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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Heyman: Cano offers ideas to aid Mariners in quest to round out roster

Robbie the Reboot.

The Seattle Mariners made some big improvements this winter but appear to have left themselves with some obvious holes as well. The biggest enhancement, of course, was signing superstar second baseman Robinson Cano, who brings the middle-of-the-order impact bat the team craved, and also maybe just a few more opinions and a little more assertiveness than is recalled from his many years in New York.

Cano, by all accounts, is thoroughly enjoying his first days inside a lively new clubhouse with new teammates, and his characteristically broad smile seems to confirm that from his position at the head of the beautified clubhouse here. But Cano looks around and sees those very real issues and wonders if there could be a move or two more coming from the Mariners.

...“I’m not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat,” Cano told CBSSports.com. “We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty. You don’t want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters.”

Zduriencik doesn’t necessarily disagree. How can he? Not after the Mariners posted an MLB-low .657 OPS vs. left-handers last year, then added two more lefty hitters in Cano and Logan Morrison as two of its three main offensive pieces while losing the righty-swinging Michael Morse and switch-hitting Kendrys Morales.

“We are a little lefthanded, and we know it,” Zduriencik said.

...But ultimately, Cano also doesn’t want to make waves, or add to any angst around camp over the injured pitchers.

“If it was up to me, we’d have Santana, (Nelson) Cruz and Ubaldo (Jimenez), too,” Cano said. “That’s really more for the front office.”

Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:58 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners

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   1. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4664788)
Odds that Cano finishes out this contract, still a Mariner? I'm going under 30%.
   2. Swedish Chef Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4664804)
I think there's at least 20% chance that he's so bad/injured that he's completely untradeable down the road.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: March 02, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4664812)
is there a such thing as a " late in the order impact bat?"
   4. Swedish Chef Posted: March 02, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4664813)
is there a such thing as a " late in the order impact bat?"

Yes, if you have some awesome bats in front of him (or an exceedingly silly manager).
   5. McCoy Posted: March 02, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4664825)
#6-Troy Glaus 2000
#7-Gabby Hartnett 1930
#8-Adolfo Phillips 1967
#9-Don Newcombe 1955/Roberto Kelly 1989


With Gabby probably being the best late in the order impact bat since he constantly batted at the back of the lineup.
   6. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4664845)
Scott Brosius 1998; .300/.371/.472; 121 OPS+; hit 7th, 8th, or 9th in 149 out of his 152 games.
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4664852)
Manny Ramirez batted 7th most of the time for the 95 Indians. 294 /385 /533 from the 7 hole and 308/402/558 overall
   8. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4664866)
As I recall, Manny was pretty legit in that spot, not slumming. That team was stacked.
   9. bookbook Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4664869)
Choke Figgins
   10. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4664886)
As I recall, Manny was pretty legit in that spot, not slumming. That team was stacked.


They certainly were. If they'd had a SS and a C who could hit at all, they might have scored a thousand runs in 144 games. But "late order impact bat" seasons are almost always going to be found on teams that were stacked. OTOH, Manny hit seventh in 71 games, and fifth or sixth in 62 (he hit third once). Also, Vizquel and Baerga hitting second and third on a team that had Belle, Thome, Murray and Ramirez is pretty damned inexplicable.
   11. McCoy Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4664889)
As I recall, Manny was pretty legit in that spot, not slumming. That team was stacked.

It was also his first full year as well. A lot of the back of the order guys who put up great numbers were players in and around their 3rd season of play and generally it was their first full season as a player.
   12. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4664898)
Was Sandy Alomar hurt in '95? He only got 218 PAs, and OPS'ed 107.
   13. BDC Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4664904)
The immortal Kevin Elster batted ninth for the 1996 Rangers – with 24 HR and 99 RBI.

Well, to be picky, 21/92 batting ninth, 2/6 batting eighth, and 1/1 in the only game that year he batted as high as seventh :)
   14. The District Attorney Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4664909)
Cano -- whose $240 million, 10-year deal with Seattle is tied for the third richest in MLB history -- offers a solution, and it's the obvious one; bring back Morales, who remains a free agent working out for weeks at the Scott Boras Training Institute in Miami Gardens, Fla.
You don't say, Jon. You don't say.

(Ervin Santana, to be fair, is not a Boras client. I guess even Heyman realized that suggesting the Mariners sign Stephen Drew would be ridiculous.)

