|By Jason A. Churchill||By 08-09-2009|
|1. By: SethGrandpa on 08-09-2009 15:44:54|
So his future upside is what? #4 starter or solid long reliever?
|2. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 16:07:52|
Too much talk about upside tremendously misleads the fan base.
"But for now, he's probably best suited as a swing man, a role he could serve for the 2010 Mariners right out of spring training."
|3. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 16:11:53|
Let's just all hope that in 2010 we sport a nice rotation of Luke French, Jason Vargas, Garrett Olson, Doug Fister, and Chris Jakubauskas...
Down in AAA.
|4. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 16:14:19|
French can handle the 5th spot, RRS might be able to handle the 4th... it's 2-3 that will be empty.
|5. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 16:27:07|
I am hoping for something more like Felix-FA or trade-Snell-RRS-Morrow.
At least get another #3 type in here, and hope Snell can be a #3. RRS is probably a solid #4. And Morrow is a wild card. At least he misses bats and has the potential to go out there and give you a performence like he did vs NYY last year or Boston this year.
I can't stand watching guys with no stuff get wrapped around for 5 innings and rely totally on the defense to bail them out. And this is pretty much French, Vargas, Olson, Jakubauskas..
|6. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 16:35:21|
This is why you have to grow your own pitching and can't completely ignore it in the draft -- any year -- as the Mariners did this season.
You have to at least take a shot at guys at some point before round 36.
Snell is more of a 4 than a 3, but has the kind of potential to be a 2, even. But if you are looking at what the M's actually have, it's a 1, three 4s and four 5s.
|7. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 16:46:02|
Hopefully they can swing a trade or get something in free agency so they don't have to rely on Snell-RRS-Morrow-French filling out the rotation after Felix.
I think this team can compete next year if they get a strong veteran DH (should be available on the FA market) and another solid mid rotation guy.
|8. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 17:09:08|
I don't see one single attractive frontline arm on the market that makes any sense unless you're talking Bedard, Sheets, et al.
It's going to have to be via trade, but I just don't see it happening. It'll be about hoping some risks pay off.
|9. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 18:16:59|
Yeah, there is nothing great on the market, however, I would think a guy who could at least give you 6 innings each time out, and #3/#4 type peripherals would help this team.
Would any of these guys be worth a 1-2 yr deal?
Justin Duchscherer (could be a nice option if he's recovered from injury)
Harden will probably be out of reach price wise, but any of the other guys make sense?
|10. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 18:27:04|
Davis, Duscherer, Myers, Harden, Penny and Wolf are all part of the "et al" group with Bedard and Sheets; injury-riddled with incentive-laden deals in their immediate and long-term futures.
Myers' off-field history probably eliminates him anyway and I don't buy Marquis in the AL -- not sure I buy him in the NL.
I'd certainly think about Harden pretty seriously -- the payoff is huge, and the right deal, just like with Bedard, could be the difference between contending and not contending.
Imagine a Felix, Bedard/Sheets, Harden, Snell, RRS/French rotation.
But this club has so many holes, still. Lest we forget they still have 6 holes on offense.
|11. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 18:36:28|
Jason, you don't think we'd be solid offensively with just the addition of one of these vet DH types (Thome, Delgado, Blalock, Abreu etc) for a year or two?
I think a lineup of
would be pretty competitive.
Take a flier on one of those arms mentioned above and I think the team would be in position to win around 85 games
|12. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 18:57:58|
And that lineup sucks. The only upgrade to what the lineup is right now is DH. That's not enough to win the west unless Texas inexplicably gets worse and the Angels fail to do anything to replace Abreu and Guerrero.
85 wins is not going to win the west anytime soon. It's just not, it's wishful thinking.
Replace Lopez with a better bat (Weeks?) and replace either Wilson or Johnson (or both, of course, but catcher isn't happening) and that lineup is decent.
I like the idea of Delgado, but his current injury situation scares me. Assuming he's above average and healthy enough to play 125 games, I'm on board.
Defense up the middle is stronger overall than what they have received from the combo Betancourt/Cedeno/Wilson/Lopez in 2009, the offense is better (Weeks gets on base, fans a lot, provides similar power, slight upgrade defensively with a legit chance to be better than average) and Delgado at 60% of what he was in 2008-09 is a large upgrade.
If they repeated the results on the pitching and injuries side, that's a potential 90-win team, if they got similar performances from the returners.
|13. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 19:18:14|
Well what are we giving up to acquire Hardy and Weeks?
That would likely require parting with Morrow, Moore, and others in the top 10 of our system.
I also think we're committed to Wilson. I don't think Jack got him as a 2 month rental. I think I'd rather keep Wilson, then part with the prospects on a one year rental of JJ Hardy.
Weeks I really like, and I hope Jack pursues him.
Also, I didn't throw 85 wins out there as a number that would win the division because I think 2010 is too early to start talking about making the postseason.
However, I do want us to keep building towards that goal, and hopefully 2011 we can be in that position. I think part of building towards being a winning organization would be moving from an 81 win team up to 85-86 as opposed to dropping back to a 75 win team.
Anyway, I would be all on board with those moves above Jason, but I dont see how we aquire both Hardy and Weeks without parting with some of our better young players.
|14. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 19:27:19|
Morrow wasn't even included in the projected rotation above, so if that's what it takes to get Hardy and Weeks, so be it.
And the ONLY way the M's keep Wilson is:
1) Zduriencik can't upgrade the position
2) Wilson will take a lot less than $8.4 mil for 2010.
There's NO chance the club picks up that option. Not unless Zduriencik is playing Bill Bavasi this Halloween and gets carried away.
