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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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April 22, 2008 1:32 PM

Adam Jones in town

Posted by Geoff Baker

Funny, how we've had all these discussions of late surrounding Jose Vidro, Raul Ibanez, Brad Wilkerson, the DH situation and what not, without mentioning the obvious. The solution to everyone's prayers is back in town tonight, albeit with the Baltimore Orioles.

Now, I'm being just a little facetious. But it seemed, late last summer, that there wasn't a thing Adam Jones could not do. I thought, at some point, that a few of you were going to mention that he play left field, right field and second base all at once. Have we already forgotten how many megabytes were deployed here, at U.S.S. Mariner, Lookout Landing, Detect-O-Vision and elsewhere in the blogosphere debating the merits of whether the M's should have thrown Jones into the stretch drive every day?

Remember, the talk was about putting Jones in left, bouncing Ibanez to DH, and bumping Vidro to bench player. Or, was it platooning Vidro and Ibanez? Or making Ibanez the first baseman and benching Richie Sexson? If you remember the parameters of the debate, it wasn't about whether Jones should start 2008 as an everyday player. That was a given. It was whether he should have been thrown into the lineup for the final eight weeks of a season with his team fighting for a playoff spot.

Once Ibanez and Vidro began hitting better, it became a moot point for me. As a new manager, I could not see John McLaren taking a huge risk by disrupting everyday players who were going well, at the expense of an unproven minor leaguer. Yes, Jones did have an on-base-plus-slugging percentage beyond .900 in Class AAA and traditionally, such numbers tend to project well in the bigs over the long term.

The point was, this was a short-term, eight-week stint we were talking about. There was no way of knowing how Jones would perform. Some have argued there was no way of predicting how Ibanez and Vidro would perform over a short-term stretch. But as a manager, I would tend to side with the guys who had a proven track record of hitting major league pitching and working their way through slumps. And both Ibanez and Vidro did do that. I didn't think, at the time, that the M's could afford the growing pains of a AAA callup learning the twists and turns of big-league ball when the hitters involved were taking off.

So, how has Jones done so far? He's hitting .242 with a .294 on-base percentage and .355 slugging percentage for an OPS of only .649 the first three weeks of this season.

Granted, it's a tiny 62 at-bat sample size. But pertaining to last season, that's less relevant. Last year, we were also taking about a teeny sample size of seven or eight weeks in which he'd either play or not play. These three weeks he's played already would have taken us right up to late August, early September, when the M's fell out of it last year. Had he gone in everyday and hit like he has so far -- AAA numbers or not -- it would have been a colossal miscalculation by McLaren and the M's. Jones (and those who played him) would have been pinpointed as a reason for the late-season collapse and McLaren would have lost the confidence of many of the regulars in his clubhouse. And don't forget, the Orioles are selectively playing Jones this early season, keeping him out of games against tougher pitchers like Felix Hernandez. He is also playing home games in a more hitter-friendly ballpark.

Oh yeah, his defense. I forgot. Answer me this. Even with some of those blooped balls that have dropped down the left field line in front of Ibanez this year, how many have cost Seattle a game? I'll give you a hint. It's one fewer game than the M's have lost because a diving Jose Lopez could not get to a two-out grounder in the ninth with nobody on base and Eric O'Flaherty on the mound in Baltimore with Seattle up by a run.

I still think Jones is one heck of a talent and so do plenty of people around the game whose job it is to know these things. That said, he is having growing pains. McLaren took a lot of heat last year, hearing zingers about "veteran entitlement" for having precisely these worries. Not saying things would have turned out as badly for Jones this quickly. And I'm not saying McLaren should stick by Vidro and Wilkerson much past mid-May this season if things don't start to change. But the start to this season by Jones should give reason for pause. And for last year's debate to maybe be looked at in a somewhat different light.

BTW -- On Roy Corcoran, who has done a fine job, I figure the team will send him down because it needs Cha Seung Baek as its long man. R.A. Dickey is currently in the starting rotation, we don't know how Erik Bedard's hip will respond in his next start, so you keep Baek here for now. Corcoran is one of several one-inning, hard-throwing types on this team. If you don't think he's as good as any of the others, like Brandon Morrow, Mark Lowe, Sean Green etc., at least once everyone else gets their feet underneath them, then he's the odd man out.


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Posted by Fett42

1:43 PM, Apr 22, 2008

To be fair you also have to consider the AJ was in midseason form at that point last year (I was away from the internet so didn't even know there was such a debate going on).

