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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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May 1, 2008 9:49 AM

The Sexson question

Posted by Geoff Baker

Good for Mariners fans to see the calendar turn to the month of May, I'm sure. April was no treat, with the team going 13-15. A disappointment, to be certain. One thing to keep in mind, though it doesn't totally excuse what's gone on. That "soft'' schedule the team supposedly had? Maybe not as soft as we thought. Seattle's schedule was against teams that are now 18-11 (Angels), 17-12 (A's), 15-12 (Orioles), 15-12 (Rays), 12-14 (Royals) and 9-18 (Rangers). So, only the Rangers were true patsies and the M's faced them in just three games. They played the "best'' teams in two series apiece. As I said, it doesn't excuse everything because Seattle's offense was still terrible. And some of those teams won't be above .500 much longer. But still, it was not the cakewalk month it first appeared to be on paper.

Time for the team to start anew. May is usually when Ichiro kicks it into gear and he's going to have to. April was not a typical Ichiro month. But he's not the team's worst problem. We saw some of those dealt with yesterday when Brad Wilkerson was shipped out, replaced by Wladimir Balentien, while Jose Vidro and Kenji Johjima stand to have some playing time cut by the arrival of Jeff Clement. Just how much time is cut will depend largely on what Vidro and Johjima do going forward.

My email inbox is getting flooded by your queries about when Richie Sexson is going to get the axe as well. Many of you are passionately pleading for a cut in his playing time. My answer is simple. No cuts for Sexson are coming anytime soon. And I can understand why.

First off, the problem presented by Sexson isn't nearly as dramatic as with Wilkerson, Vidro and Johjima.

Once again, here's a look at their park-weighted OPS+ numbers as of this morning. Remember, 100 is the league average baseline and anything above or below is the percentage higher or lower than average.

Wilkerson 84
Vidro 66
Johjima 29
Sexson 107

Wilkerson and Vidro play at power-hitting positions, so their numbers are awful. Johjima isn't in a power-hitting spot, but his stat is beyond brutal. He is among the worst hitters in the game of baseball at any position, making the timing of his $24 million contract extension indefensible. Unless you're about to pull the strings on a Ken Griffey Jr. trade this week. Right now, though, looking at the numbers, why would the Reds even think about it? Needs aside? It just looks real bad. We'll stick to the theory this deal was ordered from the Japanese side of the ownership equation. But in a seven-week span that saw the team swallow $2 million on Horacio Ramirez (actually, to be fair, only a pro-rated portion of it that got swallowed), and $3 million on Wilkerson, all I can say is, those Garlic Fries at Safeco Field must be selling like hotcakes. Look, I don't think Johjima is going to stay this bad for much longer, but couldn't the team have held off on inking the deal until he did rebound? I mean, Clement was a first-round draft pick as a catcher. If you think Johjima is a better receiver, fine. But three more years? Right now? Anyway, I'll move off that topic. Just me thinking out loud here.

Leaving salary out of it, Johjima is a black hole in the lineup. The numbers spell that out. Yes, he did block the plate in fine fashion last night. But a cement pylon would have done the same thing and probably hit for a better average (could probably deaden a few balls for bunts up the line, though would have trouble getting out of the box. Maybe Miguel Cairo could stand next to the pylon and pinch-run from home to first? Just an idea. Me trying to be funny and lighten things up).

Wilkerson was a black hole from a power perspective. His OPS doesn't look as bad as Vidro's but it was all singles driven. His slugging percentage, as I mentioned yesterday, was .304. That's worse than the batting averages of some really good DH types.

Vidro's OPS is terrible for a DH. No way around it. I blew out my fingers typing words in his defense over the winter and his second-half OPS last year was good enough to be a full-time DH without a problem. His overall numbers were not high enough, .300 batting average or not. This year, he has sacrificed on-base numbers and still doesn't show enough power. He's had a month. The way it's looking now, the second half from last year was not representative of what he can do over a full season. If Vidro disagrees, hey, he can go out and prove it. He's still here.

But bottom line? His numbers and Wilkerson's could easily be improved upon by adding even a league average hitter to the mix. Balentien and Clement project to do better than that over their careers, so risking that they can be average in their rookie seasons is not much of a leap of faith.

Johjima, as I mentioned, could be outhit by a cement pylon (with Cairo running) right now. So, mixing some Clement at-bats in there as well does not hurt the team and possibly can give Johjima time to figure things out.

Sexson is not in the same ballpark as those guys.

Sorry, I know some of you dislike him. But he has not been as bad as some are making him out to be. When I mentioned his OPS yesterday, some of you leaped up and said it's not good enough. I agree. I said as much yesterday when I pointed that out.

But, even though everyone can agree -- even Sexson -- that he needs to do more, this is not a problem that needs radical surgery just yet. Sexson's OPS, as you saw above, is 7 percent higher than what a league average hitter brings to the table. So, replacing him right off the bat is not going to guarantee you success.

The Mariners last year had only a handful of hitters with an OPS+ higher than 107. Jose Guillen, who most of you loved and respected, was only at 116. Same thing this year, with only two Mariners, Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre, higher than 107. They are significantly higher, yes, and Sexson needs to get more into Guillen's 2007 territory to help this offense be minimally effective. But he's not that far off.

In fact, looking at the raw numbers, he's on pace for a 30-homer season. How many M's hit 30 homers last season? Zero. We can debate the merits of the emptiness of his home runs another day. Right now, 30-homer power is a rare commodity on this team. The M's just rid themselves of a right fielder who had no homers in an entire month. Sexson is not at that drag down level. Not even close.

His past three seasons in Seattle have seen slow April starts. For me, the trick now is to figure out whether Sexson can improve going forward. From what I've seen, unlike last year, he can. I like the approach he's taken at the plate. He does not seem lost like in 2007. He goes up there with a plan, works the counts and tries to get his pitch. Yes, he'll swing and miss at balls low and away. That's not going to change overnight. But he's also on-pace to draw 89 walks and strikeout 167 times. Those are the exact numbers he put up in those categories in 2005, when he hit .263 with 39 homers and a .910 OPS.

Not saying he'll repeat those lofty totals. But for me, the walks-strikeouts ratio is an encouraging sign. His numbers on the road, hitting .283 with an OPS of 1.019 are also encouraging. We can all see -- and he admits -- that he puts too much pressure on himself at home. Once he eases up, in theory, his numbers should come up. Because his road stats are excellent.

I know that some of you are going to scream "small sample size!'' on some of the numbers and you will be right. But you can't have it both ways. You can't say the sample size is big enough to axe Wilkerson and cut the playing time of Vidro and Johjima, but argue that it's too small to spot encouraging signs for Sexson. Well, you can try, but I won't let you. You can't say Sexson stinks because his April OPS is too low but then ignore the positive aspects because of sample size. It's a game we like to play in the blogosphere, but teams in the real world won't use the logic to base decisions on.

