Churchill: GM Candidates

With the news breaking Friday morning that the Seattle Mariners parted ways with Jack Zduriencik we’ve already started to hear the names of possible replacements. It’s all speculation at this point, but retreads galore likely are littering your Twitter timeline, drawing eye rolls and even some ‘WTF’ replies. Understandably. Team president and COO Kevin Mather stated publicly via press conference and radio interviews the club wants to find a new baseball guy before the offseason truly gets under way. Part of that is to make sure they don’t get beat…

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Does Gutierrez fit in 2016?

For all that has gone wrong for the 2015 Seattle Mariners, there have been a few bright spots. One being the return of former All-Star outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to the major leagues. The Mariners had signed Gutierrez prior to the 2014 season, but he elected to sit out the campaign while recovering and dealing with ankylosing spondylitis. Gutierrez was inked to a minor league contract prior to the start of the season with the idea being, neither party had anything to lose. The 32-year old wasn’t ready to give up playing…

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Paxton’s return short, but healthy

Tonight, Seattle Mariners’ starting pitcher James Paxton made his first rehab start with the Tacoma Rainiers since prematurely leaving his last start with the Mariners on May 28 with a strained tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand. Unfortunately for Rainiers fans, his night was very short – he didn’t get out of the first inning and departed after 36 pitches against the Memphis Redbirds. The good news is that he reported no health issues after his brief stint. When asked about his performance, the big left-hander indicated…

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A glance at MLB awards picture

I don’t put as much stock in Major League Baseball’s awards as I once did. What used to be an aspect of the game that I enjoyed very much — seeing the historical seasons rewarded with hardware as well as amplify my memories of it — now has become more of a narrative: “Will the voters get it right?” In the end, I don’t care all that much. The conversations — sometimes arguments — seem to get more attention that the results of the voting itself. Not that such debate…

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Chris Taylor’s future

Recently Chris Taylor was a topic of conversation on Twitter between yours truly and an observant follower or two. While that particular back-and-forth was based on a misinterpretation of a previous note I sent out, a discussion about Taylor’s future is warranted at this point. The former fifth-round pick in 2012 will turn 25 years of age later this month. He’s hit at every level in the minors (see below) and has all the fundamentals of an average or better glove at the second most critical defensive position on the…

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Walker turning in solid campaign

The hype-machine had been in full force for what turned out to be a disappointing 2014 season for Taijuan Walker. The former top prospect spent time on the disabled list with shoulder troubles and a prolonged stint at Triple-A while battling growing pains. All in all, Walker had a 2.61 ERA and a 3.68 FIP in the 38 innings he pitched in the big leagues. Entering 2015, Walker would beat out left-hander Roenis Elias for the final spot in the Seattle Mariners rotation during Spring Training — a spot he has maintained since. Through…

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The case for retaining Jack Zduriencik

It’s easy to point to the reasons why the Seattle Mariners should go in a different direction at general manager, including two winning seasons in seven years, no postseason appearances and the manner in which the original plan — build a strong foundation through scouting and development — has failed quite miserably. It’s another task altogether to present a case for the club to retain it’s GM for another year. The reasons for a dismissal, continued: Inability to identify the skills that play well at Safeco Field Inability to identify…

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