I/O: Fifth scout says, it's about how the fringe guys progress. "There's more there" on Casey Kotchman, and LF could come through.
Crunch: That'll do for us too.
Zduriencik has indeed created a Moneyball offense in lieu of the legit marquee talent that he plans to install as time goes on. Byrnes, Bradley, Garko, etc are question marks, but this year they're not deadwood. They're question marks with vitality to them.
I agree with the scouts' consensus, that the platoon guys and health questions and "fringe guys" are the swing votes on the 2010 season.
I/O: Sixth scout says, they need too much to go their way. But they could very easily acquire a big 1B thumper, and then it's a different question.
Crunch: Young Frankensteen couldn'a said it better hisself.
I/O: Seventh and ninth scout says, Griffey might be the key.
Crunch: meaning, that he thinks The Natural could capture the magic for one more go-round.
His EYE is still around 1.0. Last year, The Natural had a lot of his best shots caught on the warning track (or in front of the warning track) too often.
Griffey supposedly never got in synch last year, because of the indecision and late start on the season. Then he overdid it in the NL parks and the knee was never right again.
If Dr. Naka's theory about bodyfat holds true, maybe the weightloss, the "normalized" BABIP, and fast start to the year could create one more .260/.380/.500 season.
We say .260/.380/.500 because last year in Safeco, Junior hit .268/.382/.548. On the road his BABIP was .186.
We begin to lose a bit of proportion here, though. Griffey doesn't figure to get 500 AB's. He's only going to be able to do so much in 300 AB's, and even if he did get 500 AB's, he's going to take them from Milton Bradley.
Is it too soon to ask about Milton Bradley playing first base? Hey, Jack Hannahan's catching, right?
I/O: Eighth scout says, "biggest range of won-loss in the league" and if Wakamatsu manages the lineup real well, the M's "are the easy favorites."
Crunch: That's scout-speak for, I could see them having a big year and dominating the AL West, but don't quote me. They could crash and burn, too.
=== Dr's Diagnosis ===
The scouts obviously have a keen feel for what's going on in Seattle:
- Y1 ... 102 losses
- Y2 ... surprising 85 wins, way over Pythag
- Y3 ... "Powerhouse" is asking a whale of a lot
The M's definitely do not have the offense they want, but if Zduriencik in Materiel and Wakamatsu in Customer Service can keep Rocky's lineup face butterfly-bandaged together, a big year is a realistic goal.
It is indeed those swing votes in the 1B, C, LF, DH slots that will be the pivot point in April and May.
Let's play two,