The 2014 Mariners Are Dr. D's Kinda Ballclub!
Stars & Scrubs, bab-eh


Jim Bowden was on, raving about Dustin Ackley.  He's headed this year for .290, forty doubles, plenty of walks, sez Take-A-Bow-Den.  Ackley is the big bustout candidate for Bowden, who'd spent some time with Ackley this spring, I guess.  Stylistically we'd be talking about a lefty Dustin Pedroia; anything like .290 with tons of doubles, and some walks, and in Safeco he's going to wind up with a 125 OPS+ or so.  

Like a hand-in-glove fit for the #2 spot in a championship batting order.  


Brad Miller.  He's become the buzz of baseball.  Not of Seattle.  Of baseball.  I'm savoring the possibility that it is because the scouts know a young star when they see one.  He ain't hitting good; he's a good hitter.


Bob Dutton, the Royals' grizzled beat writer, was asked to name the best young M's in terms of breakout possibilities in 2014 and he said ... Mike Zunino over Miller, Ackley, etc. Dr. D quite enjoyed that.  :- )  And yeah, remind us to POTD his last coupla TV games.  Very kewl.   Let's do recall this man was the #3 overall pick in his draft.


I don't think Justin Smoak is going to become the MVP version of Justin Morneau.  I do predict, gingerly, that Robinson Cano's "screen drill" is going to now put Justin Smoak wherever it is, that is Justin Smoak's ceiling.  I'm not super confident that his ceiling is impressive ... f'r instance, with his hands in, the other day, he squared up a fastball and left it on the warning track to straightaway right field (!).  Maybe the fence drill will cost Smoak what power he had.

But I'll bet you this, that, RIGHT NOW, we are going to GET Smoak's upside.


Nick Franklin is now a shortstop.  And his ki is centered.  Did you expect that, one month ago?  That he'd be a certified ... well, signed-off-on ... shortstop, and with his 2013 slump apparently fixed?


Hey, what are Abraham Almonte's splits?  Right handed he looks terrific.  Completely different hitter.  Gave Brett Anderson all. he. wanted.  Well, it's probably nothing - just one game's worth, but Almonte's personality was completely different in that game.  Much more in rhythm and much more aggressive.

How come nobody has broached the idea of a platoon with Michael Saunders?!   A loose platoon, y'know, adjusted by flyball pitchers and other stuff.  But Almonte vs LHP, Saunders vs RHP, that is what a platoon is s'posed to give you.


Saunders had a 110 OPS+ in 2012, and he's coming into the 2014 season with the 1,600 AB's under his belt.  He's not at the top of our list for Eyes Slideways, but you can't exactly kick him to the curb and stop watching him, either.  He's probably got the most UPside of any kid we got, other than Miller.  A 5 WAR scenario is not at all hard to imagine.


Anybody around here like Stefen Romero?  He's had the kind of spring we wanted him to have.  And McClendon is down with it.

Corey Hart has persistent "forearm tightness," keeping him from even maintaining what little rhythm he had, and this is all completely aside from moving "like Greg Oden" as Grizzle put it.  If Hart were somehow on the open market right now, after this spring training and where he is ...  could he even get $2M for the season?

The thing is, baseball abhors a vacuum even if sometimes the Mariners don't.  Any Corey Hart vacuum will be filled by Romero.  Is that a good thing or a bad one?


Everybody knows that you don't hit all these dice rolls at once.  But it's a dynamic group, I'll tell ya that.  When a few break out, the others keep competing, and hopefully while getting caught up in the excitement (of Cano, Brad Miller, Kyle Seager and whover the first bustout is.)


Jack Zduriencik said that Spec's man Dominic Leone is a 40-man roster issue, and so will join the M's later in the summer.  But!  two days later, McClendon emphasized that Leone is very much "in the mix" for Opening Day.  Dr. D says that Dominic Leone is the best pitcher in camp, other than Felix; his slider is almost better than his fastball.  Spec, keep on keepin' on with that Alias Smith and Leone shtick.  

Three (3) closers in the pen.  I know, it's not three Joe Nathas, not by a long shot.  But it is three closers, three guys with huge strikeouts and three guys who are acclimated to The Hot Seat.  Two will be "overqualified" to pitch the 7th.


They've married Erasmo.  I did not think they would.  At the same time as that, they also married K-Pax.  They're going no-holds-barred, talent over CYA.  

I, um, appreciate it.  Don't you?


Stars & Scrubs:  They're talking about whether Felix and Robinson Cano are the best pitcher/hitter combo in the majors.  I think I agree.  Middle infielders who hit #3, that's been Dr. D's thing since Joe Morgan and the Big Red Machine.


So Roenis Elias just the latest 6-year player to hit the beach.  Havin' fun yet?

This, gentlemen, is what a rebuild is supposed to look like.  THIS team, win or lose, we can get in on these guys.  Whether things go right or whether they don't, this is my ballclub.   And it's been awhile.





RockiesJeff's picture

Fully agree. As if an intelligent person would even think of disagreeing with you Jeff!!! Might even be a fun team. I really liked what I saw of Romero two years ago. Good spring for him after all the injuries last year. Can he be a doubles machine?

topherdig's picture

Jeff, I lovvvvvve your excitement and I am jazzed about this club...but I am an optimist for sure. Can't wait for season to start. Just heard Darvish may not go for Rangers on opening day with stiff neck and they lost Profar for 3 months or so.


