Ariel Miranda AAA and Roster Dominoes
never a dull moment with JeDi


Q.  Is this a smart move or a dumb move?

A.  The Mainframe has come to think of the 2016-17 Seattle Mariners as a state-of-the-art organization, whether you are talking about inside baseball or out.  Where they disagree with the Mainframe, we assume there is good reason.  Though that doesn't mean we would hesitate to bet our own prognosis against theirs at times ;- )

These days, a prognosis like this is just a way to organize our thinking.  It IS a baseball chat, after all


Q.  How surprising on a scale of 1-10?

A.  About a 7 or an 8.  It seemed that a second lefty, behind Zip, was a given.  None of the other lefties looked at all reliable to us:

James Pazos - has looked dangerous but you'd think they'd want a feel for it from AAA

Nick Hagadone - nada, both unpredictable and off a tick

Dillon Overton - haven't seen the game but he seems a generic LHP depth guy.  Perfectly decent stoploss (why a stoploss in the pen right now)


Q.  So, a 4th benchie?

A.  The guys in the bleachers can only continue to sacrifice chickens to Jobu.*  

If the matchups are so blinkin' important that you need 8 -- not 7.  Eight!  -- BACKUP pitchers to the starter PER GAME?  If that's true, why are the matchups of so little importance in our half of the inning?  When the enemy brings in a 10K lefty to face Leonydas and Jarrod Dyson to decide the game.  You really want the game hanging on Leonydas-Zuum-Dyson vs a killer lefty, night after night?

Taylor Motter the savior.  Uh-huh.


But maybe there is something to this 8th RP (and 9th, 10th, 11th in Tacoma for tomorrow) that is entirely beyond Dr. D's perception.


Q.  How cool is the Com-Pete factor?

A.  Fill in your own punch line.  Neither Vogelbach nor Miranda turned out to be entitled.  Servais sez Miranda threw "just ok" so he's out of there.  So, what is Servais saying now?  :: cups ear ::




Q.  Is Dyson such a problem in the late innings?

A.  Here is a cool Fangraphs article, free Jarrod Dyson.  The M's just swapped four (4) years of a club-controlled starter to see if Dyson can net them 4-5 WAR in one year.  It's a worthy gamble at a secret weapon.  But you really want to see him blown away night after night in the late innings when they bring in, um, "Relievers"?

So, you'd think Guillermo Heredia was almost a given here.  Or not, sigh.


Q.  What is the deal-io on Gamel vs Heredia?  As it stands.

A.  Servais just characterized it as "glove vs bat."  Experience vs. possible upside.  Moe has pointed out that Gamel hits lefties well.  Personally would think Gamel is slightly ahead in line, in terms of needing to see what he can do, but ...

One last thing.  Don't you want to be able to use Jarrod Dyson as late pinch-runner in SOME Chris Sale games when you're down 2-1?  Or to protect the lead in SOME games when you're up 6-5 in a Nelson Cruz/Taylor Motter OF start?



Dr D

*(See 1 Cor. 8:4-6 if Dr. D's willingness to joke about jobu seems odd to you!  There are people who actually do sacrifice chickens.  It's our 1st-amendment given right to poke fun at them when they do.)



I shouted about Gallardo being placed on waivers.  Put up or...wait, why is he still here?

Overton dropped 6 innings of 4 hit still-haven't-walked-a-guy-all-spring today.  13 K's in 17 IP isn't great but only 16 baserunners is. 

WHIP of potential starters under 1.00 in order: Smyly, Felix, Paxton, Overton.

EDIT: missed Povse with 0.30 WHIP in 10 IP but no spring starts.  Not technically vying anyway?

Or explain to me how Gallardo has done anything close to what Miranda did this spring.  Is that like Valencia?  So the entitlement can still exist? 


The term "entitlement" seems to imply that a player is being given a job because of their past achievements, or the number of digits in their salary, IN SPITE of their current talent. We've certainly seen Mariners regimes that embraced entitlement *couch Silva cough Figgins cough*. Does Jerry seem like he has those values? Serious question. At what point does Jerry convince us that he is Pete Carroll and not Mike Hargrove? For me the time has passed, but clearly not for the many denizens who are up in arms about Gallardo.

