More on the M's RF defense
stifle y'self, Dept.


Moe sez,


I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, Wish.  Really.  But if having three 85 OPS+ glovey OF's and gaining the offense elsewhere was a recipe for the playoffs then it sould have been done more often.  DiPoto isn't THAT smart.

Seager just had his career year.  Segura just had his, by a mile.  Cruz just had his 2nd best year ever.  His best was in '15.  Cano just hit a career high in HR's.  I would suggest there is more room for some drop-off than there is for improvement (or maintenance), from those 4.   I'm most confident that Seager doesn't drop much.  I am least confient that Segura stays where he was last year.  But he does give us a general offensive gain even with a drop-off.  

OK, I will leave the Haniger thing alone. Promise.  Well, mostly.  :)    I really like the kid.  I think there is a decent to better chance that he is that 100-ish OPS+ bat.  

But if he's not, we're going to lament the lack of offense from our OF, unless Gamel rips.  Or Tank. Or Valencia is in RF.  Which means we do have options.

Carry on,

Stifling myself,



Hope you DON'T stifle, Meathead.

On two counts:  (1) You could well be right.  In January, we tend to forget what a teamwide slump feels like in the middle of the year.  Monday you get shut out on three hits; Tuesday you get 1 run; here we are Wednesday in the 6th without a runner past first, and we're thinking about Dallas Keuchel the next night...

When those moments hit, and the rookie OF's are batting in the .100's, there are a lot of people who will see what you mean Keith.

(2) At SSI we want and need people holding down all colors of the rainbow in the debates.  Neh?  At my age I tend to forget who wanted Haniger as a Best Bet, and appreciate it when the Fan Club President (SABRMatt on this one) chimes in, in each relevant thread ... we need one guy arguing in perpetuity that Paxton is too big a gamble, a second guy arguing he's one notch shy of Randy Johnson, a third guy insisting on the scout's (moderate) point of view...

You've got ownership of this idea, that the M's are setting themselves up for 10-day offensive doldrums without a bat in RF.  You're probably wrong but you should press it.  ;- )



I'll take the "over" if people think we're only going to gain 5, 10 runs defensively in RF.  Tell you why.

Matt pointed out that the 2016 Mariners had MANY bad defensive outfielders.  As it happens, Franklin Gutierrez was injured a lot last year and Fangraphs had him for -5.5 runs in right field alone.  That's in 45 full games there. ... Fangraphs doesn't have Seth Smith and Boomstick for many bases lost with the gloves, but:  my eyes do.  Will cheerfully slot -5 runs in right to Smith and another -5 to Boomstick, relative to what an ordinary OF would have done in Area 51.

I'll assign -15 runs defensively to last year's right fielders, with gusto.

And if Haniger's a center fielder, M's fans should be hoping for +10 runs in Area 51, minimum.  Ichiro got +20 runs saved a few times, +15 runs saved routinely.  It's a big area.

So you are talking about (1) three terrible defensive RF's last year, (2) a center fielder out there next year, and (3) this being Safeco's right field.  Whatever the [MAX] entry is on a corner defensive upgrade, I'd be hoping for that, I think.

Or not,

Dr D



The good news is, in a little over a month we get to start either reinforcing our opinions or reevaluating them based on spring training. We spend the month of Spring Training convincing ourselves what's REALLY going on with the M's -- only to find out that April, May and June might just prove Spring Training was illusory.

It's quite a job GM's have, trying to get it all right in the offseason and pretty much live with their decisions no matter how they turn out. That's why it's often a good idea to construct a roster with (a) flexibility, and (b) enough powder left in your budget to fire off a cannon shot or two during the season if need be.

Sorry for the cannon metaphor, but I just found out today I have an ancestor that shares my first and middle name that likely fought in the War of 1812 at the famous Battle of New Orleans. 190 years before Hurrican Katrina, that battle made sure most Americans had heard of Lake Pontchartrain.


For one Denizen to take the LO, another the MID, a third the HI ... and then to watch it play out.  :- )  The Denizens are only too glad to give it up for an Adopt-a-Player expertly called.  Love it.


That blows my mind, your remark about the War of 1812.  In a way, that must make you feel like you fought in that war, or at least very able to relate to it.  ... Maybe you want to give us a little article summarizing that war -- I certainly don't know much about it -- and if you have any information about your ancestor's life?


I had likely made the point one too many times.

Not a problem. 

