PTI: Third Base for 1H-2012 (3 - Lineup)

Q DaddyO:  To what extent would 4x youngsters, in the lineup together, risk another Deadball-Era offense in 2012?

PTI Jemanji:  (1) Would Carp and Ackley count as two of those youngsters?   In Dr. Frankenstein's lab, Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp offer the same kinds of probabilities for 2012 that (say) Michael Young and Paul Konerko do.

(2) Baker Live! bangs the drum nightly about the big FA bat.  That would be the hedge we all want.

(3) Stars & Scrubs does offer the risk hedge that you can swap players in and out.... 


Q Tacoma Rain:  We have 10 OF's for 4-5 spots, 15 RP's for 7 spots, etc ... will Zduriencik make the right choices?  He may not make a move, and will get ripped if he doesn't ... but should he?

PTI Jemanji:  Ya.  Stars & Scrubs is, in a mathematical sense, often safer than 25 Honda Civics.

It's one thing to be have [a 3-of-a-kind made].  But what if you have [a 4-flush and three draws at the fifth spade]?  Sometimes a proliferation of options is actually much safer than it looks on the surface.

Supposing that Casper Wells has a 40% chance to hit well enough for CF, and Trayvon Robinson has a 40% chance, and Michael Saunders has a 15% chance, and Franklin Gutierrez has a 25% chance, and the field has a 10% chance, what does that add up to?

That Stars & Scrubs field would give you a 81.7% chance at having some one of those players come through for you.  Does Colby Rasmus have an 81.7% chance of playing well next year?


Lemme put it this way.  If you like the talent on Wells and Trayvon, and if Wells is in the mix in CF, you like your ballclub's CF chances for 2012.

If you don't like Wells' glove there, if you're skeptical of Trayvon ... if you think the same way at 3B, SS, etc ... yeah.  Stay away from a lineup of youngsters.  


The Mariners' team OPS+ did rise to league average in August.  But it did slip back down to 70 in September.  The root causes of the decline?  Casper Wells got hit in the face, Trayvon fizzled, and the stars (Ackley and Carp) got tired.

It's not like a 100 team OPS+ is a given.  It's something that Zduriencik will be (reasonably) hoping for.




I'm thinking the prospect fear amongst the Mariner intelligencia is likely an artifact from a decade of prospect face plants.  Let's face it, for 10 years the club gleefully didn't even attempt to develop ANY in-house regulars at "bat first" positions.  Meanwhile, the conga line of failed bats at the glove-first positions wrapped around the Puget.
The fear is legitimately based on actual observation.  It is a strong tendency in man (and woman) to put more weight on what one has witnessed than what one has read about.
After all the failed up-the-middle prospects, I get the blood drain from contemplating prospects filling positions like LF, 3B, DH.  (Except, of course, this view sort of works hard to ignore the FA acquisition pick up failures amongst those spots).
Honestly ... the best bat-first position pickup for the Ms since 2002 was ... Ibanez?  He was snagged for a tip on a NY Taxi ride for 5 years and was the one (and only?) undeniable win in the Bavasi era.  But I think most understand how much blind luck played into THAT result, (which is why the big-money FA remains the Holy Grail for so many).
For me, it comes down to this.  If these were Bavasi prospects, then the perception that having a half dozen (or 473) prospects would not appreciably change the odds of success.  But, these aren't Bavasi prospects.  In many ways, the bats (as a group) are photo-negatives.  Bavasi era was marked with Ichiro wannabes -- lining up to put wood on anything in the same zip code.  Today, the prospect pool is filled with Mark Reynolds wannabes, who (en masse) can keep storm centers off the Pacific Coast with their combined fanage.
Ultimately, I want to see the parade of prospects, knowing that many will fail - and conceeding I (and nobody else) can possibly know which it will be.  But, AFTER we see the failures (and successes), THEN the club will be in a position to go long on a piece it NEEDS, (be that DH or CF or Catcher).  Going into 2012, the club doesn't need a 2B.  The other 8 positions ... (not knowing where Carp will land) ... are a mystery.

Jpax's picture

I am not necessarily convinced that we are drafting better (but as Sandy notesm we are definitely drafting different tool and mental skillsets)
I think we have exponentially improved the prospect development system.


Trade acquisitions... no inconsiderable portion of our young players came here via trade ...
Including Carp, of course ...
One place it's pretty clear that we're drafting better is with the very high picks.  They're locking in reliable performance rather than getting infatuated with speculation, ultra-return players that they married three years before a given draft.
Danny Hultzen, vs. Brandon Morrow, is an inkblot test.
Nick Franklin, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Kyle Seager were high picks, but I'm not used to seeing them pan out quite like that, are you?
We could argue I guess about whether Catricala, Blash, Poythress, Prior, Littlewood etc are a better group than the 2006 group looked at the same point in time.  That argument would be a fair one.

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