Morrow, Ramirez, Lopez (Milwaukee would need a cheap, capable 2B, or they can use Lopez at 3B where they do not have an obvious replacement, either), Halman and at least one of the back-end starters (Vargas, RRS, French) might be enough to get that done.
But that was just an idea, I'm not sure that's possible, or even something Jack would consider. But I would.
Although there are better options at 2B than Weeks.
|15. By: slick on 08-09-2009 19:27:31|
any word if the M's have scouted newly defected Noel Arguelles from Cuba? I hear he is a lefty in early 20's 90-93 velo. Could help in rotation depth.
|16. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 19:28:29|
No idea, slick. The M's aren't typically high on Cuban defectors, which is why it was groundbreaking when they signed Betancourt despite Engle not being heavily involved in his scouting.
|17. By: Blowgun7 on 08-09-2009 19:31:46|
Jason, are you hearing anything about Beltre? What percentage would you put on him being back? Does Jack really want him back?
|18. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 19:49:17|
No idea, but it's all going to come down to cost. I would bet heavily on Beltre being elsewhere in 2010, though.
But it's not out of the realm of possibility.
|19. By: rjfrik on 08-09-2009 19:50:00|
First off damn. Martinez just hit a 2 run bomb in the 8th to take the lead over the Yankees. Was hoping for 4.5 back of the wild card after today. I guess the yankees still get two innings to try and win.
Now to kind of chime in on the above scenarios. I really think Lopez is gone after this year, he just doesn't fit into where the organization is heading. So I really think he is involved in a trade somewhere, I also think Morrow is heading out as well. For some reason I just don't think JZ has any confidence in him and he's not one of his guys, so I think his rope is short. Wilson will not be back for his option. I honestly think JZ wants him back though, so I think he offers him 2 years 5.5/million a year, if he takes it great, if not then it's time to find a new SS. I also think JZ brings in a #2 for next year, either Bedard on a incentive laden deal or Sheets on one. I strongly think one of those two guys will be our #2. I think we upgrade at DH and 2B and SS if Jack comes back.
I guess the question is what available DH, 2B and #2 SP are/will be available. If we seriously upgrade all 3 of those positions then I think we could win about 90 games next year. Delgado, Weeks, Harden is a good start for those positions. Can we do better? What about Hudson?
Ha Damon just hit a bomb to tie the game. Go Yankees
|20. By: rightwingrick on 08-09-2009 20:14:02|
2010 rotation: F. Hernandez (RHP), RR Smith (LHP), Ian Snell (RHP), Luke French (LHP), Brandon Morrow (RHP).
Carlos Silva and Chris Jakabauskas as RHP backup and Jason Vargas as LHP backup.
Barring other moves by Jack Z.
|21. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-09-2009 20:59:41|
|22. By: Adam T on 08-09-2009 22:56:16|
Damnit - Now why did someone go and remind me that Silva is on the roster? I completely forgot about him.
I'm willing to set up a fund to pay for the remainder of Silva's contract, just so we can send him packing. Who's with me??
|23. By: SethGrandpa on 08-10-2009 01:35:46|
I know it's a name that gets thrown around the blogs a lot, but wouldn't it make a lot of sense to bring in Nick Johnson to play 1B (and have Branyan move to DH) over getting a Thome/Delgado/Abreu type DH? The reasons being his cheaper price tag (or at least I assume so) and having some actual defense at 1B. I know his defensive numbers are way down this year, but I don't believe he's suddenly gone from a great defender to a bad one that quickly. Maybe I'm wrong. But I'd much rather save some cash and use it on a big name SP gamble or two (Sheets, Harden, ect.) than on an aging DH.
|24. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-10-2009 01:47:29|
Jose Lopez is going to hit nearly twenty-five homeruns and drive in around a hundred runs. As a right handed hitter playing in Safeco field he will do this. His defense has improved slightly this year. He is twenty-five years old and he is cheap. I don't know why he is looked down on by so many but he is a good player and next year or the year after when he puts it all together he is capable of being an .850 OPS 2B in a pitchers park. I'm sorry but ridding yourself of Lopez now would mean putting in the patience of watching a player struggle to become his best and then depriving the team of the rewards that the patience pays off with.
Having said all that if you could package Lopez with Felix and pull a Pedroia/Lester/Buchulz or Cano/Chamberlain/Hughes. The deal should be made.
|25. By: jgstecker on 08-10-2009 06:21:28|
Honestly, I think we shouldn't get our hopes up this offseason. There's a good chance the payroll shrinks even further and we haven't seen Z display any desire to go out and throw money around yet. Any improvements will likely come through inventive trades like the one we saw last year.
A rotation of Felix/RRS/Snell/French/Morrow will probably be enough to satisfy the club for 2010. They've got Vargas, Olson, Fister, Jak, and Silva for depth. They could bring in a vet, possibly even Bedard, but they won't pay much to do it.
I don't see the offense getting a whole lot better either. I'm a 99% sure we'll se a new 2B, with Lopez shifting to 3B or being traded if Beltre accepts arbitration. I think there's a very good chance he does that if the M's offer. Lopez should have some pretty good value too. I'm betting Wilson gets something like 2 years for $10 million--he's winning over a lot of people, including me. I forgot what great SS defense looked like.
