Mariners Have Many Options, Little Impact

There’s no denying the Seattle Mariners have a number of infield options on the farm primed to push incumbents at the major-league level in the next year or two. In 2012, Brad Miller, Nick Franklin and Stefen Romero left strong impressions in Double-A. And while I don’t question the three as future big leaguers, are they true upgrades over what’s already in Seattle?

Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak are younger options with spotty track records. And while that inconsistency is maddening, the opportunity exists for each to improve once fully healthy. Brendan Ryan is a top flight defensive shortstop, but one of the worst hitters in baseball. Kyle Seager has been an overachiever given his pedigree. And if you consider Jesus Montero a viable catching option, then throw Mike Zunino in this discussion as well (For the record, I don’t). By now, the baseball world expected Montero, Smoak and Ackley to be star caliber players. This hasn’t happened leaving Seattle fans hoping the next wave will be an improvement.

At shortstop, I have little doubt Brad Miller would produce more offense than Ryan now. However, is he really an upgrade at present given his error totals in the minor leagues? As a player capable of posting .350+ on base percentages, it may not matter. Low strikeout totals and a decent number of walks may force the hand of the Mariners and their abominable offense.

Mariners fans expect Nick Franklin to push Dustin Ackley and force the organization to decide on a second baseman of the future before 2014. Franklin is a quality prospect, but will his peak production eclipse a healthy Dustin Ackley? I’m not so sure. Ackley had a career minor league line of .280/.387/.435. Franklin’s is .283/.351/.458. Franklin has been young for every level, but Ackley was considered to have a better pedigree. For me, Franklin is more trade chip than core piece of the next winning Mariners team.

From an organizational standpoint, the future of the Mariners at first base is difficult to project. Justin Smoak has struggled mightily and enters his prime with a career WAR of 0.0. Should Nick Franklin Surface, Dustin Ackley could man first base. Stefen Romero and his .352/.399/.599 line in 2012 may also make a push. Romero is a bat first player with a poor defensive profile. When scouting Romero, I was reminded of a mini-Dan Uggla.

I’ve never cared for Jesus Montero at catcher. As he continues to adjust to Major League pitching, Montero will become a viable designated hitter option. My only concern is shuffling at other positions will lead to a designated hitter by committee with more managers rotating players in and out as a form of pseudo-rest.

This leaves Mike Zunino the undisputed catcher of the future. He and Taijuan Walker are the two untouchable commodities inside the organization. To deal either would be a form of heresy. Of course I would have said the same thing about Trevor Bauer and Wil Myers a week ago.

The only “safe” infielder is third baseman Kyle Seager. While he’s not an impact talent, the Mariners have bigger fish to fry. The 24-year old has done everything asked of him on a baseball field and then some.

It’s fun to try and decipher what the Mariners front office will do with a plethora of infield prospects and youngish big leaguers. For me, it’s disconcerting to think organizational planning may yield the same results as throwing names in a hat and picking at random.

Beyond Zunino, none of the current “baby Mariners” are considerably more valuable than what’s already there. And with the Mariners pursuing a number of impact bats, signs point to their feeling the same way.



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Mike Newman is the Owner/Managing Editor ofROTOscouting, a subscription site focused on baseball scouting, baseball prospects and fantasy baseball. Follow me onTwitter. Likeus on Facebook.Subscribeto my YouTube Channel.


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Steve
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Steve
3 years 9 months ago

Erasmo Ramirez is legit. That’s one thing I’d be optimistic about as a Mariners fan.

Salty Sam Saltalamacchia
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Salty Sam Saltalamacchia
3 years 9 months ago

Is he too legit to quit?

dean wormer
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dean wormer
3 years 9 months ago

zero. point. zero.

Pat G
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Pat G
3 years 9 months ago

Slow, Stone Handed and Weak is no way to go through your pre-prime son

Jim
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Jim
3 years 9 months ago

Technically, based on WAR, the Yankees won that Montero/Pineda trade, since while they didn’t get a single Major League pitch out of it, Montero and Noesi combined for -0.9 WAR.

So… in that case, is 0.0 a win? Or is just that everybody lost?

mr dorfman
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mr dorfman
3 years 9 months ago

not sure how you read that as anything but a commentary on justin smoak.

firejerrymanuel
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firejerrymanuel
3 years 9 months ago

mariners need to man up and deal felix.

