Tag Archives: Ryan Langerhans

5 M’s Quick Hits

None of these points deserve a full post, because full posts on goodguyssports.com typically involve hours of research, in depth analysis, and material worth publishing. I don’t think any of these fit that bill, but please read anyway.

1) We’ve yet to mention the unbelievable comeback on Monday night. In short, the M’s were down by 7 in the 7th, at which point they had about a 0.6% chance of winning. Craziness ensued and Seattle pulled out a miraculous victory. My first thought watching this was, this is what makes baseball great. In baseball, there is no clock. So even when the M’s were down 7 in the 7th, Toronto couldn’t just milk the clock, no, because in baseball you’re required to get 27 outs, no matter how long it takes. Baseball and golf are two of my favorite sports, and neither involve time. Maybe I’m oddly attracted to this aspect.

2) It feels like every time I watch a Miguel Olivo at bat, he swings and misses at least twice. I have not seen every one of his at bats, and sometimes you draw conclusions, but the stats don’t back it up. But in this case, Olivo really does swing and miss more than any player in baseball. SWSTR% is an advanced stat that measures the percentage of strikes that are swung at, and missed. Olivo leads MLB (eligible players) by swinging and missing an astounding 24% of the time he swings at strikes. Rod Barajas is 2nd in baseball at 19%. Olivo has dominated this statistic in recent years. In fact, he has led every year since 2007. How many guys can say the’ve led baseball in a stat category 5 years running?! Jack Cust is 2nd on the M’s in SWSTR%, at 12.4%. Cust sure seems to swing and miss a lot, but Olivo still has him beat by double the whiffs.

The bottom line is when you’re a big league hitter, and you swing at a ball in the stike zone, you should make contact around 90% of the time, even if it’s just to foul it off. I’d like to watch Miguel in BP sometime, because he probably swings and misses at every 4th pitch.

3) I just found out that when you see a bunch of “K” signs tracking how many strikeouts a pitcher has, a backwards K means the batter struck out looking. I thought fans just got lazy and put them up that way. Oops.

4) When Guti returns, in a couple weeks Lord willing, the team will have a decision to make, because unless an injury, trade, or major slump occurs, there is no obvious candidate to be demoted. Those on the block include Langerhans, Saunders, Bradley, Cust, Kennedy, Rodriguez, or perhaps a bullpen arm like Wilhelmson or Ray (don’t get me started on Chris Ray). I won’t get into the implications for each guy, but at this point, it’s hard to justify demoting or cutting any of these position players, for various reasons. These things tend to work themselves out, otherwise the M’s could have a logjam in the outfield/DH position.

5) Finally, this thought came to me yesterday as I drooled watching Justin Smoak’s opposite field homerun. Where would the M’s be had Ruben Amaro (Phillies GM) not called last winter and offered Cliff Lee?
Think about it. If we hadn’t landed and then traded Lee, we would essentially have Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez (none of which are past AA), instead of Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Matt Lawson, plus the immeasurable joy of watching Cliff Lee for 4 months! I doubt very much if an Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez package could have landed us the coup we got from Texas. And also, if we had 101 losses with Cliff Lee 1/2 the year, how many losses might we have had without him? Yikes, that’s a disturbing thought.

It’s off to KC for our 4-8 Mariners. Oddly enough, despite a poor record, the M’s have split their first 4 series, winning 2 and losing 2. This year is hardly about wins and losses, but I would be pleased if we could somehow scratch back to .500 at some point.

-Dan

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Ranking Your 2011 Mariners

The big news today is basketball related, with Isaiah Thomas announcing, rather unexpectedly, that he will indeed forgo his senior season at UW. He’s off to the NBA, which sucks for Husky fans. Time will tell whether this is a wise decision by IT, but I’m happy for him. Next year’s expectations will be lower now, and it could very well be our last year watching Terrence Ross, but the team should still be good, and contend for the conference yet again.

With that news, I’m officially closing basketball talk on the blog, until at least the draft in June. Why? Because today is opening day! As Andrew noted, things have been dry on here lately, but nothing like some M’s baseball to stir conversation. In case you have not heard, the 25 man roster is official. Looking over the team last night, I started ranking guys in my mind, and that’s what this post is all about. In addition to ranking the 25 man roster, in terms of most valuable to the team in 2011, I’m also throwing 3 more guys into the conversation: Ackley, Gutierrez, and Aardsma. The latter two are on the DL, and Ackley will probably be up sometime in June, so they belong on this list too.

