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Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Up The Middle

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on July 6, 2006

Moving on to the middle of the diamond defensively, the depth in the infield is gone with Adam Jones moving to the outfield, Matt Tuiasosopo sliding over to third and Asdrubal Cabrera scooping up grounders in Triple-A Buffalo for the Cleveland Indians.

There is overall depth, however, especially if Greg Halman can stick in center. Most scouts see him as a corner outfielder but the M’s don’t see any reason why he can’t play center in the long run and will leave him in center until he proves otherwise. His bat has a lot of pop in it and if he does have to move to right field, he’ll have the offense to play there everyday.

Jones is on his way to being pretty damned good, led by his power bat, which is far ahead of schedule. If you haven’t been to Cheney Stadium to see the 20-year-old cover a 90-mph fastball and send it screaming out of the yard, you’re missing out.

Behind the plate the big question is whether Jeff Clement can catch in the show. In the dozen games I have seen him defensively, I’d have to conclude that he can, provided he gets the proper time in which to fully develop with the tools of ignorance draped over his back.

Clement’s bat is not in question, and it may be strong enough for the club to pull Clement from his catching duties in order to speed up his timetable. He’s got the sweetest swing from a catcher this side of Joe Mauer and may top out in the 25 home run range.

Rob Johnson is improving every day and his offense is included in that statement. He’ll need more seasoning, of course, but he’s light years better with the bat today than he was in April.

Middle Infielders
1 Yung Chi Chen R/R 5-11 175 23 Solid all-around skills. Future Utility man.
2 Oswaldo Navarro R/R 6-0 160 21 Defensive wiz needs more offense to ascend.
3 Michael Garciaparra R/R 6-1 175 23 Displaying solid plate skills that could lead to reserve role.
4 Jeffrey Dominguez S/R 6-1 165 19 Similar to Navarro without defensive polish.
5 Luis Valbuena L/R 5-10 175 20 Best bat in bunch, but least likely to defend.
1 Jeff Clement L/R 6-1 215 22 50-50 to catch – 25HR bat a can’t miss.
2 Rob Johnson R/R 6-1 200 23 Athletic backstop improving daily on both sides.
3 Guillermo Quiroz R/R 6-1 210 24 Should be in bigs over Rivera – better everything.
4 Jair Fernandez R/R 6-1 175 19 Projectable, athletic and hard working. Sounds good.
5 Luis Oliveros R/R 6-2 200 22 Organizational catcher. Ceiling as backup.
Center Fielders
1 Adam Jones R/R 6-2 205 20 Could become plus bat AND plus glove. Needs another year.
2 Greg Halman R/R 6-3 215 18 May not stick defensively. Limitless potential overall.

113 Responses to “Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Up The Middle”

  1. Walrus said

    Love these posts and your insight ..hate your hours,but…
    Is it fair to assume that Bohn, Choo, Doyle, and Morse are not considered by you/most experts as “true” up-the-middle prospects/players in the majors, despite where they have been playing the past year or so?
    Also, would Cabrera be number 1 on the infielders if he was still around?

  2. Haha, thanks Walrus. I like my hours. The darker the better.

    Bohn is just a fourth outfielder at best… he’s 26 and he doesn’t hit for power so there isn’t much there, really.

    He’s pretty good out in center but he’ll have to hit better to get any sort of look.

    Choo is a corner outfielder playing out of position. Snelling, too. The M’s like to give experience to their prospects at multiple positions just in case something comes up – like it did with Reed getting hurt.

    Now, Choo has some recent experience out there, and that can only help him. But he doesn’t take good routes and his jumps are average at best.

    Morse is a 1B/3B RH platoon bat type. His range is terrible at short and he’s not good in the outfield at all.

    Yeah, Cabrera would certainly have been No. 1if he were still here. It wouldn’t have been close. Chen is a nice player with a lot of solid skills — i liken him to a light version of Placido Polanco with better base stealing skills — but he’s probably not a future everyday player while Cabrera certainly is.

  3. Walrus said

    Thanks Jason.
    One more question if I may, about Quiroz…is he worth much in a trade..like Quiroz and Bohn for Marte(pittsburg) or other “experienced” relief pitcher in majors right now?

  4. Quiroz has some value, though Bohn really does not. If a team needed a backup catcher, Quiroz should certainly be someone they call about. He’s only 24 and has some big-league experience. Bilingual, too — he helps me!

    If the M’s want to make a deal for relief help – which they should – Quiroz and Rivera can be had.

  5. Walrus said

    It must be tough having to answer these specific questions about players by John Q Public who really has no idea of the baseball world, knowing those players could read your responses, and at the same time, talk to these same players about themselves and other players… keep up the great work.