The logic here states that Sexson, while not producing nearly enough as a first baseman overall, is still one of the better offensive producers on his team at this very moment. Maybe not for his position, but overall, on this offensively weak team, he is one of your better hitters.

And there are only so many surgical cuts a team can make before losing the patient. Bringing in two youngsters like the M's did yesterday was a bold move. But it makes sense, because they are literally guaranteed to provide improvement simply by standing in the batters' box and breathing.

With Sexson, it would take much higher numbers to improve upon what he's done. And even then, for what kind of improvement? For an OPS+ of 110 versus 107? Think that will make a huge difference? It will not. And by benching Sexson now, you lose the opportunity to see if he can turn his good peripheral numbers into better overall production.

Too big a gamble for me and not worth it. Not right now.

You can talk in theory about getting another left fielder and moving Raul Ibanez to first base. More radical surgery when the team just did some yesterday. Perhaps, down the road, that approach will be needed and taken. Right now, Sexson is not nearly as bad a problem as this team's other trouble spots. You deal with those first, let the scars heal, then see if the Sexson question still exists another month or so down the road.


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Posted by Hedge

10:00 AM, May 01, 2008

Why isn't anyone talking about firing the hitting coach Jeff Pentland? Obviously the hitters aren't making the adjustments they should be with him helping them.

Posted by tradedollarnut

10:01 AM, May 01, 2008

But in a six-week span that saw the team swallow $2 million on Horacio Ramirez, and $3 million on Wilkerson, all I can say is, those Garlic Fries at Safeco Field must be selling like hotcakes.

IIRC, they only eat $2M of the $5M. Guess we'll get a discount on those garlic fries...

Posted by chris huber

10:01 AM, May 01, 2008

Geoff - why do we have three catchers on this team? Why didn't we cut Burke and Cairo and just bench Wilkerson? I like the moves, but the roster from a position standpoint looks like something that a bad fantasy owner would put together. Three catchers, two middle infielders and a ton of right handed hitters.

Who's running this team?

Posted by Novice

10:05 AM, May 01, 2008

Why cant we throw Bloomquist over at first and sexson will bring the power off the bench. This way bloomquist can develop his arm and sexson can focus more on his hitting. I think its all Perlazzo has been talking about lately.

Posted by Marinerjeff

10:08 AM, May 01, 2008

Great post Geoff. I have to agree with you about Sexson. I think if they keep him in say the 6 or 7 spot in the order, that could take the pressure off him. May need to slot him 5 until Balentien and Clement get acclimated. But you could potentially go Beltre/Ibanez/Balentien/Clement/Sexson and go LRLRL in the batting order. For now you have Sexson at 5 and Balentien at 7 and still get the same result. So I think the addition of the young guys could in and of itself do wonders for easing the pressure on Sexson, as long as they come in and at least hit for average with moderate power.

Posted by DMK

10:09 AM, May 01, 2008

Geoff, is it just me or are the comments much more intense and angry than they have been in previous years? I know this may inspire all sorts of off-the-wall replies, but it is just a game and the Ms are not the only team dealing with a disappointing month of April. Now I will grant you that the Kenji extension makes sense only when one remembers the ownership of this team, that it would be great if Sexson could be a bit more consistent, particularly at home, and releasing Norton instead of Cairo still makes little practical sense considering how much MC has been used at ALL to this point...but I cannot believe the amount of vitriol and barely disguised cynicism/anger being displayed in a good portion of the entries. It's gotten to the point where I won't even look at USSM or LL simply because I'd rather not have to put up with all the negativity and cynicism. What do you think?

Posted by Marinerjeff

10:12 AM, May 01, 2008

Chris, I see what you're saying, but with Clement at DH, they would want a backup catcher because if they shift him to catcher mid-game, they lose their DH spot and the pitcher has to hit. McLaren wanted to keep Cairo for speed, but I think they would have been better off holding onto Norton. That move seems like a mistake to me. Wilkerson in my opinion was a good drop from a pure baseball perspective.

Posted by Matt the Disgruntled Mariner Fan

10:12 AM, May 01, 2008

I'll put up with Sexson for awhile, but I fully expect bryan LaHair to get a shot! He is a good hitter and a fine defender! I look forward to Bryno!

Posted by Get Griffey

10:14 AM, May 01, 2008

(This goes more with the last thread but no one would have seen it there)

OK I get that Norton was our savior but come on people he had only 7 hits!! People talk about his batting avg. like it was never going to get worse. I would have rather cut Cairo too but it didn’t work out that way. Like Geoff said they wanted the speedy, fielding clones rather than have the hitting clones that could not replace fielders( to bad cutting Vidro was out so Norton had to go) . Not what I would have done, but how many people laughed (including me) at the article that said "M's counting on Greg Norton to add punch to slumping offense" He is a career .250 hitter with OBP of 333. How many of you would have been out raged had he gone 0 for in the last game instead of 3 for?? Seems like one good day made him into our hero.

Bottom line is that Norton might have kept hitting 400 or slumped all the way into oblivion, nobody really knows. Also like I said before I would have kept him too, but I am not so devastated that I can’t be happy about the changes that were made. It all seems rather petty of the blogging community to be so enraged over something like this after getting what we have been wanting for soo long. IMHO

Posted by Diablo

10:16 AM, May 01, 2008

Gosh, Richie is doing much better this year and he hasn't heated up yet. 30 HR's easy this year.
And for all the grief Bavasi gets, it's already obvious he traded the right young outfielder.Bill has this turn going in the right direction..he just needed time to get out from the mess he inherited

Posted by Corey Miller

10:16 AM, May 01, 2008

"But a cement pylon would have done the same thing and probably hit for a better average...."

And what do you get if you put and "L" after the "C" in Cement??

CLEMENT...spooky subliminal suggestion Geoff...LOL

Posted by macdoubter

10:17 AM, May 01, 2008

Agreed, Geoff. Sexson is getting some good BBs, hits and HRs and showing some signs of improvement.

To Geoff--or anyone else--the M's 0-11 stat when trailing by 2 runs sounds awful, but I'd like to know how other teams fare in the same position. I really don't know, so a comparison would be helpful

Posted by Paul

10:17 AM, May 01, 2008

I agree. I was way down on Sexson last year when he WAS terrible with no hope for improving during the year. This year has been different. He has hit HR's in important situations (it's not HIS fault that his teammates don't support his big hits sometimes). And I've not been nearly as down on his defensive capabilities as some here have been. The guys doesn't make errors and while his range isn't superior at his age, his sheer size and length allows him to make some plays look pretty routine when they aren't necessarily so.

My only legit concern at the moment is Kenji. I hope Mac will be willing to let Clement play more C if Vidro starts hitting and Kenji doesn't.

Posted by BrianL

10:18 AM, May 01, 2008

chris -

Here's the problem with only having Clement and Johjima:

If Johjima is behind the plate, and Clement is DHing in the same game, a gigantic problem occurs if an injury happens. Should Johjima for any reason be injured and Clement is moved from DH to catcher (or any fielding position), the team loses the DH spot and the pitcher is forced to hit for himself.

