Griffey’s insomnia woes

May 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s no secret now. Griffey fell asleep in the clubhouse during the game. Two players outed him anonymously.

I honestly don’t care that Griffey fell asleep in the clubhouse. I’m sure it isn’t the first time it’s happened in MLB history. Probably happens a lot. I don’t care that they couldn’t pinch hit him anyways, because it probably would have resulted in him grounding out to the right side of the infield or him swinging at a curve ball in the dirt for strike three. The overreaction here is to say “cut him, he sucks!” But I have to look back at when he got re-signed for this season:

Everyone said Junior would be in a limited role. He had clubhouse influence, Ichiro loves him, the players love him, the fans (still) love him, he built the franchise in the 90s. We all knew his value as a hitter was washed up. Hell, we brought in Milton Bradley, and re-signed Ryan Langerhans. Everyone thought Milton would be the main DH, Langerhans would play left, and then Milton would play left occasionally and Griffey would start at DH.We knew who would be playing what as we went into Spring Training. Everyone felt content.

Then Spring Training happened.

Now we have Mike Sweeney instead of Ryan Garko. Garko, while not a great fielder, can at least don the glove and go out there and try. Sweeney? Nah. Instead of a 6-bullpen team, we immediately flipped, DFA’d Langerhans, and brought up Jesus Colome. who’s pitched only 12 innings, walking 8 and striking out 11. Milton Bradley was playing left field full-time.

What the hell?

My point is this: there was a plan set before the spring. Everyone was comfortable with it. Sure, we knew we’d have issues scoring runs, but good pitching and defense would help us get close victories as we’re so close to doing. There’s some things we couldn’t anticipate. No one expected Cliff Lee to strain is abdomen (but he’s healthy now, yay!). No one expected Jack Hannahan to strain his groin. I expected some ejections and other issues with Milton Bradley, but I didn’t expect him to have a mental breakdown. The Eric Byrnes experiment failed. Despite all this, we still could stick to the plan. But we didn’t. Griffey got more playing time than he deserved. Langerhans missed almost all of April after getting DFA’d. We’ve slowly started to fix these.

I admit: I still like Griffey. I love him as a player. I love his relationship with Ichiro. Hell, his tickling antics are my blog’s namesake. Rather than cut him, why not the Mariners go back to the original plan and stick him into that limited role he’s supposed to be in? Why not drop Colome, and bring up another utility player? Jack Hannahan is still available. He’s got an awesome glove. Get his ass up here. Saunders is showing some power. Maybe he’ll become the player we hoped for?

Thankfully, the AL West as a whole blows, so despite being 12-19, we’re somehow only 5.5 games back and still within contention. Start with small changes. When Bradley gets back, initiate the change, and we can go from there.

Welcome Tampa Bay

May 4, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Tampa Bay Rays are in town. Statistically, except for defense (though not behind by very much, if at all), the Rays are better in every aspect at this point. If we looked at stats alone, you could say that the Mariners are going to be screwed this series. You could probably be right.

However, one of the great things about baseball is that an awful team can beat and sometimes sweep a team. This was proven by Red Sox getting swept by the Orioles this season. The Red Sox are having a little early-season blues, and that sucks for them (not that I really care), but for all intents and purposes, have a pretty well built team.

This brings me to my next point: the Mariners have a chance to come out with one, maybe two, and possibly three wins out of this series. The possibility they win all three is highly unlikely. Chone Figgin’s BABIP is under his career average. Milton Bradley has slowly started get warm and after his cold start. Adam Moore has been getting hits. Jose Lopez usually sucks in the first few months of the season (or at Safeco in general). In the flip side, Gutierrez’s bat is regressing, Jack Wilson will probably never be a good hitter, and the DH position hasn’t produced a home run yet. This offense won’t score a lot of runs, but it’s the best we have until Jack mades a trade or something.

The Mariners are still in this. They can still win the division, even after getting swept by the Rangers. Don’t panic. April is a bad predicament for what will happen during the rest of the season. Unless you’re the Cleveland Indians, in which case, you’re screwed for quite some time.

Prospect update!

May 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I looked at some of the current statistics of some of the big-name prospects in our minor league system:

A+:
Johermyn Chavez (Brandon Morrow trade): .288/.380/.463

AA:
Carlos Triunfel: .256/.309/.349
Dustin Ackley: .139/.292/.215

Dan Cortes (Yuniesky Betancourt trade): 23.1 IP, 6.54 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 22/13 K/BB
Mauricio Robles (Jarrod Washburn trade): 23 IP, 3.91 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 25/11 K/BB

AAA:
Michael Saunders: .159/.224/.174
Greg Halman: .188/.328/.417

Luke French (Washburn trade): 32.0 IP, 1.41 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 19/9 K/BB
Steven Shell: 23.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 1.1 WHIP, 17/7 K/BB

The good:

Luke French and Mauricio Robles, both coming from us trading Jarrod Washburn, are having decent seasons to start. The outlook of that trade was that French would be available to help the team immediately (he did, but ended up getting regulated to bullpen duty and was optioned to the minors at the end of Spring Training this year), and Robles would be helping the team out in the future. This looks to be holding true. Robles seems to be progressing pretty well, and we should hope to see him in a Rainier uniform next season, or sooner.

The slightly troubling:

– Dustin Ackley and Carlos Triunfel are having some rocky patches. Ackley seems to be hitting a lot of ground balls, so hopefully that will normalize soon. Overall, the season has just started, and horrid numbers like these aren’t t anything to freak out about, but if it becomes a seasonal trend of suck, then that’s when things might start to get worrisome.

Also, I have no idea where Derrick Saito (the other part of the Yunibomber trade) is winding up in the organization for this season, but he put up promising numbers in A-Ball last year. He’s definitely on my list of prospects to follow.

Mike Sweeney, you are terrible

May 3, 2010 at 3:24 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When Jackie Z created the 2010 roster, he made it with a few philosophies in mind. First was that this would be a team that would win games based on defense. Second, it would win on it’s pitching. And third, it could win on making the other teams work and get into the bullpens. With the signing of Chone Figgins, and the trade for Casey Kotchman, the first and third were satisfied; two players with great gloves, and the ability to take pitches, and get on base. The Cliff Lee acquisition satisfies number two.

Mike Sweeney? He satisfies none of these. He can’t play defense. He swings at the first pitch. I’d might give him a passing grade if it weren’t for the fact that him hitting was an absolute disaster at this point. Mike Sweeney is everything that Jack built this team to be, and ended up throwing it down a garbage chute. I understand that he makes the clubhouse fun. But how fun is a clubhouse after he hits into a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play? If I was Jack Wilson, I’d be pretty angry I got subbed out for that.

Mike, listen. You’re a really nice guy. I know you don’t want to quit. No one does. You had a pretty awesome career. You had several all-star appearances, you beat the shit out of Jeff Weaver, and you owned Spring Training pitching and made the team waive Ryan Garko. But isn’t enough enough? Are you still having fun sitting on the bench? You don’t want to be a coach, I get that. But aren’t you a coach at this point? When you hit, you’re hurting the team more. If you were a coach, you wouldn’t be hurting the team at all.

I think it’s time for retirement. You can ride out in the sunset, knowing you had an amazing career. Do it before you embarrass yourself anymore. I’m sure your wife will be proud of you regardless of any decision you make.

Regards,

Concerned Mariner Fan

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