Sunday, September 18, 2005

What to Do, What to Do (Part 2a)!?!?!?!??!??

Okay, so I've taken a stab at what players I believe will still be around next season, and the likelihood of them remaining with the team. For Part 2, I'd like to take a stab at what I believe will happen with these players -- looking only at those players who I believe are more likely than not to stay with the team. Part 2a, here first, will address the offense.

For the offense, I'll use some counting stats and some rate stats. I'm not smart enough to get into VORP or other stuff, so I'll just look at the stuff that most everyday, ESPN-reading-level baseball fans can relate to. The last column is an overall rating with the player in comparison with their 2005 season.

Edit: I've spent several hours trying to format this to work in Blogger, but it's not working. Ugh. I HATE, HATE, HATE Blogger! Please forgive this mess below. I really wanted to get this out in a timely fashion -- normally I'd not put something so sloppy out, but I'm losing my cohesive thoughtfulness, and I'd rather get that down and put that out, than spend many more hours fighting Blogger. I'll try to get this out soon either in PDF or a link to another HTML page that I have much more control over...

Well, I've cleaned this up a little bit, and saved it to a REAL HTML file, which can be found here (turn off, temporarily, pop-up blockers if it doesn't open).

Friday, September 16, 2005

What to Do, What to Do (Part 1)!?!?!?!??!??

Okay, so the 2005 M's are officially losers, and I now officially owe my coworker 10 bucks1. So, with that in mind, and with 16 games left, it's time to get a head start on the Hot Stove League.

I'm opening up the discussion, then, on what to do for next season. I want to first look at what we know we'll have, and what can be expected from them, before we look at what we need and where to find it.

The following list is what we have already have5, and the likelihood each player in every category will remain with the team in 2006, and start the season on the 25-man roster. It does not include guys who are currently injured and may join the team later in the season (even if that means a few weeks later)2.


Most definitely on the team next year (90-95% probability)
The other 5% -- knock on wood, stroke a lucky rabbit's foot, avoid ladders & black cats -- leaves the door open for unmentionable stuff that could happen between now and the start of next season, and because nothing is for certain in baseball. Other than that, though, these guys are definitely guaranteed roster spots, and there's virtually no chance these guys are traded.

1) Ichiro, RF
2) Sexson, 1B

Most likely on the team (75-90% probability)
Guys that aren't sure locks for a roster spot, but could be traded (however unlikely it is), non-tendered, or otherwise. It's highly unlikely they'll be traded, non-tendered, or otherwise, mind you, but it's certainly not totally unreasonable to believe there's a chance. Of course, the extra 5% from above applies here (and in all of the subsequent categories).

3) Torrealba, C
4) Adrian Beltre, 3B
5) Raul Ibanez, LF/DH
6) Jeremy Reed, CF
7) Jose Lopez, 2B
8) Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

More likely than not, they're on the team (50-75%)
These guys would be hard to get rid of: either they have a guaranteed contract, or they may have strong advocates somewhere in the front office. Doesn't mean they should be with the team, mind you, but it's more likely than not that they will.

9) Willie Bloomquist, UTIL
10) Mike Morse, LF/DH
11) Miguel Ojeda, C

Possibly on the team, depending on other moves (Below 50%)
Guys that haven't shown much, but could fill in the bench, and have strong advocates in the front office. In other words, it's not completely certain they're gone.

12) Greg Dobbs, UTIL


Most definitely on the team
1) Felix, SP

Most likely on the team
2) Eddie Guardado, CL
3) Jamie Moyer, SP
4) Joel Pineiro, SP
5) George Sherrill, RP
6) JJ Putz, RP
7) Julio Mateo, RP

More likely than not on the team
8) Rafael Soriano, RP
9) Scott Atchison, RP
10) Jeff Harris, Long RP
11) Gil Meche, SP

Possibly on the team
11) Matt Thornton, RP
12) Ryan Franklin, SP, Long RP


Only three guys are totally inked in for next season: Ichiro, Sexson, and King Felix. These are the only three that I would bet my house on3 starting the season next year with Seattle, and feel confident in making that bet (praying, of course, against major injury, which is always a factor for everyone).

Including all the "Definitelys" and "Most Likelys,"4 there are 15 roster spots that are either locked in, or most likely locked in. That really leaves about 10 roster spots open for serious discussion.


What numbers I expect out of these guys.


1. I bet him back in May that the M's offense would pick up, and carry the team to .500; I obviously was wrong. I guess it's safe to say that Ichiro's quest for .400 this year isn't happening either...

2. I'm really not sure what to do about Bobby Madritsch and Bucky Jacobsen. Both of them, if truly healthy, would be sure-fire locks for "More Likely than Not" with the team. But since of them are nursing major owies, I cannot see them in any of these lists. Madritsch moreso than Bucky, but still, it's realistic to believe that neither of them are healthy enough to start the season in Seattle.