Don't get me wrong, Yovani looks like a meatball to me too. I just trust that Jerry sees something in him that we don't. Today Evan Grant, beat writer for the Rangers was on the broadcast. Blowers asks him what he thinks about Gallardo, given that the last time he was good was as a Texas Ranger. Grant answers with, "I think you could see Gallardo really start to tire over the long, hot summer, both in Texas and in Baltimore. He should benefit from the cooler atmosphere in Safeco." It's an interesting thought, at least. The kind of field level stuff that GMs have, and we don't.

I figure that Gallardo has a spot right now because Jerry genuinely believes he's the 5th best starting pitcher we've got. Does that say bad things about our SP depth? Maybe, maybe not. More likely, Jerry this Miranda's ERA last year was an aberration, and his gruesome sabr numbers were not. He also figures that whichever one of the Heston-Overton-Povse-Moore pile could help us this year, he isn't sure who it is yet. Needs some time to watch them in AAA before pointing his finger and saying "That one's properly seasoned, call'im up." Until then, Gallardo gets a chance to show that he's a serviceable 4.30ERA innings eater, which a rotation as fragile as this one could really use. Kuma showed last year that with this offense behind you, a low 4s ERA and consistency can make you a 15-game winner.


Course if June 1 rolls around, Gallardo's running a 5 point ERA, and Servais is talking about how much they value his veteran leadership and grit, I'll be grabbing a pitchfork and climbing onto the bandwagon with the rest of SSI. More than a little sheepishly, I might add.


Looking at his year in Texas,  His only 8 inning game was in Toronto but 2 of his 3 other 7+inning outings were in Texas in May and June.  Innings slightly lower at the end and ERA peaked in late July but didn't explode from there.  I wouldn't assume from all that that he wore down in the heat but it's possible.  That was his highest WAR season by 1.2 per BR.

 2016 game logs...No signs whatsoever that he wore down.  Maybe after the heat of March?  Otherwise I see no starting point of a decline from anything except a previously decent career.  No shutout performances last year.  Just 6 months of Carlos Silva circa 2008 (era adjusted...Notably also no shutouts).  Not looking forward to a Silva 2009 repeat.


I hadn't actually looked into the game data to see if it backed up the idea of a late season fade. If the stats don't show it, maybe it's nothing. I would point out that Grant must have seen something, and maybe the summer heat led to Gallardo failing to hit a midseason groove, rather than making him decline. But overall, looks like it's probably nothing.

With that said, I had literally forgotten how recently Gallardo was good. 2015 isn't long ago. The last time Felix was an ace, so was Yovani. In fact the King only beat him out by 0.4 WAR according to B-ref. Then they both spent 2016 mediocre and injured, and now we're here. Now in some ways that's a false equivalency, cuz prime Felix is 10x the pitcher prime Gallardo was... but I can see how Jerry could think it's worth betting on a minor comeback this year. He's only 31. The bar for 2 WAR isn't high, from a starter with a durable arm. So to answer your following comment, I think that's the case for him right now. Not that what he's currently doing is good, because right now he looks exactly like Carlos Silva. It's that he's not too far removed from being quite good, and maybe his velo and movement come back just enough for him to be decent.

Now that the devil has been advocated for, I'll try to stop defending him. Definitely the weakest link on the roster, no argument there. Just maybe not as 100% hopeless as he looks.


Two tennis players, an interesting volley make.  Anytime we've got one Taro betting the "pass" on a Felix, the conversation is geometrically more interesting.

My narrative on Gallardo is:

1) Pre-2015, red flags all over the place

2) All-Star Break 2015, bug hits the windshield

3) 2016, confirms all the worst fears

A year-and-a-half, that's like Dr. D's lifetime in pitcher years.  True that Gallardo was real good in May 2015* but my narrative doesn't fit.  ;- )  Hopefully yours does amigo!


As Sherm and others have said, Gallardo was pretty good not too long ago... and maybe it isn't "entitlement" but "veteran-been-there/done that" that Dipoto is counting on. Plus, Ruiz will probably catch for him, so a couple veterans using guile and knowledge against a fairly "easy" schedule for a 5th starter.

