AL West Notes: Walker, Mariners, Blanton, Fielder

The Mariners announced today that Taijuan Walker will be shut down for the next week due to shoulder inflammation. It's a precautionary move, it would seem, based on manager Lloyd McClendon's comments. Said McClendon (via the Tacoma News Tribune's Bob Dutton on Twitter): "This guy, we’re not just talking about 2014. Hopefully, we’re talking about the next 15 years." The injury doesn't appear major for the Mariners right now, but it's another reason for some concern in the wake of a finger injury to Hisashi Iwakuma. The Mariners will learn the results of his tests on that injury tomorrow. Here's more on the Mariners and the AL West…

  • Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio feels that the Mariners should sign both Ervin Santana and Kendrys Morales (ESPN Insider required). Bowden feels that the competitive nature of the AL East will make it too difficult for two Wild Card teams to come from that division. Assuming one Wild Card from the East, the Mariners could compete with the Rangers, Angels, Indians and Royals for the second spot, in Bowden's opinion. Adding that pair would also allow the club to hang onto Nick Franklin for the time being, allowing him to serve as a strong fallback option in the event of an infield injury.
  • The Angels aren't committed to carrying a long reliever in their bullpen, and as such they could trade or release Joe Blanton prior to Opening Day, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. Blanton could slot into the rotation in the event of an injury or should Tyler Skaggs need further minor league time, but his contract doesn't make him a lock for the roster in Shaikin's mind.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports discusses Prince Fielder's impact on the Rangers' lineup as he analyzes the merit of lineup protection. Morosi also acknowledges the statistical evidence that it may be somewhat of a myth. Morosi spoke with several executives and players in his in-depth piece, with Rangers backstop J.P. Arencibia specifically stating: "Robinson Cano  is a guy that, hey, we’re going to pitch around him, bottom line," when referring to the division-rival Mariners.


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104 Comments on "AL West Notes: Walker, Mariners, Blanton, Fielder"


johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

I hear the sound of incoming Bazooka Joe rounds in Seattle…

Tony Matias
1 year 5 months ago

Why bother.. it would just fall on deaf ears.

pitchthek
1 year 5 months ago

When was the last time Bowden wrote an article that wasn’t Insider required?

CrustyJuggler
1 year 5 months ago

I’ve come to the point I never click on ANY of his links because I honestly don’t think he’s ever written anything you don’t have to pay for.

stl_cards16
1 year 5 months ago

You’re not missing much.

pastlives
1 year 5 months ago

Probably the last time he didn’t work for ESPN

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

I think Lineup protection is valid to a certain extent. If Cano it their only threat, you’d be dumb to think he’s going to get quality pitches. But take Pujols/Hammy, Prince/Beltre..those guys are less likely to be pitched around..and the same can be said for many teams with a quality #3/#4..are you going to risk putting the #3 and #4 guys on base?? I do think people blow it out of proportion saying it will make or break the #3 guy…but i think it doe’s help.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

I think Lineup protection is valid to a certain extent. If Cano it their only threat, you’d be blind to the fact thinking he’s going to get quality pitches. But take Pujols/Hammy, Prince/Beltre..those guys are less likely to be pitched around..and the same can be said for many teams with a quality #3/#4..are you going to risk putting the #3 and #4 guys on base?? I do think people blow it out of proportion saying it will make or break the #3 guy…but i think it doe’s help.

gavinrendar
1 year 5 months ago

The statistics don’t say the other team doesn’t CHANGE their approach. They say the production doesn’t change. Pitching around a player leads to higher OPB. So you’re just picking your poison. This, at least, according to the saber community.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

This is sort of why I’d rather protect my big bat by putting a couple good OBP guys in front of him, especially if i don’t have another big bat to put behind him. If first base isn’t open, then they don’t even get the choice.

gavinrendar
1 year 5 months ago

Agreed. It’s always better to have another big bat not matter how you slice it.

Trock
1 year 5 months ago

Great point. I never really thought of that to be honest!

