Promote Brad Miller

Dave · June 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of Brad Miller‘s promotion to Tacoma. Given what he’s done in the 23 games he’s played down there, it might be time for another one. Take a look at his consistency as he’s climbed the ladder in the minor leagues.


Season Level Age PA BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
2011 (A) 21 59 7% 15% 0.113 0.415 0.458 0.528 0.447 182
2012 (A+) 22 473 11% 17% 0.185 0.339 0.412 0.524 0.408 143
2012 (AA) 22 170 13% 15% 0.156 0.320 0.406 0.476 0.407 151
2013 (AA) 23 175 11% 17% 0.176 0.294 0.379 0.471 0.386 146
2013 (AAA) 23 109 13% 15% 0.217 0.348 0.422 0.565 0.427 154

Miller has hit at every level he’s been at, and he’s done it with basically the same set of skills and minimal variance. He draws walks, makes contact, and hits a ton of line drives. Don’t pay too much attention to those slugging percentage numbers, as they’re inflated both by minor league BABIPs and some hitter friendly ballparks. He’s got some gap power, but he’s not going to be a huge home run guy in the big leagues. That said, the rest of the package looks like it might be good enough that his home run total won’t really matter.

Miller is often compared to Kyle Seager, because they were both high performance/moderate tools guys in college, and they didn’t profile as impact players based on their athleticism. Both just started hitting better than expected when they became professionals, though, and Seager has developed into the Mariners best everyday player. Seager is an easy comparison for Miller because of their similar pedigrees, but it also misleads in some ways.

The primary difference between them is on defense. Seager has always been an average to above average defender, both at second and third base, and his glove was probably the one thing you could point to as a college player and say “that will get him to the Major Leagues”. Miller, though, is a bit of a question mark defensively. From a physical standpoint, he can handle shortstop. He’s not Brendan Ryan, but he moves well enough to cover the necessary ground and has a good enough arm to make throws from deep in the hole. However, Miller is extremely prone to making errors on routine plays. And not just the once-in-a-while variety. He makes a lot of errors.

In 212 minor league games, Miller has made 55 errors, which works out to a pace of 42 errors per full season. Error rates are higher in the minors than they are in the majors for various reasons, including lower quality infields, and it isn’t that strange for minor leaguers to make a lot of errors. Back in 1993, Derek Jeter made 56 errors in one season, and his career minor league fielding percentage of .934 is lower than Miller’s .942. But Jeter was a teenager coming up through the minors, spending his final year in Triple-A at age 21, and this is a more common problem for very young players.

Miller is 23, and he played three years of high level college baseball at Clemson. You don’t generally see a lot of players at his age and experience making this many mental mistakes. And that’s really what they are. He’s not just butchering plays left and right because he is being asked to do something he physically can’t do; pretty much everyone who has watched him on a regular basis has said that the errors come as the result of simply whiffing on routine plays when he has plenty of time to glove the ball or make the throw. He makes his fair share of difficult plays; it’s the easy ones that tend to give him problems.

There’s actually a pretty decent Major League player with a similar problem right now; Ryan Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals $100 million third baseman. Zimmerman was a defensive wizard in college and drew comparisons to Evan Longoria, but a combination of shoulder problems and getting in his own head have made routine throws from third base to first base an adventure. The Nationals might have to eventually move Zimmerman to first base just to take the pressure off of him making the throw across the diamond.

This isn’t to say that Miller has “Steve Sax syndrome”, but from most accounts, his defensive problems are mental, not physical. This is either something you beat and it goes away, or it beats you and you change positions. In other words, there’s no real reason to treat Miller like Seager or Franklin — guys who just didn’t have the physical skills necessary to play shortstop and were moved to 3rd and 2nd respectively to compensate for their lack of range — because he’s either a shortstop or he’s an outfielder.

Given Miller’s potential at the plate and the organization’s hole at shortstop, having him stop making these routine mistakes would be in everyone’s best interests. Having a left-handed hitting shortstop who can provide some real offensive value would be a big boost to the team’s talent level, and the best case scenario involves Miller and Franklin teaming up to be the long term double play combination for years to come. Moving him to the outfield might make the defensive issues go away, but that decision should only be made once the organization is convinced that Miller’s error issues aren’t fixable.

