Mariners Mini Morsels: March 11

Jason Churchill at 1090am The Fan wrote on the Tale of the tape: Brad Miller vs Nick Franklin saying: Brad Miller has a slight edge over [Nick] Franklin overall, largely based on his slight but clear edge in hitting and defensive range. In terms of tools and present physical skills, Miller projects to be better defensively at shortstop and offers a higher probability at the plate. Franklin, thanks to his ability to switch hit and hit for above-average power, actually possesses more upside at the plate, but he’s also a bigger risk offensively right now. Both players project to be average to above average overall. In terms of time frames, Miller is more ready to provide such value in 2014.


jemanji at Seattle Sports Insider (who is fast becoming one of my favorite baseball reads) seems to have found a solution to our RH lefty-mashing bat need. He points out that at ages 21, 22, and 23, he has hit .320/.371/.455 against them, this being in Safeco Field.  There are some people around here who haven’t. He’s got 732 plate appearances in the bigs.  Justin Smoak has 1,942, and he’s got a 150 Power Index and is a very gifted contact hitter. Unfortunately Jesus Montero has a self-induced image problem.

“He got better the last three days. He was horse(spit) before then.” — manager Lloyd McClendon in assessing first baseman Jesus Montero, who didn’t play Sunday but was six for 10 with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs in his previous games. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune


McClendon reiterates that Smoak his starting 1B. Locked in like Cano at second and Seager at 3B and Zunino at C and Felix as the No. 1. From:Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times


Mariners again double-teaming scouting Mets Grapefruit League game Monday. They have been religiously attending Mets games. From: Adam Rubin at ESPN New York


McClendon stressed the need for a new approach at the plate [for Justin Smoak]. “We’re just trying to get him to be a good hitter, not a power hitter,” said McClendon, who spent the previous seven years as the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers. “For me, Smoak is a guy who should hit 40-45 doubles and 20-25 home runs. Not the other way around. He can still be productive (by doing that). We’ve tried (in the past) to put the cart before the horse.” Spring numbers show little at this point, although Smoak is 7-for-21 (including three doubles), after going 1-for-2 with a double in Monday afternoon’s 8-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Peoria Stadium. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune


AL West Commentary

If Angels hitting coach Don Baylor gets Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton back to being the forces they used to be, and right now it’s looking that way, he wins coach of the year. Pujols has so much personal pride and believes his last two down years have been because of injuries. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


So they said

Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move. Satchel Paige


Kyle Seager couldn’t sign going into Dodger park Saturday night. “Doesn’t matter,” kid said. “Your brother is better than you are.” Source: Peter Gammons
 “It can’t be any worse than it was last year. We had a horrible defensive outfield last year. I think we have options that will make it better this year.” — manager Lloyd McClendon when asked about the Mariners’ outfield defense. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune
Robinson Cano is stating the obvious when he says the team could use another bat to hit behind him in Seattle, but should he say that after the team paid him $240 million?”  Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


Mariner’s potential off-season targets

Zach Britton, LHP, Orioles — Scouts are watching him closely as he’s out of options. Only 26, Britton is still a pitcher scouts think they can salvage. He has pitched well and is trying to recapture the strong start to his big league career in 2011. The Orioles are aware of his value and the interest by other teams, but could keep him in the bullpen if they can’t get good value for him. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


Cubs OF Nate Schierholtz could be available via trade, as a result of Ryan Kalish‘s progress. LH bat, unknown if he is a fit for Detroit.



The phantom play can’t be reviewed, so let me get this straight: if an infielder doesn’t touch the bag with the ball in his possession, that’s OK? Source:Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


Baseball Best Practice

Evan Drellich at the Houston Chronicle has written an informative article, which gives outsiders something of a feel for what teams are doing to get out front of their competition in the digital age. As he notes baseball, like so much of the business world, is in the midst of the age of proprietary data. That encompasses much more than just the advanced statistics the book “Moneyball” popularised with its release a decade ago.

The Astros’ front office uses their own proprietary data program, which they have named Ground Control (Astros, Houston, space program, get it?) for every baseball decision. Contract information, scouting reports, statistics common and proprietary – the Astros have centralized most every piece of useful baseball information at one password-protected web address. It’s an impressive accomplishment and the article is too. Click on Astros’ formula for success builds on its own data bank to read it your self.


By The Numbers

Only two players, Joe Torre and Gene Tenace, have ever played at least 500 career games as both a catcher and a first baseman. Source: Elias Sports Bureau


The Red Sox have beaten the Royals 123 times at home. The Royals have beaten them 123 times in Kansas City. Source:The Bill Chuck Files


In 1961, Maury Wills led the league in SB (35) & CS (15). He again led the league in 1962, with 69 more SB & 2 fewer CS. Source: MLB Play Index