Stars & Scrubs under JeDi
let's talk real deal on "culture change," shall we


Dr. Detecto may be acquiring a reputation as being anti-DiPoto this week.  Let's put "PAID" to that check right here and now.

Merrillific linked us to Jerry DiPoto's rationale for his most recent moves:


"We're going to rotate the outfield. The one thing for certain is that Nori will play regularly. Franklin will get his at-bats against left-handed pitching, and Seth Smith will get his versus right, but we will use the two corners and the DH role as an opportunity to make sure that all those players are getting their playing time. Nelson is going to play RF, he's going to DH. Seth and Franklin will split RF on days where Nelson doesn't play, and will also play left on days that maybe Nori slides into center versus a tough lefty to give Leonys a day off."

Re: Montero/Wilkins: "Jesus Montero, he's done enough at the AAA level to warrant a full-time look. Now it's up to us to figure out how to pair someone with him or upgrade the position. There's not much mre he can do in the minor leagues. It's his time to show what he can do as a big leaguer whether it is here or elsewhere." "Piccking up Andy Wilkins--he has proven his ability in AAA and gives us a nice two-optioned player who has upper-level experience who could pair with Jesus if the season started today. Our goal between today and Opening Day is to add to that and create a situation where those guys become part of a solution instead of a singular situation."


1.  Despite Dr. D's annoyance with the Kivlehan + Wilhelmsen trade, he is firmly in DiPoto's corner.  As stated many times and again Post Kivvy, he would be my hire for the position.  You come to SSI for the shtick.  You stay for the nuance.  In between you suffer the vertigo.

And Cool Papa Bell is like the most interesting poster ever.  Just for the record.  He's got a great feel for the game, prolly I'm guessing 'cause he played it.  

2.  Nori Aoki has played a few innings in CF in his career, at which his numbers were highly suspect.  But then again, his numbers in RF have been suspect recently.  His rep is for taking less-than-Guti-like routes to deep flies over his head.  So the idea of him in CF is ... something Dr. D might have done and considered daring.  Dr. D would have patted himself on the back for thinking so outside the box as to put a bat-first, footspeed-first, skills-last CF in the field.  Billy Beane put* Jack Cust and Chris Snelling in center when it suited him.

But:  a daring center fielder as the RH portion of a CF platoon?*  Here we thought the entire justification of this cascade of moves was that --- > your defense in Safeco simply must, don'cha know, cover a lot of ground out there?

3.  But actually with "Aoki, CF" DiPoto is just riffing about roster flexibility, as he was with Clevinger at 1B.  (Look how long that concept lasted.)  DiPoto seems high on Boog Powell and he may just be thinking "Aoki covers our CF contingencies for a few weeks."  With DiPoto, no word on whether that "few weeks" occurs in April, or over the NEXT few weeks.


4.  My logic on Montero exactly.  He is worthy of a real chance.  He has not gotten it.

5.  Grizzly (and I) will relax on hearing that the goal for 1B is not Montero + Wilkins.  Read as:  Let's get a LH first baseman who is a Moneyball acquisition.

5b.  That still leaves us staring down the barrel of OFFENSIVE ADDS 2016 = NADA.  DiPoto is talking like he's all but done with position players, except for scrabbling a platoon 1B out of the weeds.  Dr. D resents this.

5c.  Well, there's catcher if you want to squint for "offensive adds."  But you can take that out of the CF losses, and even as the catching goes ... it ain't like we just hauled in Peak Matt Weiters.

6.  Chatter is way up on the Seattle Mariners :- )


7.  So!  All these complaints stipulated ...

... it says here that the sum could wind up being far, far more than the parts.  The M's got the Stars; DiPoto's plan is to surround them with rawhide-tough Scrubs.  Achilles had his Fifty.  Robby Cano could stand the thought of Nori Aoki leading off 1B while he's swinging.

8.  Dr. D likes this way of improving the Scrubs far more than --- > re-deploying the same ol' Scrubs and trying to "change the culture" by sermonizing them for 365 days or so.  It's a slightly more direct route (sorry Norichika) to success, when you swap out for Scrubs who are cultured to start with.  Nori Aoki, Chris Iannetta, Leonys Martin, Joaquin Benoit, the Rays imports, they have something in common, y'know.   As do Servais, Bogar, Edgar, and Stottlemyre.

They've won,





of nothing (aside from Nori's brain-damaged-dog routes), it occurred to me a little while ago that humans instinctively do calculus, too, when they read fly balls correctly ....

( - ;


Aoki isn't playing CF very often for very long!  He started 1 game in CF in '13, 12 in '12.

Martin started 140 times in CF in '14, his most. If Dipoto is assuming he's getting 150+ starts from Martin, then maybe Aoki is useful in a pinch out there.

But he's not starting in CF 25 times.

The unstated thing about not getting a 1B bat is that Cano is moving over in a year.  Bet 'cha! 


What are the M's doing in CF for April?  Assuming, perish the thought, that Leonydas has an OPS of 500+ the first three weeks?  Maybe he can learn to bunt runners over...


Couldnt they use their young, option-able pitching/players to send a pitcher down, let Powell come up for a few days to get Martin a rest?

Aoki just becomes the emergency CF in the case.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

Why is absolutely no one pointing out the hyphenated name 1B option?

I'm not sure if the hyphenation is his last name or his first name because he is listed both ways in two or three different cultures. 