And, really, they probably won’t be able to make that determination while he’s in the minor leagues. The only way to judge whether Miller can avoid the routine mistakes under the pressure of a Major League game is in a Major League game. And really, they should be incentivized to give him as a long a look at shortstop as they can afford to.

The 2013 season affords them that chance to take a look. The Mariners season isn’t going anywhere, so if they stick him at shortstop and he makes 25 errors, it’s not going to be the difference between a playoff berth and watching October baseball on TV. You can take some flyers in seasons like this, because the downside if they don’t pay off aren’t as low as they are when you’re trying to win.

The working assumption is that Brad Miller will be called up once the Mariners trade Brendan Ryan to a contender in order to free up a spot for him in the line-up, but I’m not sure I see the point of waiting. Teams know exactly what Brendan Ryan is. They don’t need to watch him play for the next five weeks to know that he’s a plus glove/no hit player who fits perfectly as a part-time player and defensive replacement on a contender. You’re not going to hurt Brendan Ryan’s (minimal) trade value by making him a part-time player now, letting him teach Miller the fundamentals of the position, and serve as a mentor to the kid on defense.

The Mariners already committed a roster spot to Henry Blanco for the sole purpose of having a guy who can teach Mike Zunino the finer points of catching. Ryan might not be the same kind of respected veteran leader, but if you had a young shortstop with defensive issues, who else is better equipped to show Miller how to field the position? Give Miller a month with Ryan around to help him conquer the mental side of playing shortstop, plus give yourself another month to evaluate whether or not he can be your everyday shortstop in 2014.

If you wait until after the trade deadline when Ryan is no longer an impediment, you’re reducing your evaluation time by 30%, and for what gain? Miller’s spent the better part of two years in the minors after spending three years playing high level college baseball. He doesn’t need to spend any more time in Tacoma. He’s not getting fooled by Triple-A pitchers. At this point, it’s not so much about Brad Miller learning as it is the Mariners learning about Brad Miller.

Can he play shortstop? That’s the question that will hang over his head until he’s called up and we see how he responds to the pressures of making the routine play in front of a large crowd. If he’s not a shortstop, better to learn that now and make the OF conversion next spring than to have to figure that out in-season next year and then try to make the IF-OF conversion while meaningful games are being played.

And if he is a shortstop, and he keeps hitting like he’s been hitting since he became a professional, then it helps the 2013 Mariners too. So, let’s not bother waiting until some contender gives the Mariners a C- prospect in exchange for Brendan Ryan. Just make the move now and give Brad Miller three months to show whether or not he can be the long term answer at shortstop.

Comments

69 Responses to “Promote Brad Miller”

  1. Ibuprofen on June 24th, 2013 12:14 pm

    I agree completely, Dave, and have been wanting to see Miller called up for the past week or two. I love Brendan Ryan and I’ll be sad when it’s time to say goodbye, but at the same time we need to see if Miller is our SS of the future and there’s no better time than now.

    Given his OBP and line drive tendencies it looks like Miller might profile pretty well as our leadoff hitter of the future as well (even though lineups really don’t matter that much). Any take on that?

  2. wsm on June 24th, 2013 12:19 pm

    I think we might see Nick Franklin at SS before we see Miller, especially of Ackley keeps forcing his way back into the 2B picture.

    I know there are plenty of scouts who have written Franklin off as a SS. But there are still people in the organization who think he could handle the job.

    And there are a lot of people who think Miller could be an asset defensively with a move to CF.

  3. Eastside Suds on June 24th, 2013 12:22 pm

    Dave, great post and I have been waiting anxiously for this to come to fruition. I have a question: Are most of Miller’s errors in the 6 hole fielding or throwing? Fielding can have a lot to do with the field and type of batted balls coming at him. Ie, show me a poor pitching staff that is always behind in the count and I will show you poor fielding success. It comes with the territory when balls are always scorched.
    If the problem is throwing, there are plenty of physiological fixes for that problem.

  4. Floyd Gondoli on June 24th, 2013 12:27 pm

    I like the idea of keeping Ryan around for a month in order to work beside Miller, but then a roster spot needs to be cleared up. Does this come at the expense of Triunfel, or are there more DL opportunities for the M’s to bungle? Sucre is due to come off as well, right?

  5. Alec on June 24th, 2013 12:27 pm

    “But there are still people in the organization who think he could handle the job.”

    Who? If those people had any power, don’t you think he would be playing short over Ryan right now? Wedge played Andino over him for a bit.

