M's Outgrow Leonydas
happy sakura day, Dept.


Q.  How can such an improbably nice, handsome, and all-around great guy be so mean?

A.   Lady, they ain't athletes.  And they ain't really even people.  They're baseball players.  Besides that, Leonys Martin will land on his feet.  Better than Dr. D will, no doubt.


Q.  OK then.  What did you have against him in the first place?

A.  Nothing other than his being Carlos Peguero minus the home runs.  Well, and plus the glove.  But I was okay with cutting him Sunday, and I'd have been okay with cutting him the day after the Texas deal, and I'd have been okay with cutting him any day in between.  For nothing in return.  It's called "addition by subtraction."

You're behind on the scoreboard, you get "traffic" going on the bases, Leonys advances to the plate ... and the opposing pitching coach trots out to the mound.  Not to strategize; just to utterly savor the moment.  Dr. D had tired of the anti-rally killshots a long time ago; judging by the fact that he dropped a STARTER off a plank in the middle of Safeco Field into the maw of the Sarlaac, Jerry Dipoto had also tired of it.  

It's just a DFA.  I could be reading too much it.  But the rally deaths are past tense and I'm likin' it.


Q.  Should the M's have anticipated this need to shed Martin?

A.  Yes, in December of 2015.

We kid.  Jerry Dipoto felt that in order to not have a Jack Zduriencik Unusuable Roster, he needed whatever glove outfielder he found within arm's reach.  SSI can grok it.

But man alive!  Especially the idea that Leonys Martin might be able to hit LHP's with good stuff.  :: shudder ::   It wasn't just the 50 at-bats this year.  He was terrible in Arizona.  From Aug. 28 onward in 2016 his OPS was .591.  It was a death spiral, man.


Q.  Does it bother you that we didn't trade Martin and ? for, say, Craig Kimbrel?

A.  IMMANUEL KANT / MONTY PYTHON MEANING OF LIFE DEPT:  You know that Dr. D respects the Denizens.  And this is a inkblot test.  There are guys who would rather get an extra +100 chips by not being bluffed out of them; there are other guys who would rather get the extra +100 chips by making a bold move to sweep a pot.  It really IS more a personality thing than anything else.

We sympathize with a man who would rather make +2 good moves and -0 blunders, than a man who would rather make +4 (or +5) good moves and -2 blunders.  Me?  I'm just a guy who would rather die aggressively, than not.  Jerry Dipoto is the same way.

In rotisserie I just don't care that much if I have to cut Felix Hernandez for nothing, not if it means I get Chris Sale in profit.  Some guys think more in terms of efficiency, and that WOULD bother them.  :: shrug ::  I'm a shiny-new-object kind of guy.  :- )  Hey, you want to guarantee me that Taylor Motter is Mike Schmidt starting 10 games ago and for the next 1,000 games?  I'll be only too happy to cut Kyle Seager if you can offer me that in return.  Never think about him again.

Well y'know, Kyle


Not sure what Martin was worth in January; it's a good Q.  Will be mildly surprised if he's even claimed off waivers just 50 at-bats later, and if so, could it have been much?


Q.  Your point?

A.  In February the Mariners did not know that Mitch Haniger was great.  They merely suspected it.  The difference is large.

In February the Mariners did not know that Taylor Motter was going to need at-bats, and someplace other than in Jean Segura's, Kyle Seager's or Robinson Cano's spots.

And in February the Mariners did not know that Guillermo Heredia was going to be swinging the bat well on April 21-24 ... wait.


Q.  So you will concede the move is a little shrill?

A.  Yes, on two counts:  (1) I bet you that if Guillermo Heredia didn't happen to be swinging it good, and we mean during this specific week, that the decision woulda been deferred.  If true, that's disconcerting, no?

(2) Who in the world cuts a starter?  Because he's hitting .1xx in April?  Last time you saw it?  Honestly, gimme a name.

But the move is both shrill AND sound.  I wouldn't strongly expect the M's to bring him back if he passes waivers.


Q.  Maybe Zoom is right about a hairtrigger-tense Martin and a shouting match in the hallway. 

A.  Certainly would be very typical.  Martin had unexpected success last year, defining "success" as a .300 OBP and hi .300's SLG.  Brimming with .690 OPS confidence, he defied the M's, went home and retooled his own swing against their warnings.  If he's then hairtrigger tense and some Brad Pitt snaps at him in the hallway and Martin doesn't back down... "well, NOW I will."  Easy to imagine.

But the real point is this --- >  Mitch Haniger.

And Dyson.  And Heredia.  And Tank O'Neill.  And Ben Gamel looked really good and Ben Gamel deserves a fair, 300-AB shot.  And Taylor Motter.  And even Danny Valencia and Nelson Cruz wanting OF time.  Sometimes you just outgrow a need.  The idea that the Mariners might have outgrown a need they had only a month ago, it speaks to the dynamics of Jerry Dipoto's roster.  He drew a face card or two.  He ditched the 9's.