Want to hear someting weird?  Even if you throw out his injured '15, Leonys Martin has collapsed in the 2nd half of every season he's been a primetime player.  OPS's of .637 in '13, .669 in '14 and .652 in '16.  But he's above .700 in each 1st half.  Maybe 30 games off gives him a pause that refreshes.  And maybe we should have traded him to Detroit!  :)  But the evidence is that he wears out, or perhaps his bat just falls apart.  if Dipoto has spotted that tendency and is going to give Haniger the CF position vs. tough lefties, then I am much less concerned.  You keep Martin fresh AND reduce his vL ugliness. 

6 of Dyson's last 10 season halfs have been in the .600's.  Including the 2nd half of '13, '14 and '15 (but he was .804 in '16).  He's a .665 waitiing to happen.

It isn't just Haniger that is a bit riskly with the bat.  That was never my point.  It's just that Haniger gives us three of a kind. 

But I hadn't realized the profound seasonal splits that Martin runs.  So if he's .717 in the 1st half of the season, like he was in '16, then the heat is a bit less on Haniger's bat. For a bit.


Martin's 2nd half numbers,  I mean.  Him hitting early would certainly help.

Somebody from the OF or 1b is probably batting 1st or second every night.  Segura, Cano, Cruz and Seager will cover the rest of the top 5 most every night.  There's still pressure outside of the top 5, but the pressure put on Smoak/Ackley/Montero at times to produce in the MOTO isn't even available to be pressed on the young guys on this roster in full.  But there certainly does need to be production outside of the top 5.  They can't afford 3 black holes but I don't think 85 OPS+is that. 

I wasn't trying to stop you from saying anything and it's entirely possible that you're right.  I just think it's balanced by the defensive addition.  Or subtraction of runs, if you prefer.  

They can afford for the hitting to be not quite as good while improving pitching by a bit, baserunning by even more and defense substantially. There's no guarantee that the hitting will be worse, but the 2017 M's shouldn't have to rely on it as much as they did the year before.

It seems to me that the pitching couldn't sustain runs of stinginess last year, but I also recall my disgust with the OF defense giving away so many games that might have otherwise started or continued such runs.  The difference in that respect can be more than I think many are crediting. 

The biggest black hole last year, a 70 OPS+ at SS, has been improved upon.  Nobody is even foreseeing a 70 OPS+ at any position this year.  Not that they foresaw that.  Put in terms of Martin's 2nd halves, .613 OPS at SS through the entirety of 2016.

Overall they scored 768 and allowed 707 last year.  Both of those numbers being lower next year shouldn't surprise anyone.  Nor the possibility that they're better even while scoring less.  It is possible that improving the top of the order and depth all over helps them to scoring more.  I don't think it's necessary.


They can afford for the hitting to be not quite as good while improving pitching by a bit, baserunning by even more and defense substantially. 

The problem is this binary. WHY give up offense if you have the resources to add both?

My issue is that I don't see the M's doing anything anything fundamentally differently for the last 15 years.
They're doing the usual again; pay for a few big players, skimp all over the place, wonder what went wrong.

Though Segura is a welcome move and could be a good push forward, the M's never "irresponsibly" open up the wallet and gun for it.
And it is this lack of urgency that I find incredibly annoying.

The M's window is tiny and I want to fit a Star Destroyer through it.


JD Martinez would vaporize a few Orc planets and a Ranger Nebula or two, were he a Mariner.  Alas, Detroit picked up a (2nd rate) CF; so much for a Martin trade. But something was possible there, were we willing to add a bit to Martin, I think. 

BTW, Let's assume that Mallex Smith could have been had all along, were we only willing to give up Gohara, all along.  Indications are that we had inquired about Smith a while back.  Anyway, that's a fair assumption, I think.  But it means we kind of chose to have one year of Dyson and two of Smyly rather than a zillion of Smith and four of Karns.

I find that interesting..


Or rather July, thinking OF defense was the biggest need by far.  Fowler or Cespedes or some such would have been nice for a couple years.  But then you're adding to the group of players who will almost certainly perform less in 2 years than they do this year.  That's just reinforcing the window that people see.  

I actually prefer the idea of the long list of 26 year olds.  There's a stack of ML ready lotto tickets that have decent to excellent glovework and legs.  Chances are pretty good that a couple work out to produce offensively without fielding like Mike Morse.  That helps extend the window if it works. 

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