Vogelbach getting some love, just when he needs it
and we'd conservatively estimate his namesake's OBP at .610


In MLB.com's article naming each ballclub's top rookie, they plumped for Daniel Vogelbach among 2018 Mariners:

Mariners: Daniel Vogelbach 
The 25-year-old first baseman made the Opening Day roster after a huge spring, then was sent down when he struggled at the plate in April. But after putting up good numbers again in Triple-A, Vogelbach has flashed his power potential with a couple of big home runs this week as a September callup, including a game-winning pinch-hit grand slam to beat the Astros on Monday.


Then at My Northwest, Jerry Dipoto commented on the kid's 2019 with the M's:

“Clearly we think the same of him now as the day we acquired him, which is that there is no question in our mind that he is an asset,” Dipoto said. “As an offensive player, he can do a lot of things with the bat. He gets on base, he’s patient, takes his walks, he’s been dynamic at the Triple-A level and frankly throughout his minor league career.

“As we get into next year, he’s now out of options and we have to make a determination to where he fits. Whether that is a timeshare at first base, whether it is taking DH at-bats, it’s going to be one of those because we do feel like he is an asset. With that being said, some things on our roster have to play out before we can answer that question. There’s so many moving parts with our current 25-man roster and some of the land-lock that we have that we have to be flexible and amenable to anything that might help put a better team on the field both for the present and the future.


The most damning summary an ML scout can give of a player is "Has swing flaw X and is a DH," meaning he can't play the field and American League pitching will expose him.  "Carlos Peguero can't hit good velocity and is a DH."  ... "Mike Morse can't hit pitchers' pitches and is a DH."  You know the drill.

But it's fascinating to see Dipoto update us on his strong assessment of Vogelbach.  I started out ready to take this shtick in a different direction, that being to argue "you knew he weighed 280 when you gave up Mike Montgomery for him" and yada yada.

Dipoto pre-empts Dr. D and gives the list of ML-caliber skills:

1.  OBP (Jack Black in School of Rock:  it'll test your mind.  And your head.  And your brain.  Check out Dipoto's first three qualifications again.  LOL.)

2.  "Dynamic" pro hitter (meaning, has upside not yet seen)

3.  History of success, a la Gamel and Haniger


So now Dipoto comes out and sez that 'Bach is going to play next year.   Adding to the richness of the stew is the DH logjam, exacerbated by Dee Gordon's 2B play.  What looked like an embarrassment of riches a few months ago now looks like weird roster planning.

In case you're wondering, 'Bach raked in Tacoma this year to the tune of .290/.434(!)/.545.  In other words:  the power continues to develop, and the OBP continues to excite.  It's one thing to post a PCL OBP of near .400; it's another thing to go .400-and-plenty.

A 110-120 OPS+ is plenty to carry a DH's mitt, much less a 1B's mitt, as Billy Beane could tell you.  Here's the current scan of DH production.



Servais' "number" that allows him to foresee when a player is going to pinch-hit for a grand slam.  No, seriously, it's an interesting read.


Dr D




Choo, at a league minimum, would be nice.

interestingly Doc, I see Dipoto’s comment above as in the “The kid is a goner!” variety.

”Some things on or roster have to play out,” and ”we have to be flexible and amenable to anything that might help,” are buzz words for “we’re swapping him for a RP or one of those Dysons.”

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Essentially we have insisted on playing Gordon over him the past couple of weeks, and Healy, of course.  If we were not going to give Vogs ABs when we were out of the hunt this seaso, why would we use him next?

He will hit elsewhere.  Sigh.  


Usually, whenever JeDi gives a young player a shoutout, that player is traded within the quarter.  This is probably for the better.  I've never heard of someone besides the Orcs calling up a player to be the new DH.  The The Yahtzee chance slot is to be used for aging veterans with storied pop, not for new players who have not proven completely trustworthy with the bat.


Back to back homer nights and "he's seeing the ball good," yet he can't get a start after.


Edit:  Cano at 1B, Gordon at 2B and Vogs on bench again tonight.


I only come here for Mariner info, Doc. This is my gatekeeper, so muchas gracias, Amigo!

Do you think these advanced metrics play a role in our stellar W/L record vis a vis our run diff? 

SeetheZee's picture

Ever play a game, say chess or hearts, and make a move that keeps your options open? Pretty sure that playing Cruz now makes signing him more possible. Also pretty sure that playing Healy now may help the Ms decide to keep (or enable them to trade) him.

'Bach is potential trade bait too but he's not going to improve on his AAA resume over the next few weeks in the Bigs.

I'm hoping and betting that 'Bach is our DH next year (at least after Ichiro retires after the Japan series). Cruz and the Ms front office will have better options when the cards are played this offseason.


Anybody else get the feeling that steady playing time for Vogelbach right now would be like waving by to Nellie to hs face?

tjm's picture

. . . exist to be traded. Players play. Assets get moved. I'm with Moe. Vogs is a goner.

Which I think is stupid. An offesne starved team gives up its best offense first prospect for, I'm guessing, I know it's wild, but maybe somehow a relief arm?


The Good Ship Mariner is dead dead dead in the water:  8.5 games back with 7 to play.

The Orcs are in town for three then the Rangers again.

Healy is OPSing .564 over his last 28 games with 1 homer.

RHP Mengden is on the mound for the bad guys tonight.

If we don't see a steady diet of Vogelbach from here on out (what has Healy done to deserve more starts recently?), especially tonight, then I think will may just scream.  Wait for it, you will likely hear it tonight.

Gamel (hitting .286-.371 vR) should get every start.  If I see Maybin on the field I may just scream.  Ditto Span.  OK, give him 2 or 3 starts.  A team with an eye toward apprasing young guys would bring up either Aplin or Miller to get 3-5 starts in CF.  I don't care which.  Let's see what one of them has got.  Vincej would get a SS start or two, as well.