Or not,

Dr D



If, over the winter, Dipoto decided that he would stock up on CF types and then cut the first guy who failed....then he's way ahead of the rest of us. But I don't think that was the case.  He had an OF vision and he was dang sure it was going to work.

It didn't...or wasn't.  I will applaud a fast-bold move, even though I'm not sure it was the right guy.

But the CF/LF failure was somewhat predictable.  The two guys he invested in have career OPS's of .673 and .661.  Neither reach .700 even with the split advantage vs. RHP.  Vs. lefties, they have career numbers of .573 and .607.  The chances that both would hit .700 this year were no better than both would hit .630.  THere was a predictable train wreck here. Maybe not of this magnitude, I suppose, but at least the odds were quite high for a derailment.

Dyson is at .575 overall, right now, BTW.  Do we tolerate that for the next 60 games, until mid-summer?  We sort of have to now.  I wouldn't mess with Haniger right now (I was really impressed with his 3-4 yesterday, even if they were just knocks...and even if the bunt wasn't a sacrifice) and it is questionable if we're going to go with either Heredia or Gamel in CF, fulltime.  Although Gamel would be fine.  But it would be tres interesting if Dipoto simply patted himself on the back for Segura, Motter and Haniger and divested himself of a 2nd CF mistake. 

That's the Doc Scenario (see above).  Keep swinging for the fences.

Now that would be very bold.  Go team.  


I think it was covering CF with depth because Dyson has not been an everyday guy.  That .575 gets bigger and bigger the more recent you cut it (.664 from April 10th, .702 from April 14th) and he has been ripping the cover off the ball recently and finding gloves anyway.  His BABIP before the .664 was .158 before the 14th was .161.  This is as much a vote of confidence for Dyson getting 85% of starts in CF as anything.  He looks like a CF starter to me. 


A: Ketel Marte, Austin Jackson, Dustin Ackley, Justin Ruggiano, Stefan Romero, James Jones, Shawn O'Malley and Brad Miller.

Q;Who played centerfield the year that JD arrived?

Jackson was passable...but the other guys speak to a question that confronts all of baseball: how do i find a guy who can chase the ball down in the middle of the outfield...but not melt in the batter's box?

The reason we got Martin in the first place is that the Rangers knew they had a better answer.  In Delino DeShields.  Now a benchie, and lucky to be that.  And then Carlos Gomez, currently getting on base less than 30% of the time.

So if JD decided he was going to get several draws on that deck, I'm fine with that.  


the culture establishment of PRODUCE, dangit.

I like this move. The lost potential hurts me, but - as I said in my prior comment - the A's Spanish commentators were blabbing all over the place yesterday about how much talent Martin has, and there are a number of teams hurting for a CF right now (Pirates, anyone?). He'll find a home, and I'm refusing to be surprised if there's enough of a line that we bring in something else shiny.

JeDi is good at bringing in something else shiny. Enough shiny things, some of them get tossed but some turn into Maniger.


I'm with Master Corran... I believe Dipoto is in full press mode for a few shiny pieces to try to get the good ship Mariner turned around.

With O'Malley and Cishek rapidly approaching, Smyly on the horizon, Martin, and a few guys / veterans performing in Tacoma - Dipoto has a couple pieces he can move... and with the apparent holes in relief pitching, 1B probably, and possibly a left handed OF or Starting pitcher if he does not believe yesterday's performance will continue... I fully believe that Trade Jerry is going to be making a few appearances in the next month. 

To continue on this treck, does anyone see a legitimate role for Valencia any more? If Motter is Mr. Utility, then Motter is the right handed 1B and Heredia / Dyson / Motter are sharing 2 OF spots, and Freeman is needed as the left handed utility guy... where does Valencia even fit? I realize Valencia has no trade value now, but if Valencia does not start hitting lefties soon, he is probably gone before June.

Lastly, do we really believe that Dipoto is comfortable with V-Bach at 1B already? I doubt Dipoto has given up on V-Bach as a hitter, but defensively at 1B??? I could see where Dipoto could use V-Bach as a trade chip for something new / more athletic this summer as well.


Better than anything is Dipoto showing a willingness to change course. Quickly.

Dyson, LF, looked like a disaster in the making. A 71 wRC+ can survive in CF with defense and speed, but there's not enough speed on Rickey Henderson to bridge the OPS gap between a guy like Dyson and a guy like Braun, an actual LF.

Motter looks like our best option both in LF and at 1B, so hopefully Dipoto has just one more ace up his sleeve by midseason! Or, if Vogelbach or Heredia decide to take off, we'll be sittin in butter.

