Game 105, Red Sox at Rebuilding-ish Mariners

marc w · August 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Wade LeBlanc vs. David Price, 7:10pm

I picked a rotten time to hit the road, but I’m looking over the rim of Crater Lake, and the biggest move the M’s made at the deadline was a straight swap of low-ceiling lefties.

There are two ways to look at the state of the ball club after the deadline. One is that Jerry Dipoto’s trades have blown up on him, and that the M’s are still looking for key contributions from the second tier of players surrounding their aging core. The Carson Smith trade now looks like an elite reliever and fungible Cuban lefty for a bad reliever and a fungible Cuban lefty. Nate Karns seems like he’s being demoted FROM the bullpen back to the rotation because they don’t know what else to do. Meanwhile, Brad Miller got over a bad start and is out-hitting Ketel Marte, who’s trying to rebuild his strength. Boog Powell’s missed a good chunk of the year through suspension.

At the same time, you have to give Dipoto credit for moving on. In retrospect, what doomed Jack Zduriencik was his inability to alter course after Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero had been installed as the core of the ever-elusive Next Great Mariners Team. Wade Miley can’t be turned back into a healthy Carson Smith, and the M’s will have to make something of the shortstop position with what they have, and what they can acquire. Dipoto didn’t let a weak market for, uh, crappy ball players stop him. He made the best of a bad hand, and that at least speaks to a willingness to adapt. The Mike Montgomery trade was a good example of filling a need using a player who couldn’t really help the M’s.

That said, I’ve been reading about what each trade says about the market and struggle to square that with what the M’s got back for Miley. When he was acquired, the line was that average-y starting pitching was incredibly valuable; with free agent deals for everyone from Mike Leake to Mike Pelfrey meant you had to pay a lot in talent for durable starters, regardless of their track record. I…I would like to have seen some evidence of that supposed principle in the most recent Miley deal.

In any event, the curtain’s down on the M’s playoff pursuit for 2016, as next week’s rotation looks to include both Wade LeBlanc and Ariel Miranda. (To be fair: the movement on his fastball in particular looks interesting and uncommon, but it also hasn’t helped him yet). The M’s are still in the process of becoming. It sounds like they can make a last run with this core group in 2017, though with the moves Texas and Houston have made, a lot would need to go right. I’m stuck with them, so I can only have a beer and try to feel bemused. You can too, if you like.

Today, the M’s face Boston with a new-ish pitcher and a brand new closer. Steve Cishek’s officially out, and Edwin Diaz will take over. That didn’t take long, but it arguably came too late to save the M’s 2016.

Guillermo Heredia’s up? I would’ve thought that was impossible back in March, but credit to Heredia and the M’s PD folks, as he’s come on for Tacoma. This isn’t a savior, but I’ll take a decent 4th OF for essentially nothing.

1: Heredia, LF
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Cano, 2V
4: Cruz, DH
5: Lee, 1B
6: Seager, 3B
7: Zunino, C
8: Martin, CF
9: Sardiñas, SS


16 Responses to “Game 105, Red Sox at Rebuilding-ish Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2016 6:16 pm

    On the plus side – in a very small number of at bats, Mike Zunino has not sucked since his recall.

  2. Notfromboise on August 2nd, 2016 6:32 pm

    Its been especially troubling since the all star break because the Rangers and Astros have looked quite mortal.

    Here is where I give Dipoto a pass : There was not much movement on the trade front overall. There wasn’t as many pure sellers out there. How available was Puig? It’s hard to say, but it’s easy to say there was not a lot of players of that caliber out there. And most sellers by nature are offering rental players lacking team control.. And the Ms are looking for guys who have some team control.

    In short, I’m not certain what Dipoto can do with limited assets. He’s tossed plenty against the wall to see what sticks.