  6. To be honest, most of these players know deep down what they are capable of and what they are not… and I’d change places with TJ Bohn in a heartbeat.

    I don’t like to rip players in general, but if a player was a total jerk to me personally, I’d rip him like the Rip-o-Matic 3000 shreds fly paper and wouldn’t think twice about it.

    But no matter what, I’m going to be honest about a player’s abilities and everyone has to understand that it’s just an opinion.

    Travis Blackley is a good dude, but he wouldn’t stop talking to me if I came out and said he’s probably just a No. 4 starter. He probably believes he can be more, but he wouldn’t call me up asking what the hell my problem was.

    I actually think if all of his pitches come back that he’ll be a good starting pitcher in the big leagues, but he really couldn’t care less what my assessment of his abilities are.

    There are probably players that care about that sort of thing, but I haven’t ran into any of them that seemed to care. And I don’t think anyone reads me here.

    I have always written that Bohn was a fourth outfielder with defensive abilities and offensive deficiencies, but he’s never avoided me in the clubhouse.

    I’m sure If I ripped on a player in the P-I that the Mariners would probably call me. Heck, they e-mail me now when they think I made an informational mistake, as if I don’t have editors.

  7. willmore2000 said

    So someone in the Mariners organization actually reads your blog ? Or just the PI pieces ?

  8. Both.

    And a few scouts from outside the organization check it out, too.

  9. 1996Coug said

    Honestly, with all the talk of Clement’s power bat, I was expecting a little more than topping out at 25 HRs a season. Sounded to me like the guy had 40 HR power. I’m a little deflated now…

  10. dnc said

    I think Clement will clear 30 HR’s fairly easily – he may even knock 35 at some point.

    40 may be a bit unrealistic.

  11. 1996Coug said

    I’ll take 35 a year and a .300 average. Thank you very much!

  12. dnc said

    I’d be pretty surprised to see him post a .300 average with any regularity in the bigs, unless they change his position. The wear and tear of catching should prevent him from hitting .300 I expect.

    However, he seems to be a very patient hitter, so even a .280 average should give him at least a .360 OBP (probably better down the road). Combine that with a SLG in the .500 to .550 range and you’ve got a perennial all star.

    Yeah, I’m an optimist.

  13. StandinPat said

    Graduate two players to the majors, move one to another position, and trade the best remaining guy of the bunch and all of a sudden our middle infield strength is topped by a potential utility man, ouch. Im bettin the M’s draft a couple of SS’s next year to re-tool.

  14. Jason — who’s starting in Cheney tonight? I’m probably heading up, and would love to see someone other than Baek.

  15. BDM said

    Regarding Clement…. if the real key to his development is his catching skills, why didn’t they leave him in San Antonio all season and let him be the every day catcher? Instead, he is promoted immediately after coming back from his surgeries. Not sure rehab is the time for a promotion. With him, Johnson, and Quiroz all in Tacoma I think the development of our catching corps is being severely harmed.

  16. marc w. said

    The TNT has Francisco Cruceta getting the start tonight.

  17. StandinPat said


    Does Jones recent power surge have any affect on how you ranked him and Clement? Jones is looking to have 25hr power now, and if thats all that Clement has, then Clements biggest advantage tools wise, power, is somewhat negated.

  18. Iggy said

    I *heart* this website. Hands down the best M’s blog right now.

    Could you elaborate on:

    “…the tools of ignorance draped over his back.”

    Why would they be inclined to rush his bat if he isn’t ready defensively at catcher? The team is filled with LF / DH types (even if those players aren’t being used in the best way, or ~should~ be released).

    If the team is absolutely sold on Johjima being our catcher for a few years, would it be better to try and find a trade for an equal prospect that we could use (A top starting pitcher), or just find a spot for him wherever he could fit?

  19. Willmore said

    Johjima is out catcher for “a few years,” while Clement is the catcher of the future, you don’t trade him.

    You do try to find a good fit for Johnson, because he has some value in a package deal.

  20. re: Clement

    No, he’s just a SURE thing to get to 25. If he doesn’t catch and gets in the lineup 150+ times, he can easily scratch off 30-35 in his prime.

    Re: Tonight at Cheney

    Yeah, it’s Cruceta.

    Re: Clement/Catchers

    What’s odd about the catcher’s spot is that catching in GAMES is not the best way for a catcher to get better, according to Roger Hansen, the club’s catching coordinator. The game’s almost just get in the way, he says.

    The work the guys put in on the side is what is most important and they all put in FT work in between games.

    Clement is not ready to CATCH regularly after the knee and elbow surgeries anyways, but he cant hit everyday, so he’s doing that pretty much.

