Dr. D on Greg Johns on Jerry Dipoto on the AL West
Wow, Felix, good job on that heater

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Greg Johns does his consistently nice job, giving you a primer on the M's roster in case you missed it.  Similarly, here is a graphical depth chart for 2019.  

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Catcher (2): Omar Narváez and David Freitas
What changed? Nothing yet, though this remains an area the club would like to have bolstered to help out Narvaez, who has struggled at the plate so far this spring while trying to learn a whole new staff, as well as working to improve his pitch framing and footwork.

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MAINFRAME CRUNCH:  The catching defense could, we say could, become one of those hidden internal hemorrhages that suck runs off the Pythag.  It's worth wringing your hands about.  Johns suggests Martin Maldonado or another strong defensive catcher.

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First base (2): Edwin Encarnacion and Daniel Vogelbach
What’s changed? Encarnacion has played more first base than expected this spring and the 36-year-old slugger appears targeted as the Opening Day starter, which would allow Vogelbach to take the designated hitter duties and also be available to play first base at times. The odd man out in this scenario for now would be Ryon Healy, the returning starter, who has Minor League options remaining and thus could open the year in Triple-A Tacoma without being exposed to waivers.

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OH HAPPY DAY:  The M's, at last, truly forced to fish or cut bait on 'Bach.  Lest we forget, the Mainframe considers 'Bach's HIT tool -- and EYE -- to be special, special, special and come the season when he relaxes into his swing, there may begin the string of Ortiz-lite seasons.

Into the bargain here, we've got an aging 35-year-old MLB(TM) cleanup hitter and one more thing to hope for:  that he'll escape the Grim Reaper's trade scythe, or (while SLGGing a short-season .600) bring back something Sheffield-ish when he bails.

Wow, Healy to Tacoma.  That's kinda big.

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Shortstop (1): Tim Beckham
What’s changed? This one seems to be playing out as expected, with the veteran Beckham in line to open the season as the starter. J.P. Crawford remains the heir apparent to Jean Segura after his acquisition from the Phillies,

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Dr. D won't bust the M's chops on this one.  Though John Sickels gave him a sky-high B+ rating in this scouting report, he's not really my kind of player.  "Smooth" defense and a lefty bat with 10 homers (?!) and a good EYE, it doesn't sound like waiting on to me.

Still and all, the verbiage reminds me of a young Craig Reynolds, back where she allllllll started.  A defender you're proud of with a bat that threatens 100 at short.  J.P. Crawford is at the perfect age that yells "MLB Ready," not too young and not having wasted any time.

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OUTFIELD:  DOMINGO SANTANA LF ....

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.... hit 30 bombs, cleared the magic .500 SLG fence in 2017 at age 24, and then dropped back into a struggle last year at age 25.  This spring he's breaking windows again.  POTD to follow; in the meantime how about some potatoes in the pot :- )

Don't know where else to put this.  Jay Bruce reminds me SO much of something you'd have seen roaming around the field, unsupervised, for the 1970's Mariners.  Not to get on Dipoto too much.  He's a placeholder, we're sure.

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PITCHING

We schmeckled a bit about the rotation in t' other article; Johns gives you something to munch on in the pen.  If you missed it, Hunter Strickland closes and there are seven (7!) slots wide open after that.  T'would be interesting if one of the prospects, let us say Dunn or Swanson, pulls off a big story in camp and becomes one of the seven.  In the meantime we can expect Dipoto to do some scavenging here, no?

Be Afraid,

Jeff

Comments

1

Long time no see - grateful to see you here. :)

If Vogelbach is the DH, Jay Bruce has no role on this team unless Encarnacion is traded.

C) Narvaez
1B) Encarnacion (with Bruce jumping in against lefties and Encar DH'ing to sit Vogs?)
2B) Gordon
3B) Seager
SS) Beckham/Crawford later
LF) Santana
CF) Smith
RF) Haniger
DH) Vogelbach
4OF) Bishop
UTL) Long, most likely
BC) Freitas (please get someone better...)

That's all the slots we have, folks.

25 slots...13 of them for pitchers...Bruce isn't one of the 12 unless Vogs is out or Encar is traded.

2

I figured Lobaton was the backup catcher and am interested in seeing more of him.  Otherwise I'm right there with you.  I'm more worried that E3's bat won't hold up in Seattle than Bruce's.  It's how I've seen different players of their types perform in the park with consideration to age and their trends.  In my mind Cruz is an outlier with tested positive highlighted.  If we're just saying that Encarnacion is going to juice, then OK I see that chance more possible.  But this year would take 2001 level lightning to go all the way.  And next year I've got about 8 outfielders on the farm to look at, some of it will be at DH.  Then 'Bach might go back to the Cubs even.  I did like hearing Shannon say she thinks the team wants to see him up in an extended stretch. 

It's been weeks since I heard any positive outlooks on Smith being ready for Tokyo.  So for that, whos clock do you start?  Mal said "I think the outfield should be Santana/Bishop/Haniger w/ Lewis as 4th as a reward for the spring he's had" on Slack and I follow that because I think 6 years will be meaningless in 2 when the entire system changes.  My guess is they may grandfather all, some or no part of rules changes as they pertain to players who teams have made decisions with based on the current system of length of control, arbitration (which I think works fairly well) and other factors being changed.  But the point is super 2 may not exist before it ever mattered with the guys. 

3

Great to "see" you, Doc!

Hopefully your last month has been better healthwise than mine. A couple of weeks ago I spent three days in ICU and a week in the hospital from post-procedure infection and septic shock. Dangerous stuff.

Looking forward to the new season, lower expectations, but much more interesting, dare I say fascinating.

Tally Ho, my friend!

4

You're past the worst of it, sounds like?

Rough, rough ride you're talking about there.  Hope you're resting well now.

Best,

Jeff

5

Yes, doing much better, thank you. More stuff down the pike but at least it's planned. Heading to Puyallup via Seattle over Easter to see our daughter and her family for the first time since we left over a year ago.

You well know what rough rides are like. The good thing is that, Lord willing, we can look back at them.

And it's a special, special thing aterwards that you can come home and see your wife, family and grandkids. Did I say appreciative? Appreciative.

6

Doc, one of your best lines ever:   

“Don't know where else to put this.  Jay Bruce reminds me SO much of something you'd have seen roaming around the field, unsupervised, for the 1970's Mariners.”

Daddy, you get well!  

 

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