Personally, I think the offense really just needs more balance. Getting a Chone Figgins or an Orlando Hudson to hit behind Ichiro would make Guti/Branyan/3B/DH a lot more productive. Now would be a good time to check in on Jed Lowrie too. More OBP at the top of the lineup, please.
|26. By: dave flock on 08-10-2009 08:37:48|
Thank you #24 finally some one to defend Jose Lopez it's about time. I hope Beltre is gone after this year I am tired of him letting strikes go by and swinging wildly at balls way outside and his pathetic habit at pointing at the first base umpire. Finally Russell the muscle is having a career year never to be repeated so get something for him while you can.
|27. By: StandinPat on 08-10-2009 10:28:29|
#24 & #26, really? It's about time to defend Lopez? Why? Cause he's a poor defender who rarely walks? Sure Lopez has good power for a middle infielder, but overvaluing power numbers and injuring things like defense and plate discipline is exactly how you build the first team ever with a $100+ million dollar payroll that loses 100 games.
Even with the power numbers, Lopez has been slightly below league average with the bat this year, thanks to a .305 obp, and that's about where he finished last year. His defense has been going backwards and realistically he is prob 5 runs below average. Compare that with a player like Mike Fontenot, who is a backup on his current team and who cost less than a Lopez to acquire. Even in an extremely unlucky year for him, he will still wind up about 10 runs below average with the bat, extreme off year for him, and about 10 runs above average with the glove. In other words 5 runs better than Lopez in an extreme down year for him.
Lopez is far from a horrible player, and being a 2b thats young and cheap, he def has some value, but don't kid yourself, there are alot of better players out there, especially if you are valuing patience and defense the way this new regime is. Fact is, if Lopez hits 20+hr's this year, it might be a great time to sell high on him, buy low on a guy like fontenot, and come out with a better 2B and a prospect or two.
Oh, and how is lopez, the owner of a career high .764 ops capable of an .850 ops in a pitchers park?
|28. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 10:36:05|
Jose Lopez's OBP is .305. 'Nuff said.
|29. By: rjfrik on 08-10-2009 11:31:00|
A couple of notes.
Tony, Jack and Tom did an open discussion this weekend for the guys at USSMariner and they said
1. Wilson will be back for the next 2 to 3 years. So expect a contract.
2. As will Branyan. They like him, he likes it here and is loyal to Jack for giving him a chance. So expect a contract.
3. They want Morrow in the rotation next year. Case closed.
4. Aumont they envision as a reliever and had always envisioned him there even in pre-draft workouts. Eww!
5. They value left handed bats and defense...Big Time! And were amazed at how the current regime assembled the team.
6. Beltre like Seattle but hates hitting here, i.e. he will be gone after this year.
7. They love Tui but don't see him as a 3b in the future. huh?
So with that said. You can bet Lopez and his horrible defense will be traded over the off season. As you mentioned #24 he hits 25 bombs and has 100 RBI's in a pitchers park, so now would be the ideal time to sell High!
You need to upgrade the 2b spot after him and I would love to see Hudson here. Maybe Tui can play 2b?
We will need to acquire a 3B spot. Your guess is as good as mine.
We will need to grab a quality DH to shore up the middle of the lineup. I kind of like the Johnson idea, if he can stay healthy all year and move Branyan to DH.
And of course a #2 pitcher, I would prefer a lefty, to go with Felix, Snell, RRS and Morrow.
|30. By: randallball on 08-10-2009 11:56:55|
Lopez' OPS+ this season sits @ 100 (i.e., park adjusted-league average, for ALL hitters...not just 2B). He sat @ 104 last season. He became an everyday player at age 22. His 2nd season, when he was 23, he went through some tough personal issues and regressed a bit - but he has rebounded to improve the last two seasons.
His range and footwork is NOT what you would desire, but he has a plus arm that likely enables him to make some plays that would not be made by a better range/more 2B-like armed 2B (hope that makes sense).
Again, he is 25 - just beginning to enter his offensive prime. He DOES NOT draw walks, but he does have gap/occasional HR power. We know what we are getting with him, and I for one appreciate what he brings to the ballclub.
Let's not forget, he is filling a 3-5 spot in the order regularly right now - if we lose him and replace him with an Orlando Hudson type (who is 6 years older and not a middle of the order hitter, even on this team) we then need to find another middle of the order hitter to replace him. You can't look at a player strictly as 1 player - you need to look at his place within the team.
If we can package Lopez in a deal that nets us a middle of the order hitter for 3B/DH/LF or a legit #2 SP, then I would do it, but I am NOT itching to kick him out of town as so many of you seem to be.
|31. By: Blowgun7 on 08-10-2009 12:18:01|
I dont think Wilson is going anywhere. They will probably redo his contract and make it 2-3 years for 5-7 million per.
I don't think Lopez is going anywhere either particularly if Beltre walks. I would then expect them to move Lopez to 3rd and maybe go after a guy like Weeks.
I really think we'll see few changes in the everyday lineup. A veteran DH and one new infielder would be my guess.
|32. By: StandinPat on 08-10-2009 13:07:03|
Randall, you're still missing a couple critical points.
1) OPS+ is a quick, but not always thorough way to judge offensive performance. It does not, in any way, take into account the fact that he has a .305 obp. That's just pathetic, and it's actually lower than Rob Johnson's! Getting on-base is half of run creation, with hitting for power obviously being the other. So, if you are awful at 50% of whats suppose to be the strength of your game(offense), that isn't good.
2) Arm strength is the last thing you would judge a 2b by defensively. Step one for any infielder...get to the ball, and Lopez simply just doesn't get to as many balls as most 2b. And don't make it sound like there aren't any other strong armed 2b out there. Two that I would like over lopez, Willy Aybar, Mike Fontenot, both have enough arm to play some third, which means they've got plenty for second. Also, if you look at a metric like UZR its taking into account all plays make, including those he might have made due to his plus arm, so even with that included he's still below average defensively, how bad must his range really be?
