Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's here!!!!

Today is the day! Pitchers and catchers report. The News-Tribune has the M's recharging their batteries. The Times and P-I? No report yet. The M's site focuses on new pitching coach Rafael Chaves.

For a lot of teams, this is the best part of the baseball season. Hope is alive, dreams have yet to be shattered. Hopefully, that won't be true for the Mariners.

Most teams have a lot of questions to be answered in the spring. Position battles, roster spots, etc. Usually the less question marks you have, the better your teams chance of contending. The Mariners are a little different this year. On the one hand, they don't look like a contender. However, they don't really have a lot of questions going into the spring. Why?

1) The rotation seems to be set. Moyer, Washburn, Piniero, Meche, Felix. That is what we want to see. Unless Jesse Foppert (or "Fopp" if USSMariner has anything to say about it) is incredible, the best case scenario would be for those five to be pitching well. Gil and Joel-step it up.

2) The bullpen looks good. Guardado will close, with Putz, Soriano as the main setup guys and Mateo, Sherril, and (gulp) Thornton in the mix as well. There are a few guys who could be fighting for a spot, but the 'pen is probably the M's biggest strength.

3) Oddly, the lineup is probably set too. Maybe:
Ichiro RF
Johjima C
Beltre 3B
Sexson 1B
Ibanez LF
Everett DH
Reed CF
Lopez 2B
Betancourt SS

While that lineup certainly doesn't wake up memories of the '97 team, there aren't a lot of position battles going into the spring. Wee Willie Bloomquist may challenge Lopez to work a little harder, but, with few tweaks in the order, more than likely that is your lineup.

Having said that, there are a TON of questions going into the regular season. But we'll address those after the spring. For now, GET FIRED UP!!! BASEBALL IS BACK!!!

6 comments:

  1. Oh and the bench too. Lawton, Bloomquist, Rivera, Morse? Could be interesting to see what happens there.

    BASEBALL! BASEBALL! BASEBALL!

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  2. you think johjima will hit second? i thought he was more of a middle of the order - like 6thish - kind of guy. id hit reed second, push everett down to 7, johjima 6th, and it doesnt look too bad. other than starting pitching, i think they will be solid. of course that is an enormous "other than . . ." i say they should be pushing guardado on anyone who will give a starting pitching prospect - the braves need a closer. somebody needs a closer.

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  3. I thought Johjima as second was an interesting "maybe". I'd probably flip him and Reed. I'd keep Everett at 6 though. His limited skills are mainly run producing, so I think it makes a little more sense to have him at that spot. Of course, that may mean he'd be better suited at 7 so there was some power in that part of the lineup.

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  4. Neddy Ballgame7:50 PM

    ..OK,so Everet wil be starting for your Seattle MJAriners--I gotta live wiht it I guess....but hope Springs eternal and the IF's of hte Srping are fun to discuss since no one can be proven wrong yet.....also seems ot me Jojima isn't a #2 hitter,but we'll find out in Peoria where he should fir in --Everett ahs to be in a power slot until/unless he proves us wrong otherwise its a bnig waste...come on Joel and Gil !!!!!---pitching really IS the "..othe than.." question mark---very sunny on SeAttle(but freezing cold) a great day to play two --yes,baseball's been berrry berrry good to us !!!

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  5. FWIW, I saw a lineup projection somewhere that had Johjima hitting 2nd.

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  6. Anyone think there will be any more deals before the M's break camp? I think if it looks like the starting pitching could end up being crap, they might try to get better through a trade or two. I'd rather see Meche and Pineiro step it up a notch or two and solidly earn spots in the rotation. I'm also curious to see how Foppert looks. He's supposed to have a great arm, anyway. Then again, Thornton has a great arm, eh.

    Whatever happens this season, we're tied with all the other teams in our division until the season starts. I think we have a good shot at .500 anyway, if not slightly better! Hope does spring eternal!

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