... And the Rest of the Outfield
for those about to rock, we salute you Dept.


SSI had not been aware that it will be Ben Gamel VERSUS Guillermo Heredia for a fourth outfield slot.  The loser figures to make the extended 29-man roster ...

Nelson Cruz counts as one of the 5 OF's because you've got your 1B platoon, your backup SS, and your backup C.  Slap me silly, four reserves is light.  But "accessed" Dutton relays that the M's consider all five outfielders to be fairly legit in center.  Can anybody name another roster that had five jardineros with significant CF experience?


Dutton's article puts the LH Ben Gamel for choice if --- > wait for it --- > Dyson wins a full-time role.  Dr. D will believe that when he sees it.  If you assume that Dyson is a 6-WAR prorated guy because he's not overexposed, then Bat571's adopt-a-player RH Guillermo Heredia is the default assumption.  So it's yer garden-variety AAA player of the year against a Cuban hotshot ... for a bench role.  Raise The Floor, baby.


The SSI Denizens tend to swing a 80%, 90% consensus on players who are Love At First Sight.  This year's imports are going to be fun to watch in March:

Mitch Haniger - 125 Speed Index, batted .402 with 11 HR in 102 at bats at PCL in July (SABRMatt gives him full Best Bet status)

Jarrod Dyson - Looks like one of the most dynamic role players in years (better be if you give 4 years of KKKarns for 1 of Dyson)

Drew Smyly - Strikeout rate is balm for Dr. D's wounds over KKKarns

Tony Zych - When healthy, there's been no Denizen who doubts him

We held James Paxton above this discussion - though not Smyly - Paxton is also going to be on a lot of roto champs' rosters in 2017.  Mike Zunino, Dan Vogelbach, Dan Altavilla and Evan Scribner are also unusually intriguing.  They're also more controversial.  But it's a dynamic camp, no?

A certain sector of SSI readers ask us to commit more often, as to what we would do as GM.  Tell you this much.  Whether the season turns out for ill or weal, this is a Stars & Scrubs spring roster that Dr. D would be blinkin' proud to field.  Couldn'a done better my ownself.  ... well, assuming I wasn't allowed a big reliever in Zip's/Gallardo's stead.






A guy over at ESPN made a simple, but profound statement (at least to me): "Breakout teams usually have breakout players."


If you give us credit for a mini-breakout after June last year (46/37) would you not give a large slice of that improvement to Electric Eddie?  So, yeah...

Which got me thinking about possibilities for this year.  There's a lot of reasonable angst about the regression in the starting rotation.  One or more will probably falter.  

But what about the other side of the equation?  Who are possible/likely breakouts?  



--Whichever of the righty flamethrowers makes the roster



--Big Vog


--And finally, is someone as old as Dyson eligible to 'breakout'?  I'm thinking if he gets the AB's, maybe he's the top candidate.

In any case, if a couple of those guys excel--even if everyone else on this list flops--I see rays of sunshine.


"Breakout teams usually have breakout players". That's a fantastic quote. Seems self-evident, but there's a whole lot of knowledge packed in that statement.

There seems to be a lot to love about the Mariner's current situation. Firstly, it's not like they're really relying on breakouts to have a good club. This team, comfortably hitting its MID scenario, seems ready to compete for a Wild Card berth into the final week again. The baseball world already sees this team coming: any teamwide "breakout" would probably lead to punching the Astros in the kidneys and stealing their division. Wouldn't that be fun to see? I wonder if Jose "C- RBI Man" Altuve will strand the clinching run on third base with 1 out?

The other great thing about our situation is that we've got so many interesting scrubs, and a Billy Bean maniac pulling the levers. All the guys you listed are solid bets, and I'd throw in Gamel and Tank as well, along with the amorphous blob of Miranda/Heston/Whalen/Overton (each is expected to provide 0 WAR this year, so 1-1.5 would be something of a breakout). Maybe they're not all the bests draws at the deck, but the beauty is we know Jerry is willing to keep ripping through draws the whole year long. With so many upside candidates surrounding the stars, I'd put my money on Jerry pulling a few minor breakouts out of the hat.


... and my favorite variation of this is the surprise contender every* year that gets surprises out of its 3-4 starters.  Seems like it happens all the time, some team with 4 SP's over 100 ERA+ that has them 10 games over on August 1.

Last year for example Cleveland went from 81-80 to 94-67 after Trevor Bauer stepped up to give them a bodacious Big Four.  In 2014, McClendon had a surprise team in Seattle when Chris Young gave a surprising 12-8, 3.65 performance and Elias/Paxton pitched well to go with Kuma and Felix.

Give you 2:1 that some 2017 team in one of the leagues has a couple no-names in the back of their rotation push them into the race.


My imoression is that if Danny Valencia is going to get 500 at bats, then he is the LF platoon with Dyson, along with backing up 1B and 3B.

In that case, Gamel and Heredia can fight for the 5TH! OF spot. Heredia being the sensible choice in this particular exercise because he can then platoon Martin out of CF against LH pitchers.

OBF's picture

I know, I know, I am harping...  Although I would like to think last year at this time when I was harping (I said Martin Leonys would be better than everyone thought and maintain a 90 ish OPS to go with stellar defense) I turned out to be right ;)

But, again, the four years of controllable years thing with Karns is a strawman argument...  If Karns was an established MLB starter, even a #5, you might have an argument...  but he isn't.  He couldn't hack it in the rotation, and he pouted in the pen, and wasn't effective there either.

He reminds me of Putz before Putz found the splitter and embraced it.  Nice, high velocity but straight and easy to read FB, with mushy and not very controlled offspeed stuff that hitter wink at until they get that middle middle fast ball...  Color me as excited about the Karns for Dyson trade, "controllable years" and all.  Let KC be frustrated watching a struggling swingman for the next few years ;)  [Sorry that was probably to harsh, Iguess Valentine's Day gets my rancor up ;) ]

Go M's and Happy Valentines day all!

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