Tag Archives: Josh Bard

2012 AL West Team & Winter Wrap-Up

Unlike NCAA sports, pro sports don’t come out with pre-season 1st and 2nd teams, but if the AL West had its pre-season team, this is how I think it would shake out. My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as potential this upcoming year, and often I use the sabermetric WAR to break ties. Some of the picks are obvious (Pujols), and others are less obvious (DH), so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

A quick analysis shows that Texas is the class of the division, with more 1st team selections than the rest of the west combined. Anaheim has good 2nd tier depth, solid pitching, and balance. Texas and Anaheim each have 8 1st or 2nd team selections of the possible 10 positional categories, and of the 14 pitching spots, a whopping 11 are Rangers (6) and Angels (5). The M’s are a distant 3rd, but a ways ahead of the re-building A’s, who are loaded with average players but no star power whatsoever.

I wanted to take this chart one step further, and visually quantify the separation between teams based on these picks. To do so, I’ve simply awarded 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection. Here’s how it shakes out on a bar graph.

Lastly, here are team by team offseason wrap ups, after the jump… Continue reading


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Mariners-2 Must Make Moves

To the surprise of everyone, here in early June, the AL west is wide open and the M’s could very well contend into the summer. Let that sink in for a moment. What this means is as long as the division is within reach, the team can’t afford to roll out all their youth at the cost of losing, and in case you had not noticed, the Mariners are not getting production out of left field. I suppose that statement has been true for the last 30 years, but now more so than ever, LF has been a joke. Ken Rosenthal sums it up well in a tweet I saw today- “Least productive OFs in majors by OPS. Mariners-30th, Tigers-29th, Angels-28th.”

Cutting ties with Milton was the right move, and initially I liked the platoon idea of Peguero and Mike Wilson. Well, despite a monster home run and a game winning hit (if Hunter’s sun drop counts as a game winner), Peguero really has been bad. He is batting .169, and striking out nearly 40% of the time. Also, his defense is sub-par, and that’s being generous. It isn’t fair to make too many conclusions on Mike Wilson, because he only has 25 at bats, but he has just 4 hits. I want to think these guys will get it going and they have only been major leaguers for 1 month, but here’s the bottom line: Carlos Peguero is not ready for the big leagues, and Mike Wilson has been a minor leaguer for 10 years, and there’s probably a reason for that.

The M’s want to know what they have in their young outfielders, particularly Saunders, Peguero, Wilson, Carp, and Halman, especially heading into an off season where Jack will have money to spend. I think the M’s now realize that 3 of those guys, Peguero, Saunders, Wilson are not going to be their starting LF in 2012. So, you keep shuffling the cards, bring up Carp, and maybe later give Halman a shot. If those guys are also hitting .160 in a month, and the team is still contending, then you make a trade when the market opens up. Is this too simple in my head?

There have been compelling arguments made around the Mariners blogosphere, regarding this LF dilemma. Should the M’s call up Ackley, and stick him in the outfield, where he played in college? What about Kennedy, can he play LF? How about trade options, like Chris Denorfia or Carlos Beltran? I suppose anything is possible, but my hope is that Mike Carp is roaming around in the outfield this weekend, or in the very near future. Carp is hitting .330 in Tacoma, with 15 HR and 45 RBI in just 50 games. And contrary to what Dave Cameron says, “Mike Carp is a 1B/DH, and if Wedge won’t use Cust or Wilson out there, he’s certainly not going to use Carp” Carp has actually played 35 of 50 games in the outfield this year, and been the DH in the other 15! So to say he is just a 1B/DH is not true, and actually, his defense has looked decent according to the people who know this stuff.

Oh, and Carp is just 4 months older than Smoak, so it’s not as though he can’t still turn into something. If he does, that JJ Putz trade looks better and better (Guti, Vargas, Carp). In this scenario, I still like Mike Wilson starting against southpaws, and for now the team needs Saunders to back up Guti, pinch run, and be a defensive sub. Ultimately, Saunders needs to play everyday in the minors to fix that swing, and I suspect this will happen if and when Halman is ready for a call-up.

The other must make move? Giminez down, Bard up. I wish I knew what the M’s see in Giminez, to justify him backing up Olivo instead of a proven veteran like Josh Bard. Giminez seems like a cool guy, but he is a career .165 hitter. Bard is 33, a career .260 hitter, with 40 HR. He has some pop, and normally I could care less who the backup catcher is, but when you have 2 options, and one clearly makes more sense, I can’t help but be annoyed that the team chooses the other.

Soon enough, Dustin Ackley will be here too, which presents another tough decision, and one that could spell the end for Jack Wilson or Luis Rodriguez. But for now, Peguero down, Carp up; Giminez down, Bard up.


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Your 2011 Mariners- Catcher

I guess I’ll get this position over with so we can look at some slightly less depressing spots on the roster.


On the Roster

Adam Moore- Not having paid much attention to the last couple of months of the season, I busted out Moore’s monthly splits.  I was under the vague impression that his bat was a little better after he returned to the Mariners.  I was wrong. He did show a little more power, with three homers from August on, but that’s the extent of anything promising.  His best stretch of the season was for about three games right before he got injured.  Lots of rookies struggle, especially if they’re catching, but it’s not looking good for Moore.  I’d be curious as to how his defense looked by the end of the year.  Any thoughts?

