Editor's Choice, 4.24.17
ROY and the Great Baseball Face Into the Bargain



Scott Servais first brought up the idea of Jean Segura 1, Mitch Haniger 2.  This was a delightful suggestion.  Shortly after, SABRMatt first brought up the idea of a freakish runs total for Mitch Haniger.  He is at 19 runs scored in 20 games, and Khris Davis has the next-best American League total at 14.

Haniger is fast.  His OBP is .430 because he is sneaking up on people in front of our vaunted MOTO and because his fish rate is 19%.  Remember we used to not be able to decide whether Michael Saunders was a Runs guy or an OBP guy?  This is kinda like that, except good.

His WAR is at 1.4, by the way, in 1/8 of the season.  Can you imagine if this guy actually did rack up like 8 WAR.  (Also James Paxton has 1.3 WAR in 4 starts, so a projected 11 or so WAR.  The funny thing is that it's hard to imagine him pitching differently in the forthcoming 7 eighths of his season.  The other funny thing is that no other Mariner pitcher has more than 0.3 WAR; Felix and his half-hearted Paxton hugs are at 0.1.)



Boomstick has already rebounded to our #3 position player, behind Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, at 0.5 WAR and a .270/.385/.470 slash line.  Remember we used to grumble about whether he had finally hit the outlier wall?  A week or two ago.  Release heavy sigh.



Servais is talking about Edwin Diaz to tie games in the 8th -- not because (1) Climate Change Modelling and BJOL insist that this superior Closer Deployment would win more games, but because (2) Diaz needs the work.  It aggravates Dr. D that Servais should need to pointedly disavow an attempt to win more games, but that is exactly what he had to do.

In the short run, we would have a better Mariners team, and the sportswriters couldn't complain about a strategy they're not used to.  So that's kewl.


GROK 4 - From the Sakura Leonydas thread

Mo' Dawg didn't care for the April train wreck in CF:  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.

Agreed on the worries about Dyson vs LHP's.  The sooner we get Heredia platooning, the better I'll like it.  Platoons, according to Earl, don't have to be strictly by LHP/RHP.  You can put Dyson out there when you have a fly ball starter in a big park, for example.  Also the sooner we get another OF in place of that 17th reliever, the better.  Gamel and Motter, right?


KingCorran sez,  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.

Like a AA pitcher with an 89 fastball and a nice K/BB ratio in the low minors.  Billy Beane North?

We'll let it slide that Corran is monitoring U.N. communications on Mariner Globalism.


Rain sez, "To continue on this trek, does anyone see a legitimate role for Valencia any more?"

Slap me silly.  The guy has 50 at-bats?  This is what we've come to.  Dr. D likes Win Now mentality as much as anybody, but this is chuckle territory.  After a quarter century of Howard and Chuck there is NO SUCH THING as too much urgency for me.  Growf.  It was a QUARTER CENTURY guys.  I'm all for one year of "win or I'll shoot this dog."


MisterJonez sez,  "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"

In Fortune 500 as in politics.  One man's Flip Flop is another man's flexibility, agility, and negotiation.  Whether we are talking Obama, Trump, Mulally, Dipoto, or a chess grandmaster, I want the plan reassessed after EVERY opponent reply.  It NEVER bothers Dr. D to see a strategist tacking against the wind, unless of course you run into incoherency.  

Dipoto ain't that.  He wants layering, athleticism, and churn.  He believes he can identify talent better than other people can.  He's going to iterate his roster moves as many times as possible until his superior judgment tells.



Also known as K and Phoenix, sez:  

Mitch the Man has already scored 19 runs and driven in 16 RBI and April isn't even over. He's also only 26. Thus, he joins the following ROTO SUPER STUDS who have racked up those counting stats in the MLB "month" of MAR/APR since 2010 at age-26 or younger.

2010: Kemp/Longoria/Braun
2011: Kemp
2012: ---
2013: Upton
2014: Trout/Goldschmidt/Stanton/Rendon
2015: ---
2016: Arenado/Machado/Betts/Story
2017: Harper/Haniger

Just 15 qualifying player seasons opened the year this way. Not a lot of flukes there, either. And the italicized names scored exactly 19 runs in MAR/APR, so with his next run scored Maniger will join the exclusive 20/16 club whose members are Kemp/Longoria/J-Up/Trout/Goldy/Arenado/Machado/Harper and Our. Man. Mitch.

BTW, I've previously gone by "K" and "Phoenix guy" in these forums, but KLAT ate my passwords, so I'm now on with a user name reflecting my twitter handle (follow me at @TheSuburbsGuy).

Your pic looks like Mo' Dawg's?! Or am I spacing out?  In any case way to hit the ground running, amigo.  

