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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 14, 2008 10:08 AM

Reed sits and waits

Posted by Geoff Baker

bigisland08 030.jpg

One of you asked me yesterday whether Jeremy Reed (pictured above, leaving the field in the ninth inning yesterday after being caught stealing) had been hurt throughout the spring. This might explain why he's only been used sparingly compared to others like Mike Morse, Wladimir Balentien and Charlton Jimerson. The answer is no.

Why then, does Reed appear to be an afterthought at camp? Good question. Mariners manager John McLaren and GM Bill Bavasi apparently tried to answer some of that for him this morning in a closed door meeting. The meeting pushed McLaren's meeting with the media back by about 15 or 20 minutes. So, it was pretty important. There was some speculation Reed was about to get cut. Turns out, it was more to tell the player what's going on and where he fits in the grand scheme of things.

"Sometimes you see some guys dragging,'' McLaren said afterwards. "We're just being honest with everybody.''

My guess? He's going to get cut. Not now, but at some point in the next two weeks.

No, it's not always fair. Anyone who's ever played elite level sports at any age can tell you there are politics involved. Probably some of that at-play here. Reed still has Class AAA options left. Morse and Jimerson do not.

The numbers Morse is putting up, as I mentioned yesterday and Larry Stone discusses today, are probably rendering a lot of the politics moot. If the Mariners don't keep this guy, based on what I've seen, there is something seriously wrong with this team. And that's not just because of a .581 batting average. It's from talking with Morse and with others about him, like Raul Ibanez. When I spoke to Ibanez about Morse before the start of Cactus League play, Ibanez, who trained with Morse in the Fort lauderdale area this winter, told me this was a different guy he'd seen. A focused, complete professional. That doesn't mean he dresses nicely after workouts. It means he's a pro, has put aside lingering bitterness about things like sports politics, and now is going about his business. Taking care of his business, nobody else's.

Morse confirmed all of that when I spoke to him for a story nearly a month ago, right before the spring games began.

But it's one thing to say it. Quite another to go out and do it. Morse is backing up all his talk by now walking the walk. On command. Spring numbers don't mean anything, I know, we've discussed it all week. But the only time they may actually mean something is when a guy whose job is on the line needs to show something and is able to show it,

For me, that's the only reason you bother with spring games, other than to loosen up the pitchers. You don't do it so Ichiro can snap hitting slumps. You do it so guys like Morse can prove something.

McLaren tried to provide some hope for Reed in talking about him this morning.

"He has a chance to make the ballclub,'' McLaren said. "I know Morse is hitting the cover off the ball, Balentien has played well, Jimerson has stole us a bunch of bases. They all bring something different to the table. When it's all said and done , we're going to sit down and see which is the best piece for the bench.''

Spare us, Mac. At least, save the propoganda for the players who need stroking. I'll be playing center field before Reed makes this club out of spring training. And if you watched videos of Reed on this blog yesterday, tracking down three simultaneous pop-ups, you know he's far more athletic than this sore-kneed writer. And that talent and athleticism will have another year to hone itself at Class AAA. That's just where things stand. McLaren wants a right handed bat for the backup outfielder job and Reed bats left handed.

As for the other guys still trying to land a backup job, none of them were called in to meet with McLaren or Bavasi today. One of them is Greg Norton, vying for a pinch-hitter role.

Listen to what McLaren had to say about him.

"He knows how to pinch-hit, which is big,'' McLaren said. "You can't just have a guy and say 'OK, you're a bench player and you're going to pinch-hit now. Some guys are specialists in that.''

Or how about R.A. Dickey, hoping to make it as a long reliever?

"He can do any role,'' McLaren said. "He brings something to the table where you could possibly bring an extra bench player because he can pitch every day and it won't bother him."

McLaren adds: "I didn't know he threw that hard. Wakefield didn't throw near as hard as this guy does.''

Sounds a lot better for both guys than the standard "He has a chance to make this team."