Game 1 - in Anaheim, marine air and at best middle of the road offense

Game 2- home vs. Astros, marine air and lots of young / aggressive hitters

Game 3- home vs. Marlins, marine air and the MARLINS

Game 4- in Oakland, marine air, and the A's

Game 5- in Cleveland... it might snow

Game 6- home vs. Rangers, marine air,

Game 7- in Philadelphia... it's the Phillies..

There may be hope!!!

Of course, if he is toast, this will prove it quick too. 



Your thought-provoking comments provided us with an easy-to-write and (to me) interesting article.  We ought to cut you a royalties check.


Every start is going to have me chipping my teeth, especially in view of the tantalizing depth JeDi has going.  Ah well.  ... hey, when did we gain the ability to put Mitch Haniger avatars up?!


To do that for sure.

Picture feature has been there in the profile, I just hasn't tried it before. 


Has him this spring with a 92 4-seam with low movement, 82 Change with extremely high swing and miss and GB tendency, 75 curve with extremely high swing and miss and FB tendency.

I said in the shout he could be fools gold, but he has earned it more than anyone.  It seems like there may be something there.

Can anyone make a case for Gallardo anymore?

Miranda not making it as a reliever, I thought that was the preference anyway.  If he's going to continue to be a reliever, I'd love a 95+ lefty in the pen.  But we are working on the 5 man lefty rotation of 2019, aren't we?   I'd rather see him starting in AAA than pushed into a role temporarily.  I'd rather see him #5 for that matter. 

Taro's picture

Is that correct?? Is he sitting 92 mph? 

That would be a 4 mph gain on his fastball and make him one of the top 10 hardest throwing LH starters in the game.

Can't be right, but a gain at anywhere near that level would definetly make him worth a look as he was considered mainly a control/changeup low upside lefty in the minors.


1.  If Overton DOES get two MPH back he is REALLY a watcher.

2.  Love Wishhiker's description of (and facts on) the three separate pitches.

If I were you Wish I'd stick on this one.  Looks like it could be a good call.

Electrokrakenjr's picture

If your looking for stuff it's Pazos all the way, but he's had easily the worst spring if the bunch. Overtons been pretty good and he looks like a much better pick up than I thought it was originally. Hagadones had the best spring numbers wise and has the most success in the bigs. I think I'd go Hagadone, Overton, Pazos in that order. Also, on a side note, anyone else notice Casey Fien has k'd 16 in 9.2 innings this spring? That's crazy.


We count 4 assertions of which 3 are krakin' and the fourth (Hagadone) I guess is true too, right?

Hadn't noticed Fien's strikeouts.  Huh.  His pitches haven't looked like it from here, but if them's the facts.  And the M's right now have little depth at righty RHP, so Fien looks like he's probably in there Opening Day.


Did you guys see Dipoto's remark about Tony Zych?  "Threw 20 fastballs and 16 hit the mitt."  Guess his bicep replacement surgery involved a donation from Dennis Eckersley.


Poor Zych... of course I took Dipoto's comment that the catcher could only catch 16 of the 20 pitches.


I suppose it makes sense.  I suppose.  But I'm not sure I quite see it.

Oh well, Overton was tough tonight and Tacoma could have a rotation that is a ball to watch.

Freeman at 1B today...I wonder if we keep him up...with the knowledge that you might lose him when he gets replaceed and goes down.


Makes more sense than a 13th arm.  There will be plenty of fight for 1b/DH play in AAA without Freeman being there.

Not sure you need long relief with 13 pitchers. But with ?? starters potentially vying for a spot in Tacoma's 5, the 8th penman might be the AAA starter who seems the least likely to break into the rotation down the road.

I realized I forgot Cody Martin last time I listed them so I double checked this time and recalled another.  The list forAAA rotation







7De Jong



No, Bergman doesn't seem to have earned the call-up.  He probably is long relief in Tacoma anyway. 

