Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Tampa Bay on Top 

Ya gotta love the Yankees starting the season in the cellar, and the Devil Rays in first place. Mike Mussina gets a loss, and ARod manages to injure pitcher Paul Quantrill when they collide trying to field a bunt.

Hopefully, you'll get to read this as blogger has eaten my last two posts which is why I haven't posted for awhile. Nothing is more frustrating than typing for 20 minutes or an hour, and then clicking the Publish button only to see some "Session Timeout Error" and your entry lost. I got to remember to edit offline (as this is).

Saluting the USS Mariner
Anyway, the gist of the first post was "Kudos to Derek" for at least trying to avoid cutesy derogatory names for Mariners front office and coaching staff. I agree that much of the good in a blog entry can be lost if it is surrounded by namecalling and the like. Heck, Derek's tone toward the front office was one of the main reasons I started this blog, and refer to him as the king of the "statarazzi." But if he is going to tone down his namecalling, then I'm a happy man, and will certainly follow suit. (Not that Derek, or anyone at USS Mariner cares, but I feel like we have more in common than not, and somehow got off on the wrong foot). So, I hope that Derek sticks to his guns, and we'll be watching.

On Bullpens and Benches
The next post was about actual baseball, and I argued that a 12 man pitching staff is a good thing for the Mariners since they start with 30 games in 31 days. And concerns over what happens if so and so gets hurt are just not that important, as we can always call up someone from AAA. Just cuz you start with 12 pitchers doesn't mean you have to stay with 12 all year.

I also lobbied that Kevin Jarvis seems to be pitching well of late with three straight outings without giving up a run, and that I think he will continue to grow stronger. The guy is a serviceable 4th/5th starter for most teams, and we should try to wrestle some value out of him in trade before we just cut him. Last year was his first back from elbow surgery, and his month of July (4-0, 2.20 ERA in 4 starts) was his only healthy one as elbow pain returned in August and bad pitching followed. Everyone was ready to kick Jarvis off the team from one bad Spring Training start, but at the same time, are willing to forgive Joel Pineiro's horrible beginning.

I agree that we should trade Jarvis at the first sign of some value in return, as I don't think he's even the 6th or 7th starter on the M's. But on the Brewers, or Reds? A #3 starter or better, certainly capable of eating innings and easing the load on an otherwise young pitching staff. And that has value.

The bench I'd like to see...
Pat Borders. Lets shake Ben Davis up a bit. He still has minor league options, I believe, so we wouldn't lose him, and maybe some time in AAA would shake his funk. Call Davis back up at the first sign of AAA life.
Quinton McCracken. Best fourth outfielder that we have. If we acquire someone else, then I think we move him on.
Dave Hansen. Play him, but be shopping him around at the same time. If we can get $300,000 back for him by him going elsewhere, that's more money in the bank.
Hiram Bocachica. Let Willie Bloomquist strut his stuff in Tacoma for a bit, and call him up in May. Bocachica has been a spark this Spring, and he has no minor league options left. Add E-Ram to 40-man roster, and drop Ryan Christiansen from 40-man.

The bullpen I'd like to see after Guardado, Shiggy, Soriano, Mateo...
Ron Villone. Lefty setup man, and possible spot starter if a starter goes down, though I'd rather Soriano had first crack.
Mike Myers. Has done all we can ask of him. LOOGY who could become the 7th/8th inning guy if he continues to get guys out on both sides of the plate. Add him to 40-man roster and send Aaron Looper to 60-day DL.
Kevin Jarvis. Long relief and looking for a trade.

That means so long to Terry Mulholland, and I don't think he'll really be missed. Jarvis at least has upside, and is already on 40-man roster. It was between Mulholland and Myers and Myers is the clear victor as he has pitched well this Spring, pitched well in recent years, and has pitched for Melvin before.

On Trade Rumors
I expect that the M's are set for the season unless someone makes an offer on Jarvis. But if you like trade rumors, then the newest M's blog, DR Horton, is for you. The doctor lists another of things he'd like to do, and while most of them are questionable, it makes for an interesting "what-if". Among the things the doctor would like to see would be Jason Kendall in and Ben Davis out; Travis Blackley in, Kevin Jarvis and Ryan Franklin out; Quinton McCracken or if necessary, Randy Winn out, and one or more of Ken Griffey, Jay Gibbons, Geoff Jenkins in. Aaron Boone in. For all the rumors, the doctor does a good job of looking for rumors from non-M's media sources like the Pirates and Brewers newspapers, and for that alone, he's worth a look. And of course, I've got to put him in the optimists section, since he still has faith in M's management being able to pull off a trade that would improve the club.

That's all for now. I'm hitting the Publish key... now.

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