March 27, 2011; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Luis Rodriquez (1) gets under a pop up during the 1st inning against the Texas Rangers at the Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

The Most Interesting Spring Training Stories Right Now


I like using declarative statements. Because, I like people to assume I’m using facts. The thing about using a declarative statements is that it has no bearing on being true or false. So I could say that without a doubt the following thoughts are the most interesting stories going into spring training but that’s not really true. The bottom line is that I try to come up with something to write every day just for you and while I have a few other ideas in the chamber and in general working towards putting together this is the best that I’m going to do at this time.

So because I’m lazy and preoccupied you get to here a brief concept idea of why I think the next three stories are worth paying attention too. They aren’t nesscarily earth shattering and I’m sure you’ve considered them all at some point. You may even have an opinion that’s contrast to mine but I really don’t care.

Should we get to it? Lets! (I actually made a face as I wrote this… not that you can see it)

Cesar Jimenez – I’m really not sure that Jimenez makes the roster at this point. There are 11 different left handers that are all competing for a spot on the roster and as has been pointed out to nauseating degrees, it’s not like there are a lot of spots left in the bullpen. There is also the business of him having no options left. Management is of course going to weigh their options pretty heavily. The  big factor is … well being King Felix’s best friend. But what’s the saying this ain’t friend business it’s show business.

I’m not especially keen on Jimenez and there isn’t a specific reason why. He had have a nice run with Tacoma in 2011 and he could still be a serviceable reliever. Last year he posted a nice little tRA+ of 126 and a K/PA ratio of 26.1%. The guy really threw it down at points last season and regardless of my odd little predisposition it’s good to see him return to the game after two rough years of surgery and rehab.

Obviously there are a lot of guys to consider for the pen, but I’m sure there will be no shortage of Jimenez stories this spring.

 

Hisashi Iwakuma – Iwakuma is a really interesting case. A history of injuries, last years velocity drop and there were few that would go near him with a 10 foot pole. It’s not like he was the Grinch, but he had enough red flags that caused general managers to stay leary. While a lot of people are going to be all excited about Hong-Chih Kuo, and considering what he could do out of the bullpen it makes sense,  I’m watching Iwakuma to see if he’ll actually break with the team out of spring training. This isn’t to say that he would be cut.

The team gave him a major league contract and it makes sense that they are going to want to see what type of invest they can recoupe. But I am curious as to whether he’ll head to Japan or stay in Spring Training for a few extra weeks of rehab or work to get him ready for the season. Then again I’m curious to see if he’ll end up being the #2 guy out of spring training.

I know, Jason Vargas added that nice little twist and he did like… was totally super excellent and all… but I’m not sold that he has the rightful claim to the “#2″ role. There are 2 games in Japan and well he just kind of came from there. I’m sure they wouldn’t want pitch him as a way to show off their newest Japanese import. You know kind of like a marketing move. Their probably sick of him anyways.

Anyways… out of any of the starters Iwakuma is the guy I’m most interested in watching as all the Spring Training stories come out.

Munenori Kawasaki vs. Luis Rodriguez vs. Kyle Seager vs. Carlos Guillen -

WHO WILL GET TO BE THE SUPER UTILITY AWESOME GUY?! Okay it’s really not that exciting but I’ve been wondering who gets the 25th man spot on the roster? It’s really not glamorous and really does it matter if we have a guy that barely hits league average off the bench or a guy is all glove that comes in and replaces someone in case of emergency type situation. I’m really impartial at this point and to best honest I’m not entirely sold that it’s going to actually come down to just one of these candidates.

There are the two games played in the far east (which is ironically more west…ish…of us or you in the Northwest) and then we come back to playing multiple exhibition games and then proceed back to being serious about games again. So the actual need of arms maybe rather light, atleast that’s the arguement I see you all could propably show me the error of my ways.

Personally I like Kawasaki and Carlos Guillen. Rodriguez has some useful talents but ultimately is a worse version of Guillen. But you can’t really except Guillen to back-up Brendan Ryan at shortstop so that’s where Munenori Kawaski comes into the picture. I just figure that Seager can go to Tacoma with his option available.

I read somewhere that Seager could be also be traded. I think that’s poppeycock. POPPEYCOCK, I TELL YOU! It does bring to my mind a question though. How many times have there been trades in February and March. Not just “here take my trash and I’ll take yours so we don’t have to tell them they are cut”, I’m talking about legit trades.

Sounds like someone is going to play around with Baseball-Reference, now. It’s all I’ve got and I’m sure you’d all would have loved this post more had it included pictures of Kim Jong Ill riding a horse. That wasn’t that too soon, was it?

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Tags: Brendan Ryan Carlos Guillen Cesar Jimenez Hisashi Iwakuma Kyle Seager Luis Rodriguez Munenori Kawasaki

  • lonnie.mathis

    Poppycock? Such language! :P

    Seriously though, Kyle Seager is a natural 2nd baseman in every way shape and form. If we didn’t have Ackley we would be fairly happy with Seager’s performance at the 2nd sack. At 3rd he is a stop-gap measure and little more. His bat just doesn’t profile well with the position, and the M’s might have better options for the position.

    Wha? You don’t think that the M’s might have better options at 3rd than Seager? Ok, you know I’m going to mention Liddi, so I won’t elaborate on him. The question I have is would you block Francisco Martinez at 3rd with Kyle Seager?

    Would you?

    Lonnie

  • maqman

    Sorry Al my pal (to be my uncle you’d have to be 95 at least) but until somebody shows they are actually better Seager is my man at 3B. Harrison I agree, although it pains me, that Cesar Jimenez is probably beyond redemption, but it would be nice to be proven wrong. I’m pulling for Kawasaki for the INF backup and I think he and Iwakuma will make us even more Ichi Ban! (number 1) in Japan. We should have one hell of a bullpen with The Pile Z has built us. Damn, it’s going to be interesting.

  • Mariner_Melee

    It’s never too soon to make fun of the Chonger…