So, What's He Thinking?
10c worth of leadership gained, 25c worth of P.T. sacrificed

.

Amigos reply to my Morales and Morse question with the counter, "That's what they're HERE for.  To help develop the kids.  Pressure's off them, they can benefit from the example, etc."

The explanation is eminently *logical* on the face of it.  And without a doubt that IS part of what the Mariners are thinking - that if Justin Smoak hits 7th, in a lineup that is ahead 6-3 that evening, that Smoak will relax into this game.  For sure that's included in their thinking.

................

Couple things, though, once we look at it in 3-D...

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1.  I don't even think that Morales, a Cuban (not Spanish or Mexican), communicates very well with guys like Smoak, Ackley, and Saunders, does he?  

Kendrys Morales, and Michael Morse, as short-lifers with odd personalities, are very questionable templates for the "team captain" role.  Kevin Millwood yes.  Kelly Shoppach yes.  Raul Ibanez yes.  Mike Morse?  Are you kidding?  :- ) He's here to hit thirty dingers.   (For one year!, and then maybe we'll see.)

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2.  Morales, Morse, Bay, Shoppach, and Ibanez are going to TAKE AWAY one whale of a lot of at-bats from the kids.  

If the primary goal is to develop the kids, you've overdone it.  You've added 10c worth of positive influence and taken away 25c worth of actual game-time experience for them.

Showing them how it's done is fine.  Making them all sit and watch is another thing.  Looks to me like there are wayyyy too many vets here for it to be simply about leadership.  

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3.  Why target the acquisitions so determinedly to produce runs -- e.g. the pursuit of Morse and Upton *after* the acquisition of Morales?

Ibanez, Shoppach, Sweeney, Millwood, guys who lead in roles without pushing the kids OUT, those guys are around.

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4.  For that matter, why the trade of Walker/Franklin/etc for Justin Upton this season rather than next?  

If 2014 is the mission, wouldn't you get more for Walker (Paxton, Hultzen) after they've been in the bigs in 2013?  It's pretty shrill to trade them right now.  And the reported Upton package was extremely shrill (not to say "incorrect").

.

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5.  Veteran leadership could be provided by a Griffey-Sweeney type combo, or Morse-Ibanez for example ... but why BOTH Morse and Morales, if the goal is merely to influence the young guys?  After they got Morales, and had Ibanez figured out, the imperative to add yet another banger was increased.

..........

The suggestion that Morse and Morales and Bazooka Joe are PRIMARILY there to influence kids - in syllogism form it makes sense.  In the context of Zduriencik's signalled intentions I don't think that it does.

..........

There is one sliver of possible middle ground here.  If you buy the idea that hitting is contagious, and that Ackley and Smoak need to play in a high-scoring lineup.

You've still paying one whale of a price in game time sacrificed, if your Grand Theme is to develop the kids ...

Hm - :: taps chin ::

.

Comments

1
ghost's picture

I disagree with the premise that we're sacrificing a LOT of playing time. Bay isn't going to make the club, and if he does, he'll only be stealing time from Casper Wells, who the front office has decided it doesn't like. Ibanez is a fifth outfielder...he might get 300 ABs strategically against tough right handed pitchers that would give guys like Morse the most trouble and in the late innings and such.
And the fact that Morales and Morse are here on one-year deals says that they're not in anyone's way...if the club doesn't stay in contention, they get traded and here come the kiddies! If they do stay in contention...did you want your kiddies in there at line-up slots 2-7?
Frankly, I think the only guys that adding Morse and Morales impacted for playing time are lame prospects that don't merit playing time if you're serious about winning anyway. Guys like Liddi, Smoak if he doesn't hit, Carp (who is gone now, sadly) Thames, Wells, etc. What they DO do...is positively influence the prospects that MATTER. We need Ackley, Montero and Smoak to hit. We paid premium jack to get those guys...and they are a collective total failure thus far. They have got to hit. Period. And forcing them to do it as the center of an inexperienced and undermanned offense is asking a lot. There's nothing wrong with bulking up the MOTO to give the prospects you're actually planning to win your next pennant with a better chance to succeed and sacrificing your lesser prospects as a result.

2
tjm's picture

. . . they're here to buy a year so Z doesn't lose his job before the young guns arrive.

3
Nathan H's picture

Quoth, "You've added 10c worth of positive influence and taken away 25c worth of actual game-time experience for them.'
Perhaps the kids had $22 worth of game-time experience and $0.37 worth of positive influence. Perhaps that 10c of the one thing would result in a greater positive net impact even after sacrificing the 25c worth of the other thing. Perhaps the kids are just...that....close to the tipping point and bringing in:
1) Positive veteran leadership to show them how it's supposed to be done and
2) An external offensive presence to take the load off
were identified as the necessary components to move the kids over the tipping point.
Wish I had the answer.

