, we do have the possibility of a winning season. 82 wins is possible. 82 wins would be good! It would be encouraging and it would mean that along the way we’d be watching more games that were actually competitive and fun to watch.

    But I suppose it’s more fun to throw out theoretical projections about how the difference between Franklin’s bat and Ryan’s glove doesn’t really matter that much, especially since we all know with absolute certainty that he’ll be a disaster at shortstop, since this is what all the scouts are saying. I’m assuming it’s all the scouts, since that’s what everyone else seems to be assuming. Plus, we all know for a certainty now that Ryan and Andino will be better the rest of the season, and if you do the calculations and run the numbers, nope, it just don’t make no sense at all to bring Franklin up. Why take a chance that he could be exposed and lose trade value? Why take a chance that he could actually be good and qualify for super two status? Wait, don’t we want good players? There’s something circular going on with this argument.

  40. heyoka on May 15th, 2013 4:02 pm

    You can replace future performance. Why not put the best product on the field?

  41. scraps on May 15th, 2013 4:10 pm

    If Mark Belanger (who I loved) never had any question about keeping him in the lineup, mostly it was because the Orioles were contenders pretty much his entire run with them. The Mariners, not. Fans of the Mariners are looking for a scapegoat, and unfortunately Brendan Ryan (who I love) is probably the favorite (though there are several close contenders), even though replacing Ryan is not obviously going to make the Mariners better.

  42. ivan on May 15th, 2013 4:37 pm

    DarkKnight 1680 says:

    Ivan – Ryan is a terrific defensive SS, but you forgot Omar Vizquel in your list, and that guy could flash the leather with the all time greats.

    DUH! Stupid I am! Thanks.

  43. The_Waco_Kid on May 15th, 2013 5:05 pm

    We’re maybe 3 weeks from the Super 2 deadline. At this point, why not wait? 3 weeks of Franklin now vs. one more free year of him.

  44. eponymous coward on May 15th, 2013 5:26 pm

    Two player who put up the exact same fWAR are not created equal – the one who hits is going to have a more positive effect on the fanbase

    This is just wrong. What has a positive effect on the fanbase is winning. The M’s didn’t draw fans when they sucked and had better offenses in the 1980′s, and swapping out no-hit, good glove players for good hit, bad defense players doesn’t help.

    The question is whether or not a player is better, not whether or not their overall skill set is different.

    But at AAA and age 23, he’s got a 308/354/473 slash line, his platoon splits aren’t terrible

    Go look at what Andino hit in AAA at a similar age.

    News flash: the PCL is an extreme hitter’s league. The AL at Safeco? Not so much.

  45. charliebrown on May 15th, 2013 6:34 pm

    copied from a post above…

    2011 – March/April: .184/.276/.224
    2011 – May: .384/.432/.479
    2011 – June: .204/.262/.237
    2011 – July: .260/.304/.385
    2011 – August: .238/.360/.330
    2011 – Sept/Oct: .208/.269/.292
    2012 – March/April: .136/.278/.254
    2012 – May: .207/.287/.280
    2012 – June: .172/.284/.266
    2012 – July: .288/.325/.384
    2012 – August: .180/.261/.230
    2012 – Sept/Oct: .162/.219/.235
    2013 – April: .149/.237/.149
    2013 – May: .056/.056/.056

    Anyone else notice a significant trend since July of last year?

  46. DarkKnight1680 on May 15th, 2013 7:12 pm

    EC – in 2007 when Andino was 23, he hit 278/322/428 and played mostly 2B, also in the PCL. And he did it playing for Albuquerque, which is essentially like playing for High Desert – it’s the easiest place to hit a HR around. RH hitters have a 142 HR park factor there. Tacoma, on the other hand, has a 101 HR park factor for righties. So not only is Triunfel somewhat better than Andino at the same age on raw stats, he’s doing it without an insane park boost.

    Again, though, the point isn’t what Andino was in 2007, it’s what he is now. And that’s a guy that can’t hit and isn’t amazing with the glove. There is no benefit to him over Triunfel. None. There are definitely potential benefits to bringing Carlos up, though, which have already been outlined.

  47. eponymous coward on May 15th, 2013 9:08 pm

    EC – in 2007 when Andino was 23, he hit 278/322/428

    Over an entire season, which Triunfel hasn’t done yet.

    played mostly 2B

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=andino001rob

    Again, though, the point isn’t what Andino was in 2007, it’s what he is now. And that’s a guy that can’t hit and isn’t amazing with the glove.

    Andino’s lifetime fielding percentage in the minors at short is considerably higher than Truinfel’s. The range factors aren’t much different.

    And OK, fine, let’s compare these guys:

    SS prospect 1: .330/.372/.544

    SS prospect 2: .272/.316/.401

    Prospect one is Jose Lopez’s minor league statline. Prospect 2 is Carlos Triunfel.