Posted by NB

1:47 PM, Apr 22, 2008

McLaren took "zingers" for "veteran entitlement" due to not playing Jones. And because of John Parrish. And Rick White. And sticking with an ailing and slumping Richie Sexson over Ben Broussard. Etc.

I'm fine with acknowledging that Jones is off to a slow offensive start (although I still contend his defense and speed would have been a more valuable asset down the stretch than the bloop singles of Jabba the Vidro) but let's not act like this is the only example of McLaren siding with experience over talent.

Johnny loves him the war tested vets. That's pretty obvious at this point.

Posted by lamda

1:48 PM, Apr 22, 2008

it's to be expected though. It should also give pause to the folks who think Clement/Balentin are the immediate answer to our offensive problems. Jones was regarded by all of us as being the best bat out of the 3 and he's doing exactly what all intelligent posters though - having trouble/growing pains the first few years of his career. Sure he will probably grow into a 25/100 type bat but that is 3 years down the road. He is NOT Griffey or Arod who came out of the womb with a bat in hand and neither is Clement/Balentin.
I want Balentin up here now playing almost every day because I never thought this year was a playoff year so I want him to get his lumps in n ow instead of next year when, with the addition of a bat or two, we will be a playoff team he'll be in his 2nd season and starting to pick things up.

Posted by Ben

1:50 PM, Apr 22, 2008

I don't think Ibanez is really a problem in left. Geoff is right - the singles aren't killing us. Ibanez may not get to some balls, but he plays them correctly and they don't become bigger hits than they could have been with someone else out there (read: Morse). He's a veteran and he's not that bad of a fielder.

I would, however, take Jones in right field currently - even with his average as it stands (better than wilkerson).

Anyway, it's time to get a little revenge on Baltimore tonight - let's sweep and get back what we lost early on. I hope that first series doesn't haunt us all season, as it has in the early goings here.

Posted by Ben

1:52 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Additionally, i think Mariners fans should be pretty happy with McLaren thus far - i think he's doing a pretty sound job motivating these guys and getting them to go along with his gameplan. Some of his veteran bats aren't coming through right now, but the gameplan is sound.

Posted by spokaloo

1:58 PM, Apr 22, 2008

And since it worked out so well last year and we made the playoffs and everything without Jones playing I can see why you're writing this told you so article. Hope you're proud of yourself Geoff.

Posted by Coop

1:59 PM, Apr 22, 2008

I agree with Ben....this is a big series against the O's. They have come back down to earth after charging into first place on the strength of sweeping the M's. The O's are a better club than predicted as their offense is demonstrating. We need to get to their starting pitchers in each game. What am I saying...King Felix is on the throne tonight...no problem.

Did anyone see the special on Roberto Clemente on PBS last night? It was an outstanding piece of documentary film covering his remarkable life. A must see for any baseball fan.

Posted by Adam

2:01 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Geoff!! Why did you have to go and rehash this? Fellow bloggers, please blame Geoff for the debate which is sure to come, and my opening salvo:

In the first place, there is simply no way you can look at his numbers so far (which, by the way, are much better than Vidro or Wilkerson) and try to make any argument with regards to 2007.

Second, DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE.

Third, while I understand the argument that when Ibanez and Vidro were hitting well, McLaren should not have taken them out of the lineup (I think it's a bad argument), there was a very specific time when Ibanez and Vidro were hurting this team, and the Mariners didn't have the guts to make the team better by adding Adam Jones. Simply put, Bavasi and McLaren don't properly value players and put too much emphasis on "veteranness." The decision to hold off bringing up Jones was a poor one, period.

On a related note, having Jones and the young Orioles in town is a pretty good juxtaposition to the Mariner roster. I've been thinking about this for a few days as I ponder Vidro, WIlkerson, Frank Thomas, Sexson, and Ibanez.

Clearly, what Ibanez is doing is pretty remarkable. He has so far defied his age at the plate and shown himself to be a true middle of the order bat.

However, as I look at the makeup of this team, I am really worried about its constitution. Sexson, while enjoying somewhat of a rebirth, is clearly on back end of his career. He'll never be the guy he was in 2005. Wilkerson might very well be on his last legs; his injuries over the years perhaps have caught up to him. Vidro is done. Miguel Batista and Jarrod Washburn are little more than back of the rotation starters, their future contributions should not get better.

Shoot, one could even argue that Carlos Silva will be a problem in 2009 and beyond (has to do with his repertoire and reliance on defense).

