Think Tank on the 25-Man Roster
can we get a mousepad with our utility infielder on it?



After Opening Day, the over/under on first pitching move is what.  April 8?  And if Gamel goes down, he'll be up very shortly.  Most teams have 28-man rosters; this one will have about a 32-man roster.

For the players being First Pick is very important. For them, "breaking camp with the big club" is almost like a red carpet movie open, glitz and glam and hors d'oeuvres and autographs.  Wait...

For you and me, we'd just as soon the Mariners come out of the gate quickly against Houston and Texas and co.  But, in the big picture, that first bus ride isn't going to be something we remember in June.  Got to admit we'd rather be 3-1 after Houston than 0-4.  Which leads us to:



What's next on bullpen spelling degree of difficulty?  A U of Hawaii nose tackle?

Dr. D has a good impression of 2nd Scrabble.  (Yes, we spelled Kiekhefer wrong in the title.  As y'know, we live to ... bait LrKrBoi29.)  IFF, math majors if and only if, he is used as a LOOGY.  Which Scott Servais expressly said he was:


"He has a track record of getting the lefties out," Servais said. "Not so much a length guy because the righties are not his strength. He knows that. He knows who he is.

"He is a pitch-maker, and he throws strikes with the breaking ball as well as the fastball. There’s a reason we’ve kept him in camp. We like what we see."


As you know, Truth consists of what Scott Servais and the Mainframe agree on.  One hitter left on left, Kierkegaard is perfectly fine with us on Opening Day to protect a lead.

Also agree with the Skip that James Pazos "has a bright future."  Operative word being "future."  And don't listen when people write stats about pitchers and age-arcs and projections based off age.  Pitchers add a pitch, change an arm slot, stuff like that, if you hadn't noticed.  Odd that Mariners fans wouldn't have noticed lefties who figure things out late.

If the M's take Pazos, that's a plus too, given who is calling shots these days.  It would be a Mariners statement that Pazos has made adjustments satisfactory to their "don't walk guys" patronage.  Or, it's a statement that they don't want to cut any of those two guys on the 40-man that you don't know the names of.

And furthermore, relievers can walk 4 guys if they strike out 11.


Importantly, Servais used Zip for one lefty hitter against the Reds.  (check me on that.)  AWESOME.  The higher Zip's percentage of lefty matchups, the happier Dr. D will be.   SUDDEN THOUGHT WHAT IF THAT'S WHY THE 12TH MAN IN THE BULLPEN


Oh yeah.  Here is a video of Kiekhefer's grace and class in a 1-run game.

No, you'll like this one better.  He really throws like this, from what we've seen.  Not bad, eh.   STOP AND WATCH THE VIDEO

Kiekhefer has pitched to 46 MLB left hand batters and has allowed a 586 OPS with a 12:3 control ratio.  46 is not oodles but it is way, way different than 0.  Is 0 even a number, Matt?  Maybe it's like the square root of -1, a symbol that makes formulas work, rather than an amount.  There is a parable in there somewhere about minor league RP's who have to pitch on Opening Day.

Right now he is Dr D's pick of the litter as a specialty LOOGY.  If you must have a huge flotilla of relievers, that is.



Diaz, Altavilla, Vincent, Scribner.  And Casey Fien is in there.  All good pitchers behind Diaz, but ... the more you look at it, which one do you want in the 8th inning on Opening Day against Houston?

As far as Fien rising to the "top," the top being literally the 11th pitcher on the ballclub.  I don't "get" him yet but also have nothing against him ... yet.  Who would be the last guy?  Servais said Zych has "run out of time" for his ramp-up routine.

Divish had a good line on Twitter.  Salk:  But still.  Who's the 8th arm?  Divish:  "Who GM's the Mariners again?"  HEH



We were in the drivethru and I asked Cindy, befuddled, "Do YOU have any idea why they go with more and more and more relievers?"  She shrugged, "Sounds like they don't trust any of them.  Do you want a McDouble in your 2 for $2.50." 

Joking.  It could also have something to do with 15 maxx-maxx effort pitches like benching 450 pounds.  Here's the thing on Heredia, hereafter referred to as The Presumed 4th Outfielder.  I totally spaced out that they cut 'Bach.  So they can have both a 12th righty out of the bullpen AND they can have a 4th outfielder.  Had gotten into vaporlock about 2 slots for 1B.

IMPORTANT NOTICE did you catch JeDi's statement that Danny Valencia was his #1 out of 8 targets this winter?  Ahead of Smyly, ahead of everybody.


