Game 131, Rangers at Mariners

marc w · August 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Derek Holland, 7:10pm

Thanks to the unbalanced schedule and the fact that the baseball season is 162 games long*, I get to write about certain opponents a lot. I feel like I’ve written more about Derek Holland – his volatile HR rate, his taste in music, his splits – than I have about, I don’t know, Joe Saunders. That’s not necessarily bad – it’s somewhat fun to follow a career trajectory without fandom layering on things like disappointment, wildly inflated hope, etc. So hello again, Derek Holland. It’s been nearly two months since I’ve looked at your Fangraphs page.

As you no doubt remember, Holland’s a lefty with a 94mph+ fastball and a big slider that he throws to righties and lefties alike. After struggling with HRs and nebulous injury concerns last year – he gave up 32 HRs in less than 180 IP – he’s putting together a brilliant 2013 campaign. His FIP is a career low by a mile, his ERA’s under 3, and his K% is at a career best. What’s changed? In terms of pitch mix, he’s relying on the slider much more often this year, essentially ditching his curve ball and using fewer change-ups. It’s an interesting move, but it’s been very successful. Unlike Travis Blackley, righties never had trouble elevating and punishing Holland’s curve, as they’ve slugged .553 on it in his career. Meanwhile, they’ve struggled with his slider, with a much higher whiff rate and poor quality of contact (viewed by ISO/SLG, which isn’t great, but hey). Overall pitch-type platoon splits are useful, but Holland smartly adduced that continuing to watch his curve get blasted was no fun, and it’s paid off for him.

Like many lefties, Holland sees line-ups stacked with righties, so figuring out how to minimize his platoon splits is critical. The M’s aren’t able to stack their line-up with credible righties, however, so it’s less important now than it would be if he was facing someone else. The M’s are hitting .228/.294/.375 against lefty starters this year, well below what they hit against RHSPs. This isn’t shocking, of course, as the M’s have a number of lefty bats, and a fair number of switch hitters who hit worse from the right-hand side. Theoretically, Michael Morse was supposed to stabilize the line-up against lefties, giving the M’s righty power to punish any mistakes. Injuries and ineffectiveness scuppered that plan, though. Seriously: this is essentially what Morse is here for, and he’s batting 6th tonight. It has not been a good year for Mr. Morse.

The M’s *are* trying to get as many righties in the line-up as they can, it’s just that when they do… Brendon Ryan is starting, is what I’m trying to say. All in all, not a bad move to get Nick Franklin a day off. He came back a bit earlier than expected from his injury, and he looked completely lost against a journeyman lefty with an OK breaking ball last night. He’s going to need to compete against the Derek Hollands and CC Sabathias of the world eventually, but there’s no need for him to take some meaningless lumps right now.

1: Miller, 2B
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: Morales, DH
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Morse, LF
7: Ackley, CF
8: Quintero, C
9: Ryan, SS
SP: Iwakuma

James Paxton starts tonight for Tacoma, as he tries to make a good impression in his last few outings of the minor league year. It’s been a very odd, somewhat frustrating year for the Canuck; the door was wide open for him to get a chance at the big league level, and he’s not been able to take advantage. He’s shown flashes, but then that’s never been the problem. Consistency is, and in that respect, it’s harder to find evidence of growth and improvement. I really like his curveball, though.

The M’s announced their selections for the Arizona Fall League. They’re sending Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Danny Hultzen, Brandon Maurer, Patrick Kivlehan, Stefen Romero and Chris Taylor. Smith and Romero both played in the AFL last year, while Hultzen was a Peoria Javelina two seasons ago. For whatever reason, the M’s are fond of repeating that league; Dustin Ackley went twice too. Maurer’s the interesting pick, though it certainly makes sense to get him right back into game action after the big league season’s over. Smith has been a dominating reliever after a shaky April, and could pitch credibly in the majors right now. I’m hopeful that another solid AFL campaign will position him to make a run at the big league bullpen in 2014. Chris Taylor’s the UVA-trained shortstop who hit his way to AA this year. Drafted as a glove-first player, he’s hit quite well in the M’s system. Leone’s a small righty reliever out of Clemson who pitched well in High Desert and made it to AA in his second year in the org. Kivlehan’s the ex-Rutgers football player who hit well in Everett last year, despite a worrying strikeout rate. Moved up to Clinton this year, his strikeouts dropped, but so did his overall offensive production. He was promoted to High Desert anyway, and like many, found the Cal League much more to his liking. As a 23-year old in the low minors (due in part to his comparative lack of baseball experience), this is a great opportunity to show that he belongs in the high minors, and that his improved contact skills are real. I’d say no one has more to gain from this assignment than Kivlehan. I’ll be interested to see where Stefen Romero plays. He’s done a bit of everything in the system, moving from 3B to 2B to LF. He played IF and DH with Peoria last year, but I’m guessing he’ll focus on LF this go-round. We’ll see.

