M's 5, Reds 2
some guys can catch 140, 145. Can Zuumball?


Quickly, because Dr. D is kinda tired, but the Reds game had lotsa innerestin' stuff:


MIKE FORD laced two ringing doubles, one down the LF line the other way against the shift.  Ford's play this spring COULD add a bit of credibility to the Mariners' "threat" to start the season with him at 1B, and then to platoon him at 1B with Ryon Healy.  The point, of course, would be to get the Yankees (who have absolutely no use for him) to accept a minimal return so we can stash him in AAA.


DAN VOGELBACH is merely 10-for-20 with 6 (!!) walks vs. 1 strikeout and on TV they were talking about a 4-man rotation leading to a Ford/Vogelbach platoon at 1B.

Personally I just play Vogelbach at first.  When "35 HR" Healy is good and ready to play, late April, it's a killer platoon.  Vogelbach's ceiling, that of a Kevin Youkilis .300/.400/.500 wrecking ball, has not been ruled out.  Let's see Dipoto/Servais call one of these right, what say?

Whether it's up or down on Vogelbach (or Ford or Healy) I'd just be happy to see them get a call right on a good AAA position player.


ARIEL MIRANDA did indeed throw his secondary stuff with more conviction.  The HR he gave up was on an objectively good pitch, down and in to Marosco, but perhaps subjectively dumb in that this may well be a hot spot for Morasco.


DEE GORDON easily chucked a runner out at home.  Was not even close, as the one at 3B a couple days ago wasn't.

On Bob Dutton's Twitter feed you can see a nice .gif of it and if you roll through his feed to 3 days ago you can also see the one where he gunned down a runner trying to take 3B.  Both were on balls coming in; Gordon's not going to run down a ball in the gap, whirl, and fire somebody out.  But then few people outside of Bo Jackson are going to do that.

Tossing a second baseman out there to play deep CF, it's important to see that he can race in with sprinter's speed and nail runners trying to take advantage of him.  Whoo hoo!  :- ) 


GIL HEREDIA has a weird-and-wonderful combination that few players have:

(1) He swings out of his shoes every time he pulls the trigger.  He loses his balance after almost every swing.  Man, does he fire that bat.

(2) He can start a swing, hold up, and take a pitch juuuuuust off the plate.  As you know, his strike zone component stats are excellent.

If Heredia is actually an elite outfielder defensively, he has a real chance to be a poor man's Paul Blair.


Lance Lynn and his crazy xFIP/ERA split to Minny for a 1 year, $12 mill "pillow" contract?  Says to me that Jerry Dipoto simply did not like his 81% + fastball approach and didn't want him at any price.


Dr. D doesn't see GORDON BECKHAM as a backup shortstop, not in his 30's.  There was a routine soft grounder to his right and he charged (slowly) and then FIRED a throw over to first -- which had trouble covering the distance, hitting the 1B shin high and 4 feet to his left.

So what's Andrew Romine's career slash?  .238/.294/.307, which, as you know Dr. D hates being cranky, is a dead ringer for Craig Reynolds' slash line in the Mariners' debut season, 1977.  Gotta get 150 games out of Jean Segura, Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano.  No Ben Zobrist around to help 'em out.


MIKE MARJAMA is a pretty cool player as a scrub but it got me to wondering:  how many games can Mike Zunino catch?  Let's see:

In 2017, Buster Posey caught 140 games for the Giants and got 568 AB's.  Yadier Molina had 136 games and 543 AB's.  Much more conventional last year was for good catchers to go 120-129 games, as you can see from clicking the link.  Zunino himself had 124 games despite the 3-week break in AAA.  Gary Sanchez only had 122 games though he had 525 AB's.

In 2016, Posey again caught 146 while Molina did 147 and Lucroy had 142.  The Royals super catcher, Salvador Perez, had 139 but here the convention was 125-135.

If Mike Zunino is now the player we hope he is -- and BaseballHQ thinks he is -- well, he's here for 2018, 2019, 2020 doing his .500 or even .550 slugging bit and then he's gone to somebody who has $150 million bucks.  Dr. D says ride him for all he's worth, avoiding of course a decline in his play due to overuse.



Dr D




Zunino had 136 games, 480 PA with 2 PA at DH and 4 as PH.  First I'd have been happy with an extension there in the off-season.  Second, I'd like to see those PA at DH rise in the next 3 (+) years.  If Cruz isn't retained for 2019 there's the possibility of productive platoons at DH/1b with Vog/Ford Vs RHP and Zunino/Healy Vs LHP.  That's made all the easier if Ford is playing some LF/RF Vs tough RHP to give Haniger/ Heredia breaks.  If you're waiting to decide on Cruz but don't manage to retain all 3 you may have done yourself disservice.  It sucks not getting to see Healy but Ford and Vog already both look worthy of roster space. 

I'm still sky high on Heredia.  I think he can still develop and potentially quite a bit more after only 950 PA in the states.  He was 25.5 when he started pro ball here and just turned 27 at the end of January.  27 with experience.  He isn't what he is yet, 'ya know?  Not in a year and a half marked with injuries. 

I'd go with defense for the sub with this lineup and that seems to be Romine.  I told my 6 year old daughter she may not get to see her favorite, Taylor Motter, much anymore.  At least she likes Haniger, Cruz, Cano, Heredia and enjoyed Dee's SB and defense Saturday.  But that would be the one thing other than a 2-3 SP I'd be on the hunt for this team is a super sub.