Hopefully, I've answered some questions. Here are today's lineups (someone tell that Jeff Baker guy how to spell his name):

Rockies vs. Mariners

Colorado Rockies (7-7-1):

29 Scott Podsednik DH
2 Troy Tulowitzki SS
27 Garrett Atkins 3B
10 Jeff Baker RF
25 Seth Smith LF
22 Marcus Giles 2B
47 Joe Koshansky 1B
18 Cory Sullivan CF
20 Chris Iannetta C
----------------------------
56 Franklin Morales LHP

Other Pitchers:
34 Matt Herges RHP
44 Micah Bowie LHP
52 Juan Morillo RHP
61 Ramon Ramirez RHP

Seattle Mariners (6-8-1):

51 Ichiro Suzuki CF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
28 Raul Iba√Īez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 Brad Wilkerson RF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
10 Greg Norton DH
2 Kenji Johjima C
4 Jose Lopez 2B
----------------------------
43 Miguel Batista RHP

Other Pitchers:
31 Ryan Feierabend LHP
38 Jon Huber RHP
49 Jake Woods LHP
62 Cesar Jimenez LHP


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Posted by scottM

10:42 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Nice Larry Stone piece on Mike Morse this morning. I do hope we see Morse in a regular rotation to spell Ibanez against Lefties and Wilkerson with regularity so his health doesn't become an issue.

Also, I agree with what Oregongal said yesterday that if a player is hurting (e.g. Sexson) then it's up to the manager or player NOT to harm the team by playing anyway. Having a guy like Morse substituting regularly will keep the other players fresher and less likely to get hurt.

OH, AND HEY MAC, WHOEVER IT IS, PLEASE FIND A WAY TO PLAY THE HOT BAT THIS SEASON!!! (in other words, get Morse in the lineup out of the gate to see if ST will translate into the reg. season)

Posted by Ziasudra

10:47 AM, Mar 14, 2008

To Jackrabbit (previous thread)-
I don't think the choice is between Willie and Morse, it's between Willie and Cairo. Morse is a lock for the 4th OF slot. Now, he is versatile enough to fill in the IF, but he's not quite as fast as Willie or Cairo, not quite the defensive IF as either, so they'll keep Willie OR Cairo, OR both, depending on the BP and/or Norton.
Willie has been a favorite of mine for years; I'm sorry they got Cairo; but he may be 5% better, it's hard to tell by radio and print.

Posted by markus

10:51 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Geoff, you are talking like Cairo is a lock on this team. Is this true? Have they already given the spot away to Cairo even though the other guys are out hitting him?

Posted by AKMarinersFan

10:57 AM, Mar 14, 2008

I agree with Ziasuda. This shouldn't be about Reed and Morse (they don't even play the same position).

Geoff - When MAC and Bavasis say crazy stuff like this do the reporters question it at all?

Posted by Snowbound

11:00 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Markus, Cairo was signed to a major league contract, he was a lock to make the team before Spring started unless he pulled a Pokey Reese, or just absolutely and completely tanked.

His offense isn't what got him on the team in the first place, its his versatility.

With the way the bench is structured and the possibility of Morse being the 4th outfielder, that leaves Willie as the only capable backup CF on the team.

Posted by Donovan

11:06 AM, Mar 14, 2008

What ScottM said. Mac is very indirect, and tends to spout platitudes a bit, but he is clearly telegraphing where the roster is headed. If you follow the direction his comments point since ST started, I think you reach the inevitable conclusion that the bench is going to be Burke, Cairo, Bloomquist, Morse, and Norton, and we are going to have a 6 man bullpen (with Dickey in it). Things could still change. There could even be a trade for a bench bat, but that seems unlikely.

Some people will scream (are screaming) over this roster, but I honestly don't see a radically better alternative with the players in camp now. Balentien and Clement need to be playing every day in AAA, not riding the pine in Seattle. Once you accept that they aren't going to start, then their destination is inevitable. One or both will get called up mid-season. You know the roster in August will be different than opening day.

I really hope Mac establishes early that bench players will play, not just pinch hit and run. The biggest positive about the lineup I describe above is flexibility. If you are going to go this way, then you had better use that to maximum advantage and give the main starters rest.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:07 AM, Mar 14, 2008

I have to think that Morse would have double the reasons to "put aside sports politics and be a focused pro", given his steroid history. Yes, I know he did his time, fessed up, and said and did all the right htings after being caught. Yes, I believe the extra hit was leftovers in his system. No, I don't think he's in the same group as Bonds, Clemens, etc. But I do think that he has that extra incentive to prove he belongs, and can play the right way. And of all the role models I'd want to pair him with, as far as conditioning, attitude and character, Raul is top of the list. Raul's skills may be debatable but his effort and approach aren't. All good signs.