    –Why would they be inclined to rush his bat if he isn’t ready defensively at catcher? The team is filled with LF / DH types (even if those players aren’t being used in the best way, or ~should~ be released).–

    Because his bat could prove very valuable on a contending club in August and/or September.

    If the team is absolutely sold on Johjima being our catcher for a few years, would it be better to try and find a trade for an equal prospect that we could use (A top starting pitcher), or just find a spot for him wherever he could fit?

    No. Because lefty power-hitting prospects are very tough to get and ones that may CATCH regularly are as rare as a steak that blinks.

  21. Salty Dog said

    Any word on who’s going to be called up to replace Guardado?

  22. I haven’t heard who it’s going to be yet. If the word isn’t out by the time I get to Cheney today, I’ll post it on the left or roght-hand side here at Prospect Insider. Cu I’ll surely find out by the time BP starts.


  23. Salty Dog said

    Hey man, I’m like a hobo waiting on a ham sandwich… I’ll take anything you have. 🙂

  24. Well, what i do know, so far is right in the ham sandwich mode…

    Mark Lowe will indeed be pitching in Tacoma and he’s available tonight.

  25. MatthewCarruth said

    Re: sidebar.

    I was under the impression that Spiezio and Aurillia were inherited moves, that is, not really Bavasi’s and more of a product of the FO and Gillick.

  26. Hmm. Getting rid of Guillen and Cirillo (and adding both a shortstop and a third-baseman) was the task inherited by Bavasi, IIRC. Spiezio and Aurillia were solely Bavasi’s suggestions (and misdoings).

  27. eknpdx said

    IIRC, Aurillia was the last choice. I don’t know who originally pursued Omar, but he ended up failing the physical. I think things would have been a bit different if Omar came through. He had a great year with the Giants that year.

    Point remains though, some wasted money. But at least most of that didn’t hurt the club long term like the Cirillo deal.

  28. No, Aurilia and Spiezio were both Bavasi’s doing.

    The Guillen trade was the one major move that was pretty much in the bank when Bavasi signed on.

  29. Oh, and Raul Ibanez’s original contract shouldn’t be credited to Bavasi, since that deal was going to happen regardless. It was a GOOD move, but if we’re going to make sure the bad credit stays off Bavasi, we have to be consistent with the good stuff.

  30. StandinPat said

    Bavasi might have actually waited another week to sign Ibanez, thus saving a 1st round pick, which apparently Gillick deems useless.

  31. slim said

    I wonder how permanent the Lowe move will be. Someone could be needing to vacate a spot for Pineiro in the pen before too long. I’m excited to see what he’s got.

  32. marc w. said

    Per the Mariners official site, it’s Mark Lowe who’s up to Seattle. To make room on the 40 man roster, Jeremy Reed was moved to the 60 day DL.

  33. marc w. said

    Whoa, and there it is in the sidebar. I hit refresh and didn’t see it until after the damn comment. Weird. I think I come to this site way too often…

  34. JH said

    Yeah, Dominguez weighs 165…and I´m 6´10.

    That kid weighs 145 if he´s been constipated for 3 days.

  35. Comment on your sidebar: “Doubting National Media” (there’s got to be a way to add a comment section to those things, right?)

    Indeed, I seriously believe that Mariners fans are thoroughly blessed with a lot of great blogs. There’s the serious analysis blogs like this place, LoL, USSM, even DOV. And when your brain is full, there’s a good amount of silly fluff blogs that are entertaining enough to keep you interested. Not sure where I fit in, but hey, I write because I like to.

    But, yeah, paying attention to local media, even, can be quite frustrating. I’m so glad that Corey Brock writes for the M’s on MLB.com. He’s a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the slop we’ve had to read there for awhile.

  36. JasonAChurchill said

    Yeah, unfortunately, Brock is a puppet, but only because of who he works for.

  37. JasonAChurchill said

    Dominguez was 135 when they signed him, too…

  38. willmore2000 said

    Good to hear about Lo. Any news on whether Peguero will take his spot ?

  39. I don’t think Peguero is the most ready guy, though I have been asking about him quite a bit lately.

  40. willmore2000 said

    He might not be ready, but the Mariners have a propensity to challenge hitters.

  41. What they don’t do is promote a less-ready hitter over some more prepared– particularly that low in the minors. If Peguero goes to Everett it will be because they felt he was the most ready.

  42. willmore2000 said

    But who could be more ready ? I haven’t noticed anyone else in the Rookie league.

  43. YOU haven’t? Well, then it’s decided since YOU haven’t seen anyone else.

  44. willmore2000 said

    I’m asking YOU, who do you think is more ready. I wasn’t saying that I am an expert, it’s just that to me, Peguero stands out above the rest.