* I’ve long been a fan of the marathon 162-game schedule, and the meaningfulness of MLB’s regular season. These past 3.67 years have given me pause, however. The M’s haven’t been good, and that’s fine. Rebuilds are fascinating from an intellectual point of view, and they take on the patina of character-building, weren’t-those-the-days nostalgia when you look back once a team’s actually a contender. All of that is true, but watching a team scuffle for…600+ games can get to you.

Comments

94 Responses to “Game 131, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. nathaniel dawson on August 27th, 2013 5:22 pm

    Marc, I don’t often comment on here, but I would be remiss if I failed to tell you how much I enjoy your game previews. I love them, I read them religiously, you always do a great job of picking out interesting and potentially impactful stats to chew on before watching the game. Thanks for an always interesting read.

    (With the added bonus of a few comments on the minors).

  2. PackBob on August 27th, 2013 5:44 pm

    Ditto Nathaniel.

    My formative years were spent watching bad Cubs teams, even though they had 4 future Hall of Fame players. Good practice for following the Mariners. Even though those Cubs and these Mariners teams have been bad, as Jeff is fond of saying, they are still some of the best baseball players in the world. And sometimes they beat the best teams, showing that while it seems like a Grand Canyon of difference, there really isn’t too much difference between the best and the worst teams.

  3. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 5:53 pm

    Marc-
    I appreciate your previews too…

    I DON’T however appreciate your pointing out how many games this intellectually rich rebuilding excitement has been going on.

    So I’m ignoring the 600 games part. (It doesn’t seem as long if you think of… um… Puppies!)

    Go M’s!

  4. Slats on August 27th, 2013 6:34 pm

    I agree with the above comments.

    You do an excellent job Marc and I appreciate you taking the time to write the previews.

    Thanks.

  5. Slippery Elmer on August 27th, 2013 7:13 pm

    Ditto #4 here. Your efforts are not going unappreciated, Marc.

    Looks like the pieces are falling into place for Ryan to go deep tonight. You read it here first.

  6. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 7:21 pm

    Nice start for Iwakuma.

  7. heyoka on August 27th, 2013 7:26 pm

    I have to be different, so I’m not going to compliment Marc’s fantastic previews.

    Since Romero started off the year hot then came back down to earth, I can’t help but feel the time off would be more helpful. But I don’t know better than the M’s.

    It’s time for Holland to help us out with some dingers.

  8. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 7:31 pm

    Morales!! Way to make Holland pay for those walks!

  9. Slats on August 27th, 2013 7:35 pm

    Good start!

  10. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 7:35 pm

    I also will not spend any time complimenting marc w on his consistently interesting and innovative game previews. Just because I wonder each day what different aspect of the game he will be highlighting and wonder how he can keep up his enthusiasm when, frankly, the team doesn’t deserve his effort (I like to think we readers do, but of course it’s not like we’re paying for this), doesn’t mean I have to type anything to tell him that.

    It’s nice that “two on, so what?” wasn’t my next comment. It was a nice piece of hitting by Morales and Smoak deserves credit for not popping up or striking out, the usual Mariner response to a runner on third with less than two out.

  11. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 7:42 pm

    Michael Morse makes one yearn for the outfield stylings of Raul Ibanez.

  12. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 7:43 pm

    That must be why Jack wants to retain Morse.

  13. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 7:45 pm

    Not that Morse is exactly a Gold Glover out there, but can anyone remember so many SILLY clanks in the outfield than what we’ve seen all over baseball this last week or so?

  14. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 7:46 pm

    ^I can’t remember ever seeing so many clanks over an entire season!