4

Yeah, the acquisition of Morales doesn't really fit. Production is important every year though. We have tried Griffey-Sweeney types in the past and it wasn't enough without a consistent MOTO.
I mostly think that developmentally the acquisitions of the M named M's is in moving expectations away from younger players. There's not as much pressure now for any of them to produce beyond what normally would be for any player of their age, experience and skills. Maybe still Ackley as he will still be leading off, but using rookies like Saunders, Seager, Smoak and Monteroat #3/4 won't be the case this year. Not that any were rookies going into this year but all of them spent time in the MOTO in their rookie years. I'm not saying it does necessarily impact their production in a negative way, but it takes the excuse away.
I do think there is an imperative every year to improve as much a you can without losing sight of long term goals. No transaction that was completed gave up long term for short term specifically, aside from playing time for some questionable outfielders. None of the core is affected by the acquisitions in playing time except for possibly Montero at DH, unless you consider Wells a core player. Saunders, Seager, Ackley, Smoak and Montero should all expect to be unaffected in playing time for as long as their respective leashes seem reasonable.
The attempted trade for Upton was definitely a trading long term for short term move regardless of the players that were involved. As bad as the offense has been doing everything possible to make it better in peak and depth seemed a huge need to me going into the offseason. I think they've done very well.
I understand the idea if going for it vs waiting but I think Zduriencik sees it as an either way season. If things go well the end of July will likely see acquisitions, if not we'll probably see selling. Zduriencik has always cautioned against saying what the team should be on that level before the games are played and the acquisitions seem to fit an undecided attitude. All except Joe Saunders, that is. Saunders is the only acquisition I really see as taking time away from young players development.

5

The additional offense creates a much more nurturing environment into which to introduce a bushel of brilliant young arms. Not unlike the Seahawks being willing to hand the keys to a rookie QB because their defense and running game would not require said QB to carry the team.
Our troop of spectacular young guns is about to be deployed upon the American League. Much better for them to join a team that can grab them an early lead, play add-on, and put them into the proverbial rocking chair. The pressure on our pitching staff the last few years has been ridiculous - give up 3 runs and the game is lost!
Additionally, if we subscribe to the theory of "high stress innings" being more strongly correlated with pitcher arm injuries than total innings pitched, the improved offense will help avoid overtaxing those young arms while also protecting the organization's prime asset - the golden right arm of el Cartelua.
I think Jack Z. Is banking on Beaven, Garland, Bonderman, keeping the back end of the rotation warm just long enough for the young guys to arrive. I expect (and suspect Jack does too) these guys to start arriving this year. They will likely come one at a time, whenever each *shows* he is ready (and/or passes the Super 2 cutoff). Keeping them in the minor a little longer is also a strategic way to limit their total innings this year so we don't have to Strasburg them in the midst of a playoff run.

6

http://m.mlb.com/sea/news/article/2013022041812932/ Morse has immediately come in and been a cheerleader for the team and the city, he's been very open talking about his personal struggles in establishing his big league career, I'm just waiting at this point for the story off him taking Alex Liddi under his tutelage. It seems to me that he has immediately stepped up as team captain.
That said, I'm with you on Morales and Morse being brought in here to give the team a chance to truly compete and not just keep from embarrassing themselves. IF Z just wanted leadership, he would have got Bay and Ibanez and called it good, the Mariners won 75 games last year and the team didn't lose anyone while gaining the Astros. This team is put together so that a breakout from a couple of kids puts the Mariners in the playoffs.

7

The consensus seems to be -- Shine on you crazy Jack-man, bring in the legit offense and let the kids fit in much more gently.  Surprising to me that this would be so popular, but kind of cool.
.........
Question.  Where were Morales and Morse last year?  In 2012, the kids were swimming in the deep end all alone.  Though much less prepared a year ago, they were given much more responsibility.  Now, far more prepared, their dutes are cut back drastically.
What's going on NOW, that the 2013 zig should be SO oblique against the 2012 zag?  
The org is correcting what was, in 2012, a strategic blunder?

10

My opinion is that Z is buying time. If the big 5 (Erasmo, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, and Maurer) and the other big 5 (Smoak, Ackley, Montero, Franklin, Miller) don't work out, Z is out of a job. In this regard, Jaso, Morales, and Morse are irrelevant and his strategy was set years ago and has not changed.
What has set in is his preservation instinct, a preservation instinct that has him buying time. His goal is to insure that if enough of those big 10 pay-off, HE is still around to benefit from it. Or From the perspective of your prior posts, these are tactical decisions to buy him more time to let his strategy play out, not a change in strategy.
Just my 2 cents.

11

The casual fan reads this article and takes away from it: "Cool. Doc thinks that Morse is going to hit 30 dingers". The finer points of macro strategy and organizational goals and inconsistent modus opperandi of upper management are as invisible in the light of 30 dingers as if I was trying to watch Venus eclipse the sun with the naked eye. You get a telescope with a shade on it and maybe you see a little speck in there somewhere.