  6. Robo Ape on June 24th, 2013 12:32 pm

    Great article Dave. Great analysis and very interesting perspective vis-a-vis mental vs physical error proneness.

  7. Ibuprofen on June 24th, 2013 12:33 pm

    “I think we might see Nick Franklin at SS before we see Miller, especially of Ackley keeps forcing his way back into the 2B picture.”

    He isn’t though. 2B belongs to Franklin now, which is why Ackley has been moved to LF/CF. I’m sure when he’s recalled Ackley will see the odd day at 2B every once in a while, but the organization has made it pretty obvious that it’s no longer his primary position. The amount of praise Ackley is getting for his work in the outfield so far should tell you something, too.

  8. terryoftacoma on June 24th, 2013 12:38 pm

    Great Article Dave. I have to disagree with you, though. I don’t think 109 AB tells you anything yet. If he continues to hit at that level over the next 109 I might agree with you.

  9. jordan on June 24th, 2013 12:39 pm

    Man, things could be a lot easier if Ackley would just hit MLB pitching. Miller as a good CF would be huge for this team.

  10. Klatz on June 24th, 2013 12:52 pm

    Calling up Miller would be great for his personal development; Brendan Ryan could possibly be a good mentor for Miller. If he can’t overcome his mental issue, he’s probably a better candidate to make an outfield transition than Ackley, given Miller’s arm strength.

    The problem for the roster is the logjam of DH/1b types masquerading as outfields. At least one of Morse/Ibanez/Bay needs to be traded. I’m hoping Ibanez’s power display could convince a contender that he’d be great off the bench and as a DH.

  11. stevemotivateir on June 24th, 2013 12:56 pm

    Watch, Miller gets the call, his defense clicks, he destroys baseballs, and Jack gets extended, with the production of Franklin and Miller cited as proof that his plan is working.

    Wedge takes credit for their hitting being a result of his tutelage, praising them for their aggressiveness at the plate, and is rewarded with an extension himself.

    Keep Miller in Tacoma! Send Franklin down!

    I’m digging for a counter-argument to Dave’s. This was the best I could come up with.

  12. Eastside Suds on June 24th, 2013 1:00 pm

    You have to think Raul is getting attention from other clubs and is probably our best bet for profitable trade value.

    If Morales is next years’ DH/1B (assuming we can resign him, which isn’t a given), that leaves Ibanez as just a bench player. I know he’s popular, but his current WAR (with how Wedge is using him) is not worthy of keeping him. Let’s get value while he is hot and getting attention. Maybe a couple minor league outfield prospects!

  13. diderot on June 24th, 2013 1:04 pm

    “Miller is often compared to Kyle Seager, because they were both high performance/moderate tools guys in college, and they didn’t profile as impact players based on their athleticism. ”

    I once asked an old-time (non-Mariners) scout what the secret was in determining which hitters in the minors would remain good hitters in the majors. Contact rate? Hitting to all fields? The psychological ability to withstand slumps? etc., etc.

    He looked at me like he had heard this question a thousand times before (which he probably had).

    “The best predictor of guys who hit in the majors…are guys who hit in the minors.”

    In other words, all the athleticism and ‘projectability’ in the world begin to fall away in favor of guys who just get the job done.

    And in that respect, Miller seems a lot like Seager…so yes, let’s have a look.

  14. Paul B on June 24th, 2013 1:06 pm

    He makes his fair share of difficult plays; it’s the easy ones that tend to give him problems.

    Sounds to me like Julio Franco, both fielding and hitting. Franco was a SS for 4 seasons (had 34 errors one year, had 35 errors the next), got moved to 2B for about 4 seasons, and ended up as a 1B/DH. Hit 20 homers exactly once. Ended up with a .298-.365-.417 career line.

    I’d take that, although hopefully not the errors.

  15. djw on June 24th, 2013 1:08 pm

    Man, things could be a lot easier if Ackley would just hit MLB pitching. Miller as a good CF would be huge for this team.

    The gaping hole at SS is just as big (notwithstanding wsm’s secret friends inside the organization’s views about Franklin…). Ackley suddenly turning good wouldn’t give us a SS.

  16. drlo on June 24th, 2013 1:27 pm

    Fine article, and a very persuasive argument. I would have argued for a few more Miller at bats in AAA, but you’ve convinced me it might not be meaningful, and anyway, more to be gained and learned with a call-up now.

