Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Few quick thoughts on M's

While I try to get myself motivated to watch the M's tonight- I'm thinking of running down to Safeco, buying the cheapest ticket I can get and hang out and watch some baseball- a few quick thoughts come to mind.

First, let me repeat how glad I am the M's didn't keep Rhodes or Nelson in the bullpen. While so far the bullpen has been a disappointment, I don't think you can blame Bavasi on this one. On paper, the bullpen looked good, and it was clear to everyone who followed the M's that Nelson and Rhodes were on the downslope of their career.

Certainly with Rhodes posting many early saves, it was easy to criticize the front office for not re-signing him. But I'm convinced Rhodes will not be the closer at the end of the year, and the A's will be still have him for two more years. Meanwhile Nelson has been a huge disappointment in Texas, and now needs surgery that will keep him sidelined for the next few months. Kudos to Bavasi for both moves.

With a few games under his belt, Kaz Matsui for the Mets has proven to be a disappointment. His batting average is lousy, the Mets are unhappy with his game speed and his defense is not what they thought, and where's the power?? Of course it is early in his MLB career, so this could turnaround, but at this point he doesn't look like a $7 million/yr player. Considering I believed he would have been a great option for the M's, I have to admit the M's likely made the right choice in not signing him. Hats off again to the M's front office, who I assume did their homework (I know, dangerous assumption- it could be they just got lucky on this one.)

Moving on to Cameron, I know many of us his miss his defense, but about his hitting? His current line- .209/.313/.419/.732
Sure, he has 7 homers, but only 15 RBI's, and of course the 43 strikeouts. What would these numbers be at Safeco... Ugh. I can't be too critical for the M's passing on Cameron- I just wish they had a better back-up plan.

Tejada? We get a good look at him tonight. His numbers- .346/.391/.515/.906
Would clearly be the best hitter on the M's right now, by far. Compared to Cameron, he has 7 strikeouts. Big whiff for the M's to have settled for Aurilia after refusing to pay for Tejada.

Vizquel? Lousy defense, no power, clear downside of his career. We all said the M's were lucky when he failed his physical- perhaps the M's doctors refused to let Bavasi make such a stupid trade? We can only hope.

I'd like to get a better look at Jamal Strong in center. He doesn't hit for power, but is supposed to cover the field and is an above-average defender. Platoon Ibanez with Olerud, and move Winn part-time to right. We gain speed, better defense, and buys us time while the M's work the trade lines.

C'mon M's, give me a reason to go to the game tonight, other than to watch Freddy pitch his last season in Safeco.