Time to get out some shades and bask.  

12

I notice Ackley is the only one you're supremely confident it wouldn't ruin. I also notice he's the only one still slated to be in a higher pressure spot in the lineup.
It's not exactly my theory, I mention it because I've heard it so much from said players and their Manager. It's their theory. Wedge believes in the effects and more importantly the players believe in the effects. It's easier to get new players than change their beliefs.

13

Is a good way to look at it, I think. Maybe last year he was to all in on Fielder and got caught without what he wanted. I don't know what options were available last year especially early in the season but I can't imagine there were many that looked good for more than last year. It was more pertinent after seeing Montero and Smoak not being ready for MOTO duties than it was before last season. I mean, now Seager might be good enough for one of those spots, but there really was need for at least one more.
Regardless of partial reasoning it's improvement to the roster. They could have said Seager and Montero look like our MOTO but then one injury and wedge is having no fun. Besides now instead of #3/4 they are #5/6 or 2/5 more often. The whole of the lineup is improved by improving the other spots over what would have been there as well.

14

I'm having a hard time buying in on the idea that Morse and Morales were acquired to let Smoak and Ackley "relax' into excellence.
Not the likely reason.
Ackley is a thoroughbred, man. Everytime the gate opens he's going hard. He's played with pressure his whole lifetime. Being 19-yr old in the ACC is a pressure-filled situation. He's used to pressure. I'll guarantee he will tell you that last year was no more filled with pressure than the year before. His performance was not pressure related. Why was there more pressure on him last year than as a rookie?
And I just don't think you can statistically show that bringing in the hired bats makes the rest of the lineup hit better. Coincidentally it might happen......but coincidentally it might not.
You bring in Mike Morse because he just might give you 30 homers, not because he might give you 30 Liddi or Smoak homers. Or 30 Carp homers!!!! Why not keep him, then? Establishing a casual relationship demands more than anecdotal evidence.
We've gone all in for serious improvement in '13. That's the point in all of Z's move. Whether I agree with them (Morse, Morales, Saunders) or don't (Raul), the theme is "Win THIS Day."
Last year Wedge intended to have grizzled vet types at C and 3B. He hoped to have siginificant experience at SS and CF. Carp and Ackley and Smoak were hardly wild bets, considering their performance the year before. Well, Smoak was probably still a bit of a long bet. Last year failed because our grizzled vets were terrible, Carp never got out of the box, Ackley found a huge slump, Smoak established himself as not very good, Guti collapsed, and Ryan hit like Mario Mendoza. Thank goodness for Seager and Saunders, guys who came out of nowhere, really.
Young guys, BTW. Why didn't a fizzling Olivo and frightful Figgy ruin their years, too?
And I don't think that Mo-Mo are just one year wonders.....I don't think Jack buys that, either. One of those guys will re-up...or both. Watch.
We're better than we were in '12. Significantly better. We will be better yet in '14.
Play ball.
Rambling,
moe

15

I don't see 2012 so much as a blunder as a year to throw the offensive (pun noted) spaghetti against the wall to see who would stick. Done knowing full well that the arms were coming but were at least 1-1.5 years away.
Get some ABs under the belts of the young hitters, find out who is a keeper and who isn't, clear some payroll deadwood, aim to be a legit contender in 2014. Being a legit contender in 2014 to me means at least a couple of the young guns getting significant (~100) MLB innings in 2013.
Next offseason we add a big bat (Stanton?) to an 88 win team and its game on!

16

2012 wasn't a CHOICE. 2012 was a result based on the baggage left behind from 2009-2011.
The 2012 roster started with:
Olivo
Ryan
Figgins
Ichiro
Those four players had sizeable contracts, (except Ryan, but the club had no better option than Ryan).
In March, "the plan" included Guti and Carp as regulars.
Saunders and Figgins in the OF wasn't "the plan" -- it was the result of circumstances beyond Z's control - and the baggage from previous years.
Without the Carp njury, it is (IMO), likely Saunders plays most of 2012 in AAA and Seager is fighting for PT coming from a coach with a strong predisposition toward veteran entitlement.
Where were Morse and Morales in 2012? They were Jaso and the intractable roster spots for Olivo, Ichiro and Ryan.
Morse and Morales are POSSIBLE in 2013 specifically because Ichiro is gone and it is POSSIBLE to dump Carp, (and Thames and Trayvon, etc., etc., etc.)
While I hate to see Carp go, it is a vastly superior position than being forced to eat up roster space with a worse than useless veteran who had (apparently) earned the right to go out and embarass himself for ANOTHER 66 games.
There has been a lot of angst about all the 1-year contracts. But, this misses the point that "getting good" is different than "staying good". Tampa ... Texas ... Oakland ... all went from bad to good by SLASHING salary, limiting long term deals and building rosters dominated by short term and mostly low paying contracts. This isn't about stars and scrubs - it is about FLEXIBILITY. If Carp fails - go get a new body. If Figgins fails (with a 4-year contract just under 8 figures a year), you are forced to live with that mistake for at least 3 years.
The pink elephant that everyone continues to ignore is that Seattle STILL has not managed to produce an .800 bat from within in a dozen years. They certainly threw plenty of shiny propsects at that target last year - and every one failed. Smoak, Ackley, Seager, Saunders, Montero all failed to hit .800. The closest they have come in the past 12 years was the .791 in half a season from Carp.
The combo of experience (plus the park change) should end that streak this year. But, the simple truth is the slump has not ended yet. Until it does, Seattle cannot possibly become a legit contender (barring a choice to spend the $200 million a year needed to build an offense without ANY cheap-year productive talent.
I like the odds that 1 or more of the kids does break out and become an offensive star this year. But, it's no guarantee. If/when some of these kids come through, then you actually know who to reward and what slots you need to pull in multi-year talent to keep the ship moving. But, as Texas and Anaheim both demonstrated last year ... it quickly gets VERY expensive to stay on top.

