10 days ago, Ryan Cook and Justin De Fratus were the two guys at the head of the line. No options, can't send 'em to Tacoma. The M's chatter was that the M's would have other guys -- those with options left -- pitching in Tacoma for lurking purposes. It is a very good sign that Jerry DiPoto will admit a mistake (sic) sooner rather than later and will plump for a Stefen Romero over a Justin Montero if that's what he deems beneficial to the M's won-loss record.
Oh. Also, Evan Scribner was one of the first three in line, owing to his 9,142:1 strikeout walk ratio. The mopup-pitcher scenario has transmogrified like Calvin stepping out from under a cardboard box.
Dr. D is pleased at the release of Justin De Fratus. Why? Here is the POTD he grokked on Jan. 2. Wait. January 2 timestamp?! That means I wrote it at 1 a.m. after New Year's Day. No wonder I was sour. (No, not sour enough to wish ill on De Fratus. He is still taller, richer, and better-looking than you, and he has been released early enough to keep playin' in the bigs this year.) Point is: tomorrow's news today, babe. Question the Mainframe at your peril.
Having reviewed the Jan. 2 POTD, you'll obviously be wanting as many RP groks as you can lay your eager little hands on. Here is the one on Jonathan Aro. Likewise on Joel Peralta. We've even got one on Joe Wieland. Of course you can find POTD's on Zych every other week.
Today's Baseball Dorking Moment: why would an otherwise responsible man sit at his monitor and type up "analyses" on Joe Wieland and Joel Peralta. Well, if the Red Sox ever DO ask us, we want to be ready. Been ready since 1995. We're expecting their e-mail in time for the Nate Karns decision.
Shannon Drayer gives the following 10 RHP left standing:
• Jonathon Aro
• Casey Coleman
• Mayckol Guaipe
• Cody Martin
• Blake Parker
• Joel Peralta
• Donn Roach
• Adrian Sampson
• Joe Wieland
• Tony Zych
Ten days ago, the M's were saying quite a bit about "March stats don't matter for relievers. We go by track records." Ten days later, everybody with a track record is well-and-truly jettisoned, and the M's quasi-internal media representative is emphasizing 4-IP stats for us. I looooov eeeeet.
What happens next? Tony Zych's 2015 form was dazzling enough that his 2016 incarnation gets to wear shades. If Nate Karns begins the year as swing man - Dr. D gingerly slides the chances of this from 20% to 40% - then you've got 9-to-make-1. Selecting 1 pitcher out of a pool of 9? This seems like a robust enough bowl of spaghetti to Dr. D, notwithstanding the M's murmuring and complaining "boy, look how quick you run into trouble down here."
Does the attrition of Justin De Fratus and Ryan Cook mean that our GM has double the pressure to go get a reliever? It doesn't increase the pressure even 2%. De Fratus and Cook were nonissues when they got here and they are nonissues now. Only difference is, people have come to grok that they are nonissues.
If the M's were wringing their hands over the thin-ness of the bullpen ... um, would they have cut Justin De Fratus just now? ... Do you cut a perfectly serviceable mediocrity --- > when you are worried about depth, or do you cut him when you are NOT worried about depth?
Oh yeah. Dr. D hasn't issued his apology on Charlie Furbush. Youse guys tried to tell us. We completely forgot that the M's votes of confidence should not provoke confidence. They should provoke a screaming run out into the night. so .... you keep right on quoting regulations, Lieutenant.
That said, of course Dr. D agrees that this team's weakest link is its relief pitching. That's like "agreeing" that the Blazers' frontcourt is weaker than their backcourt. I'm warming to Moe Dawg's suggestion of dealing Seth Smith. He creates the "cap" room and although Seth Smith is a verry VERY nice guy, he is not Lou Gehrig. Neither is he Adam Lind, if you want to know the truth.
I'd rather play with [a Tony Sipp type plus Boog Powell] than with [Seth Smith and Joe Wieland]. Defense and baserunning included, Powell may help the team as much as Smith already in 2016. So why not redeploy the $6M if you're losing games in the bullpen?
SSI has zero interest in handicapping Aro vs Peralta vs Wieland vs Whoever for the 12th pitcher role. SSI has plenty of interest in watching to see which one of these guys pitches with impact. Adds some sparkle to the practice games.