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Perpetual Futility: The Seattle Mariners Fanclub

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by Lane_Winree, Mar 7, 2008.

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  1. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jan 12, 2000
    On another note, I think this team can be a playoff contender in 2009. Don't believe me? You should.

    Can be? Certainly. Will be? I'll have to wait before I say anything there, at least well into the offseason. Then again, maybe I should wait until a year from now to say anything :p
     
  2. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    May 20, 2008
    I'm not against you on that; I wish that the Mariners could make the playoffs. Just maybe not in 2009.
     
  3. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    You underestimate just how much having below replacement level players at 1B, DH, and LF hurt a team. Replace them with league average players is worth approximately 100 runs scored or saved.

    Let me elaborate

    Richie Sexson is a -30 runs a year player defensively. He's also a -25 runs a year player offensively, net -55. (These are modified VORP numbers)

    Jose Vidro is a -35 runs a year player offensively.

    Raul Ibanez is a net -30 player (+5 offense, -35 defense).

    Those three players cost this team approximately 150 runs in the differential column. That's huge. Wipe that off the map and replace them with league-average players and this team would be in the top 5-8 in runs scored and top 5 in runs allowed.
     
  4. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Richie was just released. Do you think that will make a difference?
     
  5. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Actually, the team is worse now believe it or not.

    Now you have Miguel Cairo and Jose Vidro playing first. That's really, really, really bad.
     
  6. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    So, how do you think the Mariners can turn it around? What moves do they have to make? I've seen their Triple-A team play (last week), and is there anyone there who could do a better job then Cairo and Vidro?
     
  7. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    From the farm team, no one can really help. There are some cheap FA moves that can be made this off-season though. They might as well tank this season and try to secure the #1 draft pick in next year's draft (STEVEN STRASBURG WOOOOOOOOOOO!)

    Russ Branyan plays fairly solid 1B defense and could be good for 20 or so home runs if he got regular playing time. He mashes right handed hitters and has the perfect left-handed stroke for Safeco Field. He'd need a platoon partner, and for that I propose Morgan Ensberg. Ensberg can play 1B against righties and put up some decent OBP numbers. In addition, he can act as an infield backup at 3B, SS (sparingly) and 2B.

    In the outfield, I'd go for Juan Rivera to play LF. Rivera hurt his chances by breaking his leg last season, and as a result LAA hasn't given him a real shot to play this year. He's got average to above average pop and isn't a terrible defender.

    I'd offer Raul Ibanez a 1 year contract to DH. And only DH.

    To shore up the bench, I've already talked about Morgan Ensberg, but I'd also find anyone who can run really fast and play really good CF. This team lacks a true OF defensive replacement in late innings. I might see if Greg Norton is interested in coming back to Seattle as a pinch-hitter and occasional COF replacement. Wladimir Balentien is out of options, so he'll be on the bench as well.

    The lineup would like like:

    RF: Ichiro
    2B: Lopez
    3B: Adrian Beltre
    DH: Raul Ibanez
    LF: Juan Rivera
    C: Jeff Clement
    1B: Russ Branyan
    CF: Jeremy Reed
    SS: Yuniesky Betancourt (I wish we'd trade him, his value isn't getting any higher)

    Bench:

    OF/1B - Greg Norton
    INF - Morgan Ensberg
    OF - Wladimir Balentien
    CF - Someone really, really, really fast.

    In the off-season, I go after AJ Burnett and/or Ben Sheets. They have injury histories, but surprisingly we do have some SP depth these days. Before this happens, two moves need to happen:

    Jarrod Washburn traded for any type of B-grade 1B/SS prospect, Miguel Batista traded or released.

    In the off-season, Ryan-Rowland Smith and Brandon Morrow need to be stretched out as starters.

    The rotation would look like this:

    1) Felix Hernandez
    2) Erik Bedard
    3) AJ Burnett
    4) Carlos Silva
    5) RA Dickey/Brandon Morrow/Ryan Rowland-Smith

    The bullpen is already constructed well:

    Closer: JJ Putz
    RHP Setup: Sean Green
    LHP Setup: Arthur Rhodes or Erik O'Flarhety (whatever, building a bullpen is easy)
    Middle Relief: Mark Lowe
    Middle Relief: Josh Fields
    Long Relief: Whoever isn't starting in the RA Dickey/Brandon Morrow/Ryan-Rowland Smith trio.