3) The whole he's a 3-5 hitter arguement is ridiculous. He's not. He's hitting third for the 2nd to last offense in the AL. That's kinda like the whole world's tallest midget statement.
4) Lastly, I don't get your love affair for him, but I also don't get where you got the idea that everyone wants to run him outta town. Like I said before, he has some value, and certainly isn't the most glaring hole on this team. However, he in no way shape or form fits the new regimes emphasis on defense and patience at the plate, and neither one of those things seems likely to change. There are several other potential 2b candidates that wouldn't be all that difficult to acquire, and could be upgrades both offensively and deffensively. Couple that with the fact that he will be a 25yr old 2b that has just come off a 20+hr year, by trading him and replacing him with a player better suited for this team you can win twice.
I guess if you need any other evidence, look at it this way. Lopez was very much a Bavasi type of player, and not a Zduriencik type of player. A team full of Bavasi type players just lost 100 games, and a team full of MOSTLY Zduriencik type players is likely to win over 80.
|33. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 13:10:10|
There will be no picking up the option on Wilson, I don't care what they all told you at Safeco on Saturday. If it was such a sure thing that Wilson was returning, he'd already have that picked up or the team would already have inked to a two-year deal of some sort.
There's no way a good GM pigeon holes himself into a corner without seeking a better player first.
And again, Jose Lopez's OBP is .305 this year and similarly awful for his career. Stop defending him. He has some pop, but doesn't get on base and is a below-average defender at 2B. He's only going to get worse defensively, and OPS is a poor way to analyze offensive production, since it weights slugging percentage equally to OBP and the two aren't equally valued.
|34. By: John_S on 08-10-2009 13:23:05|
I hate hate hate the thought of Aumont being strictly a reliever.
It's asinine to pigeon hole him now as a reliever. Let him fail as a starter then you put him in the pen. Especially since you have viable bullpen options in the minors AND Jack Z has shown that you can go out and get cheap arms.
|35. By: Edman on 08-10-2009 13:54:02|
I agree with your statement, in part, Jason. Obviously, JZ hasn't pigeon-holed himself by making a commitment to Wilson at the moment. However, many GMs and players, will not negotiate during the season. Their focus is on playing now, paying later.
That said, I go along with what JZ said, that his desire is to make Wilson his shortstop over the next few years. It makes no sense to have traded for him, if it wasn't. And, I don't believe Jack will seek a deal for a shortstop. If someone comes to him, maybe. But, I doubt he's sees it as a hole he has to fix. As to picking up his option, who knows? I suspect that during the offseason, Jack will attempt to renegotiate Wilson's contract. And, considering he's out of that Hell-hole in Pittsburgh, and being a West Coast guy, something could be worked out.
Lopez is a strange situation. I personally, have no problem moving him on. It depends on how the M's view his value. Beltre's signing may play a big part in that. If Beltre resigns, perhaps they trade Lopez. But, Lopez might fit well as a stop-gap, until they have a better option at third. I like Hannahan, but he's not the answer. His role is best developed as a defensive replacement and occational starter kind of guy.
My gut feeling is that Wilson is here to stay. If Jack didn't think so, there was no reason to give up on Clement. Particularly, if he didn't get at least a lasting fix in return. I know Snell appears to be the main focus of the trade. But, I believe Jack was looking deeper than that.
|36. By: Edman on 08-10-2009 14:04:23|
John _S, many don't like Aumont being a reliever. I don't know that it's right either. But, I don't know that it's wrong. There are greater baseball minds at work than mine. Part of the developmental process is evaluating player mentality. From what JZ said, they felt that Aumont's mental make-up was very conducive to being a late inning reliever. And, who really knows if this is permannent? I would guess it is. But, maybe they want to get him to harness the mental toughness required to be a pitcher.
It's one minor league season. At least they didn't bring him up and throw him in the bullpen, like they did Morrow.
It would be just as wrong to force Aumont to be a starter, simply because of where you drafted him. Perhaps making him a reliever allows him to concentrate on the things they feel he needs to improve, instead of logging innings. Good innings are more important that total innings.
I don't like it either. However, I don't know what it is that he has to learn. He's still a kid without a set calendar to get to the majors.
|37. By: John_S on 08-10-2009 14:14:38|
Edman very true and valid points, but you look at the really good closers and most started out as starters.
Look at Papelbon and Joe Nathan. Heck even look at Ryan Franklin. Then there's the old school Dennis Eckersley and Rick Aguilera.
It's easier to know that a pitcher is not starter material and shift him to the pen. At least if they fail as a starter they can be moved to the bullpen.
Brandon Morrow is a prime example of a guy who should've been allowed to fail as a starter. People question his mental makeup, but you cannot discount him as a starter until he's tried and failed.
|38. By: randallball on 08-10-2009 14:27:20|
I'm not in love with Lopez, I simply think many of you under rate/over hate him. His OBP stinks, but he hits with pop. And I was simply referring to being a 3-5 hitter on this team. Lord knows that we don't ACTUALLY have ANY of those hitters on a good team. And, like I said, you get good value, absolutely deal him. But to run him out of town for Mike Freaking Fontenot is asinine.
|39. By: StandinPat on 08-10-2009 14:53:15|
Really Randall? It's asinine? You do realize that if you compare them defensively using a metric like UZR you'd see that Fontenot is atleast 15 runs better with the glove, and if you look at something like wOBA, a weighted statistic that gives a more appropriate value to OBP, Fontenot is atleast equal to Lopez at the plate, even if you completely ignore his 2008 and just look at what he should be going forward. Even if you wanted to go ultra-conservative and say Fontenot was 5 runs worse he's still 10 runs or 1 full win better than Lopez, and will most likely be cheaper. Low end 1 win, Mid-High 1.5-2.5 wins better is asinine? That's basically the difference between Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria.
|40. By: randallball on 08-10-2009 15:25:52|
I'm acutely aware (and a frequent visitor) of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus, etc. with all of the extended fielding metrics.