So they can use Jar-Rod as a late-game weapon off the bench, down 2-1.  And they can sub him in when Boomstick starts a game, when up 2-1.  And they can pinch-hit Motter and/or Heredia.

Blowers said the Gamel/Heredia decision would probably be made while standing in line for the bus to the airplane north.  Well, that's splicing two of his comments.

There's also a grassroots movement on SSI for Freeman, right?  Keep it peaceful.  We prosecute violent protesting here.  Well, unless I personally see the  need for it, of course.  SSI, your bile-free debate safe zone.



Woulda been nice to see Cliff Lee in the followup start.  'twas not to be.  There's no F/X data but there is 3 BB, 1 K, 3 HR and Smyly's charming post-game sentiment "I couldn't throw the ball in the same place twice."

(1) Aces also have off days, so.  (2) Drew Smyly the Former is very, very cool by Dr. D.  (3) Maybe he's chipping at the ice, ready to put up sensational starts here and there, which will become more frequent.  (4) Word is still that Smyly's velo is up.

But in fairness, if Smyly had suddenly become Cliff Lee, you'd have expected a few Reds to be crisped in the tail of that WBC comet.



He's very cool.  Just in terms of Fair and Balanced:  here's a situation where you really hit that "Spring Stats Don't Matter" aspirin hard.  Good on him, and the M's are essentially using him as TWO bench players.  But Dr. D's expectations are nice and low.

Love the kid.  Here's to a hair flip in the Houston series.


Dr D



Than people expected.  Or, more countries involved in the wars.

Two lefties.  Well I believe in the effectiveness of the different and Kiekhefer looks very different.  Doesn't look easy to control all that movement.  Most of my horses aren't in the race anymore anyway.  I do like Pazos a lot if he can make that small improvement.  97 from the left side is hard not to.

If Zych is too late maybe Simmons is not.  Both could be in by the first homestead, hard to be certain from here. 

I figured the Freeman thoughts were mostly about him getting 1b reps in the spring.  Guessing at team thinking rather than preferring personally.  'Tweren't my suggestion though.

Maybe I'm relatively alone in not seeing it in Gamel.  Guillermo, for me, has my faith as a PH.  As a PR.  As a starter or defensive replacement in any OF spot.  Does Ben Gamel have all of that for you?  Does Heredia not?

I figured Smyly just jumped from the sweat lodge to the ice pool.   I'm giving him a minute.  Nobody is used to pitching in the playoffs then going to a MiL park next week.  I'm not disappointed by the bounce after that.  Still hopeful that the Game against Venezuela was a preview of how he'd pitch in the postseason.  Amped up with a crowd.  Like Felix at the end of his Perfecto.  It's romantic and maybe too hopeful, but it still sounds good to me.  He'll have some shutouts by mid-May at least, or I'll start to worry. It's still Paxton, Felix, Smyly and Diaz' firebreathers I'm looking forward to seeing in the playoffs.

I'm liking what I've seen of Motter and haven't read otherwise anywhere.


Kewl visual.  And a good point.  Lot of athletes need the weather, the adrenaline, etc.  Good reminder.  (Cliff Lee didn't but the Lee parable was always playing fast-and-loose with the comparison.)

Minor update - think Dutton said Simmons had a setback, but Zych and Cishek were making unexpected progress.


If someone thinks the M's will snag someone off waivers, I challenge you.  Who comes off the 40-man?  Even if your answer is that they'll trade to make room.  Who gets traded off the 40-man then? 


j/k.  Here's the 40-man roster.  Agree with Kraken's three, from a casual distance.

Seems pretty clear that Dipoto has a couple of pitcher slots at #39, #40 that can be swapped at will for guys like Kiekhefer, Scribner, whichever name he's in the mood for that day.  Which is cool.


If, for example, the Mariners picked up a guy like Joe Nathan, I'd expect Tuffy Gosewich to be DFA'd hoping he sneaks through waivers.


With Steve Baron next in line if he doesn't clear them.  

With 23 pitchers on the 40 man after the first 12 (including Simmons, Cishek, Zych) the next 11 are pretty close in talent and readiness.  Finding someone on waivers that's clearly above them will not be as easy as most years.  I just can't pick a pitcher who's that bottom guy.  Usually it's clear.  In this case I think a trade to free up a spot is what makes the most sense.  Someone's still looking for an arm and there's 3 coming back very shortly.