    Bottom line is that Triunfel has over 2500 minor league plate appearances and still isn’t hitting as well as Jose Lopez was in Tacoma back in the day. The skillset is basically the same as Andino’s (minimal power, and like most DR or Latin players, is never going to walk off the island). He doesn’t even have good footspeed any more (the SB numbers are lousy).

    There are definitely potential benefits to bringing Carlos up, though, which have already been outlined.

    Most of which aren’t actually benefits as opposed to thinly disguised justifications to rearrange deck chairs. We could put your grandmother at short to see what she could do, but we probably don’t need to to have a good idea that there’s no real improvement over Robert Andino.

  48. Bodhizefa on May 15th, 2013 9:23 pm

    One gets the impression that Dave is both not very high on Nick Franklin (from this post and numerous others) as well as fairly complacent with a crappy middle infield when there are other internal options who are, in all probability, likely better.

    So, we have some shitty middle infielders, but there’s no sense in potentially calling up a better player because, well, Mariners.

    Personally, I think Dave has consistently underrated Franklin, and I think there’s a bit of that bias in play here. I’m not suggesting Franklin will be a world beater, but his walk rate, contact rate, and power output in Triple-A this year are pretty outstanding. And all of those things are worthy of getting a little excited about as well as upending old notions about what Franklin was going to be after his iffy and injury plagued 2011 season.

  49. Westside guy on May 16th, 2013 12:08 am

    “as fairly complacent with a crappy middle infield when there are other internal options who are, in all probability, likely better.”

    And you are basing this supposition that the people in the minors “are likely better” on what, specifically?

  50. GLS on May 16th, 2013 12:26 am

    And you are basing this supposition that the people in the minors “are likely better” on what, specifically?

    Are you serious?

  51. gopilots70 on May 16th, 2013 7:10 am

    It is unbelievable to me the Cameron Kool-Aid that so many on this “evidence” site are willing to bathe in without question.

    So now we are to believe that we are to stick with Brendan Ryan because the probability is that he will regress from horrendous, laughable to shitty, piss poor?

    I was happy to see that Larry Stone, who must read this site, picked up on my many comments from 2,3,4, weeks ago that that Mariners are fielding a National line up on a daily basis, and their pitcher often hits worse than NL pitchers.

    And I was roundly trashed for this insight, while now it is cited because Larry is an expert.

    There is no way that any of our choices to bring up will be worse than Brendan Ryan. Carlos, Nick, Brad. Hell let’s trade him to the Yankees for Alfredo Gonzalez who can also pitch and he still won’t be worse.

    I agree with most of what Dave writes. Though, those who trash my hyperbole will find fault with that as well. But, he was wrong about Doug Fister, he was wrong about Ryan Langerhans for Mike Morse, and he has been wrong about Brendan Ryan for many years now. And he will be proven wrong about Nick Franklin.

    Dave is pulling an Angel Hernandez on this one and is letting his estimable ego get in the way of reason.

    The lesson of “moneyball” is that despite all the
    old school scout talk of nice swing, nice sound off the bat, good looking girlfriend, the logic of “evidence” can be just as old school. Swing rate, contact rate, ISO…but that fact is that Kyle Seager always hit and nearly all of the experts discounted him. And now Nick Franklin has just hit and hit and hit at age 21!! But those who have never been on board will not acknowledge that he is better last month, next month, and next year than Brendan Ryan

  52. Athanasius on May 16th, 2013 8:40 am

    I’m not sure that the “replacing past performance” angle does justice to the argument in favor of replacing Ryan with Franklin. The real question is, how much is past performance indicative of future performance? Those arguing in favor of replacing Ryan with Franklin would say that Ryan’s performance at the plate — over the last several years, not just the first part of 2013 — calls for his replacement.

    The counter argument is that Ryan isn’t this bad and will get better, but overall he is still, “truly one of the worst hitters in baseball.”

  53. GLS on May 16th, 2013 10:55 am

    @gopilots70 – I honestly couldn’t agree more. The guy has consistently hit throughout his minor league career. He’s done everything they’ve asked him to do. In the meantime, on days when Ackley sits, we have two automatic outs at the bottom of the order.

    All of this hand wringing over Franklin’s defense doesn’t make sense to me. First of all, it’s almost entirely based on hearsay. Almost nobody commenting here or over at Prospect Insider or SSI has ever seen him play the position. It’s just groupthink. That’s all it is. Of course, it may very well be true that he’ll need to move off of SS. I’m not saying the supposed consensus opinion of the scouting community is necessarily wrong about that. But, at least let him prove it at the major league level. We have absolutely nothing to lose here. And I will remind as well that, early in his career, people said that Derek Jeter didn’t have the arm or range to play shortstop. That seems to have worked out okay.

  54. stevemotivateir on May 16th, 2013 3:35 pm

    @GoPilots and GLS

    You’re failing to recognize some very important factors, despite the fact that Dave and several other have made note of them several times.

