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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 29, 2008 1:54 PM

Vidro back in

Posted by Geoff Baker


As you can see, not only is there no snow, or rain here, but it's actually quite a nice day. A little on the chilly side, but hey, the Mariners are probably used to that by now. They should feel right at home. Hopefully, Richie Sexson won't. He's in the bottom 10 of the AL in home average -- fifth worst at .160. But he's also in the top-50 in road average, checking in at #47 with a .270 figure. Speaking of hitters trying to get it going all-around, Jose Vidro is back in the lineup as the DH. I'm not all that surprised. Greg Norton is not going to play every day. Vidro is hitting .318 versus righthanders, only .154 against lefties (whoops -- actually, I did reverse those numbers. It's the righties he can't hit. Hmm, he's in big trouble tonight unless he turns things around). This is his opportunity, though he'd probably rather not have to face Fausto Carmona of the Indians for the first time in his career.

But what can you do? Playing time is going to be decreasing for Vidro until he shows something.

No Jeff Clement today. As we mentioned this morning, if the team can gain a year of service time by waiting until May 7 on Clement, then it's hard to fault the club for doing so. Waiting until mid-June to avoid a "Super Two'' designation would not be in the club's interests. But a full year of service time? Hard to pass that up, slumping offense or not. But wow, if this team doesn't get its bats going on this trip, even waiting until May 7 will seem like waiting until Aug. 7.

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Posted by CheeZ

2:09 PM, Apr 29, 2008


Posted by M Dogg

2:09 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Wow! Great news. How about giving Mac until May 7 to get a productive line up on the field?

Posted by Adam

2:15 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Actually, Geoff, you have Vidro's splits backwards. He's hitting .154 with a .441 OPS against RHPs, and .318 with a .879 OPS (in 22 ABs) against LHPs.

So putting him the lineup against Carmona makes ZERO sense - par for the course for McLaren.

Posted by Frankie

2:18 PM, Apr 29, 2008


Posted by pulle

2:22 PM, Apr 29, 2008

jeff clement and wladimir baletien should be called up by next homestand, clement could start at dh and baletien at rf

cut miguel crio and brad wilkerson and put jose virdro on the dL

virdo must BE INJURED

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

2:23 PM, Apr 29, 2008

wow, may 7 is so soon but still 1 day too late: may 6 is the day everyone stops giving a crap about the mariners.

Posted by cesame

2:24 PM, Apr 29, 2008

McLaren makes my head hurt. Look at the splits you moron. You'd realize Wilkerson and Vidro shouldn't be in the lineup tonight. They really shouldn't be in the lineup on any night, but that's besides the point. At least put your "best" bad hitters in the lineup when you're supposed to.

Will someone please point this out to this fool?

Posted by Mint Husky

2:26 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Anyone interested in predicting how badly we lose today?

Posted by Ben

2:26 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Vidro's not hurt, he's just a 34 year old DH with no power or speed. But at least he hits for average... oh wait...

Hopefully silva can turn in a good performance today. We'll need it against Carmona and company.

Posted by Mike

2:27 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Okay...3 game series, what's the Mariner over/under for runs? I'm thinking 11.

Posted by Mike

2:33 PM, Apr 29, 2008

cesame---The problem is the current bench offers no real alternatives. Bloomquist, Burke & Cairo are not any kind of offensive answer.

Posted by Beniitec

2:35 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Why do I feel that there's a broken record that keeps playing...same lineup, same results... C'mon.


Posted by Grandson

2:38 PM, Apr 29, 2008

lol, bloomquist, cairo and burke. it really isnt funny but what a pathetic bench. thats almost embaressing

Posted by Beniitec

2:42 PM, Apr 29, 2008


Please don't punch yourself...and please don't say anything nice about Cleveland... least we won't feel bad when the M's lose the game.

Seriously tho... Geoff, what is the mood of the team? I'm very curious. I haven't heard anything about the mood of the guys after their losing homestand.


Posted by seavet

2:42 PM, Apr 29, 2008

I predict a win today. Just for the heck of it.

And if they lose, I won't be calling anyone a moron or a fool.

Well...maybe the umpire.

Posted by ethan

2:46 PM, Apr 29, 2008

stop with the FREE JEFF CLEMENT bull crap.. where did it get you with FREE ADAM JONES ?? Thats right ..a horrible trade.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

2:53 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Jamie Burke is not a crappy bench player.

Posted by Porkins

2:54 PM, Apr 29, 2008

whee! I just can't get excited about watching this lineup.

Posted by Brian

2:56 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Ah, what a beautiful stadium. Thanks for the pic Geoff! Go Tribe!

