Anti-Lefty Countermeasures -- Part III
Zunino and Romero: surface-to-air Dept.


Mike Zunino, C.  Rating = 4 to 5

This is a scouting report based on two games.  Not a discussion of what it implies, that Mike Zunino has 173 big league at-bats.  The latter would be somewhat less encouraging than the former.

This is the funniest swing of the last two years.  Zunino barely moves his lower half, and then he stops it anyway, long before the swing.  The backstroke - the "raising of the hammer" - simply isn't.  He just pauses, sinks the weight a bit, lets the hands go with no load and .... would you watch that left fielder, please?!

Heh, heh, HEH!

Mike Zunino, kiddies, was a #3 overall draft pick; if he were a Yankee he'd have been one of baseball's top 10 prospects.  Wait, hang on ... he actually was a #17 MLB prospect.  Ain't it somethin', what happens to Mariner prospects, hype-wise?!

McClendon has hit Zunino #5 in a game or two.  This spring, he's got a wonderful EYE ratio of 7 walks and 12 strikeouts in 19 games - and a .261/.346/.565 line against all pitchers.

Against LHP's, Zunino will have that extra little moment of time that may help alleviate his inexperience.  Even if he hits .218 overall on the year, he might contribute some collateral damage against lefties this year.


Earl would put together a platoon of John Lowenstein and Gary Roenicke, and they'd hit 36 homers between them.  Earl would say, "once every 14 at-bats, those guys were doing a whale of a lot to win me a ball game."  In that specific game in which Mike Zunino manages to pop a long ball against C.J. Wilson, the M's are liable to win that game.


Stefen Romero, DH.  Rating = 8

Chen threw the first pitch, missed inside, making sure that Romero couldn't extend those brawny arms.  Romero's 5 o' clock shadow alone goes 375 feet.  You don't want to miss out and over.

Second pitch, Chen fired a slider onto Romero's back knee.  

Romero pulled his knee out of the way, SSSSNNNNAPPPPPED the end of his club down onto the chalk of the batter's box, and threw a 410-foot line drive over the right-CF fence.  I got your Screen Drill right here, baby.

He didn't play against Anderson.  In the Chen game, he also had a sharp single to left and a line shot to center.  This, kiddies, is what Jesus Montero was supposed to look like:  225 lbs.' worth of a .636 slugging percentage and a Cellblock D jowl.

The only lizards in the cellar:  the 1:13 EYE ratio early on.  It's due to his bad intentions, not to his hand-eye coordination; early on he's looked like a young Juan Gonzalez.  Oh, here's the ball, I think I'll take it off the LF wall for a double.  He does it at will.

Romero has to be an illusion, that illusion being "The last blinkin' guy in the world you want to mess with."  The pesky rodent Angels better hope so.  Corey Hart better hope so too.


Ackley, Franklin and Morrison.  Rating = 4, 4, 4.

If you're not winded, Dr. D is.  So, the Cliff's Notes.  None of these three look any different than you'd expect.  

"Deuce" Ackley, in particular, he's defending the strike zone against LHP's, fighting off strikes, letting close pitches go.  But, we'll grant you, he's defending it with tenacity.

If it were these three we were counting on against C.J. Wilson, I'd say Nnnnuh.


Dr's Diagnosis

You'd have to check Dr. Detecto on this one.  Based on these two late-March games, he'd have thought that the Cano-Miller-Romero-Zunino lineup had put its 2013 troubles behind it.

Michael Morse, last year, and Corey Hart, this year, were brought into single-handedly balance the M's lineup.  Nelson Cruz would have been here to single-handedly solve the LHP problem.

You coulda fooled Dr. D, because it looked to him this week like the M's lineup was solving the problem together.  But make sure Romero is in there, okay?









If Zumball starts happening, then our vL lineup isn't 1/2 bad, figgerin' on Romero, of course.
Oh, did you know that J. Blash beat up on the left-handed JV pitchers last year to the tune of .319-.410-.626.
OK, he K'ed 25% of the time, but 40% of his hits went for extra-bases. If a Morrison or Smoak went down with a booboo, would we give a guy like that a shot?
Or a Tenbrink, who beat up the better JV players who threw RH'ed to a whopping ISO rate of .200?


I'm encouraged by the fact that JackZ and MgrMcC really seem to be giving the youngsters priority seating.
If Blash continues last year's last 2 months and keeps his K% rate down to ~23-24%, I expect we see him in the summer. This spring, except for some errors where he looked like he was both 'tight' and hurrying (rookie-looking), he was OK in the OF.
If Almonte doesn't get it going and Morrison falters at all, I expect we'll see Jones and Blash up in June/July, at least for a look-see. The fact that those two got a lot of spring MLB game play makes me think Lloyd sees something he likes -- and Blash's slugging is definitely to like!

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