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

Good point, but it also depends on how the OBP is derived. Putting a doubles machine in front of a big hitter leaves you back with 1B open and even with
less pressure on the pitcher holding a runner on 1B.

Spit Ball
1 year 5 months ago

Read “The Book”, “Baseball Between the Numbers,” Anything Pete Palmer wrote back in the 80’s. So much research has been done using linear weights based results it’s just irrefutable. It’s been looked at again and again by MIT type minds. Lineup protection DOES NOT MATTER as far as any given slugger’s output goes.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

True, but there are teams that have decent base runners in the #3 hole so at that point, i could see where that applies. But i’ll gladly put Miggy on base to get to V-Mart. And the same can be said about most teams having a #3 that’s a liability on the bases.

John Cate
1 year 5 months ago

And you know why it doesn’t matter? Miggy and V-Mart are both .300 hitters. The difference between them is that Miggy hits about 40 home runs a year and V-Mart hits about 15. You’ll gladly put Miggy, who has devastating power, on base, to avoid him killing you with a home run. But now he’s on base, and you’re facing V-Mart, who also hits for a high average and gets on base a lot, and all he’s got to do is get a hit to do the same kind of damage that Miggy’s home run would have done–because you’ve put an extra man on base for V-Mart.

Barry Bonds was another example. Teams walked him 200 times a year and the Giants still had a potent offense even though the walks depressed Bonds’ RBI totals, because all those walks to Bonds moved baserunners and gave other players RBI opportunities.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

I think just having that one other guy there makes a big difference. Because any team will go ahead and pitch around one guy, but as soon as there’s another one that plan falls apart, because giving away scoring position will basically never happen. I think one could find several examples of a lineup with ONE big threat that sees a lot of walks. Yeah it won’t make or break them, because they’ll be getting on base regardless, but it has the potential to drastically reduce their extra base potential.

Anecdotally, it certainly felt that that was happening a bit to David Ortiz after the Manny trade.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

Cabrera for example, Would you rather pitch to him and risk a .330+ hitter with huge power…or walk him and now you have a clogged up base path. I agree completely.

John Cate
1 year 5 months ago

Ask the Red Sox. They go right after him every time they play Detroit. He’s dangerous, but Victor Martinez with his teammates on the bases because you pitched around them is just as dangerous. The Tigers have a lot of good hitters. Trying to duck one is useless.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 5 months ago

It blows my mind the Mariners would spend so much on Cano when they have zero offensive threats other than him. It’s like spending all of your money on a car and having no money left to put gas in it.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

I feel that having a serious base stealing threat in the #1 hole is amazing lineup protection.. your guaranteed the first inning anyway. I’d like to know
how much offensive production Rickey Henderson could be accounted for by the fastballs dealt to the 2-3 hitters behind him. I suppose we’re talking about ultimate roster construction. I’d have to say that creating protection in the 1-2 hole might be financially cheaper. A guy in the 4-5 slot is often being paid off the counting stats that those 1-2 guys are actually generating for him.

cardsfan67
1 year 5 months ago

I would like to know how much offensive production is being lost by the hitter hitting behind in the count because of having to take pitches for the attempted steal.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

That would be interesting, but hard to quantify because it’d have to be verified that the batter was actually given the take sign.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

Also if it were the 2 hole hitter, I’d theorize that that batting order position often contains a teams best contact hitter. One that might likely have the ability to neutralize being behind in the count. Also..if the leadoff man does steal second. The #2 batter is likely to see further hitters pitches to avoid putting runners on for the 3-4 hitter. That’s counting that a team designs the offense for the 1st inning

cardsfan67
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think it would be that hard to quantify. If the guy is going to steal the batter is usually going to be taking unless it is a hit and run. I disagree on the neutralizing being behind the count, if you check the stats, pitchers have a huge advantage when ahead in the count, that is why there is such an emphasis on getting that first pitch strike. And there is the problem with the stolen base math, if the lead off man steals second, great. If he doesn’t you just possibly cost your 4 hitter an at bat and just gave the pitcher/defense a huge break. The stolen base works for Rickey Henderson because he is/was one of a kind, but ever since Gene Mauch made the Angles start doing the slide step to combat the stolen base it has been less and less of a weapon. Also, since the only inning a manager can control his line up for and is trying to maximize runs scored, I would hope every manager is designing the offense for the 1st inning. Actually, as long as Matheny is, I hope the rest of the teams aren’t trying to do that.