    My only puzzlement stems from the words, referring to next season, “while meaningful games are being played.” I remain unconvinced that we will be seeing such games in 2014, though your comments provide some hope.

    Finally, regarding the Julio Franco comment above, Franco was not spending any meaningful time at 1B/DH until he was 34 or 35 and beyond, when most players are beginning to decline, and the trigger was an injury in 1992 after about 10 seasons in MLB. Without the injury, it is very possible that he would have continued at 2B for several more years. But I agree, Paul B, I’ll take those hitting numbers any time.

  17. don52656 on June 24th, 2013 1:29 pm

    Who would you drop from the 40-man roster to add Miller? Not that I’m at all against adding Miller, but this is probably what will make it take longer than perhaps we’d like….

  18. shortbus on June 24th, 2013 1:31 pm

    Before the season started I predicted tomorrow would be the date the team called up Zunino, it being a late-June game following a day off at home. Now I’m hoping they bring up Miller. The black hole at shortstop needs to be fixed.

    Ryan is committing more errors than usual this year anyway, so even if Miller has problems the difference in that regard won’t be huge. It’s basically Ryan’s range in exchange for a guy who might put up a wRC+ of 100 the rest of the way.

  19. Hutch on June 24th, 2013 1:45 pm

    This assumes that the front office is prioritizing 2014 wins over 2013 wins. When you’re a GM fighting for your job that extra 4 weeks of Brendan Ryan’s defense probably sounds more appealing than the wild card of Miller. This FO needs .500 badly and I can’t foresee them punting wins in the name of future development.

  20. Paul B on June 24th, 2013 1:47 pm

    Without the injury, it is very possible that he would have continued at 2B for several more years. But I agree, Paul B, I’ll take those hitting numbers any time.

    I guess the thing that triggered the comparison was being moved off SS because of errors on easy plays. I recall he looked like he just wasn’t focused sometimes.

  21. ndevale on June 24th, 2013 1:49 pm

    Personally, I would keep Ryan as the backup infielder through 2014. He is not expensive, and has everything you could want in a backup infielder.

  22. terryoftacoma on June 24th, 2013 2:03 pm

    If has some think, Jack Z is fighting for his job, he’d be crazy not to call Miller,Ackley and Ramirez up and hope for the best outcome. I’m not sure any of those moves will happen soon. If trades are made between now and the 31st of July, you might.

    I was never a Jack believer so I haven’t felt betrayed and become bitter as some. He’s done a pretty good job of rebuilding a destroyed farm system and getting rid of bad contracts. Some of his other decisions have been in my mind questionable.

  23. bookbook on June 24th, 2013 2:16 pm

    Whither Kivlehan? Is he injured?

  24. SonOfZavaras on June 24th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Fine article, Dave, can’t argue with the gist of it.

    I’m still of the opinion that Franklin wouldn’t be an embarrassment as a major-league shortstop, but if he’s doing well at second…it’s neither here nor there to debate.

    As far as who goes if Miller is promoted, I’m thinking an Ibanez trade would open that up…or if the team wants to keep Raul around (which, to me, would be slightly foolish- his value will NEVER get higher than what it is right now, this very minute), figure Triunfel needs to see more Triple-A time.

    And on the 40-man? Get rid of The Carlos Peguero Pipe Dream.

    Seriously, with as many 40-man roster spots as what we’ll need to not lose young talent to waivers, guys like Peguero need to go eventually. Why not now? We know what he is by now. At 26, he doesn’t have anything left for us to imagine on.

    He is not going to magically become a better ballplayer if we just wait and see. Time to give up the seeming love affair with “what Carlos could be if only he learns to use a bat better.”

    Let some other organization get starry-eyed over the 9 HR in 205 major league ABs…we’re nowhere near a championship-caliber organization yet, but we should be moving on past Peguero.

  25. just a fan on June 24th, 2013 2:31 pm

    As far as the 40-man goes, there are a few guys jettisonable (LaFramboise, Liddi, Peguero?).

    But keep in mind, Erasmo will probably result in Harang being DFA’d. That would be a convenient time to purchase Brad Miller’s contract. Kill two birds with one stone!

  26. don52656 on June 24th, 2013 2:52 pm

    Joe Saunders getting traded to Baltimore would open up the slot for Erasmo….

