Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Get Your Pitchforks Out...

Okay, no, I'm not talking about getting the pitchforks and torches out and storming Howard's Safeco Field office (though it's tempting). This time I'm referring to getting the pitchfork out to do something you normally non-violently do with it -- turn over dirt in the garden to help get weeds out and stuff. Of course, you can also use a pitchfork in a manure pit...

Looks like the moves have begun. Olivo's down in Tacoma, which probably won't help him long-term, but that's certainly subject for debate. USS Mariner and Lookout Landing are reporting that Morse is on his way up to Seattle, too. That will require a roster move (40 man?), and obviously Valdez' days are numbered. With the Aardsma+Williams for Hawkins trade, it's now open season on the trade market. I agree that we could get some value for Guardado and perhaps some other guys.

Since at least half of us M's bloggers are self-proclaimed armchair GMs (and most of the other half are still in the closet), there are at least three opinions on this blog, if not more (but only three have access to the "edit" button) on what the M's should do to help this team both in the short and long terms.

PositivePaul's moves:

1) DFA either Dobbs or Hansen. Lefty-batting corner infield pinch hitters who can't hit are a luxury. We don't need both of them.
2) Use the above 40-man and 25-man spot for Ryan Christianson. Since Leone is on the shelf, and Christianson can actually play catcher (however poorly), we need a right-handed bat with some power on the bench -- an emergency catcher that has some catching experience. Keep Rivera around to spell Borders, but add Christianson to the roster because he can actually hit. He might be an interesting platoon option at DH until Leone and Bucky are healthy enough to play.
3) Move Beltre out of the 3-hole. Now. Not sure if I want Ibanez, Reed, or Boone there. Obviously having three lefties in a row (Ichiro, Winn, Ibanez/Reed) would be a problem, but something's got to be done to jolt Beltre into hitting. Getting him out of the 3-hole might do it.
4) Trade. I don't care who, for whom precisely I don't really know either. Here's what we need:
  • Reliable, young starting pitcher
  • Shortstop who can hit and field decently for the next 3-4 years (until Cabrera/Jones/Tui/Morse/etc. decide who can actually play)
  • Long-term catching solution. The team has obviously (in spite of Bavasi's comments) given up on Olivo. Sending him back to Tacoma (in my opinion, of course) is a bad thing, and will only hurt his confidence even more.
  • Power hitting outfielder. Winn and Reed are very much redundant (though I'd take Reed 12 days a week). Ichiro is Ichiro and will always be Ichiro.
So, Corco, feel free to punch that "edit" button and add your list of moves. I imagine yours will be much more thorough and detailed. I haven't had a ton of time to really be into baseball a whole lot, and I imagine that Citizen K hasn't either. Being away from a computer (other than my PDA phone, of course) for four days didn't help, too. If either of you are out there today, feel

David J. Corcoran's moves:
For the Rest of this Season

Players to Leave

  • Jeff Nelson (Designated for Assignment with the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)
  • Greg Dobbs (Optioned to AAA Tacoma)
  • Jamal Strong (Sent Outright to AAA Tacoma)
  • Rene Rivera (Optioned to AA San Antonio)
  • Matt Thornton (DFA'd, sent outright to AAA Tacoma)*
  • Willie Bloomquist (Traded to Arizona for a box of saltine crackers/Optioned to AAA Tacoma)**
  • Bret Boone (Try to trade him, if not, DFA'd for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)***
  • Ron Villone (Designated for Assignment for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)
  • Scott Spiezio (Designated for Assignment for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)
New Faces
  • SS Mike Morse Recalled (happened today, didn't like it at first, now I don't see any harm)
  • Acquire C Danny Ardoin from COL for PTBNL/Cash
  • Claimed OF Ryan Ludwick off waivers from Cleveland
  • Recall George Sherrill*
  • Recall Justin Leone**
  • Recall Jose Lopez
  • Recall Jorge Campillo
*Once Sherrill is healthy. **Once Leone is healthy ***Once Lopez is Healthy
We don't need multiple sucky lefties. I'd rather have righties that can get guys out than lefties that can't. So Sherrill will suffice as the only non-closer lefty. This may be a bit over exaggerated as a youth movement. This may not work. But in terms of stopgap measures, this should work. Ludwick is an effective player, Leone, Sherrill, and Campillo can also contribute. Morse will be given the oppurtunity to win the starting SS job in '06. If not, we make a run at Furcal in the offseason. DFA'ing all of these players also opens spots for the glut of men that will come off the 60DL pretty soon. Meche would move into the bullpen. He has lights out stuff and seems as if he would be an effective righty setup guy. Overpriced, yes, and probably not much better than Putz. But I'd give it a shot. If Pineiro ends up on the DL, Baek is recalled to start. Felix does NOT come up until July 15th at the earliest. Danny Ardoin becomes a decent stopgap catcher until Olivo comes back or until we acquire a better catcher. I am not giving up on Olivo yet. However, it may be time to start to think of him as the "backup catcher of the future" instead of the "catcher of the future." I agree with PositivePaul's list of things to acquire, and I also agree with moving Beltre out of the three hole. My father also brought up an interesting point last night when he suggested hitting Winn third, so it becomes more likely that there are people on base when Sexson is up. I like this thought. I'd be running this lineup out right now:

RF Ichiro
CF Reed
LF Winn
1B Sexson
DH Ibanez/Ludwick
3B Beltre
2B Lopez
SS Morse
C Borders/Ardoin

Ibanez and Ludwick would platoon, and both would get ample playing time.