  15. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 7:49 pm

    If Jack Zduriencik thinks bringing any 2 of the three of Morales, Morse and Ibanez is a GOOD idea…I don’t know what to say.

  16. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Who is this “Marc” people keep gassing on about?

  17. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 8:07 pm

    Imagine if he brought back all three, SonOfZavaras.

  18. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 8:12 pm

    Wow that was something!

  19. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 8:12 pm

    Nice pick by Ryan, NICE pick.

    And Justin Smoak has yet another fine scoop. I don’t agree with Blowers all the time…but I agree that he’s one of the better guys at that.

  20. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 8:13 pm

    Imagine if he brought back all three, SonOfZavaras.

    No. I refuse. I have brain cells that cringe and shrink like violets in heat at the thought.

  21. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 8:16 pm

    Guti!!!

  22. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 8:17 pm

    The more I think about it, the more I think the real signature move by Zduriencik was not the Putz/Vargas/Gutierrez trade, but signing Josh Fields.

  23. Pilate on August 27th, 2013 8:18 pm

    I can’t decide who gets the most responsibility for that 3 run Texas second, Morse or Bucknor.

  24. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 8:20 pm

    Nice to see Guti and Ryan both have productive starts.

  25. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 8:21 pm

    I think that for as long as I roam this Earth, I’m going to wonder every now and then “Why….WHYYYYY Lord…why couldn’t you keep Franklin Gutierrez healthy for the team even HALF the time?!”

    It just kills me to see those flashes of “what could’ve been”.

    (But for the nonce, YAY home run!)

  26. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 8:24 pm

    Guti does seem to have an almost Jobian list of ailments. And he is by all accounts taking it about as well.

  27. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 8:25 pm

    For all the injuries, though? I’d still rather see Gutierrez brought back than Ibanez or Morse.

    Slight, slight edge to Morales between the two.

  28. Pilate on August 27th, 2013 8:27 pm

    If Guti has a conscience, after the M’s turn down his option, he’ll sign with them for 3 years for next to nothing considering all the dough he’s made off them for essentially no playing time.

  29. Pilate on August 27th, 2013 8:29 pm

    Dollar for dollar, Morse has to be the biggest sinkhole on this team.

  30. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 8:33 pm

    I don’t even wanna see incentive-laced deals. He isn’t getting any younger, and he isn’t showing any signs putting the health issues behind.

    I really wish he was a legitimate option, but those days are gone. The M’s have a bad habit of reaching for outfield help. Sadly, Guti falls into that batch as well.

    Guti, Ibanez, and Morse should all be omitted from the 2014 outfield plan, regardless of who the GM is.

  31. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 8:34 pm

    Wherever Guti lands (and I hope it is with the Mariner organization) it will probably be on a minor league deal with a majors/minors salary split. With his health history and his most recent diagnosis, could there possibly be a guaranteed major league job out there for him? I think not.

  32. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 8:39 pm

    If Wedge is involved in the decision making, I doubt the team even talks to Guti. Some of the things he’s said as asides lead me to believe Wedge thinks it’s a toughness issue – if Guti weren’t so soft he’d play through the pain.

  33. stevemotivateir on August 27th, 2013 8:43 pm

    If the M’s were flush with outfielders, I’d have no problem with him being signed to a minor league deal.

    What scares me, is the M’s trying to go cheap again. They really can’t stick with anyone from this current cast with expiring contracts, and actually expect to be productive from the outfield.

    They need at least two solid outfielders, assuming Saunders and Ackley are the others.

  34. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 8:56 pm

    “Cheap” makes sense when you’re not giving up anything of value, you’re keeping flexibility for the future and there’s really nothing out there you have a reasonable shot at. I’m not sorry we didn’t get Fielder and I’m not sorry we didn’t get Hamilton, particularly compared to the millstones they will soon be (or are, in one case) around the neck of the Tigers and Angels. If the result was that we get someone like Ellsbury because we have no long term commitments except for Felix, then it makes some sense.

  35. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 8:57 pm

    So does what Soriano’s doing in NY drive the “washed up guys can be rejuvenated” anthem up a couple dB’s?