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

I agree with you..not trying to argue with your assessment. I do think it might be cheaper financially to add/develop top of the order 1-2 bats
over the power slots. At the extreme of free.agency
many more teams can afford a Choo over a Fielder

Agree with your assessment of the stolen base. I would add that speed is going to be more valuable though as we move away from ped/amphetamine use. If anything…it makes power a slim and more expensive commodity. As far as the slide step..true…but it also has the pitcher in the stretch and tends to be the pitchers weakest motion.

All good points you make. Good conversation.

cardsfan67
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, I agree with that, it will be cheaper because the power hitters make the bigger bucks. And if I was running a team, I would value Choo over Fielder, just because I think one dimensional guys are ok to have on your roster, but you can’t have too many of them. The Cards kind of have this problem now with Holiday, Allen Craig, and Matt Adams, they are roughly the same kind of player. And you are right on speed increasing in value and the slide step.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

I remember in 2010 and 2011, when the Angels were having a lot of offensive struggles, Angels fans were arguing we needed a big bat to replace Vladdy. I kept arguing that letting go of Vladdy wasn’t the problem, and the Angels don’t need all that power. I argued that the move that killed their offense in 2010 was letting go of Chone Figgins and replacing him with Erick Aybar at leadoff.

The 2009 Angels had an indestructible offense because Figgins and Bobby Abreu got on base at nearly a .400 clip in the top 2 spots and stole over 70 bases combined. That allowed Torii Hunter to have a career year as their #3 hitter despite missing 50 games. This created a domino effect that eventually went through their entire lineup, to the point where they went into a game with all 9 players hitting over .300.

The key to a great offense is high OBP in the 1-2 spots. The rest takes care of itself.

IMO, the Rangers should’ve passed on Fielder and gone straight to Choo, and used the money they’re paying Fielder to ensure pitching depth. Now Holland’s injury has exposed the possibility that the Rangers may have focused too much on offense. But that’s not really the point.

The point is players like Choo at the top of the lineup.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

There’s always a big drop off when hitting behind in the count in any situation. Regardless, a hitter should make the pitcher work for his outs. So if the leadoff hitter gets on, and the #2 hitter is taking to allow the leadoff hitter to steal, that #2 hitter is still working the pitcher even if he gets behind. And if the leadoff hitter steals 2B, it’s still a successful plate appearance (even if the #2 hitter strikes out) because that #2 hitter didn’t go up their hacking, and thus avoided the double play and advanced the runner. Then, the #3 hitter comes up with a RISP and 1 out as opposed to a runner on 1B, or nobody on.

cardsfan67
1 year 5 months ago

Yes there is a big drop off in hitting behind in the count so why force a guy to do it by taking pitches and make his job even harder? The batter goes from being able to be aggressive in his at bat to protecting the plate more. It the #2 hitter is behind in the count, he is not working the pitcher, he just made the pitchers job a lot easier. I don’t know how you consider making an out a successful plate appearance unless it is a sac fly or sac bunt. And if you want to avoid the DP and move a runner up you can just sac bunt. There is a lot of ifs in your scenario. What if the runner stealing gets thrown out and then the #2 batter makes an out? Now #3 come up with no one on and 2 out. Now you expected runs percentage for that inning just essentially dropped to zero

DieHardMsFan
1 year 5 months ago

I agree with you here. The M’s are putting a lot of hope that Hart can return to what he was with the Brewers and is fully healthy. If that is the case than that is good protection for Cano. If not Cano may lead the league in OBP this year.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 5 months ago

Maybe instead of talking about how much protection helps a normal lineup, we could talk about how inexcusable it is for a team to earnestly put themselves in a position to ‘contend’ with 1 offensive weapon. A team with 8 bad hitters and one good one has a ownership/management problem, not a protection problem.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

It’s really more about who hits in front of you than who hits in back of you. Put high OBP guys in front of a slugger, and that slugger drives in more runs, no matter who is hitting behind him.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

True…but i guarantee you Hammy and Beltre won’t get a whole ton of good pitches this year IMO…assuming Hammy is hitting cleanup.