Fontenot is gonna be 30, is a -.118 MLVr and -2.3 VORP right now for the Cubs while Lopez (25) is a .005 MLVr and 13.4 VORP for us. Lopez is working on his 2nd straight UZR/150 around 5 while Fontenot is posting a ~9 this season.
Admittedly Fontenot is a more complete defender (not 15 runs better), but that's right - Lopez is above average in those metrics. And, back to my original post, his arm has a lot to do with that, due to DP turns.
Fontenot appears to be regressing, while Lopez appears to be progressing (age, performance, etc.)
|41. By: randallball on 08-10-2009 15:34:09|
Like I said, I don't love the guy, but I think there is a misconception about how "bad" he really is.
|42. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 15:44:01|
A .350 OBP bat with .380 SLG is more valuable than Lopez's .305 and .460 SLG.
It just is. Avoid making outs, that's the single most critical thing a hitter can do, regardless of what happens when he makes contact.
|43. By: StandinPat on 08-10-2009 17:28:46|
Lopez's UZR is in the negative....again, not 5 for the 2nd time. As far as Fontenot's offense, he's posting a BABIP 70pts lower than his previous career avg and his numbers have suffered, much the same way Lopez's did earlier this year. With a regression to the mean, those numbers go way up.....much the same way Lopez's did.
That is all, I'm giving up. You claim you don't love the guy but keep arguing against the idea that the M's could/should look to upgrade 2B for obvious reasons. You also seem to completely miss the differences between Zduriencik's type of player and Bavasi's and the affect that its had on our W/L record this year. Or are maybe just ignoring it for the sake of this arguement....I don't know.
|44. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 19:08:59|
The Mariners desperately need to upgrade offensively in several places, and since it's nearly impossible to do so at SS and C, 2B and DH have to be it in 2010.
|45. By: marinerdan on 08-10-2009 19:48:48|
Rios just got claimed by the white sox, if they had passed, we might have gotten a shot, Jason, would you have claimed him? $9 mil is a lot but he plays great defense and his bat isn't as bad as this year would lead you to believe.
|46. By: Blowgun7 on 08-10-2009 19:57:31|
Nice complete game outing from Nick Hill tonight.
In the group of other lefties with French, RRS, Vargas, Olson.
Where would a guy like Hill project in a year or two?
|47. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 19:59:51|
Rios was claimed three days ago. TBJ decided today to let him go. And no, I wouldn't have touched Rios.
And you say $9 mil but he's owed more than $60 million guaranteed through 2014. No thanks.
|48. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 20:03:17|
Grow some balls, Edman. Seriously. You're always afraid to step on the opinions of the professionals as if they are untouchable.
The decisions to make Aumont a reliever at age 20 is a mistake. The only living creatures that disagree are either uninformed or they are cattle.
Which are you?
|49. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-10-2009 20:21:33|
I think Hill is another No. 5 starter/swing man, but he's got pitches to get RHBs out, particularly a fastball with glove side run and a changeup that some have described as above average right now.
He's not likely to be much more than that with all the fly balls he gives up, and he's not going to miss enough bats to make up for it.
|50. By: FelixElRey on 08-10-2009 21:06:33|
With Morrow having another good start in Tacoma, is it possible that he makes another start with the club later this season? Correct me if the stat line is misleading, but 1 walk is huge in my opinion.
|51. By: amac360 on 08-10-2009 22:16:31|
Ichiro and Jose Lopez for Jason Heyward.
|52. By: sodomojo2459 on 08-10-2009 22:44:58|
There is zero chance the Braves make that deal.
|53. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-10-2009 22:58:22|
The two most important things a hitter can do are score runs and drive in runs. I know some people look down on RBI as a statistic in modern times but the ability to drive in runs is important. There are lots of players who hit and walk and when the time comes to drive someone in they fail. Jose Lopez is the best run producer on the team and has been for years. He has also dealt with another personal tragedy this year and still produced. With his ability to recognize pitches and hit to all fields he will hit above .300 for a number of seasons in his career. When he hits for a .315 average his .340-.350 OBP will not look so bad and the .475-.500 slugging percentage will look great.
|54. By: Edman on 08-10-2009 23:52:54|
I could have sworn that I said I didn't like it either. But, I don't see much value in ranting about how smart I think I am, compared to Jack, Tom, and the many other Mariner executives that have coaching and mental evaluations, that I don't have.
We all have opinions. But, none of us should fall in love with them. It doesn't make them true, because you do.
|55. By: VikingArthur on 08-11-2009 03:03:03|
I understand that JZ is an OBP and defense guy. I admire that. I do take exception with the assumption that Weeks is obviously better than Lopez. Weeks, first of all, cannot stay healthy to save his life. Realistically if you have a 2b hitting .280-300 with 15-20 home runs and 80-100 RBIs that is the least of your issues. The bigger concern for 2010 is what we do about 3rd, DH, C and LF. I have no problem with Saunders as the full time starter in LF in 2010 but with Rob Johnson at C, Saunders in left, Wilson at SS and who knows who at 3rd contention is not realistic. I think its quite obvious that this team is being built for 2011 contention. How about Ackley? Where does he fit into this equation for 2010 and 2011?
|56. By: VikingArthur on 08-11-2009 03:06:28|
As for DH next year.