    He had two more HR’s tonight…

    I can hear Morse now– “See, look at Soriano… I’m not washed up yet… It’s my wrist…”

  36. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 9:03 pm

    re: Soriano

    Oh wait… I didn’t read far enough…

    “It was a great pickup for us,” Pettitte said of acquiring Soriano. “It’s energizing when you have a special player like that come and be able to hit for that kind of power and be able to get out there and run around the bases. It’s exciting.”

    We’re safe, our washed up guys can’t “run around the bases”…

  37. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 9:05 pm

    Nah – even Vernon Wells had a few weeks where he looked rejuvenated, right after the Yankees picked him up. Then he went back to being Vernon Wells.

  38. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 9:10 pm

    I’m going to assume Zduriencik is smart enough to understand how players with “old player skills” can quickly fall off the table. I’m also going to assume he realizes that Morse fits that description to a T.

    Failing that, I’m going to assume HowChuck remembers Richie Sexson, and guess that Zduriencik (who’s on a one year leash) needs to get their buy-in before signing any significant of money away.

    Unfortunately I also assume Raul is the sort of player HowChuck loves.

  39. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 9:11 pm

    It’s his wrist, his stance, his pitch recognition, his approach and his swing from the ole Ass-ola!

    His glove sucks, too.

    He has nice hair, though. He should do Prell commercials.

  40. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 9:14 pm

    It’d sure be great to see a Saunders-Guti-Ackley outfield start at least once.

  41. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 9:15 pm

    If Ackley has a solid September, he could end up leading the team in BA this season – at 272 ish.

    I am not sure if that would actually be good news or not, but the possibility now exists whereas it would have been virtually un-thinkable a few weeks ago.

  42. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 9:24 pm

    Is it a good sign or a bad sign that I have nothing to say about tonight’s game?

  43. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 9:27 pm

    Juneau-
    You just blew it… By saying something. (sigh) Now we don’t have to answer your question.

  44. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 9:31 pm

    Damn!

  45. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 9:32 pm

    I am still going to cast a vote and say “bad sign”

  46. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 9:35 pm

    Have you ever noticed how few comments there are in the game thread at LL? There are more comments about video games than the actual game, some nights.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I have noticed it.

    We aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire with specific game comments, either – in retrospect.

  47. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 9:36 pm

    Zunino tripled and then scored in his first at-bat tonight… Just heard on NWCN Sports.

    (Okay, okay… It’s a bad sign, Juneau…)

  48. djw on August 27th, 2013 9:38 pm

    The M’s have a bad habit of reaching for outfield help. Sadly, Guti falls into that batch as well.

    I don’t understand this at all. The last time the Mariners offered Gutierrez a contract was January 2010; he was coming off a healthy, 6 WAR season and was 27, and the Mariners were simply buying out his arbitration and first free agent year at a bargain price. His future health issues weren’t at all apparent: he’d played 152 games the previous year. How on earth is that a “reach”? It was a no-brainer for Zduriencik, given what he knew at the time, and the unfortunate events to come don’t change anything about what a reasonable decision in January 2010 was.

    I’m no longer a fan of Zduriencik, and I shudder to think of the wages of another off-season with him at the helm. But let’s be reasonable: Gutierrez was a great trade target and a sensible extension. His implosion was bad luck, and the organization doesn’t deserve to be criticized for it.

  49. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 9:38 pm

    How many pitches until Medina gives up the go ahead run? It’s kinda like asking how many licks it will take to get to the center of the tootsie roll tootsie pop.

    In other words, not many – but maybe more than “tha-reeee”

  50. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 9:38 pm

    Mike-
    It might be telling about the game when the most interesting thing we can talk about on the thread is the lack of interest in the game on other sites’ game threads.

    *laugh*

    Well, that… and Tootsie Pops.

  51. SonOfZavaras on August 27th, 2013 9:42 pm

    Brendan Ryan is sure putting up a couple late additions to his defensive highlight reel- there aren’t more than 10 shortstops that turn that into a POSSIBLE play.

  52. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 9:45 pm

    It is weird, but it doesn’t feel like a tie game. I guess we haven’t had one in so long it’s like a new experience.

  53. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 9:46 pm

    If any team wants Brendan, they’d better get a move on…

  54. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 9:47 pm

    There was Tootsie Pop discussion? And I missed it?

  55. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 9:49 pm

    Yes, Westy, particularly after the article in Grantland today.