Basebull
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Basebull
3 years 9 months ago

They were a .500 team the second half of last year. Two solid bats and some growth from the young core and they’re a wild card team. Unfortunately it’s looking like they’re either incapable or unwilling to pay the market rate for those two bats.

cherry picker
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cherry picker
3 years 9 months ago

so glad we get to disregard the first half!

Thirteen
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Thirteen
3 years 9 months ago

Actually, yeah, you can disregard the first half. The Mariners shuffled around a lot of internal talent at the break: Noesi to AAA, Smoak to AAA, Figgins to the bench, Iwakuma to the rotation, Jaso full-time…. etc. It’s not totally arbitrary to divide there.

cherry picker
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cherry picker
3 years 9 months ago

ok, clearly benching figgins is a great move. fine. but the others? noesi? jaso? smoak? not exactly swapping gehrig for pipp…

KrunchyGoodness
Member
Member
3 years 9 months ago

@cherry picker: No, but you should compare out of division records to other teams. The Mariners had to play in the best division in baseball last year.

ThirteenOfTwo
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ThirteenOfTwo
3 years 9 months ago

Noesi produced -1 WAR over half a season, whereas Iwakuma produced +1 WAR over half a season. Between that, the Figgy benching and the swap of Jaso for Olivo the post-break Mariners were probably 5 wins better than the opening day Mariners (that’s prorated over a full season) just through those internal moves.

Tim_the_Beaver
Member
Tim_the_Beaver
3 years 9 months ago

Honest question: are these downvotes from Mariners fans? Or (outside of Seattle) is this considered to be the wrong strategic move? Or, third option, is it agreed that he’s untouchable for “heart/soul” type reasons?

Jim
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Jim
3 years 9 months ago

I’m a Yankees fan. I don’t think that Seattle should trade Hernandez, because that would kill baseball in Seattle — why else would anybody care? — and we don’t need another team abandoning Seattle the way the Sonics did.

Larry Bernandez
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Larry Bernandez
3 years 9 months ago

Abandoning?! Lets be clear about one thing, since apparently 6 years after the fact people still don’t get it. The Sonics were taken, ripped away from the city by Clay Bennet and David Stern. Mariners fans would burn and pillage Safeco field is Felix were dealt.

Guy
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Guy
3 years 9 months ago

How tall is a “mini-Dan Uggla”? 2′? Shorter?

Mario Mendoza
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Mario Mendoza
3 years 9 months ago

“Mini cupcakes?!?!”

Mario Mendoza
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Mario Mendoza
3 years 9 months ago

“Where does it stop with you people?”

Spike
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Spike
3 years 9 months ago

yeah, Romero is listed at 6’2″ and 225. I don’t know how he could be the mini anything…

Bookbook
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Bookbook
3 years 9 months ago

6’3″ in this case!

Dag Gummit
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3 years 9 months ago

That was an odd statement since most player bios place Romero as a big guy (6’3″, 235)

Will
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Will
3 years 9 months ago

Maybe the Mariners could rent Russell Wilson from the Seahawks…

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 9 months ago

To pinch run for Jesus “Slow Bus” Montero. I like the guy, but he’s as fast around the paths as fire hydrant still bolted down.

malcolm shelley
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malcolm shelley
3 years 9 months ago

the marlins are looking for third base. the mariners need g stanton in the worst way. seager, paxton, plus what pulls stanton?

king f
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king f
3 years 9 months ago

walker and zunino should get it done

Seattle Homer
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Seattle Homer
3 years 9 months ago

Heresy!

Tom
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Tom
3 years 9 months ago

I would do that.

-Mariner Fan

shane
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shane
3 years 9 months ago

agree. no reason not to do that unless posey or longoria magically become available.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 9 months ago

Seegar, Paxton, Capps, and Montero. The Marlins shouldn’t do that, but they might. Loria says “Ain’t dealing,” but he’s sucha pathological liar if he says “a” I think _z_. Thow enough pasta at the wall, if the stuff is gummy-young it might stick for the guy, his earlier deals this offseason sucked too . . . .

Twain
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Twain
3 years 9 months ago

Seager is an overachiever given his pedigree? What’s so surprising about (early) third rounders becoming successful major leaguers? He hit well at each level of the minors. Did I miss something?