    First, it’s the PCL. EC showed Jose Lopez’s line for Tacoma. Impressive? Yes. Was his line in Seattle anywhere near that?

    Need another example? How about Dustin Ackley. How’s he living up to expectations?

    Recent (and short-term) success in Tacoma won’t necessarily translate into success in Seattle right away, if ever. I’m sure you’ll wanna mention the exception, Seager, who has had success with relatively short service time in the minors. But his batting line was notably better than Franklin’s and he was taking over a spot where there actually wasn’t another (real) option. And the guy he was replacing, Figgins, sucked at the plate and in the field. You can’t say Ryan doesn’t offer defense.

    Second, nobody, including Dave, is bashing Franklin. He literally has just 12 games at SS this year in Tacoma. Nobody has even suggested that Franklin wouldn’t hit better than Ryan or Andino, either (the bar is low). But is he really ready to take over a starting job at the most demanding position on the field? Would it benefit the team enough to risk stunting his development? He didn’t hit that well last season, so his success in Tacoma is still real minimal considering.

    Franklin’s going to get the call eventually, possibly even next month. But suggesting he’s needed right now while ignoring the evidence that addresses the risks as well as the actual need, probably isn’t wise.

    I was happy to see that Larry Stone, who must read this site, picked up on my many comments from 2,3,4, weeks ago that that Mariners are fielding a National line up on a daily basis, and their pitcher often hits worse than NL pitchers.

    That could very well be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen someone post on this site.

    First, do you really think YOU were the first to make that comparison, or that Larry couldn’t have thought of that himself? On the Mariner site alone, people have been suggesting the same thing since last season, in reference to Ryan. But people have been saying the same thing since the days with Lou.

    Second, just because several people write about it, or suggest it, doesn’t mean they’re right. I’d look at a full season of numbers and actually compare them (not just BA) before making a claim like that.

    Really, it shouldn’t be so hard for either of you to understand the points being made. This really seems more like a case of you wanting to believe what you wanna believe. There is a case for promoting Franklin. Again, nobody is denying that. But the timing is certainly questionable and the facts shouldn’t be overlooked. Rushing top prospects in a season where we’re highly unlikely to contend doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    P.S. A little advice that will go a long way….
    It isn’t wise to take shots at the authors of this site, or the regulars who have been contributing here for years. They know how to argue their points and dish out rebuttals. Challenging a claim is one thing, but have your evidence on-hand, explain yourself clearly, consider the possibility you missed something or that someone knows more, be polite, and don’t take things too personally. Defensive responses often lack facts and generally won’t get you far. Patience and rational thinking will do wonders.

  55. stevemotivateir on May 16th, 2013 3:47 pm

    All of this hand wringing over Franklin’s defense doesn’t make sense to me. First of all, it’s almost entirely based on hearsay. Almost nobody commenting here or over at Prospect Insider or SSI has ever seen him play the position. It’s just groupthink. That’s all it is.

    He has a fielding percentage of .948 at SS this year, .953 last year, and contrary to what you seem to think, people here actually study and prefer statistics over hearsay (no, really), and some of us do actually attend Rainiers games. “Rainiers_Fan” sees most of the games and takes tons of notes. Marc and Jay pay close attention, too, often detailing more on defense than with offensive performance.

    But if you’re willing to dismiss input that isn’t in-line with yours, or if you’re annoyed with these detailed comments that rebut what you think, feel free to troll other blogs instead.

  56. gopilots70 on May 17th, 2013 1:34 am

    Whew! I know I feel so much better after the friendly advice and the lecture about how to treat the regulars here in USS Mariner. How about you GLS?

    So now I will pull one comparison out of my hat. Jean Segura. Full season A ball 374 wOBA. Full season AA 337.

    Nick Franklin full season A ball 376 wOBA. Half season AA 408.

    Segura in 160 MLB abs last year 278. This year 160 abs plus 412 wOBA. I guess the lesson learned here is that the Angels were so wise never to send him to the PCL because then he would have morphed into Jose Lopez no matter how well he hit there.

  57. stevemotivateir on May 17th, 2013 9:10 am

    You should definitely keep thinking and talking like you know better than everyone else. That will get you real far here.

    Keep that Segura reference in your back pocket. You can use that for many future arguments. Be sure to overlook the fact that he still had 1755 PA’s and an OPS of .807 during that span, and also ignore the fact that there are some players that make it outside of the norm, though they certainly are not the norm.

    While you’re at it, you can continue to overrate his ML career simply because he’s off to a great start this year, despite mediocre numbers last year in just 44 games, and a total of just 328 PA’s to date. Be sure to ignore his shitty defense last year as well.

    This could be a good time for you to start the campaign for his MVP award while reminding everyone here how he’s the perfect example of why Franklin has to be called up right now.

    You make a strong case. Thanks for setting all of us straight.

  58. scraps on May 17th, 2013 10:55 am

    (Ahhhh, refreshing!)

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