CrustyJuggler
1 year 5 months ago

Jack Z has depended on young offensive players to break out for years now ..all to abject failure. Now that he finally got a corner stone in Cano and an offense that maybe league average or better, he’s going to fully depend on youth to breakout in a thin starting rotation. It’s already biting him in the rear with Kuma and now Tai.

Looks like our opening day starting five will be something like Felix, Baker, Ramirez, Paxton and… Beavan? Ugh– Aprils going to be a rough one.

$3513744
1 year 5 months ago

they need to bring ichiro back and put him in the rotation

LiveFastCyYoung
1 year 5 months ago

Arencibia is a Ranger?

ColoredPaper
1 year 5 months ago

Welcome to the offseason sir!

Yes, the Jays released him and he subsequently signed with the Jays.

ColoredPaper
1 year 5 months ago

Welcome to the offseason, sir!

The Jays released him and he signed with te Rangers.

Steven Russell
1 year 5 months ago

Both of those posts kinda failed didn’t they? Lol

ColoredPaper
1 year 5 months ago

LOL, yes they did. This app doesn’t allow me to edit, and I gave up after the second fail.

LiveFastCyYoung
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t ever remember this happening. Must have slipped past me.

itstheduke
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, life’s a b1t@h, isn’t it?

JCurrie39
1 year 5 months ago

Heck yea Sister

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 5 months ago

The Mariners paid an awful a lot of money to Cano.
Now everyone (fans and management) is going to sit there and watch Cano walk?
I mean the Yankee line-up wasn’t all that powerful last year and Cano was pretty much left unprotected and he still did ok
He doesn’t walk all that much 65 times last year (career high)
So what does Morosi want here? The M’s to re-sign Morales?
Make a trade? What?

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

Before Soriano came to NY, Cano put up good numbers, but they weren’t typical numbers you would expect from him. At one point I believe he was hitting around .290. IMO think the Mariner’s should definitely re-sign Morales.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

Cano can borrow Ed Yost’s old handle then? “The Walking Man”.

Something Seattle could do with Cano, but mariner fans won’t like it.. Stick him at leadoff..

Boston had base slug Dwight Evans there for 3-4 years.. He couldn’t run the bases fast, but he had a career OBP of .370 after 19MLB years and from those few years at leadoff, set the MLB record for leadoff HR before Ricky Henderson broke it.

Cano has a .355 OBP. Get him OB to lead off the game and have Hart, Lomo and Seagar to drive him in.

Edgar4evar
1 year 5 months ago

The M’s really don’t have a spot for Morales unless they are ready to give up on Smoak or Morrison. He just creates a roster crunch that will probably lead to Hart playing too much outfield and getting hurt. Even if he doesn’t get hurt the defense will suffer.

Santana may unfortunately be a necessity. If Walker misses significant time the team will be digging down into the Beavan / Noesi portion of the pitching barrell and that’s not something a team with dreams of contention can afford to do.

gmantacoma
1 year 5 months ago

Absolutely agree on the first part of your comment, but not the last. I don’t think it’s time for the M’s to panic and sign Santana long term.

RumorVille
1 year 5 months ago

I think the M’s are banking a lot on Cory Hart right now. That he can play the outfield on a regular basis and that his bat is good enough to back up Cano in the line up.