:: taps chin:  19 R and 16 RBI in April, as a young player.  A long list of stars, including all of the biggest ones in the game.  (Matt Kemp's 2011 was one of the 3 best "all-around" seasons ever played, along with 1976 Joe Morgan and one other guy like that, per a recent BJOL discussion.)  On the other hand R and RBI are more rotisserie stats than anything.  On the other other hand, it ain't like Haniger ain't really been playing that good.

And the 19/16 cutoff is edited in our favor, BUT April isn't close to over, so it's really not.




We didn't know that hypotheticals were admissible, but Mojo sez,  "[hushed tones] 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?"

We're going to lay aside the aesthetics here of "modern-day samurai slays gaijin baseball players."  How would that work out?

If Mitch Haniger were truly going to post an OBP of .400 then he would be, in effect, a fast Edgar Martinez playing a gold glove right field.  You would be talking about comparing two inner-circle HOF'ers with him and Ichiro.

Ichiro's bases gained and bases lost added up to a metronome-like 5.0 WAR times 10 years.  Here you would have a single Haniger season at 7, 8 WAR, a diamond-hard set of hitting skills going forward, and his future stretching out in front of him.  I'd like to hear Denizens' answer to Mojician's hypothetical.

The point, of course, is that maybe we've been blessed with another generational crowd attraction.



Here is a Yardbarker article asking, "Is Baseball's Most Improved Hitter ... Taylor Motter?"  It has the best author possible.  Well, not including Denizens, of course.

The author suggests Brian Dozier as a reasonable outcome for Motter.  Say Whaaa?  Dr. D has been laughing off Motter's career as too good to be true.  But much more of this shtick ....



In 1974, the Red Sox had a .500'ish team but then in 1975 they had two rookie outfielders who finished #1 and #3 in the MVP voting.  Not Rookie of the Year voting; MVP voting.  Think about that, if you ever had two ROOKIES sweep the MVP and go on to the Hall of Fame.

You go back and look at it now and you realize Jim Rice probably wasn't as good as he looked in Fenway; he was 3 WAR or something.  But Fred Lynn hit like Edgar's best year, playing a graceful, timeless center field inside the postcard that is Fenway.

Those two guys were Americana for me that year, like Koufax-Drysdale were for TJM and DaddyO.  The very thought of Haniger and Motter doing anything similar sends tingles down my leg, Chris.

And you got Paxton.  And Diaz.  And a lot of dynamic subplots.  Hey, man, all we need is a winning streak and who knows what the board would become here.


Dr D




Must be snarling in Tacoma, ready to leap at his opportunity here.  Who's the first guy called up from AAA once the Mariners inevitably give up on the 8-man pen?  Do they take Ben Gamel for 4/5th Outfielder, or stick with the always reliable Mike Freeman?

Big Mike's picture

My brain says Haniger, my heart says Ichiro. There was something beautiful about him slicing hits into left at will during his best (7-8 consecutive) years.

However, ask me in 5 years...


And JeDi answered.  Heck no, I won't trade for Ichiro.

Ok, truly you have to take what you know Ichiro produced which included an 8 WAR rookie year and 9 WAR Hits record season that also included a singles record probably less likely to ever be broken.  But I'm ok with a new story this time too.  Seager has been great but he didn't come up like this.  The last one that truly did for the Ms was...Ichiro I guess but different scenario.  So I'll say he lacked the power and eye to move before that.  With all the skills comparable?  Wait, who ever, honestly?  We can talk about Griffey and his .748 OPS.  Alvin Davis did very well but not nearly the speed.   So far Maniger is next tier but I'm not certain he stays there.  Kenji Johjima probably belongs in the top 5 of Ms Rookie hitting seasons.  Very good chances we're talking about the second best rookie Ms hitting performance ever.  Can he unseat Ichiro and the .350 BA?

How about they're Shoeless Joe and Vean Gregg?  Eh, Lynn and Rice work just fine, but if they'd had Ty Cobb hitting .420 that year they wouldn't have been 1 and 3 in MVP.  Just saying.  


Tyler Smith 2-6, now hitting .311!  Tank was 3-5 with a homer and 2 2B's!  Atta boy!  Smash your way here. Gamel 1-2 with a BB, and then pulled for a PR who then played C.  The PR occured in the 6th inning.  Weird, huh?  Wonder about Dyson's knee.

 Boog was 4-5.  Oh...we lost.

In AA, Povse gave up 7 hits, 3 BB's and 4 ER's in 6 innings.  A loss.


How do you see the OF rotation working if both Gamel and O'Neill are up within, say, 2 weeks?  Boog there too, so whoever you prefer up and down or whatever. 


