Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Could be a tough series

Chicago double header today and a split would be great. I don't know about other Mariner fans but I have a bad feeling about Chicago's lineup and our pitching. We haven't been scoring many runs and it may lead to Felix being overly concerned about not giving up any, which invariable leads to crooked numbers...

Would I be shocked if Chicago swept? No. Would I be happy with us winning two games in the series? Ecstatic.

There is not a team in the division at .500 and the Mariners really have a chance to put some distance to cushion the inevitable ups and downs of the season. The last thing to do is get complacent and allow the "we're winning so why mess with things" thinking to take hold. They need to:
  • Get Joh back. I know plenty of fans don't like him or his contract, but we can't keep playing with a catcher who hits like Willie Bloomquist. Johnson has no power and his defense is poor. The sooner we get a real catcher back the better. I really struggle to wonder why the teams likes Johnson so much. (I don't see it at all)
  • Figure out what to do with Clement. Swap him with Johnson, move him to first base permanently, do something. He doesn't need to hit AAA any more and the team needs to be executing a plan, not killing time hoping Johnson magically transforms.
  • Get Wlad at bats. This is a no brainer and the downside to the Griffey signing that many of us pointed out. This team needs power and needs to figure out if Wlad is part of the solution long term. Get him as many at bats as possible both to help now and to help figure out the future roster.
  • Get ready to trade Batista. You'll need to eat 90%+ of his contract, but there are teams like the Nationals desparate for bullpen help. Call around and figure out how to make it happen, with an outright release the final option. You need roster flexibilty and Batista has no real use on this team this season or beyond.
  • Get more bench help. If you can't figure out how to use 12 pitchers regularly, get a real bench and use it. This offense is anemic and pinch hitters will make a difference. The team should be looking at every opportunity to make this team better, no matter how small the improvement. They need to feel like they can steal the division this year if they are smart. Act like it.
  • Continue to plan for Yuni replacement. His defense is bad. His approach at the plate is bad. He has no power. How can this be your SS of the future? Continue to work the phones finding a replacement, even if we have to wait till the ASB.
  • Start thinking of Griffey speeches if he continues to falter. If it's mid-June and he's still not hitting, you need to cut back his playing time. The fans won't like it but we can't go to the ASB with Johnson and a lousy #3 hitter. Think of how you might broach the subject with him now, and hope you never have to use it.
Go Felix!