CJ
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CJ
3 years 9 months ago

Seager was well above-average last year, and he might have been even more above-average depending on your idea of the one-year Safeco park effect, to the tune of ~4 wins. A prospect who provides 4 wins a year is a MASSIVE success.

Twain
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Twain
3 years 9 months ago

52 of the 135 qualified MLB regulars produced (WAR) at Seager’s level or above. You may need to rethink your definitions of MASSIVE and prospect. Seager didn’t even qualify as a rookie. I’m a big fan of Seager, but let’s not pretend he came out of nowhere just because he exceeded some people’s expectations.

Jason
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Jason
3 years 9 months ago

Well, he’s no Corey Seager.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah, he’s older than that . . . .

unequal comparison
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unequal comparison
3 years 9 months ago

Ackley vs. Smoak…one of those doesn’t fit with the other….

jgstecker
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jgstecker
3 years 9 months ago

Ackley is the 2B, period. Check back in 2014.

Don’t believe everything you read about Franklin moving off SS. He still has people in the org that believe in him there and he is not moving off the position yet.

Miller also has the tools to play a very good CF and could shift there if Franklin can hold up at SS.

Romero will eventually see plenty of corner outfield time as well.

There’s a lot of flexibility here. None of these kids will be pushed out of a job unless they fail on their own.

Spike
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Spike
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t get why Romero isn’t being groomed for 1B. It’s not like anyone is really blocking him and if his bat plays and he doesn’t otherwise have a position….

and the M’s will have to use one of Franklin or Miller to obtain an OFer. That seems pretty obvious… if Seager and Ackley are going to stay at 2B & 3B.

There are worse positions to be in with all these terrific prospects I guess…

Trey Baughn
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Member
Trey Baughn
3 years 9 months ago

M’s just “groomed” K. Morales from LAA to play 1B, so they’re now “stuck” with Montero at DH

Spike
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Spike
3 years 9 months ago

yeah apparently… so much for Smoak’s great month of September…

Spike
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Spike
3 years 9 months ago

at least the M’s can’t be accused of not doing anything now….

Spike
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Spike
3 years 9 months ago

not an awful deal. If KM has a good year they may even be able to turn him into a draft pick. He’s in a walk yr.

Poncho
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Poncho
3 years 9 months ago

Maybe they should trade Vargas to the Angels for Morales?

a seattle fan
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a seattle fan
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah but everybody knows Zduriencik won’t do it because he hates power bats.

Rippers
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Rippers
3 years 9 months ago

Morales makes this more complicated!

Jaker
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Jaker
3 years 9 months ago

2011 Home/Away wRC+

Ackley 101/130
Seager 48/135
Smoak 124/86 (outlier)

2012 Home/Away wRC+

Ackley 65/84
Montero 68/113
Seager 83/132
Saunders 90/123
Smoak 58/110

Those are pretty startling differences (Smoak’s 2011 is the only major outlier). Imagine any of these players having their home games at Coors’ Field. Besides the statistical disadvantage, I can’t help but think of the huge mental disadvantage that playing at Safeco brings.

Paul Clarke
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Paul Clarke
3 years 9 months ago

Jaker,

There’s a bug in the home/road wRC+ splits where they both get park-adjusted by the same amount as the player’s overall wRC+ value. That makes Mariners players look much better on the road because they’re being treated as though half their road games were played at Safeco. Similarly, it make them look much worse at home. You can see similar effects for Padres players, or any other team with an extreme pitchers’ park.

Jaker
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Jaker
3 years 9 months ago

Isn’t that counterintuitive? And even for the non-split stats, you’d be overadjusting (in this case) half of the stats by a park factor that shouldn’t be applied to those stats (since they were generated at different parsk)?

Regardless, if you take OPS or any other non-park-adjusted stat those splits are just as large.

Jaker
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Jaker
3 years 9 months ago

I guess it would be better to look at .wOBA then which is not adjusted for parks and is not a counting stat.

Jaker
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Jaker
3 years 9 months ago

At the end of the day it wouldn’t matter much anyways since both their home and away stats are being inflated by the same adjustment (cancels out). Doesn’t give the most accurate value of their wRC then but we would presume that the percent difference between home and away is still real. .wOBA is better and tells the same story.

Paul Clarke
Member
Paul Clarke
3 years 9 months ago

For some reason I can’t reply to you directly, so I’ll put this here.

