Offensive Resuscitation Needed

Allow me to preface my forthcoming statements by revealing that I believe Weighted On-Base Average is one of the most telling statistics in regards to a position player’s offensive abilities.  The Seattle Mariners are currently sporting a wOBA of .286 points. League average wOBA in the American League is usually around .338 points. Obviously, the M’s have been unlucky on balls in play (.283 BABIP), but, in all honesty, this team couldn’t hit a baseball the size of a grapefruit.  Even if it was coach-pitch softball and Don Wakamatsu didn’t throw anything harder than 60 mph.

Griffin and I have been telling you all season that this club doesn’t need to hit a bunch of dingers to be competitive in the AL West, and to some degree, we’re absolutely right.  However, the M’s are under-performing mightily — not just the slap-hitting shortstop and young catcher tandem, but also the guys (Chone Figgins) who were supposed to be above-average offensively.  Our team ISO is 0.94.  That’s Yuniesky Betancourt’s 2010 ISO.  It’s like we’re putting out a lineup of 9 Yuniesky Betancourts.

When you're good at something, please stop doing it when you are no longer good at it.

So, after 27 games, I’m going to change my stance slightly.  The Mariners need a certain degree of offensive proficiency to win with a lineup centered around run-prevention, and that degree is noticeably higher than the one we currently boast.  So then, naturally, we need to add a player to our ballclub who can hit well and subtract a player (or multiple players) from our ballclub who can’t hit well.  Granted, that doesn’t mean getting rid of Jack Wilson and replacing him with Jermaine Dye because Dye hits demonstrably better; this team is built around defense, and there’s a reason why that is.

The first name that should pop into your mind when I propose the aforementioned course of action should be Mike Sweeney.  If it isn’t, you place too much value on hugs and too little value on on-base percentage. At this point in his illustrious career, Sweeney can’t play the field or hit at a remotely high level.  In other words, he can’t do anything to help the Mariners win.  I acknowledge that Mike Sweeney is probably a wonderful husband and loving father, but he’s a shitty baseball player and he needs to stop taking up a roster position.  Get it done, Jack.

The second name that should pop into your mind is Ken Griffey, Jr.  But he’s probably here to stay unless he either voluntarily or forcibly retires, so at this point getting Griffey off the Mariners is a very unlikely outcome.

The third name that should pop into your mind is Jesus Colome.  The Mariners do not need a seven-man bullpen.  When you have two pitchers that pitch into the eighth inning on a regular basis, you’re just not going to need seven relievers.  And Jesus Colome happens to be our worst reliever, so logically he should get the boot.

So let’s assume Jesus Colome and Mike Sweeney are dropped from the Mariners roster.  This gives us two position player roster spots to work with.  First of all, we’ll need another player with some positional flexibility.  Jack Wilson and Milton Bradley are too fragile to be in the lineup 7 days a week, and I don’t feel comfortable with Josh Wilson getting regular at-bats for long stretches of time.  Tui doesn’t really cut it from my perspective.  The Mariners need someone who can rotate with Milton Bradley by playing outfield roughly 45% of the time and DHing 45% of the time.  I would have no problem with keeping Griffey on the team to sell tickets as a late-inning pinch-hitter and to occasionally, occasionally, start at DH.

Various folks in the blogosphere have brought up guys like Lance Berkman and Adrian Gonzalez as DH/1B options.  These people are kidding themselves.  Gonzalez would fit nicely but would command too much value in return, and Berkman is too much of a risk to cost a top prospect. It’s not the most original of choices, but I would lobby heavily for Josh Willingham.  Willingham can play the outfield about as well as Milton Bradley, take some walks, hit for power, and he plays for the Nationals, who are overflowing with outfielders.  He’s perfect for this team and the entire blogosphere has been saying it for months and months.

Should a move for Willingham be made, the M’s would need still someone else that can hit and play the field.  I don’t know, get Kila Ka’aihue or Alex Gordon from the Royals or something.