Dee has not been perfect on routes but he's otherwise doing nearly everything right.  Backing up throws properly and throwing to the right base along with everything else already seems almost natural.  I have an inkling that it's only a matter of when he becomes smooth at it all that he'll be fighting for more defensive hardware.  He really could put up an elite year or a few in CF.


Gordon:  I remain surprised that there were folks (not here, of course) who thought the Gordan in CF "assignment" was risky, or even folly. The guy can fly, by all accounts he is smart, he probably played some CF way back in HS, and it is clear that he has a Sisyphusian work ethic.  At worst, he was going to be an OK CF and a better than OF LF. Giving credit where it is due:  Dipoto couped the baseball world on this one.

Ford: Really quiet at the plate, very discerning eye, quick bat, decent pop.  That's a pretty good recipe base to cook up a pretty good hitter.

Romine:  He'll do.  

Other guys?

Zunino:  There is some anecdotal evidence that the wear and tear of 140 games behind the plate, season after season, saps a guy's power.  Look no further than Buster Posey.  Over the past 6 seasons, basically uninjured, his HR totals have been 24, 15, 22, 19, 14, 12.  His 2B's totals have seen no hit and he's still a .300 guy, but there is a power element to his game that seems to have been sapped.  On the other hand, Gary Carter didn't see much, if any, power drain, and he caught a million games.  But seeing that Zunino's game is predicated on pop, 130 games behind the plate will do just fine.

Heredia:  You had me at "Paul Blair!"  Well, not really, but it is a good line.  He is a fine gloveman, but there are still concerns about his game.  He raked in the Cuban league as a 20-year old, but was unspecial, or worse, at 21 and 22. He had a great eye in AA, but he's walked just 68 pts in AAA and 73 in two big-league seasons.  Zunino's walk rate in the bigs is 71 pts, and he's not known as an eye guy.  In 950 AA/AAA/MLB PA's, our Cuban has hit just 11 HR's and 32 doubles.  He has been a .300 hitter in the minors, but (injury or not) he's still just a .249 hitter in Seattle.  If a guy is gong to swing from his heels every time, it would be nice if he wears out the cheap seats or hits .290.  Oh, remember to remember that Heredia has been Brendan Ryan-esque vs. RHP.  I know that I'm the outlier on Heredia, but I still just see the lesser part of a platoon.  He'll have his days, but over the course of a season, he remains (at least, in my addled mind) still a "Blah!" C'mon kid, prove me wrong.

4-man rotation and Vogs + Ford:  It doesn't work for very long.  We open on the 29th (an ESPN night game), have the 30th off, play on the 31st and April 1st and then have the 2nd off.  So you could come back on the 3rd with your Opening Day guy very easily.  We play on the 4th and the 5th, then the 6th is off. Then we play 5 days in a row. You could start 4 different guys for your 1st 8 games, all on 5 days rest...but then it gets hard.  Keeping Vogelbach and Ford for Opening Day is predicated on Healy still being dinged or Ford being able to OF it a bit. That would mean we don't keep Heredia up.  I have been pretty vocal about how we've not given Vogs a shot, despite paying top dollar for him, and that I like his stuff.  And I can't see how Ford's approach doesn't translate to big league production.  I would say it's a fair bet that BOTH, given the whacks, would top Healy's 102 OPS last season.  Of course, Healy does bring a 3B glove, too, as well as the 132 from the season prior.  Healy was a .853 vR guy as a freshman, but only .717 last season  (.886/.873 vL).   I would bet that we get Ford in trade, starting him in Tacoma.  

Lance Lynn:  When doesn't the guy run out 3 WAR seasons?  At $12 million, this is a total garage find for the Twins.  Didn't know he threw 80% percent fastballs.  Man, I want him just so Moore can watch that.

Moustakas: Passed up the $17 million QO for about 1/2 that.  Find a new agent.


or being HBP twice in the same forearm in a week, Heredia had a .667 OPS Vs RHP in 217 PA last year which began when he had only half a season in the states. 

They were just saying yesterday that Brian Price of the Reds prefers a 5 man bench, in a league where pitchers get changed for offensive reasons.  If the M's want to they can stick to a 4 man bench.  It's just that they've said repeatedly they don't want to.  Unfortunately for everyone their bench roster options just don't support carrying only 3 for long stretches anyway. Square peg meet round hole...

Healy has a 3b glove behind glass labeled "break in case of emergency"

Lucroy also turned down 3x7m deal and eventually got 1x6.5m.  I don't know about you but I'd rather play in Colorado than Oakland.  Lynn is 14m if he does as they hope. 


Dipoto has one collected one whale of a dynamic young position player set.  Why he refuses to complete the ballclun with one more TOR is anybody’s guess.. 


Zunino is one of the few catchers that looks like he was born for catching.
Stumpy, built like a brick house, etc.
The guy is 6'2", but he looks relatively small.

Not necessarily the case with Posey... Or Mauer, or any number of other catchers.

Jpax's picture

Why do we think Lynn would have come here?  He turned us down as a 3rd round he drafted and went to college.  There may very well be bad blood between him and the Mariners?


Basically all have the Twins as a better team as well.  But you could be right about that. 

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.