Put me in the "wtf is up with Cairo" camp too. Is this going to be yet another case where the front office figures out they spent money on the wrong fellow, and rather than cut their losses and move on they clog a roster spot with someone for a year or two? Or is Cairo fine, and ST #s and appearances don't apply to him b/c he's a vet?

Lineup today looks pretty good for the Ms. Flop Brad and Richie, and Jose and Greg/generic-DH-spot, and I'd be content with that for the season. (But only because I think Vidro should be PH, not DH...)

Posted by Merrill

11:07 AM, Mar 14, 2008

blah--Got some on you!

Told you not to read it.

It's called application of intelligence. You should try it some time.

I just thought it would be fun to check out those numbers and see what came out. That's because, as Rumplestiltschicken put it, I'm a "remedial baseball nerd."

Note the "remedial." I heartily agree with that assessment. What I post, I do for my own enjoyment and for the enjoyment of others.

I will now offer some more direct advice, since my snide comments have apparently not gotten through:

Please feel free to avoid reading my posts if you don't enjoy them. Please feel free to argue the points if you disagree.

Or you can go on believing I'm a (more than?) slightly challenged egomaniac. Up to you, blah.

But let me make it clear: I am not an expert. I do not believe I am an expert. I think this is fun. That's all.

Adam, on the previous thread, you said:

GBs may get through more often than flyballs, but that's not the point. The fact that we are hitting so many GB singles is not a good omen for the future, because more of them are getting through than average (hence the high BABIP). Thus, to hope for the same sort of production from this lineup without a spike in power numbers or OBP or both is useless.

Or, to put it another way, if the lineup performs just as it did last year, you can expect the production to be worse, not the same.


I understood your point about BABIP. And my guess about ground balls vs. fly balls is just that: a guess. Seems like it could be true. Or it could be complete bollocks. Dunno.

But if there is any truth to it, that would seem to account for the higher-than-average BABIP. And I argue the ground balls and singles happened because of the injuries.

Again, could be complete bollocks.

But, if half of those guys (Wilkerson, Vidro, Sexson, Ibanez) stay healthy all season (which you don't think will happen), then I think things will take care of themselves.

That's all I'm saying. Doesn't mean I'm right.

The only reason I sometimes get a little vehement is that I get the impression that you don't think my contentions are reasonable. I think they are.

I also think your contentions are reasonable.

I've spent a lot of effort not trying to convince you that I'm right, but rather, trying to convince you, and anyone nutty enough to read my egotistical, self-promoting, long-winded crap, that my contentions are possible, even in your thought.

In my thought, my contentions are probable, while yours are possible.

In your thought, mine are possible, and yours are probable.

I do this, blah, not out of some bizarre ego-driven desire for attention that's not even real since it's online, but rather, because I enjoy congenial argument. I enjoy it when other people make me think and consider. I enjoy it when other people drive me to defend a point--or even convince me to drop the point as hopelessly wrong.

And most of all, I enjoy reading all your thoughts and ideas and different styles, and I enjoy learning from you all. So thanks for that, and thanks again to Geoff for fostering this kind of space.

You are, of course, welcome to believe or disbelieve that, youngster.

Ditto, Scott.

Posted by Get Griffey

11:11 AM, Mar 14, 2008

markus- (This not sarcastic.)

Right now I think Mac is trying to complement all the candidates, so just because he says something nice doesnít mean he is on the team.

I donít believe Cairo is a locked on this team yet. Seems more like he is an option for defensive rather than for his bat, so even if others out hit him he might make it on.

I would like Morse and Willie to make the roster, with a possible third spot given to the next best type of skills-set we need on the team.

Posted by jujay

11:18 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Not thrilled with the Cairo aquisition but I really just don't get the Norton signing....When you have a Morse and Burke on the bench do you really need a designated PH, especially one who isn't very good.

Posted by Jared

11:20 AM, Mar 14, 2008

It'd be nice to have both Morse and either Jimerson or Belentein on the bench. Rather that then the older ones, Norton and Ciaro.

Posted by Merrill

11:21 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Snowbound, that's exactly why I like Jimerson over Cairo on a five-man bench. He may not bring the infield versatility of Cairo, but he brings more speed, better corner OF defense than Morse, CF for Ichiro if he needs a break (not likely but should be imposed, per Donovan's third paragraph, which I big-time ditto--not just to rest the starters and hopefully increase the chances of them staying healthy all season, per ScottM's comments, but also to keep the bench guys sharp).

