Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Mariners Halfway Point

Record: 35-46
Games Back In AL West: 14.5
Probability of Playoff Berth: 0.004%
Probability of Bad Team(ness): 95.32%
Probability that More Moves Will Be Made: 96.99%

Subtractions:
Bobby Madritsch (SP): Injured 1st start of season, gone for a LONG time.
Gavin: The importance of this injury cannot be overstated. Many of us believed that Madritsch was going to be our best starter this year. Just getting him back would be a huge upgrade at that position.
George Sherrill (RP): Up for, like, two days, then back to Tacoma
Gavin: At some point management will realize that Sherrill, one of our more consistent relievers last year after being called up, is way better than Matt "Death Spiral" Thornton. Alas, that has not happened yet.
Jorge Campillo (SP/RP): Also up for one game, then back to Tacoma
Gavin: Another in a series of idiotic week-long call-ups from Tacoma on Bill Bavasi's plate. Seriously, what the heck was he thinking? Campillo, once returning from the DL, will also be an instant upgrade to our rotation.
Shin-Soo Choo (OF): Another week-long call-up, then back to Tacoma
Gavin: The Seattle Times lists Choo as our number one prospect (not on the DL). This from a .250 hitter in AAA with no power. Say what? Still, no reason to have him up for a week for like one pinch run appearance.
Greg Dobbs (1B): Horrible pinch-hitter, back in Tacoma where he belongs
Gavin: The Greg Dobbs era is over. Let the earth rejoice.
Wiki Gonzalez (C): Injured, back in Tacoma to "work"
Gavin: Pretty sad that he was a bright spot, though. Even sadder that Olivo passes both he and Rivera on the chart.
Dave Hansen (PH): Injured, funny thing is that noone notices
Gavin: At the very least, Hansen doesn't give up at-bats. He's not a nothing off the bench.
Rene Rivera (C): Up for a few weeks, performs "ok", back to San Antonio
Gavin: I would say that Rivera was far more than "ok". He was above .300 with power. He looked like a doubles machine, and didn't suck behind the plate either. He looks like a future bright spot, and I was pretty darn disappointed to see him go. Every time I looked, the man was on base.
Wilson Valdez (SS): The antithesis of "hitter", San Diego wanted him
Gavin: What? We had Wilson Valdez? I think I've blocked out that memory already.
Dan Wilson (C): Injury, might be the end of a career
Gavin: And yet, do I really miss him? I suppose so, next to Borders.
Bret Boone (2B): DFA'd, his life as a power hitter is over
Gavin: His life as an everyday player is over. Thankfully he's gone. Colin also doesn't mention Pokey Reese, who hasn't played a day for us yet. Pretty solid offseason acquisition, huh?

Additions:
Jose Lopez (2B): The 2nd baseman of the future, today!
Gavin: Lopez honestly looks like a stud. I'm excited to see what he can do, not so much this year as he adjusts, but next year when he breaks out.
Michael Morse (SS): Not A-Rod. Not a .400 hitter. Can you say "stopgap"?
Gavin: I'm a little more positive about his performance, considering the guy's only 23 years old. However, with Adam Jones shooting through our minor league system, stopgap might be what we remember Morse by.
Pat Borders (C): The ageless "wonder". Pitching staff is starting to suck again.
Gavin: I'm officially off the Pat Borders Bandwagon. It's time for him to go.
Chris Snelling (OF): Play him. Now.
Gavin: Now.

Hopeful Moves Left:
Randy Winn (he of the .264 BA and 2 HR) moves on, either forced or not
Gavin: Pretty sad that I called this slump. It's time for him to go to the Dodgers or Yankees, either which need what he brings far more than we do. His space needs to go to Snelling.
Eddie Guardado (he of the tattered shoulder) is traded for young pitching
Gavin: Guardado also has the option of becoming a free agent at the end of the year, which he will more than likely do. He is the only available asset that will actually get us someone in return. Time for him to go.
Rafael Soriano gets a few months of work in the bullpen
Gavin: Our closer of the future? He or Sherrill have the inside path. I'm torn on whether or not I want him to start (with the way our starting rotation is), but either way I can't wait to see him again.
Matt Thornton and Jeff Nelson are released
Gavin: Articles keep giving these two far too much credit. They are both abysmal pitchers and deserve nothing better than to pitch for the Yankees. I'd rather have trained monkeys pitching than these two.
King Felix (if healthy), Jorge Campillo and Bobby Livingston get September call-ups
Gavin: Felix Hernandez, Jorge Campillo, Bobby Livingston, Bobby Madritsch, and (insert name) would be a tremendous upgrade over our current rotation. Also possible to be called up... Clint Nageotte, who is healthy and dominating AAA.
Somehow everything works out, completely and utterly

What is wrong?:
#1: Poor starting pitching. Joel Piniero is horrible right now. He needs to be shelved. I can take a few more months of Gil Meche, but I will gladly let the Reds or D-Rays pay him after this season. Hopefully a team trades for Sele or Moyer, and Franklin can try and not lose 20 games. The pitching is simply not consistent enough to maintain any semblance of a winning streak.