At the end of the day it wouldn’t matter much anyways since both their home and away stats are being inflated by the same adjustment (cancels out).

No, it actually inflates the gap between them. The park adjustment being applied is for 50% Safeco, 50% other parks, which is what you want for the whole season – it’s roughly half the Safeco park factor, as the road parks will average out to something close to neutral (possibly slightly pitcher-friendly as there are two other pitchers’ parks in the division to only one hitters’ park). So if Safeco has a park factor of 90 the overall park adjustment for the season will be about (90 + 100)/2; i.e. 95. However, for home splits using 95 instead of 90 means that you’re not adjusting enough for the difficulty of hitting in Safeco and the wRC+ figures will be too low. For road splits, meanwhile, using 95 instead of 100-ish means you’ll be adjusting too much and the wRC+ figures will be too high.

Hopefully that makes some sort of sense.

Smallie Biggs
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Smallie Biggs
3 years 9 months ago

Seattle are moving in their fences, not enough though IMO.

They have a load of talent that will be great once they have a band box to hit in.

Look at the Texas Rangers, a lot of their success comes from having confidence in their own ballpark.

Jaker
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Jaker
3 years 9 months ago

Just made the same point above.

Antonio bananas
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Antonio bananas
3 years 9 months ago

Right but then they wouldn’t be ale to leverage pitchers like Pineda as well.

JamesDaBear
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3 years 9 months ago

Right… they have to bring in quality hitters, quality defenders AND quality pitchers… instead of having their park manufacture quality pitchers. If they had a crap pitching staff, I wouldn’t be as optimistic for the positive effect of moving in the fences. As long as they maintain an above average pitching staff, they’ll gain more from the park improvements than their competition. For example, Felix Hernandez doesn’t care how far they move the RF fence in since he does a great job already of limiting RH batters and getting outs on his own. They expect the same from Taijuan Walker, so they should see much benefit from adjusting their park fairly in the coming years.

k
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k
3 years 9 months ago

Ackley sucks

the hultzen
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the hultzen
3 years 9 months ago

hey, at least we dodged the rendon.

Melo
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Melo
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t get why this article is so down on Franklin. GREAT pedigree imo. Patience, pop and good contact ability. Good SS, but not a gold glover. LHH, which is great in Safeco. Plus, his struggles from the right will not be exposed as much since he’ll face a ton of RHP. Not to mention, we might see him ditch switch hitting this year and he might do better from the left v LHP.

I’ve never quite understood the hesitation on Franklin. Beast AFL too. The guy’s a stud and won’t be moved off by Brad Miller until he proves he truly can’t play SS. His bat from the left in Safeco more than makes up for avg D at SS.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 9 months ago

I completely agree with this: I’m mystified at the *meh* for Franklin. He raked for most of the year at low A till he played more games than ever before. He moved up to high A _very young_ and took awhile, then raked, went up to AA and got concussed. Last year he raked at AA, then moved up to AAA _very young_ and took awhile. Franklin is not on the patient side as a hitter, which is exactly what gets exploited as you move up the levels. This is a steady picture on Nick Frank: when he learns a level, he hits. The ball jumps off his bat, and he’s an intense competitor. Now he’s not really going to stick at SS in all probability and to me this is why, rather oddly, folks mark him down, they don’t know what position to project him at so he’s somehow made into a tweener. There is somehow an odor of ‘failure’ around that which is entirely undeserved based on his actual performance.

The obvious positional switches for the Ms infield never get suggested, which are to put Franklin at 3B, move Seegar back to his natural position at 2B, and to move Ackley down the road to Tacoma to decide if he has what it takes to adjust his approach and compete in MLB. Moving Ackley to 1B is to me The Ridiculous Thing That Won’t Die. I mean nearly all of Ack’s value is on defense at this point, he’s made himself into an above average defensive 2B, which speaks well to his deservedly reputed athleticism. His batting line put at first isn’t even a joke however (unless compared to the dud who was put out there all last year). Seegar’s bat at 2B is _very_ handsome, and Bendy Ryan’s D at SS is worth far more, even now, than Ackely’s D at 2B. I strongly suspect Nick Frank hits better than Ackley no matter where he plays, and I’d sure like to find out.

