|By Jason A. Churchill||By 02-10-2013|
|1. By: maqman on 02-10-2013 03:30:28|
I'm old enough to have watched Robin Roberts pitch for the Phillies in the 1950s. One time he pitched 28 complete games in a row. He pitched over 300 innings six times in his career. Nolan Ryan once (in 1974) threw over 200 pitches in a 13 inning game. Neither of them had the benefit of today's training and conditioning knowledge or facilities. Felix most likely won't throw as many pitches as either of them in his career or throw any harder than the von Ryan Express did but he sure as hell can last through age 33 without requiring a miracle.
|2. By: Bookbook on 02-10-2013 04:50:10|
Casper Wells is, what, 30? That's not a young player at the crossroads. That's a mid-career veteran who had his chance at establishing a legit career squandered.
For a team that looks to be OBP challenged and has downgraded its defense, calling .500 the floor feels a bit optimistic to me.
With Saunders in the fold, I'd say just over .500 might be a midpoint expectation, but wouldn't be shocked to see another 75-win season, at all.
|3. By: maqman on 02-10-2013 05:00:30|
Looks like you've been reading Dave Cameron's Fangraphs chat this week. He predicted the M's would win 75 games and finish 15 games out of the playoffs because "they lack talent." I think you are both wrong, expect 82 to 85 wins.
|4. By: DKulich44 on 02-10-2013 05:52:39|
2. Casper Wells is 28.
3. Dave made that comment before the addition of Saunders (and Garland) to the mix. I tend to agree with him as not having 175+ innings of Saunders means you're using a lot more of Noesi/Beaven/etc, both possibly capable of sub replacement level innings. Maybe Saunders is only worth 2 wins, but he's worth 3-4 over trotting bad IP out there every 5th day. I think 80 wins is a reasonable expectation for the M's, with 85 being a really healthy step forward.
|5. By: Bookbook on 02-10-2013 06:25:58|
For me, 81-82 wins should be the median expectation. 80 feels too high to be the floor.
Cameron's a touch pessimistic, in part because the organization is drifting towards the kind of players that SABR folks aren't as fond of.
|6. By: DKulich44 on 02-10-2013 06:46:28|
Yeah, I think you're right about Dave being pessimistic. I hope Morse is better than most of the projection systems give him credit for, else they're in trouble. Kendrys is an interesting one, he could get back to his MVP level of play since he's a while removed from the injury and still relatively young. Tough to be super valuable at DH, though, unless you have an absolutely monster year. Hopefully the kids take a step forward, Ackley gets on base like he was expected to, and Morse/Kendrys play at/near their peak.
|7. By: Docmilo on 02-10-2013 08:15:25|
"Only three pitchers since 1969 have thrown more innings than Hernandez before they turned 27," Olney wrote. He then listed Bert Blyleven, Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden, two of whom declined soon after turning 26, the age Hernandez will be until April of this year."
Great comp. I'm pulling for the Bert Blyleven length of career for Felix. Fernando threw that nasty screw ball that can't be good to throw and Doc, well... didn't the Mets have some chemical substance issues going on in the clubhouse? That takes it's toll.
As far as Cameron and his pessimism regarding talent on this club? The opening day roster on this club is by far better than the opening day roster on last year's club. The M's have 2 bats that have done well hitting in the middle of a lineup. If Morse isn't a legit 4 hitter than why would Davey Johnson put him there on the best club in the regular season last year down the stretch when he was finally healthy? Kendrys was 75% by his admission last year and this year he says he's 100%. If that's the case, imagine if he improves upon his .273 .320 .467 and 22 homers from last year by say, 10 to 20 percent. I'll take that.
With 2 real bats at 3 and 4, one year of experience for all the kids, the absence of an aloof entitled vet, a regained vacant roster spot held by a worthless player, this team is screaming breakout.
People complain about Morse and Morales on one year deals? If Jack doesn't wish to resign those two or offer them QO's after next year, he can do this all over again while the farm system continues to develop talent (Tacoma will rock the PCL this year) and will have even more pieces and parts to make more moves next year.
With a minor league system on the rise, a GM brining in quality ball players and creating a top 60 spring training pool of players and Felix Hernandez now signed thru win #250, there is nothing but good on the horizon for Seattle Mariner fans. I don't care what Cameron says.
|8. By: ripperlv on 02-10-2013 10:28:45|
*If the starting lineup were something like:
LF Morse / RF Saunders / CF Gutt / 1B Smoak / 2B Ackley / 3B Seager / SS Ryan / DH Morales / C Montero
*And the rotation was:
Hernandez /Iwakuma /Ramirez / Saunders / Beavan?