Seattle Sports Outsider's picture

They are prepping Miranda to take over the 5th slot when Gallardo does down with an "ailment" early in the season.


i recall early in the offseason when Dipoto said he felt the M's were 10-11 deep in starting pitching and people we're up in arms ringing their hands over the stretch that would be, struggling to think of even 7... look at us now.


quickly if we're talking MLB depth.  Maybe sill potential depth because you never know.  They've all got to pitch somewhere though

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

Spell Miranda being sent down to Tacoma as a starter: "f-l-e-x-i-b-i-l-i-t-e-e-e".

It's a key part of DePoet's mantra of success.

Miranda can be up in a mouse blink (before a quick sprint across your kichen floor) from Rainierland to grab a start - from any SP on the staff who is ailing in Seattle - not just to step in for Gayartdough.

They still want him as a starter, and filling a spot in the afterwards 8 is not their hope at this time.

Yes, that will be an interesting bunch of starters in Tacoma, with two year olds going against older horses.

It is still ST, denizens.  Save your sabr rattling for Gallardo's fourth start, he might just surprise you.

Heston is probably the one topping the put up or shut up list.  They will know after two starts if he has located his pre-injury arm.

8th BP arm?

More likely a last minute acquisition of a defensive minded first baseman.




A treat as always Zoom.  You, not the real Zoom.

Small followup Q if we may?  "Flexibility" and "layering," for sure with dee poet.  But these particular 5 SP's?  With which one of them do you have any flexibility?  Rick Griffin's hammy leans, I guess.

Struck me as odd to have 2 SP's on a mouse-scamper's notice, considering all SP's are etched in stone.  Not going to yank Drew Smyly based on a bad April or May.


Not to counter ya.  dee poet may simply love layering for layering's sake.  's cool.


Gallardo is etched in stone, right up until he isn't. 

I bet we see this guy yanked at some point in a way that makes our heads spin. Unless of course JeDi's original dice roll, the hunch which led to him being on the roster (sunk cost is sunk cost, but Jerry prefers THIS sunk cost to various others), actually leads to a resurgent season for Yovani - in which case of course all bets are off. But if we assume for a minute that Yovani is LESS likely to pay off (vs field), then the day comes when he is powerflushed to Tacoma. My guess is that we don't* see it coming. The guy can throw the rock forever; durability isn't the question. It's whether we WANT him eating those innings... because we don't want him blemishing too many along the way.

So if Gallardo is more dribbled ink on paper (pencil scratchings on a napkin?) in my book, then having a second SP ready to go YESTERDAY is simple sense. Kuma, Felix, Paxton, Smyly... the hope is that all four have long, healthy, productive seasons. But odds are someone gets hurt. And chances are someone isn't what they should be. Two irons in the fire may be less about yanking Smyly, and more about covering one's backside in case of A.) general mayhem (loved those ads!) and B.) the expected shelf life of one Mr. Gallardo.

* I mean of course we'll have an inkling, but I'm thinking Jerry is looking at stuff specifically that would lead him to pull a trigger before the general public is ready to say 'in or out' definitively, at least based on on-field results.


Thanks Corran. You just made the other half of my argument, the half that I didn't articulate nearly as well as you did.

I just don't see why this team is married to Gallardo. Other teams, with other management, would have already signed the prenup. But this is Jerry most-trades-in-a-calendar-year Dipoto we're talking about. The man who, as Karl Rove would say, is a "known unknown." The only thing you can say for sure about Jerry is that he will make roster moves, he'll make them when you weren't expecting them, and no one is safe. If that's true of Taijuan Walker, why wouldn't it be true of Yovani Gallardo?

He's even telegraphing his hand by keeping Miranda fully stretched out, instead of throwing 95 in the major league pen. Dribbled ink indeed.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

King Corron just covered my concern ... namely, injury rather than ineptness.

I seem to think that has occured previously in M's history ... such as every year with Paxton, Kuma's trip down a rabbit hole, felix and his fevers, plus Tampa traded Smyly because of his 16 season.



It smells to me like we're showing off Miranda as starter-trade stuff.

Povse-Moore-et al can cover call up needs, if that's the case.

Will have to pay attention to Overton.  Know nothing about him.  

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