Cactus League Game # Twenty-something, Mariners at Cubs

marc w · March 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Jeff Samardzija, 1:05pm

Apropos of last night’s musings on the AL West race, a friend sent me this link from Joe Peta’s “trading bases” blog. Peta’s an ex-Wall Street trader who immersed himself in sabermetrics and decided to make his living betting on baseball. You may have heard about it at ESPN or the saber-slanted sections of the baseball blogosphere. Anyway, Peta made a fairly bold prediction for 2014: The M’s will win the West. Not sure if this bold call comes as a result of some favorable lines (I could see that) or just the gap between actual and expected runs allowed (mostly due to terrible situational pitching from the ‘pen last year).

Erasmo appears to have one of the rotation spots sewn up, though I have no idea what McClendon and Waits have in mind. I’d think Erasmo’s upside would get him the nod even if the club really wanted to keep both Wolf and Baker, but who knows. A good performance today would help clarify things.

Cool link from Beyond the Box Score that aggregates the M’s top prospect lists from various sources into one amalgamated ranking. No surprise at the top, of course, but I’ve been a bit surprised by the near unanimity to the view that DJ Peterson’s the second best prospect. (Hat tip, Lookout Landing).

1: Almonte, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cano, 2B
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Hart, DH
6: Morrison, RF
7: Ackley, LF
8: Franklin, SS
9: Buck, C
SP: Erasmooooo

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Aroldis Chapman, who was hit in the head by a line-drive that some speculate was going over 110mph in last night’s Royals/Reds game. He seems to have escaped more serious injury, but man that was ugly. This, and the more expected news that Brandon Beachy will indeed have TJ surgery, would seem to cap a rough spring for pitchers and pitcher health.


14 Responses to “Cactus League Game # Twenty-something, Mariners at Cubs”

  1. MrZDevotee on March 20th, 2014 1:53 pm

    That Chapman beaning (right term?) was horrifying. He’s lucky he’s not dead. I’m amazed he came out of it fairly unscathed (relative to the video– he needs a plate and screws around his eye socket).

    I think the psychology of getting back on the mound will be a bigger obstacle for him than the physical recovery. He might be throwing a 70 mph underhanded fastball when he returns, and I wouldn’t blame him.

  2. HighlightsAt11 on March 20th, 2014 2:30 pm

    Spring training does not mean a thing. With that said…

    Can’t discount the plate performance of Cano, Miller and Ackley.

    Almonte is not close to MLB ready. Not sure how the he can be considered as a reserve OF. He needs to work in Tacoma.

    And how soon will the Mariners be eating Hart’s contract. Not showing much commitment by his hitting or his words, saying he wants to be a Brewer again.

    Appears Franklin trade value is not improving of late. Might be better if the Mariners move him to Tacoma sooner than later?

    Good to see Erasmo throwing strikes.

    Will it be Buck or Quintero as the backup catcher?

  3. HighlightsAt11 on March 20th, 2014 2:52 pm

    Definitely ‘situational’ pitching has to improve. The bullpen was formerly a consistent Mariner strength. I have much less confidence in the bullpen more this pre-season than I’ve had in the last fifteen years. Even compared to last pre-season, and we know how well the bullpen did in 2013.

    With the continued demise of the bartender have the Ms determined a closer? Or will it be close by committee once again? We know how well that usually goes.

    Good to see both Almonte and Hart get on base and Seager, Ackley and Buck help bring them both home. That’s grade ‘situational hitting’. (A+ if Morrison could have have better placed his fly ball)

  4. bookbook on March 20th, 2014 2:52 pm

    In reverse order…

    Quintero will be the backup catcher… in Tacoma.

    Go Erasmo!

    Franklin isn’t hurting himself playing spring training with the M’s. He’ll go to Tacoma when the rest of the Rainiers come North as well.

    Maybe an old veteran like Hart doesn’t seem enthused in Arizona. If he’s still pining for Milwaukee in May, by all means get out the lobster bib.

    You go into the season with the outfield you have, not the outfield you’d like to have. -Thanks Rumsfield.

