Sea 5, SF 7 - coupla lefty bubbles burst


Bob Condotta with a very fine postgame quote-fest:

The lowlights were the pitching of relievers George Sherrill and Hong-Chih Kuo, who each gave up three runs to allow the Giants to rally, and an offense that got just six hits total.  

Sherrill has historically struggled to get his breaking ball just right in the Arizona air, and that might have been the issue again tonight. He's deemed pretty much a lock to make the team and has had some good outings earlier this spring.  (Condotta)

It was a good catch by Jeffy, the fact that Sherrill had two bad Arizonas previously, following up with good regular seasons.  Thath high-quality H20, though of course you get the same here on a daily basis.

::winning smile::

Problemo is, though, here's the EKG on Sherrill's arm.  The slider particularly used to be a snappy 80 mph; now it's a mushy 74.


Other problemo:  it wasn't even his slider that was getting tattoo'ed.  He threw 11 sliders with a neutral run value and got all 4 of his swinging strikes with that; he threw 15 fastballs giving up +1.4 runs over average just in those 15 pitches.

Worse, Sherrill's fatball has no horizontal break at all, almost unheard-of in the bigs, is "straight as a string."  George still hides the ball well, but the fatball has no life.  It is the run on the fatball that we hope he gets back in Seattle air.

He's worth a try, but Dr. D is worried.  


Kuo, now that's differ'nt.  Him, I would go ahead and release.  He's 91 mph, not 96 ... his slider is all over the place ... his upside is greatly reduced... and even if things break right, you'll always have to worry about an implosion set off by the yips.

Kuo had an embarrassing mess-up at 1B, botching an EZ double play and then falling down in an ugly way, all of which in fact led to all three runs in the inning.  That kind of thing can get you cut when you're on the bubble to start with.

Hey, the banker will include a brand new remodeled stadium at Cheney.  Deal? Or No Deal?



=== Erasmo === 

Asked what more the team needs to see from Ramirez, Wedge said: "He has shown us everything he needs to show us. We have seen him as a starter and in the bullpen and we'll be able to see him one more time.''

Could not agree more.  He showed me everything I wanted to see, and then some.  Well, one other thing I need to see.  What Jack Zduriencik is going to do with all these pitchers.

Could we do an 8-for-1 on Lawrie or Stanton?  Hey, Dallas traded Herschel Walker for 10 players, five of them being NFL players and five of them being 1st or 2nd round draft picks.  Show me an 8-for-1, dude.  Let's go like Catricala or Carp, Vargas, Erasmo, Seager, Paxton, and any three minor leaguers outside our top six.  Brett, you got third today.


=== Carp ===

Of Carp's homer, Wedge said: "That was true, too. He stayed behind it and drove it like a right-hander would drive it to left field. To be able to do that against a left-hander says a great deal about his swing and where it's at.''

G, you got anything to add to the way Wedge said it?



Or if it's not him, then whomever it is.  His name might rhyme with Smelliot.  Possibly.
Now, we have a slight advantage over other teams since we've been in ST longer.  It takes time to get a feel for the breaking ball after not throwing it all winter, to get the release point where ya want it...and our hitters have had extra at-bats against live pitching to get ahead of our opponents.  Not everything going on this Spring is JUST because our hitters have all become special.
Carp is not giving up his job.  He's gonna Ibanez that job for a decade, at this rate, and you'll have to pry it from his cold, dead fingers.  He's hammering the ball everywhere.
Peguero is turning heads with his (inconsistent but visible) attempts and even successes at not being a windmill at thte plate.  I thought he was Wily Mo, and he might be, but Free Wily (Mo) still has value, and if he's more than that...yikes.
Saunders isn't going anywhere now - unless Trayvon's for real and Saunders brings us something.  Catricala is aimed squarely at 3rd, forget this OF-only nonsense.  Seager might be demoted to play second if we insist on continuing with Figgins, but he's gonna have a long pro career too.  A Bloomquist who can hit has value.  Jaso probably won't even make the 25 man in April unless we're completely terrified of a half-dozen potential pitcher ABs that NL teams deal with EVERY DAY.  Have I mentioned I really like Jaso at the plate, even if I'm less fond of him behind the dish?
And none of that includes our Ackley / Smoak / Montero MOTO hitter group that looks like it will be firing on all cylinders.  Where the heck did this all come from?
Hopefully now everybody can see why I've been fond of Erasmo for a coupla years.  His changeup is good, his breaker has significant bite, his four-seamer can be moved around the zone even if it's straight as an arrow.  Millwood and Beavan should be nervous.
Our bullpen situation is still more fluid than I want it to be.  We have League, Wilhemsen, Furbush...and then we're scrambling.  Kelley and Sherrill probably make it, but how long they stay I have no idea.  That said, how much improvement does our 2011 vs. 2012 25-man show?