    Ranking the Roster (Most Valuable to Least Valuable)

1- Felix Hernandez—He is the King of Seattle, and the best pitcher on planet Earth. Yes, Felix is the Mariners’ most valuable player. Go away trade rumors!
2- Ichiro—The team’s best hitter and most valuable everyday player. Also, the coolest Mariner ever.
3- Justin Smoak—I want to fall in love with Justin Smoak, and so does this city, but he has a lot to prove. IMHO, this guy is the lynchpin to the M’s offense in 2011.
4- Franklin Gutierrez—I fear for Guti’s long-term health with every day that passes without an explanation, but assuming this mystery stomach ailment gets treated, Guti is the team’s best defender, and a top 5 hitter, a valuable asset indeed.
5- Milton Bradley—Depending on which Milton shows up, batting 3rd, Bradley could easily lead the team in production this year. But can he stay healthy AND out of trouble? I wouldn’t bet on it.
6- Erik Bedard—Hard to argue that a guy who did not pitch last year could hold much value, but IF healthy, Bedard provides huge value to this team. And IF his spring performance is an indicator of what’s to come, his worth is as high as a #2 starter.
7- Chone Figgins—This guy had better bounce back, and I expect he will now that he’s back at 3rd and settled into Seattle. The M’s should be annoying to play, and Figgy leads that annoyance.
8- Jason Vargas—I still don’t think of Jason Vargas as a #2 starter, but he earned this spot after last season. Can he provide an encore?
9- Jack Cust—Batting clean-up for your Seattle Mariners…Jack Cust. Really? You better believe it! He will strike out a ton, but I gotta think he is an upgrade at DH, and he is an awesome interview.
10- Miguel Olivo—The team’s main acquisition this winter, Miguel can’t be worse than our catchers last season, but he must improve on his first go around in Seattle if he is to win over the fans. Continue reading

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Mariner Roster Notes

Sorry for the lack of content here lately.  I can’t speak for the other good guys, but it’s been a really busy time for me.  Luckily, the best day of the year is just around the corner.  Baseball opening day is April 1st, with the Mariners in Oakland to start the year.  The home opener is a week later on the 8th against Cleveland. 

The roster is almost set, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on a few things:

  • The biggest surprise development of camp hasn’t been a good one.  The news came early that Franklin Gutierrez has been dealing with stomach issues that likely contributed to his poor second half in 2010.  Doctors thought they had a diagnosis and treatment plan, but three weeks or so later, Guti’s not feeling any better.  It now seems likely that he’ll start the year on the disabled list.  To be honest, I’m already writing him off for the season.  He might play, but I’m not expecting a breakthrough or anything.  I hope I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem like a good situation at all.  On the field, there are two ways to look at this.  First, Franklin from 2009 is a huge loss.  Getting him back to or past that level would have been a huge improvement to the team.  That wasn’t a given no matter how healthy he is, though, so replacing 2010 Guti shouldn’t be that hard.  He’s still excellent defensively, but I think Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans can provide a reasonable facsimile in that aspect.  Looking at the other outfielders not named Ichiro… Continue reading

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Mariners Make First Moves

The Seattle Times and others are reporting that the Mariners have declined options on Erik Bedard, Russell Branyan, and Jose Lopez.  Bedard was no surprise whatsoever, as he hasn’t pitched in a year and half and the option was for $8 mil.  The other two had a slight chance of getting picked up, but this was still expected.

Branyan and Bedard become free agents, with nothing to prevent them from resigning with the Mariners if everyone’s interested.  Lopez only has 5 years of major league service time, so he remains on the Mariners roster, for now.  They have about a month to decide whether to offer him arbitration, meaning he would get a contract next year, or non-tender him, making him a free agent.  Dave Cameron at USS Mariner has a post that goes into a little more depth on the options.  He says expect a trade, but any of the three are plausible outcomes.

In other related news, a bunch of guys were removed from the 40-man roster.  Ryan Langerhans and Guillermo Quiroz have refused an assignment to the minors, making them free agents.  Ryan Feierabend, Sean White, and Chris Seddon are still deciding whether to accept their assignments.  I can’t imagine anyone will be too interested in whatever happens with any of these guys.  Again, it’s possible they could all come back in some form or other, but it doesn’t really matter.  Brian Sweeney was also taken off waivers by the Diamondbacks.  He won’t be back.