So this Mariner team HAS to win soon, possibly even this year. After 2008, this team will be faced with replacing: Ibanez, Vidro (if they don't let him vest), Sexson, Wilkerson, Johjima (sure he'll be re-signed), and face the prospect of Bedard, Wasburn, and Batista in their walk years.

And there isn't much help on the farm, folks. Clement and Balentien and nothing else. No pitching.


This team has an inordinate amount of players who we hope will not start an inevitable decline too quickly, or will be able to stave off their current declines just a bit longer. It's a bad recipe to have, and given the fact that our farm system is pretty thin on ML-ready talent, the decision-makers are going to have a hard time figuring this one out.

Posted by Joof

2:02 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Is it bad that I felt really depressed when Beltre missed that first inning hit off Dickey by Hunter because I knew Ibanez was going to take forever to get to it? Ask my friends who were watching the game with me about what I said. It was something between unadulterated sadness and rage. Vlad Guerrero scored from first, and he is one slow dude.

Posted by NB

2:03 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Adam,

I believe you are forgetting about our 1-2 PUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by JI

2:04 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Ibanez takes terrible routes to the ball, and he's slow. He's awful out there

I believe the argument was Ibanez, Vidro, Sexson rotate at 1st and DH.

Posted by Will

2:04 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Thanks for reminding me, I'd forgotten about how pathetic our clubhouse is that they'd riot if Adam Jones started playing at the expense of veterans and McLaren would have "lost the confidence" of regulars.

Our offense woud have imploded and we'd have missed the playoffs.

That would have been terrible. I'm glad we didn't do that.

Posted by Adam

2:04 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Question re: Ibanez -

Would you rather have a defender who gets to 100 balls and makes 10 errors, or a defender who gets to 120 balls and makes 20 errors?

Posted by NB

2:06 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Will,

Missing the playoffs last year would have sucked.

Posted by Lance

2:10 PM, Apr 22, 2008

"Baltimore: Ex-Mariner Adam Jones made three outstanding catches in center field against the Yankees, including a diving stab of a line drive by Derek Jeter." --- Seattle Times 4/21/08

Fine, Geoff, if you want continuing updates on why trading Jones, et al for the godsend Bedard was a bad idea I'm sure some of us will be happy to oblige.

I, and others, were willing to move on and turn the page, but hey, if that's what it's going to take for you to be convinced this is, and always was, a horrible deal for Seattle so be it.

I'll start with this above news item from your own newspaper. Please respond with the number of outstanding catches we've seen from Brad Wilkerson.

Posted by K-Man

2:15 PM, Apr 22, 2008

"And there isn't much help on the farm, folks. Clement and Balentien and nothing else. No pitching."

Jeez, now we get to wring our hands about NEXT year? In April??

Anyway, just off the top, the farm has Triunfel, Saunders, Aumont, and Ramirez. Then there's Tui as well. That's just a start.

I think BB has done a fine job with the farm. I ain't worried about that. I am worried about Vidro, but I don't think Clement is the answer this year.

Posted by Craig

2:19 PM, Apr 22, 2008

All those outs Ibanez doesn't make turn into baserunners. Baserunners turn into runs on the scoreboard. Outs not made means that our pitchers have to face another batter, driving up pitch counts. These things add up over the course of a long season.

You can muddle along about .500, or you can improve your team. There's an obvious way to improve the Mariners that would cost nothing. Ibanez is still a good hitter. Move him to DH where he now belongs. Bring up an outfielder who can make some plays out there, and would hit no worse that Vidro. Vidro is done. Having a washed up NL 2nd baseman as the DH for an AL team is a joke.

Posted by Adam

2:22 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Lance, re: your Silva "double plays" comment from the previous thread:

First, a pitcher has almost zero control over where a ball is hit once it leaves his hand, so his double play rate doesn't help.

Second, here are some relevant peripheral stats:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/stats/players/index.php?lastName=silva

His groundball rate is down from last year. Not good. His K rate is down from last year. Not good. His walk rate is up from last year. Not good. He's getting twice as many infield flies as last year, and the two years prior to that. So that's likely unsustainable. Not good. His HR per flyball rates is lower than his career numbers. It should go up. Not good.

The fact that he's getting more double plays with fewer groundballs tells me we shouldn't expect him to rely on DPs all year. And given the fact there is little else he's doing this year that is better than last, there is no reason to expect him to continue to pitch this well. He's still the same pitcher that he was last year, but with a worse defense behind him.

Posted by Adam

2:25 PM, Apr 22, 2008

K-Man - if you note the context of my post, my "not much help" comment is correct. If these older players who are on the back ends of their careers (Ibanez, Vidro, Sexson, Wilkerson, Washburn, Batista) fall apart, there is little help on the farm. Each of those players you named, including Tui, are not close to being ML-ready.