3. I'm not betting my house on ANYTHING! I'm just giving an example of my confidence.

4. Apostrophe-"s" ( 's ) is never plural. In this case, I'm making an exception to the Plural y => 'ies' generality in English spelling. Sorry. One of my biggest pet peeves is using 's to denote plurality.

5. I know, I know. Footnote 2 comes after footnote 1, not footnote 5. I thought of another note to add here, and I didn't want to take the hard task of changing numbers on all the footnotes in this post in the HTML text entry box in Blogger. I may fix this eventually, but for now, deal with it!. Oh, yeah. The note. This list comes from the current 40-man roster, including those who are on the 25-man team now who wouldn't necessarily be there if it weren't for September callups.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Dilemma

The real question now is "Who's in Left?"

Current candidates with Seattle:
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Greg Dobbs
Yep. That's it, folks. Jamal Strong is the latest casualty. Winn was traded, Morse is suspended, and pretty much everyone else (Snelling, Willie Dynamite) is on the DL. Will they call someone up? Not likely, since my favorite Minor League team pulled a '95 Mariners and took the last 3 from the AAA Yankees (a.k.a. Oakland's Sacramento affiliate), and are going to face Nashville for the PCL title. The only outfielder left in Tacoma on the 40-man is Choo, although I could argue that we need to find a 40-man spot for Abraham Nunez.

We do have one outfielder on the 40-man roster who's neither injured nor playing for a championship. A certain 21-year-old put up some decent numbers for High-A Inland Empire. What can it hurt? I'd rather give him a look-see for a few weeks than have to deal with Ibanez in left (and Dobbs as DH). The kid's got some power, with 38 doubles and 25 HRs in 123 games. Problem is, he strikes out too much, and I'm not sure about his defense.

Update: 9/13/05 -- According to the P-I, it looks as if Wladimir Balentien may be coming up after all.

Update 9/13/05 -- 4:00 p.m. Again, according to the P-I, it looks like Jaime Bubela is taking Jamal Strong's spot on the 40-man and is being called up. Bubela's a lefty, though a little weak in the power department. I'm a little surprised by this move, although being 27 in AA isn't a good thing, and they probably are more inclined to move cautiously with Wlad.

So, scour the waiver wire, folks, and find us a scrub that we can add to the 40-man for a week or so.

Who says the Hot Stove League has to start in October?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Don't Worry...I'm still Alive

I must say that I fully endorse the new false Identity of MM "Hot Stove League Head Start"

This season is over and that's why I haven't really been posting. I get excited about two things in baseball (in order):

1. Transactions
2. Winning

With that said...Ramon Santiago has been called up! Boy, I suremissed Ramon Santiago. He of overrated defense. Some said that Pokey was a dumb contract because we had his clone in Ramon Santiago. Yeah right. But dude, guy can hit the stitches off the ball, belting 10 Home Runs this year! For what it's worth, our starting shortstops have hit 3 Home Runs this year, all off the bat of Mike Morse. So this MUST be an offensive upgrade, right? might be. Except knowing Hargrove...he won't play. At least he'll be better than Valdez.

Of course, this is like Scott Spiezio (circa 2004). Just because he's better than Jeff Cirillo doesn't make him good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Batting .333333333333333333333333333333333

The 9th player was just suspended under MLB's steroids policy, and it just so happens to be Michael Morse. When you add Ryan Franklin and Jamal Strong into that mix, that adds up to 3/9ths of the list of players being on the M's.

That's a .333 average we don't want to have.

It may appear in this case, though, that the suspension could be considered unjust. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports certainly thinks so. Go read the facts he presents and make your own conclusions.

A sad way to celebrate the day of the decade that has passed since another tall SS broke an unbreakable record.

This problem, both the steroids problem and the testing/suspension problem, needs to be fixed.

No one has answered my question yet, though. Can a player on the DL be tested, and, subsequently, suspended for violating the policy?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Age Before Beauty

Well, the epic battle is over. The wise old warrior defeated the up-and-coming king. If only the king had the batallion of troops behind him that the wise old warrior had, the battle would've been much more close. The king held his own, and singlehandedly fought valiantly, but two major flesh wounds, one inflicted by a barbarian war mongrel known for his destructive saber, caused the king to fall and die a slow death in this battle. With no successor willing to step up, the battle was lost.

This bard will continue to play all the pianos throughout the world from the bard in Crescent. Good man Corco has spent 10,000 Gil on the Life 2/Arise White Magic Potion, and used it to revive The King for his next battle in 4 days. Citizen K keeps dancing the Wonderwaltz and the Jitterbug.