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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 7, 2008 9:40 AM

Today's game at HoHoKam Park

Posted by Jose Romero

Holy Cow!!! It's the Cubs again on the road. The M's are trotting out the lumber again as all regulars will start except the injured Adrian Beltre (3B). Here are the lineups:

Seattle Mariners (4-3):
51 Ichiro Suzuki CF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
28 Raul Ibanez LF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
6 Brad Wilkerson RF
2 Kenji Johjima C
4 Jose Lopez 2B
12 Mike Morse 3B
52 Carlos Silva RHP

Other Pitchers:
18 Ryan Rowland-Smith LHP
41 R.A. Dickey RHP
54 Sean Green RHP
59 Eric O'Flaherty LHP
66 Robert Rohrbaugh LHP
76 Brodie Downs RHP

Chicago Cubs (2-6):
2 Ryan Theriot SS
1 Kosuke Fukudome RF
25 Derrek Lee 1B
16 Aramis Ramirez 3B
19 Matt Murton LF
17 Mike Fontenot 2B
24 Henry Blanco C
20 Felix Pie CF
30 Ted Lilly LHP

Other Pitchers:
22 Kevin Hart RHP
44 Chad Fox RHP
48 Neal Cotts LHP
63 Carmen Pignatiello LHP
49 Carlos Marmol RHP

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Posted by Fg

10:14 AM, Mar 07, 2008

I have been watching baseball for a bit now, and I just came upon a question; what is a ground ball? It seems so obvious but is there a requirments for it to be a groundball i.e. hitting the ground before it reaches the outfield? Because, if not, then all 'hits' are in fact ground balls for they hit the ground before they are recorded as such, right? Maybe a homerun wouldn't be a groundball as it is recorded as a hit as a hit as it leaves the field of play.

I guess I could look it up but that would not be as fun. The internet is great but it has made some of the 'journey' less fun.

Be well
fg

Posted by Damien

10:28 AM, Mar 07, 2008

My definition of a ground ball is simply one that is fielded by an infielder, and has to hit the ground at least once before being fieled. There's also ground ball base hits, which I would consider hitting the ground in the infield before getting through for a base hit. Just my idea of the definition.

Posted by Merrill

10:31 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Thanks, Jose, been waiting for the first post (x2, now!) of the day so I can crawl off to bed.

Interesting thought on the BW/WB boys at the end of the last thread, Scrappy, but I sure hope those FSN guys were blowin' smoke about the bench. But remember, they can keep 12 pitchers and still have four bench guys, and if they only keep 11, they can have five.

WARNING! SELF-INDULGENT RP/BENCH BLATHERING AHEAD! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!

As Donovan et. al. have said, and I agree, it seems a little odd to keep both Bloomie and Cairo. I can see keeping both Jimerson and Morse, since Jimerson is speed-specific, and Balentien needs to play every day. I think Reed does, too, and he's a lefty, as you said, but Morse can do fine playing a few times a week. He and Bloomie rotating through the roster, with Jimerson and Norton as the situational guys off the bench, makes a lot of sense to me.

Keeps everyone both fresh and sharp.

Mac gave his thoughts on not wanting to use Bloomie in some situations last year, and how Cairo gives him that option now, but I'd think Jimerson is an even better version of that option. Morse is good in the clutch, so maybe that's the thinking on cutting Norton.

Seems like Baek might be lost. Bummer. Even if they keep 12 pitchers, I'd think Dickey's versatility and HoRam's second-lefty status would leave Baek out in the cold, if Dickey really is all that he's been portrayed.

Maybe they'd keep Jimenez or Rowland-Smith as second lefty, but it seems they'd then lose a lot of SP depth in both Baek and HoRam. Maybe it's Jimenez as first lefty, O'Flaherty as second lefty, and to heck with SP depth. (Wouldn't be prudent...) Not everyone keeps two lefties, but it seems, um, prudent to me.

I sure wish they could stash Baek down in the minors one more year...