I have no doubt that Jack Zduriencik can work something out to resuscitate this offense, and I certainly hope it involves Josh Willingham becoming a Seattle Mariner.

Topics: Alex Gordon, Jesus Colome, Josh Willingham, Kila Ka'aihue, Mike Sweeney, Milton Bradley, No Offense!

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  • Michael McCoy

    We need two bats… We may have to give up a slight bit of defense to get it but all the great pitching and defense isnt going to get us to October if we dont have a couple of guys that can get some RBI’s. Cliff Lee’s agent said he was not going to talk contract he wants to go into free agency. So i say package him with Dustin Ackley and get Prince Fielder, or Adrian Gonzalez but only if we can get them to commit to a multi year extension. Release Sweeny and Colome, call up Tui to platoon with Jack Wilson, and Bradley. Josh Wilson can be a back up for 2B, and SS, and is good speed off the bench. Anyone that thinks we are going to be able to afford Lee in Free Agency is smokeing crack. I dont want to do the same thing we did with AROD and get nothing but a draft pick when he signs with the Yankees. That is wear Lee will be pitching next season anyway so lets get something for him that we can use now not in 5 years….

  • http://sodomojo.com/ Taylor

    Michael,

    I think you misunderstood the point of the article. The point was that the Mariners need to pick up offense without losing defense. A gain in one area that predicates a similar loss in another is not a net gain.

    Also, trading our best player away (Cliff Lee) will not help us, even if it nets us Prince Fielder or Gonzalez.

  • Michael McCoy

    Taylor i understand that we need offense, there is no doubt about that at all. What i am saying is if we keep Cliff Lee and finish in the basement and he signs as a free agent to the Yankees, they get better and we get worse F the draft pick we get out of it i want something that can be an immediate difference. It is unrealistic to believe that Lee is going to be a Mariner next season, so to me it makes perfect sense to get some offense out of him. That i believe is the best thing that Lee can do for this team head and shoulders above his awsome pitching ability… Remember we still have King Felix, Fister, and Vargas. And no i dont think that Fister and Vargas are over achieving.

  • Ben G.

    The way Willingham is playing for the Nats right now, I highly doubt they would want to trade him until much later in the season (when they are completely out of it). If they traded him away they would have almost no power production from their OF. Right now they have Morgan, Harris, Maxwell, Bernadina, Taveras, all guys with all speed and zero power. I just don’t see Willingham going anywhere. In all honesty, I don’t see much out their besides Dye, Wigginton, Ianetta, or the Royals players you mentioned but they’re not as proven. If the Mariners choose not to go the trade or FA route, then they might just want to stick with what they have call up some AAA guys and dump Sweeney. Also in your article you talk about guys needing to hit not necessarily for power, why not just go for a guy who can hit, because we all know the m’s are just a few timely hits away from having a much better record right now, although power is nice.

  • Ben G.

    McCoy, we are 3 games back right now, lets save the trade Cliff Lee talk. Have a little faith in the M’s, I know its tough right now, but remember this years slogan, believe big!

  • Michael McCoy

    Big G! I love my Mariners, but i think realistic. How confident would you be if this team was going up against the Rays, or Yankees in the ALCS tomorrow? I have been a Fan from the start in 1977. I am not a 95er. So I remember all the lean times this team has had. It is foolish to keep a player that is going to bail out. It may seem early to some to speak of trades but if we dont make drastic changes now then we will be in the basement at the deadline, and that is a hard mountain to climb with a little more then two months to play ball. I think this team has a reasonable chance of winning the west, but that is not good enough we need to form a team that has a reasonable chance to with the ALCS. Aiming for anything less is fruitless. There is noone in Tacoma that is going to suprise us with awsome offense. So go get it from where it is.

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    Michael – a few things… First of all, we get two high-end draft picks when Cliff Lee walks. Look at what the Indians got when they traded him – do you really think we’re going to get a huge package if we deal him with 1/2 year left on his contract?

    Second – I’m not sure what you mean by “call up Tui to platoon with Jack Wilson”, because they’re both right handed, but regardless, Tui can’t play shortstop because he’s terrible defensively.

