Dave Cameron wrote this piece a little over a week ago. It really has brought some interesting thoughts to me. Then you have a few comments that have been made not just by our readers and people on other sites. But, also by Griffin, Taylor and especially myself.
We have to understand that while we have made big steps and improvements with Lee, Bradley and Figgins, we still need to realize that we can not anticipate the same amount of production from all players.
While we hope for players such as Michael Saunders, Matt Tuiasosopo and Adam Moore to take that next proverbial step and contribute something that helps us believe in their hype, we have to anticipate that there are going to some players who take steps back.
The Mariners are no different than any other team in Major League Baseball. You can most likely make a claim for about 10 players on the roster to take steps back rather than either staying where they are now or progressing forward.
I’m not going to go over a dozen different players on the 25 man-roster that we need to start dreading. I’ll instead just tell a tale of caution to those Seattle fans that tend to become over zealous and wear rose tinted glasses.
The best example is of course Franklin Gutierrez. It is going to be very hard for him to continue playing +31 run prevention defense, and it’s not very likely.
Let’s face it. In the last decade within the advancement of sabermetrics, how many guys in center field put up similar numbers to the ones he put up in 2009? Only one guy had close to the same season, and that was Coco Crisp in 2007. Dave Cameron posted an interesting blog entry on the subject here.
Gutz may even produce more power this season. We know he’s capable from the 2007 season in which he had 301 plate appearances he managed a .200 ISO. There is room for him to grow and he has ability. But, his .334 BABIP was still on the fluky side. However, it was nice to see him produce a LD% over the league average (19.4%) for the first time since he’s seen seriously playing time.
Gutz is a great player and he has awesome talent. Just don’t expect a 6 WAR season from him, or more specifically, don’t expect anything close to a 5 WAR season from his glove. These extremely high expectations can quickly lead to disappointment in a player who is still performing at optimal levels.
Gutierrez is one of a few different players you could point out. Lopez and his home run totals, Sean White’s lack of ability to miss bats, and Bradley’s health issue, among other things.
I didn’t want to pick on Gutz because I love him. I just don’t want to hear all the complaints from fans when he still has a good year, yet one that doesn’t compare to the amazing amount of defensive production he gave last year.