  27. Westside guy on June 24th, 2013 2:59 pm

    Whenever I see a Mariners’ prospect with a high BB% and low K%, first thing I worry about is he’ll be seen as too passive and pushed towards a more aggressive approach at the plate.

  28. eponymous coward on June 24th, 2013 3:00 pm

    This assumes that the front office is prioritizing 2014 wins over 2013 wins. When you’re a GM fighting for your job that extra 4 weeks of Brendan Ryan’s defense probably sounds more appealing than the wild card of Miller. This FO needs .500 badly and I can’t foresee them punting wins in the name of future development.

    Which is why they’re letting Zunino play in AAA and using a veteran to… oh, wait…

    Incidentally, Brendan Ryan’s played at replacement level-ish through 2013. Even if you assume “OK, he’ll bounc back to being a 2 WAR player for the next month”, that’s .3 WAR. Whoop de do.

    And if Mariner management was serious about building a .500 team this year, they should have tried not being so spectacularly incompetent at roster depth, pitching, general offense and defense in the pursuit of DINGERS11!!1!!11

  29. flightrisk on June 24th, 2013 3:08 pm

    bookbook, Kivlehan was promoted to High Desert.

  30. Woodcutta on June 24th, 2013 3:21 pm

    just a fan,

    Is Liddi really jettisonable? Who plays 3B if Seager gets hurt? Triunfel? Ryan? It may be sad but Liddi may be the only backup 3B this team has right now.

  31. MrZDevotee on June 24th, 2013 3:28 pm

    re: The impending 40 man logjam…

    What are the odds that somebody would want BOTH Ryan and Ibanez to bolster their bench? Defensive shortstop specialist and a lefty mashing pinch hitter?

    Toronto comes to mind. Ibanez rakes in NYC, where he’d get lots of chances, and Kawasaki can become a super utility guy if you brought in Ryan, who can platoon with Muni until Reyes is back.

    Or maybe the Yankees? Sort of the same scenario at SS as Toronto, where Jeter gets a dependable backup, wouldn’t have to play full games when he’s back, and Raul gets to be Raul…

    I mean, there has to be SOMEBODY ELSE who overvalues veteran grittiness, right?!?

  32. stevemotivateir on June 24th, 2013 3:29 pm

    Uh, Liddi’s in Tacoma. He was sent down when Smoak was activated. Triunfel would be (is) the backup thirdbaseman.

  33. MrZDevotee on June 24th, 2013 3:42 pm

    Quoted in the PI, regarding Guti:

    (on his history of injuries)
    “…and now has issues with his legs and hips – stemming from a recently discovered genetic disorder that causes inflammation in his joints – it is unclear if Gutierrez will ever be fully healthy.”

    Dimestore/armchair doctor here, but judging by what my mother suffered, this sounds a LOT like Guty might have an autoimmune disease. If so, he’s screwed. Basically your body is really lousy at fighting off bad things, to the point of fighting off good cells inside itself at times… This would explain A LOT of his seemingly random illnesses/aches and pains. And the length of time it takes to recover.

    It’s one of those “really late to be diagnosed” diseases too, because it takes so long to string all the different illnesses together into one cause. But tissue inflammation, organ problems (my mom was misdiagnosed with IBS, ironically, in the early stages), random nagging pain, and difficulty recovering from seemingly minor or insignificant injuries, are all symptoms.

    Strange suggestion, and a total shot in the dark, but SO eerily like what my mom went through for years before being diagnosed and treated properly.

  34. gopilots70 on June 24th, 2013 4:30 pm

    This article by Dave is music to my ears. Agreed. Call up Miller right away.

    Kivlehan is now in High Desert if that question has not already been answered.

    My question. How is it that Baseball America has the M’s 7, 9, and 10 round draft picks getting only 10, 5 and 5 thousand dollar bonuses respectively.

    Did they “waste” these draft picks in order to save money for over slot guys?. Or is this a mistake. Thanks for any insight on this.

  35. Typical Idiot Fan on June 24th, 2013 4:45 pm

    Ryan might not be the same kind of respected veteran leader, but if you had a young shortstop with defensive issues, who else is better equipped to show Miller how to field the position?

    Let me get this straight… you think Miller’s error problems are potentially mental ones instead of physical ones, and you want BRENDAN RYAN to try to help him get over those potentially MENTAL issues?