Bob George
1 year 5 months ago

I thought the plan was for Hart and Morrison to split time between 1b and DH? They can both play the OF in a pinch but neither has great range.

jmo mls
1 year 5 months ago

Nope, *supposedly* Smoak is the first basement until further notice…or he returns to hitting .210 with no power.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Smoak for the time being is penciled in at 1st. Cano is spending a lot of time with him so far this spring. Morrison, Hart and even Seager and hit behind Cano. The M’s have Seager hitting 2nd in spring so far, I think he’ll end up in the 5 spot behind Hart with Miller hitting 2. Cano is going to be just fine.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

I know hindsight is 20/20, but looks like they should have traded Walker for Price. Wouldn’t be surprised if Walker gets surgery very soon. Happened to Hultzen, could very well happen to Walker too.

jmo mls
1 year 5 months ago

Bah, Walker and Hultzen are going to win 300 games each, just like Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson.

northsfbay
1 year 5 months ago

I would rather have 6 years of Walker than 2 years of Price. Any pitcher can get injured.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Of course, but many top prospects have been busts and/or have had short playing careers,. I’d rather have multiple years of a All Star/Cy Young and still a very young pitcher who you can probably give an extension to after your new $2 Billion TV deal.

If the Mariners are serious about competing this year and next year, they should have traded for Price. I said it then, and I’m saying it now

northsfbay
1 year 5 months ago

Price said that he would not agree to an extension.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

I did not know that, but sometimes money talks

northsfbay
1 year 5 months ago

It is always great to debate baseball.

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Haha, no doubt

ColoredPaper
1 year 5 months ago

You forget though that Price has had a huge workload and has a lot of miles on that young arm. Just saying

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 5 months ago

No team should pay the price Santana is looking for. Two year deal max. Take it or leave it Erv. If not enjoy watching baseball this season and be mad at yourself that you walked away from 14.1 million the Royals were offering!!!

MadmanTX
1 year 5 months ago

Bowden doesn’t know anything if he is just writing in the A’s as AL West champs in ink–the Rangers are going to win that division and it’ll be the A’s and everybody else fighting for wild cards.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 5 months ago

Nope. You’re not biased at all.

Trock
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t think any baseball fan can be completely unbiased. I follow the Cubs and Red Sox a ton during the offseason, but have other teams (like the Texans, Rangers, and a few others) that I do enjoy watching as well. It might sound biased that I say that I agree with him, but I do not think its anywhere close to a sure thing.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 5 months ago

It’s impossible for almost anyone to not have some kind of bias on everything, especially these days. But the main difference is you’re admitting the possibility that it isn’t a sure thing. It’s the degree of bias that matters.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

The A’s have had alot of luck go their way this past season(Health)….The Rangers…not so much.IF Texas can stay healthy, i’m not worried about them at all…If Colby and Harrison come back healthy, we have a better rotation. And the lineup is also drastically better than last year. We picked up 2 guys with tremendous OBP potential…which is what Texas has lacked the past two seasons. Do i expect it to be a tough division? Of course.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

as the Texas rotation sits as of now…before Opening day…The A’s clearly have the better rotation.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

With all of Seattle’s SP injuries with Iwakuma and Walker now, there is NO DOUBT that the A’s rotation is the best within the division. But the Rangers and Angels offense is hands down superior to the A’s. and I’m a Seattle fan.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

I’m looking forward to the season. I hope you guys stick around this season, not too close, but i hope y’all have a VASTLY improved year. Good luck!

The_Unnatural
1 year 5 months ago

It’s not like Walker was expected to pitch 200 innings anyway. And Kuma has a strained finger, not a labral tear.

Tony Matias
1 year 5 months ago

The injury was rather significant. Head trainer Rick Griffin
explained what happened when Iwakuma caught the finger in a screen while training in California in January.

“He snapped the tendon and it pulled the tendon off the top of his finger, off the top of the bone, so it has to scar back down and reattach,” Griffin said.

The_Unnatural
1 year 5 months ago

It can’t be that bad if he’s expected to throw in a few weeks.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

I’m no Rangers or A’s fan, but Rangers offense is pretty potent…but their SP is horrible and will be their downfall…The SP was horrible before the popped up injuries this past month.

The A’s have gotten very lucky for the past 2 years. I didn’t think they were going to repeat last year and they did. They don’t have a great team, but somehow for 2 years running they have been pulling rabbits out of their hats.