Vizquel and Baerga hitting second and third on a team that had Belle, Thome, Murray and Ramirez is pretty damned inexplicable.
Vizquel being in the Hall of Fame while Lofton and Manny are not will also be inexplicable.
   15. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4664914)
Was Sandy Alomar hurt in '95? He only got 218 PAs, and OPS'ed 107.


Missed the first 55 games or so. So they did have a catcher who could hit a bit in about two thirds of the games for almost two thirds of the season.

Vizquel being in the Hall of Fame while Lofton and Manny are not will also be inexplicable.


I don't think "inexplicable" is quite the right adjective for this. Then again, maybe it wasn't quite the right adjective for me to have used either. I mean, I'm sure Hargrove must have had an explanation of some sort for giving Vizquel a bunch more PA than Thome and Ramirez.
   16. toratoratora Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4664928)
I suspect Manny's exclusion will be quite explicable.

As for Vizquel's at bats, that might have something to do with playing SS. It's not as if his backup, the immortal Alvaro Espinoza, owner of a 51 OPS+ to Vizquel's lofty 78, did any better.

Though I have to admit-I would have loved to see even one game of ManRam at Short. That would have been epic.
   17. bobm Posted: March 02, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4664932)
For single seasons, From 1914 to 2013, Batting 6th (within Batting Order Positions), (requiring PA?475), sorted by greatest sOPS+

                                                                                       
Rk   I             Player       Split Year   G   OPS  GS  PA   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS sOPS+
1          Hank Greenberg Batting 6th 1934 114  .994 114 500 .336 .404 .590  .994   164
2              Joe Gordon Batting 6th 1942 124  .927 124 525 .336 .414 .513  .927   164
3              Troy Glaus Batting 6th 2000 134 1.009 134 567 .285 .404 .605 1.009   150
4          Austin McHenry Batting 6th 1921 122  .936 122 511 .362 .402 .534  .936   145
5            Tony Lazzeri Batting 6th 1933 137  .874 137 598 .295 .386 .488  .874   138
6               Joe Kuhel Batting 6th 1933 125  .867 125 548 .333 .396 .470  .867   137
7           Ken Singleton Batting 6th 1983 136  .847 130 557 .283 .402 .446  .847   136
8             Ed Konetchy Batting 6th 1920 120  .782 120 501 .309 .355 .428  .782   135
9          Vinny Castilla Batting 6th 1997 141  .910 141 599 .305 .362 .548  .910   134
10             Brad Hawpe Batting 6th 2007 122  .918 120 519 .286 .382 .536  .918   133
11                Hal Lee Batting 6th 1932 122  .860 122 518 .314 .354 .506  .860   132
12          Larry Gardner Batting 6th 1916 148  .767 146 574 .310 .376 .390  .767   132
13         Ivan Rodriguez Batting 6th 1998 120  .882 120 515 .323 .363 .519  .882   130
14         Travis Jackson Batting 6th 1927 116  .869 116 484 .325 .367 .502  .869   128
15            Ken Keltner Batting 6th 1939 153  .872 153 642 .328 .380 .492  .872   127
16           Tony Lazzeri Batting 6th 1927 150  .861 150 650 .307 .382 .480  .861   127
17             Gil Hodges Batting 6th 1950 129  .871 129 548 .280 .367 .504  .871   126
18     High Pockets Kelly Batting 6th 1922 149  .867 149 633 .329 .367 .500  .867   126
19             Joe Sewell Batting 6th 1921 154  .856 154 683 .318 .412 .444  .856   126
20         Vinny Castilla Batting 6th 1996 123  .894 123 525 .302 .343 .551  .894   125


   18. bobm Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4664937)
For single seasons, From 1914 to 2013, Batting 7th (within Batting Order Positions), (requiring PA?475), sorted by greatest sOPS+

                                                                                 
Rk   I         Player       Split Year   G  OPS  GS  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS sOPS+
1       Larry Parrish Batting 7th 1979 132 .935 132 509 .323 .372 .563 .935   161
2         Bill Dickey Batting 7th 1933 124 .876 122 512 .321 .384 .492 .876   150
3       Pinky Higgins Batting 7th 1933 150 .875 150 628 .316 .385 .489 .875   150
4      Howard Johnson Batting 7th 1987 124 .866 123 505 .268 .362 .503 .866   137
5        Bob OFarrell Batting 7th 1926 145 .805 142 566 .293 .371 .434 .805   128
6         Ken Keltner Batting 7th 1938 143 .825 143 592 .278 .321 .504 .825   124