Abreu = I'd love that but will cost too much
Thome = I can live with
Blalock = No way
I say we go take the $$ off of Washington's hands and get Dunn.
|57. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-11-2009 08:36:04|
The sooner you stop using batting average and RBI as an indicator of value, the sooner you'll sound less... unsmart.
No, the two most important things a batter can do are 1) get on base and 2) hit for power.
Not score runs and drive in runs, those are subjective results that rely on other players' performances.
A hitter can't drive in runs if others don't get on base in front of them and he can't score runs if those behind him don' drive him in.
The batter doesn't control those things.
|58. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-11-2009 09:33:06|
I have been playing, coaching and watching baseball since I was five years old in 1951 and the team that scores the most runs has always been the team that wins. Regardless of how those runs score.
Ichiro is not a great baserunner, he fails to take the extra base quite often and steals bases far less than he should. There are many times I have seen Ichiro fail to take third on a deep fly ball and then watch the pitcher throw a wild pitch. The point of what I'm saying is that baserunning is a skill just as important as defense or hitting. Adrian Beltre is a great baserunner, the best on the team, he is always looking to take the extra base and therefore is capable of scoring more runs without the benefit of a hit, this is an extremely undervalued ability in baseball today.
Now about driving in runs. Joe Carter was not a great hitter, but when someone was on base for whatever reason he was very good at knocking them in. Jose Lopez does not have a HOF bat or even an all-star bat, but when people are on base for whatever reason he has shown a consistent ability to drive them in. I'm trying to think of an anti-Joe Carter, someone who hits well but not as well with people on base Mark McGwire comes to mind. For the amount of XBH he had he drove in an abnormally low amount of runs. I agree that you cannot control who is on base in front of you but through the years I have learned some players have the knack for driving in runs and some do not and good baserunners will score more runs than statistics say they should not because of who's hitting behind them but because they are extremely talented baserunners.
|59. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-11-2009 09:42:31|
Sorry for the long post and the rude tenor of the first paragraph. What I am basically trying to say is that some players drive in more runs than their statistics indicate they should and some players score a disproportionate amount of runs to how often their on base. Current thinking proclaims the reason for this as luck but after watching baseball for over half a century I honestly believe there is more to it than luck or coincidence.
|60. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-11-2009 10:03:35|
You're missing the point.
I don't care if you INVENTED the game of baseball, the most valuable thing a batter can do is get on base. Period.
Good hitters drive in runs, bad hitters do not. To buck that trend, a bad hitter has to have an inordinate number of opportunities in comparison to similarly gifted hitters.
Jose Lopez is NOT a good hitter. He's below average. His career .303 OBP and current .305 mark are proof of that.
To even start to offset that and become an above-average bat in the AL, he'd have to hit for a ton more power. Like .550-.600 SLGs, and he's not doing that - ever.
Lopez isn't completely worthless, but if we painted a picture of the injury-riddled Weeks over Lopez, this is what the M's would get, using reasonable career statistics/league & park change for Weeks, plus replacement level results for the 30-40 games he'll miss:
Lopez, in 150 games, would make about 435 outs. Weeks + replacement level player for the 40 games he'd probably miss, would (using the above formula criterion) make 398 outs. That's 323 by Weeks in 494 PAs (.346 OBP and 75 by RLP in 110 PAs (.319 OBP).
That's 37 fewer outs in a season, or one every four games. And that's just using Weeks, who has a career .351 OBP that I sliced to .346, even tossing in development improvement, due to the league change and ballpark.
Thirty seven fewer outs from one position means Branyan and Ichiro and whatever other good hitters you have in the lineup get to bat that much more often.
Imagine if you made similar improvements to SS, C, LF.
But OBP wipes runs scored and RBI with a dirty rag, Maurice. It just does, and the sooner you come to this realization, the better off you'll be as you sit back and evaluate from your La-z-boy.
My la-z-boy used to be stacked with stat sheets that bolded out SLG Pct, RBI, batting average and stolen bases, until all the correlating, noteworthy evidence proved they all paled in comparison to OBP.
This is why Mike Jacobs sucks and Nick Johnson is good.
|61. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-11-2009 10:23:52|
The extra outs over the course of a season will obviously help the offense over all and it is a very enlightening way of looking at productivity that I had not considered. So thank you.
Mike Jacobs difinitively does suck.
I am going to do some research on past players because my argument is that with his pitch recognition and ability to hit to all fields I just don't see Jose Lopez as a .305 OBP player going forward. At twenty-five I see him being able to improve and I will attempt to find a player who had comparable abilities who greatly improved his on base abilities as his career progressed.
|62. By: StandinPat on 08-11-2009 10:31:39|
The reason getting on base and therefore OBP is so important, is that the more frequently you have men on base, then more plausible it becomes than ANY hit drives in a run. A single, double, or a triple won't get you a single run with no one on, but any of those can potentially score a runner from 2nd and the latter two a runner from 1st. Turing a solo shot into a 2 run HR DOUBLES its value. Ask Russell Branyan why he has 27hr's and only 67 RBI's. It's not cause he simply has a hard time hitting with runners on, it's that he comes up a lot with the bases empty. Then you look at the last couple of games and see what has happened when you get men on in front of him.
|63. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-11-2009 10:40:41|
Jose Lopez does NOT us the whole field. And he may be 25, but he hasn't gotten better in that area since he was in Tacoma in 2004.
Nine of his 41 hits at Safeco this season have gone to the first base side of the field, and one of those is almost dead-center -- I gave him credit for the few feet it was toward the right field line of center.
And 19 of his 73 hits away from Safeco were hit the other way.
That's 27 of 114 hits, or 23.7%.