(Side note to this blog's tech guys: The CAPTCHA seems to be having issues)

Posted by ethan

10:20 AM, May 01, 2008

Geoff, i have read your blog post and have purchased items and services from all accompanying ADVERTISERS to the right hand side. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (sorry, 5 year anniversary)

i tried to give Johjima the benefit of the doubt..Boone used to say (by way of Larkin) that players get payed for what they do in the field ..not the batters box.
but it seems to me we have too many guys that arent succeeding in the batters box.
i want Micha Owings as our bench player.

Posted by Get Griffey

10:31 AM, May 01, 2008

Nice post Geoff, a little perspective never hurt anyone and I am glad to see you are keeping a level head not getting sucked into the surgical frame of mind just yet.

PS Get it together Kenji or Clement will take our shinny new contract!!

Posted by BlahBlahBlah

10:31 AM, May 01, 2008

Novice,
I am not sure what the obsession that you have with Bloomquist is, but lets be realistic. The guy is not an every day player in the Major Leagues. Yes, he hustles, but thats only because he has too....thats all he can do. If this team has to resort to playing Bloomquist every day, its over. Pro sports has proven that being a good guy doesnt mean that you can play.

Posted by macdoubter

10:34 AM, May 01, 2008


...it is just a game and the Ms are not the only team dealing with a disappointing month of April. ... I cannot believe the amount of vitriol and barely disguised cynicism/anger being displayed in a good portion of the entries.

LOL. I don't care about any other team and how they did in April. To look at April in comparison to other teams is irrelevant. And it's not just a "disappointing month" that a lot of us are complaining about. Many, many, many months of poor managerial moves, from the front office to the playing field, have produced an end product that ultimately performed poorly this past month.To focus only on this past month within a vacuum is entirely missing the bigger picture of the failures of this team that go well beyond just April.

Oh, and if I have "barely disguised" my cynicism/anger in my previous posts, DMK, I apologize, that wasn't my intention. My intention was to not disguise my cynicism/anger at all.

Posted by Joe Shabotnik

10:37 AM, May 01, 2008

Jeff, as usual, your post is right on. I'm a guy that believes Richie should hit 4th since he is our power guy. Much of Richie's problem, as I see it, is that we have noone to protect him so he constantly has to hit tough pitches, and really struggles when he chases bad pitches. He has hit in this league before, but he has always had better people behind him than he has now. Clement could protect him, and would make him a better hitter, I think.

Posted by rdaz

10:38 AM, May 01, 2008

Maybe we could just have a home and away platoon where Sexson only plays on the road, (I'm only half kidding). Besides, we don't have anyone to play first regularly since we just axed our next best option there.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:40 AM, May 01, 2008

Hedge - you beat me to it. I have to think Pentland takes some responsibility at some point. Otherwise, why have a hitting coach in the first place?

Geoff - Well-written post today. Though asking fans to be patient with anyone, given how much we've been asked to be patient with everyone... is a stretch. Yesterday's moves go a long way to erasing my fears that Mac and company will stay with people way past their sell-by dates. So does seeing that Joh is benched for a couple days, to give Burke some playing time and Joh a chance to figure something out.

I do wonder if the pitching staff is on the same short leash, though. The drop-off from Felix/Bedard/Silva, to Washburn/Batista, is considerable. Yes, I know, blah blah injury blah for Miguel. But Washburn is the Sexson of the rotation, this year. At what point do Baek or Dickey get a shot at filling in?

And I wish, I wish, I wish that the lefty-righty matchup nonsense would just stop. Put out the best LINEUP, not just "hey, one time 3 years ago he was able to hit a double off this guy". Vidro should have one more day - today - and after that, he's a PH who doesn't get up until the 7th or later. Then Clement DHs until he gets cold. Part of Mac's multiple problems in managing IMO is that he talks himself into corners and overthinks the statistical side of it (well, when he thinks at all - he had Wilkerson's splits backwards - but anyway). So he talks himself into going with guys too long in the lineup or from the bullpen, when he should be going with the hot hand a bit more.

Anyway. last thought on Sexson: We need more of the patient 2008 Sexson that we saw the first couple weeks of the season, than the 07 Sexson we've seen lately. I'll take less homers and doubles and more walks, if it means less strikeouts with RISP.

Posted by Novice

10:45 AM, May 01, 2008

i only comment on bloomquist, becasue year after year he has proven he knows how to get it done. power to the alleys, sppend, and the oldfashioned sunflower seed guy who knows baseball. I've never seen him miss a signal in his M's career

Posted by trb411

10:51 AM, May 01, 2008

I have never really like Rickie Sexson. Granted he might be able to hit a homerun every now and then, but not much else. Other than the occasional homerun he can't hit worth a darn. Do I need to remind folks of his batting average last year? If the Mariner's don't want to cut him because of a big contract, than permanently sit his butt on the bench until he starts hitting. What's wrong with that? I mean, after all isn't it about winning? Or is it about only playing the guys with the big money contracts because "there making so much money we have to play them or we aren't getting what we're paying for?" To me, it's all about winning, and Richie Sexson won't help you win 99% of the time. Lets reaaly sit him on the bench for once and let someone else have a shot. Didn't Ben Broussard do better than Richie Sexson when he played? I think the MAriners need to reevaluate the Richie Sexson problem. If not cutting him, then benching him. If the MAriners don't put him on the bench, and actually mean it, then give him a few days off to rest up, then that will show me that's as far as the Mariners are concerned, it's all about the money, and not about winning.

Posted by ChicoV

10:51 AM, May 01, 2008

Sexson will become a real problem, real soon if he has another home stand like the last few going well into last year. If he gets back here and does the same ol garbage he will get booed mercilessly. Once that happens we know his ego can't take it, his belly aching last year proves that. What are we gonna do platoon him home and away? What good is a supposed star player that can't play at him home park? .216 looks pretty bad to me.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:58 AM, May 01, 2008

And as far as schedule goes - the Ms better absolutely feast on Texas, the 7 times they see them in May. I mean, to the tune of 5-2 or better. because:

TEX 7 times
NYY 6 times
DET 5 times
CWS, SD ("our natural rivals"), BOS 3 times each
CLE today

I mean, dang. That's a lot of offense we're going to see this month. The Ms will be lucky to be .500 for May.

Posted by Bill

10:59 AM, May 01, 2008

Geoff, do the M's have a plan in place as to who is going to replace Sexson and Ibanez when their contracts are up? Hopefully the team can hang on to the young core of the current roster, but I'm interested in knowing what's in store especially with regard to those two.

