Roster and lineup todayJanuary 17th, 2013 by terrybenish
Twenty five man roster, that is, with attention to position players. Thirteen pitcher version.
Catchers Jesus Montero, veteran catcher
First basemen: Kendrys Morales, Justin Smoak
Second basemen: Dustin Ackley, Robert Andino
Third basemen: Kyle Seager
Shortstop: Brendan Ryan
Left Field Jason Bay, Michael Saunders
Center field: Franklin Gutierrez
Right Field: Mike Morse
DH: Raul Ibanez
There is one obvious problem, that is thirteen guys. The obvious guy to cut would be Justin Smoak since he has options and Morse and Ibanez could play there for a day or two in the event of an injury to Morales. Tacoma is close by.
Starting rotation is Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Blake Beavan, Erasmos Ramirez and Hector Noesi. Relievers include Carter Capps, Stephen Pryor, Charlie Furbush, Shawn Kelley, Josh Kinney, Lucas Leutge and Josh Kinney.
Available catchers: Miguel Olivo, Kelley Shoppach, Ronny Paulino and a few others. Shoppach is probably the pick of the litter.
The assumptions above are that all the very old flyers the team took such as Bay and Ibanez make the team and play. It assumes that they are going to Figgins Gutierrez in the hope that he salary drives towards some team that will see him as the key to their penannt run. Not sure why that will work this time, for several obvious reasons.
Morse in right field, Saunders the break out player of last year, the guy Bill James believes should be in the top ten of the young outfielders will be playing the fourth outfielder spot, i.e. late inning replacement, day game after night game start. This suggests his numbers will decline and Wedge will be dissapointed with him by June.
For those that like Smoak, this might be a good thing. It would give him an extended time to really fix what he does, if it can be fixed. Morales will almost certainly be traded at the trade deadline for nothing that they will ultimately play, but that is a side comment, allowing Smoak to come up and play every day and show that he actually can do that. For Saunders it might not be so gloomy as both Morse and Gutierrez have been unable to avoid injury, so he will likely get to play regularly soon.
Big Jesus was sent home last fall with the admonition to get athletic. The hope that he would come back and be able to move behind the plate to the point where he is able to release the ball when a runner was stealing before the guy had reached second base. It is a tall order. If you watch video of him receiving, he is very inflexible from the waste down and also lacking in core strength. It does not really matter how well he runs the bases, for if he can receive and throw well enough, the team will endure the base running as teams have endured the Molina’s base running. At some point Zunino will arrive or is supposed to arrive. Wedge says he does not want to rush him as he also was concerned with Zunino’s throwing in the Arizona Fall League. Yet his minor league defensive stats at Everett and Jackson were exemplary. Forty three percent throw out percentage is very good.
Wedge actually was a catcher drafted in third round by the Red Sox and made it to the major leagues for parts of four years with the Red Sox and Colorado. One hundred plate appearances in thirty nine games. Of those thirty nine games he played in six games as a catcher, the rest was as a dh or pinch hitter. In those six games he threw out one runner in six attempts, a 17% throw out rate. In the minor leagues not all of the stats were kept as rigorously as they are now, but he threw out seven runners in seventy attempts, a 10% rate. It would not be a valid argument to say that since he was not a good catcher, reportedly due to injuries incurred, that he can’t judge catchers well. One does not follow the other.
It might be valid to suggest that his experience informs him as to his judgment and he struggled to throw out guys so now it is a critical issue for him to the exclusion of others. Teams ran often on Olivo, not because he could not throw, but because it was likely he would not catch the ball or would drop it on transfer, all of which happened frequently and was seemingly ignored.
Despite protestations to the contrary, disinformation if you will, I still think they are hoping that Mike Zunino is the second coming of Buster Posey. If that is true, which would be pleasing indeed, a back up guy would be likely to endure, while Montero would seek time as a dh or a catcher in Tacoma. Let’s watch.