There’s no nice way to put this. Joe Saunders has been pretty terrible this year. He has a 6.15 ERA. He’s nearly been as bad by FIP and xFIP, at 5.41 and 4.98 respectively. He’s walked one more batter than he’s struck out. So yeah, he’s been bad. It seems as though one of the things that has fans scratching their heads is how good he can be at home, and how absolutely terrible he is on the road. I don’t think there’s anything weird about the massive gap in results, though. Sure, he hasn’t pitched exactly the same on the road as he has at home, but he’s not quite as different as you might think.
Last night, Carlos Peguero hit one of the most impressive bombs ever seen at Safeco Field, hitting two-thirds of the way up the batter’s eye in dead center. The ROOT Sports broadcast was given an estimate of 451 feet. Hit Tracker Online measured it at a less insane, but still fuckin’ nuts 440 feet. Though it wasn’t the longest home run hit by a Mariner this year–Kendry Morales and Michael Morse have each hit longer bombs–it may just be the most impressive.
In light of Brett M’s recent post on suggested roster upgrades, I’m going to take an educated guess on what I believe the Seattle Mariners will actually do to fix the roster. These are not moves I feel they *should* make (I actually prefer Brett’s suggested upgrades), but the moves I anticipate them making.
I considered the team’s previous moves, their modus operandi in handling player development and struggling players and their past history with player struggles.
The following predictions presume that Michael Saunders returns as scheduled from the DL and Carlos Peguero correspondingly heads back to AAA to make room for him.
Coming off yesterday’s 10-3 loss to the Astros, some people, including myself, expected perhaps to see the Mariners make a few roster moves. As of this writing, nothing has been done yet, and I’m skeptical that something will be done. Eric Wedge made a point to say that he thinks the 25 guys on this roster are good enough in yesterday’s post-game comments, in fact. I’m less convinced. Right now, the Mariners are forced to play most games with one of Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez in the outfield. Endy Chavez is the team’s starting center fielder. There are a few things the Mariners can do within their own organization to make the 25-man better, and I’ve come up with a few moves they should strongly consider making over the next series.
Wednesday we introduced the West Coast Bias Fantasy Draft, along with the first team from Brett Miller. Well this time around we get to see what I (Brett Gleason) was able to compile in the draft!
Mike Leach: Brett Miller picked his coach before me, and was considering Leach. He asked me my input on deciding his coach, so of course I didn’t recommend he take Leach, because damn I really wanted him. Leach is a fantastic motivator and an incredible innovator. He is always thinking outside the box and trying to find an edge for his players. In addition, I enjoy his no-tolerance policy for punishment. Leach will keep my athletes in line and get the very best out of every one of them, can’t ask for much else in your coach.
2. Felix Hernandez: The King is my favorite athlete of all time, making him the easy first pick for me. He’s been dominant since his first start, he’s still young, and he’s only getting better, which is scary for the 29 other MLB teams because he’s already one of the best in the game. Throw in his perfect game in 2012 and you have a clear-cut first round pick.
9. Novak Djokovic: I wont hide my strategy, I was going to take Tiger Woods here because my early draft strategy was to take as many top players from as wide an assortment of sports as possible. That’s why I’m not in the least bit disappointed I still got to snag Djokovic, the best tennis player in the world. Djokovic is 495-125 in singles matches in his career with eight Grand Slam titles and an Olympic bronze. The 25 year old Serbian took the number one world ranking this March and wont be giving it up any time soon.
12. Kevin Durant: As much as I despise the NBA, it couldn’t get in the way of me taking an elite athlete like Durant. It hurts we can’t cheer him on in a Sonics uniform, but we can still appreciate his immense talent from afar. Durant is young and dominant, two of the best qualities you could ask for in an athlete.
19. Rory McIlroy: While he may have struggled as of late, the 23 year old already has two Major Championships (US Open 2011, PGA Championship 2012). The current world number two behind Tiger Woods, the young Irishman is primed to be one the sports leading and most entertaining golfers for years to come. I latched onto Rory while Tiger was going through his major slump and haven’t turned away since; he’s an incredibly talented golfer with a fun personality, what’s not to like?
22. Mariano Rivera: This one hurt a little bit, as I hate the Yankees and the current obsession with closing pitchers he created. However, you can’t deny Rivera changed the sport and is arguably one of the best relievers in baseball history, making him a solid choice in the fifth round. Rivera plans to retire after this current MLB season, and when he becomes eligible he will be one of the stronger candidates to be a first ballot Hall of Famer we’ve ever seen.
Eric Wedge made the announcement before today’s game that Brendan Ryan has been benched, and Robert Andino is your new starting shortstop. You can associate Brendan Ryan with being terrible with the bat, and outstanding with the glove. You can associate Robert Andino with being terrible with the bat and mediocre with the glove. It’s not a move I like, but it’s been done now. Let’s focus on what we’re getting in Robert Andino, starting shortstop.
Kyle Seager wasn’t a player most fans were worried about this season. After breaking out to the tune of a .259/.316/.423 line with a team-leading 20 home runs last season, he seemed like a pretty safe bet to stay the same or improve. Nine games into the season, Seager reached his low point, hitting just .147/.237/.235. He had just five hits, though three of them were doubles.
On the Brock Huard show (before it became Brock and Danny), Huard mentioned that Smoak, Ackley, Seager, and Montero had zero home runs between them. Sure, Seager was struggling, but it seemed a bit harsh to lump him in with the other kids that had been considerably worse in the past. It seemed like there was just a little bit of doubt about Seager starting to creep into the heads of some Mariners fans.
One week later, Seager is hitting .278/.345/.481, powered by a 12-game hitting streak during which Seager has gone 16-42 with 7 doubles and 2 home runs, good for a .378/.429/.667 line. Seager was looking absolutely atrocious. It took him twelve games to raise his wRC+ to 136. It’s so early, it just won’t take that much to bring your stats back to normal–or in Seager’s case, better–so panicking based strictly on numbers is irrational right now. So how am I trying to tie this to Dustin Ackley?