17

I have serious doubts about any "positive" impact Ibanez might have.
He returned to Seattle in 2004. That just happened to be the season Seattle plunged from 93 to 63 wins. (not saying he is to blame, just stating the facts).
His final year was 2008, (the club won 61 games).
In the first post-Ibanez season, the club won 85. (again, not saying "causation"), but clearly not a data point that argues for "added value", considering he was easily the most productive bat for Seattle in 2008.
Some of the young guys Ibanez had the opportunity to positively influence:
Yuni Betancourt
Jeremy Reed
Jose Lopez
Mike Morse
Adam Jones
Wlad Balentien
I mean ... seriously ... the club finally ditches the king of veteran-who-doesn't-help-anybody-else-at-all last season, and the kids production picks up ... yet, six months later the same drumbeat of the kids needing a dose of veteran-leadership doesn't even pause.
The Os got rid of Vlad and Lee and got better.
Who brought the magic veteran leadership potion to Oakland last season?
Why is it impossible for people to accept that Longoria or Posey or Cespedes is capable of bringing the makes-others-better magic to turn a club around, even without a decade of MLB (tm) experience?
Okay .. I protest too much ... perhaps. But, honestly, if one is looking for positive influence on others shouldn't one at least take the time to look at the pattern of behavior where a veteran HAS moved around, (like Ibanez)? When your coming/going win differential is 54 games to the BAD ... how does one justify the contention that Ibanez is actually likely to have any kind of positive benefit to anyone around him?

18

I don't think Ibanez is there to teach the young hitters how to hit. I think he's there to serve as Wedge's liason to the clubhouse. It's more about Wedge than it is the players.

19
M's Watcher's picture

I agree with the benefits of adding the legit MOTO hitters, leadership, examples, etc., even at the possible, minimal impact on the kid's playing time. The other side of it is that the moves cost the team nothing they weren't ready to spend on roster salaries anyway. We paid no big FA contract and kept the #12 pick. Ibanez gets his victory lap at our benefit, and Morse and Morales are walk year rentals. If they do poorly, they walk away without costing much. If they do well, they can be dealt at the deadline, as they are marketable bats for contending teams. If we keep them for the year, we can extend them if they are willing, or make a qualifying offer ($14M?) which they accept or we get a pick in return. I like the prospects of them doing well. 2013 has the team in a good position.

20

Oakland had Brandon Inge, Jonny Gomes, and Coco Crisp, all veterans that had played on successful teams.
Baltimore had Mark Reynolds, Jim Thome, and Nate McLouth.
Tampa had Jose Molina, Ben Zobrist, and Carlos Lee.
Yes, there are some amazing talents who are mature and capable of dealing with the transition to the majors with very little support, but rookies are guys in there 20s, making incredible sums of money and traveling the countries largest cities for the first time in their lives while facing the best competition the world has to offer. Having a few guys that have a method to their preparation before each game or series, who have a regimen to keeping themselves in shape and healthy through the season, who know how to process a tough loss our series of losses without carrying it through to the next game or can help keep a young guy from getting into bad habits trying to break out of a slump.
Ibanez tried with Betancourt and Lopez, but sometimes people don't learn. It's not like Lopez or Betancourt or Reed blossomed when they left, Jones was only on the same team for a couple months over 2 years. Morse blossomed the next year and might have in 2008 if not for injury.

21

Inge: 86 OPS+ (just above career average)
Gomes: 140 OPS+
Crisp: 105 OPS+
Reynolds: 107
Thome 103
McLouth 111
Molina 80 (way better than his career average)
Zobrist 138
Pena,,,not Lee, btw, 94
Minus Pena, those guys all produced. It wasn't their veteran status...it was their bat.
Raul has to hit. Just being there isn't enough.
moe

22
Nathan H's picture

Remember, Jack was standing next to the contract signing desk with breifcases full of money ready for Prince to pull up a chair. The Tigers blowing up the Prince market *must* have been a torpedo in the entirety of the team-building battleship. Subsequent moves do not make sense otherwise.
As an aside, how steamed must Jack be at Detroit? Fister and Prince...man.

