The News Tribune's Bob Dutton has a fun article up about the 7 questions he had back on Feb. 20th. Now we have a good idea of where each is going, though conclusions on few of them. Let's follow along his 7 questions.
CAN VOGELBACH PLAY 1B?
The TNT says: 'Bach is a slight favorite to make the team. Like, 60-40, I guess.
Ryan Divish says -- he also has an info-taining piece up on the roster battles -- that 'Bach will be watched closely during April. A scout also says, interestingly, that Danny Valencia is average or almost average defensively at 1B. Coulda fooled me, but OK.
Dr. Detecto says, you don't want to assign a person to go climb Mt. Rainier, and when he brings you back a snowball, then DFA him for it. If Dan Vogelbach isn't good enough AFTER THIS WINTER to play 1B then what were you thinking when you started that whole concept? "If Tank can control the zone he's in there." Then he controls the zone and he's not in there. This means you wasted all our time and money with a terrible judgment.
The M's, of course, are not known for their terrible judgment.
SSI has observed that 'Bach has been lousy at the plate, since the first week, and Servais indicates he's pressing. 'Bach has nothing more to prove in AAA.
IS HANIGER READY?
The TNT says: of course. It quotes Servais, "Very impressive," Servais said. "Everything he does is very professional. He very routine-orientated, much like the veteran players even though he doesn’t have a lot of major-league service time."
There is an excellent My Northwest article on Haniger here. Shannon Drayer asked, if there were a trophy for MARCH PLAYER OF THE MONTH. Servais gives it to:
“Mitch Haniger. Very very professional approach. He has a plan. Every time he is in the outfield, he is on the bases, he is in the batters box, it is a very professional approach. He knows this is his time. He is going to get an opportunity to play here; he’s worked for it his whole life. We are going to give it to him and let it run. He’s taken it very very seriously.
“I like what I have seen. It is very impressive.”
WHAT WAS THAT WORD? DID YOU SAY "UTE"?
The Times has Taylor Motter as a nose ahead of Shawn O'Malley for the UT slot. The TNT has him more than that. The money quote: Dipoto and Servais view Motter as "a solid offensive weapon against lefties." Enough so that he could platoon in LF with Dyson. This would open up Mo' Dawg's FlexRoster with two backup SS's and an OF cage match at Tacoma.
Also the M's view Motter as a better shortstop than O'Malley (Motter certainly has a gun). Thirdly (!) they see Motter as having more upside than O'Malley.
Dr. D says: and you've got the hair flip. Guess we're done here.
FLEX-ROSTER OR HEREDIA-GAMEL?
The TNT says: because the M's have come to see Motter as a platoon guy with Dyson -- and Dyson may be fulltime anyway -- this is now a contest.
Dr. D says: Heredia and Gamel have done too much this spring, and are too good, to punish both of them with demotions. In his humble opinion. You can call them in and say "sorry we can only keep one of you." Tough to call them both in and say "We've lost interest in the two of you. We got two scrubeenie middle infielders who could be okay, so take a hike." Well, y'know. Just kiddin' around.
Truthfully the twin demotion became an issue with the possible need for an 8th RP, and with the possible 500 AB's for the Future Nate KKKKarns Trivia Question.
Tony Robbins says: we have a moral obligation to be optimistic here. Ergo, we M's fans have got a win-win-win situation in the OF. Whatever the Mariners decide, our glass is seven-eighths full.
IS CISHEK OKAY? who cares no that was mean forget you saw that
The TNT says: no need to rush him.
The Seattle Times says: [long, meaty discussion of the bullpen] Cishek isn't in view for Opening Day. Tony Zych could be, though.
Dr. D says: He did not realize that we're down to Zych and Veiera as backup RH relievers on the 40-man roster.
LH $$ Zip
RH $$ Vincent
RH $$ and KKKK Scribner
Then 5 Dan Altavilla and 6 Casey Fien seem to be givens. Altavilla as the only 95+ thrower, and Fien for reasons Dr. D does not at all understand. 7 Miranda or Pazos. As it stands on this side of the wormhole. Stand by for wormhole linkage to April 1.
MIRANDA TO AAA?
The TNT sez: Miranda will be in the bullpen.
Dr. D sez: He can jump into the rotation from there easily enough. Fly by your SSI instruments, not by your pitching coach aphorisms.
PECKING ORDER, SP's 1-9?
The TNT sez: 6 Miranda, 7 Heston ... 8, 9 short term will be whichever Rainiers start on day 3 and 5. Out of Overton, Whalen, and DeJong.
Dr. D sez: Max Povse might be the #6 for him, in a vacuum. By "vacuum" we mean "if you didn't have to cut Zac Curtis or Paul Fry."
Jamie Moyer said, as G pointed out, Andrew Moore is "something special" and he's almost good enough to be in that category of "don't call him up until you expect him to stay." In any case you have the luxury of seasoning out ONE young starter you hand pick.