But you can bet we will see 5 more Healy starts, a Maybin game or three, Span for 4 or 5, Negron in the OF somewhere, Gordon in CF (all of 8 BB's in 577 PA's), and some more Heredia.

What is it that Professor Henry Higgins at the end of My Fair Lady?  "I've gwon accustomed to her face."  Yep, that's it.

With apologies to the good professor, "I've grown accustomed to this farce!"

:)  Nah, I'm tongue-in-cheek on that line. But check out the Cardinals, the team I always consider as the epitome of a well-run organization:  They are in a WC nip and tuck race and still giving young guys Tank O'Neill, Carson Kelly, Patrick Wisdom and Adolis Garcia some late-season whacks.  Tank had the game winning walk-off tater two nights ago, in case you missed it.  

Span is a goner for us.  Maybin is a goner for us.  Healy deserves no more starts right now.  Gordon has been a disaster this season.  Negron's utility trial shouldn't come at the cost of lack of MLB time for young guys....let him play for Seager and Segura.  At some point you have to shut some guys down and give some whacks to guys who have hit recently.

But I wonder how much 90 wins is in the minds of Servais and Dipoto, as meaningless as it would be.


"What is it that Professor Henry Higgins at the end of My Fair Lady?  "I've gwon accustomed to her face." "

Mega kudos for the My Fair Lady reference. One of my favorite musicals. I have the soundtrack in my music library and listen to it several times a year.


It's ethic is deplorable, but "Get Me To The Church On Time" has to be one of the funniest, best songs ever in a musical. The fancy verbal plays make me crack up every time.


And that's my favorite scene in the whole movie.   Twin sons of different mothers, DaddyO.  3rd scene might be when Allgo come to Higgin's  house to scam some money out of him!  


I’m with you, Moe. I want to see the semblance of a coherent plan for the future. Glad to see Marco looking to finish strong. 


This will be a fascinating offseason. This is the key offseason for the DiPoto regime. Either he has the chops or he doesn't. Either they build a regular contender that actually achieves something or they don't. Either they triple down after this failed 90-win season, or the blow it up and start over keeping some of their good young core assets.

If DiPoto tries to patch this team, he is taking a HUGE risk that better pay off.



1A & 1B Segura and Haniger

2A & 2B Paxton and Marco (as much as fragile arms can be huge assets).   But it is much more likely that we get 200 (or less innings) from them combined in '19 than it is that we get 350.

3. Cano

4. Zunino:  Who still catches a great game, despite the miserable K rate.

5. Leake: A workhorse.

6. Sugar, maybe a better asset than Zunino and Leake.  Maybe.

7. Gamel:  Who just plain hits.

8. LeBlanc:  Has found himself, late in his career.  The Moyer-lite schtick is working.

9. Colome

Question marks: 

1.  Healy:  He's not as good as Smoak was and we all grew tried of Smoak.  -1.4 WAR from your 1B constitutes a blackhole of sorts.

2. Seager: Has the shift killed him?  Does he bounce back?  

3. Gordon:  He wasn't very good this season.  Not good at all.  He has to hit near .300 to be a valuable offensive player....and if he's an OF then his + 2B glove gets erased.  I will say this:  He had a better Rf/9 (2.76)  in CF than either Maybin or Heredia., but he did make 5 erros in 41 starts.  The good news is that he hits near .300 every other season.  He's due, next year.

4. Heredia:  He doesn't hit much.  This year he's a -dWAR, as well.  Well, I'm not really trusting of defensive metrics.  But 80 OPS+ doesn't excite me much. Or at all.

5. Cruz:  Is he coming back?

6. The rest of our arms

7. Vogs, because we won't give him a shot.

8. Pazos

If Gordon is in CF next season, the Robbie returns to 2B and we could play both Healy and Vogelbach (if we don't sign Cruz)

If Gordon is at 2B, then Cano plays 1B/DH and Healy or Vogelbach is expendable (if we don't sign Cruz)

Resign Cruz and that all gets messed up....but you need to have loose cash for the arm we need.  

Personally, I love the idea of Gordon to 2B (after his faulty bat this season, his $27.1M for two seasons makes him dang tough to trade....so get full value from him) and Cano to 1B/DH.  I'm prepared to give Vogelbach the other half of that slot (because I'm spending Cruz's money on an arm).  Healy has had those 3 sucky halves in a row.  I am a bit alarmed. I'm very comfortable with Haniger ('natch) and Gamel as fulltimer in the OF.  If we use Haniger in CF (he wasn't terrible there) then we grab a COF bat.  If we go inhouse for a CF, then I actually prefer Maybin (if he resigns cheap) over Heredia.  And I'm giving a fair shot to Bishop/Miller/Aplin to play that position.   Would prefer we find a CF with some sort of bat. Zunino and Seager you stick in the lineup and hope they bounce.  Segura just hits.

We need a starter (Elias and Ramirez are huge question marks), maybe 2, an OF and reliable bullpen arms.



Last three split half-seasons:   .688, .716, .661

1st 2 of his career, .861, .804

Maybe the league has caught up with him?


Vs the RHP:  Gordon Beckham at 2B and Cano at 1B Tonight. 

Vogelbach?    He's dead to the M's brain trust.  If you play Gordon Beckham over Vogs in a completely meaningless game then you are done with Vogs.  

MLB Lineups had it wrong (checked twice), Dee Gordon at 2B, not Gordon Beckham.  All the same, Vogs, wherefore art thou?


It is an interesting matter of interpretation looking at Servais' lineup choices in these waning days of the season. Some of the choices already seem quite odd, but I don't claim to know what they mean.

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