This team is teetering on the edge, and if we fall, it's going to be a long and hard one.

Posted by Zack

2:27 PM, Apr 22, 2008

"Even with some of those blooped balls that have dropped down the left field line in front of Ibanez this year, how many have cost Seattle a game? I'll give you a hint. It's one fewer game than the M's have lost because a diving Jose Lopez could not get to a two-out grounder in the ninth with nobody on base and Eric O'Flaherty on the mound in Baltimore with Seattle up by a run."

This is such a weak argument, Geoff. They don't just reset the score at 0-0 when they get to the 9th inning. Those plays that Ibanez fails to make (in innings 1-8 only, apparently) negatively affect our chances of winning and change the entire complexion of games. I have no idea how many games Ibanez has cost us with the glove but to say it is 0, definitively, is ridiculous.

Posted by MissoulaMarinerFan

2:28 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Coop -- I saw the Roberto Clemente show, and I agree. It was fantastic.

Lance -- I have to disagree. I think Geoff was merely pointing our/putting in perspective how much we argued back and forth about starting or sitting Adam Jones, which came all for nought since we traded him. Now we get to debate back and forth about "free Balentien" or "free Clement"!!

P.S. Go King Felix, shut down the O's!

Posted by MissoulaMarinerFan

2:29 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Whoops, "our" should be "or"

--my bad.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

2:31 PM, Apr 22, 2008

true, young batters sometimes take time to develop, but is that really even an issue when your veterans are struggling to crack .200? the difference between jones and wilkerson is that jones' trajectory is up while wilkerson's is down.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

2:37 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Wow, Geoff, brave move to reopen this wound. First, selective playing of Jones is stupid, and it hurts his ability to get on-track. Second, you can't predict what Jones' performance would have been like last year (when he was in the midst of tearing the cover off the ball in AAA and in warmer weather) based on how he's started the year off. The two have little connection.
Third, Ibanez's lack of mobility and missteps in the field matter whether or not the winning run came in due to them. Those things are out of his control to a large degree (i.e., he doesn't control the circumstances present when he fails to get to a ball). A bad fielder still has negative defensive value, and increases the chances of success. You don't build a team on the hopes that bad fielding will only manifest itself at the least costly time. You simply try to find good fielders.

And you should give us the stats for the guys we advocated putting Jones in for DURING the time we started asking for it. I'd be interested to see how the numbers shake out. Plus 8 weeks is a lot longer than 3, small sample size or not.

I'd also still take Jones over Vidro right now. Wouldn't you?

Posted by Mint Husky

2:39 PM, Apr 22, 2008

So what exactly are you gloating about here Geoff? His bat hasn't heated up, but he's still a defensive boon to their outfield.

What has Bedard done for us? Squat. That's what.

Oh, I take that back. If there's one thing ol' glass hip has done, he's forced Felix to pick up the reins and carry the number 1 spot. And he's done a fine job if I do say so myself.

Posted by Tacoma Rain

2:40 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Goeff and many othersÖ
While I was in the minority last year, I was not the only person who was saying in May through the end of the season that the 2007 Mís were not good enough to make the play-offs. Thus, playing Jones and other youngsters like Wlad, Reed, and etcÖ and trading away Raul, Vidro, Washburn for prospects was the proper way to go to get to the play-offs sooner than later.
Now in 2008, I still very much in the minority, but I still have the same feelings towards the Mís. If the Mís were willing to make some moves NOW Ė like trading Raul when his stock is high, trading Washburn and or Silva, and DFA Vidro, Wilkerson, Cairo, and eventually Sexson when he comes back to realityÖthen the Mís MIGHT have a chance at making the play-offs in 2009 or 2010.
There is NO WAY this Mís team makes the play-offs this year, and the Mís FO is unwilling to make the changes to even try to give this team a fighting chance for this yearÖso PLEASE do what is right sometime between now and the All-Star break, and play for the future. This Mís team is NOT GOOD ENOUGH to make the play-offs.

Posted by Ben

2:43 PM, Apr 22, 2008

I like that people are complaining about Carlos Silva... yeah the guy has given up a lot of hits, but he's pitched at least 7 innings in four starts and hasn't given up more than 4 runs in any of those games.

His K rate is down? His ground ball rate is down? He's pitched in 4 games! And he won 3 of them. He's a number 3 pitcher.

