|By Jason A. Churchill||By 04-08-2009|
|1. By: bikozu on 04-08-2009 23:04:23|
Lowe and Jakubauskas both exceeded my expectations and were awfully fun to watch. Gutierrez has made me a believer all the way, I think he's been a pretty good player waiting to break out into a pretty great one.
Any chance we see Jaku in the rotation later this season (injuries, SP trades, etc) or does the org see him as a long-relief guy?
|2. By: Lamda on 04-09-2009 04:01:37|
Wak has been good but his decisions or lack there of in the 9th inning of the 3rd game were not. You got Wlad and Sweeney on the bench and you let both Cedeno and Yuni hit - and even Chavez for that matter. You obviously cannot PH for all 3 but two of them should have been. Letting the first 2 who are arguably the worst hitter hit - just astounding. He should have PH for atleast one of the 3.
|3. By: Uncle Al on 04-09-2009 04:27:03|
Nice post. There just isn't any reason to get upset about this year at all as the M's just don't have all the fire power they need this year. There will be other players who will also become much more interesting this year just like Jakubauskas, Gutierrez, and Lowe.
I've totally locked in on next year where they will have $35M to spend on a $100M budget. Everything starts with the June draft and some of the other question marks will be answered by the end of the trading deadline. Following the draft, Ben Sheets can be signed without losing any draft pick. I expect Beltre to be gone as well as Chavez by the trade deadline. Bedard could also be gone or resigned. The M's need 3 big LH bats for LF, 1B, and DH in 2010. They may even resign Branyan. Since Tuiasosopo progressed so well, we might actually have someone to play 3B.
The really interesting thing after seeing the ML rosters and looking at a potential 2010 roster is that they have some depth at all positions, even if it's not the very best, unlike the past. Once the draft and trading deadline is finished, the 40 man roster needs to be finalized in December and that could be really tough. There are a lot of players at Tacoma and West Tennessee that will need to go on the 40 man or they could be lost. I'm thinking this 40 man roster is finally going to be a very big deal by the end of this year. Is this something that would interest you enough to write about after the trade deadline?
|4. By: acqb1424 on 04-09-2009 06:28:56|
Jason, will Aumont ever start again in the M's org?
Also, what have been your thoughts of Griffey so far?
|5. By: dewey on 04-09-2009 07:18:49|
Is Jaks stuff really better our is it those TV guns that our allways 2-4 mph high?
|6. By: Lonnie on 04-09-2009 07:45:38|
What I saw in ST and really liked was that Jakubauskas was ALWAYS right around the strikezone. I'm sure that he threw at least one clunker during ST, but I didn't see it. As far as his stuff goes, I believe that it is good enough to go through a lineup three or four times. What really helps him is he hides the ball so well.
I'm not sure if I like the idea of seeing 120 different lineups this year. I don't see how a player can be evaluated very accurately without some consistant playing time.
Endy Chavez should never, ever, start ahead of Wlad in right field. Balentien, I believe, is one hungry guy and if given some consistant playing time will show what he is capable of. This is not the '08 version of Balentien, this is an upgraded model.
|7. By: smartie11 on 04-09-2009 10:11:48|
not to change the subject, but the Nick Adenhart news is just horrible. he pitched a great game yesterday.
|8. By: CrockDaddy on 04-09-2009 10:24:21|
gutierrez, what a catch! this guy will be fun to watch
|9. By: CrockDaddy on 04-09-2009 10:53:17|
by the way, after only three innings you can already see how much better Rob Johnson is at receiving the ball than Joh, in terms of framing, catching, staying down on pitches, etc.
|10. By: Jason A. Churchill on 04-09-2009 11:41:14|
No, Jak's stuff is better. He was 89-91 last year, he was 90-91 last night and all spring, and his curve has just been better for the spring and through his first stint last night.
If this was June, yes. Can't blame Wak for sticking with some guys early in the year. It's how you assess your players best.
Yes, I think Aumont starts again in the M's org, right after Zduriencik is fired after the 2011 season.
|11. By: Slack on 04-09-2009 12:07:05|
The Aumont move really took the wind out of my sails. I don't know where to begin so I'll just leave it at that.
Even though the M's are 1-2, I agree that there is a lot to be encouraged by. I was really encouraged by Bedard the other day. Eight strikeouts in five innings! I hope to see more of that.
|12. By: ASUBoyd on 04-09-2009 12:34:33|
Was Washburn's stuff any different today like Rob Johnson suggested, or was it the same as it has always been, just with some luck, defense, and a bad opposing lineup?
|13. By: Jason A. Churchill on 04-09-2009 12:46:09|
Washburn's breaking ball was better today than most of the tine last year, and he threw it more as a result.