Many draws at the deck indeed. But more than anything else, Dipoto's evolution into Quickdraw McGraw, axing Martin 2 months quicker than the Aoki-flush may have saved the M's from falling 2 games short of the playoffs this season. Good on you, Dipoto.


Now is the time for Tank to declare himself adjusted to AAA and start hitting. The Ms are already playing 4 rookies, plus using one in the rotation. Time to smell the roses and the MLB(tm) smogasbord training table! Dyson and Heredia are holding your place for you. 

As for D.J. Peterson, since the 17th he's shown some life. The chance is right there to make Valencia redundant.



Forgot all about that guy.  He was the toast of the winter and the #1 overall minor leaguer.  That's what a month of Maniger/Motter will do for you. .179/.233/.328 is not the start we were hoping for.  Oh well.


We don't need no stinkin' O'Neill...Maniger is two awesome players wrapped into one


We haven't had a Maniger sized splash since. . .(hushes tone) Ichiro.  Q: If you were guaranteed a Haniger .290, .400, .500 for the entire year of 2017, would you trade Haniger for 2000 Ichiro straight up with a guarantee of Ichiro's whole never injured never sick four hits a day HOF career?  To put it another way, is Mitch Haniger Mickey Mantle as opposed to your standard first ballot hall of famer, or is he going to get booked and cool down?


Mickey Mantle...

You slay me.

I love Maniger...my favorite Mariner since Ichiro left and it's not that close. But I don't think he's Trout/Mantle level thorium grade nuke material.  I think he'll get "booked" as much as anyone with his plate coverage can be...that is to say...they will figure out what to TRY to do to get him out...his OBP will get shaved a tad, and right now he's hitting into a bit of good fortune so his BA will drop some...but... I'd be pretty disappointed at this point if he hit my projection of .830 OPS.  That should tell you what I now think of him.


Jarrod Dyson is third on the team in b-ref WAR and sixth by fWAR.

That's what D do.


When someone like JeDi talks about 'top targets,' 'dream outfields,' or employs any other quotables, he's tipping his hand--like a fox.

It always boggles me that netizens (present company *GENUINELY* excluded here) will take public statements as de facto TRUTH and then build entire arguments around them being 100% representative of the speaker's thoughts.  And if there happens to be some sort of apparent conflict/incongruity between those statements and potentially laudable 'contingencies' then said netizens *generally* wrinkle their noses and point emphatically to the public statements (*seemingly* to quiet the cognitive dissonance generated between said public statements' *apparent* intent, and the reality of such contingencies--and they ALWAYS circle back to the public statements in an effort to discredit the possibility that, yes, this was All Part Of The Plan... /HeathLedger'sJoker).

I like (not hate) to be the one to break it to such people: public statements are just that, P U B L I C.  Did the British RAF *actually* believe that eating tons of carrots improves eyesight, or were they playing a misdirection game to hide how heavily they were leaning on radar at night to snipe German planes in WW2?  When MacArthur said 'I shall return,' do we take that to be a foolish declaration on his part--one which makes his eventual return not only predictable, but more easily contested--and a sign of slow-wittedness or do we take it to be the tip of an iceberg the rest of us can only guess at, in terms of how many contingent decisions stand at hair-trigger readiness to be made?

So when someone like JeDi says 'This is my DREAM outfield!!' I take it with rather less enthusiasm than most.  I don't DISbelieve him at all; I simply afford less *weight* to the statement than the commenters at other sites seem to, while firmly believing that he's only tipping the part of his hand that he thinks is beneficial to tip.  I'm not saying he *IS* lurking beneath the waves, trying to sucker unsuspecting 'unsinkable' passenger liners by exposing *just* enough of his plans and thoughts...I'm just saying that I wouldn't put it past the man, or any of his contemporaries, to do precisely that.

It's one thing to call shots, to make bold declarations, and to do one's best to follow through on seeing a given plan to fruition.  It's quite another to survive first contact with the enemy, at which point we all know the fate of even the best laid plans...

If you're in it to win it, you've got to be flexible.  I'm not following as closely as y'all, but JeDi has given me no reason to suspect he is somehow deficient in flexibility.  Personally, I've never SEEN a GM who appeared as flexible as him--not in Seattle, anyway.


There's another way you can look at Dip's statements.

"Dream outfield" isn't necessarily lying.

The simple, literal view looks at the personnel. 

The more complex view gives you that he's at a place he likes, personnel, manuverability, fungibility, depth, etc. all considered.

I think his recent actions reinforce the second view, myself.


Since the Leonydas and Bach moves, and a single big victory salvaged in Oakland, the traffic is double.  If that's what a whiff of hope does, I'd like to see what a 10-for-11 streak would do...

It also may speak to our tacit opinion of the Leonydas move.


Listening to Hyphen over the weekend before the DFA, it sounded like Leonydas became Eeyore, and Eeyore cannot hit .111 and stick around. 

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