In fact, what's the hurry when 3 guys you'd project above those 11 are already here 1-2 weeks away?  O'Malley is in the same boat, should there be roster shuffle to get another Util?  Hold your horses and your bullets.  We're stocked up, should be full strength about the first Safeco series.  Home opener is day 9 so 10 day DL puts them right in the middle of that series.  Potentially all 3 arms but even 1 would be nice, wouldn't it?  I don't see cause for action. 


Have provided some interesting reading.  :- )   Still searching for the slam-dunk memory.  Almost had it with the song M-A-Y-E-R but then went back and the 'net had the logo MAYER including the company domain name.  Did it switch back on me?  ;- )

Agree with Wish below (as usual these days) that you'd need a reliable guy to replace Tuffy.  And "TUFFY GOSEWISCH" makes a ballclub just for the nameplate on the locker.  I think there was a guy by that name on the 1931 A's.

9 hard, because it depends on what we get back. However unlikely, we could see other than an RP go if it brought back the right guy. Maybe we don't need* Gamel and Heredia both with Boog Powell in the wings; maybe we get an offer for one of them we can't refuse. Too many options here.

That said I don't see much happening on waiver claims at this point. We've GOT to be close to the 'let's see what we have' stage, even for JeDi. What we have now makes enough sense as set to not try it out a bit.

GregfromSpokane's picture

I question the need for this. You have all these off days early in the season right? That would seem to mitigate the need for extra

pitchers, wouldn't it? And aren't extra arms just a bus ride away in Tacoma? Espescially with 3 of your "regular" relievers

starting out on the DL. Seems like you're keeping your 11th best relieveer vs. a guy like Gamel who could give you extra

defense//offense late in a game. If you burn out your bullpen in one game, dial 1-800-Mix-a-lot and bring up some fresh guys

the next day. ;-)


we would all prefer that.  I don't even think they'll need that extra arm. 

Gamel just keeps getting on base.  I may be coming around a bit.

The Mariners do start with 4 games in Houston, 3 in Anaheim and 3 more against Houston at home before their first off day though.  7 games against a division rival who can also be expected to compete for best offense in the majors.  It's actually an offense that I can understand carrying an extra pitcher for.

Astros Lineup


The idea of an 8-Man pen for the first couple of weeks JUST because we have 7 games against that booming Houston lineup.  

Worth considering whether Dipoto is thinking that way.

Electrokrakenjr's picture

Im not a fan of the idea, or of the 8 man pen in general. You would only trade for a pen arm to fill out the 8 at this point. And there's 3 high quality arms on their way back in before May. Casey Fien can't hurt that much for that long. I like him actually. He reminds me alot of Vincent and Scribner, low 90's guys with great k/bbs but too many homers. With Dyson's hammy looking iffy I think it would be wise to bring both Gamel and Heredia. But the 8 man pen idea boils down to you having to keep your bench short to accommodate Jonathan Aro? Or trade for someone who probably won't help as much as Zych, Simmons or Cishek? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. But hey, I've been wrong before. Lots of times. Most times actually.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

I want a proven first baseman who can play every day or DH on Boomstick's off days.

I will trade any two, or even three of these depending on what other team is trading whom:

L. Martin, Mirabella, Powell, Gamel, Cishek (coming off injury he could be a "steal" for the right team), Valencia, Vincent (Scribner duplicates him, and I keep Scribner), Baron, or Bologna.

Any trade would involve at least a minue one on the M's 40 man.

Dyson plays nearly every day, although doesn't necessarily start.

Got to free up some space with wings overloaded with potential buffalo.



Is XMas day for Dr. D.  Any time, any place.  Was Drew Smyly the last such?  Stars & Scrubs baby.  Consolidate that #38-40 slot into a #9 roster slot and then simply manufacture #38-40 players again.


Interesting that a man with your feel for the dugout has Martin and Valencia on there.  But 'tis true that Dipoto is starting to generate a Pete Carroll-type vibe for ruthlessness.  And of course you're merely listing your own ideas.

Speaking of Carroll, a pretty unusual thing for him to throw Hauschka under the bus for "a few kicks here and there" that would (indeed) have put the Hawks into a Bye situation.


Although I might change some names.  If Dyson were the 3rd yr arb. I'd be more inclined to trade Martin but it's Dyson who is playing for a contract.  It seems Dipoto can find 5 CF in 18 months anyway.  Have at it, if it gets an All-Star in.  Heredia CF 2018.

I'd still expect you're losing at least Vieira from the prospects at the same time if not a bigger name.  Only 5 of those are on the 40man, but surely 1 or more of them would be involved as the others are not as good.  That bologna guy has good deception though.

I'm with you but I can't recall anything similar ever happening a week before a season. 

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