Posted by dfb

11:00 AM, May 01, 2008

One thing I think needs to be addressed and I haven't really seen comments on is the hitting coach. When this many of the teams hitters are struggling-heavens even Ichiro - the coaching staff needs to be looked at. The philosophy of "getting the fat part of the bat on the ball" seems pretty pedestrian to me. I think that is a no brainer. The M's continue to take belt-high fastballs down the middle of the plate for strike one. I understand wanting to work the count, but really, it is not that hard to recognize an 88 mile an hour fastball. The are taking too many good pitches in order to try to draw walks. I know they were terrible at drawing walks last year but how about just having a high-school level of an eye at the plate?

Posted by Steve S

11:00 AM, May 01, 2008

This is the same Richie Sexson that left 7 men on base in his first three at bats on Tuesday.
Richie IS the problem.
Get rid of him now!

Posted by Mike from Oly

11:02 AM, May 01, 2008

To Hedge: On a the April 29 Blog I posted the comment below. Someone else is wondering about Pentland. And on aprevious Blog I mentioned that Washburn also needs to go. His performance again proves that I am right. But no one else seems to believe that I am right. Oh well. It is what is. And we all shall see in September!!

7:49 AM, Apr 30, 2008

Maybe it is Pentland that needs to go. The only holdover from Mike Hargrove. Has anyone watched Richie in his swings before the pitch comes? They are low uppercuts. And during his at-bats he always swings at low pitches with a low uppercut primarily missing them or hitting pop ups to the outfield. A good hitting coach would have him correct this. And the prevailing notion in MLB that hitters need to take pitches. Well what happens? They take a couple of pitches right down the center then they flail away at bad pitches. Everyone knows most hitters are going to take the first pitch or a pitch on a 3-0 count. So pitchers well be over the plate in most cases. Some hitters should forget the now common take a pitch practice and swing at good pitches rather than bad ones when they get a chance. Especially those that are batting .200!!! Tonight the M's will need to score because Washburn is pitching. I don't have much hope of a win especially if the bats are quiet again.

Posted by ricofoy

11:02 AM, May 01, 2008

On a bowling alley, Willie has power. On a baseball field not so much. Speed? I guess in comparison to most of the lsugs on the team. Not missing a sign? Willie is top-notch at that. He'll make a fine base coach someday. Preferably sooner than later.

Posted by arthur

11:05 AM, May 01, 2008

Richie will muddle along and have a decent season, at least, I hope. But Is there another manager at any level of baseball that would bat Jose #$@!*&& Vidro FIFTH in ANY lineup day after day unless he somehow got back into Little League? A singles hitter barely hitting his weight in a key RBI position. McLaren is embarrassing in his inanity.

Posted by kujo

11:13 AM, May 01, 2008

Good post Geoff. I was just thinking, looking at the line up with Wlad and Clement in it Sexson actually does not look that bad. With more power in the line up Sexson gets some breathing room and the team can survive until he hits his stride. In terms of his career his April is actually not out of line. More power in the line up might also get him more pitches to hit.

Posted by name one

11:14 AM, May 01, 2008

I'm somewhat of a fairweather Mariner fan. I enjoy watching them on TV, but that's about it.
And there is one thing I've noticed for a few years now. Can you name me one player who really concerns the other team when he comes up to the plate? Ichiro can usually do a decent job of knocking a hit with men on base, but is there anyone in this line up who really makes the other team worried? I think back to guys like Edgar, Griffey, F-Rod, Boone (when he had it going that one year), etc. It just seems that this team doesn't have anyone who I am excited to see come up to the plate. When Edgar came up, I'd stop and watch every pitch. But this line up? Eh... not so much. There's really not a guy in it who seems that electric.
Anyway, just a casual observation from a casual fan. It seems to me they're missing a big bat that makes the other team a little nervous. What's more, it seems like the rest of the team can rally around a strong hitter. Right now, it just seems like a crappy offense that might dink a run here or there. There's no serious threat night after night that makes the other team nervous.

Posted by Novice

11:17 AM, May 01, 2008

ever since stottlemeyer came abord Sexson's swing has gotton worse. he should really be more concerned about his pitching staff, but i guess when the staff is doing so well you can afford to move into different areas.

Posted by Simon

11:19 AM, May 01, 2008

DMK,

I'll grant you that certain posters have been quite extreme in their positions recently (and I'm not talking about the increasing number of trolls who have been popping up). I think it's a combination of an anonymous format with longstanding frustration at how this team is managed.

However, in defense of USSM, I think you have to qualify the statement about negativity. I often hear that USSM is overly negative and cynical. I would agree that many of the posters often fall on the "glass half empty" side of things. The authors are blunt and sometimes respond in a way that could seem rude. But if you actually look at the posts, many are actually quite positive. Just from the last few days, there have been posts about how awesome Felix is pitching, how underrated Beltre is, and today, even a defense of management for bringing up Clement and Balentien before May 7. Overall, I find the posts to be pretty balanced.

Regarding Sexson, I am willing to give him more time to raise that average and keep hitting for power. He is looking a little better than last year.

Posted by ChicoV

11:21 AM, May 01, 2008

Name One - Beltre

Posted by Publicbulldog

11:29 AM, May 01, 2008

Richie needs to develop a safeco swing.
He should try and hit more balls out in right.
Since the park was built for Griffey(and Palmiero lol)
Richie needs to take advantage of the outside pitches and take them that way to the opposite field.

Posted by Adam

11:36 AM, May 01, 2008

What is promising about Sexson is that his BB/K rate (.54), while not great, is the best it's been since he's been in Seattle. He's walking as much as he did in 2005, his last good year. His OBP, however, is down from previous years (.321). So he's just not getting many hits.

His BABIP is .254, which is up from last year, but down from historical levels. So is it bad luck? I tend to think not. His slugging % (.427) is the second-lowest of his career, excluding his first cup of coffee with the Indians in 1997. Ditto his ISO power (.208). His LD% has declined every year since 2005.

He just doesn't hit the ball as hard as he used to. That shouldn't be a big surprise, given his age and body type. His bat has slowed. That would explain why his K rate (29.2%) is three points higher than his career mark.


I think this is the best we can expect from Sexson. He's more disciplined at the plate, but he just isn't the same hitter he used to be.


And while his OPS+ is seven points better than average, he's still a below-average 1B, playing below-average defense (note, height does not equal good defense).

Personally, I'd call for a change only because better options exist. Move Ibanez to 1B to platoon w/Richie. Call up Reed, sign Kenny Lofton, or trade for Corey Patterson and put them in LF. We get better defensively, and the platoon at 1B (Sexson's OPS vs. LHPs this year is over 1.000) would make our 1B production among the best in the league.

In other words, if this is the best we can expect from Sexson, there's no reason to keep the status quo. We can improve the position, and should.

Posted by Esteban

11:38 AM, May 01, 2008

Simon,

Have to agree with you regarding today’s post on USSM regarding the issue of bringing up Balentien and Clement; it’s a very well written thoughtful look at the subject from an employer-employee relationship point of view.

Posted by lars

11:40 AM, May 01, 2008

what does the Stottlemeyer have to do with anything?

