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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mariners Extend GM Jack Zduriencik

“Aim low. Aim so low no one will even care if you succeed.”

The Mariners have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with general manager Jack Zduriencik, the club announced via press release.

The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:47 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jack zduriencik, mariners

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   1. Spahn Insane Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4779562)
6th best personnel decision Seattle's made this year?
   2. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4779574)
Early rumors indicate that Jack Z. plans to install state of the art showers in the clubhouse to exploit every possible opportunity to improve the team.
   3. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4779585)
NO NO NO NO NO NO.
   4. rr Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4779589)
Like all three posts so far. Want to hear from Mariners' fans on this--apparently at least one doesn't see the pretty good new in '14 as a reason to keep Zduriencik.
   5. Danny Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4779594)
Makes sense. After years of being a joke, the Mariners have made one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent history.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4779596)
So why are the Mariners good this year?
   7. The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4779597)
So why are the Mariners good this year?
Their team ERA is 2.95.
   8. Baldrick Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4779600)
This is the worst part about the team's relative success this year. Especially since a decent part of it is getting an excellent first year from Cano - which doesn't exactly validate the contract per se. No one thought he wouldn't be good this year; the question is whether he's an albatross three of four years down the road.

I am not 100% certain that Jack Z should go. But I am 100% certain he shouldn't get a multi-year extension!

It's a bummer because otherwise I've really enjoyed the team this year. They're not great, but they're better than I expected. And it's certainly a joy to watch games in late August that really mean something.
   9. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4779608)
Hendry part deux!
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4779613)
So why are the Mariners good this year?
Their team ERA is 2.95.


2013 OPS+ :97
2014 OPS+ :94

That's not it

2013 FIP: 3.89
2014 FIP: 3.49

There's a little there...
2013 ERA 4.31
2014 ERA 2.95

YOWZA

2013 RField: -99
2014 RFiedl: 5

DER/Opponent BABIP? Basically their components show an identical team to 2013- they have just gotten MASSIVELY better at turning balls in play into outs, replacing Morse and Ibanez/bay seems to have had a dramatic impact, a few other players have also re-aligned on defense so to speak (Saunders is a good corner OF, not a good CF, etc)
   11. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4779615)
Why not at least wait until the season is over?
   12. eddieot Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4779619)
I will trade Cole Hamels and Ruben Amaro for Jack Z today.
   13. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4779626)
Too bad Z and Moore are in the same league or we could have had two poster boys for stupid GM moves when the GM of year award simply because they do enough to #### up their team this year.
   14. frannyzoo Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4779638)
Mariners Extend GM Jack Zduriencik on a medieval rack, while Ms fans cheer every popping tendon and vertebrae. Oh, it's not that bad and I really kinda like the Austin Jackson pickup. But to say the Ms are now good is a bit of a reach. With two WCs, about seven not very good teams are often referred to as good/challenging/resurgent. No...they just don't absolutely suck.
   15. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4779644)
YOU HAVE TO BE ####### KIDDING ME
   16. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4779657)
The M's have a crazy good Pythag record this year, don't they?
   17. ReggieThomasLives Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4779663)
This season validates the Cano contract/signing big time, it's already met every goal for the signing and no matter how the remaining 9 years go it will clearly always be regarded as a huge success.

For Jack.
   18. Baldrick Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4779670)
The M's have a crazy good Pythag record this year, don't they?

They do (third best run differential in baseball), but they also are significantly outperforming their component stats. Basically, they've been run-lucky but win-unlucky. I think their actual record is probably a pretty fair reflection of the quality of their play so far.
   19. Sonic Youk Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4779672)
I guess it's good that they're playing well, but talk about rewarding a bad type of decision making.
   20. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4779680)
This is a terrible mistake. Expect the Mariners to keep failing.
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4779684)
This season validates the Cano contract/signing big time, it's already met every goal for the signing and no matter how the remaining 9 years go it will clearly always be regarded as a huge success.

For Jack.


Pretty much a perfect post to summarize this topic.
   22. Select Storage Device Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4779689)
(Ink is not dry on "-cik".)

/makes mental note to give Asdrubal Cabrera 70 million dollars

(Ink dries.)
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 26, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4779743)

Why not at least wait until the season is over?


How do you expect a guy to generally manage for the rest of the season if he doesn't have the security of a long-term contract?

   24. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4779747)
How do you expect a guy to generally manage for the rest of the season if he doesn't have the security of a long-term contract?


Like he really deserves one. Or was that a trick question?
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4779753)
This is a terrible mistake. Expect the Mariners to keep failing.

This does not make sense because currently, they are not failing.

How about "Expect the Mariners to resume failing soon."
   26. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:38 AM (#4779756)
Like he really deserves one. Or was that a trick question?


