The M's Left-Handedness
Best Athlete Available, Dept.


LH vs RH

Dr. D doesn't personally hold with the notion that the M's need to make huge FA decisions based on platoon splits.

Left-handedness or right-handedness, in a team's lineup, those tendencies morph very quickly.  Supposing, just for argument's sake, that Mike Zunino is a pleasant surprise in 2014 and becomes your best hitter.  Boom, your needs have changed and now you've just compromised on TWO (2) major free agents based on a need that isn't there any more.

Not Zunino?  How about D.J. Peterson becoming even more of a hitter than expected?  Or supposing Justin Smoak clicks against RHP?  (The famous 'overnight success' that took five years to jell.)  Or Stefen Romero becomes the next Kyle Seager?  Or a million things.  You don't have to be able to forecast them, for them to occur.

Still:  the M's are, rightly or wrongly, focused on right hand hitting this winter.  If Granderson is one of their adds, he 'forces' you into an extreme approach with your other hitter.  (Nelson Cruz doesn't have much of a platoon split, by the way.)


Best Athlete Available, dept.

It's like an NFL team spending its 1st-rounder on a tight end because it needs one.  No, over the course of 10 years, take the best player every time, and you'll find yourself better off.  In the first 5 slots of your 25-man roster, get the players you are truly happy with, and then clay-shape the last 20 slots to address team needs.

Take the best player with your 1st-rounder, and over the course of time you'll find yourself loaded with Earl Thomases and Russell Okungs and Bruce Irvins.  At least if you do it right.

You really want a righty RBI guy, go get one or two.  But THOSE are the role players.  Not your big free agent add.



Let's say the player you want most is Giancarlo Stanton.  Well, the fact is, that the Mariners are in fact loaded to the gills with left hand hitters.  Including Choi, for instance.

Here is a situation in which these two things

  • The player you'd really be happy with, and
  • Your "saturated" organizational trait

Intersect in a proactive way.  You're not "reaching" for a band-aid, with Giancarlo Stanton, or with (say) Ryan Braun if the Brewers are playing hard-to-get.

If this is the winter you finally open the pockets, though, let's hope it's not out of a band-aid mentality.  Shun the temptation to select your best players based on short-term needs.

My $0.02,

Dr D



We have too many left-handed hitters....So let's got get Jim Ray Hart instead of Willie McCovey.


The things that appeared the biggest weakness' of the offense this year were OBP and hitting vs. LHP. It seemed like LHP were Mariners kryptonite. So I just looked at the record vs. RHSP, which was 49-62 (.441). Vs. LHSP they were 22-29 (.432) which isn't significantly different. That seems to show that their overall skills and OBP would be better to focus on than the side of the plate they hit from. All other things being relatively close, factoring in handedness still makes sense to me though.

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