I really don't think McLaren/Bavasi are sitting at their desks (or whatever) saying "what in the world are we going to do with Ibanez and Silva? Sure they're performing well NOW but there's got to be a better solution." More likely they are concerned about RF and DH spots - not to mention the bullpen and its young arms.

Posted by BrianL

2:46 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Tacoma Rain -

It is not impossible for this club to get to the playoffs. I'm in the group that believes that Erik Bedard wasn't enough to get the team there, but I don't think for a moment that this team is incapable of getting there.

Some changes do need to be made to maximize the chances of a playoff game for this team in October. Raul needs to be moved to DH, a better defender needs to play in LF, and Wilkerson needs to either pull himself together or be replaced (and no Mike Morse is not the answer to that).

Posted by Tacoma Rain

2:52 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Brian,
The M's are NOT WILLING to do that.
Mac and the M's FO will stick with the veterans until June atleast, and then bring in MORE veterans to try to fix the problem.
IT WON'T WORK.
I agree that there are moves that the M's COULD make to give them a chance to make the play-offs, but since those moves won't even be considered....The M's ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Posted by Grandson

2:53 PM, Apr 22, 2008

ya good point mint, Bedard hasnt done anyhting yet, even though we've won both games he has pitched in. Must of been our powerful offense.

Posted by Nat

2:55 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Geoff: woulda, coulda, shoulda - Adam Jones? Many of us who call ourselves AJ fans will continue to follow his career. Watching him struggle and adjust to the ML as a regular - notwithstanding Trembley's benching him against tough pitchers - comes with the territory for rookies. But Geoff, why stir the pot again? We've moved on. We have problems with THIS team we are more interested in.

Ben: all I can say is if it's too early to dfa vidro and wilkerson, (the consensus seems to be mid-May) then it's WAY too early to give Mac a shoutout for his game plan. I will say I was glad he brought RRS in to pitch to Anderson sunday.

Coop: I didn't see the Roberto Clemente on PBS but thanks for mentioning it, and hopefully they will show it again and I can watch it.

Posted by BrianL

2:55 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Tacoma Rain, I think you're going to find that your attitude isn't all that appreciated here. Nor is it appreciated in other places like USSM or Lookout Landing.

Just a heads up.

Posted by pulle

2:58 PM, Apr 22, 2008

thomas, cut by Blue Jays, draws interest from A's

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3361270

bill bavaist get him and we will win the al west

Posted by Lance

2:59 PM, Apr 22, 2008

"If there's one thing ol' glass hip has done, he's forced Felix to pick up the reins and carry the number 1 spot." ---- Mint Husky

Ol' Glass Hip. That's great. I love it.

So much of Bedard's body is made up of glass he's got to have a bottle of Windex in his locker.

Posted by Tacoma Rain

3:14 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Brian,
Thanks for the heads up.
That is why I rarely post in either location...and I do realize I am in a very small minority.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

3:18 PM, Apr 22, 2008

1-2 games a week isn't enough to develop a catcher, period.

Great topic. Having played the position competitively, I'd argue that Clement's arm strength won't get better. His quickness at the plate won't improve an actually decline with age.

When the coaching staff rushed to the Hawaiian Winter League last year it was about hitting. The knocks I have read about Clement is he doesn't have the softest hands, which won't improve with time. And mainly regarding his handling of pitchers , when to go out to the mound and show better control of the game.

He's been catcher at USC for three years and had plenty of time to develop defensively the last two years in the minors. I'd argue that there's not much more for improvement defensively regarding Clement. He's not as horrible as some say he is behind the plate. I've seen him throw out a runner at first Pudge style, and he's thrown out runners effectively in the past. So, I'd be willing to DH him right now over Vidro. I really don't think Clement will get to the point defensively the front office targets.

Posted by BrianL

3:25 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Resin -

From what I've seen/read, Clement has two problem areas defensively: the accuracy of his throws and his lateral motion (blocking the plate)

These are two things that can be taken care of if Clement works on his footwork behind the plate. That is the only thing holding him back right now. Another season and I'd be willing to bet he'll have it down reasonably.

Of course, that is dependent that he's catching on a regular basis, and more than 1-2 games a week.

Posted by Ben

3:32 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Bringing in Rowland-Smith on Sunday was a good game plan - in that it worked. I'm sure glad that Putz is back (if he is back today) - i almost died on Sunday watching the 4-0 lead disappear through a series of walks...

I think sending down corcoran is a bad move in that he has actually been pretty solid - but i guess if it is an exchange of Corcoran for Putz, then i'll take Putz obviously. Hopefully having Putz back will allow the other late relievers to breathe a bit and get more consistent in their pitching.