Gavin: What kills me about our starters is that they absolutely cannot strike anyone out. You cannot be a consistent winner in this league while only depending on your defense to make plays. Luckily, our defense is pretty good, but they almost have to be perfect every day to save these jokers. They make giving up runs in the first inning a given, can never hold a lead, LOVE the long ball, and are frankly a mediocre bunch. I'll take the rotation listed above with a nice free agent starter like AJ Burnett any day of the week over this lot. It's just as upsetting that we haven't made any changes to this crap. Why? They're good enough to keep around, but bad enough to be competitive. Hello mediocrity.

#2: Inconsistent relief pitching. Besides Eddie, everyone has question marks, while Hargrove appears to be absolutely lost on how to use these guys. I still have high hopes for Putz and Mateo, but until Soriano and Sherrill appear on the scene, this is not a strong point. Unfortunately, it is the strongest point on this team. Ouch.

Gavin: Colin again forgets Nageotte, who is projecting now as a reliever, since he only has the two pitches. Hopefully soon on the way out will be Guardado, Hasegawa, Nelson, Villone, and Thornton, replaced by Soriano, Sherrill, Nageotte, and cheap replacements. But honestly, I don't trust anyone outside of Guardado, whose arm could fall off tomorrow. They give up home runs every appearance, allow most of their inherited baserunners to score, and only shut down opponents when it doesn't matter.

#3: Over $100 million doesn't buy what it used to.
Adrian Beltre: .264 BA, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 51 K's
Richie Sexson: .242 BA, 17 HR, 58 RBI, 92 K's

Sexson will have adequate power numbers, but I would have expected a higher BA then that, with fewer strikeouts. Beltre has started to heat up, but is not the masher that we paid for... yet.

Gavin: Sexson needs to start making a little more contact because those strikeout numbers are awful. That batting average needs to be around .260 before he becomes completely worth the money. The biggest story line for me this second half is if Beltre can continue his turnaround. It's been about a month now for him to be a pretty consistent hitter, and now the ball's starting to finally leave the yard. He's been an excellent second half hitter historically. Can he show it to us now?

#4: Underachievers..... ho-ooooo!
Miguel Olivo: .147 BA
Randy Winn: .264 BA
Ichiro (stats might not show it, but worst season of American career)
Beltre (as stated earlier)
Sexson (BA and K's)
Boone (now gone)
Pineiro, Meche, heck, starting rotation
Offense worst in AL. Worst in AL.

Gavin: This is such an underacheiving offense. Jeremy Reed's BA is still too low for someone who doesn't hit for power. It's frustrating when you look at our lineup. We are not worse than the Royals' offense. We are not worse than the A's lineup. But yet they score runs. Getting rid of Boone is a start. Ichiro not being awful will be another start. Beltre heating up, Lopez contributing, these are what we need to look for. Our starting rotation isn't underperforming by much if you don't count the injured Piniero. Were you expecting Meche to become an ace? It was a mediocre five at the start and it's a mediocre five now.

#5: Weird Management
Lopez stuck at AAA for a while
Same with Sherrill and Snelling
Matt Thornton still with team
Miguel Olivo back with big club
Joel Piniero obviously injured, still in rotation
Put your own point in here....

Gavin: I don't have much positive to say about the job Bill Bavasi has done this year. It has been frankly appalling. The big items are listed above. Insane that Thornton is still around. Insane that Olivo is back up the day after Rivera hits a three run shot. Insane that Sherrill wasn't in the bullpen in favor of Nelson. I could run a team better than this.

Anything positive?:

#1: Jeremy Reed: .260 BA might not say a lot, but his defense has been stellar and has been a solid rookie. Is he a superstar? Probably not. Will he be a solid player for years? Yes.

Gavin: Reed's defense has been a nice surprise. He's turned in some absolutely highlight reel plays. Still, he has to start hitting some doubles and home runs, because a .260 singles hitter is not that valuable.

#2: Beltre has started turning it around. If he can, he can carry a team.

#3: Lopez is now starting at 2nd base. His job to win, or lose, the rest of the season.

#4: Michael Morse has surpassed expectations so far. I doubt he can keep it up, but he has added some excitement to a very "blah" team.

Gavin: I would have added Rivera, since he was impressive in his short stint. Guardado has definitely been a nice surprise, because he has been as dominant a closer as we've ever had.

That's all I can think of. It has been an interesting year so far. Definitely more interesting than last year even with all the disappointments. Can we break the 70 win mark? Stay tuned....

Gavin: Storylines for the Second Half...

Call ups... Clint Nageotte, Felix Hernandez, Rafael Soriano, Jorge Campillo, Bobby Livingston, Cha Seung Baek... we've called up most of the position players we wanted to see, but it would be nice to have Rene Rivera back, and maybe to see how Adam Jones does in September.

Trades or Releases... Jeff Nelson, Matt Thornton, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Eddie Guardado, Ron Villone, Aaron Sele, Joel Piniero (injured reserve), Jamie Moyer (someone bite on him before July 31?), Randy Winn

Things to watch... power numbers for Jose Lopez, Adrian Beltre, Jeremy Reed, Chris Snelling (if given at-bats), batting average for Richie Sexson, Ichiro

posted by colin_hesse @ 2:14 PM  0 comments

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