Monday, January 19, 2004

Non-Roster Invitees 

The list of non-roster invitees to Mariners Spring Training came out over the weekend, and includes six left-handed relievers vying for the coveted "Second Lefty in the Pen" slot (and FIRST lefty if, gawd forbid, something should happen to Steady Eddie).

The six lefties include Mike Myers, Mariner minor league starters Travis Blackley and Craig Anderson, relievers George Sherrill and Randy Williams, and also free agent Jose Nunez whose nice start in the bigs was cut short by a favorite M's problem, the shoulder injury.

This August 2003 article about Nunez' return should temper enthusiasm about his numbers.
Although his numbers are great, the Padres aren't sure he will survive. Many people in the Padres' organization feel it's only a matter of time before Nunez's shoulder blows up again.

When you invite extra pitchers, whaddya need? That's right, extra catchers. The immortal Pat Borders (and potentially Freddy's personal catcher) will be joined by Luis Oliveros and Rene Rivera, who is probably the M's top catching prospect right now, for what that's worth. Luckily if something should happen to Dan Wilson or Pat Borders (gawd forbid?), we have Big Ben.

Cracking the Safe gives some good info on Bucky Jacobsen, who seems to be the only invitee with his own Fan Club. Bucky is also endorsed by Mariner Wheelhouse as a good signing, but a poor platoon-mate for John Olerud, whose last hit against a lefty was in the days of "Who Let the Dogs Out."

The guys to watch may be Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Lopez, and last year's 37th pick Adam Jones. Lopez is probably closest to the bigs and while his .303 OBP in AA is pretty unimpressive, the fact that he's only 19 in AA is downright exciting. Some conjecture that Aurilia is just keeping shortstop warm for a year for this kid. Jones has a great arm, but we need to find out if he can hit, or takes the Rafael Soriano career route to be a big league pitcher.

Another guy who can hit is AJ Zapp . Zapp was a 1996 1st round pick and top prospect for the Braves for a few years before they gave up on him. Last year in San Antonio, he rediscovered his swing and launches 26 HRs to put himself in contention for a cup of coffee in the bigs if something (gawd forbid) should happen to John Olerud. Mickey Lopez knows how to take a walk, but looks to be a Tacoma infield fixture.

And my favorite name is Hiram Bocachica. He's a former top prospect who's gotten some MLB playing time, but done nothing with it. Just saying that last name makes me think of the song Oh Yeah from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (you know where they show the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California). Instead of the "cheeka-cheeka" sound of percusion, imagine "Boca-chica!". Sorry, but that's the song I hear...

Here's the full list...

· LHP Craig Anderson
· LHP Travis Blackley
· LHP Mike Myers
· LHP Jose Nunez
· LHP George Sherrill
· LHP Randy Williams
· C Pat Borders
· C Luis Oliveros
· C Rene Rivera
· 1B Bucky Jacobsen
· SS Adam Jones
· SS Jose Lopez
· IF Mickey Lopez
· 1B AJ Zapp
· OF Shin-Soo Choo
· OF Hiram Bocachica

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?