-Matthew

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Your 2011 Mariners- Outfield

With the World Series over, free agency is right around the corner.  It’s coming even earlier than usual this year, so I’ll try to get through these overviews of the team before much happens.  Up next:

Outfield

On the Roster

Ichiro– Ichiro had a slightly down year for him in 2010, but he was still the best offensive player on the team.  He’s one of the only players on the roster worth coming to the park to see, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be just as good and probably better next year.  Sure, he’s paid a lot, but nothing’s changing that now, so sit back and enjoy him.

Franklin Gutierrez– After a fast start, Guti joined the rest of the team in having an extremely disappointing year.  2009 Franklin is a guy to build a team around; 2010 Franklin is a borderline starter.  Now probably isn’t the time to trade him, but I’d be open to the possibility if the team has confidence in Michael Saunders and thinks he can play center.  In reality, I think he’ll be starting again in center in 2011, barring some mega-deal where he’s one of several pieces going out.  He still has a lot of potential, and the defense didn’t really dip, but the jury’s now out on Gutierrez. Continue reading

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Game Recap — 5/11/2010

Nothing like seeing Baltimore on the schedule to cheer up a blue Mariners fan. They are really bad. And yesterday, we looked really good. It appears the team is rallying around the Griffey story and if that’s what it takes to come together, then I’m all for it.

The quick analysis is Cliff did his thing, the Tacoma bats continued their hot hitting, and the M’s took care of business in efficient fashion. Speaking of those Tacoma bats, Langerhans, Wilson, and Saunders combined to go 5-11 with a homer, 2 RBI, and 9 total bases. I especially love seeing Michael Saunders play well, because left field is a position of need for the M’s. If his early success continues, we may look back and point to his call up from Tacoma as the turning point in this season.

Cliff Lee is fun to watch. I love his first pitch strikes. I love how fast he works. I love that he doesn’t walk batters. I love his cool demeanor. I love you Cliff. Now, please engage in the following conversation, because I’ve had this dream a couple times already.

Jack Z: Hey Cliff, thanks for coming in, take a seat.
Cliff: Whats up?
Jack Z: Well, I noticed your contract is up at year’s end and, well, let’s see if we can’t figure something out to keep you a Mariner a little while longer.
Cliff: Hmm, I usually don’t do this type of thing mid-season, but I sure love being part of baseball’s best 1-2 punch. Awe heck, let’s bang something out.
Jack Z: Perfect. How about 3 years, 52 million.
Cliff: That is generous, but 55 million has a better ring to it. Deal?
Jack Z: Deal! Now, excuse me while I go get you some bats. I hear Mauer is available, let’s see what Minnesota thinks of Rob Johnson.

Then I wake up from my dream.

Some more quick notes and hero/goat after the jump! Continue reading

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Bradley Blowup, Act I

I’m sure you’ve heard the story. Milton Bradley was removed from the game last night in the 6th inning, and was replaced for Ryan Langerhans. Usually that substitution would occur in the 9th inning, when the M’s are leading, and wanting to sure up the outfield defense. But that was not the case. It was the 6th inning and Seattle trailed 3-1. Hardly the time to remove your power threat from this anemic offense. The tweets began pouring in by Mariners reporters. Is Milton hurt? Is Wak sending a message? Now, it appears we have found out.

Per Mike Salk:

“The Mariners appear to have a serious problem. Milton Bradley left the team last night in the middle of the game. Bradley apparently left after striking out looking in the sixth inning with the bases loaded.

According to a source, Bradley yelled at the umpire from the bench before being told by Don Wakamatsu to cool it. Wakamatsu said that he would handle the umpire himself. Bradley responded that someone had to say something and that if Wak wouldn’t, then he would.
According to the source, a few minutes later Bradley walked back over to the skipper and said, ‘I’m packing my stuff. I’m out of here.’ And then he left.”

First of all, Milton had absolutely nothing to be arguing with the umpire about. He struck out on a pitch that was clearly a strike, right down the middle. But that’s not the issue. The issue is Milton walking out during the game. If that is true, he committed a cardinal sin, the ultimate act of selfishness in sports. He abandoned his teammates.

Seattle knew Milton’s baggage was part of the deal when he was acquired for Carlos Silva. They knew about his 8 teams in 10 years. They knew about the countless fits of rage, the turmoil he has created in clubhouse after clubhouse. But the Mariners also knew about his bat, his indisputable talent, and the numbers he put up just 2 years ago in Texas. Figuring Seattle could provide the bubble he needs to stay calm, along with Sweeney, Griffey, and Wakamatsu to counsel him through any rough spells, the M’s pulled the trigger on a deal that came with little risk, especially considering the sunk cost from Silva was all they had to give up.