Bench players, in my inexpert opinion, should be role guys--if they weren't, they'd be starting. I'm not trying to lecture you, Snowbound, just reacting in general to a lot of comments about bench guys sucking.

News flash: Every team's bench guys suck. Relatively speaking.

Posted by Merrill

11:26 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Chris, missed your comment on my last post.

I sure hope the HoRam cut indicates that this is not so much the case.

Hope springs eternal. And floats. And has feathers. (Does that mean it can fly, too? That wouldn't seem fair, both the floating and the flying...)

Posted by Mike

11:27 AM, Mar 14, 2008

"But, if half of those guys (Wilkerson, Vidro, Sexson, Ibanez) stay healthy all season (which you don't think will happen), then I think things will take care of themselves."

Problem is they don't just need to stay healthy, they need to avoid the predictable decline of hitters their age. We MAY have already seen it with Sexson. Remember how painful it was to see Boonie and Olerud lose it at about the same time? Puts quite a hole in the lineup. Of course some of us think that replacing a couple of these guys with Balentien (who might not be ready) or Clement (who would have to forego catching) would not be an entirely bad thing.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:28 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Mike Morse is a good contact hitter, but there's a very good reason he's borderline to make the team. One reason being is that the scouting reports on Bavasi's desk don't show a lot of upside on this player. And most importantly, he's not an aging declining veteran with ties to the Pacific Northwest.

Honestly, don't take a lot of stock into Morse's spring small scale alleged "tear." He's tied with Angel Pagan of all people, a career 4th outfielder, in hits so far.

Posted by Snowbound

11:47 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Merrill,
I'm by no means advocating Cairo, I think he was personally a waste of a signing. Basically I was just trying to spell out that with the way he was signed and the way the M's are currently constructing what looks to be the bench with Morse over Jimerson then I can see why they are hanging on to Cairo.

It wouldn't be necessary in my opinion if our DH wasn't a guy who could play 3 of the 4 infield positions occasionally. If Vidro was starting at 2nd and Lopez was on the bench (or vice versa) and someone else was the DH then you wouldn't see Cairo anywhere around this team.

Posted by Merrill

11:48 AM, Mar 14, 2008

Mike, you may well be right. If you are, I hope they pull the trigger before it's too late. (Yeah, both the Boonie and Oley things were rough.)

And there's the rub, really. In my opinion and most people's here, they've already erred on the vets' side, and shouldn't go beyond mid-May (since, realistically, we can agree that whatever happens in spring, they're gonna go with the set lineup at the beginning of the year).

I think it would be a bummer to perhaps disrupt Clement's development, but I also think it's on a par with the Morrow situation. I think they could possibly win now, and if the scenario most people seem likely happens (your scenario), they should pull the trigger.

Posted by Merrill

12:06 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Sorry, Snowbound, I wasn't very clear. I wasn't trying to argue a point with you, and I was only responding to your last paragraph about Willie being the ony bench guy who could play CF.

I re-read your first post, and saw that my answer was confusing given the entire context. I understood you aren't big on Cairo; I was just continuing an earlier discussion with you about Jimerson when you said you didn't understand why people were big on him, to which I responded. My earlier response may have been on a later thread than your initial post; perhaps you missed it.

I think scrappy's earlier point about lefties-righties is pretty important when we try to guess about the bench, and it's a point I left out completely in my thinking before scrapiron brought it up.

Stupid of me, but it shows my level of expertise, don't you think?

Anyway, that's a key reason why Reed will be playing AAA this season, where he hopefully completes his comeback and sets himself up for a roster spot next year.

But that also means Norton is a lock unless some other experienced professional PH becomes available. (And in this role I agree with vet bias. Young guys need to hit unless they're defense/speed guys like Willie and Jimerson.)

Anyone harping about how Willie sucks pay any attention to that last sentence?

Didn't think so.

Anyway, I want to see Burke, Morse, Bloomquist, Norton, Jimerson.

Posted by Merrill

12:09 PM, Mar 14, 2008

--and yes, am commenting a lot because it's 2 am-ish here and am sitting at home drinking my last beer of the night while hopeing Geoff has another post in him before I run out of steam (read: beer)...