    And lastly, Doug Fister is absolutely over performing. To say he isn’t is to say that he’s better than Felix or Cliff Lee. Vargas is too, but he has a much better chance of continuing to pitch well because of his wicked change.

  • Michael McCoy

    Two High end draft picks!!! thats what your looking forward to. Cool lets draft some guys and well i guess we will be good in 3-5 years… ok i will buy that. This not the NFL draft that we are talking about here. Who ever we draft is not going to make a trip from Peoria to Seattle next spring. But going with what your saying Griffin, i am looking forward to 2015 cant wait!!!

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    Michael, if you trade Cliff Lee at the deadline, you’re basically punting 2010 anyway. I can understand impatience and desire to win now, and I especially can’t blame you because hey, we’re Mariners fans, but you’ve gotta be realistic.

    The chances of us getting a return of Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez in a trade involving Cliff Lee, even if we wanted to, is extremely small. The odds are, if you deal him with half a year left on his contract, you end up getting 3 decent prospects, or roughly a 33% better return than you would get for letting him walk, and you lose 2 months of Cliff Lee’s production. It just isn’t worth it – there are other, better ways to improve your offense.

  • Michael McCoy

    Cliff Lee, and Dustin Ackley i think would raise the eyebrow of any team. As far as being impatient, dude it has been almost ten years since we played in the post season. I have been more then patient its time to win and win now this season not in 5 years not in 3 years this season…

    If the Mariners dont make changes now, we will at best win the West. Winning the west is not good enough. Not when you are going to hav to play the Yankees, or the Rays. I love my Mariners but they are not going to get past the ALDS with the line up we have now. If we dont make changes now at worst it means another 100 plus in the tanker…. So i am tired of being patient lets get what we can. I am not saying to blow the roster up and start anew, make the needed changes and go from there.

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    Trading Dustin Ackley would be purely idiotic. Our farm system is already semi-depleted and he’s by far our best prospect.

    If we win the West, we’re in great shape. Not only are the playoffs a crapshoot, but we’d be going in, in all likelihood, with Felix, Lee, and Bedard, in short series baseball.

  • Michael McCoy

    I can only laugh at the hopes of Bedard every being anything like he was for that one great season.. Bedard is done he has been riding the DL for how long? I have said since the day he arrived in Seattle that he was a waist of time. He was then and still is. If he proves me wrong i will announce it at the top of any building in Seattle. However i am very confident that i am not wrong. He is washed up.. Ryan Rowland-Smith has a better chance of winning the Cye Young then Bedard does of every being a steller pitching Ace again… At best Bedard would be lucky to be a number 4 or 5 starter

    It is clear we dont agree on what is best for the Mariners, and the good thing about this whole blog is that we are not the GM. Jack Z is…

    If we win the west i dont see us in good shape at all. Not with this current team…

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    Bedard, even during his time with the Mariners, has been a consistently ace caliber pitcher when healthy. He’s injury prone, that doesn’t mean he’s washed up. I don’t know where you’re getting that from.

  • Michael McCoy

    In 8 years he is 51-41, with a career ERA of 3.71 800 strike outs. Is that really ACE stuff over 8 years? I say absolutely not… He has a high pitch per inning ratio so he exits early. He has only had one great season and that was 5 years ago. in 2009 he led the league in Home runs given up, the last three years of his career he has spent the better part of the season on the DL. But your right he is not washed up, i miss spoke on that. He never really was….

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    8 years? He’s pitched in 7, one of those was 2/3 of an inning, and 2 more were under 100 IP. 801 K’s in 822 IP is pretty damn good, and so is a 3.66 FIP.

    Also, he gave up 8 HR last year. Are you just making statistics up…?