  36. rb33 on June 24th, 2013 5:24 pm

    I also think it is time for Miller to move up. We need to see what these young players can do. We are going no place this year so lets see the talent in the pipeline where we can.

    I totally agree with the comments about Peguero, let him clutter up some other teams farm system

  37. 11records on June 24th, 2013 5:36 pm

    Quick question – what are the variances in BABIP from level to level in the minor leagues? Is there an easy place to look this up?

    As to the 40 man, I’m assuming Lucas Luetge would be the one to go. Anthony Fernandez hasn’t been great in AA but he’s 3 years younger and a starter.

  38. dnc on June 24th, 2013 5:44 pm

    “My question. How is it that Baseball America has the M’s 7, 9, and 10 round draft picks getting only 10, 5 and 5 thousand dollar bonuses respectively.”

    Basically every team is doing some variation of this. The M’s got guys in those rounds they knew they could sign for very cheap so that they could allocate the majority of their slot bonuses to overslot guys. It’s an interesting system because signing a 13th rounder for $100,000 or $0 doesn’t affect your slot bonuses (as long as you don’t go over $100K), but signing guys in the first ten rounds for under $100K helps you. So every team looks for easily signable guys in those rounds to give them extra room for overslot guys, and then takes somewhat more expensive ($100K caliber) guys later on.

    It seems to me the M’s worked the slot system pretty well.

  39. DAMellen on June 24th, 2013 5:45 pm

    Yeah, I’d like to see what Miller can do. Any word on whether Ackley’s showing much real progression? His numbers are good, but obviously, a lot of that is BABIP. I see that his walk and strikeout rates are better than Miller’s and about what they were last time he was in AAA, but I’m not even sure if that means much at this point. Has he given us any reason to think that guy we loved for 3 months in 2011 is coming back?

  40. islandan on June 24th, 2013 5:59 pm

    Complete agreement. Moving up to AAA, he has arguably improved, PCL bandboxes notwithstanding. Works the walk, makes good contact, doesn’t K much. Get started on the future now, the Mariners issues (as many as there are) start with run production problems. Considering who he replaces, that’s one problem on the way to getting better.

  41. Golden Donkey on June 24th, 2013 7:15 pm

    I’ve been screaming this from the rooftops for the last week or two to anyone who will listen (very few) and waiting for this article all the while. Thank you!! At 23, I’m not as worried about Miller’s progression especially given what he’s proven the last month. I’ve “tried” to tune out the last week or so and have just followed the box and blogs, this is a move that would at least get folks like me to devote the time again. If they went with Zunino there’s no excuse not to make this move from a front office perspective.

  42. Longgeorge1 on June 24th, 2013 7:37 pm

    It certainly would not hurt much to call up Miller. From the games I have seen in Tacoma he lets the ball play him a little to much. I think if he became more aggressive on balls hit to him he would be better off.

  43. Pilate on June 24th, 2013 8:03 pm

    Typical, you read my mind.

  44. Sowulo on June 24th, 2013 8:43 pm

    Tacoma is playing at home. A short trip to the Safe. Miller is 2 for 2 with a walk, 2-2B and 2 runs scored so far today. Would love to see him on the field for the M’s tomorrow.

  45. brandonrb on June 24th, 2013 8:55 pm

    Iwakuma and Ryan to the nationals. My gut feeling.

  46. Klatz on June 24th, 2013 9:28 pm

    “Let me get this straight… you think Miller’s error problems are potentially mental ones instead of physical ones, and you want BRENDAN RYAN to try to help him get over those potentially MENTAL issues?”

    If you’ve ever played sports at an intense, competitive level a lot of “mental” issues can be solved with the proper preparation. It maybe that Brendan Ryan’s “skills” are innate and he can’t teach someone those skills. But a huge part of the success of a professional athlete is training, both physical and mental. It can’t hurt to have someone like Ryan around.

  47. Typical Idiot Fan on June 24th, 2013 9:29 pm

    I don’t think Iwakuma is going anywhere. Ryan going to the Nationals doesn’t make much sense at the moment. Unless Ian Desmond exploded without my hearing.

    It can’t hurt to have someone like Ryan around.

    I was being 99% facetious. I think Ryan could be a good trainer and mentor for a young player. However, Ryan has had numerous issues with his own mental makeup, often beating himself up over trivial matters and being accused of stubbornness when making adjustments from coaches instructions. Just doesn’t seem to me to be the guy you’d go to for a “mental” fixing session.

