Mariners Mini Morsels: Pi Day edition

“I feel good,” Robinson Cano said. “For me, as long as I’m hitting the ball the other way, that’s good. My goal in Spring Training and also in the season is to use the whole field. That’s where I want to stay.”

As for his .600-plus batting average?“I’ll take that,” Cano said with a grin. “I would say this — if you work hard, you get good results. I always come early, do my job, get my work in the cage and keep my routine. I don’t want to feel short, like I should have come earlier. You do what you need to do to get it going.”

“Robbie can hit,” said McClendon. “He knows how to get ready and he’s been going at it very well. He’s working extremely hard and is bringing other guys along with him. I’ve been very impressed with how he goes about his business.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

Mariners baseball people and even the team’s most prominent hitter Robinson Cano all seem to be in favor of bringing back Kendrys Morales to Seattle. Yet, Morales still isn’t here, and he remains working out in Miami at the Scott Boras Training Institute. That Morales — who solved Safeco, hitting 23 home runs with 80 RBI in his lone year there — still isn’t a Mariner has given rise to a theory that perhaps ownership is unhappy that Morales turned down the $14-million qualifying offer, or perhaps other offers. But Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said there has been continuing dialogue and he denied that ownership is holding a grudge or upset at all with Morales. Explaining why Morales, who would appear to be another needed power bat from the right side (he’s a switch hitter), isn’t a Mariner, Zduriencik said, “It strictly has to do with where they’re at (in negotiations) and where we’re at.” Source: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports

 

“I like a lot where I am compared to where I was last year. That’s about a 200-percent difference. This year, it’s a lot easier when you’re not having to pitch through some pain. Not having to worry about compensating for your knee and creating bad habits in your mechanics. That’s what happened to me last year.” — Mariners starter Blake Beavan, who has allowed just three earned runs over 12 2/3 innings in his four outings. Source: Bob Dutton at Tacoma News Tribune

 

ESPN  analysts Jim Bowden, Buster Olney and Keith Law ranked all MLB teams according to the strength of their big league roster, the quality of the farm system, financial strength, management and mobility of contracts [Do they have a lot of young, cheap players, or old, immovable guys?] and combined the scores to come up with their Future Power Rankings. They ranked the Mariners as 28th out of the 30 teams.

Twice fired former GM Jim Bowden stated that, Seattle spent almost a quarter-billion dollars on Cano, and now the club must find another power hitter who can complement him in the lineup. Until they do, this team won’t score enough to contend.” [Insider needed and recommended]

(While it is just spring training, the fact the Mariners are scoring about seven runs a game and have won more games than all but one team doesn’t point to a lack of power. They may not contend–probably won’t this year–but they are far from 28th out of 30 teams looking into the future.)

 

After starting the spring 0-for-16 at the plate, outfielder Stefen Romero has gone 8-for-15 with two doubles, two triples and a home run to raise his Cactus League average to .258. Source: Greg Johns at MLB

(Maybe he thinks singles are for sissies.)

 

The Orioles are a third team with interest in Mariners infielder Nick Franklin, joining the Rays and Mets, sources say.

Franklin could be a second-base candidate for the Orioles as well as the Rays. The Mets need a shortstop, and have been scouting Franklin for that position. Franklin came up for Seattle last summer and hit 12 home runs, showing good pop.

The likelihood of a trade somewhere seems strong at this point. Discussions are ongoing. Franklin was No. 4 on the list of likely spring trade candidates here a couple days ago. The Orioles are using prospect Jonathan Schoop as well as Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casillaat second base. Schoop, a highly regarded young player, is batting .500 this spring. Source: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports

 

Observations

Hector Noesi has less than five years service time and is out of minor league options.  That means he must clear waivers before being sent to the minors. Source: MLB Trade Rumors

 

Comment From Eric: Why are NFL and NBA players “major league ready” when drafted, while MLB player nearly never are? Is it because a pure athlete can succeed at those sports, but not baseball due how finely tuned everything has to be? Dave Cameron: Baseball has more to do with developed technique and less to do with natural physical abilities.