  45. STATISTICALLY he certainly does, but that’s not the proper way to promote young players.

    Peguero is a VERY interesting guy that almost made the Everett squad to begin with, but in the end the club just wanted to play it safe. I don’t think 3 weeks is going to change that thought process.

    Liverpool, Posluszny and Ruiz are all safer bets there. Thie idea is to challenge talents when they are READY… rushing a 17 year old is highly ill-advised.

    Plus, whoever it is isn’t going to get a lot of time anyways… Dickey, Halman and Graterol are going to start just about every time out — which is part of the reason why Lo was promoted.

  46. Talkbaseball said

    Anyone know anything about Casey Craig, he was promoted to Inland Empire and has a pretty hot stick.

  47. Craig is a decent bat that missed his chance to put a dent in the system due to off field stuff… he kind of got the shaft.

    He’s short and stocky but has medium power and will draw walks. He has average bat speed but it’s enough for him to avoid being a guess hitter at this stage. He’d be a legit prospect if he was performing in AA right now.

    He runs ok, but is a left fielder to the bone. Not enough range for center, not enough arm for right. His best bet as a hitter is to be as much like Snelling as he can be and he has a similar skillset, just significantly lower on the grading scale.

    He may put up some really nice numbers in the Cal League and get a chance to prove that he’s more than just an organizational guy.

  48. Talkbaseball said

    This is off topic but how hard has Baek’s fastball been this year?

  49. Baek has been 89-91, touching 92 on occasion.

    And you are never off topic here. Anything goes.

  50. Talkbaseball said

    Hey Church, do you know anything about Marwin Vega. I remember hearing good stuff about him at SportSpot.

  51. Yeha, he’s interesting because he’s built really well, has sound mechanics and is very young pitching against hitters 2+ years older than he.

    His problems are his command, too many pitches catch too much of the plate, and though he isn’t a ground ball pitcher, he really needs to be at this point to have good results.

    The hope is that he can continue to develop his slider and come up with a third pitch — currently an okay change — that will allow him to get further into games without running out of stuff.

  52. Re: baek…

    He’s throwing well tonight, too. Been in command since the first pitch. Has allowed just one hit through five frames.

  53. Talkbaseball said

    Nice Thanks Church

  54. willmore2000 said

    Fair enough. I didn’t think that the promoted guy would mostly be a 4th outfielder. That’s why you’re the expert and I’m just a very opinionated fan. 🙂

  55. Anytime, Talkbaseball.

    Re: Everett OF

    Dickey was getting screwed and they didn’t want to use him that way.

  56. Ty said


    Luis Oliveros was called up after tonights game (Kenji Johjima’s personal reasons, going back to Japan for the break). Why is this? Quiroz seems like the better canidate at this point, doesn’t he?

  57. WAB said

    Who gets the call to take Petagine’s spot permanently, post ASB?

  58. marc w. said

    Baek was brilliant tonight. 7IP, 1H (to Justin Leone, naturally), 6Ks. Jones with a home run.
    But the other news out of Tacoma is that Michael Garciaparra broke his nose today in BP. Did you see it happen, JAC? Was it a pitch, or did it come off someone else’s bat?
    Any news on what happened to John Hudgins in the game? Not M’s related, per se, but there seemed to be a lot of scouts at the game watching him.

  59. Johjima hasn’t seen his newborn son yet and he needed an extra day… Quiroz isn’t healthy, so Luis is the call.

    Snelling will take Oliveros spot after the break. There’s nobody else that makes sense.

  60. MatthewCarruth said

    Also, Quiroz doesn’t have any more options so he’d have to clear waivers again to return when Johjima comes back. This is an extremely short term move and Quiroz is a guy I think Bavasi wants to keep around and see how he does in Tacoma.

  61. MatthewCarruth said

    Greg Dobbs has been hitting well in Tacoma.

    Don’t overestimate the intelligence of the Ms FO.

  62. JH said


    Have you heard any rumblings about Gerardo Avila and/or Welington Dotel? Avila’s just embarrassing the AZL right now, showing adequate contact and solid power – a great combination for somebody so young. Sure, his XBH% is really low, but when you’re hitting .423 with a .230 ISO it’s tough to nitpick with those results.

    What’s he like physically? Is he locked into being a 1B long-term, or is he athletic enough to try and increase his value by playing somewhere else?

    RE: Dotel, early returns are showing some serious contact issues – not on Peguero’s level, but not encouraging for a 20y/o in Arizona. He didn’t have a problem with strikeouts in the DSL last year, and he’s walking a lot more than he did down there as well, suggesting a significantly changed approach…any hope here?