Posted by scrapiron

12:11 PM, Mar 14, 2008

I think this roster is locked up, and Donovan has the breakdown pretty good. Morse and Cairo are on the team, that's a lock. Norton is now on the bubble. If the Mariners go with 11 pitchers, Norton makes the cut. If they decide to go with 12, Norton is gone.

I'm guessing that they go with 11 pitchers, with Rhodes, Reitsma and Lowe all going to extended spring training. Around the May timeframe whoever has proven themselves ready in extended spring training will push whoever is performing the worst in the bullpen in Seattle.

Lots of depth in the bullpen, this is looking good. Should be able to stay strong and rested all season long, without having to make any more dumb John Parrish acquisitions.

Posted by Adam

12:29 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Merrill - I really wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with you. The reason I brought up the GB singles points along with the high BABIP is because I was trying to engage in a bit of projection for 2008. Whether our high GB rate had to do with injuries or whatever, that has yet to be shown.

If you could show that Ibanez and Vidro or whoever else claims injuries for a poor showing last year had a higher GB rate than in previous seasons, you might be on to something. And that very well might be the case. (although, you'd still have to show that injuries lead to higher GB rates)

In any event, like I said, the 2007 Mariners hit for little power and drew the fewest walks in baseball. All of their offensive prowess can be attributed to a high number of singles. Most of those singles were GBs. They also had an above-average BABIP. Meaning, if all things are equal in 2008, that BABIP will come down, they will hit fewer singles, and as a result, they will be a worse offensive club.

Our hopes to overcome this likely regression to the norm? An aging Richie Sexson. An aging Raul Ibanez. Jose Vidro. A head case in Jose Lopez. An oft-injured Brad Wilkerson.

This is one reason why I was so turned off on dealing Adam Jones. He's got actual potential to make the team better with his bat. I'd bet on Jones putting up a .800 OPS in Safeco before I bet on:

Sexson getting to .800
Vidro getting to .800
Wilkerson being healthy all year
Lopez having an OPS over even 750
Ibanez hitting better than last year

I just don't see a ton of potential for improvement in the power or OBP departments. And thus, the offense will be worse in 2008.

Posted by Mike

12:32 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Merrill--Try as I might I just never quite can figure out what the Ms are thinking. I mean, I know that my assumptions and theirs differ on numerous things such as Vidro's worth, turning a number 6 draft pick into a reliever, the importance of defense, etc. I really don't get the Cairo signing. There are scores of versatile defenders who can't hit who don't cost $800,000. And the concept of pushing Jose Lopez with someone who would not be any better than Jose Lopez at his worst always seemed silly.

So now we trade much of our future for a two year window of a stud pitcher so we can win now and we are willing to run out a flawed everyday lineup that has a serious chance of imploding. If I had just bet my career on a win-now trade I'd be making a lot more moves to try to win now. I would be trying to minimize my weaknesses and maximizing my strengths.

A good example of this would be with Raul Ibanez. He's the second worst leftfielder in the league and can't hit lefties. He'll also turn 36 this summer. How about move him to DH or first and only start him the 4-5 games a week we face a righty? He tears them up. He'd be rested. He'd also be a great lefty pinch-hitter in games he didn't start. You'd be taking a moderate strength and making it a lot stronger.

Posted by Adam

12:36 PM, Mar 14, 2008

A good example of this would be with Raul Ibanez. He's the second worst leftfielder in the league and can't hit lefties. He'll also turn 36 this summer. How about move him to DH or first and only start him the 4-5 games a week we face a righty? He tears them up. He'd be rested. He'd also be a great lefty pinch-hitter in games he didn't start. You'd be taking a moderate strength and making it a lot stronger.


Aaah, but Mike - Raul's been through the wars. He's a professional hitter. He deserves to be out there in LF everyday, making the team worse...

Posted by scrapiron

12:48 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Today's Mariners lineup, and batting order, should be the same thing they trot out on opening day. The only exception is that Vidro will take Norton's spot. Otherwise, it looks like the Mariners are starting to get serious for the start of the season now.

Posted by Scotty

12:48 PM, Mar 14, 2008

The best move the Mariners could make would be to release Reed well before the start of the season. The team dosen't need him or his light bat. He will only hold up a true prospect from getting AAA experience. It's the same situation as was with Ramirez. That debacle of a trade alone should be costing Bavasi his job, but add in the overpayment of his favorite Angels, Speizio and Wasburn, this guy should be selling hot dogs.

