SSI HOT SEAT - mini Mariners 8
Talia Shire "can't bear to watch" Dept.


HOT SEAT:  Wells and Bay trade spinning backheels to the jaw on days 1 and 2.  Both fall simultaneously.  CREED WILL RETAIN HIS TITLE!  IF NEITHER OF THEM CAN ....

Dr. D:  You know what's really going on in spring training, right?

Imagine if Baseball Prospectus had a little metric column that said "Bat Launch," and indexed it to average, and some hitters were at 120 and some at 80.  If they could bottle that stat and get the distributing license, their yearly subscription would be $129.95.  Wow!  Alvin Davis was always at 127, but this year suddenly he's at 79.  Better not draft that kid.

But that's what Wedge, and the other boots on the ground, are doing.  They're watching the players physically.  They're looking at body language, spring in the step, and using their intuition to grok whether a player is prepared for an UP or DWN season.

They're not always right.  But any fan who doesn't RESPECK' it is kidding himself.

We know who Wells is.  Jason Bay is an ol' friend who had a beer with Capt Jack and got an invite.  The HR score is 1-1 and Bay is wayyyyy ahead.


I know nobody axed me, but if anybody did, the M's got no bidness in this barrio.  Stubbing out Casper Wells in order to take one last roach-clipped toke off Jason Bay, that's letting your heart think for your head.  No way in the world, man, esPECIally now that the RBI's are in the bank for this ballclub.


HOT SEAT:  Morse putting on Russ Branyan-type displays in batting practice, sending the tailgaters scrambling under their plastic awnings ... and then going out into the game and rifling a shot into right-center field for a single.

Dr. D:  I never, ever, wever say "I told you so."  You've been reading a long time.  You know I'm above that, and especially above declaring victory on February 24th.

"Average Player."  What a JOKE.  :- P   

SAT comparison problem:  Michael Morse is to Bret Boone -- as -- Gimli is to ______ (Samwise Gamgee).  ... 'twas the last time we had an MMA-compatible cleanup hitter who shortened up with two strikes.


HOT SEAT:  Super Slo-sMoak with a notable lefty homer.

Dr. D:  No word on whether it busted out a light slow-motion, sparks flying into Robert Duvall and a girlfriend in the stands taking 20 seconds to raise her hands to her cheeks.  But it's the first game of spring training, so no.  The lights weren't on.

Some guys actually do blast out of the gate, based on a revolutionary winter; I remember one year Butch Wynegar spent the winter hitting off 6' video recordings of pitchers in his barn, ripped up spring training, and had a big year.

Interest factor slight to moderate.  Check back in five games.  If Smoak really is slugging .700 a week from now, eyes slideways.  But he probably won't be.


Dr. D!  You are Off the Hot Seat,

Lonnie of MC




Except I admit that just yesterday I started thinking that maybe Bay was a good pickup. I'm not saying that I think he was just that I always figured the chance to be so low as not to be worth really noting but now I'm a bit more intrigued. At the time it was an ok crap shoot, then Ibanez signed and Morse was acquired, then the revelation that Morse was slated for OF duty mainly. I'd have been pretty happy with the outfield outlook without Bay, but I'm watching a bit closer now.
Hultzen throwing the ball 7 times to get 2 K's and a weak grounder was pretty eye opening. 1 walk given up by the whole staff too. If we ignore Noesi (since hardly anyone is hoping for him) so far the guys battling to start have been phenomenal. If it keeps up I'll start combining the stats, but it's so early.


Bay hit his off Tyson Ross, who's big problem is control and not stuff, and he hit it off a 95 mph fastball after Wells struck out. Wells hit his off a 28 year old that reached AAA for the second time last season. I don't know anything about Brandon Kloess (Wells' victim), but he was the 5th guy the Padres ran out. Friday, the Mariners ran out Chance Ruff in, and Saturday they ran out Bobby Laframboise, and neither of those guys are making the bullpen out of camp, and neither are going to be the first callup if someone gets hurt (both could admittedly hand an ML bullpen role, but this is the Mariners Bullpen of Ultimate doom we're talking about).
The point is, if Bay looks like 95% of his old .900 self, if he can pull an .850 OPS over 400 or so PA, well, would you rather have Reggie Sanders or Chris Young? I don't know if there is a right answer.

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