I’m a Seattle fan, but I’m “shocked” the Angels with Trout/Hamilton/Pujols have tanked so badly. I just wasn’t expecting that at all the past 2 years. The Angels do worry me in the AL West in 2014, but then we see this week that Hamilton is already sidelined with leg injuries. The Angels did well in the Trumbo trade landing 2 SPs, but the Angels are really relying on these two “newbies” to the AL to solidify a poor rotation.

I truly believe the AL West is totally up in the air this year:

1. Can the A’s “prove” one more year that they weren’t “lucky” the past 2 years within the division?!

2. Can the Rangers SP hack the AL?! I don’t think so, but the potent Rangers offense should be good enough to allow the SPs a pretty decent ERA cushion.

3. The Angels have 2 issues 1) keeping Pujols & Hamilton healthy and on the field…2) Rotation issues. I truly don’t believe the Angels #3-5 SPs will produce the results that Angels fans are crossing their fingers and hoping for!

4. Seattle? All of a sudden has serious rotation “health” issues. Can Hart stay healthy for 25-30 HRs? Will they resign Morales for more offense support and protection? Will Cano be able to influence enough of the other kids Smoak/Ackley/Morrison/Saunders/Seager/Zunino for them to take their game to the “expected playing level” that they should already be at?!

This division has the “potential” to be the best in MLB, but I also think it has the most question marks from “every” team too.

It’s going to be an interesting ride in the West for all of us!

Red_Line_9
1 year 5 months ago

Just one note on the A’s. They have the best record in baseball over the past two seasons. It’s a stretch to call that luck. They might appear unorthodox, but they win, and there is a reason

DieHardMsFan
1 year 5 months ago

I have the A’s winning the division. I just don’t see enough pitching behind Darvish for the Rangers. Sure they may have the best offense in the league but they will be playing a lot of 6-5 type of ball games from the looks of it. As a result I would stick with pitching where the A’s have more talent.

Maxxx Depth
1 year 5 months ago

it all depends if Colby and Harrison come back as “expected”…if so, the Rangers easily have the better rotation as the A’s lost a huge one in Bart Colon.

DieHardMsFan
1 year 5 months ago

Maybe Colby comes back from tommy John surgery as there has been a president for success there. I am not so sure with Harrison. I don’t know the extent of his back injury and he probably will never be the same.
Don’t forget most of the A’s starters are all very young and should improve as “expected”.

Bob George
1 year 5 months ago

Why would the M’s be more likely to keep Franklin if they signed that pair?

MB923
1 year 5 months ago

Something wrong with Zunino?

John Kreese
1 year 5 months ago

Because signing those two would fill their biggest two needs. They could then hold onto Franklin in AAA & wait for a better, bigger deal potentially.

1 year 5 months ago

The AL East has produced 4 teams with plus .500 records on a few occasion. The NL Central produced 2 Wild Card teams so I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the AL East did, though it’s obviously less likely than them producing 1 Wild Card team. Bowden has had a nice week of fluff pieces with little value.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

The AL West or Central would be more likely to produce 2 wild card teams than the AL east for the very reason that you stated, “AL East has produced 4 teams with plus .500 records on a few occasion.” The Chances of the AL West and Central producing 4 teams with plus .500 records is much lower so the 3 remaining team actually stand to have a better overall record than teams in the AL East.

1 year 5 months ago

I agree with what you’re saying, but the AL East has produced 3 90 win teams twice in the past three years and was a game away in 2010 with the Red Sox only winning 89. With the new WC implemented only two years ago, I wouldn’t say it’s too difficult for two WC to come from the AL East as Bowden put it.

Encarnacion's Parrot
1 year 5 months ago

Did Arencibia state that he was going to catch the ball this year, or continue to let it pass by him?

itstheduke
1 year 5 months ago

He didn’t, so I’m guessing the status quo.

Trock
1 year 5 months ago

I didn’t know the back up catcher got to decide who they are walking!