Yes, we can call him "Bubba" supposedly ventured to North Ameica this past week, but there is no word if he has arrived, or where, specifically, he was destined. 

So, why not?

And did he stop off in Seattle?

AokinoCF as that flex-pipe has holes as it snakes off he runof,

Cano will decide when, if ever, he wants to move to 1B, ain't nobody making that decision for him.






Sorry, not sure which Korean star you're referring to amigo ... if you just joined us, I think there are a handful of POTD's on these guys.  A whale of a suggestion, considering DiPoto's micro-goals on offense and his love for contact.  Good stuff.

/cosign on Cano.  And furthest they dared go on Cruz' glove was "shared time" in RF -- which, BTW, is a lot more generous than they'd allow going into 2015.  Originally they clenched their teeth and told him he needed to learn to DH; we saw how that turned out ...

Montucky's picture

I keep thinking of these moves as RS/RA. Have we saved enough runs to at least be average (relative to the league) in both departments? We were -54/+31 runs below/above average last year. Can anyone say yet how these team additions/subtractions improve those numbers?  We should be saving more runs with the glove, but with the starting rotation still uncertain, its hard to complete that picture. Scoring should be slightly increased by adding OBP, but still some potential black holes albeit less than we're accustomed to. Strides are being made, but we've a ways to go. I will agree that JeDi's scrubs look 'different' than Z's scrubs. Points 7 & 8 allll the way.

OBF's picture

is OK IFF...

We get the offense from the 2nd half of 2016...  That offense scored almost 5 runs a game, which is plenty...  Concentrating on improving the run prevention IS the right thing to do if your offense scores 5 a game...  

So improving the Bullpen, Defense, and starters is A-OK with me!

Defense has been addressed, now we just need the finishing touches on the Pen and Rotation...

Sign Lowe, and at least a few more strands of spaghetti,

and Sign a minimum of 1 of Kuma, Chen, and Maeda and lets go to WAR!!!!! 


But we add a player at catcher with career RC/27 of 5.1, OF with career 5.0, CF with career 3.9 (4.2,4.3 in '13/14) but the career 4.5 of Trumbo cancels all those out? I can see it canceling Aoki. Ianetta and Martin remain huge plusses over the black holes at their positions last year. Maybe Martin is even with Miller?

They're still replacing a big chunk of Zunino's 2.1 and Sucre's 1.1(621 PA total) with 5.1 from Ianetta. Whatever you think of Clevenger, I would assume that improving over last year's offense at catcher in the remaining opportunities is among those things. His career RC/27 is 2.8, but his MiLB career OPS is .796. I've got to think he's capable of more, but even the 2.8 is a huge improvement. Seems kind of like a Russell Branyen style opportunity to reap the benefits of giving someone the playing time they've earned in the minors. Russell had already muscled in MLB platoons, but you get my (and possibly DiPoto's) thinking.

And who is among the likely MLB time guys that you'd expect to have years as bad as Zunino, Sucre, Ackley, Taylor, Hicks, Baron, Weeks, Jones, Castillo, Romero and Bloomquist? That's 1472 PA in the -100 to 78 OPS+ range that I don't expect to see as much of again. 5 of those are gone entirely, having been replaced by better bats. Only Taylor, Romero and Zunino of the remaining 6 currently seem to have much shot of earning even some of that playing time without multiple injuries/trades ahead of them. They're also capable of having better outcomes. The lower end has definitely been raised, pushing most everyone who didn't produce back a spot or 2.

Looking on BBRef team page, by OPS+, the only starters by position that weren't over 100 were:
Catcher (Check)
CF (reasonable chance that's improved)
1b (well, it's only Dec 4th now. Montero might have it in him though.)

And the one goner of the 100+: "DH" Trumbo at 106 isn't that inspiring for DH. Nor fielding at any position.


Trumbo was .814, Cano was .926 (didn't realize it was that high, slugged .540) and Cruz was .957

You run numbers like that through the middle of your lineup, you're going to score some runs.  Add Guti's (SSS) 1.023 and Seager's .792 and the heart of our lineup was a mashing bunch of hombres.

Smith was only .219 and .713 in the 2nd half.


As soon as Cano moved to batting cleanup, he seemed to be fixed...

Sabes don't like thinking the lineup has much of an impact on a team. But, as we're seeing more and more MLB teams (including the M's) embrace the mental side of the game on an individual level, hopefully we can gain a better understanding of the impact these things can have on the players.


"He's got a great feel for the game, prolly I'm guessing 'cause he played it"

Unless you mean beer league softball, I haven't played an inning. :)


Could turn out the lights and be in bed before it got dark!  Just ask Satchel Paige!

You mean our Papa isn't that one?

Never thought about it before.  We've got a Daddy and a Papa:  Who pulls rank?

And to whom do we run when mom won't give us what we want?


"We've got a Daddy and a Papa:  Who pulls rank?"

DaddyO does...right up until the moment when Papa contests it, at which point me cheerfully concedes the privillege due to lack of energy and a contentment to let others rule while he holds his opinions about how they do it. Some are born to it, others aren't. My formative years age 10-20 took place during the "make love not war" period of 1965-1975. 


takes a huge hit without Kuma (no, I don't think Chen is an equal replacement).

Why hasn't this happened?  Has Dipoto really low-balled him to the point that he's seriously considering other offers?

Don't blow it Jerry!

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