    I mean.. Think of all the Starting and Reliever new faces that got mariner caps this season. It’s not really Dipotos fault that none of those guys performed. Hell its the first time in half a decade we havent had top tier starting pitching. We brought in Miley and Karns and Leblanc and Montgomery and Nuno etc…

    We brought in Cishek and Scribner and Benoit and plenty of others in the pen… Diaz has been promising, but the fact that Scribner and Furbush have missed the entire year and guys with a smidge of promise like Vincent and Zych have spent long stretches hurt hasnt helped.

    Dae Ho Lee and Leonys Martin have been great! Marte and Ianetta have plugged holes and brought us 1 WARish seasons.. Iannetta has bought Zunino the half a year in AAA that he should have already had, while Marte is just attempting to hide the fact that we need a shortstop.

    Aoki and Lind have been terrible. Neither cost us anything.. But they still have been terrible lol.

    Some of the scrubs that could have surprised us (O Malley, Sardinas, Romero, Clevenger) most certainly did not.

    So there we go. We need outfield help, a SS, and like 8 new pitchers. This will be the summer that Dipoto gets really graded.

    Its pretty impressive that we are .500 considering how bad the pitching has been.

  3. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2016 7:19 pm

    Well, that was a rather crappy relay, Kyle.

  4. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2016 7:41 pm

    Darn, thought Seager had a triple there!

  5. WTF_Ms on August 2nd, 2016 8:02 pm

    So, here we go again. This team is forever frustrating. I hate the Red Sox too.

  6. WTF_Ms on August 2nd, 2016 8:27 pm

    We have now become an average minor league team. Sad.

  7. mwb on August 2nd, 2016 9:43 pm

    Cano! Diaz!

    Today is Bizzaro Mariners day.

  8. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2016 9:46 pm

    Woo boo!

  9. Notfromboise on August 2nd, 2016 9:46 pm

    Mr Cano! Good to see.

    Side note : How many more years does David Price do this before managers realize his absolute max is 7 innings 99.9% of the time?

  10. Westside guy on August 2nd, 2016 9:47 pm

    Woo boo?

    WOO HOO!

    Here’s to many more dominant saves by Mr. Diaz in the months and years ahead!

  11. Notfromboise on August 2nd, 2016 9:51 pm

    On a side note, I vote for bringing up everyone in the system with a pulse and 2 pitches to audition for the bullpen slots. Bartender, Benoit, and those not in the future plans might as well be gone now…

    I do like Cishek.. as a 7th/8th inning different-look guy. Cishek #s and metrics were actually quite nice until he totally imploded post all star break.

  12. Notfromboise on August 2nd, 2016 9:59 pm

    Fun Fact of the night:

    Mariners have 53 wins in 105 games.

    38 have been won by the starting pitcher.

    The Mariners have 15 ND wins out of the bullpen.. Interesting.

  13. Notfromboise on August 2nd, 2016 10:05 pm

    They have 52 losses, and 35 by starters.

    So 17 ND losses in the pen too..

    So fact of the day: Mariner Starters have *actually* been involved in the decision 69.5% of the time.

    That number feels high to me. But its not..

    And yes, grats on the save Mr. Diaz.

  14. Notfromboise on August 3rd, 2016 12:33 am

    Couple interesting tweets from Bob Dutton :

    1.) Small point that maybe only I found interesting: Edwin Diaz got his Gatorade bath from Steve Cishek, the man he replaced as closer.

    2. ) Asked #Mariners rookie Edwin Diaz if the save situation was everything he expected: “Yeah. I expected to get those three outs.”

  15. Westside guy on August 3rd, 2016 9:50 am

    I saw Diaz get his “bath” during the post-game interview with Jen Mueller, but it didn’t register that Cishek was one of the guys doing it (there were two). I was more enjoying the camera angle, as the camera man was trailing right behind the Gatorade cooler all the way through the dugout until they dumped it on him!

    Actually there apparently were two camera men, because they also had the more typical front view.

    Classy move by Cishek – good on him.

  16. Notfromboise on August 3rd, 2016 10:47 am

    Indeed. The “other shooter” was confirmed to be Bartender, so that’s two generations of Mariner closer serving up the ice bath.

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