 It is probably enough to hope for just to get Gamel in here.  O'Neill we would presume is a Golden Boy who is down until he's up to stay, and 550 AB's per.  For me that would be a pretty sweet OF, Haniger-Motter plus Dyson and the two ST rooks Heredia-Gamel, one R and one L.  Ride the hot hand.

The OF next in line would be Boog but hard to see that without Dyson hitting the DL plus other items occurring.  Closer than it was 2 days ago though.  Could be KC pampered Dyson's legs the right way.

Earrs perk up at the Gamel PR.  Moe Dog, yer local Hard News source for all things Mariner!


Or maybe they wanted to play some guys....but it does seem odd to PR for the guy in the 6th inning.  Will see, I suppose.

We remain, with the Segura Freeman switch, in a situation whre we only have one "real" bench IF, and that is Motter.  If you can call him a benchy, that is.   But because of that, Valencia adds a bit of flexibility as he can go play 3B.  His role is now really as the Ute guy, and a bench bat.  You guys know how I hate a situation where you only have one reserve IF, so I'm OK with Valencia for a bit.  Until Tyler Smith bats his way up here!  The kid is a gamer. :)  Or O'Malley is ready. Take your pick.

If we evr jettison the 8-man pen, then we can sort of do both.


For me.  With a 4 man bench and no Valencia he just fits.  O'Malley is first up though.   Gamel has 131 pts of patience right now, powered by a .390 SLG?  3 XBH in 71 PA including 1 HR with 1 SB and 1 CS.  It's a wonder he has 12 BB.  I don't see why people are pining for him just now.  The walks that are driving his batting line don't seem sustainable.  If Vogue wasn't ready at .309/.409/.473 how is Gamel?  I think the moves have been basically right on position player callups to now.  Gamel could still use some time from what I see.  


I don't think an extra couple hundred ABs from a 25 year old who's been in the minors since 18 really does much.  I was pretty down on Gamel when we added him - because with him, Dyson and Martin there wasn't a clear CFer, and all those guys should be center fielders.  Haniger is a Saunders-type who can play CF if we need him to, so that helps.  The best hitting prospect in the system (Lewis) is a CFer in the same vein as Haniger, so that's good. Even if he works out he won't be ready for 2-3 years, though.

So in the meantime, Seattle needs a CF.  They have several options. Their options in RF and LF are basically Haniger and O'Neill - or one of the CFs, which we're trying to avoid.  I'm okay with Gamel in CF, or Dyson.  I don't think I like them playing next to each other any more than I liked Martin and Dyson playing next to each other.

Gamel's career ISO is .115.  That's fine if he draws a bunch of walks and hits for average, much as it was fine for Chone Figgins.  Figgins also had 3000 minor league PAs and a .109 ISO. He worked because his "soft WAR" as Doc would put it held up.  He got a bunch of walks, could play a defensive position (several, actually) and run the bases. If Gamel can be a Chone Figgins / Randy Winn type then more power to him (so to speak).

That's what we don't know, and won't know until he's up here.  If his OBP crashes without that power threat and his BA sinks in concert (which is more what I expect) you're still looking at a Leonys-Martin-like .260/.310/.360 - for several million dollars cheaper.

If Seattle is gonna rush somebody, "rush" Gamel.  I want O'Neill to work out a few more kinks in that strike-o-riffic approach first. Gamel can slap singles and play a glove OF anywhere.


Gamel makes some sense to me.  Thanks for that clarification.  I still like Heredia more but there's an idea there that I can go with.

Seattle Sports Outsider's picture

Count me on the side of Ichiro. Dude was a generational talent. If only he was hitting in front of this MOTO.... sheesh... Plus swipe 50+ bags. Let's also not forget the Gold Glove D. This talk about MVP during rookie years - Ichiro actually did it.

I would swap Ichiro's rookie year and career moving forward from there for Maniger's rookie year moving forward 10 times out of 10. 

Let's not get carried away with a month of hot hitting. Great story. Glad we have him. Excited for his career. Steal of a deal. Etc etc. But no way I disrespect an all time great in Ichiro.


We're still talking about Tank O'Neill this year...hitting .208 at Tacoma entering tonight?

If we want to bring up a young star who's hot right now, how about the guy at AAA hitting .438.  Yep, Ketel Marte--oh...wait...that doesn't work anymore, does it?


Of course I'm happy with what we have.

Just trying to point out the eternal futility of using AAA stats to predict MLB success.

Were it only that easy...


...it just isn't the complete story. :)

The stats do have useful league to league correlations...you just can't settle for OPS and other simple stats, and, even when you're using more predictive metrics, you do have to actually watch the guy play and incorporate that knowledge.