Sure, against the Red Sox he probably doesn't go 8 scoreless, but he was better today.
|14. By: ASUBoyd on 04-09-2009 14:13:26|
You catch any of the ASU games in Seattle?
|15. By: Talkbaseball on 04-09-2009 15:03:58|
Any new notebooks on the horizon? It's been more than two weeks. Hoping to find a ray of hope after all the negative Z moves: Morrow and Aumonte to the pen and Clement to AAA.
|16. By: acqb1424 on 04-09-2009 17:48:49|
Not that Jason hasn't already pretty much stated the same thing, but just thought I'd pass this along. I asked this in BA's opening day chat today and this is J.J. Cooper's response:
Q: Aaron from Tacoma, WA asks:
What are the Mariners thinking in moving Phillippe Aumont to the bullpen full time? Please tell me that someday he will be a starter again.
J.J. Cooper: My guess is that this move wouldn't have been made without last year's front office changeover. The new leadership believes Aumont doesn't fit long-term as a starter, and since they didn't draft him and couldn't therefore be blamed for drafting relievers in the first-round of three straight drafts, they made the move. I think he'll be a reliever as long as he's an M. Many prospects slide from being a starter to the bullpen, very few make the trip the other way.
|17. By: Jason A. Churchill on 04-09-2009 17:53:53|
Tomorrow sometime, actually.
Except that there's no way they can have a good feel for Aumont as a starter versus reliever. They just don't know. They haven't watched him, worked with him, talked with him, or analyzed him nearly enough to decide that he can't start long term.
It's insanity. Fire Zduriencik.
|18. By: Missthosepilots on 04-09-2009 18:20:13|
Thanks Jason. Off the top of your head, is there any trends in the Brewers history of the last few years as to how drafts went in speaking of hitters versus pitchers...bringing up pitchers or hitters through the ranks?
|19. By: frstydogg on 04-09-2009 18:48:39|
Fire Zduriencik?? Are you serious? That seems awfully judgemental after 5 months. He makes a couple minor league moves that you disagree with and you're all ready to can him. How about the impressive trades? How about the staff he's assembled? How about the openess to the press and general public?
Let's see his drafting prowess and how his minor league moves play out this year before you start the "firing" mantra. What a buzz kill you are.
But I still love your work:)
|20. By: frstydogg on 04-09-2009 18:51:54|
Additionally, I'm very confused. You're early post on Aumont said the following:
"Aumont to West Tenn
Don't get too excited, because there's more. I have learned that the Mariners have either already decided, or are strongly considering, starting Aumont's second pro season in Double-A West Tennessee - in the bullpen.
On the surface this could tee off a lot of people, but it's a better alternative than sending Aumont to High Desert and using him in the rotation. Why? Because he has all of 50 innings under his belt as a pro and in a relief role the organization can control his environment more effectively. Surprisingly, I love this move.
Aumont may start games at some point in 2009, but this is a great way to monitor his work load, ramp him up properly, aiding the effort to keep his elbow healthy as he builds arm strength and durability, as well as shelter the kid from the California League."
What's changed so quickly for you?
|21. By: Blowgun7 on 04-09-2009 19:06:55|
Are you not the same guy who over the last few months has constantly stated that you feel Aumont ends up a reliever? Every time I've seen someone ask a question about him being a future top of the rotation guy, you've always responded that you felt his future was gonna be in the pen.
Therefore, why would you want to fire Jack for making the switch that you felt was gonna be inevitable down the road?
|22. By: Slack on 04-09-2009 19:30:15|
The switch happened too early. Maybe Aumont was going to be a reliever in the end but first he has to prove that he cannot start. He hasn't pitched enough in pro ball to show what his true role will be. Besides, everyone is always talking about how valuable and how scarce starting pitching is. In light of that, making a top starting pitching prospect like Aumont a reliever at age 20 when he hasn't proven anything is madness.
|23. By: Blowgun7 on 04-09-2009 19:37:15|
I totally agree that the switch was made too soon, but Jason has been calling him a future reliever for awhile now, so why is he so outraged by the move?
|24. By: ASUBoyd on 04-09-2009 20:05:04|
That's true Blowgun. You have been saying you think he will end up as a reliever for awhile now, Jason.
|25. By: stickball on 04-09-2009 20:11:08|
How about that Jakubauskas? Hopefully he can hone his pitching skills at the major league level.