  63. JH

    I’ve been asking a lot about Avila, Peguero and Liddi lately… I’ll have something on then soon.

  64. JH said

    Whew! The day I ask about Avila he puts up a Golden Sombrero.

  65. haha… He and Peguero are free swingers. Big shocker.

  66. matt said

    hey Jason,
    I was wondering if you caught Travis chick’s start today?If so Did you know how he did and what he was throwing?…And do you know when Morrow is going to pitch again? Thanks

  67. Morrow is scheduled to go Monday or Tuesday… I think it’s gonna be Monday (tomorrow) and he’ll have about a 40-pitch max… If he doesn’t start today, IM me if I haven’t noticed already and I’ll give Pat Rice a call and see what’s up.

    Re: Chick

    I actually listened to some of it… he was all over the place and the only scout I know that was there to see it was actually there to watch Mike Wilson (hint at the overdue spotlight scouting report coming soon)…

    87-90, not much command, though for the most he got away with it. Slider and change were mediocre but he flashed a decent version of that slide piece enought o keep them from sitting heater.

    The six walks isn’t surprising, though it eclipses his previous season-high by two – accomplished in his last outing. He’s a little jekyl and hyde and it showed today.

    His stuff will be better most of the time… He wasn’t sharp today at all.

  68. Edman said

    Well, Snelling may get the call, but I’d be willing to bet Seattle will go out looking for guy who can at least be an average defender in CF. Choo ain’t the guy, In all fairness, he hasn’t really been considered a CF long-term. He’s a corner guy. For those who complain about Willie in CF, perhaps they’re getting an education. You can’t just throw an outfielder out there.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bavasi try to pry an outfielder from the Dodgers. Both Lofton and Cruz Jr. are legit CF. I think Lofton is pretty much the guy, leaving Jose. He’d at least replace Reed’s numbers offensively, with a much higher OBP. He’ll do a fair job of defending…..and he’s got some power.

    Seattle, plain and simple, can’t go with Choo or Snelling in center. Snelling is good enough to field what he can get to, but he doesn’t have the wheels anymore. Saw him today at Tacoma….and he’s still got an accurate arm.

    If Ichiro would move to CF, that would change things….but I don’t think Seattle or Ichiro really want that to be the solution. He’s the leadoff guy, and needs to concentrate on that…..not have to go through retraining in CF.

  69. Dave Cairns said


    Has any thought been given to giving Chris Snelling a shot in the infield ?

    My only suggestion is 1st base, in a similar role to Justin Huber’s at KC; after he injured himself and could not catch.

    This allows Huber to concentrate on batting and could do the same for Snelling.

    IMO, Huber should be in Kansas City’s 25 man roster along with his compatriot Snelling on Seattle’s 25 man roster.

    Then again you have known my opinion on that for months.

  70. Snelling is one of the few where the “too short” term fits. He could play it, sure, but when would he play it in Seattle?

    Snelling is a good outfielder, he just can’t play the field everyday. 3-4 days a week right now, DH the other 2-3, take a day off… in the long run, 50-50 OF/DH. He can handle either corner.

    And yeah, why Huber is not in KC is beyond me. Ridiculous.

    Re: center field…

    They haven’t ruled out calling up Jones, which is a BIG, BIG mistake if you ask me. He’s not ready offensively, he’s not ready defensively, and most importantly, he’s not ready emotionally.

    He’s friggin 20… let him develop, Bill. Give him 100 more games in Tacoma. That’s all I ask.

    I don’t see the M’s going to get a center fielder unless it’s far and away an upgrade both offensively and defensively and comes with virtually ZERO financial reponsibility.

    Cruz and Lofton don’t qualify there and LAD doesn’t have much of an inclination to deal either unless they are clearing SOME salary and/or getting a decent return.

    I wouldn’t give them Travis Chick for either guy.

  71. Dave Cairns said

    Thanks Jason

    Huber should be in KC as long as they put him on the field. Sitting him on the bench earlier in the year was stupid.

    Did you see the Futures Game ? How did Trent Oeltjen look against top level opposition ?

  72. overmatched… but that was to be expected somewhat.

  73. Dave Cairns said

    Are you saying Oeltjen is not up to that level ?

    Is he a legitimate prospect ?

  74. willmore2000 said

    I don’t know why, but I’m having an eerie feeling about Jones being called up. Maybe it’s the fact that hargrove started Bloomie against a righty … maybe it’s that we have no other legit option at CF other than Jones or Willie, but I see Bavasi doing this.

    The only other option is trading for a CF. Speaking of which, Jason, do you see any options out there ?