    It’d be like trying to quell anger issues with Milton Bradley as your life coach. Doesn’t make sense.

  48. gopilots70 on June 24th, 2013 10:06 pm

    DNC

    Thanks for the clarification on the draft signings.

    Didn’t seem like last year had so many lowball top ten signings for the M’s anyway. Must be something to get drafted number seven and get 10K and the guy who went in the sixth round get 400K.

    Totally with those questioning Brendan Ryan’s ability to be a mentor to reduce mental errors by Miller. But I don’t care. Anything to get him out of the lineup and to see if our future shortstop is in the organization.

  49. Woodcutta on June 25th, 2013 12:38 am

    stevemotivateir,

    Someone, just a fan, posted that Liddi was one of the players they should DFA to make room for Miller. To remove a player from the 40-man roster they have to be DFA’d.

  50. PackBob on June 25th, 2013 2:35 am

    It’s not like Ryan would be Miller’s life coach or teach him how to do impressions. Ryan likely has a lot of insight he could pass on and obviously knows how to prepare himself to play defense. I’d like to see Ryan stay rather than get traded for little if there was a way to do it without hampering the team.

    If Miller can hit at the ML level, and it sure seems like a good possibility with his consistency through the MiL, take a flier and hope the error issues can be worked out. Even with all the moves to upgrade the offense (that went well), this team can use all the good hitters it can find.

  51. bfgboy on June 25th, 2013 6:58 am

    Some have begun posting about it, and it is bound to happen; where is everybody going? I don’t see the Nationals getting involved with us on anything, particularly with Ryan. I see:
    Ryan and Morse to Pittsburgh
    Perez to Detroit
    Ibanez and Guti to New York
    Saunders to Baltimore
    Harang to Oakland

  52. Calculon on June 25th, 2013 8:15 am

    Why not keep Ryan as a util IF? He’d be a great fill-in when Franklin/Miller need a break and/or as a late-inning defensive replacement. Any ‘clubhouse’ or ‘veteran leadership’ he added would be a bonus, too.

    It’s not as if the M’s have an abundance of better reserve options, nor is it as if Ryan will net more than a future Roberto Andino (or maybe Eric Thames) in a trade.

  53. Calculon on June 25th, 2013 8:26 am

    bfgboy : “Ryan and Morse to Pittsburgh”

    Uh… Pittsburgh already has Brendan Ryan, only he’s named Clint Barmes.

    And they have a better version of Morse in Gaby Sanchez/Garrett F’n Jones.

    Pittsburgh needs a RF. They’ll go after Nate Schierholtz types (cheap, young/in their prime, decent all-around players).

  54. miscreant on June 25th, 2013 9:32 am

    I’d wait on Miller. The Mariners have a bad habit of rushing their players. Ackley, Smoak, Montero, Zunino (sure I’m missing some) were all rushed.

    Have patience these are people not just names on a piece of paper or computer screen.

  55. djw on June 25th, 2013 9:48 am

    I’m not sure I buy the argument that Smoak was rushed by the Mariners. The Rangers put him in AA after just a handful of professional ABs, but he handled that quite well. When the Mariners called him up, he’d had nearly a year of AAA experience, and while he was producing merely pretty good rather than world-beating results, he didn’t have any obvious Zunino-esque issues that needed to be fixed.

    Similarly, the case that Ackley is rushed seems difficult to sustain if you focus on 2011. He’d had over a year in AAA, and in 2011, he appeared to have mastered and learned what he could there. At the time, I feared they were rushing him with respect to his defensive readiness, but I think I was pretty clearly proved wrong about that.

  56. stevemotivateir on June 25th, 2013 10:01 am

    @woodcutta

    Of course, they have to be DFA’d to be removed from the 40 man, unless they’re traded. Just sounded as if you thought he was currently the 3B alternative. This does bring up a good point regarding the odd balance of positional players we have, though.

  57. miscreant on June 25th, 2013 10:55 am

    Both Ackley and Smoak haven’t shown that they can successfully hit MLB pitching yet. I feel that pretty much proves they were rushed.

    Either that or they’re just not very good.

  58. eponymous coward on June 25th, 2013 10:55 am

    Ryan and Morse to Pittsburgh
    Perez to Detroit
    Ibanez and Guti to New York
    Saunders to Baltimore
    Harang to Oakland

    That’s, what, over a quarter of the M’s current 25-man roster?