Posted by James from Walla Walla

12:49 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Geoff,

Your photos and comments continue to be great.
It has been a totally different ST this year for me. You and your fellow bloggers have given me
a much different take on the whole experience.
Thanks guys and gals!!

To my way of viewing ST so far is that Morse is a
lock. That is a given! I mentioned in an earlier blog that for the over all benefit of the
team, Vidro should be let go or traded. Vidro is a good switch hitter but we need more pop and RBI's out of the DH position. Enter Ibanez as the DH spot. I know this means the Mariners have to eat all or part of Vidro's salary. But, this allows for another OF spot to improve the over all defense. Morse, Ichiro, & Wilkerson would be the starting outfield. Jeremy Reed could then be the fourth outfielder. He can play all positions and platoon against tough righthanders. The talk of releasing Reed worries me. Reed is having a great ST, hitting .462 with some clutch hits.
Case in point Vidro hitting .227!

Merrill, Adam, OregonGal, your thoughts on this?

Posted by markus

12:52 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Snowbound,

what's the point of having another versatile bench player with no bat? And Cairo isn't the defensive wiz that he is being made out to be nor is he the speedster that he should be to make up for the lack of offense that he would provide. Giving him the position while having youngsters tear the cover off the ball reinforces the complacency that has haunted this team for the last couple of years. The 'business-like' approach that the vets have leads to a lack of energy that is killing this team.

If Cairo wins the spot, then great. but the fact that it is already his spot is the kind of thing that will kill this team. Competition makes people better. Cairo makes benches worse

Posted by James from Walla Walla

12:55 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Geoff,

Your photos and comments continue to be great.
It has been a totally different ST this year for me. You and your fellow bloggers have given me
a much different take on the whole experience.
Thanks guys and gals!!

To my way of viewing ST so far is that Morse is
a lock. That is a given! I mentioned in an earlier blog that for the over all benefit of
the team, Vidro should be let go or traded. Vidro is a good switch hitter but we need more pop and RBI's out of the DH position. Enter Ibanez as the DH spot. I know this means the Mariners have to eat all or part of Vidro's salary. But, this allows for another OF spot to improve the over all defense. Morse, Ichiro, & Wilkerson would be the starting outfield. Jeremy Reed could then be the fourth outfielder. He
can play all positions and platoon against tough righthanders. The talk of releasing Reed worries me. Reed is having a great ST, hitting .462 with some clutch hits & HR.

Vidro hitting .227 and is dealing with injuries!

Merrill, Adam, OregonGal, your thoughts on this?

Posted by scrapiron

12:55 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Personally, I'd take Reed over Morse as my fourth outfielder. I want my fourth outfielder to be a good defender, to sub in for Ibanez or Wilkerson. I could care less how he hits. Reed is far superior defensively than Morse. The only reason Morse will be on the team because he is a better hitter than Reed and he hits right-handed, which is what McLaren has said he wants.

The fourth outfielder is going to sit on the bench, and McLaren doesn't like to pinch hit that much, so why are we favoring the offensive player?

And before we get all excited about Morse's batting average, remember that Willie Bloomquist had the highest spring training batting average last year, and it didn't translate well to the regular season.

Posted by James from Walla Walla

12:56 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Geoff,

Your photos and comments continue to be great.
It has been a totally different ST this year for me. You and your fellow bloggers have given me
a much different take on the whole experience.
Thanks guys and gals!!

To my way of viewing ST so far is that Morse is
a lock. That is a given! I mentioned in an earlier blog that for the over all benefit of
the team, Vidro should be let go or traded. Vidro is a good switch hitter but we need more pop and RBI's out of the DH position. Enter Ibanez as the DH spot. I know this means the Mariners have to eat all or part of Vidro's salary. But, this allows for another OF spot to improve the over all defense. Morse, Ichiro, & Wilkerson would be the starting outfield. Jeremy Reed could then be the fourth outfielder. He
can play all positions and platoon against tough righthanders. The talk of releasing Reed worries me. Reed is having a great ST, hitting .462 with some clutch hits & HR.

Vidro hitting .227 and is dealing with injuries!

Merrill, Adam, OregonGal, your thoughts on this?