But now, the crap is starting to hit the fan. The M’s are on a skid, and with losing often comes poor team chemistry and lots of frustration. But Milton’s past, and the present situation, are no excuse to walk out during the game, shortly after undermining his manager. I can’t understand a grown man, who at age 32 simply cannot get his act together. You’d think by his 3rd, 4th or 5th chance he might finally just shut up and play baseball. Instead, it appears Milton is back to his old habits, with his temper getting the best of him. I am sympathetic for Milton, despite the millions he makes and the countless chances he has had to change, because he needs help. None of us are perfect, and in fact quite the opposite. Born sinners, we all need help, but a spotlight does not shine bright on us as it does for Milton. I am pulling for him because he can really help this team. But his actions are inexcusable, no matter how much of a fiery competitor he is.

Something must be done if things played out the way Mike Salk has described. You can’t just stick Bradley in the lineup tonight and hope things get back to normal. His teammates don’t deserve that, and neither does Wak, who Milton greatly disrespected. Wak needs to step up and show that this team does not tolerate the kind of behavior he allegedly exhibited last night. Whether he does that by means of a suspension, which I think is most likely, or some other form of discipline. I suspect we have not seen the end of Milton in Seattle. The M’s would have to eat $27 million if they cut him. The first Milton blowup has occurred, to the surprise of no one, and now the M’s need to react before things get out of hand on the field, and off the field.

-Dan

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A Tale of Two Miserable Weekends…and some ridiculous stats!

I didn’t think things could get more painful than watching the Mariners give up 3 late game homeruns on route to being swept last weekend in Chicago. All 3 games were 1 run losses, and I remember thinking the M’s should have legitimately taken 2 of 3 in that series. Despite the frustration, those losses were a product of a few hiccups, albeit in consecutive games, by our usually solid bullpen. There wasn’t too much analysis required, and while it sucked to have them happen in a row, that’s baseball. We moved on.

This past weekend, however, had many more layers of dreadfulness. To condense this mess, I’ve bulleted 5 events that were pretty unbelievable (not in a good way), and another 5 RIDICULOUS facts that may require reading with a puke bucket by your side…

  1. Sweeney’s double play: When a walk, sac fly, base hit, or really anything past the infield would have won the game, Mike swung at the 1st pitch from Darren O’Day, a slider low and away, and ended the bases loaded threat in the bottom of the 10th on Friday. Although I must say, none of this surprised me.
  2. Byrnes whiffed bunt: This oddity captured the short Eric Byrnes era well. With the bases juiced just one inning after Sweeney failed in the same situation, Wak called on Byrnes to just make contact on a bunt attempt. I liked the call because asking Byrnes to not strike out or pop it up to an infielder is a tall task. Still, he failed…and then struck out for good measure.
  3. Bradley’s blown pop up: Many say Milton just gave up on this play, while some argue the sun got in his eyes. Regardless, this ball needed to be caught, because it allowed 2 runs to score with 2 outs after Felix had fought back from bases loaded and none out.
  4. Aardsma’s blown save: For the 2nd consecutive game following 8 dazzling innings by “Can’t buy a break Fister,” Aardsma surrendered a lead-off walk, then after a stolen base and a base hit, the game was tied, the save was blown, and Fister was given another no decision. I’m scared every time Aardsma enters the game and starts firing fastballs. This past week reminded me why I have this fear, despite his league leading 8 saves.
  5. 2 passed balls in 1 inning by Rob Johnson: Perhaps the previous events are explainable, but this one is not. Andrew touched on “Hips” and his lack of catching in his recap from yesterday’s game, so I won’t ramble. This tweet from Dave Cameron pretty well sums it up-

    “Rob Johnson had as many passed balls in 1 inning yesterday as every non-Mariner AL team has all season.”

What is especially disappointing about all this is that if ANY one of these scenarios hadn’t happened, the M’s would likely have won the game. But it all happened, and as the wheels came off, it was like watching a bad horror film that started off decent, turned frustratingly unrealistic, and ended up humorous. The snowball of unfortunate events that overcame this team could not be stopped, and this team was coming up with new ways to blow games.

And now, grab your bucket… Continue reading

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