Pedigree, smedigree: performance is what counts in the Bigs. Ackely’s hitting perfromance to date is an intense disappointment. I have no idea whether he’ll play up to his best ability or continue to play passively and overmatched. That he’s on the lineup card and other guys with potential are sitting is to me way the wrong message, and part of why the Ms played so badly last year: guy’s were in there no matter what they did. Let Ackley play his way back onto the roster; if he does, I’m ecstatic. I’m not talking about this as ‘Ackley’s problem’ it’s the the front office’s misjudgment to keep sending in there a guy who isn’t really getting it done. And to me, this is a selfish move on the FOs part rather than some putative interest in player development. Ackley was a big move for the Ms; it hasn’t worked well; sending him down admits that, and the FO doesn’t want that. Jack Zd. is very, very careful regarding anything that might smatter his personal reputation if any of you have been following this. But Ackley _is_ a disappointment, and something rather than ‘just look away’ needs to be done in my view.

Concering whom, Mr. 1400 has got to go. Smoak has that many ABs at the major league level, and has never performed as a major league hitter. One hot three weeks in 2012. A hot September in 2012 (and why should anyone trust September numbers?). ‘Hits well on the road?’ Big games in Arlington, Denver, and Chicago really tell us the story on him, or should: small games everywhere else.

A prime reason the Mariners have stunk so badly over the last ten years is an inability to admit when something is wrong and to move on. The fences needed to be moved in from the first year at Safeco, in Detroit, in the Mets’ new park. The latter two organizations made the move in just a few years; the Ms took ten. Smoak is a busted dud. Move on. Ackley hasn’t performed. Move him down till he moves himself up. Figgins play lost all its substance when he got the $$$. Move on, PLEASE (and finally). I like Jesus Montero, but I’d be perfectly happy if he’s dealt before spring training 2013. For gods’ sake, cut the anchor line and get a move on. Orgs that win don’t keep playing losing hands.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 9 months ago

So Mike, I’m passionate—and also prolix. I know the difference but can’t always control myself when killing time at (night) work.

So good to know that on Franklin’s arm then if it’s clear. That does change things.

And on Dustin, yes, there is the Heyward comparison. I cling to that. Ackley has the tools. His strike zone judgment is excellent; bat speed good; he’s smart. Safeco hurt his performance badly, and he’s young enough for that to color his year, but at the same time there was no point after the first few weeks in Spring Training that he looked like he had life in him. What really bothered me last year was just how passive he looked. Yes, that may be just the way he looks, but it was too similar to how his results _played_. Does he really WANT to be an elite major leaguer? I’m damned if I know, and because of that i suspect he doesn’t know. He’s a good dude, and I like him personally; it bugs me to be down on him. Professional sports is about _performance_ though. Dustin needs, to me, to take that to heart.

Something that I wondered last year during Spring Training for the Ms is this: chronic fatigue syndrome. Yes, really, and not as a joke, and I have my reasons to suspect it’s pathogenic in origin (you can catch it) though that isn’t proved. Ackley, and Catricala, and several others got ‘the flu’ just coming back from playing in Japan—and never, ever looked like the same guys the rest of the year. To me, this condition profiles far more to the symptoms which Franklin Gutierrez descibed too than IBS. . . . It’s a though, and not an entirely idle one. I sure hope all three get past some mystifyingly bad years that were largely or completely unexpected based on past performance.

And btw Mike, I like your write ups and read them religiously. You’re always well informed with a fair and evidenced point to make.

Mr. Obvious
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Mr. Obvious
3 years 9 months ago

If all it took was a JAG like Vargas to land Morales where were teams like the O’s and Rays? I know the Angels wanted an innings eater, but why not just pay someone like Marcum who’s actually good and collect a prospect for Morales from someone. Lannan was out there for a song, too. Maybe I’m too down on Vargas, but Morales seems to have legit upside, whereas Vargas has, at best, a chance not to suck.

Ruki Motomiya
Member
Ruki Motomiya
3 years 9 months ago

Well, Morales was surprising and quite well timed. Mariners lineup will be interesting to watch…

Adam
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Adam
3 years 9 months ago

Pedigree doesn’t really matter, Albert Pujols didn’t have any pedigree and how did that turn out? A good hitter is a good hitter, regardless of the pedigree.

And last time I checked Ackley played outfield in college (He played first base his last year due to TJ surgery). If Franklin hits his way up that could always be an option I’d assume. At least one or two of those guys should be trade bait though.