Posted by M Dogg

11:47 AM, May 01, 2008

"ever since stottlemeyer came abord Sexson's swing has gotton worse. he should really be more concerned about his pitching staff, but i guess when the staff is doing so well you can afford to move into different areas."
Novice: What are you talking about? Did you read some quote where it said Stottlemeyer has been working with Sexon on his hitting? Stottlemeyer is the PITCHING coach. Pentland is the HITTING coach. P.S.- kind of hard to blame Stottlemeyer for Sexon's less than stellar performance last season.

Posted by Ryan

11:58 AM, May 01, 2008

" Ever since Stottlemyre came aboard, Sexson's swing has gotten worse"


I'm hoping you confused Pentland and Stottletmyre. If not, I'm confused by the comment. It makes no sense.


Glad to see Wlad and Clement up here. It should equate to better hitting ( at least we hope). Clement has been raking righties at Tacoma, let's hope that continues up here.

Posted by Ryan

12:02 PM, May 01, 2008

To piggy back my last thought:


I'm not even sure you can blame Jeff Pentland for Sexson's problems. If the people around him, namely Vidro and the since departed Wilkerson were able to hit their weight, Sexson would probably have a higher average. He's never going to hit .300, but if he gets 30 HR and 100-110 RBI whle hitting .230 or .240, I think most of us would be happy with that.

Posted by John

12:11 PM, May 01, 2008

I agree with Adam. I understand what Geoff is saying, but I do think we're getting the best we're going to get from Sexson, which isn't great, especially from first base. I think if better options exist without completely tearing the team apart, you make the moves.
Under Adam's solution it means Sexson maybe cracks the starting lineup once a week when they face a lefty, so I find it difficult to believe that's going to happen in the real world.
Whether you bring up Reed or Jimerson, sign Lofton or trade for Patterson, I think you're basically getting the same player, so I'd go for the least-expensive option.
All that said, it probably isn't going to happen anyway. Unless Sexson stops drawing the walks and completely fades, he'll stick in there at first for at least another couple of months.
More likely what you're going to see is Vidro playing first more often against tough righties (like Wang), while Clement gets the bulk of the work at DH and some backup work at catcher.

Posted by Everett fan

12:15 PM, May 01, 2008

Ryan - maybe Pentland has to share the blame for the others' fall-off. Anyway, don't tell Sexson to hit to RF, he swings futilely at outside pitches already. No need to exacerbate the problem.
I guess everything else has been covered. . . .

Posted by John

12:17 PM, May 01, 2008

I don't expect .340 from Clement in the bigs, but I can see .290 with 15-20 homers over the rest of the season. I sizable improvement over our current DH.

Posted by Matt McMullen

12:23 PM, May 01, 2008

Geoff--I love your writing and respect your opinions and perspectives. However there is one point I think you slipped in that I have to contend with. You state that Richie is "on pace for" 30 HR's. If we were in Vegas and they had a futures prop: "Over/Under Richie Sexson 2008 HRs 29.5"
Are you honestly telling me you would take the over on that? If you would like to put $100 on that one let me know.
Personally I think the last month is the absolute Max that Sexson can produce at this point in his career, and it is far from adequite for a 1st baseman... I would expect and project .220/22HRs/73RBIs...seemingly thousands of GIDP's and Ks with runners in scoring position.

Posted by ajdaddy

12:27 PM, May 01, 2008

Hey, Simon beat me to the punch here. USSM is pretty balanced, despite what the naysayers would have you think. The service time piece was nicely thought out from the employee-employer angle, and I think is reflective of management understanding that things need to happen now. The one question I would have is why Norton and not Vidro...but that's probably a salary related move. Having Bloomquist and Cairo seems so redundant, i'd still consider bringing up Jimerson so that you have an extra outfielder. Next on the agenda: Dickey for Washburn! :-)
Oh, and regarding Pentland? How're Lopez and Beltre faring??? Adrian Beltre, in case you haven't noticed, is becoming one of the foundations of this team.

Posted by Steve D.

12:31 PM, May 01, 2008

The Garlic Fries are selling like Hotcakes! Geoff, you're a poet!

Posted by Nat

12:44 PM, May 01, 2008

Everett fan- I think you're right, everything has been covered!

Let me say, Geoff, great post today, thanks for your thoughtful analysis. I feel the same way Adam does on Sexson though, but practically speaking doubt whether the FO is going to dfa him, at least not until July 31st when they might be able to pick up someone else (?). And please, no trades, Mr. Bavasi- we would all go into cardiac arrest if trade rumors start floating around.

I was on call and missed the day's events and game yesterday but went in to work 1) happy knowing that Balentien and Clement had been called up, and 2) relieved that I was missing Washburn's start. And in reading the post game thread didn't feel as if I'd missed much except I would have loved to see Balentien's HR and the look on Lee's face... have to believe there are many more of those HRs in Balentien's arsenol!

I'm hoping that bringing Clement up will not only be a smart move for the M's but also help to kick Joh's competitive juices into getting into a hitting groove again - it had that effect at times when Burke played last year and got some good hits, as I recall - despite Joh's anxious cries to the contrary last night re: being benched for a couple days.

And Mariner Jeff, gotta agree with you that as long as Mac is gonna go with the L/R/L/R lineup, I like your middle of the order suggestion for Beltre, Ibanez, Balentien, Clement, Sexson - 7th sounds about right for Sexson to alleviate the pressure he takes upon him. From what I've read, Balentien somehow strikes me as FEARLESS, and we shall see if he is!

Posted by kranky

12:44 PM, May 01, 2008

Good point made, Geoff.

Last year everyone was crying for Broussard. But his numbers this year stink worse than Sexson's. Broussard is hitting .173 avg., with 3 HR and 8 RBI. Sexson at least has .219 avg., 5 HR and 16 RBI. (Worth noting Jose Guillen is also worse than Sexson at .183 avg., 3 HR and 15 RBI).

Bavasi hitched his wagon to Sexson and he's going to ride him out to the end of the contract. But Richie ain't coming back next year, absent a real strong second half. So chances are Raul is going to 1B later this season, as a preview to next year, and as the "sunk cost" on Richie peters out.

Posted by Coop

12:47 PM, May 01, 2008

Sexson solution....Since he hits so much better on the road than at the Safe, he should treat home games as away affairs. Put him up in a downtown hotel and get him out of his Eastside Mansion and away from the home cooking that is slowing his bat speed down or keeping his eyes not in focus. Do something!

Posted by scrapiron

12:47 PM, May 01, 2008

Richie Sexson has always had a poor April. I said last year they should have played Broussard in April and let Richie pinch hit and only start if the temperature was above 70. This season I would have played Norton at first base unless it was warm. This season the only good games Richie had were in Anaheim when it was warm. (3 for 10 with 3 HRs)

Richie Sexson Last 5 Aprils (AVG/OBP/SLG)
• 2008 .226/.324/.441
• 2007 .145/.244/.362
• 2006 .213/.308/.351
• 2005 .253/.378/.547
• 2004 .241/.344/.614

So you can't make any decisions on Sexson yet. If he's still hitting around the Mendoza line at the all star break, then you know he's through. So far you still can't tell.