  56. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 9:50 pm

    Breadbaker-
    That’s totally true… It feels like “hey, we’re not completely out of this yet” (like we’re behind) and then I look at the score and think… “Hmmm… Weird.”

    I think it’s just the “season’s over” feeling completely settling in… The Harang dfa knowing we’re gonna start bringing yungin’s up is probably part of it.

  57. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 9:52 pm

    What article was that?

  58. Eastside Suds on August 27th, 2013 9:57 pm

    Sitting here at a camp fire in Beverly Beach Oregon with an adult beverage and light rain coming down. Its a disease. They just can’t keep me away!
    Just checking with you fine gentlemen. Looks like a pretty decent game considering what we’ve been through lately.

  59. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:01 pm

    Found it – a good read!

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9603949/the-tragedy-derek-jeter-defense

    I am glad I’ve gotten to watch Brendan Ryan play defense – I will miss that.

  60. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:04 pm

    Eastside – being a Mariners fan sometimes seems a bit like being a battered spouse!

  61. Eastside Suds on August 27th, 2013 10:08 pm

    sadly you are right. Though we should walk away after all the abuse, we continue to return for more. “Fan”atic is such a good label.

  62. MrZDevotee on August 27th, 2013 10:09 pm

    Westy-
    And USSMariner is like a support-group for all the spouses who were married to the same person.

    We all understand. Sadly.

    Maybe we’re Mormons and this is polygamy spousal abuse?

  63. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 10:10 pm

    That is quite a break.

  64. californiamariner on August 27th, 2013 10:11 pm

    LOL at that bunt.

  65. Breadbaker on August 27th, 2013 10:14 pm

    Back to normal

  66. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 10:14 pm

    Live by the bunt, die by the bunt.

  67. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:14 pm

    Good grief. I am so tired of predictable, terrible bunts.

  68. Eastside Suds on August 27th, 2013 10:17 pm

    But, but our sterling baserunning makes up for it.

  69. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:18 pm

    Nick may be starting 2014 in Tacoma.

  70. djw on August 27th, 2013 10:18 pm

    Christ. Franklin has some serious work to do to be a major league hitter, I’m afraid. His contact issues are terrifying.

  71. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:19 pm

    Crap.

  72. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 10:22 pm

    This team feels like a bizzaro version of baseball. Call me crazy, but don’t managers generally start the hot young things and then bring in that vet grit to pinchhit when the game is on the line. (See Yankees’ use of Ibanez last year).

    Instead, this team keeps the slow, death on the basepads going all game, then brings in the inexperienced kids in the 9th, trying to win.

  73. Slats on August 27th, 2013 10:24 pm

    I am starting to feel a little bit more confident in Ack.

  74. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:26 pm

    Heck with Ackley – I am getting more confident that Condor is for real.

  75. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 10:27 pm

    *groan*

  76. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:27 pm

    Haha, a stereotypical Beltre hit!

  77. californiamariner on August 27th, 2013 10:29 pm

    1st and 2nd no outs……. sigh

  78. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:30 pm

    WHA-A?

  79. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 10:30 pm

    Just finding new ways to lose…

  80. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:31 pm

    Balks are generally stupid.

    And I mean the rules are what’s stupid.

  81. Eastside Suds on August 27th, 2013 10:34 pm

    What did he do Westy?

  82. juneau_fan on August 27th, 2013 10:36 pm

    We’ve seen it about 4 times, Eastie and supposedly Danny flinched. I see nothing.

  83. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:36 pm

    It was such a tiny movement… but I think he was set, looking in at the catcher, and may have then moved slightly back.

    I didn’t see anything, to be honest.

  84. Eastside Suds on August 27th, 2013 10:44 pm

    Ticky tacky. Not attempting to influence the runner. Once again umpires trying to be a part of the sbow

  85. Westside guy on August 27th, 2013 10:49 pm

    Okay, Val just explained it.

    Farquhar shook his head “no” at the catcher, and at the same time his left shoulder twitched a tiny amount.

    Unbelievable. What a dumb rule.

  86. mrakbaseball on August 27th, 2013 10:54 pm

    They’re going to give Wedge another stroke, 0-5 since his return to the dugout.