I'm thinking they could plug Baek in for Lowe and keep both, unless Lowe's ready to roll with that 98 mph heat. That might leave something like this:

RP:
Putz
Lowe/Baek
Morrow
Green
O'Flaherty
HoRam/Jimenez/Rowland-Smith
(Dickey)

Bench:
Bloomquist
Morse
Norton
Cairo
(Jimerson)

The parantheses guys would be my guess for the 12/11 pitcher, 4/5 bench guys scenarios, given your comments, Scrappy. I'd switch Jimerson and Cairo, as I said.

Posted by Higbie

10:35 AM, Mar 07, 2008

coooooonwaaaayyyyyy

Posted by Adam

10:38 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Putz
Morrow
O'Flaherty
Green
RRS
Dickey


That's what I think will happen. I think Lowe goes to Tacoma to start the year, and that RRS and Dickey beat out HoRam. I really hope Lowe flashes something so that Morrow can go start in Tacoma, but we all know that won't happen. Bavasi and Mac have jobs to save.

Posted by Merrill

10:51 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Who do you think would be the 7th guy if they keep 12, Adam?

Posted by Adam

11:10 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Probably HoRam (shudder).

Posted by Merrill

11:13 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Hmmm...

Wekk, have a good day, everyone--Go M's!

Posted by Merrill

11:15 AM, Mar 07, 2008

TWC--Typing Without Contacts

Posted by Mike

11:16 AM, Mar 07, 2008

I'm not Adam but I fear the answer to your question Merrill is HoRam.

Posted by Snowbound

11:48 AM, Mar 07, 2008

How come there is so much support for Jimerson making the team as a bench bat?
His minor league numbers aren't all that impressive except that he does have some pop in his bat, and can steal some bases, but he doesn't hit for much of an average, doesn't off-set it by taking walks, strikes out a ton and he's going to be 28?

I'm not really for or against him making the roster, but if he doesn't and gets picked up by someone else off waivers it wouldn't really be a big loss. He's been pretty blah as a player outside of last year at AA when he was 27 years old.

2004 - .706 ops 24yr old AA ball
2005 - .759 ops 25yr old AA ball
2006 - .732 ops 26yr old AAA ball
2007 - .911 ops 27yr old AA ball

Those seasons were all over 300 At-bats... one seems highly out of place.

Posted by scottM

11:54 AM, Mar 07, 2008

It's hard not to like Bloomquist as a person/teammate, but I agree with the argument that going powerlite with both Cairo and Bloomquist makes little sense.

I'd love to see Lowe in the pen if he's healthy, but RRS is a more proven commodity and, if they're stuck paying HoRam $3 million, I don't see him getting cut. It will be Lowe to Tacoma, unless they think they want to send RRS there to stretch out in case one of the starters gets hurt. If Dickey or anyone else falters, then Lowe, if he's healthy, will be back up soon. (It's already established that Morrow will not be sent to AAA).

All this talk about the the M's management favoring Vets. It's not favoring Vets; this team hates to have its payroll sitting on the bench (whether it's Sexson, HoRam, Vidro, etc.). I hate the way this attitude seems to tie the manager's hands.

Does anyone know if the M's are on the hook for HoRam's salary if he doesn't make the team?

Posted by Adam

12:24 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I can't remember the date, but if they cut him before that date, they only have to pay him about $800 K.


Of course, they aren't brave enough to do that...

Posted by Zorro

12:28 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Man, Yuni can sure hit those lefties. 2-run bomb off Lilly.

Posted by Snowbound

12:36 PM, Mar 07, 2008

HoRam has options left, he doesn't have to be cut even with his contract, the M's can still option him to Tacoma.... at least that's the report I've heard online.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

12:40 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Ugg..Silva looks horrible. I predict he is the 2008 version of HoRam.

Please send Morrow to Tacoma...please...

Posted by woodinville_m's

12:46 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Merrill


No backup catcher......???

Posted by slider

12:47 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Merrill, you forgot Burke on your bench!

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