Tag Archives: Matt Mangini

Checking in on the M’s

As you may have noticed, the blog has switched to football mode in the last couple weeks.  This was a combination of the Mariners sucking and football being a breath of fresh air.  There hasn’t been anything really exciting as far as the Mariners go lately but here’s what little news there is:

  • After Tacoma won the PCL Championship several players were called up.  These players were Justin Smoak, Dan Cortes, Matt Mangini, Greg Halman, and Anthony Varvaro.  Cortes has been by far the  most impressive so far.  He hasn’t allowed a base-runner in two innings of work and has struck out 4 of 6 hitters faced.  He’ll be in the bullpen next year all season, barring injury, and could take on the 8th inning role (which is basically what he’s doing now).  Mangini has hit pretty well since coming up to the bigs.  No one has questioned his hitting, it’s his defense that stops him from being a top prospect.  More on him below.  Smoak has gotten hot the last two days, with 4 hits including a home run.  He’s starting to look like the top prospect we traded for.  Halman and Varvaro haven’t seen a ton of action but Halman notched his first hit tonight and Varvaro is pitching as I type this.  All of them have been decent, if not more.  It’s a shame they weren’t up here sooner.  Update: Varvaro didn’t do so well tonight, but he still has a bright future as a lefty reliever.
  • The two big names not to get called up are Dustin Ackley and Josh Lueke.  Ackley just needed a break before he starts fall league.  Enough has been written about Lueke, so I won’t add anything.  I’m cheering for the guy but I have my doubts that he’ll ever be in a Mariner uniform despite his unquestionable talent.
  • The Mariners will score over 500 runs this year.  With 6 runs so far tonight, they are up to 497 runs.  That’s kind of too bad.  On the other hand, do you realize how pathetic it is that we can even talk about this.
  • Speaking of Mangini, with a little more success we could see him having a role on the team next year.  Jose Lopez will be gone, thank goodness, and if the opportunity comes to trade Chone Figgins the M’s might take it.  That would leave a hole at third base and why not give Mangini the opportunity?  Seattle won’t be good next year so I’d like to see as many young players as possible.  They may platoon him or he could be a good lefty bat off the bench, at least.
  • Speaking of Chone Figgins, he’s hitting .360 in September.  That is good news concerning next year.  He can still be a valuable player despite his big contract and down year.  He has more stolen bases than B.J. Upton.  That is weird to me for some reason.  I can’t even remember him being on base too many times.
  • Ichiro got over 200 hits, again.  This is because Ichiro is awesome.  He is worth his big contract, regardless of what other people say.  If you think he’s overrated please talk to me, I would love to have this argument.
  • The M’s need to go 4-3 the rest of the way to avoid 100 losses.  They are ahead by one right now in the 8th.  Needless to say, it feels a lot better to lose 99 games than it does 100.  Do we know why?  No.  Mainly just because the human race is weird.

That’s about all I can think of.  If you have any Mariner questions let me know in the comments and I’ll try to address them.



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Last March, Matthew started a series called “Y2010M!” (standing for Your 2010 Mariners).  It provided the reader with information on players from the 2010 Mariners.  It seemed like a logical thing to do at the time.  The Mariners were supposed to be good, and there was more optimism in Seattle than there had been in quite a while.  This season didn’t work out though.  Frankly, Y2010M’s suck.  In fact, you probably don’t want to call them yours.  I don’t want to call them mine.  While next season will certainly be a little better, it can’t get much worse, it isn’t something that we should be extremely excited about.  Playoff chances will be slim and the casual fan probably won’t enjoy watching as the young players progress next season.  On the plus side, the Mariners could have about 3 legitimate candidates for Rookie of the Year.  Because of that reason, I am led to 2012.  The Mayan’s aren’t the only ones predicting big things that year.  Unlike the Bavasi years, there is actually hope in the future now.  Z has put good prospects in the system and the future looks much brighter than it did when he took over.  Yes, I know the future doesn’t make the present any more bearable, but at least there’s some hope.  So, lets take a way too early look at your 2012 Mariners.

Starting Rotation
The starting rotation is the place where we know the least about so I’ll start there.  Obviously, you have Felix as your ace.  I don’t need to say anything about him because he’s awesome and everyone should know it.  Then, almost as certain, we have Mr. Pineda.  Pineda is a top 3 prospect in the Mariners system and is a top 30 prospect in baseball.  He is better than everyone in Seattle’s rotation right now, aside from Felix.  No one’s a safe bet, but Pineda is about as close as they come.  He is one of those rookie of the year candidates.

After Pineda, it gets a little blurry.  There’s Vargas and Fister, who are very solid back of the rotation guys.  I think Vargas stands a better chance to still be around in there just because he has better pitches.  That’s not to say Fister isn’t capable.  He could be a very good 5th starter.  That leaves the 2nd, 3rd, and/or 4th spot in the rotation open (assuming Felix is the ace, Pineda is either the 2nd or 3rd starter, Vargas at 4th or 5th, and Fister maybe at the 5th spot).  So, who will fill either one or two spots?  I wouldn’t be surprised to see an innings eater (like a Kevin Millwood) added via free agency.  But, there are several options in the system.

Ryan Rowland-Smith has been much better in Tacoma lately but I wouldn’t count on him.  Same goes for Luke French.  There’s Mauricio Robles, who has more upside than both of those guys but has a longer way to come.  Robles was acquired in the Washburn trade and has the upside of a 3 starter.  He’s a short little guy who throws pretty hard and is left-handed.  He has high strikeout rates but also has high walk rates.  If he can learn to control his stuff, I think he’ll be in the rotation at some point.  If not, he may be moved to the bullpen.  Nick Hill was once highly thought of but he’s struggled this year.  There are also this years draftees but counting on the starters by 2012 isn’t a very good bet.

The 2012 rotation will depend on the emergence of Pineda and the ability to sign or trade for a veteran.  If Pineda is as good as we think, the rotation could be quite good.

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Working On the Farm- AAA Tacoma

After a long season that I really don’t have the words to describe, the Mariners are finally down to about 2 months and 60 games left.  While the trade deadline and maturation of Michael Saunders have made the last month a little more interesting, something else that is both significantly better and more interesting is the Mariners farm system.  Most of the affiliates are hovering near the top of their leagues, a nice sign for a franchise that needs to learn how to win.  More importantly, the talent level has improved to the point where each team has more than a few interesting players.

There’s a lot of interest in the Mariners’ minor league system right now, for good reason, so I thought I’d take a walk around the farm and give a quick rundown of who to watch at each level.  One caveat: I’m no scout and haven’t seen more than a handful of these players in action.  Everything you’ll see here is my composite memory of scouting reports and media pieces I’ve read.  There are some good writers, local and national, who know a lot more.  Jason Churchill at Prospect Insider typically has a lot of good information from a scouting standpoint, while Jay Yencich at Mariners Minors puts out a ridiculous amount of recaps, etc.  Jay also does a great weekly Minors Recap at USS Mariner that will keep you up on the majority of the system goings-on.  Here’s this week’s.  There’s plenty of other good stuff out there, especially Jon Shields at both ProBallNW and Lookout Landing.

I’ll take these one at a time and hopefully bust through them in the next few weeks, before the minor league seasons end and I take another vacation!  First up:  AAA Tacoma. Continue reading

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