Miller, huh? Wow......
Lee Lacy was always blocked, as far as getting an everyday starting gig. Or maybe his value was in versatility. The guy could hit some. Played everywhere. Remember him, Doc.
If Miller is a MLB SS this year, then not only is Franklin blocked but Romero (as an IF) is, too.
Which means one of those guys is going to learn to play OF, too. Franklin as McLemore/Lacy may indeed be in the cards.
Doc, since he isn't the prototype bomber 1B , in the case of a Smoak meltdown (or performance at the level he's shown over his career), could you see Romero being moved to that side of the IF, ala Steve Garvey (a 3B when he came up...but Ron Cey played there, too)? Garvey might be the Romero template, BTW. Hit frozen ropes, didn't walk (walked only 35 pts in his MLB career)....although Romero looks to have a bit more BB in him.
But I kind of like that comparison. Will chew on it more as I swing a fly for a steelhead this morning.
During the March 23rd game broadcast, Zduriencik stepped into the booth and Mike Blowers didn't hesitate to ask sensitive questions. We leaned in close to hear what Z said and didn't say.
=== Jon Garland ===
As we knew, Garland demanded a rotation slot guarantee - or else the opportunity to go get one some place else.
What we didn't know was, according to Zduriencik, that the Mariners didn't like the idea of committing the year's salary to him. Zduriencik considered that Garland's layoff created doubt as to whether Garland would hold up the entire year as a starter. He'd maxed at (I think) 69 pitches and "there was no evidence" that Garland would be able to throw 100 pitches consistently.
There's a takeaway here. Blogs have suggested that it doesn't much matter which players come North out of Arizona - hey, they're liable to be different players in three or four weeks.
That may be true for the utility infielder or the fifth reliever. But let this saying sink deep into your ears, padawan: when you give a job to a Respected Veteran, the ballclub will view the job as his.
It ain't as easy as "well, we'll take a look at Kevin Millwood for three starts and see where we are." It doesn't work that way.
No, the decisions made for Opening Day are much less malleable than amigos have been assuming. You can yank a guy's job if the clubhouse is griping about him. But you can't gank him in the ribs if he's got a 100 ERA+.
Mojician suggests that Capt Jack likes the kids even more than we do; it's just that he keeps silent and lets the peanut gallery natter on about what the Mariners are going to do...
I, for one, have learned a lesson. And won't be forgetting it. Zduriencik calls the roster shots, and he doesn't leak info about it.
Also, he likes to let people fight for jobs. You mighta noticed that part.
=== Bay vs Wells ===
Felix gave a long interview and "let the cat out of the bag" that Jason Bay will be a big part of a winning ballclub in 2013. If nothing else, that tells you where the clubhouse culture is on Bay vs Wells.
I can't imagine going with Bay, myself. With Michael Morse AND Raul Ibanez in the outfield, don't you need your #5 OF to be a plus glove?
=== Brad Miller ===
Z's remarks on Miller really took me aback.
He went to great lengths to compare Miller's TIMELINE to Seager's TIMELINE. That would have Miller up during the 2013 season, then? "Actually Miller is ahead of where Kyle was."
And "we like him as a shortstop." Dr. D does too. He certainly seems to have big league quickness out there.
It seems that Zduriencik could put Miller in at shortstop at any time. How he would resolve the minor issue of Brendan Ryan is another question. Maybe Andino is on a short leash?
In other breaking news, Nick Franklin is well-and-truly blocked. He's like a Top 100 guy, right? Lonnie, Moe and I have seen that situation a lot over the last 35 years.
Miller, huh? Wow......
In answer to your question about what you need in your 5th outfielder, Doc...my response is NO, you do not need a glove guy. You need another good baseball player. Gutierrez' playing time is in serious jeopardy since his legs are once again (still?) shot. Meaning our outfield is now Saunders/Morse/Ibanez/Gutik when he can go. The fifth outfielder needs to be the best baseball player we can find. Because the fifth outfielder is going to play some, but not in a predictable sequence, so he's not going to get long PT stretches to get into grooves. He needs to be a natural baller.
Wells is total dung at this point. He is a worthless player in every sense of the word. Can't even make contact with minor league pitchers. Have you SEEN his K rate this spring? Who cares about defense...get me a fifth outfielder who can hit some and play decent defense over a glove specialist any day. Besides...Bay isn't that bad defensively when healthy.
IIRC Dustin Ackley's agent is Scott Boras. If Ackley does turn it around this year maybe he's the guy you want to cash in.
Regarding any of these guys being blocked - Romero, Franklin, Miller - I just don't see that as a problem until they truly force the issue at AAA. The level of pitching at AAA will be better than what they faced last year at AA and we'll see how that goes. Even if these guys tear up the PCL this year, they're really only "blocked" until an injury or trade opens a slot for them. Worst case, they dominate AAA this year, come up in September, and then something happens in the offseason.
The Rainiers could be pretty awesome this year, that's for sure.
If Ackley turns it around at the plate this year, he could be a key piece to get Stanton. Then Franklin could step into 2b. As Doc states -- Stars & Scrubs.
... that apparently no one else caught the comment by Jack where he stated that he wished he had another utility infielder other than Andino. With Romero (initially) being groomed to be a utility player, as well as Franklin and possibly Miller, there is a dog fight on the horizon.