Rob Johnson- Just going to move on.

Contract is Up

Josh Bard- Technically, Bard is a free agent, but I’m sure the Mariners could resign him if they want to.  Bard was probably the best catcher on the roster, but that’s not saying a lot.  He’s a decent backup, which is all he should be.  Unfortunately, in 2010 he was frequently the best option to start that the Mariners had. Continue reading

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The Rebuilding Process, Year 3

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Years 1 and 2 of the rebuilding process the Mariners are in, orchestrated by Jack Zduriencik. With year 2 nearing completion, let’s look ahead to year 3 of rebuild mode.

Following this 2010 season, the Mariners will likely find themselves less ahead of schedule than what had been anticipated going into this season. The 85 wins in 2009 will be followed up with something like 65-70 wins. The Mariners do not have much money coming off the books, and their best player from 2009, Cliff Lee, is wearing a Texas uniform at the moment. In some ways, things may look bleak for the Mariners after this season. However, looking again at the big picture of rebuilding in 3-4 years, I think the positives still outweigh the negatives because of the strengthened farm system, the lack of bad contracts, and a strong nucleus that are all signed (Ichiro, Felix, Smoak, Guti).

Rewind with me again to November 2008. The Mariners were a mess, kind of like the Seahawks are today, and similar to Husky football after the Willingham era concluded. In each case, our team needed to blow things up and rebuild. This happens in sports, and typically, rebuilding takes 3-4 years. Of course the Yankees can do it in 1 year, and the Royals or Pirates need about 10 years, but for a Seattle team in a good market, 3-4 years is about the norm. This season it appeared the M’s might be able to take advantage of a weakened division and some savvy trades, and take the shortcut from rebuilder to contender in just 12 months. But 2010 has not panned out, and while it looks like the M’s are going to have to start over again once this year ends, the reality is the foundation for rebuilding was laid a year ago, and Seattle is finishing year 2 of a 3-4 year rebuilding process.

In his “Wait ‘Til Next Year” series, Matthew recently broke down each position, and forecasted the roster heading into next season. Certainly a common theme in these posts is the uncertainty at multiple positions, but despite the question marks, the M’s will continue building around a solid group that will surely include Felix, Ichiro, Ackley, Gutierrez, Figgins, Saunders, Smoak, Pineda, Vargas and Fister. Others from the current roster will be back next year, and some will not, and additions will need to be made, either via trade, free agency, or growth in the farm system. Given how difficult it is to predict trades, let’s look at the unrestricted free agent crop for 2011, and specifically, free agents that may be realistic targets for the Mariners, give their needs. Yes, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Derek Jeter may hit free agency, but again, this list only includes realistic targets, at positions the M’s may have an interest.
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Mariners Recap — 5/21/2010

Mmm, 15 runs, it always goes down smooth. Beating up on San Diego brings to mind many Anchor Man quotes, but I’ll try and resist. First off, Sween Dog and Bard were fun to watch and cheer for last night. That is a scientific fact! Ok, I’ll stop with the Anchor Man fun. But really, who could have ever guessed those 2 vets could rack up 6 hits, 16 total bases, 3 home runs, and 9 RBI, in one game! Get used to seeing Bard behind the plate, because he has surpassed Hips and Moore’s combined performances in about 5 games.

This game was littered with statistical oddities, which is typical for a game where the teams combine for 30 hits and 23 runs. Baseball is a funny sport. The M’s scored 12 runs in 8 games between April 30th, and May 8th, a 78 inning stretch. Last night they scored 13 runs in 4 innings. Of course, they weren’t facing Wade LeBlanc during any of those abysmal 78 innings. I don’t understand how LeBlanc is good but I guess it helps pitching in the NL. It is also fun to look at how batting averages can change from one game to the next, when 15 hits are collected. The first number is the player’s average prior to the game, the second number is the new current average-

Sweeney- .226, .276
Bradley- .221, .244
Bard- .333, .400
Wilson- .239, .255

Here are a few more notes and hero/goat-

  • Milton Bradley had a great game. He worked the count, and his 3 hits were all stung. I could see him having a great rest of the year.
  • 347 pitches were thrown between both teams. I think that’s a lot.
  • I doubt Cliff Lee ever gets another win in a Mariners uniform when giving up 7 earned runs. But that’s what happened last night. Cliff didn’t have his best stuff, but even still, he didn’t walk a guy. His control is ridiculous.
  • The Padres didn’t draw a walk, and the Mariners scored 15 runs, but it was San Diego that had 3 more at-bats. Is this weird? I don’t know. I’m not sure why I’m typing this.

    Hero: Mike Sweeney and Josh Bard. Gotta go with co-heroes in this one. Those two were monsters last night.
    Goat: Jose Lopez. Lost in the fun and hugs from last night is the 0-5 night Lopey had. His defense has been great and with so many others struggling at the plate, Jose has flown under the radar. It’s tough to imagine Lopez gets anywhere near his 25 HR, 96 RBI from last year.

    Finally, if you didn’t read the live blog that Jeff Sullivan was doing over at LL, it is worth a read. I have pasted a few of my favorite lines. That dude is funny, and between the humor he recaps the game nicely too. Check that out after the jump! Continue reading


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