Mariners Analysis

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Reed's season over

Let's look at two players numbers this year.

.258/.287/.337 Player A
.254/.322/.352 Player B

Player A is Dontrelle Willis, while Player B is Mr. Reed. To say his season at the plate was a disappointment is a huge understatement. His complete lack of power and inability to cleanly steal a base are simply huge liabilities for this team. The fact there are no alternatives is of course also a cause for concern. If you don't play Reed, who else? Strong? Please.

(I realize it is unfair to compare to Willis, but just trying to make a point of just how bad his numbers are this year.)

So unless Adam Jones turns into Superman during the winter, the M's will likely pencil in Reed again next season as their starting CF. But if he hits next year like he has to date, I don't think you can give him more than half a season before you go in another direction.

Hopefully Reed won't need surgery on the wrist, and hopefully he turns into the player we think he is capable of being in '06.

Tied with Tampa

When I first heard the M's were tied with Tampa in the loss column, at first I sort of shrugged my shoulders. I mean we all know the M's stink.

But then I thought about it some more. I then realized just how bad this team really is.

Tampa Bay, with a sub-$30 million payroll, with a manager who basically has quit on the team since mid-season, has the same number of wins as the Seattle Mariners.

This is going to be a LONG offseason. We all know starting pitching is our biggest need. We also know our offense stinks. We know our GM has a spotty record at best with trades, and we have little in the farm system that is close to helping in '06.

This team needs some major creativity if it hopes to compete with Oakland, Texas and Anaheim next season. And right now, it is hard to see who will supply the creativity and energy required to rebuild this team.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Felix and Eddie

As we are all aware, the only reason to really be excited for an M's game is when Felix takes the mound. It isn't really important whether the play should have been an error or not- the good thing is the no-hitter was over, and Hargrove didn't have to send out Felix in the 9th on 120 pitches or something.

Felix has a long career ahead of him, and the big picture is obviously we saw him return to form after a couple of poor outings (by his standards).

Now with Eddie, we are simply seeing the Eddie we thought we were getting- a guy who relies 100% on location, and little else. Watching him earlier in the year, it was almost hard to explain how he was getting out of innings throwing 9 pitches or something. You'd see him throw his 86 mph fastball, and guys were popping out or grounding out at a ridiculous rate. The Eddie with a career ERA of over four and a half is simply returning to form- he scares you in the 9th, but usually gets the job done.

I've said it many times on this blog- the M's should have traded Eddie at the deadline. The closer we are seeing today is the closer we will see next year, only we're paying him $6 million a year, or we lost him for nothing.

To sum up, Bavasi will either-
A) Overpay for Eddie in the offseason
B) Lose him for nothing
C) Sign him to a new contract, ensuring we all regret the decision for years to come

Not great choices.

When does Felix pitch again?...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bonds hasn't lost it

While I pretty much despise Barry Bonds as a person, I certainly admire what he does on the field. Like everyone else I was curious to see what he would do upon his return from the DL this year.

Would he hit like the old Barry? Or just look old?

Well 3 home runs in 18 at-bats is a small sample size, but there is a good chance Bonds finishes the year with more home runs than Jeremy Reed.

How he can come back after such a long layoff and keep smacking the ball out of the ball park is simply amazing.

It's hard to like him, but you've got to admire him. Let's hope those rumors of him going to the AL next year (ie. Anaheim), don't come true. The M's have enough problems on their hands...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Is Ichiro bored?

You might have seen a few articles noting Ichiro's new assault on the record books. Along with his new M's record of triples in a year (12) he also is threatening to break the lowest batting average for a player collecting over 200 hits in a year.

Which makes you wonder- why the slide in average this year?

His HR total is up. He actually has scored more runs this year then he did last year collecting those record hits. And yet we aren't used to seeing Ichiro with a batting average under .300

Is it possible he is bored?

Or to put it another way, is there simply little to challenge him at the moment? We haven't really put much thought into the play of veterans like Ichiro and the effect of losing 90+ games several seasons in a row can have. But you it HAS to have some impact. Certainly a veteran like Ichiro who takes the game so seriously is always going to try hard, but the motivation has to wane when your team continues to lose game after game.

The M's are the 3rd worst team in the AL (thanks to Lou and the hapless Royals). They are setting records for spending as much money as they do, and getting so little in return.

It is something to consider when looking at what Ichiro is doing at the plate this year.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

M's determining playoffs

The sweep of the Angels still left the M's staring up at the rest of the division, but you know Oakland, Cleveland, Boston and the Yankees fans cared. Will the A's or Angels win the division? I'm sure the Angels would love to have 3 losses replayed against one of the worst teams in baseball.

Did the Angels take the M's lightly, or are the M's simply playing good ball? I would have to say the latter. Instead of mailing in the last month of the season, the M's are playing entertaining ball. They have decent energy, and for the most part look like a professional baseball team. Credit to Hargrove again for keeping the players focused.

Of course watching this team in September does make you wonder how they will ever win a game. Check out this offensive juggernaut-


I know batting average is an empty stat, but we also know the M's have ZERO power and don't walk, so how else are they going to score runs? This lineup is so full of auto-outs and replacement level futility it is amazing the M's could sweep anyone.

Seriously, this is one of the worst offensive teams the M's could cobble together. When you think how much Ichiro, Sexson and Beltre make and look at the entire M's payroll together, the M's offense is just embarrassing. The FO must be ashamed looking at what they run out there for ~$90 million.

And yet they swept one of the better teams in baseball.

Go figure.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

M's playing spoilers

Given the M's were eliminated from the playoffs by June, they have been reduced to playing the role of playoff spoiler. By splitting with the Yanks, instead of rolling over, they might be what keeps the Yanks from making the playoffs. By beating the A's again last night, they just might decide who wins the AL West.

While most of us have forgotten what it feels like to scan the Box Scores from the night before, there are plenty of tight races taking place. Cleveland fans, Boston fans, Oakland fans, Anaheim fans... they actually care how the M's do when the play a good team.

When Seattle plays KC, the rest of baseball could care less. But when Seattle plays Oakland this afternoon, Boston fans care, NY fans care, Anaheim fans care... they all are part of a playoff race.

It's good to see the M's playing well against good teams. If this team had quit on the season, we wouldn't be talking about splits with the Yankees, or possible sweeps of the Athletics. The A's need to win bad!... and yet the M's are playing them tough.

That is a point in favor of Mr. Hargrove. Nothing is worse than paying good money or spending your evening watching a team that doesn't care anymore. The M's are still trying to win, and so I'll keep watching...