  • Michael McCoy

    He gave up 9 HR’s in 24 innings. No i am not making stats up. I am sorry it was 2008 that he led the league in Hr’s given up. Then went on the DL. He made his MLB debut in april of 2002. Again we clearly dont agree on things of baseball nature. Bedard in my opinion is not anything to look forward to. Dont get me wrong i would love to be wrong about this but i just dont feel i am. It would be an AWSOME suprise but i am not going to hold my breath.

    There is no clear answere to the problems. Jack Z is going to have to be very creative to right the ship. I trust in him to do the right thing. Lets just agree that it is a DAM GOOD THING THAT BAVASI IS NOT THE MAN ANYMORE!!!!

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    He pitched 83 innings in 2009, not 24. He’s also been better than league average in HR/9 every season of his career, including 2008.

  • Michael McCoy

    Yeppers you did it you changed my mind about the bumb, we should lock him up to a long term deal… 83 innings should be worth about what? 100 million for 5 years… Sorry for the sarcasm!!!

    I a sorry i dont want to be the play offs on a guy that cant stay healthy. At best he is slightly above avg when he is healthy. Just my opinion.

    As it is right now, i would take Fister into the playoffs long before Bedard… No question…

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    Well that’s really silly but alright.

  • Michael McCoy

    Ok so i was finally able to get onto MLB.com to check his stats, i wasnt that far off. I looked at his number and am still not overly impressed. I will be honest with you about my feelings for Bedard. It is my opinion that the be consinderd and ACE you have to be able to be counted on every 5 days for at least 7 good quality innings. There is no way that you can count on Bedard for anything like that. Injuries are not a players fault i dont blame him for that at all but his health is a concern everytime he steps on the bump. Its like this Simply put you know dam well that Felix is going to be out there every five days. that is his track record, and Bedard has his track record…. The past is a great predictor of the future…

    this has been a fun afternoon so far i must say

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    This is just a bad comment thread.

  • Michael McCoy

    Please do tell what is so wrong with my comment thread!! Did you see tonights game. I mean get real, everyone is excited about the Angels comeing into the safe cause they are going to be Jet lagged, and they are as bad as we are…. I remember a time when we were excited because the Yankees were comeing to town cause it was going to be a great game, and we were going to “Put it to ‘em”… If our satisfied with what we have then so be it. I however am not and wont be until things start to change. This has always been a problem with M’s fans since i can remember. They always say it will get better. That thought process is why Sweet Lou left. Status quoe is not good enough… It’s time to build a team or just be happy paying top dollar for a AAA type playing team!!! I am ready for the Mariners that come to Win not just come to play

  • http://sodomojo.com Griffin Cooper

    It isn’t just you, Michael. And it has nothing to do with how well this team is playing or even if your sentiment is almost right – it’s just a painful thread to read.

  • Michael McCoy

    Cant be anymore painful then watching it play out on the diamond everynight. WE ONLY GOT 4 HITS TONIGHT, THAT IS AN ACCURATE STAT Griff, WE GOT TO THIRD ONCE, AND BLEW IT. AFTER THAT WE ONLY GOT TO SECOND ONCE AND BLEW IT… THIS IS COMPLETELY STUPID. I am going to the game on Saturday and Sunday, and if things do change it will be the last games i go to for a long time. I am not a bandwaggon fan but i times are tough and i am not going to spend good money on a team that is happy with good deffense and great pitching but no offense and when i say no offense i mean an AVG of less then 2 runs a game…

  • Michael McCoy

    I am almost temped to put a paper bag over my face at the game so that maybe just maybe the head office might understand how Mariners fans feel. F ing Embarrased!!!!

  • michaelmccoy

    Like i said status quoe is good for 95′ers. I have been a Mariner since 1977. Griffen said to have patients well over 30 years of patients is getting old and this team was suppose to be a playoff contender. Well yeah they are a playoff contender but only as far as maybe winning the AL West. that is not going to get us to the WS no chance. Does it mean anthing that whoever wins the Wild Card is going to haved a better winning record then us…. but i guess that pitching Deffense, and 3 runs a game AVG is good enough for the 95′ers “IT WILL GET BETTER”….. Bedard will lead us to the WS!!!

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