    Good times.

    (I see no trade market for a guy who has the durability of stained glass like Guti, trading Saunders right now would be REALLY selling low, and there’s no way the M’s are going to trade almost all of their starting OF, unless Jack’s planning on being fired.)

  59. The_Waco_Kid on June 25th, 2013 11:45 am

    Safeco Joe to O’s or Condor?

  60. dnc on June 25th, 2013 12:03 pm

    “Both Ackley and Smoak haven’t shown that they can successfully hit MLB pitching yet. I feel that pretty much proves they were rushed.”

    That’s a way too simplistic way to look at things.

  61. Rainiers_fan on June 25th, 2013 1:48 pm

    I know I am in the minority but I advocate waiting with Miller. I freely admit I am not a scout and don’t know when to promote a player so this is just an opinion from a guy who sits in the stands drinking a beer and watches out of pure love of the game. I stopped reading the Mariners game threads because it kills me to see comments ripping into players I love who failed after what I thought was poor handling. It frankly scares me to think of Wedge “helping” Miller become a big leaguer. Those of you who know me outside this blog know I am a physicist on the plus side of fifty and I have been watching baseball since I can remember, I believe in advanced statistics so I am absolutely not an old school guy. I totally agree that college experience helps and I believe that is part of why Seager was able to handle the rapid promotions so maybe Miller can as well. Still, the major leagues are the pinnacle of baseball and I humbly submit that the player should have more than a few weeks of experience in AAA before he takes on that challenge.

  62. msfanmike on June 25th, 2013 1:51 pm

    Would cherry-picking a portion of his comment also be considered simplistic?

    In fairness to miscreant, he left the reader(s) with more than one possibility.

  63. djw on June 25th, 2013 2:19 pm

    Would cherry-picking a portion of his comment also be considered simplistic?

    Not really. The quoted part is a complete thought that is, in fact, quite simplistic, because…

    In fairness to miscreant, he left the reader(s) with more than one possibility.

    But he left out a third: that a player was ready based on all available information at the time, and hit some unforeseeable struggles down the road. I really have a hard time seeing how you can argue this with Ackley. (Smoak, I think, just isn’t very good.)

  64. bookbook on June 25th, 2013 2:52 pm

    Many many good prospects fail. They don’t all fail because they were rushed. Some, like Petagine, probably failed because they weren’t given enough opportunity at the right time. I’m convinced that Ackley was not rushed. Zunino probably was, and probably won’t fail just because he was rushed.

  65. stevemotivateir on June 25th, 2013 3:30 pm

    It frankly scares me to think of Wedge “helping” Miller become a big leaguer.

    That’s a very good point. And somehow, I didn’t give it much thought, though I thought about that a LOT when Zunino was promoted. Maybe because Zunino wasn’t as advanced with the bat?

    I think a lot of people are on board with him being promoted, while remaining skeptical that it might just simply be too fast, regardless of his numbers and consistency have shown.

    I see the pros and cons. The move I would prefer to see first, is the firing of Wedge.

    Anyway, that was a well-worded response. We’ll see what happens.

  66. Rainiers_fan on June 25th, 2013 4:58 pm

    Thanks! I was hesitant about mentioning that. The fire the manager cliche is old and tired, but I can’t see Wedge helping much with young player development and we happen to have quite a few young players on the big league team right now. Wedge moving on might help. Speaking of prospects we are headed to see Walker pitch tonight in his first AAA game. We are really living in a great time for the farm system, I think the Rainiers are loaded even without Franklin and Zunino. As for Miller he is getting closer and closer to the big club, it won’t be long.

  67. Rainiers_fan on June 25th, 2013 5:08 pm

    Just noticed your comment bookbook. I tend to think of timing of advancement as one facet of handling. Handling of prospects being the sum of many aspects of the development of a young player.

    Thanks again for your post Steve, I always enjoy your insights even when I don’t comment on posts.

  68. stevemotivateir on June 25th, 2013 10:42 pm

    ^Likewise (When you do comment).

  69. Rick L on June 27th, 2013 9:13 pm

    Promoting Brad Miller would create more 40 man roster disruptions. Who you going to give up to make room for him? Next spring, there will be more room. You talk about trading Ryan, but what if nobody wants him?

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