Mariners Analysis

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bavasi's gamble continues

Weaver yesterday, now HoRam today. With the team in the middle of a playoff race, the gamble Bavasi takes when either takes the mound continues. The payoff can be a playoff appearance and almost certain contract extension. The loss can be the final nail in the coffin of a career with a footnote that reads "poor judge of major league talent."

The team has been on a nice winning steak built largely on outstanding pitching. With an ERA of roughly 3 runs a game during the run, good starting pitching + killer bullpen does indeed equal wins.

Make no mistake, this team wins when it pitches well. There are those who look at batting average and argue the Mariners are a good hitting team. They like to use phrases like "no easy outs" when they talk about the lineup. But this team doesn't outslug anyone very often.

Weaver and Ramirez are both pretty similar. They can both throw an occasional nice game, and they can both fail to last 3 innings. They can save your bullpen and destroy it with little rhyme or reason. If you were looking to upgrade this team, they are far and away the "weak link." The lowest of low hanging fruit when it comes to an upgrade.

Plenty of good teams have a poor 5th starter. The Angels are in first place and carry Santana, who must drive fans crazy every time he pitches on the road. The problem for the current Mariners is trying to win with essentially two 5th starters.

Two fifth starters who are thrust in to the rotation as much for political reasons as anything else. Weaver because you pay him $8 million, Ramirez because you gave up Soriano. There's a good chance neither pitches in Seattle next year, but right now they are 2/5's of the starting rotation on a $106 million team fighting for the first playoff appearance since 2001.

Ramirez gets to pitch in Safeco against the lowly Orioles. Let's hope Bavasi's gamble payoffs, because honestly it's not where I would put my money.