*And the bullpen was
Capps / Furbush / Kinney (out of options) / Luetge / Perez / Wilhelmsen
*And the backups were:
Shoppach / Andino / Ibanez
*Then you can pick 2 of the following to complete the 25 man roster. And the last man standing is? (Hope I didnít forget anyone):
Jason Bay (if he finds his stroke)
Jeremy Bonderman (sleeper candidate for rotation/swingman)
Jon Garland (sleeper #2)
Casper Wells (out of options) (hate to lose this guy Ė Shin-Soo Choo?)
Hector Noesi (out of options) (do Mís give up on previous Yankee prospect?)
Steven Pryor (likely bullpen candidate)
Mike Carp (out of options) (could become a decent role player)
Ronny Paulino (Mís carried 3 catchers last year)
-And maybe not quite ready for prime time:
Danny Hultzen / Chance Ruffin / James Paxton / Stefen Romero / Eric Thames / Carlos Peguero / Mike Zunino / Nick Franklin / Brad Miller
I see an average rotation, a lineup with a lot of ifís, and questionable depth. 81 wins.
|9. By: Edman on 02-10-2013 10:36:11|
Dave Cameron believes he has a "formula" for winning. And yes, if it isn't SABR friendly, he'll never like it. He only sees one way to build a team.
Baseball is always volatile. I don't see how they can't be better than 75 wins this year. The bench is going to be notably better, lacking Kawasaki and Chone. With a hopefully better physically Ackley, a hopefully better mentally (fences moved in) Smoak, and continued development of Seager, Montero and Sunders, 80+ wins is doable.
I agree, Docmilo, the whole "They're on one year contracts" crap is bogus. If anything, they're going to be playing for their next contract. And, it gives Jack more options, than signing a FA, in some respects. If they produce, he can resign them. Some have this opinion that every FA tests the market. As we have seen, that's certainly not true for a lot of free agents. If they don't produce, he's not tabbed to pay them beyond this season.
There are many ways to build a ballclub. Personally, I think Seattle is doing it the right way. Think of Tampa Bay, with an ability to spend over $100 million in payroll. That's a damn good model.
|10. By: rotoenquire on 02-10-2013 10:38:51|
Cameron I take most of what he speculates with a cup of tea. His good on stats, but not figuring how things will play out. Hence his love affair with W. Venable believing more AB's will result in more stats. If that waas the case I would build a team with all the best bench players on the cheap and win the world series easy.
The M's without trading any top talent improved a much maligned offense. The M's also maintained there pitching and through the minors could improve it from last years start.
The fact is the M's must improve for JackZ to retain his job. I for one see that happening. All those extra games playing Houston alone should do that. Texas has taken a step back and most agree the young pitchers Oakland have should take a step back for how they excelled. That being said 85 wins should not be out of the question.
|11. By: thirdbase22 on 02-10-2013 11:18:16|
Someone, anyone predicting a struggling offense please tell me which of these 6 will have fewer than 20 home runs:
|12. By: Bookbook on 02-10-2013 11:36:30|
Seager and Saunders are both obvious regression candidates. Smoak could hit 20+ home runs and be worth -1 WAR.
Morse, Morales, and probably Montero will hit. They're all three going to give a lot back on defense. I guess one can DH, but sadly, only one.
There's still very little OBP on this squad. they can have more HRs than most teams and still amount to a below average offense, easily.
it will be a very interesting season. I'd say 81-82 but could easily see 75 or 88, depending on young uns, injuries or ineptitude of old guys, defensive collapse, etc.
|13. By: rotoenquire on 02-10-2013 12:11:59|
King Felix has an Elbow issue? Granted this is coming from Olney. But the contract extension is up in the air until it is looked out more.. And the real reason why Felix isn't pitching in the WBC.
|14. By: Docmilo on 02-10-2013 12:31:59|
Seager and Saunders regress? I don't get it. Seager is a hit machine. He led the minor leagues in total hits in 2010 with 192 hits. He didn't let High Desert get in his head, he played HIS game. He left High Desert and got better in the Southern League and then again in AAA Tacoma. The kid has a great head for the game. He will not regress, he will take all of his experience, move into a lineup slot where the weight of the world is not on his shoulders and become one of the best 3rd basemen in MLB. Regress? LOLOLOLOL
Saunders? He regressed in August. Bottom line, his confidence is at a high and he believes he belongs. The kid is so big, quick and strong when he squares the ball up it just goes. Could he regress? Possibly. If he doesn't? If he hits just .260 to .270? He'll hit 70 XBHs.
