Jumping the Shark
Or not


Jeff Samardzija was throwing BB's for the Cubs on Friday - absolutely midseason, 3-hit shutout, form.  

Not talking my opinion.  Talking fact.  The Cubs' manager put on the headset, about the 4th inning, and he was giggling.  "Wow, wow, wow.  Jeff looks fantastic."


In that context, Dr. D was curious as to which Mariners hitters held up under the withering radation.  Could Abraham Almonte cover the strike zone front and back -- could he get to a hot fastball, and could he hold up for a slider?  Were the swings defensive?  Or what?

As Earl said, "Nobody cares on April 5 whether you won a game in March."  So, then ... who looked like they'd translate?!

The first trip through the lineup, Samardzija nuked everybody except Cano and Ackley (!) and we're thinking, uh-oh.  But hey!  Second trip through, different story...


Almonte, CF -- Rating = 3

First AB, pretty well overmatched.  Struck out looking without getting the bat off his shoulder.  A confused customer is a customer who does not buy.

Second AB, a defensive little fly out the other way.  Third AB, an unconvincing single, but it was a single.

I don't say this is the gospel truth.  Just talking about how they looked in this game.


Seager, 3B -- Rating = 7

Kyle is what he is.  He had a normal game, for him, against a Cy Young righty.  Samardzija of course pressed him onto the back foot, but he worked a walk, took a sac fly the other way.


Cano, 2B -- Rating = 10

This guy is going to require a very large box of Kleenex.

First AB, worked through various *@$# pitches, then got an offspeed diving out of the zone, did a Griffey hesitation, and COVERED!!! that ball, swatting it into RF for a casual single.

Is this guy a BETTER hitter than Edgar?!

Later, with the Cubs' manager on the headphones, he worked Samardzija for about 10 pitches :- ), finally taking a ball low and in, and trotting down the line.


The player-analyst in the booth was asked, "Who could the Mariners GET, to make you give in to Robinson Cano there?"  The response:  "Nobody.  Unless it's Barry Bonds, it doesn't matter who's behind Cano.  You don't give him a good pitch there.  You deal with the guy in the box, and you worry about the on-deck batter later."

So there.


Hart, DH -- Rating = 0

There are K's, and then there are embarrassments.  Hart is embarrassing himself right now.  Samardzija, on one K, just fired a lazy fastball onto the black, and Hart was "a week and a half" behind it.

What is Hart, like 18 strikeouts in 36 AB's?  It's understandable.  But why isn't he getting those 9-AB minors games?






I'm worried about Hart. Worried worried. If he doesn't give me something in the next couple of days, I'm all for DL'ing him for a bit. Right now, he's terrible.
We're not sending Morrison anywhere until Hart shows life. WE could use that 110 OPS from LoMo Doc.

Brent's picture

IMO he should have been doing it before now, but on the radio pregame Thursday Rizzs said Hart had done that very thing that morning. Didn't hear anything mentioned about it yesterday. He isn't in the starting lineup for either of today's SS games, so it's possible he's doing it today.
I understand why he hasn't been playing much in the field - micro-fracture surgery doesn't always work, and I'm a bit skeptical of Hart's assertion that he "feels fine; no pain from the knees." I'm not saying he's flat-out lying to us, but he might be lying to himself a bit. He doesn't look good AT ALL at the plate. Hart says that his worst springs have always been followed by his best years, but I'm with Moe on this one - he doesn't appear to have recovered well enough from the surgery to play at the major league level, and a DL stint might be the best solution for all involved. Let's not throw him out there until he's 100%. Since it's seemingly apparent that the primary outfield will be Ackley, Almonte and Saunders, let LoMo DH every day, even against lefties. No need to put LoMo out in the wide open spaces just to get his bat in the lineup.


His comments about his best years coming after poor springs just sound too convenient after 18 months away from the game. It's not as if poor spring=good season is a cause/effect sequence. It may have been true before, but the context now is completely different. Hart was acquired to be this team's big RH bat. If he can't perform for the first two months of the season, the M's are definitely going to feel the "loss." We go into the preseason thinking we have a RH MOTO bat who may only be able to play half his games in the field; instead at this point it appears we just have an overmatched flailer.

