Jumping the Shark II
You suuuuurrrre there's no way to get this guy on our team?!


Smoak, 1B -- Rating = 3, maybe

Whoops, we got the batting order switched up here.  File for your refund at 1-800-KLAT-RULZ.

Dr. D was concerned.  The first AB was a routine K, and Smoak did NOT look quick to the ball in Screen Drill style.  What, here we go again?  Smoak's game is fine against second-rate fishing, but useless against Shark Attax?

Second AB, there was an outside fastball and Smoak lunged at it, trying to pull it.  Classic rollover easy groundout.  GRRRrrrrr.

Third AB, Samardzija blew him away.


The good ... Smoak's weight control looked positive; his "Ki" was competitive and controlled ... but, we didn't see a lot of the "hit the inside half of the ball" approach.  I don't say he's done.  But he looked feeb against Jeff Samardzija on March 20th, 2014.


Morrison, RF -- Rating = 6

Not in the least disturbed by the fact that he was facing a modern-day Kerry Wood.  Battled Samardzija comfortably, and lasered a DEEEEP fly ball to the OFF field, actually an off-field HR that some kid pulled back in, bashing his head in the process.

Like we said, Morrison is a big-league hitter.  You can figure on him for a 110 OPS+, give or take.  Whether that's what we need in that roster slot, is another matter.


Ackley, LF -- Rating = 11


Here was Gordon's AAA report -- "Oh, here's a nice curveball.  WHACK!  Ah, a 96 fastball.  WHOCK!" -- come to life against a Cy Young pitcher.

First AB, Ackley guarded the strike zone like a Rottweiler at his food bowl.  He worked the count, and here came a devastating low-away pitch, and Ackley --- > drove the CG back at Samardzija, dipped the back knee, and ZZZZINNNNNGED it into right field for a Pete Rose / Wade Boggs / Ichiro single.  He looked like a tennis champ returning serve.

Second AB, a sizzling ground ball into the pull field for another hit.

Third AB ... did we mention this was against Jeff Samardzija on his best day? -- he dipped the knees Ichiro style and crushed a double over the SS into the left-center gap.

Buy, buy, buy.


Franklin, SS -- Rating = 6

Swung over a hellacious slider in a deep count.  So sue him.  Next AB, took a deep fly ball right over Samardzija's head -- possible HR -- which is a very aggressive return in the "Be Quick!" context.

Also worked a walk on Samardjiza.  Generally speaking, he looked about like Kyle Seager on the day.  Think about it.  Think about the context - last year's overthinking, and the competition, and so forth.

SSI gingerly feels like Nick Franklin is not far away from being a good major league player, and that's on his way to being something different.


Jack Buck, C -- Rating = 3

Blown away a time or two ... cobbled a liner to right-center, using arms only, like "Don't hurt me!  Oh, there's a nice little double.  Too bad the RF robbed me."


Overall, Seattle Mariners vs Jeff Samardzija on His Best Day = 8

First time through the lineup, only two guys got good swings.  (Woulda been three, if Miller were in there.)  But!  Second time through, they gave Samardzija all he wanted.  Everybody except Almonte and Hart, and maybe Smoak.  (Almonte did a great job road-running the bases to manufacture the first run.)

The M's took their strikeouts, 8 of 'em ...  but they got six GOOD hits, two walks, and two more XBH robbed from them in 5+ innings.

You think Robinson Cano is rubbing off, the way Miller says he is?

I'm psyched,

Dr D




Between Cano, Seager, Miller, Ackley, and even just almost normal years from Smoak, Saunders, and the catching position... I think the offense will be OK.
Thus if we could trade some young pitching - Elias, Maurer, or ERam, plus a few young relievers - Medina, Bawcom, and even a Wilhelmson or Farquar since Pryor is close... maybe we would not have to give up Franklin to get Shark... but instead Taylor or other minor league position players.. Doubtful I know, but it sure would be nice to get Shark.

jokestar's picture

Which I did in Hawaii a couple of years ago. I'd love to get the Shark, but I don't think I'd trade ERam for him. I'd substitute Franklin instead. I know it was only one game, but ERam actually outpitched him in that game. ERam has lowered his ERA to around 100, I believe. The kid has worked hard in the offseason and the fruits of that labor is showing in ST. Plus he's still under team control for a while.

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