  75. jp17 said


    Jones K/BB ratio has been alot better of late. Have you seen him turn some sort of corner in pitch recognition or is this just a good streak at the plate?

    The M’s have been promoting hot bats and while we all would like Snelling to come up….Jones would fill a need….although I agree he should stay in Tacoma.

    So…Jones or Snelling?

  76. He’s a legit prospect, Dave, but the pitchers in the game were pretty good, too.

    Jones is NOT READY. He’s not. That’s a FACT. Bavasi is an idiot if he calls up Jones right now. I will bash him like theteis no tomorrow if he impedes the smooth development Jones is into right now.

  77. jp17 said

    I agree Jason, and Snelling should be the choice to come up…but with us needing a CF and Jones heating up….I worry that they will make that mistake.

  78. Why is everyone freaking out about center field?

    This is team is not losing because of center field. They are losing because they can’t hit.

    Choo is fine. He won’t be GOOD out there, but he won’t make routine mistakes. Let him get in a bit of a groove offensively and go with it.

    Beltre and Sexson are the problem… not center field.

  79. jp17 said

    I agree about Sexson and Beltre…but there really aren’t guys in our system ready to take their jobs….same cannot be said about Reed/Choo/Bloomquist in CF.

    CF just happens to be an area in which we have the ability to possibly upgrade from within.

    If there was something to talk about regarding moving Sexson and Beltre to get the needed production…I’m all for it….but I don’t see that there is….so CF becomes the focus.

    Plus as crappy as Reed has been…losing a starter kinda makes it a topic worthy of discussing…especially since the team is without a CF.

  80. Jones is not an upgrade when you consider the downside.

    Sometimes there just isn’t a fix… and in center, there just isn’t. Time to live with it until December instead of looking so damned deep in the system that the best idea is to cut off the development of the club’s best prospect.

    It’s stupidity to call up Jones. Absolutely insanity. His chances of success in the majors right now are worse than Julio Mateo’s chances of a painless inning in relief.

    It’s just too much to ask.

    Choo is more ready to be “something” offensively than Jones right now. And defensively, I’m not sure they are too far apart. Jones CLEARLY needs more reps and while Choo isn’t that experienced out there, either, at least you aren’t wrecking a kid’s progress if he struggles really bad.

    This team isn’t WORTH chancing it with AJ.

  81. jp17 said

    I very much agree, plus I’d much rather see what Snelling can do…and now Choo for that matter.

  82. matt said

    I really don’t think the mariners should give up anything for a short term fix in center. Choo hasn’t been playing enough to give up on him and he is a decent prospect to develope. As for Reed,Is he out of options? If we could send him to the minors and get him to hit against leftys he could still end up being a solid player. He was hitting a bunch of liners that just weren’t dropping….

  83. Jack Landerstrom said

    Who would you rather have…Felix Hernandez or Francisco Liriano?

  84. KB said

    Re: 83

    Felix, no doubt.

  85. Beady Eyes said

    #84: Really? As much as I love Felix, Liriano has a ton of long term potential as well.

  86. KB said

    I’d rather see Choo continue in CF— it’s a good opportunity for us to see how fast he can adapt. I’m concerned he’ll continue his pattern of needing significant time at each level, though.

    It’s wierd to think how farm-heavy our team will be if Everett gets kicked to the curb….

  87. KB said

    #85: Yep, I believe Felix’s future > Liriano’s.

  88. willmore2000 said

    Jason, you say that Choo is fine defensively in CF, but I saw him make a few mistakes there already. How quickly can ge learn CF ? Somehow, I fear it’s not quick enough.

  89. willmore2000 said

    Jason, what do you think the Dodgers might want for Jason Repko ? Would Pineiro + Mateo + Bourgeois and cash do it ?

  90. Talkbaseball said

    Hey Church, what’s the scoop on Nottingham. What kind of arsenal does he throw.

  91. Shaunjohn said

    Jason, do you know how hard Chris Tillman and Anthony Butler throw? Are there any 2006 Mariner draftees that throw gas (mid to upper 90’s)? Besides Morrow…

    Thanks, your answers are appreciated!

  92. Jerry said

    Regarding CF,

    I still like the idea of moving Ichiro.

    It would allow the club to improve their defense while not rushing prospects or making knee-jerk trades.

    Ichiro in CF, Choo in LF, Ibanez/Snelling splitting time 50/50 at RF/DH. The offense would be better than it is now, and the defense would be better than with Choo in CF. Problem solved.

  93. willmore2000 said

    Jerry, everyone understands that that’s the best option, except for Ichiro. Ergo, the idea is moot, because it’s never going to happen.

