POTD Ryan Garko, 1

Q.  Bottom line?

A.  Byrnes and Garko have addressed a fatal flaw.  Zduriencik is not, IMHO, getting enough credit for his thinking here, but SSI mops the clammy sweat off its brow... 


Q.  Pretty sweet numbers against LHP's, yes?

A.  Pretty sweet numbers vs LH, no.

A right hand 1B is supposed to SLG LHP's for .500 -- um, come to think of it, he's supposed to slug all pitchers for .500.  It's just in Seattle that they don't.

In a vacuum, I've got little use for a 1B/DH who hits .300/.400/.500 against the 20% lefthanders in the league.  I'd much rather use Byrnes, who its .300/.350/.500 as a backup center fielder.

As a general principle, you want a .500 SLG vs LH'ers to be a player's secondary skill.  He'll only get 100+ AB's against lefties, counting the pitching changes in the late innings, and in view of the AL's rule against pinch-hitting.

Or, if he's really a 1B there to smash LH'ers, let's see a .600 SLG for that specific purpose.  In 2006, the M's acquired Eduardo Perez to platoon-DH and he was slugging .600 vs lefties.  He got here and got infected, but that's another story.


Q.  In a vacuum you don't care for .500-SLG righty platoon 1B's?

A.  Right, but this isn't a vacuum.  The 2010 M's needed to do something about their offense.

If they stood pat, before Byrnes and Garko -- with the LH Kotchman at 1B, Jack Wilson at SS, their catcher a weak hitter, Griffey out of the lineup, Saunders in LF etc -- quality lefties were going to come in here and simply throw down a 4-2 winning routine in Safeco. 

It was going to be depressing and had the potential to stamp the M's pretenders.  It was becoming one of those "critical mass" issues, to where other teams find a fatal flaw and thunder in like sharks to the Safeco chum.


(1) Byrnes adds a 300/350/500 bat vs LHP and (2) Garko adds a 300/400/500 bat vs LHP's.

Adds those legit bats to Ichiro's, Figgins', Gutierrez', and Lopez'.

Milton Bradley is also better against LHP's, hitting 300/390/500 against them career.


Q.  So Capt Jack has constructed a defense against the LHP strafing runs.  Sounds pretty makeshift, though.

A.  It is makeshift.

And Zduriencik has repeatedly tried to tell us that 2009-2010 are very makeshift.

On the radio just recently, he emphasized again and again "If I could go get a #3 and a #4 hitter, you can bet I'd be VERY interested.  But if you just can't get those, you have to find another way until you can get the hitters you want."

As a Game Theory guy, I can't tell you how much admiration I have for Zduriencik's willingness to attack the Queenside, Kingside, or in the center, depending on the path of least resistance.  That mindset is almost impossible to come by.  Options that don't subjectively appeal to you, are very easy to underrate (but that's another article).


Part 2



Interesting tidbit I found on ESPN:
From Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information, on the signing of Garko: Among the 32 first baseman with 500-plus innings played at first base, Ryan Garko ranked sixth-best in UZR/150, which (as found on FanGraphs) evaluates defense based on range, double play ability and ability to avoid errors. This doesn't necessarily reflect every aspect of first-base defense, but it jibes with another defensive metric -- the runs saved statistic tracked by Baseball Info Solutions (which measures a variety of defensive necessities as well). Garko ranked eighth among first basemen by that measurement.
I thought I'd heard he was a bad defender so I was hopeful when I read this quote and thought I'd share it.


If Garko were a somewhat-plus defender, rather than a somewhat-iffy defender, that could be the difference in a guy like him winding up with job X in future years.
Hope his agent knows about the information.  :- )
Of course, career #'s are what you look at first.  But they're not what you look at only, 'cause he might have improved, or his previous contexts been skewed, or UZR just been misleading earlier.
Worth looking at, of course.

Ryno's picture

Is there any way that either now or in the future I could subscribe to SSI on my Amazon Kindle? I would love, and be willing to pay, to have SSI content delivered to my device. I don't have much access to a traditional computer, but my Kindle would be a nice alternative. Lookout Landing has their blog available for subscription in the Kindle Store, as a side note.
Thanks for all of your great reads!


The 225+ lb Garko has one of the lowest PX's in the major leagues.  34, 35, and 29 the last three years, with 100 being average.
He's never struck me as having Olerud-like grace, either.
Indians fans last year rated Garko as being remarkably slow (check first step and velocity).
Just as a guess, I'd assume Garko is more like -10 or -15 runs per full year than -5.  But who knows.


Now I'm PH-balanced after the little ping-pong with the lurker in the OF's thread ;- )
I'll check into that.  :daps:
Our admins are super generous on a lot of fronts, including providing us all the robust and gratis platform, so am not quite sure if we want to even broach the subject of prices associated, LOL...
But we will ask about Kindle, the model in general, and see what's up.  Kindle might synch with the goal of frictionless traffic building.
Friend of mine showed me a Kindle book a few weeks back and I was blown away.  Immediately thought of Roddenberry's 1966 cell phones, floppy disks and stylus pads :- )

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