Posted by jonathoneastsider

1:01 PM, Mar 14, 2008

remember guys, vets give you what they've always given you. But somehow, if they've always given you crappy at bats and lots of stikeouts, then they will give you what they did four years ago while they were hot. Once we remember that, then we'll understand why this lineup is so scary. Not scary like 'oh, they are going to score so many runs that it's overwhelming', but scary like 'oh crap, Bedard is pitching a three hitter and we are still going to lose 1-0' scary

Posted by James From Walla Walla

1:05 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Geoff,

Your photos and comments continue to be great.
It has been a totally different ST this year
for me. You and your fellow bloggers have
given me a much different take on the whole experience.
Thanks guys and gals!!

To my way of viewing ST so far is that Morse
is a lock. That is a given! I mentioned in
an earlier blog that for the over all benefit
of the team, Vidro should be let go or traded. Vidro is a good switch hitter but we need more pop and RBI's out of the DH position. Enter Ibanez as the DH spot. I know this means the Mariners have to eat all or part of Vidro's salary. But, this allows for another OF spot
to improve the over all defense. Morse, Ichiro,
& Wilkerson would be the starting outfield. Jeremy Reed could then be the fourth
outfielder. He can play all positions and platoon against tough righthanders. The talk
of releasing Reed worries me. Reed is having
a great ST, hitting .462 with some clutch hits
& a HR.

Vidro hitting .227 and is dealing with injuries!

Merrill, Adam, OregonGal, your thoughts on this?

Posted by Merrill

1:05 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Adam, I agree especially with your first two paragraphs. I also agree with your third and fourth paragraphs, except for calling Lopez a "head case." That can be read a lot more negatively than you no doubt meant it.

I guess Resin is probably right--they like Balentien so much that, given the desperate, immediate need for pitching, they felt it was worth the gamble to give up Jones. There may be a good chance to extend Bedard.

Anyway, it's a rehash, so far. We'll see what happens. Definitely makes for a fascinating season.

Mike, I think they don't necessarily rate Vidro a lot higher than you. I think Vidro was a desperation signing. People talk a lot about not being able to discern a plan or strategy.

I think the reality is a lot more fluid. I think GMs don't have much control over other GMs or free agents, and the best-laid plans are soon history.

Elasticity equals necessity.

Of course, I think obvious bad moves have been made. But the jury's still out on Vidro.

As for Cairo, I am guessing based on comments I've seen that it's a baserunning thing. Other than that, I can't figure it out either.

I don't think the money comes into play any more.

Re: your second and third paragraphs, I'd probably do the same as you suggest.

When I defend Billy B, I'm usually taking a stab at his thought, not saying he's right. Just making a guess based on comments I've seen, and my own expert opinion (that's a special shout-out to you, blah!).

Posted by Fg

1:28 PM, Mar 14, 2008

Scrapiron
The thing is with Morse is that he hit that way, albeit in a smaller sample size, in the Bigs. He has, if not proven, shown that he can hit wherever he goes.

Just my opnion
fg

Posted by Adam

1:52 PM, Mar 14, 2008

James - couldn't agree more. It's no secret that I am not a fan of Vidro. The Mariners have no business paying him 6 million for what he brings (or does not bring) to the park. Even with an insane two months (July 14 to Sept. 14), he didn't break .800 for OPS. He can't run. He can't field. Etc., etc., etc. We all know the story.


Make Ibanez the DH. Put Vidro on the bench. Keep Reed and Morse, with Reed the regular LF. But I'd also let Morse get AB's against LHPs in a platoon with Reed. Cut Cairo.

The bench would be Morse, Vidro, Willie, Burke, and I'd keep Norton.

Then, if in May or June, Wlad is ready, he can come be our LF, and the loser of the Reed/Morse sweepstakes is out.

Of course, in this scenario, it is hard to find ABs for Clement, but we can thank Bavasi's idiotic roster management for that.

Posted by Mike

2:15 PM, Mar 14, 2008

We could put either Clement or Raul at first (with the other DHing) in a platoon with Sexson.

I know we hinder Clement's development behind the plate but I worry he's not going to ever be a good defensive catcher.

Posted by faithful

7:36 AM, Mar 15, 2008

Reed may suffer from his earlier play at the ML level but, there is light at the end of the tunnell, maybe--depending on the quirkiness of Bavasi's logic. Next year, if BB doesn't sign another set of over the hill vets the OF could be Reed, Suzicki and Balentien. Morse at 1b with Clement and Raul as DH although the latter could be, should be, traded for prospects.

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