Clinton won. West Tenn looks like they are going to lose. Josh Fields walks 4 in 2/3 of an inning and has 3 earned runs. Adam Moore with a home run and a single.
|26. By: 01v-dubs on 04-09-2009 20:15:58|
Blow, I don't mean to speak for Jason, but I believe he is outraged at the move because of when/how it was made. Even if you really think Aumount will end up in the pen (which as he pointed out, the new FO doesn't have enough expieriance with him to make that determination) you still keep him in the rotation far many reasons.
He is 20 years old and does not have the track record to suggest he's better suited for the pen, in fact his he has a lot of the tools you find in a front end starter already with 2 plus (although inconsistant) pitches, and he made the mechanical adjustments to increase the likelyhood that he will develop at least an ok change-up.
He may well end up be better suited for the pen, but to make that determination so early in his development is carzy, and frankly seems like a very knee-jerk selfish reaction by the new FO. I also believe that it lends more credence to the fact that Morrow's move to the pen was not his doing. It doesn't matter how good Z drafts if he's going to handle his top specks so selfishly and irrisponsibly, and aside from Stratsberg you'd be hard pressed to find a talent on par with Aumount in this draft.
|27. By: 01v-dubs on 04-09-2009 20:19:25|
On a side note, Denny Almonte has drawn 2 walks tonight, lets hope he learned some plate dicsipline over the off season
|28. By: Blowgun7 on 04-09-2009 20:29:54|
Im sure Jack scouted the kid in-depth back in 2007. He may just feel that he doesn't have the makeup, mechanics, and durability to be a starting pitcher.
I totally disagree that it's a selfish move. Why is it selfish? He already has Morrow, Lowe, Fields lined up for the back of his pen for a long time to come. What would be the rationale to move Aumont to the pen?
It isn't as if the pen is absolutely barron of power arms, and Aumont can step in come June and dominate.
Why can't this be a simple case of the new GM having scouted Aumont, just feeling strongly that Aumont starting is a waste of time?
|29. By: Slack on 04-09-2009 20:43:44|
Its probably selfish because making him a reliever gets him to the big leagues sooner even though the pay off would have been a lot more if he had been developed as a starter.
|30. By: 01v-dubs on 04-09-2009 21:40:01|
Even if Z scoouted Amount in depth leading up to the draft and thought he should be in the pen, that does not mean he should be moved there now for the reasons I mentioned above.
There is no reason why he should be in the pen, period. Starting is never a waste of time for a 20 year old with Aumount's stuff, unless he's proved he can't phisically handle it, which he hasn't. As a starter Aumount would build up his endurance and repitoire, and keep his value at his highest. The only logical reason why Z did this is because he looked at the state of the current pen and thought that Aumount could help, he pretty much said it himself when he said he wants Aumount to be on a really fast track.
This isn't Boston, we don't have so many good starters we have the luxury of turning our good pitching prospects into relievers (a la Justin Masterson). We need starting pitching in the worst way and this move only makes us need it more.
Power arms or not Morrow and Lowe had terrible springs along with every other reliever, Aumount could probably be a good reliver in the bigs right now, and I would not be surprised if we see him this year, but I hope Z gets his head out of you know where and puts him back in the rotation and let Aumount dictate where he should be. Until then, I'm with Jason. I don't want a GM who makes irrational and selfish decisions that hurt the future of the franchise.
|31. By: CrockDaddy on 04-09-2009 21:43:02|
the smart move would be to let him start until he PROVES incapable of handling that responsibility, then move him to the pen
|32. By: Adam T on 04-09-2009 22:19:42|
Not to speak for Jason, but I think the insanity comes from the way that this was decided. As Jason mentioned - they do not know enough about Aumont to make such a definitive decision.
Let's not forget - the kid is 20. He has about 50 innings of pro ball under his belt. Unless they have a secret MRI of Aumont's shoulder that scares the hell out of them, there simply is no reason why you decide to change the career path of a 20 year-old kid.
He may very well end up being a reliever, and that's probably what Jason saw, but why in the hell would you make that decision NOW??
Nevermind the fact that we have a surplus of RH relievers, that a reliever is the easiest position to fill, that getting Aumont to the bigs in the shortest time shouldn't even be an issue (see: Price, David), OR that Felix and Silva are basically the only RH starters in the organization of note above High-A.
This was a very questionable move. On so many levels.
|33. By: ASUBoyd on 04-10-2009 04:02:34|
I completely agree, I was just commenting that I have seen Jason type that plenty of times about Aumont.