23

Definitely meant Pena, I didn't mean to get my Carloses crossed. Raul Ibanez hit for a 104 OPS+ last year. I agree that he has to hit to earn a spot, just like Bay and Morse. This is not going to be a team where a mediocre or worse bat can squeak in for lack of other options, if Ibanez isn't a useful bat, even if we let go Wells, Thames will still be stashed in AAA, with Stefen Romero and Alex Liddi likely there as well, so the veteran presence has to hit.
My comment, however, was directed at teams Sandy cited as having no veteran leadership to guide the young ones. My point was that they did have and/or acquired veteran leader types to fill holes rather than simply pushing forward a guy in AAA.

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Chat: 7/28/15 12:52am
Interests: Book Men News Money (201257)
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-07-30 21:59

Taylor report on Shannon's twitter

2015-07-30 21:59

Despite a record that is well below the .500 mark, the Mariners aren’t planning to make right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma available, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. While other teams have apparently inquired, they’ve been informed that Mariners ownership prefers to keep him.

2015-07-30 21:55

http://www.halosheav... ---- is interesting and funny on the 2009 draft up to selection #25.

2015-07-30 21:17

Just 4 games in CF for Marte. I'm going to be surprised if he gets called up. More likely O'Malley or Rivero. But I'm not seeing the Taylor demotion report. Where was that Tac?

2015-07-30 21:06

Marte was tried in CF...so...maybe they think they can play him around a bit?

2015-07-30 20:33

Taylor sent down to Tacoma again. Marte coming up???
I wonder how healthy Taylor's wrist actually is

2015-07-30 20:26

Don't believe that anyone thought Trout was worth the 2nd pick. Northern kid, HSer, questionable competition level. Even the Angels had a battle internally because I believe Eddie Bane was pushing for Trout at #25 and others in the Angels org didn't think he was worth that high a pick. Bane reportedly threw down the chips that he'd quit if they passed on Trout and got his way. Reportedly, IF they had passed, the Ms would have taken him at #27 and hoped Nick Franklin lasted until #33. TomMac knew what he was, but the Angels had the earlier pick.

IF the Ms had not signed Fields just before the draft, they would have had Ackley, Trout, and Franklin, plus the #33 pick (would they have taken Baron then?). There were staffers who reportedly argued against the Fields signing, but whether they specifically thought that Trout would be available at #21 and not at #27 is a reach.

2015-07-30 20:05

Looks like the M's have recalled Montero. Bat, the stated theory was that some M's scouts wanted him with the #2 pick. As I said, I had not read that before.....and had no reason to believe it.

2015-07-30 19:47

Gotta be alder or doug fir, not pine, at Safeco.

2015-07-30 19:46

Steve Baron (who was taken at #33 in that 2009 draft) is hitting .295 at Tacoma since his call-up. Meanwhile, John Hicks has snapped out of his funk and is hitting ~.330 in July, including 2 hits so far tonight. Are they smelling the sweet alder of an MLB BU job?

2015-07-30 19:23

That's got to be BS, Moe. The only chance the Ms had to get Trout (other than taking him 2nd overall) is if they had not signed Bavasi's last pick Josh Fields, in which case they would have had the 21st pick. Trout went 25th and the Ms took Nick Franklin with #27. The Ms knew about Trout, but he went before they could get him. No overruling there.

In 2007 (under Bavasi), however, it is said that several Ms staffers wanted Giancarlo Stanton in the 2nd round. The Ms took Danny Almonte, and Stanton went to the Marlins with the very next pick.

2015-07-30 19:12

Reading one site today, somebody suggested that Z overruled his Scouts who were pushing for drafting Trout. I had not heard that before. I'm not sure I'm buying it. Anybody ever hear that?

2015-07-30 18:27

They've busted on some first round picks for sure. Ackley is not Z's fault though. He was pretty much a consensus best bet. An awful lot of GMs in that position would have also "failed".

2015-07-30 18:10

Test shout

2015-07-30 17:57

Montero not in the lineup in #El_Paso tonight. He's either on a flight or traded. Have the TV guys said anything?

2015-07-30 17:44

M's offense revives, M's pitching collapses. Seth Smith gives them a 2-0 first inning lead, and when Happ is done in the first inning we're down 5-2.

2015-07-30 17:00

Nah, The Yankees won't shave Ackley until the off season. They are too afraid of what kind of nasty ringworm fungus they might find underneath all of that beard.