In my mind, Miller and Franklin are standing 1 and 2 as replacements for Brendan Ryan. MIller has the inside track right now since Franklin is in the organization's doghouse for being stupid (seriously).
Franklin is hanging out in the event that Dustin Ackley proves to have a terminal case of JeremyReeditis.
Romero, if he out performs Franklin during the early stages of the minor league season could step over him in the pecking order, but Romero's strength's are at the corner infield spots and as a spot starter at 2nd. Romero can also man a corner outfield position passibly (even better with more experience), and he can in an emergency fill in at SS, but it has to be a DefCon 5 situation.
What it all boils down to is that these three guys are in the hunt for an MLB position, or two, THIS year.
As soon as he said it included Chic Fil A, kind of like the sinking feeling I had when Griffey mentioned drinking a dozen sodas a day. How bad is the dog house for him? Are the Mariners losing confidence in him over all or is this more of a speed bump?
whether it's because of a Jeremy Reed imitation, or because he steps up enough that the Marlins want him, I'd guess Seager would move to 2nd, and Romero would inherit 3rd. If Ryan hits better this year, I still think Miller is close enough on everything but throwing and experience (positioning, esp.) that if Miller is hitting .320 and slugging .420 or so by the ASB, that we will see a lot of him at the infield positions the rest of the way. If he does a Seager and is hitting .390 and slugging .580 after 25 games, we may see him after the super-2 date. Having Endy Chavez willing to be in Tacoma makes some of these promotions easier; if Guti goes down, we may see Romero or Miller come up while Bay, Saunders, Morse, and Ibanez cover the OF. And, of course, some of us dream of Bay/Morse, Saunders, and Stanton, with Ibanez as a hitting coach and emergency activation candidate (can a coach be on the 40-man?).
If Romero and Miller get a few reps in LF at Tacoma it sure won't hurt future decisions, but I really see them as anchoring the left side by August. Ryan was a utility guy at St Louis, with 49 games at 2nd and 23 at 3rd, and even 3 in RF, so he and Andino could make a dandy backup pair if things fell that way.
What's wrong with Chic Fil A? Are you saying all the infielders for the M's don't eat right. All of them weigh 195 or like Seager 215....
Nick Franklin's plan for "gaining bulk" was to...um...eat fatty foods. A lot of fatty foods. Chick Fil A is fast-food chicken and fries. It's not a good way to gain muscle...it's just getting fatter. The way to add bulk that can be used for more leverage and power is to combine tougher training with more protein intake. Seager is not fat...he's muscular. And neither Seager, nor any of the other Mariner middle infielders is the same build and height as Frnaklin. Franklin is relatively short, kind of like Bret Boone. So you can't compare side by side like that.
Point is...being fatter won't add power...only gaining muscle will...and Chick Fil-A will not gain you muscle.
“And neither Seager, nor any of the other Mariner middle infielders is the same build and height as Franklin. Franklin is relatively short, kind of like Bret Boone.”
Ryan 6'-2" 195
Ackley 6'-1" 195
Franklin 6'-1" 195
Seager 6'-0" 215
Andino 6'-0" 195
Triunfel 5'-11" 205
You seem a little confused about build and heights.
The Times article by Geoff Baker said Franklin ate Chipotle, Chick-fil-A and Carrabas. There are healthy food choices at all three. Grilled Chicken, rice, beans, lettuce, corn, tomatoes. Franklin being a pro athlete and being trained by a Kinesiologist do you really think he loaded up on Fries? I’m guessing not based on what I absorbed from the article and seeing him in ST this year. The piece also indicated that Franklin supplemented his regiment with protein shakes while working out. Normal stuff for a high profile athlete trying to gain muscle.
From the article:
“The eating plan was designed by Jeff Higuera, a performance coach Franklin has trained with since he was a teenager. Higuera has a degree in kinesiology and co-owns Competitor Gym in Orlando with former NFL veteran Kawika Mitchell, and their clients include professional football and baseball players.”
"His work ethic is second to none," Higuera said. "Nick's a special kid. He's got unbelievable power. He's probably the strongest baseball player that I've worked with."
“Higuera monitored Franklin to see that he didn't take on too much extra body fat. Franklin also kept a close eye on his speed and agility work to make sure he didn't lose quickness with all of the bulk he added to his frame”
“To compensate for the weight gain, he focused on building up the lower part of his body, eventually managing a personal-best 425 pounds on the squat rack. Franklin says he's felt good doing the first few drills this spring and hasn't lost any mobility.”
Nonetheless, after reading the story I was anxious to get a look at him and others during my 10 day jaunt to spring training this year. I saw Franklin go thru his pre game workouts on the practice fields and play in several games. I was impressed with his athleticism and speed. While he may not possess the Ryan glove he certainly is one of most athletic infielders in the M’s system I saw during my stay. In addition, he no longer looks like the skinny high school kid I had seen in previous spring training visits.
A quick glance of some ST fielding stats shows Franklin is second in assists despite less innings played than the majority of MIF group and leads the team with a couple of stolen bases. Indicators that are both contrary to a loss in agility and speed.
Maybe you should get out and check out the players on the field. I've seen baseball players eat there and chipolet.
$4.6 billion dollars - that's what Chick fil a made in 2012 in sales. That's a lot of chicken. By the way they have a great fruit and grilled chicken salad.