Posted by Taro

3:36 PM, Apr 22, 2008

As good as Jones was in AAA last year, he had a suspect eye ratio, and is still very raw.

It wasn' t reasonable to expect him to be a quality player from Day One.

My guess is that he struggles in his rookie season to adjust.

Posted by arthur

3:38 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Adam:

Why are you still complaining about Silva after being such a staunch defender of O'Flaherty? I know you don't deign to give much credence to posters you don't agree with. but as I have said several times before, Silva IS doing things differently this year, he is only 29, hasn't even reached the peak years for many pitchers, and thus far has been a stalwart. He's throwing at least one "new" pitch (cutter with a grip suggested by Mel), throwing more changes, and pitching more inside. Give the ragging on him a rest.

Posted by wet fart

3:40 PM, Apr 22, 2008

greeeeaaaaat Geoff now you got ADAM all riled up...time for a yawnfest..zzzzzzzzzz

Posted by joe

3:43 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Lance

I think most of the catches Wilkerson makes are outstanding, outsatnding that he even got his chubby butt to the ball

Posted by Taro

3:45 PM, Apr 22, 2008

And on a side note, I really hope the M's sign Frank Thomas.

Vidro, even when hes right, is a horrible option at DH. Hes too slow to score with his above-average OBP, creates too many GIDP with his high GB% and low speed, and his power is virtually non-existent.

I can't think of less productive way of churning out a 775 OPS (Vidro '07), and EVEN THAT was due to a fortunate BABIP.

We know the M's won't get the best option in Barry Bonds, and they are sure as heck not going to take a risk on Jeff Clement...so just get Big Hurt and get on with it.

Hurt's OBP isn't going produce runs either, but if hes right he'll hit 15+ more HRs than Vidro would in the same amount of playing time and actually drive some runs in. Theres upside there, the cost will likely be minimal (a couple mil), and at the very least it protects us from Vidro's option in '08.

Posted by K-Man

3:49 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Adam: Yes, you did say "not much help" but I'm still not as worried as you about the old vets all tanking at the same time like they did in '04. Back then, the farm really was barren. Not like today. Gillick's weakness is Bavasi's strength, methinks. (The reverse is also true).

Posted by Freddy Fingers

3:50 PM, Apr 22, 2008

haha Wet Fart that is funny, reading Adam's posts is like chewing on glass. Imagine the dude at the ballpark "Well, now, the Mariners won, what can I find wrong with that" he probably cries himself to sleep

Posted by C diddy

3:55 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Half you guys are a bunch of idiots......Calm down...It's april, 3 games out of first place without bedard....and putz....And Eric will still prob be a 15 game winner...

Posted by Adam

3:56 PM, Apr 22, 2008

arthur - I haven't complained about Silva at all. I know this is hard for some to believe, but taking an objective look at a player and concluding the player isn't performing well, or won't continue to perform well, is not a compaint, or negativity, or hating. Disagree if you will, I don't care (and just because I disagree with another's opinion doesn't mean I don't appreciate it - get a thicker skin).

The bottom line is that the two things that everyone believed Silva did well (get groundballs and not walk anyone), are worse than last year. You can't ignore that.

And according to fangraphs.com, Silva isn't throwing any cutters, nor is his pitch selection much different than in previous years (scroll down):

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=973&position=P

He's throwing a few more sliders and a few less fastballs and changeups, but he isn't a different pitcher.

I'm thrilled that he's been better than expected so far. Given Bedard's injury problems, Silva has been a godsend. You will excuse me, of course, if I conclude that he is unlikely to keep this up.

Posted by Cubby

4:00 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Here we go again.

I've been reading with much amusement, the defunct Adam Jones Fan Club morphing into the new Free Jeff Clement Fan Club. Ahh, yes, the same USS Mariner, ByeByeSexson, Ibanez-is-too-old crowd who wanted Broussard to take over 1B. Yeah, sure. ByeByeBroussard you mean. LOL.

So this year, we're seeing that Clement is the new Jones and Vidro is the new Ibanez. What I find hilarious is that I don't see anything new. The Mariners can't still reach first place in the AL West, they still can't pitch, John McLaren still sucks, the hapless USS Mariner and Lookout Landing sites and their fans are still wrong, and like the Puget Sound weather, the Seattle Mariners are playing like it's still winter.

And Geoff, about Adam Jones. You are pretty much "spot on" by the way. I've never heard of anyone so overrated.