That's another thing about Seager. He's an XBH machine as well. Seager and Saunders combined for 109 XBHs. Saying these two kids are going to regress just shows a complete and total dependence upon "expert opinion" and a total lack of being able to see things for one's self.
|15. By: Paul Martin on 02-10-2013 13:01:34|
@13, Hope Felix is ok!
Jason, do you have any insight? Not he kind of news I wanted to hear, that's for sure...
|16. By: on 02-10-2013 14:32:35|
I'm in the 80+ win believer camp. The upside of that range could make them buyers at the deadline, though August looks tough in the schedule. Everyone has been assuming they'll be sellers, but if they're on pace for 88+ wins I can't see why they would. Unless they were still significantly behind at that point...we'll see.
It does seem more likely that there's big improvement in HR than OBP. I still would not be surprised at any of Morse, Morales, Montero, Ackley, Seager, Saunders or even Smoak clearing .330 OBP this year. The first 2 have done it in the past. I know.340 used to be the mark to talk about, but it's a different age. Smoak has the farthest to go, posting a .290 OBP then Ackley at .294 last year. For as much room as they both have to improve on last year in general it seems very possible to make that jump. Seager was at .316 last year and AL average was down to .320. in 2009 the AL average was .335 so it's dropped quite a bit the last few years.
|17. By: whereswoody on 02-10-2013 15:04:30|
My guess is that they found a grade one tear in his UCL. Either that or a bone chip.
|18. By: rjfrik on 02-10-2013 16:29:29|
#11. All will hit over 20 HRs. Book it.
|19. By: Timberwolf on 02-10-2013 19:12:00|
It is hard to believe that the team won't show some improvement. We had black holes in the lineup last year. Smoak and Ackley are not going to get that many at bats if they aren't hitting dramatically better. Just thinking of all the at-bats that went to Figgins, Peguero, and Olivo makes me cringe.
As highly regarded as Ackley was throughout baseball, injury is the only explanation for how terrible he was last year. It would sure be a crushing blow to the team if the guy we saw last year is what we are going to get for the long haul.
After being boring, old and horrible for a lot of years, young, interesting and middle of the pack doesn't seem so bad.
|20. By: Justin Hendrix on 02-10-2013 19:26:35|
The Felix news is obviously disconcerting, but the Mariners are doing the right thing by getting different opinions and will probably insist language is put in to protect themselves. The Yankees did this with CC Sabathia a couple years ago.
The problem with an MRI of the elbow is certain injuries/wear and tear can look similar to the UCL. What is worrisome is the fact that 60% of the players who had TJ surgery over the past 6 years had a previous elbow related injury within a year of TJ. One indication of a UCL injury is a loss of velocity and trouble with the slider/curveball. If indeed Felix does show signs of a partial UCL tear a big decision will have to be made. Do you try the 6-8 weeks of rest, therapy, and strengthen the surrounding muscles? Or do you go ahead and put Felix under the knife right now? The UCL cannot magically heal itself and it is invariably going to have to be fixed somehow if there is a tear. If the M's found out about the elbow in October they would have been able to have Felix back for the start of the 2014 season. If he does indeed need surgery, now you could be looking at losing Felix for up to 2 years.
Look, I certainly hope it is not anything to do with the UCL and I am not trying to be pessimistic. I just don't understand why the Mariners and Felix would not have gotten an MRI at the beginning of last year, when his velocity decreased, as well as at the end of the season? Did Felix and his reps not want him to take an MRI? It just seems like you would do whatever it took to ensure his health. Whatever is showing up now would almost certainly have shown up at the end of last season. Let's just hope he has a minor bursa issue or previous wear and tear. I am very excited about this team, and having a good mix of veterans as well as youngsters could make this an interesting year. But the Mariners without Felix is like the Patriots without Tom Brady. Sure they could be alright but you are looking for when "the franchise" will return.
|21. By: Wishhiker on 02-11-2013 01:57:35|
The Felix news is all from Olney, or rather Olney's source. The rest has been opinion and conjecture. Here's the quote:
" "It's an issue," said one source."
Wow, 3 words. He'll be in camp on time and we'll probably just have to be reminded about the issue in a few months when we've forgotten it was ever an issue. Maybe it's truly a concern that will change things. Maybe they saw some wear in his elbow on an MRI and used it to talk the price down and now someone among his agency said that is an issue.
It's not like media outlets don't exaggerate often. According to most of them he's already signed.
|22. By: maqman on 02-11-2013 11:41:10|
Not to be forgotten: Noesi started 18 games last season and won 2 and lost 12. He won't be doing that again this year. Along with Figgins, Olivo and Kawasaki gone, how much better do those facts alone make the team?
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