Dude, are you in a contest to be the most oblivious person around here?
   27. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:13 AM (#4779765)
#24 needs to watch Moneyball...
   28. andrewberg Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4779956)
There are enough interesting young players, both in the majors and minors, that there is hope if Cano cannot keep up close to this level of production. Offensively, I think Zunino and Miller are fair bets to improve (Taylor might be over his head so far, but he looks like a big leaguer). Then there is Jackson, Peterson, some are very high on Kivlehan, and there are a few other toolsy OF bats that might pan out. On the pitching side, we are starting to see that Paxton can be very good, Walker remains a top prospect, and who knows what will happen with Hultzen down the road. The FO also deserves credit for drafting and developing Seager, who is a legitimate star. Jack Z's prime qualification was his ability to identify and draft big league talent in Milwaukee. Given a few years to run the system in Seattle, he has shown major weaknesses in other areas, but has basically lived up to his drafting reputation.
   29. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4779987)
When all is said and done I suspect that 2014 in Seattle will look like 2003 in KC
Team ERA+ of 128???

King Felix: 180 (he is a great pitcher, but no one is that great, plus .263 BABIP is career best)
Chris Young: 117 (terrible peripherals, worse even than his 2012 in NY, .233 BABIP, low even buy Young's standards, and he's a BABIP monster- Young has a habit of outpicthing his FIP, but this year it's extreme)
Iwakuma: 132 (seems to be what he is)
Elias: 93 pitched well in the minors, peripherals match results)

The Pen, 389 IP, ERA of 2.36 (best in the league), k/BB is 5th among pens, k/9 is 4th, OPS 2nd...

Back to team as a whole, batting average with RISP: .202 (And their pitching peripherals are actually slightly worse with RISP)

A lot of the improvement from 2014 over 2013 is real- much better defensive team- but a lot of what's going right for the 2014 Mariners looks pretty ethereal- Z looks to be the luckiest SOB in any front office this year
   30. andrewberg Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4780014)
A lot of the improvement from 2014 over 2013 is real- much better defensive team- but a lot of what's going right for the 2014 Mariners looks pretty ethereal- Z looks to be the luckiest SOB in any front office this year


Not THAT much of it is ethereal. Young is probably getting extremely lucky, but that's about the level of production I suspect they'll get from Walker in the future. The bullpen has been a little better than its true talent, and the lineup has been a little worse (I think they get more out of SS next year, a full season of Austin Jackson, more of a real RF instead of Endy Chavez, and their aggregate 1B/DH production couldn't be much worse). We will see how this year ends up, but I don't think they are due for major regression.
   31. madvillain Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4780033)
Not THAT much of it is ethereal. Young is probably getting extremely lucky, but that's about the level of production I suspect they'll get from Walker in the future. The bullpen has been a little better than its true talent, and the lineup has been a little worse (I think they get more out of SS next year, a full season of Austin Jackson, more of a real RF instead of Endy Chavez, and their aggregate 1B/DH production couldn't be much worse). We will see how this year ends up, but I don't think they are due for major regression.


The bullpen is certainly due for regression and they've basically gotten 10 WAR from 2 position players (cano and seager) and around 5 from the rest of them. Pitching and defense is the formula and while a 2.30 ERA out of the pen looks nice, that's not something you want to count on next year.

This is a solid team enjoying a hot 30 day stretch. Nothing more, nothing less. I certainly don't think you fire Jack Z, but the extension, IMO, was a tepid endorsement, not a ringing celebration of success. We'll see where they are in 2 years when Cano and Felix and Iwakuma aren't giving them a combined 18 WAR.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4780047)
IIRC Chris Young has the lowest BABIP of any starter in the last decade.
   33. andrewberg Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4780051)
The bullpen is certainly due for regression and they've basically gotten 10 WAR from 2 position players (cano and seager) and around 5 from the rest of them. Pitching and defense is the formula and while a 2.30 ERA out of the pen looks nice, that's not something you want to count on next year.


That's fair, but it doesn't stand up to say "the bullpen has been great, so that can't continue," and also say "a lot of the lineup has been crap, so that has to continue." Part of having below replacement level players is that they are easier to upgrade. I think they can offset what they lose in bullpen productivity with improved productivity at 1B, DH, RF, SS, CF over a full season, to some extent with guys already on the team.
   34. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4780053)
I want the Mariners to miss being the 2nd Wild Card by one game. For one glorious year they really would be the #6 org.
   35. madvillain Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4780056)
but it doesn't stand up to say "the bullpen has been great, so that can't continue," and also say "a lot of the lineup has been crap, so that has to continue."


Nobody can predict a bullpen the sample size is just too small. The 2005 and 2006 White Sox are a good example of how an elite pen can turn into a mediocre pen without changing too many pieces just do to the nature of the small samples . In two years however I can predict that Robbie Cano and Felix will not be 6-8 WAR players with a fair degree of confidence -- we have literally hundreds if not thousands of aging curves to compare.
   36. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4780063)
King Felix: 180 (he is a great pitcher, but no one is that great, plus .263 BABIP is career best)
My only quibble with [29]. Hernandez already has two seasons with ERA+ of over 170. Yeah, he's not ALWAYS this great, but no one's looking at this season and thinking, "Impossible." He's not Chris Young.
   37. andrewberg Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4780065)
I agree that Cano will start to erode pretty soon. Felix will still only be 30 in two years, so he might still be in his prime, albeit not likely as dominant as this year. What I am saying is that there is plenty of room to improve elsewhere to make up for the losses. There's no guarantee it will happen, but they are in a much better position than they were a few years ago, or even last year.
   38. Baldrick Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4780077)
IIRC Chris Young has the lowest BABIP of any starter in the last decade.