2015-07-30 16:44

Ramirez has yet to run a WHIP in MiLB less than 1.2. I don't care about his 95 mile an hour heater...he most gets hit. I would ratehr we had Gamel, who MIGHT be some kind of a CF'er. Watch Ackley hit when he shaves. How can Montero be a "questionable" call up? He should be at 1B tonight, regardless of who is throwing.

2015-07-30 16:30

Hard to argue with Ackley trade. Changes beginning now. Look for things to pick up in next month or so. Also after anon showing those busts....begs to wonder how Mr GM has lasted as long as he had..brutal

2015-07-30 16:20

Hard to believe they still have that policy.. and yes.. he us not beard -worthy

2015-07-30 15:51

It's not that I don't like beards at all, it's just that on Ackley it looked TERRIBLE! If he had maintained a close-cropped beard it probably would have looked okay. Some guys CAN wear lumberjack beards and it just fits. Ackley ain't one of them.

2015-07-30 15:49

Hah Hah Hah! Just saw a note that with the Yankees' "no facial hair" policy Ackley will have to lose his beard. That makes the trade worth it by itself!

2015-07-30 15:42

JC Ramirez is not 40-man; Jose Ramirez and Ramon Flores were added, which gives 41 for now, with apparently more moves to come.

2015-07-30 15:22

Does either JC Ramirez or Jose A Ramirez ever get added to 40 man guys? more spaghetti please....

2015-07-30 15:12

Before this year I didn't feel too badly about out first rounders. Zunino would obviously learn to hit in a year or two, Ackley had shown glimmers, #Jackson and Morgan had talent and if DJ wasn't exactly Kris Bryant he still looked like a plus major leaguer. I dunno if it's our minor league coaches this year, the players, or what - but the farm is as devoid of joy as the big-league club. Somebody perform an exorcism on the entire system before it's too late. Maybe trading Ackley will send that mojo #New_York's way.

2015-07-30 15:08

Blown 1st round picks: Ackley (el busto), Franklin (traded for the corpse of #Jackson, doin' not much), Baron (never making the bigs), Hultzen (double busto - at least Ackley has gotten to the bigs). Zunino might be a bust as an offensive player. Alex #Jackson has struggled MIGHTILY this year with batting eye and power both, and Gareth Morgan ($2 mil signing bonus makes him a 1st rounder in my #Book) is never gonna make it out of the low minors if his batting eye stays where it is. Did I mention DJ Peterson has an OPS in the .600s and #Austin Wilson (another over-slot, high-bonus dude) can't stay on the field and couldn't even hit in the Cal League this season? It's uuuugly... ~G

2015-07-30 15:07

The Brewers have needs at 1B, 3B, MIF backup, LHSP, and might need a new CF. If you're talking future there, Morrison, D.J., Marte, Happ/Elias/Paxton/Hultzen/Yarbrough and Jones have gotta be of some interest - and D.J. and Marte would give it some prospect shine. Really wondering if that kinda move is percolating. Gomez was going to the Mets for the equivalent of Paxton and Ackley or Taylor. Lucroy would probably be even pricier. But with Seager at 3B, and Miller/Taylor/Marte/Smith/#Jackson and others in the SS depth, maybe Marte and D.J. would make sense as chips.

2015-07-30 14:54

Happ, Morrison, #Jackson, Marte, D.J., Elias, Morban, Jones, and others should hold their breath until Carlos Gomez is traded elsewhere or the deadline passes. Word that Montero "may or may not" be called up makes it sound like JackZ has another iron in the fire. If he could get Gomez AND Lucroy for even most of the guys listed I might be a little less down about the season

2015-07-30 14:37

Of course all GM's make mistakes, and any single mistake can be overcome, but the now-official bust of Dustin Ackley (as a Mariner) as the first of Zduriencik's prized high draft picks epitomizes, symbolizes, and signals the failure of Jack's regime.

2015-07-30 14:20

My guess is that Montero will now get called up to be the primary DH, and we'll be seeing much more of Trumbo the Dumbo in the OF

2015-07-30 14:18

Made no sense to put any more #Money into Ackley either. Getting anything of substance for him now is a good deal...regardless of how he performs from here.

2015-07-30 13:51

Ackley now traded to the Yankees for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez. That's a better return than the other one being discussed...Ramirez is an interesting relief pitcher with some upside (lord knows we need to find some relievers) and Flores might be of some use as a cheap, controllable Endy Chavez clone.

2015-07-30 13:43

Ackley's now a sunk cost. A trade for anything is no big thing. He wasn't going to make it here. It matters not what he does now in pinstripes. Though it will emotionally....

2015-07-30 13:17

Yeah, I don't blame him for not trading Ackley for two minor league org fillers. The opportunity cost of those org fillers is the AB's they take from the existing minor leaguers. I would rather those AB's go to the guys the M's already have. I would be looking for some other org's version of Ackley - busted top prospect. Odds are he remains broken but some small percentage of the 'change of scenery' scenarios work out. Go for the upside.