  94. Salty Dog said

    Swapping Choo and Ichiro isn’t going to make a huge difference in runs allowed, in my opinion. Choo’s athletic enough to play there, he just needs some experience. The few balls he should get to, and doesn’t, aren’t going to make or break this season. Given that, I don’t see a reason to force Ichiro to CF. He’s OK where he is.

    Jason, just curious: can you articulate specifically why you think Jones isn’t ready for the majors and that bringing him up now would be a mistake? Not saying I disagree, just curious on the rationale.

    Re: Felix vs. Liriano. It’d be very tempting to take Liriano in Safeco, just for his left-handedness. I think Liriano will be better over the next few years, but Felix will probably age better. Liriano seems to depend on his velocity more than Felix. Felix seems to have better breaking/offspeed pitches and should be effective if his velocity drops a little. The key is going to be avoiding the walks. If Felix can keep them low, I think he’s Pedro Martinez. If not, he’ll still be good, but not in the elite class of all time greats.

  95. Beady Eyes said

    Willmore: Good idea, problem is if you are the Dodgers, you have a chance at winning the division and just need major league ready pitching, would you take Pineiro, even if you have a spare part like Repko?

    If I am Ned Colletti, I ask for Meche+one of the kids at AAA+possibly Mateo.

    Why would I want Pineiro for Repko when I can hold out for Meche? Also, why would I need Pineiro when there are going to be other suitors with possibly better pitchers to offer?

    If we want Repko, me thinks we will have to make Meche part of the deal.

  96. marc w. said

    95: no way. The market does not view Meche as Repko’s equal. The M’s could get one of the Dodgers nice prospects for Meche, not a 4th OF. I’m sure Ned Colletti asks for Meche, one of the AAA guys and someone the M’s want to jettison, but then, when everyone’s had a nice laugh, Colletti starts talking about Guzman or Elbert or something.

  97. Re: Jones

    He’s 20. That’s all you need to know about Adam Jones and why he isn’t ready.

    He’s a typical 20 year old, emotionally. Sure, he has physical skills well beyond his life experience, but WHEN Jones fails in the majors it could very well set him back, let alone stalemate his development.

    Jones needs to be brought up the very day he appears to be ready to produce satisfactorily at the big-league level.

    Felix was 19, but clearly good enough and ready to enough to succeed.

    Jones is not.

  98. Beady Eyes said

    Marc W:

    Would you not disagree that if the Dodger pitching woes continue that they consider such a deal? I’ve seen stranger deals made as the deadline neared in past years.

    My thinking is this: The Dodgers have a logjam in the OF. They have Repko, Ethier, Drew, Kemp and Lofton. Yes, Coletti could try to give us Lofton, but with a thin pitching market (Schmidt would NEVER go to the Dodgers and the Phillies do not have good enough starters to trade unless they deal Brett Myers) and a few buyers, this could be something he entertains.

    I know everybody hates Gilbert (sounds like a new show, LOL) but I think he’s pitched well enough that if Coletti agrees, we have an answer to our CF problem this season and a few years beyond until Jones is ready.

    I wouldn’t rule it out because I’ve seen stranger deals.

  99. Beady Eyes said

    Also: For what it’s worth, Gilbert has been brilliant against the NL West this year. I saw somewhere where he has 26 Ks in 29 or so innings + he has an ERA in the 2s on the road against SD and San Francisco.

    I know it’s a small sample size, but if any team in the NL wants a starter, they may start with Gilbert.

  100. marc w. said

    Beady Eyes,
    Yes, I’ve seen stranger deals, and sure, nothing’s impossible.
    But my point isn’t ‘The Dodgers would never consider that,’ it’s that ‘The Mariners would never consider that.’ You said it yourself: there’s a thin pitching market out there, and Meche is close to the cream of the crop, esp. when age and $$s are taken into account. Of COURSE the Dodgers want to shore up their rotation (so does Atlanta and Cincinnati and etc. etc.), and if they want one of the top 2-3 guys available, they’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than a 4th OF. I’d like to think that Bavasi laughs in Colletti’s face, and then counteroffers Pineiro or Mateo. If LA wants Meche, then they need to blow Bavasi away. Elbert, Guzman, hell, Elbert AND Guzman, maybe Kuo, something like that (and maybe even one of their big OF ‘spects like Matt Kemp). Jason Repko just isn’t all that good, and that would be a disappointing haul for Meche (now that Meche has a sub 4 ERA in a great seller’s market).
    But you’re right – we’re the team that gave up Carlos Guillen for Ramon Santiago, so I’m not willing to bet a lot of money on ANY outcome.

  101. Jerry said

    Repko is not an option for most of the rest of 2006. He is on the 60-day DL.