  87. msfanmike on August 27th, 2013 11:25 pm

    90 losses is looking more and more feasible every day. 13-18 will get it done. Yuck. Top 10 pick will be virtually guaranteed with 90 losses, though – so “yay???”

    I think I am going to focus on seeing if Ackley can end up leading the team in BA. His improvement has been accomplished in a very unsustainable way, though – so I don’t like his statistical chances, but I do like his 1/4″ adjustment to consistently square up some pitches. In other words, about the same amount as Farquars balk.

    Bucknor is a bit of a dick, isn’t he. Infinitesimal balk … Should have allowed the runner to move the base up by 5′. We need a rule change.

    It didn’t matter, though. The Mariners were destined to lose that game after the latest in a long running series of failures to generate a 1 run inning with 2 on and zero outs. They are absolutely pathetic at the little things and a lot of the big things. It’s almost an accomplishment if they don’t end up losing 100 games this year.

  88. eponymous coward on August 28th, 2013 12:33 am

    90 losses is looking more and more feasible every day. 13-18 will get it done.

    Well, last year’s team did the El Foldo at the end: 11-18 in September and October. The schedule has 18 games on the road, with only two off days the rest of the way. If we do end up with a 90 loss season, I can’t wait to see how the Zduriencik apologists manage to blame this one on some Bill Bavasi signings. Wouldn’t mind a strong finish, though. Hope’s something in short supply here.

    I’m guessing those Astros games in September should be like 80′s M’s-Indians games, with a mostly empty ballpark as a mute witness to two bad teams. Good times.

  89. stevemotivateir on August 28th, 2013 7:06 am

    I’m not sorry we didn’t get Fielder and I’m not sorry we didn’t get Hamilton, particularly compared to the millstones they will soon be (or are, in one case) around the neck of the Tigers and Angels. If the result was that we get someone like Ellsbury because we have no long term commitments except for Felix, then it makes some sense.

    I’m not sorry we didn’t get Fielder or Hamilton either. I didn’t want either player. And Fielder obviously wouldn’t have helped us with the outfield situation.

    But it’s ridiculous to suggest the M’s were smart to wait year after year in order to possibly land someone like Ellsbury, who would still have to produce after being signed to argue it was a good move.

    There’s more options out there than just high-priced free agents, or aging and injury-prone players with no defensive value. You can argue that they could have done worse, but you certainly can’t say they couldn’t have done better than with what we’ve seen.

  90. stevemotivateir on August 28th, 2013 7:14 am

    I don’t understand this at all. The last time the Mariners offered Gutierrez a contract was January 2010; he was coming off a healthy, 6 WAR season and was 27, and the Mariners were simply buying out his arbitration and first free agent year at a bargain price.

    I didn’t word that well at all. I was perfectly OK with the Guti extension then as well.

    I was implying (or trying to imply) that viewing Guti as an option now, moving forward, would be reaching.

  91. jak924 on August 28th, 2013 10:17 am

    No end to the stench.

  92. eponymous coward on August 28th, 2013 11:20 am

    I was implying (or trying to imply) that viewing Guti as an option now, moving forward, would be reaching.

    Exactly. You just can’t rely on him for any meaningful contribution. If the M’s were flush with OF help, sure, but they aren’t.

  93. casey on August 28th, 2013 12:04 pm

    I continue to be mystefied or since I can’t spell it maybe misty eyed over Wedge’s lineups. Ackley is now at .385 on base percentage since the allstar break and even .400 batting and over 1.000 OPS for August yet he continues to hit 8th. He has been top of order hitter all his life – I am guessing Wedge is on the side of small sample size the guy is still Jeremy Reed; he should be lucky he is playing.

    I know lineups don’t make huge deal but have always heard 1) you bunch your best hitters (not getting the Ackley and Blanco tandem) and 2) give your best hitters the most at bats by placing them at the top of order.

    Franklin on the other hand would seem to benefit from a little less pressure and might function better lower in the lineup. But might make same argument for Saunders and Ibanez – clearly I need a lineup 101 Mariners style.

  94. stevemotivateir on August 28th, 2013 4:01 pm

    If the M’s were flush with OF help, sure, but they aren’t.

    Thank you. I’m glad someone understood my point! I didn’t think it could have been interpreted any other way, but I guess I was wrong.

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