On a side note, Zunino can’t be traded until a year after he signed, which is in July

maqman
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maqman
3 years 9 months ago

Oddly last night I suggested they should trade Capps or Pryor and scraps for Morales and it was surprising to wake up this morning and see it happened. I’m fine with it being for Vargas, given what he was going to cost and the effect of the moved in fences would have on him. I wouldn’t have been shocked if they non-tendered him. Now they can trade Pryor, Capps and scraps for Morse from the Nats or Capuano from the Dodgers, or add more scraps and get them both.

Sam Fowler
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Sam Fowler
3 years 9 months ago

The expectation that young players like Ackley and Montero are going to step into the league and be instant superstars is sooooo unrealistic. Montero was near the top of all offensive categories and caught a no hitter behind the plate. If that is not a good enough start of a career for some people than they have unrealistic expectations. Ackley has had what….1.5 years and people are throwing the bust word around. Players seldom come to the big leagues ready made All Stars. These are the same folks who scream and cry when our traded players become stars elsewhere. Smoak is the only one I would have on the hot seat this season.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 9 months ago

So Sam, in general I agree with your remarks; however, one has to compare that view against _how_ the players in question actually do or don’t produce. For instance, I’m much in agreement with you on Jesus Montero, and I’m neither turned off on him nor surprised at his overall slash line for 2012, though obviously one would want better. He’s very young, and has some history of needing to adjust to a level of competition when moved up. He doesn’t walk much, and if pitchers’ know you’re going to swing they can exploit that, and certainly they do so at the major league level. Montero was going to have to adjust to working for a pitch to hit against the highest level of competition, so he should _never_ have been expected to be an immediate success. He was in a park where like everyone else he hit poorly, and RHP gave him more trouble at this level too, with two in three of his ABs coming against righties. He _did_ hit LHP well; he did hit on the road. Montero, as you say, is going to have to adjust to the level.

Ackley, however, was in a different position. He was older _whe drafted_ than Montero was _when put on the 25 man_. Ackley has quite good strike zone judgment, and so putatively should have been able to be selective out of the gate. Ackley also adjusted fairly quickly to higher levels of competiton. Ackley’s first few months in the big leagues also showed that he could hit pitching at this level against a generic pitching pattern. So the bar for Ackley going into 2012 was set highter _by his own performance_, plus his age, plus his track record as a hitter previously. Maybe we can pick apart why Ackley failed so miserably at the plate in 2012, but there’s no way the performance wasn’t a disappointment.

flightrisk
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flightrisk
3 years 9 months ago

I guess I don’t understand the point of this: “…are they true upgrades over what’s already in Seattle?” How can we possible know? Ackley, Smoak and Seager (to a lesser extent) were well-regarded prospects, and only Seager has panned out, so far. Franklin, Miller and Romero are also highly regarded prospects, but Ackley’s career arc isn’t a predictor for Franklin. If Ackley’s struggles continue and Franklin arrives and performs well, he’d be a major upgrade at 2nd (or short, if he sticks).

The point for the Mariners is that having a LOT of reasonable possibilities on hand for the infield means they have a better chance of landing someone who really CAN play. At this point, mostly because the major league guys haven’t performed as well as hoped, everyone involved is just a “possibility.” And anyone who performs well, would be a big upgrade, including an improved Ackley over last year’s version.

So, no, it’s not a bad thing to have a cluster of promising young players for your infield positions, which seems to be your point. (Unless, of course, they all turn out to be bad.)

Justin Whitlock
Guest
Justin Whitlock
3 years 8 months ago

Not dealing King Felix is and always had been the problem. In my opinion, you build a franchise the way the Nationals have. Before them, the Phillies did it the exact same way. You stockpile a massive farm system, forget about the losses, stare at the future, and wait until your core is established stars at The Show. Then, you trade the extra and dip into free agency to frost the cake. To have a few elite players that are preventing you from stocking the system as well as providing wins which prevent your picks from grabbing a Strasburg is just irrational.

Felix would net exactly what this system has been painstakingly searching for. Could you imagine the bidding given the deal we just saw? Shields at 14M+ with one year left is an absolute joke compared to Felix. I would say more than one Top 50 prospects near the majors plus a couple nice complimentary pieces.

Personally, I would build the franchise wholly around speed. Small ball your heft spending opponents into their couches come October.

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