James still considers it --- > just about as predictive to MLE a .350 OBP in AAA as to post a .350 OBP in the majors.  ... it remains a good debate.

Any M's fan knows very well that there is a "blood-brain barrier" to cross between AAA and MLB.  Not all prospect cells permeate the membrane.  Still, if Gamel's MLE's are similar to Brett Gardner's MLB's, it may be worth giving him a half-season in the bigs.

Hey Matt, what did you say Haniger's MLE was again?  Heh.


was .831 OPS via .480s SLG...I told you folks he'd ISO .200 and I still like that projection...but his HIT tool is even better than I thought it was...and I was higher on it than Doc was. :D


Even if Haniger extends to the whole season, you're talking known (Ichiro) vs unknown. My brain keeps thinking of things like injury, not just dropoffs. Not a level playign field talking about a known career. =)

I hadn't realized Boomstick was so far back into the good side of things. Excellent!


...is #11 in the AL in %95+ (the percent of balls he hits with exit velo of 95 mph or greater)

He's fine.

In fact, his BB/K has traditionally been about 0.35 and right now it's 0.65...so...he's better than fine...he's still improving...LOL


...that Felix Hernandez has 1 BB and 20 K this year.  We should look up what starting pitchers in history have had K/BB that high.........:D


On ESPN, they ran a bit on Nova, and talked about how since the Pirates pitching coach changed him, Nova has only had 4 walks in like 90 innings, to go with rough 85 K's.

Too Bad Jack Z did not trade for him...


He's a memory implant of mine from 2003* ... 264:32 CTL, or something, 11-13 record, losing record all time, 110-115 ERA.   His slash was like 10.0 / 1.2 / 0.9 that year.  Some guys post a great year, sandwiched by fairly good ones or by mediocrity ... for me that's Sheets...

M'sFan4Life's picture

Wow, I'm actually a little surprised. He was an 80 grade hitter (85? 90?) almost every year. Video game batting averages, and elite OBP 5 years (which I consider 380+). All that said, he "only" OPS+'d 130 once, with just three years OPSing 830 or better. I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised given what we know about the value of a single vs XB/HR's, but still. His OPS+ line looks more like "star hitter, year after year" versus "Mega Destroyer of Baseball". Of course, so much of his immense value was the SB's and GG defense, as well as reliability and longevity. Add it up and yes, it's HOF-worthy. 

All that to say: Is it unreasonable to think Haniger's typical (not every) season could produce more offensive firepower than Ichi? He's not the 80 grade hitter that Ichiro was but is very clearly more powerful and content to take his BB's more than Ichiro was. I'll take either with a smile, but gun to my head I'll take the metronome awesomeness of Ichiro. But talk about a no-lose proposition.



Kenny Lofton would post 110 OPS's.  While scoring more runs than that.

Unless you put special value on the ability to manufacture a single run in a tough game (and I do) it's not going to be hard to find Edgar Martinez types who dwarf the stats of leadoff hitters.

So I compare leadoff hitters to leadoff hitters.  Hard to think of a single one, other than Rickey, I'd have preferred to Ichiro.  Pete Rose with speed and defense.  :- )


It's easy to forget just what a catalyst Pete Rose was, unless you were there.  His leadoff credentials get lost in the gambling debacle and the Charly Hustle schtick.

But beginning in '65, when he was 24, and running until '81, when he was 40, over 17 seasons he never had an OBP less than .351.  He was in the .350's only twice.  He had 4 seasons in the .380's, 2 in the .390's, and 5 in the .400's.  Heck, he hit .300 15 times in those 17 seasons, bottoming out at .282. 

He was actually a better OBP guy than Ichiro.

The guy could play.


...he was a sub-par defensive player at just about all of his positions with the possible exception of LF...just FWIW.


Most metrics I've seen (my own and the other advanced metrics that exist in his timeframe) peg him as average to a bit above in the outfield early in his career below average on the infield...and after age 32 or so, he was a below-average fielder everywhere.

M'sFan4Life's picture

As a side note, holy moly, has everyone here taken a moment to appreciate the pure beauty of Benintendi's swing? My goodness, that may be the sweetest, purest swing I've ever seen. Good thing he's only 170 lbs...Gosh dang I'm tired of New England sports teams. Their 4-sport success is really aggravating to me.


Good thing Dipoto stockpiled high minors depth like a 10 tiered wedding cake. Were going to need every slice to weather this storm. Darn near every draw at the pitching deck has been a deuce. Keep shuffling Jerry!


If they're serious about winning, Andrew Moore is the guy who replaces Felix.  If they call up anyone else to fill that role, they're not serious.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.