25 Man Team
INF - Smoak(1), Cano(2), Miller(3), Seager(4), Zunino(5)
OF - Ackley(6), Saunders(7), Romero(8), LoMo(9) - DH
Bench - Buck(10), Willie(11), Almonte(12), ...Franklin(13)
Rotation - Felix(14), Paxton(15), ERam(16), Elias(17), Wolfe(18)
Bullpen - Rodney(19), Bartender(20), Farquhar(21), Furbush(22), Medina(23), Luetge(24), ... Leone(25)
DL - Walker(26), Kuma(27), Pryor(28), Hart(29), Hultzen - 60 day, so does not count
rest of 40 man
Position - Montero(30), Choi(31), Morban(32), Jones (33), Avery(34), Sucre(35)
Pitcher - Beavan(36), Maurer(37), Bawcom(38), LaFromboise(39), A Fernandez(40)
Optioned off 40 Man - Noesi, Triunfel
Still in Minors - Gillespie, Chavez, Miner, Beimel
Where do you disagree???


When you're a team clearly incapable of contention, optimists will begin sentences, "...well, if everything falls right...".
That's where we've been for too many seasons. But not this year.
We don't need 'everything'--we just need half of the things. Take all of the 'breakthrough' young hitters...all of the injury reclamations...all of the young pitching--we don't need all of them to hit their ceilings. If even half of them have solid seasons, we're in the thick of things.
There are people freaking out about the back of our rotation. To them, I say just take a breath--and more importantly, look at the back ends of every other rotation in our division. We are not lagging behind anyone there--and no one has two pieces like Waker and Kuma coming back.
It's good...relax.


On paper, the laws of probability are going to be overwhelmed this year, simply by the number of draws at the deck that Z has.  It's one thing to bet your house, that the next card is a face card.  It's another thing to bet your house, that two of the next 12 cards are face cards.
If THESE guys all fail, we're talking the curse of Babe Ruth or something ... curse of Lou?


You get 12 bloggers all typing the same thing, you're well-advised to veer off into fresher pastures when they show up...
Any sentence that would NEVER be typed by any other Seattle blogger, such as the headline to this post, is one that is in great danger of being typed by Dr. D...
Especially if it is, um, TRUE ...


This post is very optimistic, and has many interesting points.  Much like the Mariners.  Its nice to have your Tuesday morning infotainment on deck and downloadable from the mainframe, and the price is right too.  
My favorite stuff:
It is wierd that Roenis Elias and Dominic Leone were just names in the Spectometer a few months back, and now all will be revealed.  Can they withstand ten part POTD's complete with schtick?  
Jim Moore, a.k.a. the Go To Guy, is the biggest Debbie Downer on the ESPN 710 Payroll regarding the M's.  It must be his history in print journalism.  He had this to say:                                                                                                                                              "Maybe [The Mariners will] be the team that Vegas thinks they'll be – setting the over-under on number of wins at 81 ½.  I would've put the number at 75 ½, but Vegas is smarter than all of us. If they think the Mariners can go 81-81 or 82-80, be careful if you think otherwise."                                                                                                                                                                                                           I have been very interested in the Vegas formulation of baseball odds, as it is unhinged, free market Darwinian baseball analysis.  Instead of being similar to human intelligence, Vegas represents a hive mind.  The line is  moved by the collective consciousness of hordes of analysts who literally put their money where there mouth is.  I think the line represents the median where 50 percent of the betters, or more accurately betting power, are willing to bet the under and 50 percent are willing to bet the over.  A couple of things:  In Vegas, pitching is king.  Every line is decided by who is pitching, and all bets are cancelled and returned if any starting pitcher is scratched for any reason.  I think the reason Vegas rates the M's as being on par with the rest of the western rabble is that our pitching is at least as good as theirs is.  Second, there are no cynical fans in Vegas.  When betters are cynical about a good team, Vegas bookies see an opportunity and take the over on an unreasonably low line.  By doing this, they are banking a margin of utility that will pay in the long run.  Third, the Vegas system is as accurate as any baseball algorithm ever invented, despite arriving at its predictions in a completely off the wall way.  Here is one of many articles on the subject.  
The Logan Morrison signing was universally panned a few months back, and now with Hart injuries, coupled with a nice spring, he is looking like the key to everything.  Also, LoMo was a blogospheric wonder 'spect in 2010-2012, reaching near Stantonesque esteem before he fell off, and here the Mariners bought him for a bucket of balls.  Can we say "post hype sleeper"?  
Brad Miller.  


The Mariners are under no curses other than ordinary media and disgruntled fans. The Rangers on the other hand. . . Let us examine the elements of baseball curse lore: 1. A despicable act, whether it is trading the Bambino, or kicking a mascot goat out of a world series game because it smelled, or you sign A-Rod. 2. An aggrieved party either expressly or implicitly utters a curse.  3. Bad results.  The most important elements are 1 and 3.  Element 2 is largely optional but left in there to cover the Billy Goat Curse.  
Here, we have the Rangers.  They kicked a hall of fame pitching legend Nolan Ryan to the curb this winter for no apparent reason.  This is a despicable act.  Ryan told the press that he had been dumped into Jon Daniel's sandbox (whatever that means), and now the Rangers are maiming themselves back to their twenty ought form.  This is some curse material.  Whether we call it the curse of Nolan Ryan, or the curse of the sandbox, this is some good stuff.



The club is still vulnerable to LH pitching. We need to gird ourselves for some mediocre LH starters looking like Sandy Kofax when they face the Mariners.


Maybe Daniels didn't agree that young pitchers who were 'men' should throw 150 pitches a start...and ownership agreed with Daniels.

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