The Mariners have 14 million reasons to be patient with Sexson.

Posted by Morgan

12:49 PM, May 01, 2008

Stottlemeyer got 5 hits in a game once..he's prolly better hitting coach than Pentland.

Posted by Novice

12:57 PM, May 01, 2008

i think its either Perlozzo or Stottemeyer who has to step up here. Sexson needs to stop taking pentlend advice and look more to the wiley vets on the team. It seems that Mclaren isnt regretting the Brian Price desicion much anymore which didnt make Perlozzo very happy.

Posted by Gaeleck

1:00 PM, May 01, 2008

Jeremy Reed is hitting well and would help in left field defensively. Raul coudn't hurt us that much at first, could he?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

1:02 PM, May 01, 2008

Adam - Your statements about Richie's defense didn't seem right, but I took a couple minutes with mlb.com, and at the barest glance, yeah, actually, he's a bit sub-par. Among AL players who've logged 100 innings or more so far this year @ 1st, he's 9th out of 15 in range factor and double plays turned, and 10th in errors and fielding percentage (Considering that 6 of those 15 people have a perfect fielding percentage after a month of play, anything less than perfect in that regard is at least replaceable-without-harm, if not undesirable.)

The question is whether Raul could a) do as well or better at 1st base, skills-wise and b) do well mentally making the switch. If Raul has balked at DH b/c of his pride, I'd think he'd be no happier about 1b. Which might get into his head enough to affect his offense. Not that the tradition of preserving delicate egos should continue in Ms-land, but still: one can't just plug people in and out of the lineup as if they were assembling a team on their favorite Xbox game.

Posted by Steve Schumacher

1:06 PM, May 01, 2008

I like Sexson, he seems like a great guy, but the other night he personally ended 3 innings leaving 7 runners on base, 6 in scoring position. That seems to be the norm for Sexson, at least from my perspective, OPS or no OPS.

Posted by reality3

1:08 PM, May 01, 2008

IGeoff,

In regards to Reed, I read on another blog that there has been a Padre scout at every game this week in Tacoma. Can you confirm that?

Posted by Nat

1:27 PM, May 01, 2008

As far as the vets welcoming the rookies in the clubhouse goes, egos aside, at this point they have to welcome them - b/c looking at the standings they have to realize everything is on the line now, the vets weren't getting the job done.

I have to applaud Mac's new line of tough love. If he keeps it going, the vets will get it through their noggins that they're playing for their jobs. Changes their tune a little bit when they're tempted to start whining. I think Joh is going to find that whining to the press won't do him any good.

Posted by K-Man

1:36 PM, May 01, 2008

I appreciate your analysis and reasoning regarding Sexson. I agree with the proposition that he will at least approach 30 homers for the season. That makes him a non-issue at the moment, especially with the two new hitters stepping into the lineup.

If Vidro and/or Johjima can get themseves untracked, this offense should finally start generating enough runs to keep up with the outstanding pitching we've been enjoying. The pressure is really on Joh right now, because if he can get it going, even if Vidro continues to struggle they can always plug Clement into the DH slot. Clement is basically covering for both catcher and DH, showing that he is an incredibly valuable player, considering our current circumstances.

Posted by scrapiron

1:36 PM, May 01, 2008

reality3 - I wouldn't be surprised. Both the Padres and Rays have expressed an interest in Reed in the past. Why the Mariners don't have him on the roster as the fourth outfielder now is what I don't understand.

Posted by Faceplant

1:44 PM, May 01, 2008

"i only comment on bloomquist, becasue year after year he has proven he knows how to get it done. power to the alleys,..."

You realize you are talking about the guy who has a career .326 SLG. Bloomquist has no power to any part of the field. All he can do is hit the occational single, and steal the occasional base. While that has value, he has no business being in the starting lineup.

Posted by scrapiron

1:56 PM, May 01, 2008

I remember in the preseason predictions Geoff said two of the keys to the Mariners winning the division was an .800+ OPS from Vidro and Sexson. Sexson's OPS is currently at .748, so he's not far off from that and is starting to warm up. I seriously doubt that Vidro will reach the .800 OPS mark, but what if we get .800+ OPS from Clement instead? That's not a far reach.

Starting pitching stays at its current pace, Johjima and Ichiro return to career norms, .800+ OPS from Clement and Sexson, the Mariners could/should win the West. None of these are out of reach.

Posted by Faceplant

1:59 PM, May 01, 2008

Lance,

Just a couple of points I wanted to make. Yes Jon Daniels is pretty bad. But it's not like he traded Volquez for a bunch of garbage. Josh Hamilton is legitimately one of the best players in baseball.

Second point... Edinson Volquez is having a great start... but he's pitching over his head. He's walking over 5 hitter per nine, and is stranding runners at a ridiculous 89% rate, and has yet to allow a single homer. That isn't going to continue. Plus he gets to face national league lineups with at least one automatic out in them. Volquez is legitimately good. He isn't as good as his current numbers suggest though.

Posted by john

2:05 PM, May 01, 2008

it is true, sexson is having a pretty good year....when compared to joh, vidro and wilks. otherwise he is just a really tall dude hitting .216....
We were supposed to jump out of the gate in april, remember? take advantage of the angels health woes. but jj got hurt and ichi did the april no-show, wilks and vidro were obviously getting hitting tips from the guy working the buffett, and here we are again, sitting at .500 looking up at the damn angels! and to top it off we just gave our catcher who hits .100 a three year extension...life is good in mariner land. i hate to sound so negative, but i cant help it sometimes. Enough already about bloomy getting to play full-time. The guy has no tools. lets stay real. He is a pinch runner in our new revamped running attack...:) well him and cairo....

Posted by scrapiron

2:10 PM, May 01, 2008

I always thought the scenario was in place that at the trade deadline the Mariners would trade Kenji Johjima for Ken Griffey Jr. Junior would play RF/DH and Clement would be the full time catcher.

Now with the re-signing of Johjima, apparantely driven by the Japanese part of the ownership group, you can also say that the Japanese part of the ownership group wouldn't allow Kenji to be traded as well.

Trading Clement for Griffey would be a HUGE mistake. I'm hoping that the Mariners can figure out a package that includes Rob Johnson and others that can entice the Reds instead.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:11 PM, May 01, 2008

Esteban-USSM believes Balentien will struggle due to his "skill set" and projects him to 240/.300/.390.

I counter that biased "analysis" with showing you that Balentien possesses tremendous power. He legitimately is a 35+ home run potential hitter in my opinion. Wladimir demonstrated with his three run homer to opposite field that he even if he doesn't make solid contact, the ball explodes off his bat. Wlad has decent bat speed, I don't see him struggling like Adam Jones has against big league pitching. Adam Jones who looks more like a Mike Cameron than a Ken Griffey Jr.