I hated seeing him throw 1 inning in the 8th for A+ today.
|34. By: Jason A. Churchill on 04-10-2009 06:40:29|
Nothing's changed, frosty, except the apparent "plan" for Aumont.
Making Aumont a reliever already = stupid.
Skipping HD would have been ok, using him in relief early this year at any level to curb his workload would made tons of sense.
Simply deciding that he can't start is the dumbest thing ever. Seriously, it's dumber than the All-star game counting for something.
|35. By: Jason A. Churchill on 04-10-2009 08:13:36|
BTW, ASUBoyd, I did see ASU last weekend.
Saw Leake at Safeco on Friday, Spence Saturday.
Leake wasnt sharp, but he's good. Better than some seem to think. Not sure I don't prefer Lake over Gibson or Oliver to be honest.
The only difference between Gibson and Leake right now is Gibson's size, which means so much less for a 21 year old college junior than for a 17-18 year old prep arm.
Spence was sitting 85-87 but threw strikes with his curve and change all day long. I think UW swung and missed 21 times when I stopped counting.
|36. By: DAMellen on 04-10-2009 08:23:31|
I'm with you, Jason. I was willing to give the guy a pass on Morrow because it sounded like Morrow really wanted to be a reliever. Yes, I wondered how much time Jack spent trying to convince Morrow to change his mind, but in the end, if Morrow really wants to relieve, I'm okay with Jack just letting him do it.
But Phillipe is different. It sounds like Jack decided for him and although he had some injury problems and his third pitch is far from ready (meaning there's a pretty good chance he'd end up in the pen regardless of what Jack wanted him to do) moving him to the pen without even finding out if he can start is just ridiculous. It's a waste of talent and it means that the M's blew three consecutive number one picks on relief pitchers.
What I really don't get is that the guy seems to understand that relief pitchers don't have much value. He immediately dealt Putz (for what many considered an underwhelming package), then dealt Heilman (the most experienced bullpen arm we had), then signed Aardsma, Walker, and like ten other live armed relievers and proceeded to build what looked like it was going to be a cheap, effective bullpen. If he knows how to build a cheap, effective bullpen, why is he wasting a talent like Phillipe just to make it a little better? Cuz Phillipe'd be better in relief? Damn near every pitcher with good stuff and mediocre control'd be better in relief. Felix'd probably be better in relief. Will he be getting moved to the bullpen next?
I liked the Putz trade and the Heilman trade and the Branyan signing and whatnot, but his last few moves have been very iffy. Signing Griffey, signing Fields, sending Clement to the minors, letting Morrow move to the pen (again, not sure how big a role he played here, but I definitely don't like the move), and now Phillipe. I don't know if I'm ready to have him fired yet, but I'm far more concerned than I was a couple weeks ago.
|37. By: CrockDaddy on 04-10-2009 08:32:35|
Jason, what are the chances Spence ever makes it to the major leagues? Also, have you heard how Pineda looked yesterday? His line was good.
|38. By: DAMellen on 04-10-2009 08:37:56|
Oh, he traded Sean Green too.
|39. By: Missthosepilots on 04-10-2009 08:56:42|
What about getting 9 good relief pitchers and then two good starters to give a few of them a breather every few days? Totally start a new trend here.
And Silva is not among the good relief pitchers!
|40. By: Lonnie on 04-10-2009 09:06:48|
Strictly trying to rationalize the Aumont designation as a reliever, I can come up with perhaps 2 reasons.
1 - The state of his mechanics is such that to get him to a state where he can put in a full years worth of work as a starter requires a complete and total rebuild.
2 - Because of reason #1, Aumont is an arm/shoulder injury waiting to happen even with the rebuild.
I seriously doubt that Jack Z is an idiot or is just flexing his muscles because he can to mold a system into what he believes is correct.
Of course, there was this little tidbit in Jason's Notebook a couple of editions back:
"You can ask 50 people who know Jack and get two different sides of this. On one side, he's a dictator who will ultimately alienate his people. On the other side, he's a guy that just needs to know it's his game and his decision to make. He works best that way. You could ask his own scouts, and they'd tell you anything from 'what a douche bag that guy is' to 'I loved working for him."
Being a dictator means that he doesn't give the opinions of his staff much credence, which is odd since he put the damn thing together. Whether or not we currently have a dictator walking the halls of the front office is anyone's guess, but I find it unlikely at this early point of his administration.
All things considered, I believe that there is something going on in the background that we aren't privy to and may never know.
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