    Cano, Miller and Ackley. Well… I’m reasonably confident that Cano’ll be okay.

  5. HighlightsAt11 on March 20th, 2014 2:54 pm

    Meant so say…

    A grade ‘situational hitting’. (A+ if Morrison could have have better placed his fly ball).

  6. JasonJ on March 20th, 2014 3:07 pm

    Did Hart actually say he wanted to be a Brewer again? I thought he just expressed disappointment that he didn’t get a larger contract offer and that his former teammates didn’t make much effort in trying to recruit him back to the team when he was a free agent. I don’t really see anything wrong with that as he’s just being loyal to the team that he came up with.

  7. MrZDevotee on March 20th, 2014 4:25 pm

    Hart said he’d like to return and hopes his time isn’t done in Milwaukee. I didn’t see a time frame, and it felt more like a conversation based on letting Brewer fans know he would have been happy to stay. He was talking to Brewers press about leaving, so politics were certainly a part of it. His two main points were even management said he’d be crazy not to take the Seattle offer, and that his teammates probably could have talked him into staying but didn’t. I think his OVERALL point with those two comments is: he probably could have gotten a better hometown offer if key players had been more vocal about the team needing him.

  8. djw on March 20th, 2014 4:53 pm

    Who cares whether Hart would rather be in Milwaukee or not? I certainly don’t. I’d rather be in Seattle than Dayton, but I got a better job here. I don’t do my job poorly because I’m not in my preferred location; why would I?

  9. HighlightsAt11 on March 20th, 2014 5:17 pm

    Where is Hart’s Heart?

    Thanks Seattle for paying me the big bucks. But yes I’d like to eventually be back in Milwaukee.

    Do you tell that to your boss or announce publicly, just after you signed a new contract, that you’d like to be somewhere else? Who in there right mind does that? What does that say to your teammates and your manager? One has to ask why his Brew teammates did not speak up more forcefully to help him stay in Milwaukee. And Hart asks that exact question in the interview.

    Hart talks too much from the mouth in spring training. He’d be better off to allow his bat do his talking, but still waiting for that to happen. Of course, he’s starting slow coming off injury and I wish him the best and hope he makes a positive contribution in Seattle, but I have my doubts.

  10. absolutsyd on March 20th, 2014 6:48 pm

    How is it any different than Golden Tate saying he wished the Seahawks had made him a better offer and that he’d have loved to stay in Seattle? In either case, it definitely doesn’t mean they aren’t going to play hard for their new team.

  11. Longgeorge1 on March 20th, 2014 8:06 pm

    King, Paxton and Erasmo and pray for rain

  12. HighlightsAt11 on March 20th, 2014 11:05 pm


    King, Paxton and Erasmo and pray for Kuma and Taij to get well soon.

  13. djw on March 21st, 2014 6:10 am

    Do you tell that to your boss or announce publicly, just after you signed a new contract, that you’d like to be somewhere else? Who in there right mind does that?

    I don’t think you know what it’s like to live in a place like Dayton. Everyone I work with directly, including the closest thing I have to a boss, knows I love Seattle, and would prefer to be there. If I said things like “I’m so glad I’m in Dayton, this is a much better place to be than Seattle” people would either assume I’m a huge and inept kiss-ass or a bit soft in the head. With the exception of a couple of people with family in the area, all my co-workers have the places they’d rather be–NY, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, etc. No one is secretive about cagey about this. (It helps that we all legitimately love the job, despite the location).

    Seattleites love their city (I’m one of them at heart, and I do too) but they get a little silly about demanding everyone love it as much as they do. He liked Milwaukee and wanted to stay more than the charms of our . There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

    As for what he says publicly, you’ve still made no effort to explain why I should care. I care about what Hart contributes as a baseball player. How much a given player is candid about his feelings vs. talks a good PR party line isn’t something I’ve ever understood why I should care about one way or the other.

  14. Carson on March 21st, 2014 8:48 am

    I like how the dude didn’t right-click-ignore the green grammar underlines from his blog logo. Whoops. Gotta ditch that Oxford comma, son!

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