I am more positive in my projections for Balentien, and he should produce much more than the pathetic line of .240/.300/.390.

Posted by Novice

2:18 PM, May 01, 2008

Part of the problem I see here is that Bloomquist has never gotten the chance to be an everyday starter. When given the opportunity and with his courage he can fix those holes in our lineup. If nothing else just showcase him for a few weeks then trade him for Dunn and bullpen help.

Posted by sherlock

2:20 PM, May 01, 2008

1. I asked a previous Mariner hitting coach what his job was. He replied - go over scouting reports on the upcoming opposing pitchers with the hitters. I asked about helping hitters like (at the time) Bret Boone, etc. Answer - they don't tend to listen. The hitting coach is not the problem here in 2008.

2. Richie Sexson "always " has a better second half than first half - at least until last year. Note however that until last year, he had never been in a pennant race. In other words, his stats go up in what we might call "garbage" time". While hope still exists in the first half, he is in the tank. Leaving 7 men on early in the game and then doubling off the wall in the ninth when the game "over" is a problem for a man who gets paid to drive in runs. It is probably in his head now, but when it counts he does not deliver. Defending his OPS numbers is missing the point. Benching him now, however, without another option is a mistake, as maybe, just maybe, he could turn it around. This team will be a .500 team without him. With him delivering, they could win 95 games. Given the surrounding cast (lack of punch), there is little choice this year but to hope.

Posted by NB

2:21 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin,

So what do you see Wlad producing? .280/.350/.490? .260/.330/.450? I'd (legitimately) love to hear your opinion beyond "USSM is crap and they are projecting him too low".

Also, why do you even read USSM? It obviously just pisses you off. I don't get it.

Posted by Mike

2:21 PM, May 01, 2008

Mike Cameron circa 2001-3 would look awfully good on this team.

But for what it is worth I think Dave's take at USSM of a .690 OPS is lower than I'd expect.

But then again I don't think Wlad is about to put up 35 HR (or 30 given that he's missed the first month).

I watch in eager anticipation hoping Resin is right. We could use the production.

Posted by reality3

2:34 PM, May 01, 2008

OK...I am going to start it. It is with a little twist though. Here goes nothing.

FREE REED!!!!! (or trade him)

Posted by Swung On And Belted

2:39 PM, May 01, 2008

Geoff, your post is right on. A couple weeks ago I said this (now) would be a good time to evaluate and make any necessary moves. I was pleasantly surprised to see them actually do it though. I like these moves, bringing up Balentien and Clement, and dumping Wilkerson. I was depressed the day they signed him and always knew he wouldn't be the answer. But I wasn't rooting for him to fail, just to be self-righteous. He was given a fair shot, and he failed miserably. I don't think Norton got much of a shot, I just don't understand dumping him but keeping Cairo. It doesn't sound like anyone here understands that. I've said it before and I'll say it again; If Cairo is so important to the locker room chemistry and development of the young Latin players, then he should be a coach, not wasting good space riding the pine. Having two pinch runners is a luxury Mac will almost never have the opportunity to use. There are many more viable options in having two switch hitting pinch hitters. And if Mac is dead set on speed, then Jimerson makes more sense than Cairo. I agree with Adam that what we are getting out of Sexson now, is probably the best that we can expect from him at this stage of his career. He is just barely holding his own. If he can maintain, then maybe it's worth riding out the season with him since there's so much money involved. One pont though, if he is on pace for 167 k's, then I would think it would take something closer to 50 HR's than 30 to balance that out. Anyway, he's been given a fair shot, and he's just barely kept his head above water, so he should be given more time. But if he hits rock bottom like last year, there is no excuse for not cutting him. I think Kenji will start to get going, he's been a solid hitter his entire career, so I'm optimistic about him, although if there was actually something to the Griffey rumor, I'd pull the trigger in a heartbeat. Lastly, just as the dead weight's been cut from the offense, so too it should be from the pitching. I'm talking about Washburn. At this point, maybe Mel Stottlemyre's special project should be figuring out how to use Washburn in the Bullpen and giving his spot in the rotation to R.A. Dickey.

Posted by sherlock

2:40 PM, May 01, 2008

As to the rookies just called up. Don't expect that they are saviors in 2008. The fact that Balentien hit a HR to the opposite field just proves, that a pitcher with an 8-0 lead, running out of gas, and pitching to an unknown hitter can give up a long ball. We have had hyped guys before who didn't work out - remember Bucky Jacobson? It takes time.

Very quickly, Balentien's and Clement's holes will be uncovered and exploited requiring them both to learn to hit major league pitchers. Even Micky Mantle was sent back down to Class D in his rookie season and Willie Mays started out 0 for 26.

On the plus side, I like the aggressiveness with which McClaren plays the game, and deals with his personnel issues. The question is - where are the horses coming from to take advantage of his aggressiveness? Even the Yankees and Redsox have retooled their farm system and are now delivering talent from within. Where is the Mariner farm system retooling? I would say that a lot of it is now in Baltimore!

Posted by scrapiron

2:41 PM, May 01, 2008

Ron Shandler does sabremetric work for the St.Louis Cardinals and his website, Baseball HQ, has some of the most accurate projections I've found. Here's what he says about Balentien:

Wladimir Balentien Projected Stats
Source: Baseball HQ
AB R H HR RBI SB BA OBA SLG OPS
413 56 106 17 63 11 257 324 429 752

17 HRs with 11 SBs? I'll take that.

Posted by Chuck

2:43 PM, May 01, 2008

I don't usually disagree with you Geoff, but letting richie continue in an RBI slot is rediculous. Thats what we did last year and it continued bad all year. If Adam is correct and he is walking more and striking out less, do what the national league does. Put the worse hitter in the nine hole--or if your figures are correct, put Joe there. Why not move Yniie up in the order. At least he'll get one more at bat each game--and Sexon/Jo would get one less.

Posted by BrianL

2:43 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin, good to see you back and spewing your vitriolic USSM hate again. I must say I find it amusing to see you foaming at the mouth every time Dave Cameron says something you don't agree with.

Novice -

No one in their right mind would trade Dunn for Bloomquist. Furthermore, no one can look at Bloomquist's skillset and see anything that translates into starting material. He's a spot pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement. His bat is well below league average, always has been. If it wasn't for a flukey September callup a few years ago, chances are he wouldn't even be on an ML roster.

Posted by Mike

2:43 PM, May 01, 2008

Also for what it is worth I don't think USSM said Adam Jones was going to dominate offensively this year. I think a projection of .750+ is what I remember but I could be off a little either way. Right now it sits at .730.

Jones is more highly thought of because of his better range & athleticism and because while a year younger than Balentien had on OPS nearly .100 points higher.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:44 PM, May 01, 2008

Mike- I think Wlad has a shot at AL R.O.Y. Balentien has every chance at putting up Ryan Braun type numbers with batting average around .290, he's that talented.

