Houston, we (may) have a problem!
Sizzlers and Fizzlers, speaking Doc-eese.

Mallex Smith is a rusty gate:  .165-.255-.247 and he's K'ing in 30% of his AB's.

However, Braden Bishop is at .271-.364-.447 in Tacoma.  The other day he launched one into the parking lot.  He's made 2 errors in CF, but then so has Smith.

Tim Beckham has made 11 errors at SS.  .286-.359-.533 will make you ignore a lot of a .913 Fld. % at SS, however.

JP Crawford has made 3 errors for Tacoma and is hitting .291-.378-.419.  OK, OK...much of that is due to a vL line of .387-.472-.581, but he is a career MLB .764 vR. 

Kyle Seager will be ready in a bit. 

Dee Gordon has returned to being the good Dee Gordon.  But at 101 OPS+, this is as good as he ever gets.

Jay Bruce is K'ing in 32% of his PA's.  Other than that, he basically hits a homer every 10 PA's.

Right now, Ryan Healy's value is at 3B, go figure.  He's basically blocked out at 1B by better bats.

So we have this collision of events, a good collision, mind you, that may begin to push Dee Gordon off of 2B, if he has any drop-off.  His .360-.370-.480 vL line, with a .405 BABIP, suggests such a drop is possible.  His vR of .694, with a .308 BABIP is only a bit better than last years .658/.307.  Last year he walked at a .019 rate, this year it is up to .036. 

What do you do when Seager comes back?  What do you do with JP Crawford and then where do you move Beckham, who has a bat that demands to play.

Mind you, these are decent problems to have.  All the same, they are beginning to demand some thought.

Finally, I hope Seager was watching Vogelbach handle the shift last night.  He lined a single the other way in his 2nd AB then roped a 2B down the LF line in his 3rd, after letting an off-speed offering travel deep into the strike zone.  Classic stuff.

Comments

1

We are talking the temp,ate that screams “fourth outfielder projection”: Smith and Bishop. The question is always: which fourth outfielder templates (of which there are so many) break out to become regulars: CF defensive assets as well as highly desired leadoff hitters. Look at who is playing leadoff and CF now in Cleveland: our old friend and would be fourth outfielder Leonys Martin. He’s been playing that role (someday we’ll find his replacement, but for now, he’s doing the job) for a number of years now: for Texas, Seattle, Detroit, and now Cleveland. But he’ll always be considered a placeholder.

Interestingly, top flight teams have their own budding CF/LF leadoff hitters playing the role as fourth OF but have an established body of work at the approximate age of 26-27 similar or even superior to Smith and Bishop. Houston has the guy I would want: Tony Kemp. He’s their fourth outfielder, period. I’d trade for him in a minute and put him in CF. Cleveland has Greg Allen, who was stunningly effective in the final month and a half for Cleveland last season. All three: Bishop, Allen, Kemp, are off to poor starts. It happens. Bishop‘s body of work doesn’t suggest to me he is qualitatively different. 

Smith is definitely the better gamble to break that mold, having done the job in Tampa Bay. Perhaps he needs to clear his head in AAA, as Greg Allen did for Cleveland after June swooning prior to his strong finish. Allen was just shipped to AAA in fact. 

We are still far behind Houston (well, duh, Rick). But I will enjoy the challenge. Smith is likely the future, but yeah, we may need to burn that final option.

2

Here's my lineup when Seager comes back:

Haniger CF

Vogelbach DH

Santana LF

Bruce RF

Encarnacion 1B

Narvaez C

Beckham SS

Healy 3B

Seager 2B

UTIL Dee Gordon (perfect Mark McLemore that can back up SS, 2B and CF)

Seager, down 15 pounds, is an ideal candidate to move back to his former position. Dee Gordon's skillset makes him the ideal UTIL (not our fault he's overpaid). Late inning pinch runner / defensive replacement.

5

There is a new Mariners chat forum for those who enjoy live chatting about the Mariners during, before and after games!

MarinerTalk.com, currently just a forum but there is already some live discussion going on!

6

When you get a chance stop by Mariner Talk.

Would love to talk to Jeff about joining forces and keeping you in the mix also Moe.

We have 70 registered users with a very active forum of longtime Mariner fans in under 3 days.

The website portion is coming soon, but that's what I'd like to talk to you about, joining forces.

7

I'll try to pull together posts on 

a) What we think of the plethora of winter trades, now 1/4 thru the MLB season/ 1/3 through the milb season. Cano/Diaz for about 1/2 a ballclub still looks like a winner- Segura and the bullpen for Crawford looks a lot better. In fact, I wouldn't reverse any of them, at this point! 

b) Who's gonna get traded... 1st, 2nd, etc.- and, what kind of return will they bring? 

c) Who's gonna get promoted? 

I know that plenty of professional commentators are writing posts on these topics- but I'm interested to hear what you all think! 

8

Thanks Boom,  I've been meaning to gget something up.

EE goes first, somebody needs some 1B homers.  He walking at a career best rate, hard to bet that continues.  We might get  farm league arm of some potential for him.

And that might be the extent of trades.  I'm not sure Bruce has done enough to bring anything in return, considering you have to pay him next year, too.  Actually, I think Gordon might be the next most likely to go.

Promotions?  I'm getting Kelenic to AA by the end of the season.  Special players, you move up fast.

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