At 5/31/2005 12:57 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Masters of the Universe -- Corco has the POWER!!!!

Thanks for covering this weekend, while I was on a computer hiatus.

At 5/31/2005 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no offense, but Reed or Winn batting 3rd seems about as justifiable to me than keeping Thornton on the roster this long.

My lineup would be:
1. Ichiro
2. Winn
3. Sexson (despite k's, stil gets on base as good as anyone on the team and is heating up..best #3 option at this point)
4. Ibanez
5. Beltre
6. Reed
7. Boone
8. Morse
9. Borders

thats as good a lefty/righty combo as you can get at this point, and maximizes some of the current strenths by pushing Sexson and Reed up.

after that, i'd:
#1 - pick up Ludwick
he dosn't have to platoon with Raul, just having a RH OF option is good.
#2 - DFA Dave Hansen
my question is this: if Hansen and Dobbs are so redundant, why would you keep Hansen? Dobbs at least has a chance to become a similar player to what Hansen was in his prime, whereas Hansen's best years are already behind him. if you let go of Hansen, you lose next to nothing, but if you let go of Dobbs, there is a chance that you do lose something.
#3 - DFA Nelson and bring up Campillo
#4 - Send down Thornton and bring up Sherrill
#5 - If/when a trade occurs involving a pitcher on the roster (most likely Guardado, shifting Putz into the closer role) bring up Leone or Jacobsen (assuming either are healthy)
#6 - If/when Winn is traded call up the Aussie
#7 - When Spez gets back, i try to trade him. if that fails, i send Dobbs down. if Spez sucks, i burn the rest of the contract, and call Dobbs back up
#8 - get Olivo back up. i don't really care which other veteran catcher they get, or if Rivera stays for a month or so, catching 2-3 games a week. one month in the bigs isn't going to hurt him, since he's a catcher and he's garanteed playing time
#9 - i almost don't expect this to happen, but in the event that Pokey comes back, i send down Morse or Bloomquist. If Pokey simply can't cut it, i give him his release papers and look on the bright side: he didn't collect any of the incentives in his contract...oh wait, we can't save money and apply it next year, as with Kaz...there is no bright side with this ownership..anyways, i then recall whoever i sent out, and let them play (or any better options that could become available through trades, etc)
#10 - Find a taker for Boone, even if we get only marginal prospects and have to eat salary, and call up Lopez
#11 - (hopefully by early July) bring up Soriano. at that point, i'd look to shift Sele, or if Pineiro is injured as some speculate, put Joel on the DL, perhaps even before he comes back.
#12 - finally, i'd bring Felix up in early August, around the time they brought up Lopez last year. If Sele is gone already, and Joel isn't out with injury, i'd send whichever bench player is perfoming the worst down until the 40-man opens up for September.

That leaves you with a roster of:
1. Ichiro
2. Reed
3. Beltre (assuming he eventually gets back to #3)
4. Sexson
5. Ibanez
6. Lopez
7. Snelling
8. Morse
9. Olivo

Leone / Jacobsen

1. Moyer
2. Meche
3. Pineiro
4. Campillo
5. Hernandez

Mateo / Dobbs?

I wouldn’t be averse to putting Meche or Pineiro in the pen if it would help them sort out some issues at a certain point (especially if it opens up a spot for Campillo/Baek/Hernandez) but it still dosn’t solve our problems long term..we need starting pitching! Meche might make a good setup man, but with options like Soriano, Putz, et all, unless he becomes the closer, he’s worth more in the rotation even if he compiles such a crap shoot collection of performances at times.

At 6/01/2005 8:23 AM, Blogger David J. Corcoran said...

I am personally in favor of hitting the three best hitters on the team 1-3. You could sub in Ibanez in the three hole instead of Winn, but hitting Beltre third at this point is a waste. Moving Sexson to three is interesting. However, my thought is that between Ichiro, Winn, and Reed, SOMEONE will get on base almost everytime, and then you have the best hitter on the team up in Sexson with men on base. As of now, we have one fewer option, and Beltre is double play prone, and as a result we see rallies killed. The only way the inning is over when Sexson comes up is if all three of Ichiro, Reed and Winn get out, which isn't really likely.

At 6/01/2005 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can see your point...with 3 guys all hitting around or upwards of .300 at this point, theres a good chance that one of them would get on...either way, a change needs to happen

At 6/01/2005 3:10 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

One of the things I'm totally concerned with is rushing Soriano back. It'll take awhile for him to regain his velocity, and I'd rather have him doing that in the minors than in Seattle.

As the folks over at USSM talk about today, the outlook on our 2006 starting rotation is very dim. I've disagreed adamantly about having Soriano be a starter, but now I'm not so sure that's such a horrendous idea. Maybe stretch him out in the 'pen in the farm system this year, eventually seeing if he can start a game or two by the end of the farm system year, or in a September callup.

I'd much prefer, though, not to rely on Soriano coming back to Seattle at all this season. Especially with our track record of keeping pitchers healthy. Bring him along slowly, or he's likely to suffer a major setback.

The slim chance of us being competitive this year has long since waned. Build this team for next year and beyond. Oakland may suck worse than us right now, but at least they recognized this season as a rebuilding year to begin with.


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