He doesn't cover the plate well, he doesn't go the other way enough -- but neither of those are the main culprit for his lack of OBP... they contribute, but they aren't the biggest reason.
His 3.5 pitches per plate appearance -- a result, partially, due to his utter disgust to be forced to hit with two strikes -- is the biggest reason for his low OBP.
The LA Angels, as a team, see 3.88 per. Boston sees 3.93. Even the Twins see 3.85. Seattle sees 3.76, which isn't horrible, but only Beltre's 3.46 is worse among regulars on the M's roster.
Even Rob Johnson sees 3.76.
I don't think Lopez is going to change his approach. He'd have to completely revamp his own outlook and target goals for hitting. That doesn't happen much, if at all, after five+ years in the big leagues.
For the most part, Lopez is what he is. I don't see any reason to believe he's going to ever become average in that manner. The league average OBP is .335, thirty points higher than Jose's.
The league-average 2B's OBP is .334.
It's probably time to pull the plug on Lopez's tenure in Seattle, at least st 2B where he's below average defensively, and altogether if a better player can be acquired.
|64. By: StandinPat on 08-11-2009 10:41:10|
Jose Lopez's career BB%'s 3.7, 3.1, 4.1, 3.7, 4.0, 3.8. I would normally agree that a 25yr old hitter should be in line to improve various parts of his game over the next 3-4 years, but in Lopez's case I'm just not sure. He's hovered right around 4% for the past four years and shown not even an incremental improvement in his BB%. He might just be one of those players who are what they are. In addition, you'd need him to almost double his BB% to match Beltre's career 7.1%, and I think most would agree, Adrian isn't exactly a walks machine. Needing to double your walk rate to become respectable is a tough road to ho.
Again, I think Lopez is a decent player and has some value to this team. I just also think there are better options, ie better defenders with better obp, while maintaining some gap power. If the M's want to improve on their 09 roster 2B definitely has to be in the conversation, and not because Lopez sucks, but because he doesn't really fit what the Mariners are trying to do.
|65. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-11-2009 10:52:51|
You are right after looking at some historical stats not many players ever start walking at a significantly higher rate and if they do it's usually only for one year and is an aberation.
|66. By: randallball on 08-11-2009 11:03:09|
Jose Lopez aside, I'm glad there is some intelligent discussion going on here about some SABR stats. I love the game first and foremost and believe that there is absolutely no substitute for WATCHING games/players play, but many of the advanced stats do tell a lot of the story.
And, FYI, it has been "proven" that SLG is a slightly better (something like .003) predictor of runs scored than OBP...and OPS (and OPS+) prove as far more accurate still.
Dan Fox @ Hardball Times did a great article on Run Estimation a few years ago about it with great detail.
For a quick glance of the correlation, take a look at the team stats for this season on BR.com and you will see that the teams with the higher OPS+ score the most runs, and 1 team in particular - Texas - scores more runs than several teams with far better team OBPs.
|67. By: Blowgun7 on 08-11-2009 11:28:18|
Jason, who would you rather have playing 3B next year, Lopez at his current salary or Beltre for the 8-10 million he'll probably be looking at for 2010?
|68. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-11-2009 12:30:44|
That depends... who's the 2B if Jose at 3B?
Who's the 3B if Jose is at 2B and Beltre is not back?
|69. By: VikingArthur on 08-11-2009 12:33:07|
To the post about me not looking "smart". I understand the metrics that you are talking about...don't take my post the wrong way. My point is that Lopez is no worse than average at 2b in terms of offensive production. Is a middle of the order guy? Of course not. If he were a 7-9 hitter he'd be fine. I guess my point was that we need quantum leaps out of LF, DH, C and SS to be a true contender.
|70. By: d2ret on 08-11-2009 12:35:45|
I wonder, why doesnt baseball have a stat called 'Total Bases per 9 innings' (including walks and stolen bases). It would appear to me the best indicator of a players production and ability to create his own movement around the base paths. It takes slugging, OBP, and stolen bases into account. I know there is a 'Total Bases' stat already, but im not sure it includes the walks or stolen bases. And if you made it 'per nine innings' it would be much easier to compare players when some have missed time due to injury or suspension.
The park adjustments would have to be done before you included the hitting into the TBP9... or TBA (sort of like ERA). This is one drawback, however it could, and im sure would, be done.
|71. By: baseballman on 08-11-2009 12:36:16|
JAC, in your opinion, will bedard be an M next year?
|72. By: Blowgun7 on 08-11-2009 12:40:27|
Weeks at 2B, Lopez at 3B. Or the status quo.
I think I'd prefer Weeks, Lopez, and the extra money available for not having to pay for Beltre's services
|73. By: Edman on 08-11-2009 12:40:49|
I have to respectfully disagree that the only thing that matters is getting on base. How you get on base matters. How many bases you get in an at bat matters.
The game is just not simple enough to say "he who gets on base most often wins."
The more you get on base, the more opportunities you have. However, technically, you could hit three infield singles in every inning, but score no runs. The laws or probability are near zero of that ever happening. But, you have to have extra base hits. You have to have the kind of hits that allow a base runner to advance more than a base at a time.
There is certainly great value in getting on base. Nobody will dispute that. But when you hit it, where you hit it, and how far, play just as big a role.
My personal belief is you need to maximize your OBP with your first three hitters in the batting order. You can sacrifice some OBP for extra base hits in the 4-6 spots in the batting order.