 

AL West Commentary

Comment From Kevin: Fangraph’s projected standing have the top four teams in the AL West finishing within just two games of each other. Is this going to be the most interesting divisional race to watch this year?

Dave Cameron: I think our forecasts are low on Texas.

 

Mariner’s potential off-season targets

The way Manny Ramirez tells it, he fell down and got back up. Now, as he approaches his 42nd birthday, he wants to play in the major leagues again. Ramirez, in an exclusive telephone interview from Miami on Wednesday with FOX Sports, admitted that he made mistakes using performance-enhancing drugs. But he said he learned from those mistakes, and wants to share those lessons with younger players.

Yes, this was Manny Ramirez talking, talking in a way that he never has before.“When you make a mistake in life, no matter what you do, you’re going to pay the price,” Ramirez said. “That’s what happened to all of the players that did it. I’m not going to judge people. Everybody is human. Everybody makes mistakes. You’re going to feel guilty about what you did. But you did it. You move on. And you learn from it.”

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, who signed Ramirez to a minor-league contract last July 3 and released him on Aug. 14, said that Ramirez indeed was a good teammate at Triple-A. “He was one of the first guys there each day. He helped some of the younger guys in the cage. The coaching staff spoke really highly of him.” Ramirez talks about becoming a hitting coach after he retires, starting in the minors and working his way up. But for now, he just wants to keep playing baseball. “Why not?” Ramirez said. “That’s the thing that I love the most. Why not keep doing what I love?” Source: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports

(Right handed masher available, will sign minor league contract and play there. He’d be a draw in Tacoma and probably a decent hitting coach.)

 

Baseball Best Practice

“If [Colin] Moran forces us to put him up based upon his production and maturity, then you put him up there,” [Marlins GM Dan] Jennings says. “Some of the good guys fast-track themselves, and they’re ready. Other guys, you need to pump the brakes a little bit, give them a chance to get a base under them. We want to have the option to pump the brakes on Moran. You know the old mind-set of 1,500 at-bats for hitters or 500 innings for pitchers [before they’re ready]? Just because the cost of procuring talent has gone up, it hasn’t changed the time frame that it takes for that apple to go from green to red. It still takes time for them to develop, and we want to recognize that, even if some players do force our hand.”

 

By The Numbers

George Brett (1979) and Jim Bottomley (1928) are the only players in MLB history with 40+ doubles, 20+ triples, & 20+ homers in a season. Source: MLB Play Index

 

In 2007, the Phillies Jimmy Rollins had 20 triples, most by a National League switch-hitter since 1898 when John Anderson had 22. Source: MLB Play Index

 

Alumni News

Veteran pitcher Joel Pineiro remains on comeback trail. He threw a bullpen in front scouts for at least 12 teams five days ago in Miami. From: Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com

 

Free agent Kelly Shoppach is looking to play in 2014 if “right situation/opportunity presents itself”. Nothing close at this time. From: Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish

 

Chat Review – Dave Cameron at FanGraphs

Comment From Gson: Best off-season signing: Cano for the Mariners or Tanaka for the Yankees?

Dave Cameron: Both were bad.

 

Comment From Chris: Where would Morales play is he signs in Seattle? Would a trade be imminent?

Dave Cameron: DH, with Hart/Morrison sharing time in OF, and Saunders (likely) getting shipped out.

 

Comment From Mark: Will the Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana signings and non-signing encourage more players to accept qualifying offers in the future? Who would turn down one year at $14 million anyway?

Dave Cameron: Players who can get more than that? Remember, Cruz is the only player who has signed for less than what he turned down.

 

Comment From Ben; Do you think Scott Baker makes the Mariner’s rotation out of spring training?

Dave Cameron: They don’t have a choice.

 

Comment From Gson: Jesus Montero doesn’t even show up on the Mariners depth chart… is this a design form of disrespect from the Mariners or an oversight?

Dave Cameron: He has no shot of making the club

 

Comment From Kevin: Who has the better change-up: Felix or Shields?

Dave Cameron: I’m not sure anyone has a better change-up than Felix. Maybe Strasburg.