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!

Friday, March 31, 2006

2006 Seattle Mariners Preview: The "Pitching"

So.... while the hitting might see some improvement (No SandFrog, no Dobbs, no Willie Ballgame in a starting role, no Olivo, Borders, other craptastic catcher), we now reach the fun part of the presentation.

The pitching.

You know, the worst part about our team last year that Bavasi "solved" with the acquisition of one Jarrod Washburn, he of the "glowing" ERA, who also happened to allow a huge numbers of opposing batters to reach base. Washburn will seek to replace one Ryan Franklin, my favorite Mariner pitcher, who succeeded with a large helping of guts, mental strength, and *cough* supplements. We will also not have to watch Aaron Sele attempt to pitch, as our "#5" starter now is King Felix, who is the main reason to watch M's games this season. Let's take a look-see at each starting pitcher, and then the bullpen.

#1: Jamie Moyer
I love Moyer, no doubt about it. He has been, perhaps, the most successful Mariner's pitcher of all time besides Randy Johnson. However, the guy is freaking old. I mean, really, really old. Like, Crushed Dad old (low blow, I know). The guy can still succeed at Safeco, but watching Jamie pitch on the road is pretty hard to do. I, for one, embrace the USSMariner approach of turning Moyer into a home-only starter, but since the M's really have NOONE else to be a 6th starter (Foppert? Nageotte? Harris?), that idea won't be happening anytime soon. Also, claiming this guy as our "ace" puts us off to a bad start. Moyer is a good pitcher. He is, quite definitely, not an ace, whatever that is. Rich Harden is an ace. Bartolo Colon is an ace. Even Kevin Millwood could be seen as an ace. Jamie Moyer? Ummmm, no. Still, I hope for another semi-quality Moyer year where he succeeds at home and struggles on the road.

Gavin: I look forward to another year of long innings where Jamie allows a ton of opposing players to reach base and then somehow wriggles his way out of it, if not allowing a three run blast. I look forward to another glorious year of asinine "how does he win with pitching slow" recaps after a 6-5 win. I can't believe this is our ace. I'm already depressed and that's after one pitcher and I see what's next. Oh yeah, and lay off the Crushed Dad. Jerk.

#2: Joel Pineiro
The love-fest continues with Pineiro, who some people still believe has ace potential. Again, that proposition seems to be completely out of reality. The Pineiro I've seen the past few years is a sometimes decent pitcher who struggles with getting people out and usually encounters a BIG inning or two. Or three. My wish is for someone like Foppert or Nageotte (even Bazardo), to assert themselves in the minors so that we can trade this sucker before the trading deadline.

Gavin: Joel Pineiro is not a good pitcher and will never be a good pitcher. If our pitching depth was anywhere near what we used to believe it to be he wouldn't be anywhere near our starting rotation. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

#3: Jarrod Washburn
Is Washburn an upgrade? Yes, but only because of the pitchers he was replacing. Was he worth that kind of money? Absolutely not. Will he last the entire season without spending an extended period of time on the DL? I would be shocked. See, these are the kind of decisions that you just don't see from Ruskell, which is one of the many reasons why I continue to love the Seahawks management. See, even if Washburn has a decent season, I won't really to able to appreciate it just because of that terrible contract.

Gavin: The sad thing is that Washburn is a decent upgrade, the problem is that we're stuck with him for far too long, about the time when Lincoln gets to explain to us that the reason we didn't make a good midseason acquisition is because Washburn's contract kept our budget too high, but don't worry it'll be off the books in two years. I hate being an M's fan sometimes.

#4: Gil Meche
I have nothing more to say about this particular pitcher, new pitch or not. He is the new Matt Thornton (who, by the way, better not succeed in Chicago of I will cut myself, along with Jeff from Lookout Landing). I am sick and tired of him. That is all.

Gavin: Why are beat reporters even slightly optimistic about this pitcher? Do they have eyes?

#5: King Felix
However, I have everything to say about this particular pitcher. When players like him come along on your team, it allows you to enjoy the dog days of August when your team is about 20 games out of first. Watching him pitch last summer gave me new optimism about the Mariners. Maybe not this year, maybe not next year, but when your team has, perhaps, the best pitcher of this generation, you can't help but get excited about the possibilities. I will add a little prayer to my devotionals every night for his health, but, in my meantime, I can't wait to see the numbers that he puts up.

Gavin: Every five days there will be light. The first M's game I will be at will be next Friday.

Bullpen
Closer: Eddie Guardado
The ultimate prankster, obviously. Whether his arm will fall off by June remains to be seen.

Set-up:
Soriano
Putz
Mateo
Sherrill
Random extra two pitchers

Our bullpen should actually be pretty good. Sherrill is finally the main lefty in the bullpen (no Thornton!), while Soriano, Putz, and Mateo are definitely key parts of a strong and capable bullpen, ready to strike people off and leave people on the bases. I am especially interested in how Soriano pitches. He was the most exciting pitcher on our roster before his injury two years ago, and it is FINALLY time to see him pitch again on a regular basis, perhaps readying him for the closer's role next year (or, in a perfect world, grooming him to be a starter).

So.... above-average bullpen, below-average rotation, plus one King. Your 2006 Seattle Mariners!

posted by colin_hesse @ 12:29 PM  0 comments

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