|By Jason A. Churchill||By 10-30-2012|
|1. By: iheartfelix on 10-30-2012 22:31:57|
given a choice between watching more Carlos Peguero ABs or tearing out my own eyeballs, I think I would go ahead and watch Carlos... but it's a near thing.
He has obviously spent countless hours studying at the Miguel Olivo school of hitting where the only two acceptable outcomes are a strikeout or homerun. He along with Figgins, Trayvon and Carp need to be removed from the 40 man to make sure Wedge doesn't make any more spelling errors when trying to write Jaso or Wells into the lineup, and accidentally giving these guys playing time. (I assume that's mostly what happened last year)
|2. By: Jason A. Churchill on 10-30-2012 22:47:13|
Something tells me the turnover for the outfield crop is going to be quite large.
|3. By: iheartfelix on 10-30-2012 23:10:34|
I sure hope so JAC.
If Saunders were the only one still around at the start of the season I would be fine with that. I really hope that turnover includes signing Melky AND a trade of some kind, but that is probably far too much to hope for.
Of course Guti will probably still be around until his DL stint begins, and Wells would makeup a solid 1/2 of a right fielder if they can find a suitable platoon partner.
Just out of curiosity, Why does Alex Gordon play LF for KC instead of RF? I would think his arm would be great in right, and for some reason I have just always thought of RF as a more important position than left (not sure if that is even a little valid). For Gordon is it a park dimension thing, or does it have to do with his move from 3B and the comfort level with reading the ball off the bat from that angle? Or maybe something else entirely. What do you think?
|4. By: Tpatt253 on 10-30-2012 23:51:16|
Enjoyed the write up, except for the fact there wasn't more positivity to speak of.
I think Seager hitting 25-30 with new dimensions is a stretch (and u happen to love his swing).
Very disappointed in ackley, looked like a 20th rd pick, and even tho smoak is young cheap and has upside It wouldn't take a lot to move on from him by OD and not question it. The one thing that does hold hope is how slow Saunders took to develop and is now a really nice OFer and outside chance smoak could follow suit.
Totally enamored with Saunders. I think he could be the josh reddick of 2013. He had some power surges and if he can find/hold to those a little longer next year I can see 30 hrs, great D with 20 SBs. Guy works, plays and trains hard.
I've heard a notion to start montero n triple A which is weird, one of our best hitters and poised to make a progression, if we add a vet and put him between 2 lefties he should flourish.
Thanks for the reports.
|5. By: Tpatt253 on 10-30-2012 23:55:58|
Edit on Seager, I happen to love his swing, nothing wrong with a slight uppercut for me.
|6. By: jgstecker on 10-31-2012 05:53:18|
At this point I feel comfortable with Gutierrez, Saunders, and Wells covering CF and one of the corners in the outfield, with Thames hanging out in Tacoma as insurance.
It seems like the stars may be aligning for a Josh Hamilton run here. I know, Hamilton will be overpaid by more than a little, but enough teams may be shying away that the bidding might not get out of control. I'm getting the sense that the club may need to make a splash this offseason and I don't think Melky Cabrera will cut it with the season ticket holders. Looking forward to the PI post (and comments) on Hamilton.
It also seems to me that Smoak will get another shot at the full-time 1B gig. The market for passable first basemen isn't inspiring and I'm not sure Montero can pick up the position any time soon.
I'd have no problem with extending Ryan beyond 2013. There'd be worse things than having him around as an overpaid backup to Franklin or Miller.
Beyond that, the only questions are on the bench where only Wells should be anything close to a lock. Everybody else currently in-house should be considered a fall-back option at this point.
|7. By: Tpatt253 on 10-31-2012 09:03:00|
Jg- I agree with your comments on Hamilton and smoak.
Don't know yet how the FA market will unfold but I don't see a Hamilton signing being as bad of an investment as say swisher. Hamilton can bat MOTO for any team in baseball, he's the presence that can allow our young guys to thrive. His talent is so immense, if he can miss 2 years for drugs and become an MVP, ALCS MVP, I think he can stay plenty productive going into his mid 30s, this is HOF level talent. Plus he was healthy last year, and hit 43 hrs. Also, if there is one team that can overspend on a true MOTO bat it's Ms, and by signing a FA instead of trade we get to keep all our young talent. I'm all for it, prolly up to $115-120mil.