Jaso probably won't even make the 25 man in April unless we're completely terrified of a half-dozen potential pitcher ABs that NL teams deal with EVERY DAY.  Have I mentioned I really like Jaso at the plate, even if I'm less fond of him behind the dish?
Exactly so, G.   Exactly so.
And Kuo and Sherrill got flipping ripped.  I think they are both done.
Go young Jack, go young.


With the way Kuo and Sherrill are doing, I wonder if the Brewers will make a deal so we can put this guy in Tacoma for later. I don't see that he's in the top 12, but he might be #13 or 14. Wonder if the Brewers want a UT type who had a good season in '09?


Could our 2012 B Team beat the April 2011 Mariners in a series?
2011 - Felix / Pineda / Fister / Vargas / Bedard
2012(b) - Paxton / Hultzen / Walker / Erasmo / Noesi
Bullpen (top 5):
2011 - League, Wright, Laffey, Pauley, Ray
2012(b) -  Pryor, Robles, Snow, Kesler, Moran
2011 - Ichiro, Figgins, Bradley, Cust, Smoak, Olivo, Langerhans, Ryan, Wilson
2012(b) - Saunders, Seager, Catricala, Liddi, Peguero, Robinson, Franklin, Chiang, Jaso
I have to say... I think the guys who might not make the April 2012 roster could provide a serious threat to the guys who filled out our 25 Man on April 1st last year.
Quite a change in a year.
The April 2012 Rainiers look SCARY...


I would never do. Lawrie and Stanton are very good players, maybe franchise players, but the value in the guys you're offering is too much. I'd rather see if the #3 pick can get us the same thing (Byron Buxton?) or if we can pick up a Victor Roache at #62. Or find another Catricala in the weeds of picks 100-1000.
Also, although he doesn't have a no-trade or anything, I can't see Paxton going to Toronto. I recognize that Beeston was trying to screw Boras, not Paxton per se, but he did really throw him under the bus.


Other teams are hiring batting cage coaches (didn't Alonzo Powell go to SD for that?). Why not see if Mike Bard might bring his rubber bands and stuff to Safeco and do so for at least home games, or for both the Ms and Rainiers home games. Give him Peguero, Liddi, Wells, Chiang, and Trayvon as projects, as well as continuing with Saunders, and see what happens. Give Chambliss overall direction, but see if more attention can get more results. Between Elliott's conditioning improvements and specific hitting technique fixes we could make 80-90% of Lawrie or Stanton out of our own.


Wonder what they're saying about it.  When it comes to hiring people in the F-500 world, one Michael Saunders picture is going to be worth 1,000 words.  Bard's resume now commands respect.


Next year when James Paxton was 17-10, Mike Carp had 30 homers and 100 RBI, and Vinnie Catricala was slugging .500 at third ;- ) ... the Jays had five other good players along with that ... they'd have Zduriencik's brains for breakfast.
But it would be cool to see Zduriencik start making some more of those AGone-style 6-for-1 offers.  Heh!

dashatt's picture

Like to remind you how that worked put for the vikings. There will be a time when the Ms have more guys buried in the minors than they have holes in the lineup but tell the young guys show they can lock down there place on team and know what is really needed before giving up farm for one player. Loved the rest of post.


Before we should package them up and trade them for first-tier talent.
Catricala may be Alex Gordon, or he may be Jorge Cantu, but would you trade him and let someone else find out at $350k / year?
If Vinnie winds up as The Man and Ackley is The Legend then Seager's got to be on the market - except who doesn't want a McLemore type on their championship team?
If Erasmo, Paxton and Hultzen are all working out then aren't we just trading "old" guys like Vargas and League instead of building kid packages?
Jack is making this hard on us by the sheer level of the talents we seem to be stock-piling. ;-)
A five-for-one trade package of guys we might never need and therefore won't haunt us:  Seager + Peguero + Trayvon + Maurer + Pryor... And you could still be giving away a plus 2B, a decent corner OF, a league average CF, a #3 starter and a closer.
That 5-spot is more than we gave up for Cliff Lee.  Hilarious.
Think we could get Doug Fister back for that? *laughs*  