2015-07-30 13:05

Agreed, Matt. Ackley may not be worth a premium piece, but he's worth more than the Yanks wanted to give.

Jack has painted himself into a corner. If he sells off "his" guys on the cheap, he only underscores his own failures. If he doesn't and just keeps this train wreck of a team rollin' down the track, he completely loses any credibility and the fans for the rest of the season.

If I'm top brass, I've already put the leash on Jack re: transactions. Marching orders: ANY significant transactions are subject to top brass review. Otherwise you could have a GM under the gun making panic moves.

2015-07-30 12:24

I would not have taken Flores and Gamel...they are totally useless. I don't blame Z for that one.

2015-07-30 12:05

And Pineda on the DL today for the Yankees. They will be sniffing about 'Kuma.

2015-07-30 12:03

More on the Yankees discussions. BTW, if Jack Z. turned down such an offer for Ackley (or wanted more)....assuming this is accurate...that's enough reason for me to get rid of Jack. The Yankees recently reached out to the Mariners to express interest in Dustin Ackley, reports Mark Feinsand of the #New_York Daily #News (Twitter link). The two sides discussed a scenario in which outfielders Ramon Flores and Ben Gamel would’ve gone to the Mariners, but #Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik wanted more for Ackley, and talks have since cooled, per Feinsand. Ackley, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is again struggling this season and has batted a mere .215/.270/.366. Many have speculated that Zduriencik is loath to undertake in any type of #Sale, as his job security could be tied to the Mariners’ finish this season. Nonetheless, it’s a bit surprising to hear him holding out for any sort of return on Ackley, though Flores and Gamel admittedly aren’t all that well-regarded. Flores ranked 27th on MLB.com’s midseason edition of the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, while Gamel didn’t place.

2015-07-30 09:08

Meant to include that trade talks evidently fell through. But let's roll Montero out there nearly everyday for a while. Watching him demolish more AAA pitching isn't what we need. Let's see if he's got his MLB chops back. Morrison now at .123-.208-.262 for his last 28 days. Whooop-eeeee!

2015-07-30 07:57

SI reporting that the M's and Yankees had trade talks involving several players. Hmmmmmm? 'Kuma, I bet. Yanks also need 2B help as Drew is not good. Would they look at Ackley? Why not just give Refsnyder the fulltime gig? They could also use a 1B/DH bench typ bat. Montero....??? With his handful of hits last night (w/a 2B and HR), the kid is .465-.530-.775 over the last 28 days. Trade Ackley, DL LoMo, do something....but get Montero into our everyday lineup. Deej had two knocks in his Tacoma debut, btw.

2015-07-30 07:46

Indubitably.

2015-07-30 07:08

Imagine a future MLB park where the strike zone data is displayed on the jumbotron right next to the batter's picture and stats in real time, and where a sign is placed behind the plate and in two other spots on the outfield walls, and on the ribbon banners between the upper and lower decks on each side of the field that flashes red for strikes and green for balls the instant the pitch crosses the plate. Won't at bats be more fun to watch in that context?

2015-07-30 07:05

In short...it's only a matter of time. This is the best #News I've heard in my 25 years of watching baseball. I mean that.

2015-07-30 07:04

If the #Cali league is actually doing this and sticks with it for any length of time, two things will happen almost immediately:

1) The minor league statistics of batters and pitchers w/r/t plate discipline will get considerably more reliable (MLB teams will like this) because minor league umpires are known to be incompetent on a level far exceeding our MLB blue...and the MLB blue is pretty bad.

2) Minor league players who come from this league will begin demanding the automated strike zone in higher leagues as they advance. The players association will realize that the computerized zone is way better for their clients, and they will pressure MLB to adopt it.

2015-07-30 06:45

gnatto, yeah, bring it on.

2015-07-30 05:00

wowzers...couple of blockbusters last night...Hamels to the Rangers for six guys and Olivera to the Braves, prospects to the Marlins and Latos/Morse/Wood/Relievers to the Dodgers.

2015-07-30 00:17
2015-07-29 19:42

Also as for playing for draft pick.. start that up now.. Let us all face it.. no matter how close we may be to a spot, we are nowhere close. Not at all...Lloyd is not going to make it to the end of the year..,or should not.. start to shake up things sooner rather than later.

2015-07-29 19:39

Baseball team making me sick.. on to football chat yet..? football team not in total danger.. but after "passing" up anither ring.. off season has been filled with some negativity.. 2 d backs coming off injury..other 2 about to holdout. Star qb in middle of contract talk.. atleast they locked up Beastmode..but that got dicey. Hard to keep a champ together these days in the NFL or any league

2015-07-29 17:14

DJ going to Tacoma must mean Montero coming up to create room... so say hello to the DL Mr. LoMo

2015-07-29 16:19

When do we start playing for the high draft pick? Anyone worth hoping for?