    The Dodgers have had a lot of injuries. Repko and Jayson Werth are both out for a while. They have also lost Rickey Ledee to the DL. JD Drew is pretty consistently injured. That is why they have brought up Kemp and Either. The Dodgers have a lot of trouble with injuries. So they might not be too anxious to trade guys like Jose Cruz Jr. or Lofton. I would think that Lofton is more likely.

    Really, I don’t see the wisdom in trading for a 4th OFer. Just let Choo play.

    In fact, the Dodgers are a great example of why the M’s SHOULDN’T trade for an outfielder. They had some injuries, and it gave them the opportunity to let guys like Repko, Either and Kemp play. Nobody thought that those guys were likely to be impact players, but they did well after unexpected promotions.

    Who knows. Maybe Choo will end up being as good as Andre Either or Matt Kemp.

    We will never know if we trade for a stop-gap CFer like Willey Taveras.

  102. willmore2000 said

    I didn’t know Repko was on the DL. I guess that puts the kibosh on that deal.

  103. willmore2000 said

    Jason, did you have writer’s block, or was there just a casual mix-up with the P-I today ? I would have figured that on the slowest sports news day of the year, they would appreciate an outsider filling some space.

  104. All-star week was busy, Willmore, and most of the prospects aren’t playting right now since Tacoma has them all they are off…

    Be back next week with a piece on Balentien…

    Thursday I’ll be part of the mid-season analysis, however.

  105. willmore2000 said

    All-star week is busy for baseball news, but not enough to fill a sports section with quality material. Have you read some of the stuff ? Have you opened USA Today’s sports section, it was a travesty.

    But I digress. Why Balentien ? I guess homer power might be enticing, but I would’ve considered a piece on, say, Snelling more entertaining. Especially with his imminent call-up. Time to get people excited about him again, wouldn’t you say ?

  106. Several reasons why Wlad over Doyle…

    Snelling has been written about quite a bit… Balentien has not…

    But i don’t see why Snelling can’t be the subject in one of the coming weeks if he hasn’t been called up.

    BTW, the mid-season analysis stuff I’m going to be doing will be about which prospects can help the M’s in the second half.. Snelling is tops on that list.

  107. willmore2000 said

    Cool. But who else ? Blackley and Livingston have been deflating for me lately, Cruceta is the only possible option as a pitcher. Amongst hitters there is a barren desert of potential help this year. Garciaparra ? Maybe as a utility guy if Bloomie breaks his legs. Nageotte ? I don’t see him improving enough to warrant a call-up. Jones ? Like you said, he’s not ready.

    Crap, we have no major-league ready talent. Talk about depressing.

  108. Dave Cairns said


    Chill out a minute.
    A: Nageotte is injured as he seems to have been for a while
    B: What is wrong with Travis Blackley’s comeback year performance ? The guy had his shoulder put back together 12 months ago, a big deal for a young pitcher.

    I usually agree with you sentiments but you are being harsh on these two. Jones does not sound like he is ready at 20 and I agree whole heartedly that Snelling should be in a Mariners uniform if he gets playing time.

    I agree Jason should give publicity to thos ewho the great unwashed baseball fans do not know anything about.

    That is my 5 cents worth, as we say in Aus.


  109. NO team has more than a few prospects in the minors that can truly help their club during a second-half push for contention.

    Not one team.

    Seattle, like everyone else, has a couple… Snelling being the easy one. Clement may be able to help later this summer, but most likely only if there is an injury to one of the DH or 1B types.

    As for anyone else… you’ll have to check the P-I on Thursday.

  110. willmore2000 said

    Dave, I’m not harsh on those two, I’m realistic.

    Nageotte has been injured, and while he may remain somewhat of a prospect, he is nowhere near ready to be called up. I hope he turns it around and becomes a top-notch reliever (that’s the most he can be, IMO).

    I love Blackley as a brother I’ve never met, or really know much about, but that injury is precisely why he’s not ready. I admire him for the hard work, and hope that he can get to 100% (whatever that is now), but he’s not getting there any time soon, as seen by his erratic performances lately. If he can’t be among the top 20-30 pitchers in AA, what chance does he stand in the Majors ? I still think that Blackley can work himself into a #5 starter spot.

    Cheers, mate.

  111. willmore2000 said

    Oh, and great insider news, Jason. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the moves. Any rumblings of a trade on the horizon ?

  112. Dave Cairns said

    I love your work Jason. When are the Mariners FO going to hire you ?

  113. Never, Dave.

    The ones that matter don’t know I exist. The ones that do don’t matter.

    I wouldn’t work for them in a billion years, anyways.

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