The Heat giving up Odom, Butler, Grant, and a #1 for Shaq, and winning it all...
The 76'ers accepting three NBA regulars for Wilt Chamberlain, who became a legend in LA...
The Celtics in a pure 7-for-1 for Kevin Garnett, going from 24 wins to 66 in one offseason, and maintaining elite status for years after...
Then there's the Babe Ruth trade....
Bill DeWitt calling Frank Robinson "an old 30" and dealing him straight up for several quality MLB regulars... Robby won a Triple Crown in 1966 and keyed Earl Weaver's ascension.
Any blockbuster can backfire, for either side.  I'll take Garnett and take my chances.


At this point, Figgins, Vargas, Guti, Ryan, Olivo, Millwood, Beaven, and maybe more, are, or soon will be, excess, if things continue (although I now believe Millwood and Olivo will stay for a while). I suspect Jack Z. is waiting for the season to start and teams like the Reds and Mets to have their needs become vivid. Then he'll pick their double -A pockets and move on. The only unknown is what we'll get and what, a la Robles, we might have to include.
My problem with trades of prospects at this point is until we know what we've really got with Seager, Peguero, Catricala, Robinson, Ramirez, Snow, Maurer, Capps, Pryor, Moran, Franklin, Littlewood, even Moore, Martinez, Chavez, and Chiang, we don't really know who we want to trade from that pool. The "sure" ones -- Ackley, Smoak, Carp, Hultzen, Walker, Paxton, .. -- are probably off-limits, but most would have considered Pineda that way until it happened. But we traded him for equal - two prospects for two prospects. No Brett Gardner involved. Gardner would simply block Carp or Saunders -- he's that much better than Saunders has been, but will he be that much better than Saunders now might be when we're playing in October?
If we could get a "can't miss" right fielder for Vargas and one or two of the first list, then fine. But I'd rather gets some AA type like Martinez, or Chiang, or an arm like Noesi. There is still a good chance we can get Byron Buxton, Victor Roache (as damaged goods for Dr. Elliott to rehab), a someone-I-haven't-heard-of-that-Tom McNamara-is-looking-at-at-this-moment, or more in the coming draft (hopefully our last this high). I have confidence that Jack Z. and company can grow us more good ones.
My guess is that we will trade the veterans for lower level prospects to continue to build the farm system, but that none of the prospects will be traded unless there's substantial evidence that one is Cepeda to another's McCovey. As such, Seager and Liddi may go, but I believe Chone and Ryan go first, and that Seager and Liddi are being groomed as our preferred bench MI and corner IF guys. Among Chiang, Robinson, Wells, Peguero, and Chavez - one will play either center or right after Ichiro leaves, with the best arm between them and Saunders in RF. By next year we'll know that - but right now we might be trading Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, or Mike Morse (names that will haunt the Bavasi era of this franchise) -- guys who would have been better than anything we've kept until Jack Z. Jack is going to earn his money clearing this roster this year.


Chone, Ryan, Olivo....They go first.
Vargas, League, Guti will be in that class, or a bit later.
What does a Vargas, League and Guti package get?
I wouldn't be surprised if Trayvon is the first young guy to go.
Catricala, Liddi, Smoak, Carp, Montero, Ackley....Man that's a smashing 2/3 of the lineup. 
Think about it and smile...

ghost's picture

He's pitching well and has a much better arm than Sherrill.  Sherrill always has bad springs so he'll get a look before he is dropped...but the pen, IMHO, should start the season as:
and the rotation should be:
Millwood was a nice idea for clubhouse leadership, but he has no place on this club going forward...Noesi and Ramirez do and we might as well give Beavan a shot to improve his change-speed game while we wait for the goodies...Beavan has more chance to build up trade value than the old guy or the old Japanese pitcher with the fifty gazillion ST ERA.  Time to cut bait on the old guys and just go with the kids.


I think Jack will try to make a deal for Luetge - maybe a non-40-man guy from us, since the Brewers are full up. Maybe somebody like Arias that's a little farther away, but has some upside, but is also not a leftie. We seem to have a good selection of RHP on the way (Hobbs, Pryor, Capps, et al) but few BP lefties other than Moran. Then Luetge can be sent to Tacoma to polish up.
I also think they try to sign Kuo to a minor-league contract if he clears waivers, and will keep him in Peoria for more work.

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