Game 145, Mariners at Royals

marc w · September 17, 2021 at 5:16 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Flexen vs. Jon Heasley, 5:10pm

Jon Heasley? Who the heck is that? Heasley was plucked from AA to make his MLB debut tonight. The probable had been Brady Singer, one of the Royals many young pitchers, and KC’s first round pick in 2018. Heasley was drafted in that same draft, but a few hundred picks later in the 13th round. That 2018 draft was a pitching-heavy one, and it’s been pretty successful just a few years later. In fact, as Rany Jazayerli notes, Heasley will be the *5th* member of the Royals 2018 class to make a start for Kansas City thus far, a new MLB record.

What’s the best class in Mariners history? I mean, the easy answer is that it’s A-Rod and/or Ken Griffey Jr., and you don’t particularly care who else they drafted.* I mean, that’s true, right? It means a lot more to get a singular, game-changing talent who stars for your team than the *likely* contributions of Jon Heasley and Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic, etc. Still, this is a very good sign for their player development, an area in which that org repeatedly and ruthlessly shot themselves in the foot for the best part of a decade from 2000-2010.

The M’s playoff odds are….low, at this point. The A’s win puts them ahead of the M’s at the moment, and pushes the M’s fangraphs odds below 1%. That hasn’t stopped the M’s from playing incredibly hard, and with a series against a weaker opponent, the M’s can jump back into this race. The problem is that they have to hope a whole bunch of other things happen, and that’s getting increasingly unlikely.

1: Crawford, SS
2: Haniger, RF
3: Seager, 3B
4: France, 1B
5: Toro, 2B
6: Kelenic, CF
7: Torrens, DH
8: Fraley, LF
9: Raleigh, C
SP: Flexen

The playoff odds are better for Tacoma, who can clinch a spot *tonight* if Sugarland and Reno both lose and Tacoma wins.

* If you care about quantity over transcendent quality, it’s probably 2009, with Ackley and, more importanly, Kyle Seager. Taijuan Walker and James Paxton was a pretty good two-fer the next year, but we’re a long ways from either 5 MLB starting pitchers or the kind of value that A-Rod put up at his peak.


9 Responses to “Game 145, Mariners at Royals”

  1. Stevemotivateir on September 17th, 2021 7:03 pm

    I think the J2 signings might prove more valuable than the Rule-4 classes.

  2. Milendriel on September 17th, 2021 8:57 pm

    This was actually game 147, so 15 to go. The M’s probably need to win 11 of them to have a realistic chance of a wild card spot.

  3. Stevemotivateir on September 18th, 2021 8:17 pm

    Toro looked good at third today, but should he really be handed a regular role next year without competition?

  4. eponymous coward on September 18th, 2021 10:55 pm

    Unless you think the M’s are going to drop a ton of money or trade a bunch of prospects, I’d say that “hey, your rotation’s not very deep and is missing a #1, Seaver’s probably walking, and outside of Haniger your OF didn’t perform, and Kyle Lewis has injury problems” goes higher on the list.

    Seriously, Kelenic is finishing the season hitting under .200. It’s dumb to focus on someone who’s actually doing their job so far. Sure, if you end up in a position where you have a talent surplus at 3B/2B… I wouldn’t get hung up on Toro. But 2/3rds of the M’s OF spent a year being garbage as a group. Fix stuff like that first.

  5. Stevemotivateir on September 19th, 2021 12:52 pm

    There’s at least some possibility of Toro replacing Seager and we’ve seen his power dissipate over the last couple of months. There is going to be a hole in the infield when they decline Seager’s option, whether it’s 2B or 3B, so the infield is an area of need.

    A TOR starting pitcher and outfielder might be higher on the priority list than a second infielder, but that doesn’t mean you ignore Toro’s struggles.

  6. eponymous coward on September 19th, 2021 1:33 pm

    So which kids are you trading, or how much are you planning to allocate extra for free agents, now that you need three starting position players and TOR pitching?

    Seriously, if you’re assuming 2B/3B/OF and pitching as free agents, that’s what, 30-50 million in salary? Alternately, who’s going to trade you extra proven MLB starting lineup dudes for pocket change? No, you have to give up actual talent.

    Sure, if someone gives you ANOTHER Toro or Shed Long for pocket change I wouldn’t get hung up on the guy. We need talent. This organization isn’t producing a talent surplus yet. Dylan Moore is still getting way too many at bats. But there’s no clear replacement for Seager in the org, so…

  7. Stevemotivateir on September 19th, 2021 2:21 pm

    So which kids are you trading, or how much are you planning to allocate extra for free agents, now that you need three starting position players and TOR pitching?

    You do a fantastic job of reading into things too far.

  8. heyoka on September 20th, 2021 10:34 am

    All we need to do to round out this team is trade with the Mets again. They’re the only team that makes us look good in a trade.

  9. Stevemotivateir on September 20th, 2021 11:14 am

    San Diego has been friendly as well.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.