Same goes for smoak, I don't think he deserves to be our OD 1b but the market isn't ripe to replace him, he's still young and plays good D, just hope he hits well enough for a 7 or 8 hole guy. Wish we had more organizational depth there. If he gets off to his typical start maybe we can look into Matt Adams.
|8. By: Jerry on 10-31-2012 10:06:49|
Call me an M's homer, but I see a lot of upside on the roster. Seager and Saunders emerged as good players this year, and are good bets to be above average next year. Jaso was an absolute steal, and should get as more PT next year.
But I think the key to improving next year isn't wild free agent spending, but giving the players already on the roster a chance to reach their potential. Smoak, Montero, and Ackley are the best bets we have at improving dramatically next year, and all three need a chance to play.
I think we do need to take into account the Safeco factor. I think it got to the point of messing with guys heads, especially Smoak and Saunders. This year was an odd outlier partly due to the weather, as Safeco played as a far more extreme pitchers park. I don't like to speculate about coaching or player psychology, but how many times did you see Saunders or Smoak with a bewildered look on their face after seeing a well-hit ball die on the warning track?
Again, I'm no coach, and don't know much about scouting players. But even I could see obvious problems. Ackley looked like shit most of the year. It almost seemed like he adopted an Ichiro approach, pulling away towards first base midway through his swing. Nobody will hit the ball hard like that. He needs to get stronger, but he also needs to stay back on the ball and drive pitches. That is the difference between the weak Ackley we saw this year and the guy he could be. If Ackley gets his swing right, he could be an Alex Gordon type hitter: .300/.370/.475 with 15-20 HRs and tons of 2Bs. That is a great player. But he clearly needs to work on his swing a bit.
And Smoak was so completely lost at the plate that even a casual fan could see the problem. But we've seen what he can do when his swing is right, and he showed that that potential is still there in September. When his mechanics are off, his bat is slow, he doesn't seem able to recognize pitches, and he looks like shit. When he's right, he looks like a legit #5 hitter. I know that lots of players are streaky like this, and never put things together. Obviously, he is on a short leash, but I argue that it is way too early to bail on him.
Montero is young and looked overmatched at times, but Jason pointed out his home/road splits and improvements over the course of the year. He should get better.
This is a big offseason, and the M's need to make some improvements. But this isn't the time to bail on these young guys. I think the weather contributed, in a sort of perfect storm: big field, terrible weather most of the year, young inexperienced players, lack of veteran presence, and inability of coaches to reach players. The changes to the field will help. But the key to 2013 will be whether or not the team can get some core players to hit like they are capable.
If I'm Jack, I would look for undervalued assets (like Jaso) and a few major additions (one big OF bat at least, and perhaps a #2 starter), and resist the urge to fix this mess through bad free agent signings. Instead, acquiring depth is crucial this year. They would be dumb to jettison or block these young guys, and the worst thing that could happen is watching them turn into good players for other teams. Acquiring depth behind them is the way forward. If they continue to fail, the M's need to have guys who can step in and get their shot.
|9. By: Rudolf on 10-31-2012 10:11:45|
Hamilton for $120 million is a pipe dream. Detroit went nuts for Fielder last year (with NY and Boston out of the running). Some team will get stupid with the purse and I hope it isn't the M's.
Triunfel should get a good shot to back-up short, second, and third base. He might become a good utility guy, or a SS stop-gap.
I would also like to see a cheap two or three year deal inked with Ryan this off-season.
I seriously hope the M's are working Montero hard at first base. That would solve a lot of potential problems for 2014 and beyond.
Seager's swing has far too much uppercut; it's like watching a little guy try to prove something. I hope he takes Jason's advice and calms it down.
The M's need to buy a LF (Melky, Pagan); platoon Wells and Thames in RF; Gutierrez is a part-time player.
Package two or three prospects for another hitter: Gordon, Willingham, etc.. I am often surprised how little it takes. Brad Miller should fetch something nice if you toss in V-Cat and Bawcom, for example.
