Signal/Noise, or "M's Lose by Double Digits, Again."
Wow. So the M's gave up 15 runs for what seems like the 10th time this spring, and Felix gets touched up a bit, Carvajal is torched (1/3 IP, 3H, 3BB, 7ER, but 1 K! Hey, that's 27K/9!), and Bloomquist goes 2 for 4. What do we do with games like these? We better figure it out, because we seem to get one every day.
Well, first off, here's your standard 'spring training stats don't matter' lecture. yes, this is a template given to M's bloggers in mid-February: small sample sizes, YEARS of meaningful performance data, players just getting warmed up, blah blah. Hey, remember when Craig Kuzmic was an intriguing prospect based on his performance in a spring training game? Yeah, how'd that work out? It didn't seem to help the M's that year (2003), and I don't think this series of beat-downs will doom the M's this year. Still, can't we have SOMEONE step up and create some phantom controversy over a roster spot, instead of having the debates be about where in the minors to start kids like Carvajal, Jose Morban, Nate Bumstead, and Jake Woods? Won't someone, besides Todd Sears and willie ballgame, 'push' a regular? It doesn't really matter, of course, but appearances matter (at least a bit), and I'd like a few more Salma Hayek spring training games and a few less Ernest Borgnine ones.
Now, there are some bright spots. Most importantly, Rafael Soriano is working his way back into his 2003 form, and pitched two scoreless innings today. Felix still isn't giving up walks, and that's a good sign that his 'true' BB/9 rate may be closer to what he showed in MLB than in AAA. And Morse and Jeff Clement both hit homers today, which is nice in that it gives me something positive to say about the offense. It's not spring training related, but Adrian Beltre *did* hit TWO HR's today against Venezuela in the WBC.
Hey, how about that US shutout in the WBC? Wooo, ex-Mariners galore today...Mike Timlin got the win for the US, and the losing manager for Venezuela! was Luis Sojo.