This isn't a perfect science. And, thankfully, it isn't, or it would be a game designed for those who love math problems.....not the joy of watching a baseball player perform athletically, beyond what a vast majority of those watching, can't.
|74. By: d2ret on 08-11-2009 12:45:52|
Im lobbying for TBA as the stat that can cover all that Edman, plus stolen bases. Isnt it OBVIOUS? How many bases can you take INDIVIDUALLY!
|75. By: Blowgun7 on 08-11-2009 12:49:50|
Jason, no chat today?
|76. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-11-2009 14:41:48|
I never once said getting on base is the ONLY thing that matters. But it's the single most important and valuable thing a hitter can do. Period.
Nowhere did I say it was the only thing that mattered. It just matters most.
"My personal belief is you need to maximize your OBP with your first three hitters in the batting order. You can sacrifice some OBP for extra base hits in the 4-6 spots in the batting order."
Only if the OBP differential is minimal. SLG just doesn't match up with OBP.
|77. By: StandinPat on 08-11-2009 14:42:50|
I'd like to know who you are "respectfully disagreeing" with. I can't recall anyone in this thread stating that getting on base was "the only thing that matters." What was stated, and has been stated in the past, is that getting on base and hitting for power are both EQUALLY important, but with the way that OBP and SLG are calculated, if you solely look at OPS, much more weight is given to SLG than OBP instead of them receiving an equal share of importance. Basically the idea being that a 280/360/440 line is more valuable offensively than a 280/320/480 line.
|78. By: Jason A. Churchill on 08-11-2009 15:09:10|
I actually disagree with that, Pat, and so would the scouting community, I'm 100% sure.
OPS gives too much weight to SLG, not because of the simple math, but because it measures the calculations equally with OBP, and the two are NOT equal.
Kevin Youkilis versus Raul Ibanez, versions 2009, is a good pair to put up against each other.
Ibanez -- .302/.367/.612
Youkilis -- .311/.423/.564
Clearly, Ibanez has hit for more power to this point. Better SLG, as a result of his 51 XBHs despite missing nearly 3 weeks with a leg injury.
He has what nearly amounts to a 50 point advantage in slugging percentage. But there's not a smart TE in the game that would not take Youkilis over Ibanez, solely based on what that batter has done to this point.
The 56-point differential in OBP is glaring.
|79. By: StandinPat on 08-11-2009 15:25:38|
I'm confused. Which part are you disagreeing with? That seems to be pretty similar to what I said.
|80. By: Edman on 08-11-2009 17:19:57|
I meant the most important thing. Getting on base is the first step to scoring runs. But, if all your getting are walks and infield hits, and they don't result in runs, it's like writing a novel. The foundation of the book may be fundimentally solid, but it never rings true enough to be a best seller.
The same thing could be said about pitching, that a pitcher who gets outs is the most important thing.
They are very general statements, and the game goes much deeper than the surface.
I don't think any of use disagree with the basics of baseball. But, there are so many factors that are important. OBP is just one. Would it be great to have a lineup full of .400 OBP guys? Yep.
|81. By: VikingArthur on 08-11-2009 17:39:11|
I suppose the other part of the discussion is that if you have a high OBP guy who can't run at all you BETTER have some guys with some SLG% behind him!
What is the plan with Ackley? Frankie is the CF, Ichiro is not going anywhere. Is Saunders just a stop gap until Ackley is ready or will one of them move?
|82. By: shemberry on 08-11-2009 17:43:01|
What happened to the chat? I was away from the computer all day, but was looking forward to the transcript.
|83. By: StandinPat on 08-11-2009 17:45:55|
Ichiro only has 3 more years on his contract, so if Ackley only needed two full years in the minors, which isn't that much, that would only leave one season, 2013 with all four guys under contract. A lot can happen between now and then.
|84. By: mauricewilliamsiii on 08-11-2009 18:09:13|
I know the Mariners said they drafted Ackley as a Centerfielder but I honestly think he plays first base in the Majors as early as late next year and moves to the outfield when Ichiro retires or decides he is ready to DH full time to save his legs.
|85. By: Edman on 08-11-2009 18:21:10|
I doubt they'd ever move Ackley to first to start his career. Makes zero sense to give him time at a place where he couldn't keep his skills sharp.
A lot will depend on Saunders and how he develops.
It's way too early to worry about it. If he can hit, they'll find room for him. Plus, I'm sure they'd rather have a power hitter at that position.
|86. By: The Great Pumpkin on 08-11-2009 18:46:10|
Jason has mentioned this before regarding Ackley. It's possible that Ackley may be ready just about the same time that Gutierrez gets expensive. And at that point Ackley can slide into center and take over that position.
|87. By: masonb on 08-11-2009 19:16:37|
Where is the transcript from today's chat?
|88. By: VikingArthur on 08-11-2009 19:26:04|
I was under the impression that Ackley was closer to ready than 2012. That solves that problem.
|89. By: FelixElRey on 08-11-2009 20:30:41|
Tech issues. Jason mentioned possible chat tomorrow instead.
|90. By: safecochatter on 08-12-2009 09:41:38|
J.J. Hardy shipped to triple a. Alcides Escobar recalled.
didn't see this coming.
possible m's could now trade for jj and avoid trade waivers.
how about jj at 2nd and lopez to 3rd in 2010??
|91. By: NEOregonMarinersFan on 08-13-2009 10:37:55|
I wonder if Zduriencik would find it necessary to acquire Hardy to play SS after sending five players to the Pirates for Jack Wilson... I doubt it, unless he really felt Hardy would represent a real upgrade over Wilson at SS.
Re. the previous comment, Hardy has never played 2B in the majors, but I suppose he could make a shift... how much of a defensive upgrade would he represent at 2B over Lopez? Even without having played the position, he might be an improvement in the field. He would probably be something of an improvement at the plate.
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