    This is a club that can easy get themselves to 88 wins. Consider as well, the AL-West is a weak division. The Angels are dramatically out-performing their pythag, and Oakland has no offense. It isn't true for the rest of baseball, but 88 wins is enough to win the West in the American League.
     
  8. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Well, it all depends on whether you can make those moves, too. There are a lot of speedy outfielders in other teams' farm systems or on their bench. For some reason, I keep thinking they should try acquiring Scott Podsednik from the Rockies; he doesn't have power, but he's fast.
     
  9. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Really the point is that there are cheap, undervalued options available. Finding an average to above average 1B/LF type player is easy, and many perfectly serviceable options go unnoticed by GMs that aren't named Billy Beane and Andrew Friedman.

    As for Scott Podsednik, I'd pass. His percieved value is far higher than his actual value. At this point, he's Willie Bloomquist minus the ability to play the infield.
     
  10. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    May 20, 2008
    Well, i just tossed that out as an option; who else is available at that position?
     
  11. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Corey Patterson.
     
  12. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Wait, is he a back-up in Cincy right now?
     
  13. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    I believe so, yes.

    Signed a one-year contract at the tail-end of spring training. I was actually hoping Seattle would sign him, put him in left, and move Ibanez to DH.
     
  14. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Has he been doing well? I heard about a homer recently, but is he really getting decent results?
     
  15. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Well, with the league trading deadline in about a week, what moves should the M's make and what other moves could they make?
     
  16. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Dump Washburn to any team willing to take on his salary, but do not accept another contract problem in return (I'm looking at you, Kei Igawa).

    Cut Jose Vidro. Sunk cost.

    That's it, really. I'd let Raul walk at the end of the year to pick up two first-round picks.
     
  17. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    He has good value still. I also agree with you on Jose. Also, get rid of Miguel Cairo.
     
  18. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    He really pitches like a #5 LHP. The fact that he hasn't given up more runs since June is mind boggling, considering all the fly-balls and line drives he's been giving up.

    Although, notice that June was the time Jeremy Reed was called up to play the outfield for Seattle.

    Yep, defense matters. One day people will understand this and it will be glorious.
     
  19. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Yeah, but a team of Gold Glovers and no bats won't win games either. What they need is a team that is balanced in both offense and defense, and an average pitching rotation. The bullpen looks good right now, and with Josh Fields maybe coming in two or three years, it should be very improved. Also, we need a good bench.
     
  20. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    Josh Fields will be ready for a call-up next season, per Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider.

    Defense plays a much larger role in winning ballgames than people realize. When you have a -35 defender in left field, a -25 defender at 1B, and a -20 defender at shortstop (Yuniesky Betancourt is terrible and no one seems to realize it), it makes a pitching staff look far worse than it really is.

    If you don't believe me, take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays. Longoria aside, there's only one improvement they made to the team this season versus last: A top-tier defensive shortstop in Jason Bartlett.
     
  21. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Defense does win championships. However, like I said before, you need some offense (especially in baseball). With no scoring, a single run can result in a loss. What they need is a balance of players.
     
  22. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    They'll get offense just by putting league-average players in the lineup who can play league-average defense. I'm not sure if anyone truly appreciates just how awful Miguel Cairo, Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro, and Raul Ibanez (defense) are. I did some rough calculations, and I suspect that if we filled 1B/DH/LF with league-average players (in terms of overall run differential performance), this team would be in the top 5-8 in runs scored and top 5 in runs allowed.

    This team very well could compete for a wild-card spot next season, perhaps even an AL West title, because let's be honest. The Angels are performing way over their heads. They're due for some sweet, delicious regression soon.
     
  23. ApolloSmileGirl

    ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Knight star 8

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    Jun 18, 2004
    Ummm, weren't the Mariners the favorites to win their division this year?

    How's that going for them?
     
  24. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

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    Hey, even though they're losing this year, I still proudly wear my team hat outside and my stocking hat. Anyway, I don't think they were ever predicted to win the division. Wild Card maybe, but not division. It's all Angels all the time it seems like, and they're tough to beat with Santana, Guerrero, K-Rod, etc.
     
  25. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 30, 2006
    I sure didn't pick them to win the division or wild card this year, take a look at the first post of this thread.

    Most sabermetricians had Seattle pegged to finish with 74-84 wins. Things got worse when Jose Vidro and Richie Sexson collapsed (that's what happens when your 1B/DH play at a below-replacement-level clip).
     
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