Posted by Freddy Fingers

4:01 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Adam you are excused now go away far far away

Posted by Al

4:03 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Your multiple paragraph post on Adam Jones makes no sense.

Jones would have replaced Wilkerson, why don't you compare those 2 since that's what the situation would have actually been.

It's not the regular flyballs that are kindly called blooped singles or even blooped doubles for Ibanez or the horrible throws and lack of range that Ibanez presents in LF, I mean he does have the ability to make routine plays look like web gems. It really was about putting the best team on the field for now and the future. I'm sorry but Jones was going to be the starting RF and in all honesty I would still take Jones over Wilkerson.

Please just get it right, in comparing or even mentioning how Jones would be doing as a Mariner this year you have to compare him to Wilkerson cause that's where he would be playing. Also if your going to nitpick about offensive performances, how's the Professional Hitter Vidro doing, seriously how's he ranking against the other DH's in the league and how's much are the M's benefiting from his bat and cost?

Why don't you talk about how much Bedard has helped the success of this team this year so far to how much success the Orioles have accomplished with the help of Jones and Sherrill? It's only fair to do so since your opening the door on the subject.

Posted by andymon

4:06 PM, Apr 22, 2008

For some reason in MLB, practically any prospect is picked to do better than a vet. Looking at Adam Jones, I thought he would strike out a lot, hit some homers, bat aropund 250, and not walk much. He would leg out some hits, and he would be a quick, but not that great, center fielder.

Nothing that we're getting much from our end, but I had no prob letting go of Jones. He is, and I repeat, the next Griffey or Arod.

Posted by Tumwaterfan

4:08 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Thanks Adam, appreciate your baseball acumen. I look to Geoff for hotel, rental car and airport tips.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:14 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Geoff,

Corcoran doesn't throw all that hard. He appears to be a finesse, dare you to hit it type pitcher.

I see good movement on his pitches and that might be why his modest stuff is getting people out. Fair enough, but McLaren doesn't seem to have ANY confidence in Baek whatsoever. As a long man one would think he'd have appeared in another relief appearance by now to keep him fresh.

Posted by Adam

4:14 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Even though I completely disagree with Geoff about Adam Jones, I do understand the argument he's making; one that he's been consistent with from the beginning. Here's my thing:

Just because a hitter gets "hot" doesn't mean he should be entitled to ride that hot streak out. Why? Because the hot streak may end the next night. And there doesn't appear to be a reliable way to predict when a hot streak will end or start.

You can't just rely on the numbers during the hot streak and argue that player deserves to play it out. You have to take a look at the bigger picture. Especially in the case of Vidro's bat and Raul's glove, there was no reason to argue to keep them where they were, even during their hot streaks.

Adam Jones would have provided a large defensive upgrade over Raul that would have made up any lag, if any, between his bat and Vidro's. It was the right decision to play Jones at any time, regardless of the hot streak which Vidro found himself in.

It's all moot now, but since Geoff opened up this can of worms, here we are.

Posted by Lap Dog

4:26 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Geoff - Seattle PI reports that Dickey was just optioned to Tacoma. I really don't understand carrying the dead weight Baek if he's not even going to be used. I think Dickey beat him out in Spring Training and did well enough in his start to be put in long relief. How can we all be so wrong about Dickey and how can Bavasi continually choose Baek? I just don't get it.

Posted by Adam

4:30 PM, Apr 22, 2008

I agree, Lap Dog. The Mariners are basically wasting a roster spot on Baek, whom they almost never use, yet claim they can't risk putting through waivers.

With Morrow back, Corcoran became unnecessary. Dickey still serves a role. That's a really odd move.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

4:31 PM, Apr 22, 2008

2008 Performance to Date

Jones .242/..294/.355 + great defense
Vidro .207/.278/.319 (eats BigMacs while the M's are in the field)

Geoff - You sure choose strange arguments some times.


Posted by NB

4:39 PM, Apr 22, 2008

AK,

You forget that Jose Vidro was AWESOME in 2000. Plus he is a reeeeeeeaaalllllyyy nice guy.

Posted by Adam

4:42 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Don't forget all the wars that Jose Vidro has been through.


And did you guys know that he's a professional hitter??

Posted by pbk13

4:49 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Geoff, the issue with Ibanez is not so much what he has done as it is with what he is not capable of doing: making a huge play in left because he has no speed and often takes lousy routes. It's just ridiculous to imply that a speedy outfielder might not make the difference at a crucial time.

And yeah, that worked out well last year. We not only made the playoffs, but we won the world series because we took care of our whiny vets.