NB:

                                                                                 
           Player       Split Year   G   OPS  GS  PA   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS sOPS+
   Gabby Hartnett Batting 7th 1930 102 1.056 102 440 .356 .422 .634 1.056   181
   Gabby Hartnett Batting 7th 1928 107  .967 105 427 .314 .415 .552  .967   174


   19. bobm Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4664941)
For single seasons, From 1914 to 2013, Batting 8th (within Batting Order Positions), (requiring PA?475), sorted by greatest sOPS+

                                                                              
Rk   I          Player       Split Year   G  OPS  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS sOPS+
1      Adolfo Phillips Batting 8th 1967 140 .843 535 .269 .385 .458 .843   182
2         Steve ONeill Batting 8th 1920 126 .862 488 .324 .414 .448 .862   164
3         Leo Cardenas Batting 8th 1965 146 .800 588 .293 .361 .439 .800   155
4         Wally Schang Batting 8th 1921 132 .888 514 .318 .433 .455 .888   151
5         Bob OFarrell Batting 8th 1922 124 .874 476 .324 .437 .437 .874   142
6          Clete Boyer Batting 8th 1962 122 .797 480 .292 .357 .439 .797   138
7         Rick Ferrell Batting 8th 1938 132 .790 493 .294 .405 .385 .790   138


ETA: [17-19] inspired by [5]

   20. The District Attorney Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4664963)
Yeah, I suppose you basically get on this list either by being on a great offensive team, or being a young player who isn't yet "established." 22-year-old David Wright was clearly the Mets' best hitter in his first full season of 2005, but he still hit 6th or 7th half the year. Amusingly, 6th can boast his best career stats in any lineup spot with meaningful PA (344/395/642 in 233 PA), and 7th his worst (241/327/379 in 196 PA). I guess that doesn't sound like a lot of plate appearances, but man, having the guy whom you know is your best hitter batting 6th or 7th can drive a fan nuts, especially when your team is good but not great and it feels like it might be making a difference.
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4664974)
As for Vizquel's at bats, that might have something to do with playing SS.


Vizquel played 136 games in 1995 (135 starts; 1187 defensive innings). Ramirez played 137 (134 starts; 1131 defensive innings and 5 games at DH). So almost all of the difference in PA is batting order, rather than Vizquel starting more games or Manny being pulled for late-inning defense.

I would have loved to see even one game of ManRam at Short. That would have been epic.


Well, there was that time that he cut off a throw from CF.
   22. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4664986)
Vizquel played 136 games in 1995 (135 starts; 1187 defensive innings). Ramirez played 137 (134 starts; 1131 defensive innings and 5 games at DH). So almost all of the difference in PA is batting order, rather than Vizquel starting more games or Manny being pulled for late-inning defense.


I read #16 to mean: "He's a SS, so of course we bat him 2nd - just look at how well he bunts Lofton over!"
   23. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 02, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4664994)
"He's a SS, so of course we bat him 2nd - just look at how well he bunts Lofton over!"


Wait, I thought the scrappy second baseman was supposed to bat 2nd. And the catcher bats 8th.
   24. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4665041)
maybe just a few more opinions and a little more assertiveness than is recalled from his many years in New York.


I blame the yoke of Yankee oppression.
   25. zonk Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:27 PM (#4665135)
So Cano is too lazy to single-handedly rescue the M's?
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 02, 2014 at 10:52 PM (#4665153)
From the article:

"I'm not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat," Cano told CBSSports.com. "We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty. You don't want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters."


Hmmm...I wonder how they could get another bat....well, one thing is to avoid tying up too much of your payroll in one bat, yes?

   27. attaboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4665565)
So almost all of the difference in PA is batting order, rather than Vizquel starting more games or Manny being pulled for late-inning defense.

His first full year, Manny probably wasn't pulled for defense, he had a gun for an arm and probably was giving 100%...although I didn't look it up :)
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4665582)
Boston's #9 spot (mostly Varitek) slugged .472 in 2003 ... and that includes inter-league games.
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4665592)
Boston's #9 spot (mostly Varitek) slugged .472 in 2003 ... and that includes inter-league games.


And the guy who hit No. 8 more than anyone else was the AL batting champion.

That was a pretty good lineup.

   30. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4665785)
Damon
Todd Walker
Nomar
ManRam
Big Papi (pre-moniker)
Millar
Trotman
Mueller
'Tek

Oh man that was a good lineup.

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