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

2:57 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Where are the AAA guys? Replacements needed for:

Cairo (5 AB)
Bloomquist (AVG .167)
Wilkerson (AVG .189)
Vidro (AVG .195)
Sexson (AVG .207) (2007 AVG .205)

Attn M's management: See my list of AAA guys on previous blog posted for your convenience.

Why not play Norton (AVG .438) while he's hot?

Free AAA guys. Wanted: Team Leader.

Posted by Mike

3:00 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Beady Eye Guy-----You are right, he's a decent backup catcher. Willie offers something off the bench too (baserunning and versatility).

My point though was that there were no offensive answers coming from our current bench.

Posted by r0ryAK

3:03 PM, Apr 29, 2008

I'll take the under on 11 runs.

Posted by Choska

3:05 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Why can't we fault the team for not calling up Jeff Clement, even if it does "cost" them a full year of service time?

This is the same team that wastes MILLIONS of dollars on washed up veterans. Why can't they call up Clement and, if he performs, give him a contract that buys out his arbitration eligible years.

Let's put it another way. This is Bavasi's 5th year in charge. The average budget for salaries in that time was around $100 million. Think about that.

Bavasi has spent $500 million, and all we have to show for it was a 2nd place finish. FiVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. And yet, Geoff is defending the club's decision not to call up a single player out of fear of losing a year of service on the cheap. Hard to argue with logic like that.

I will say this, however, calling up Clement without firing Bavasi is sticking a Band-Aid on a gaping head wound.

Geoff, since you are in Cleveland how about doing a story on the Cleveland FO, arguably among the smartest in the bigs.

For that matter, you could do a running series when the Mariners are on the road where you interview interesting baseball people. So, interview Chris Antonetti tomorrow, and Kim Ng the next time you are in LA. Get Theo, or some of his people) when you are in Boston.

You could call the series, "One of these people could be the Mariners new GM."

Posted by gMoney

3:07 PM, Apr 29, 2008


oh wait. April isn't even over yet.

Everyone just needs to chill out. The Indians have the same record as us and are more nervous about this series than we are... if we can win 2 out of 3 with our 3-4-5 starters I would be ok with that.

Posted by Mike

3:12 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Or alternatively or maybe just similarly to what Choska suggests you could compare and contrast how Clevelend and Seattle evaluate players and build a roster.

Interestingly enough, right now Seattle and Cleveland look to be the unluckiest teams in the league so far, in terms of records vs run differential. Why do I have more confidence in Cleveland getting on a roll?

Posted by Grandson

3:15 PM, Apr 29, 2008

our bench is garbage. they would do a better job working for waste management than be productive off the bench.

Posted by seavet

3:17 PM, Apr 29, 2008

gMoney, the cry of "off with his head!" is ringing throughout the land, and here comes you pouring cold water on it. Where's the fun in that?

This blog proves you don't have to be sloshed to go off your rocker when you're passionate. (Unless some of us start drinking very early in the day.)

I'll say one thing: none of the lineup proposals I read here matched the lineup Mac came up with today.

Posted by wabubba

3:22 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Hmmm....Norton's bat is productive (hot even) and he gives us decent speed on the bases, while the splits do not favor an already cold Vidro.

McLaren's answer is to therefore put Vidro in the lineup instead of Norton. Brilliant! This guy is the most puzzling manager I have ever followed...nothing makes sense.

Mac will soon, no doubt, be calling for hit and runs on 0-2 and 1-2 counts with a strikeout hitter at bat (Sexson) and a slug on the bases (Wilkerson...wait he's never on).

Posted by skiba

3:22 PM, Apr 29, 2008

I agree Jeff Clement needs to be starting on this team everyday, but lets all get it out of our heads that somehow he is going to be the savior of this line up.

Adam Jones tore up AAA pitching last year to the poing that we were screaming for his call up just as we are right now for Clement. Currently AJ is hitting .258 with one home run and an OPS under .700.

We all like Clement. He is an upgrade over what we have now. However, we must be careful not to annoint him the savior. He may very well struggle just like AJ is now. I think we all agree that AJ and Clement are future stars but it is crazy to pin our hopes on a rookie right now. We need more than just this one move.

Posted by Patrick F.

3:38 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Cleveland's been hot, the M's not so much. Hopefully Ichiro's .400 AVG, in Cleveland can help the M's win some games.

I don't like to be a downer about the team, but I'm going to have to agree with M Dogg. There's plenty of talent on this team, McLaren needs to utilize it.

Not bringing in the Big Hurt seemed like a colossal mistake, but Vidro is alright, I guess.

Posted by macdoubter

3:44 PM, Apr 29, 2008

over/under 11 runs for the series Mike?

I'll take Under.

Now, regarding wins: over/under 1.5?

I'll take under again.

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