NB-I made a counter point since Esteban was referencing USSM in his arguments. The same source that wanted to trade prospects for veteran player who's career stats are .259/.297/.415! It's uncomprehensible any sane analysis would prefer a Patterson over a Balentien.

Posted by Nat

2:48 PM, May 01, 2008

novice- you are obviously entitled to your beliefs:) but you are wrong in saying Willie Bloomquist has never been given a chance to prove his worth. I don't have exact dates and years for you, but at different times in the last six years he's subbed on a daily basis for players who have been injured. Playing regularly has not improved his ability or propensity to be an everyday player. He's not the answer to the holes in the lineup.

Posted by BrianL

2:50 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin -

I believe the USSM were advocating trading replacement-level players for Patterson to play LEFT FIELD and moving Ibanez to DH/1B. If you're going to bash them, why don't you at least do it rationally. Furthermore, I highly doubt that Wlad is AL ROY material. I like him, but let's be realistic here.

Posted by Bill

2:51 PM, May 01, 2008

While we're trading Bloomquist for Dunn why don't we trade Sexson for Albert Pujols?

Posted by Bum Knee McGee

2:54 PM, May 01, 2008

Bloomquist for Dunn LMAO!

What, the Reds are having a Fire-Sale now?

Posted by Mike

2:57 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin--

I don't think USSM was advocating for Patterson rather than Balentien. They wanted Patterson to replace Raul in left to save some runs and move Raul to DH. This was before Clement was called up to DH. I'm guessing now that they still like to get Raul out of left, say to first, but now I'm projecting my wishes on them.

USSM is not always right but they are very sophisticated in the way they look at numbers and they do talk to scouts and other people in the organization.

They also spend thousands of hours of time at no charge to put out one of the very best blogs on baseball. They are a valuable resource and I still don't get your problem with them. You say Dave is biased against Balentien because he advocated trading him. That's not much to go on.

Posted by NB

3:00 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin,

I get what your original post was about. I'm just wondering what you, as someone who watches a lot of baseball, think Wlad is going to do this year. You've mentioned 35-40 HR. Do you think that's his peak or this year? What are we looking at as far as production this year besides decent bat speed?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

3:01 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin, good to see you back and spewing your vitriolic USSM hate again. I must say I find it amusing to see you foaming at the mouth every time Dave Cameron says something you don't agree with.

There's nothing nice to see in reading your personal attacks BrianL. There's nothing hateful or vitrol about disagreeing with Dave Cameron, so due me a favor and stop libeling me. In fact USSM bloggers often reference Geoff Baker and quote his comments and debate about it. Go fly a kite.

Posted by Grandson

3:02 PM, May 01, 2008

is it just me or has anyone else noticed that cairo has not missed the cutoff man once this season?? granted this is a small sample size, his defense is superior to ibanez, and if hes always hitting the cutoff should he be playing LF?

Posted by BrianL

3:07 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin, your frequent accusations that Dave Cameron is "biased" as well as your blatant misrepresentations of the roster moves the USSM advocates tend to fall under the "vitriolic hate" category. We get it, you don't like Dave and the USSM.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

3:10 PM, May 01, 2008

NB-.280/.350/.500. Close to what you posted above. Ryan Braun had a nice rookie season in a big park.

Posted by Kevin

3:17 PM, May 01, 2008

Willie is not the answer at 1B. He's way too short for that position. Those balls from Betencort and Beltre would sail over his head.

Posted by ron

3:20 PM, May 01, 2008

We carry Sexson after last year. He didn't get any better in the 2nd half so lets keep carrying this pathetic hitter so he can strike out and ground out with people on base. Does he only get hits when there is nobody on base?

Why did they acquire Wilkerson? His stats stunk before he got here, some how they are magically going to get better in a cold climate after playing in Texas? I thought they would give Balentien a shot at the job instead of bringing in a marginal player like Wilkerson.

How many years sinse finishing 1st in the division. I tired of being told to wait, make something happen now or get rid of the manager and general manager.

Posted by Mike

3:22 PM, May 01, 2008

I'd take .850 OPS and feel like we won the rookie lotto. That's be the third or fourth best RFer last year But considering that his AAA OPS was .873 I'd be thrilled if he was around .800 and happy with a .780 or so since he has more range in right than Jose.

Posted by NB

3:23 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin,

Thanks.

Posted by Mike

3:24 PM, May 01, 2008

Only 2 or 3 typos in my last post. Sigh

Posted by Adam

3:27 PM, May 01, 2008

Resin - an .850 OPS in his rookie season as a RH hitter in Safeco? You are kidding, right?

Ibanez had the best season at the plate for the Mariners last year, and his OPS was .831.


I know you are staking your reputation on Wlad, but geez.


Oh, and Miller Park is not a big park like Safeco is. And Wlad's not the hitter Braun is.

I'd be very happy with .250/.330/.440 in his rookie year.

Posted by Tom

3:29 PM, May 01, 2008

If the Japanese side of the ownership was so influential in everything, Geoff, we would've paid a million, billion dollars for Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda in the offseason.

I'm pretty sure this was the baseball braintrust here in the states who thought of this Johjima deal.

Posted by thatgirl

4:03 PM, May 01, 2008

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Joh's ridiculously timed contract extension is due to the M's being at the mercy of the Japanese ownership team. I also wonder if Ichiro influences the FO to keep his countrymen in the mix as well. Joh was quoted in the paper that being benched a couple of days won't necessarily equate into a better performance from him at the plate. That doesn't give me a lot of faith that he's able to figure out his problems and put a positive spin on it.

Seth Koellen had an interesting perspective on Sexson read it at the P.I. website;

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/361282_kolloen01.html

Posted by MJ

4:14 PM, May 01, 2008

Tom-

If the Japanese ownership was so influential, we would've paid Ichiro 18M a year to be a good leadoff hitter...

Oh wait... Shoot.

Posted by greyguy3

4:20 PM, May 01, 2008

I still think you need to compare Sexson to other first basemen, not hitters in general. Your first baseman should be one of if not the best hitter on your team.

"With Sexson, it would take much higher numbers to improve upon what he's done. And even then, for what kind of improvement?"

I don't get that logic at all. Why is Sexson in a special position where only much higher numbers are an improvement? In fact, I would argue that since he sucks with the glove at an easy to defend position, a very similar hitter who could throw the leather would be an improvement.

I agree that Sexson is a good enough hitter than you can't just shove anyone in there and have it be worth the move, but I don't see how you can begin to have that conversation without specifics.

Posted by steve

6:19 AM, May 02, 2008

Thanks for the comments. How likely is a trade for Griffey?

Posted by Willie Hater

9:44 AM, May 02, 2008

Novice,

So, WIllie is the man. He should play every day? Cant hit, cant field, but hey, hes fast....oh wait, got gunned last night. ANd unless you ARE willie, how would you know that he never misses a sign? But, shoot, he is good at eating sunflower seeds. But so am I, should I play first base?

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