Not.

Posted by Tumwaterfan

4:52 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Looks like Baek is a "professional pitcher"?

Posted by Mr. X

5:00 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Great post, Geoff, and you're 100% correct. It's scary to think what Jones' numbers would look like if he weren't being held out against top pitching. Just off the top of my head, I can't think of another "top prospect" who has ever been treated like this. We already know about Jones' unprofessionalism, but is his ego that fragile also?

Trembley's daughter needs to demand to play tonight against Felix. Time to cut those apron strings.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

5:09 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Adam Jones has played 18 out of 19 games for Baltimore this year. He has the 6th highest number of at bats (which is mostly due to hitting 7th or 8th in the lineup). Enough with the comments about him not facing strong pitchers.

Geoff - Do you check any of your factors before pushing the send button?

Posted by NB

5:18 PM, Apr 22, 2008

X,

Hooray for unfounded character attacks!!!!!

Posted by Sevenhourlinedrive

5:20 PM, Apr 22, 2008

I think it's only appropriate Geoff address the "Great Adam Jones Debate" of last year because it absolutely exposes all the proponents of the knee-jerk, change-for-change's-sake notion of calling up inexperienced and unknown (in terms of everyday MLB us) Adam Jones and sticking him in the lineup SOMEWHERE last season.

MAYBE there was an instance, not far into last season when Ibanez's and Vidro's respective slumping was hurting the team, but those two players were not the only ones hurting the team at that point.... anybody remember Jeff Weaver and Horacio Ramirez? .... and nothing Adam Jones was going to do at that time was going to fix whatever problems those players presented. And as we saw, and as anyone with any sense of the long-view perspective of a 162-game schedule saw, Ibanez got healthy and started hitting the way we're used to seeing him hit, and Vidro, once accustomed to American League pitching, started hitting the way he has his entire career.

And, no, Adam Jones' defense would not have made the difference of a run a game, or whatever a certain Web site said last year.

And I call BS on the notion that Ibanez "takes bad routes." I observe him enough to know that if he doesn't get to a ball, it's because he simply doesn't have the speed to catch up to it. Even so, he doesn't yield extra bases because he gets to the ball quickly enough and gets the ball back to the infield quickly enough.

I think it's funny, that the knee-jerk do-something-NOW crowd is pining for Jeff Clement's call-up and ready to stick him into the DH slot. It's Adam Jones 2007 all over again.

And I doubt Vidro, who gets the prize as everyone's favorite Mariner early-season whipping boy for the second year in a row, is done just because he's had a slow start so far. He started slowly last year, as well, and recovered to have a good season, even by the "generally accepted" (whoever decided those) of a DH. I have faith he'll start hitting again because over the course of a season, he hasn't NOT hit. But I'll agree that if he's not hitting by mid-May, the team might need to consider his place in the lineup, at least on a full-time basis.

Welcome back to Seattle, Adam Jones.

Posted by Mr. X

5:41 PM, Apr 22, 2008

"Adam Jones has played 18 out of 19 games for Baltimore this year."

If you count pinch running late in one game. He hasn't started 18 games. Jones has been held out against Felix and James Shields. So far.

Nothing wrong with attacking someone's character, when they are lacking in that department. They aren't unfounded at all, and are very justified and easy to back up.

Posted by kujo

5:51 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Geoff makes and appropriate point, imo. For some reason the AJ fanatics refuse to acknowledge that he has a pretty bad batting eye and a fairly pedestrian contact rate, in spite of his impressive AAA numbers. He has a ways to go to become a consistent ML hitter. The pro-Jones argument boils down to his defense would make up for it. The problem is that argument is highly theoretical without any concrete example to show, requires a huge leap of faith that a debatable area of statistics is absolutely true.

Posted by Jason

5:54 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Mr. X - You have proof of Adam's lack of character? Or are we talking about that talk with the reporter or winter ball? Funny that a guy who posts under 'Mr. X' has deemed himself the moral authority.

Posted by Jason

5:59 PM, Apr 22, 2008

Oh, are you serious Kujo? 'Highly theoritical' and 'huge leap of faith'? Adam's batting eye is fine, certainly not very good. But that's the beauty of young, talented players. They improve. Adam is a good defensive center fielder. Don't ask the "nerds", ask the scouts if you'd like. Moving him to a corner (an easier defensive position) makes him that much better.

Posted by Nat

6:24 PM, Apr 22, 2008


It's time for some PAYBACK!!!
It's time for some PAYBACK!!!
It's time for some PAYBACK!!!

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