Yep. And he also has the most extreme FB%. And neither are particularly close.

He's an odd duck.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4780087)
Sounds like the Sid Fernandez combo. Similar quirks or arsenals?
   40. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4780114)
38: This is partly a function of his height/delivery - right?
   41. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4780121)
39 - Not really. Um, sort of. (Going from memory here - correct me, guys)
You see terms like "sneaky fast" used with both guys - each has a deceptive delivery and less than great velocity. Sid was a squad lefty with kind of a herky jerky and near sidearm delivery. Young is a super tall and somewhat lean righty, with a very smooth, over the top motion - deception generated by releasing the ball unusually close to the plate, plus lack of variance in how he delivers the ball gives him less of a 'tell' than some pitchers have. Fernandez used a curve to great effect. Young is more fastball / slider. Both guys work high more than the average guy (which leads to a lower BABIP).
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4780140)
Chris Tillman has a similar profile: tall with an over the top motion. Throws 91-93, but probably seems faster because of release point.
   43. The Good Face Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4780153)
39 - Not really. Um, sort of. (Going from memory here - correct me, guys)
You see terms like "sneaky fast" used with both guys - each has a deceptive delivery and less than great velocity. Sid was a squad lefty with kind of a herky jerky and near sidearm delivery. Young is a super tall and somewhat lean righty, with a very smooth, over the top motion - deception generated by releasing the ball unusually close to the plate, plus lack of variance in how he delivers the ball gives him less of a 'tell' than some pitchers have. Fernandez used a curve to great effect. Young is more fastball / slider. Both guys work high more than the average guy (which leads to a lower BABIP).


Fernandez had a funky delivery, but what made it so effective was the ball appeared to come at the hitter out of his shirt. In home whites, combined with his rotund physique, it was really hard for hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand; it was just a white sphere launching itself at you from a vast, white jersey, making a fairly ordinary fastball "sneaky fast" and enhancing the effectiveness of his curve.
   44. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4780177)
Good description, TGF.

Sid delivery.
Young delivery.
   45. Baldrick Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4780207)
Speaking of great defense, your rightfielder tonight: Logan Morrison.

Ugh.
   46. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4780320)
Sid delivery.
Young delivery.


Not a great example of Sid's delivery, that was around when they kept messing with his delivery to make it less awkward looking, usually that odd pause/change of direction midway through was more exaggerated*.

Young's delivery was, if you rotated him a bit less directly towards home, would actually have been pretty common 40+ years ago... as it is it looks very inefficient- can't possibly be getting his best leverage/velocity- but OTOH has to be distracting/awkward to the batters, the ball isn't coming from where it should be from their POV.

*Back in the 80s when they were tinkering with the balk rule, one ST game was interrupted about 10 times as the umps and managers were discussing whether or not Sid's regular windup was now a balk under the rules
   47. bookbook Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4780321)
+A lot of the improvement from 2014 over 2013 is real- much better defensive team- but a lot of what's going right for the 2014 Mariners looks pretty ethereal- Z looks to be the luckiest SOB in any front office this year+

So, outfield defense really matters (more than people think) is the lesson I've learned from watching the M's the last 15 years. Especially behind Chris Young!

The M's have felt crazy lucky this year. But... Saunders has been injured, Miller has underperformed expectations (and what we can hopefully expect going forward), the M's had no CF for the first half, and have a legit one now. There are still holes that feel relatively easy to upgrade for 2015 -- even internally.

Jack Z has done some very poor team construction, and isn't great at picking managers. Yet, his current Manager does some things well, despite his crazy line-ups and strategic decisions. And the system does seem to have many potential contributors--if few potential stars--moving into position.

He probably should have been fired prior to 2014. After this season, it's a non-issue. No one could realistically expect he wouldn't be back.
   48. toratoratora Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4780372)
Re Chris Young.He's altered his approach this year.

From a 7/22 Jeff Sullivan FG article:
"Against righties, Young’s fastball has dropped to levels never before seen from him, with the slider making up all the difference. He’s actually thrown more sliders than fastballs to righties since the beginning of June. Against lefties, there’s been a slight increase in slider rate, but there’s been a sharper increase in changeup rate, to help offset the fastball reduction. The changeup hasn’t often been a weapon for Young before. In effect, Young is pitching like a righty specialist against righties. Against lefties, he’s looking like a bona fide three-pitch pitcher."
   49. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4780394)
What's crazy about Young overperforming his FIP is that he may be the worst starting pitcher in baseball at shutting down the running game. Opposing baserunners get a steal once every six innings and have a 90% success rate.
   50. toratoratora Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4780462)
A final note on Young. He's really taking advantage of pitching in Seattle.
His home/away splits tell the tale:
Home he has a 2.35 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and 59 K's in 80 IP.
The road numbers are ugly: 4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and only 35 K's in 70 IP.
His BAA is also 0.80 points higher on the road and he's surrendered 13 road HR vs 6 at home.

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