Brent's picture

Divish blogged this morning that McClendon said Friday was a day off for Hart; when asked about his absence in the lineups today said today was a day off as well. If Hart needs two days off after DH'ing in a minor league game (albeit with 9 AB's) he's nowhere near ready to be on the active roster Opening Day. Hitting is timing, and after a year off Hart's just isn't there. Whether it's knee pain or just rust doesn't matter at this point. He's not ready.


Hart is not in the lineup for the third strait day.
I know that he says that his knees don't hurt but it really hasn't looked like he's been moving well to me the few times I've seen him this spring. Of course, he hasn't been getting on base much but when I've seen come out of the box toward first base, it's looked bad. I was reminded of the first time I saw Greg Oden on the basketball court before the Blazers drafted him. He was a man among boys in college but at 22, he moved like a 40 year old Robert Parish on the hardwood. Hart looked to be moving like that to me and that ain't good. Maybe he was dogging it a bit because they were obvious groundouts and fly outs. But that impression stuck with me and I haven't seen anything to alter it since.


Hmm. I'm beginning to wonder if Michael Morse might not have a better year than Hart. Wouldn't that just be typical Mariner luck? At least we have lots of kids to look forward to!


I think it is more and more clear that Hart is more hobbled than has been let on. I know that 40 PA's is a small sample, but he looks lost at sea. Lost lost. 18 K's? 5 hits? C'mon. This isn't just about shaking off some rust. This is a guy who isn't fully healthy yet. Well, iIMHO.
If that is indeed the case, then the big question is what the M's roster response will be. Romero has secured a spot, I'm pretty sure. I wish he had a walk or two in him, but if he slugs anywhere close to this, I don't care. Basically, he's doing what we hoped Hart would do.
Without Hart hitting, LoMo is a lock, too.
Seager-Miller-Cano-Smoak-Ackley-Almonte-Saunders-LoMo (DH)-Zunino is a pretty safe bet for the opening day lineup. That's today's lineup, except Morrison is in RF today and Saunders is DH'ing. Buck-Bloomquist-Romero makes 12. Hart or Franklin make your 13. BTW, Bloomquist, Buck, Romero, Hart and Franklin are on the bench today.
Do we keep Franklin up? Seems like that would be a surprise, although Mac has never said that couldn't happen. Do you keep Hart up? Right now, I would much rater see Romero get those AB's (and maybe Gillespie getting the AB's that Romero would have got).
Do we make a trade now? With Hart a big question mark, there may be some temptation to get a RH bat of the Viciedo/Tabata type.
Or do you trust Romero (or Gillespie) to provide RH bonk, and then hope Blash rips in Tacoma? Blash and Deej are in the RH pipeline.
Could our "in the big doghouse" waddling DH/ex-catcher/future 1B actually make the team? Man, wouldn't that be backup up on the tough love philosophy!!!!
Right now, I'm DL'ing Hart UNTIL he shows some life. Minus a trade, if we want Franklin to play everyday, then I'm keeping Gillespie or giving a slot to Tenbrink. Gillespie has hit MLB RHP WAY better than lefties, but that's in 90-ish PA's against either. It's just stastical noise. In AAA he's basically shown no overall split difference.
Tenbrink kills RHP and plays everywhere. I like that idea.
Mac may like Chavez, but if he does that then he may as well put Almonte in AAA.
By the way, Gillespie, Tenbrink and Chavez are all NOT on the 40-Man. Keeping one would require dumping somebody. But the same is true for Wolf, Baker and Elias.
Wolf's performance today (6 innings, 6 hits, 3 ER's, 2 BB's but only 1 K) may be enough to give him 4 MLB starts.
Felix, Paxton and E-Ram are in the rotation, I think. Beavan may back into some starts, unless we just want to go with Elias.
But back to Hart. Much depended this year on his looking like the Hart of old. That isn't looking good.
We have some big roster decisions to make in the next few days.


Almonte is really making things difficult and not in a good way. Lloyd is giving him every opportunity but he's just not taking it.i don't know how they can carry him if he hits worse than Brendan Ryan.


As Almonte makes it difficult in the wrong way, Romero makes it difficult in the right way. I still think Almonte gets the opening day nod, can we really expect much better from Chavez? But Ackley-Saunders-Romero with Almonte as #4 on opening day? Nah, unlikely. But if Romero keeps this up, he's getting an everyday RF.

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