Mariners Mini Morsels: September 17

Baseball Best Practice

Matt Gelb at had a lengthy and informative interview with David Montgomery—the Phillies’ CEO—who talked about, among other subjects, his relationship with his GM Reuben Amaro, Jr.  Montgomery said, One of the things Ruben has done well is, we make decisions. That’s a good thing. Where you get in trouble in life is if you start to think you should make decisions and the people working for you should support your decision. We listen to the opinions of others and then we make decisions together; that’s a good thing. It’s probably one of the best lessons Ruben learned from Pat [Gillick, who preceded Amaro as GM]. One of Pat’s strongest attributes as a general manager was he was a good listener. He wanted to make sure everybody expressed their opinion on a potential deal or talent evaluation or projection. Ruben has done well with that.”

So they said

 “Even the craziest notion of the Mariners contending expired, oh, about two months ago.” Ryan Divish at The News Tribune


The Andrelton Simmons highlight page is baseball pornography. For such a repository of rewatachability, the descriptions of the varying things he does from his shortstop position for the Atlanta Braves are comically simple. “Simmons’ barehanded play,” a recent one says. “Simmons’ sliding stop,” another advertises. “Simmons’ strong throw,” a third offers. This is like walking into a Bentley dealership with a cardboard sign out front that says: ‘Cars.’ ” Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports


It’s never a good look to have two shticks. You can be the singing guy or the mustard curmudgeon, but not both.” – Gabe Zaldivar at Bleacher Report


“Yet all six of the baseball people polled said they believed Cashman indeed would acquire a shortstop this winter, and most believed that Stephen Drew was the obvious choice.  Would Drew — or anyone else — want to sign on as the guy pushing an unwilling Jeter into a role where he would DH mostly and play short only occasionally?”   John Harper at NY Daily News

“I have always been bend-but-don’t-break, and I have broken a lot this year.” CC Sabathia to Joel Sherman of the NY Post 


Mariner’s potential off-season targets

From 2015 MLB Free Agent Class to Watch This Winter by Chris Lizza at Get Real BaseballNorichika Aoki turns 32 in January and is a very solid top of the lineup player. Considering Aoki even with a raise next season he will only make 1.5 Million, which is beyond a bargain. Brewers who need more depth to their organization especially in terms of pitching might dangle Aoki in the winter meetings to see what they can get.”


Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors notes that: The Red Sox have joined the Giants as teams who are scouting Cuban first baseman José Dariel Abreu in the Dominican Republic, Dionisio Soldevila of tweets. We’ve already heard reports of the Red Sox’s interest in Abreu, and Boston seems like a good fit for Abreu — the Red Sox have the financial resources to sign him, and Mike Napoli becomes a free agent after the season.” In another post Wilmoth says, Giants general manager Brian Sabean and former manager Felipe Alou are currently in the Dominican Republic, scouting Cuban first baseman José Dariel Abreu, In late August, the Giants were reported to be interested in Abreu. Abreu, who defected from Cuba earlier this summer, appears likely to receive a contract even larger than that of Yasiel Puig, who got seven years and $42MM from the Dodgers.”


Tom Loxas of Cubs Den reports that: “there have been some internal discussions regarding major moves. At the forefront is a young top of the rotation pitcher. Forget the cost prohibitive David Price. They have their eyes on Masahiro Tanaka. The Cubs will go all out for the Japanese pitcher, I’m told. The willingness to spend on Tanaka is they view him as a potential ace. …the Cubs should make a very serious bid, he is their off-season priority.”

Ben Badler of Baseball America had this to say about the Japanese ace: “At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Tanaka throws a low-90s fastball that can touch 96 mph.  Even though Tanaka can reach the mid-90s, his fastball is the pitch that gives some scouts pause because it comes in on a flat plane, making it more hittable than the velocity might suggest. Tanaka has two secondary pitches that have earned grades of 60 or better on the 20-80 scouting scale, including a 70 splitter with late downward action to keep hitters off his fastball. His low-to-mid-80s slide is another plus weapon, while he’ll mix in a curveball as well.” Tanaka could be receiving a Yu Darvishtype of contract this offseason, and it will be well deserved. He could be the best Japanese pitcher to come to the big leagues in quite a while, and teams will definitely be willing to spend money on him.


By the numbers

 “Chris Davis has joined Babe Ruth (1921) and Albert Belle (1995) as only players with 50 HR/40 2B season.”ESPNStatsInfo


The Mariners are 10-25 in games on Friday the 13th in franchise history after Friday’s loss to the Cardinals.


Paxton, 24, became just the second Mariners starter to open a Major League career with back-to-back starts of at least six innings with one or fewer earned runs allowed, joining Erik Hanson in 1988.


Third baseman Kyle Seager became the seventh player in Mariners history on Friday to start 100 consecutive games at the same position and first since shortstop Alex Rodriguez played 145 games in a row at shortstop in 1998, and Ken Griffey Jr. went 114 straight in center field the same year.


Alumni News

According to ESPN: “ Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs on Sunday, breaking the Japanese single-season record set by legendary slugger, Sadaharu Oh, 49 years ago. Balentien hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Sunday’s game, sending the ball over the left-field wall at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium to give his Yakult Swallows an early lead over the Hanshin Tigers. He then added a solo shot in the third for No. 57. Balentien missed the first 12 games of this season because of a leg injury sustained while playing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. Balentien’s challenge of Oh’s record comes in a season in which there is controversy over a new, livelier baseball. In June, Japanese baseball officials admitted they introduced the new official ball this season without notifying players. The new ball has resulted in a dramatic increase in home runs.”


Farm Report

Everett Aqua Sox outfielder Tyler O’Neill of Maple Ridge, B.C. played in the recent Under-18 World Cup in Taiwan, representing his home country. He ended up after 8 games as a tournament All-Star after leading in most offensive categories including home runs (1st), doubles (tied for 1st), slugging percentage (2nd), RBIs (2nd) and total bases (2nd). The 18 year-old started all six tournament games for Canada in left field and hit .385 (10-for-26) with four doubles, three home runs (He hit one dinger for Everett in exactly 100 AB’s) and 14 RBI’s. O’Neill was the Seattle Mariners 2013 O’Neill was the Seattle Mariners amateur draft third round selection with the 85th overall pick. After which he told

the Vancouver Sun “I did everything I could up until this point to prove my abilities. Obviously it paid off today. Third round, the Mariners…how could you go wrong?”  So far it looks like he’s doing well and so are the Mariners.