Bundle up Carp, Robinson, Peguero, and Figgens and ship em off for a real hitting coach. Toss in Smoak if its a good one.
|10. By: diderot on 10-31-2012 11:35:40|
Here's an admittedly limited but I think still useful way to look at hitting talent: line drive % versus strike out %.
Hitting line drives 25% of the time is good. Doing that while infrequently striking out is even better. Here's a list of notable LD guys from last year, followed by their strike out %:
A Gon 24.1/16.1
This is Montero in the second half: 25/12.6.
Can he sustain that for an entire year? I don't know. But he's still 22 years old and I sure as hell look forward to finding out.
|11. By: titans12 on 10-31-2012 12:05:46|
I like Saunders and on most teams he would be a very good 4th OF. He can play all 3 spots very well and I feel comfortable as a starter on this team. We need 2 more outfielders -one who can leadoff( Bourn/Pagan ) and one to hit #3( Gordon,Choo,Upton)and put Saunders in the remaining spot on defense.
|12. By: eknpdx on 10-31-2012 12:10:43|
Does Smoak have one more option left? It looks that way when you read the transaction history.
If Smoak can be optioned, then is it not just a better plan to look at 2013 Smoak-less?
|13. By: maqman on 10-31-2012 12:25:27|
I'm pretty much aligned with Jason's opinions, except a bit on Carp. I think he still could turn out to have some value, as Smoak insurance if nothing else. I'd like to see him in spring training and find out what he still has to offer. Alex Gordon put up 6.9 fWAR in 2011 and 5.9 fWAR in 2012, he might be available but the price in prospects would be very big. Willingham has become a fan favorite for the Twins and they would probably take less for Denard Span. They both put up 3.9 fWAR this year, both are signed for the next two seasons for $6-$7MM per season but Span is four or five years younger. Billy Butler ain't much with a glove but he hit a career high 29 HRs this year. If Smoak sticks at 1B he'd take DH spots away from Montero and Jaso.
|14. By: Tpatt253 on 10-31-2012 13:01:56|
In response to #9, you might be right about $120 mil being a pipe dream for josh, I heard rumor it could go down to 4/80 but that doesn't sound right. Hard for me (prolly anyone) to gauge right now.
I don't like that chi let youk walk and I see them as a high spender to get in there. If minny puts mauer on block I thnk Boston could go for that and pass on Hamilton. Anyways if ms go all the way up to $145 I believe in him with our desperation for MOTO bat is a go.
Another option sign Greinke makes it easy to part with SP specs for upton/Bruce/ Gordon/Cargo
I think we have to play and win FA or a trade if we want to get out of 4th. I don't think a lot of moves need to be made but 1 maybe 2 big moves a couple small ones, keep most of the young talent and be contenders with a sustainable plan.
|15. By: Tpatt253 on 11-02-2012 08:44:04|
another response to hamilton being a pipedream at 120mil
5/100 they predict here, that could change when he actually hits the market but prince was getting WAY more than this from the jump.
|16. By: SmSilver27 on 11-03-2012 10:25:48|
Correct me if I'm wrong but the Mariners payroll currently stands at 54.7m and I've heard this years payroll will be at the 91m dollar range. If that's true, the team stands to have 36.3m dollars available to spend on player personnel.
That being said, I'd like to see the Mariners push hard for Michael Bourn. The Mariners need a defensive upgrade in CF as well as need a capable lead-off hitter.
In response to your profile on Billy Butler, I think you have the right but the wrong player. I've been a huge advocate of the Mariners pursuing Alex Gordon. I believe the Royals are in the same predicament with Gordon as well as Butler. They need arms and I know that James Paxton's name has been rumored. I believe Gordon would be a better fit for the Mariners because of the flexibility he provides.
I don't believe the Mariners need to be crazy this off-season, but need to be creative with the resources they do have. They is to incrementally improve on the 75 wins and take that next step to .500 with an eye on making that big push in 2014.
Just a thought.
|17. By: SmSilver27 on 11-03-2012 10:27:49|
My apologies for the grammatical errors in my last post. I was in a rush, but you get the gist. lol
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