2015-07-29 16:00

Good thing you aren't on twitter, DaddyO!!! People would be protesting at your house. I myself appreciate a good joke. I always thought the Confucius jokes were mocking the bad TV portrayal of the Chinese, so it's some deft comedy to turn it on the good ship mariner, which is a bad portrayal of a baseball team.

2015-07-29 15:31

Confucious say, man with egg on face not smile. Me say, How Li not smiling. Jack Z not smiling. Lloyd Mac not smiling. Confucious also say, sometime not sufficient wipe egg off face, face must be replaced. Confucious very wise man. (No offense intended; before PC correctness of the current era, when DaddyO was a kid, Confucious jokes were common, not to mock Confucious, but to use his reputed wisdom to, oh I guess, to mock someone else. Did I just admit to mocking Mariners' franchise leadership?)

2015-07-29 15:20

D-backs in process of completing the sweep. Clearly now the Mariners are dead #Men walking. Some SERIOUS shakeup in the offing, either soon or in the offseason. I find it difficult to imagine top brass doing nothing at all until the end of the season. This team has become a talented embarrass#Ment.

2015-07-29 14:44

Yeah. Where will his PT come from?

2015-07-29 14:34

Seems like an odd promotion. DJ has hardly been tearin' it up at #Jackson.

2015-07-29 11:33

Well that's something.

2015-07-29 10:05

@CurtoWorld: D.J. Peterson is joining the Rainiers today. Zach Shank sent to AA-#Jackson.

2015-07-29 08:00

Let's make room for Montero, huh? With his 3-4 last night (w/a 2B and ANOTHER 3B) he's .449-.519-.725 over his last 28 days, including the #Seattle stint. Morrison? .125-.222-.266 w/ a .104 BABIP. Trade #Jackson or DL Morrison (Hangnail?) or demote Ackley to #Everett, but do something! Heck, even trade Montero for something...at least that would be doing something. Well, don't trade him, really...but "C'mon #Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!" (for you My Fair Lady aficionados). And if we don't know now that 'Kuma will extend, then let's swap him out for something useful, too. Then resign him after the year.

2015-07-29 07:24

Mariners reacquire J.C. Ramirez. Remember him?

2015-07-28 23:06

Matt/Tacoma: I think the only team that gets away with weird platoons these days are the A's, and it's mostly because they have a super-fungible lineup with pronounced strengths/flaws. Like Matt said, it takes a fine touch and also the fact that a skill isn't linear and down to the resulting stats. If you played by the math #Book, you might miss out on a Walker-type power pitcher having a bad day, or the simple occurrence that a high FB pitcher might actually miss their intended target.

2015-07-28 22:57

So the Royals essentially go out and get Cueto, an awesome starter, and the best IF/OF backup in the league with Zobrist. Talk about taking things seriously!

2015-07-28 20:42

My anger management counselor says 70% of communication is body language. Ackley looks stressed/desperate.

2015-07-28 19:12

If we lose, It's your fault, browns

2015-07-28 18:23

Excited to see Iwakuna again as he continues to look good after getting back into the starting rotation. Hopefully I do not jinx him. Should be able to get a W tonight though

2015-07-28 15:35

Note to admins...I can't load the site from my android using chrome. Some sort of weird database error

Reply - admin - 7/28/15 5:55pm
Works for me now. Please try it again. Glitches happen...
2015-07-28 13:35

Matt... as much as the match ups for batters vs pitchers, I was wondering how much the umpire's strike zone comes into play in the decision... for instance Zunino can't hit the high fastball, but young umpire Davidson won't call a high strike on the fastball, so Zunino has a better chance to actually get on base then.

2015-07-28 12:55
note to admins - something within the facebook plugin or something media6degrees.com - is forcing a reload of pages - which deletes in progress comments. Kind of annoying...
2015-07-28 12:48

Royals sure going for it

2015-07-28 11:43

Plus sabr and tacoma.., the other team is constantly adjusting too. You should always field your best 9, and with the good teams...those 9 do not change too often. Maybe some lineup changes..,but not overall in and out of games

2015-07-28 10:55

Tacoma...that would be absolutely correct if players were strat-o-matic cards. If you manage a team too heavily on match-ups, however, players tend to take that as a lack of confidence in them by you, the manager. E.g. if you find out that Zunino can't hit high fastballs anymore (he can't), and you bench him every time he has to fact a power pitcher with a high fastball affection, you're telling him "I don't believe you'll ever hit a high fastball".

2015-07-28 00:52

Matt - dumb question time... but first my assumptions.
1. teams track their own players strengths and weaknesses when batting
2. teams track and know what each opposing pitcher is good at - meaning tracking where each pitch is thrown effectively in a zone, like most pitchers have trouble throwing off speed stuff inside
3. each umpire is know to have a normal strike zone that they adhere to most of the time

Thus, if a manager is doing his job, he should be using these pieces of information to help pick which players should be playing each day... Correct???
Does anyone think Lloyd this?

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