Weekend Mailbag – 07.21.06
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on July 22, 2006
Every week from this day forward, I’ll be answering the inquiries I get during the week, rather than spreading them out over the posts. Keeping them all in one place, seems like a better idea.
Here we go.
Q: Hi Jason, I wondered if you had any info about how seriously the M’s are actually going after Soriano?
A: I don’t believe it is serious at all, in fact I’m not convinced that there was more than a simple introductory phone call made. Nationals Gm Jim Bowden would certainly ask for, and ultimately demand, top talent such as Adam Jones and Jeff Clement, which would likely kill the deal. The Mariners do not appear to be interested in dealing their best two prospects, at least not for a potential rent-a-player, in which Alfonso Soriano would certainly be.
Seattle has been connected to Washington in trade rumors outside the national reports about Soriano. But nothing is likely to happen with the two clubs.
Q: I was trying to find out how Brandon Morrow was doing for us. I saw on the AZL website that he has pitched one inning on 6/22 and nothing else. I also couldn’t find him on any of our minor league websites either. Where is he now?
A: He’s still on the rookie league roster, but he had some time off and he’s doing a lot of side work to improve his arm strength and get ready for extended innings. I just spoke to M’s minor league pitching coordinator Pat Rice and he said Morrow should pitch in the next few days down in Arizona.
Q: What is the deal with Anthony Varvaro and what does he throw?
Gerry in Snohomish
A: He’s only tossed a few innings down in Peoria but his recovery is going fine. He’s a little gun-shy about letting it fly, understandably, but there are no lingering medical issues. When healthy, Varvaro sits in the low-90s, touching 94, and has just about every pitch in the book; split-finger, two and four-seam heaters, curve, slider, change.
Rice is working with him on cutting that down to three of the best offerings, as they try to do with all pitchers, unless they command them all well from the start. His role is yet to be determined, but as soon as he’s ready for the workload, he’ll begin his career in the starting rotation.
Q: Hey, Jason. I really like your site, I appreciate it very much. My question is about the M’s minor league ballparks. They all seem to be good to our pitchers while the road parks tend to be very, well, rude. Why is that?
A: Thanks for the kind words, Jon. With the exception of the two short-season clubs (Peoria and Everett) the M’s ballparks do favor the pitcher at every step. Wolff Stadium in Class AA San Antonio is among the top few most stingy ballparks in all of baseball in which to hit home runs. The Mariners like that fact, however, as it helps young pitchers along with confidence, to where they can actually work on getting better every time out, rather than worrying so much about a routine fly ball leaving the yard, such as it is in most parks in the Class A California League, though, naturally, Inland Empire plays in a park that slightly favors the pitcher.
It also gets hitters ready for Safeco Field, a notorious hitters park, especially to left and left-center field.
Q: Would you trade Adrian Beltre AND Richie Sexson this month without getting equal bats in return?
A: Many things can equal a good trade, so yes, I would. If a team wanted to take on all or most of Beltre’s contract, I’d jump all over it, regardless of Sexson’s situation. It’s not hard to find a 3B to slug .400, and while Beltre’s defense is pretty darned good, I’d rather have an average defender at the hot corner with a better bat.
As for Richie, well, I’d have to have another deal in place before I’d trade him without some sort of offensive value coming back. if I knew I had a deal in place for Sexson, I’d be scouring the league for a younger version of Sexson, at worst. Pat Burrell, perhaps, or better yet, a cheaper lefty stick.. Even if the contract is nearly as bad. But Sexson is producing, so for the record, I wouldn’t trade him for nothing.