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

The phrase “Blanton could slot into the rotation” scares me

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Any value there is for Seattle in re-signing Morales would be off-set by having to play LoMo and Hart in RF and LF. Bowden doesn’t even try and discuss what Seattle would do with Hart, LoMo, Smoak and Morales on the same team. That would give Seattle 4 players who really should be playing DH/1B.

The_Unnatural
1 year 5 months ago

If they sign Morales, where Hart going to play 3 weeks into the season when his knees start aching? And regardless off WAR/$, I don’t think Santana is worth signing. Walker needs to start in AAA, anyway, so the M’s get another discounted season out of him.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

Well this seems that Seattle “could” benefit from this Walker thing. An eventual June callup would setup an extra club control year for us and give Walker to us for another 7 years.

bjsguess
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t get the dislike for Joe Blanton.

The guy has posted xFIP’s of 4 or less every season going back to 2009. While his FIP was ugly last year it was 3.6 and 3.9 the two years before.

Look – the guy is already on the club. He’s bought and paid for (assuming you can’t find a taker for his salary). You might as well keep him. It’s not like there are a ton of better options just waiting for their shot to play. And if he can put 2013 behind him, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t be fine for a 5th starter or spot starter role.

Now, if he was a FA today and the Angels were buyers at $8M I would get the angst. But that’s not where we are at. Unless he totally implodes keep the guy around. See how Skaggs/Santiago do. Blanton is your insurance policy.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

I’m in the insurance industry….I think their is better “reinsurance” than Blanton out there. I’m not concerned one bit, as a non-Angels fan, with the Angels rotation. I really think Angel fans are betting too much on the Skaggs/Santiano success in the AL. I don’t see it, and its going to be a serious major adjustment for them in the AL. Angels #3-5 SPs will be their down fall again, along with the uncertainty of the health of Hamilton and Pujols?!

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

FYI Santiago and Richards have only ever pitched in the AL. Skaggs has 68 career IP in the NL so I’m not sure what a transition to the AL has to do with anything.

GD
1 year 5 months ago

And thus yet “another” reason putting too much faith in Skaggs and Santiago is a HUGE mistake!

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

I’m not saying anyone should place a lot of faith in these 3, I’m just pointing out that there is not league adjustment to be made here. Regardless of weather they are in the AL or NL they would still be unproven. Your first post made a point of them having to pitch in the AL

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

The A’s and Rangers have won with inexperienced rotations themselves. Why can’t the Angels do the same?

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

xFIP is a bad stat to analyze Joe Blanton with because it assumes a pitcher will post a 10.5% HR/FB rate, Blanton has exceeded that every year since 2008. Blanton has one of the largest FIP/xFIP splits in the MLB for this reason.

Also, the dislike of Blanton comes from the fact that out all SP that pitched at least 100 inning in 2013 he was the 5th worst by fWAR and FIP and the worst by ERA.

RyanWKrol
1 year 5 months ago

FIP has it’s flaws like any other stat. Blanton controls his walks well but gets hit hard in the zone, especially with the HR ball. His WHIP was over 1.50. No matter how one slices it, he could not prevent baserunners overall. Even though I’m nervous about him being anywhere near the Angels rotation, I also doubt they’ll get the same historically bad performance from him in 2014. I think he’ll be around the mid-to-high 4.00 range in ERA and will have about a 1.40 WHIP. That’s actually an upgrade. But I’d rather the Angels just deal him or release so they don’t have to deal with it.

TheRealRyan
1 year 5 months ago

Since 2011, Blanton and Colby Lewis have similar IP, K/9, BB/9, HR/9 and FIP. Blanton is also younger and didn’t just miss the most recent season due to injury. Yet, Angel fans see Blanton as a huge problem, whereas the Ranger fans see Colby Lewis as a good addition. I find this funny.

Jake13
1 year 5 months ago

The old Fielder protection myth, nobody is scared of a fat man whose body is eroding, he has lost all bat speed but still has that long swing. Pitchers were able to go right at The Big Mig last year because Fielder is no longer a great hitter, for a 1B he is merely average.