Inside The Park

Baseball\’s Future in the Emerald City

Finishing Touches on Prospect Reports; Thoughts on Spring Training

Posted by JasonAChurchill on March 6, 2006

Ian Levin and I will be putting the finishing touches on InsideThePark.com’s 2006 Prospect Report with a quick Top 100 MLB Prospects countdown and then a look at the organizations in ranking order, 1-30.

We hope to get this done by the end of the week, so you could see the first set of 30 (30, 30, 30, 10) at some point before the weekend.

We all know wins and losses mean nothing during the Cactus League schedule, right?

I’m changing my mind.

Not that I’m freaking out over the M’s losing the first few games of ST, albeit very badly, but this club has to change the way they go about doing their business on the field.

They need to pick up their share of quality wins this spring, preferably later in the schedule when the games feature squads made up mostly of the regulars.

It’s obviously more important that they stay healthy and get their work in, but that will either happen or not, whether they win or lose.

They need to win some games and put together a three or four game win-streak, breeding confidence and some added comradery. Countless losses, and lopsided at that, are never good for the psychie of the club, regardless of when they occur.

Expect the front office to be very impatient early this season when it comes to making trades, call-ups and even with the trigger finger on Hargrove’s job. A slow start to the regular season may just mean Grover’s job. And as I have said before, don’t expect Ron Hassey, the current bench coach, to take over, even on an interim basis.

For two reasons, Hassey won’t get the gig.

1) Hassey is very loyal to Hargrove and though Hargrove would probably advise him to take it for the opportunity and the experience, Hassey will refuse it and look elsewhere – or keep his bench coach job til the end of the year.

2) The Mariners, and particularly Benny Looper, Lee Pelekoudas and to an extent Bill Bavasi, favor other in-house candidates such as Dan Rohn.

Who Bats Third?

Ideally, Adrian Beltre will go out and hit .300 with 35 homers and 120 RBI and become the pain in the neck to pitchers all over the AL that he was in LA in 2004. But that’s more a dream than anything and if Beltre goes for 280 and 25 homers, most would be happy. Raul Ibanez is probably going to get the call here, but I propose that Sexson and Ibanez switch spots.

Spring Probables

After Matt Thornton’s emergency start today for Bobby Livingston, Felix Hernandez gets the call tomorrow with RHP’s Rafael Soriano, Julio Mateo and Marcos Carvajal scheduled to get work also.

Also today: LHP George Sherrill, RHP Kevin Appierand LHP Jake Woods will see action on the mound.

On Wednesday, Jamie Moyer will start versus San Francisco with RHP Jeff Harris, RHP J.J. Putz and southpaw Travis Blackley slated to get work as well.

The M’s are split squad Wednesday with the second team taking on Team Japan. Right-hander Clint Nageotte will start that game with LHP Luis Gonzalez,RHP Dave Burba and RHP Emiliano Fruto set to get some work.

Heading into Monday’s action, the M’s led the cactus league with a .356 average (42-118). Eleven hitters are batting over .300… … but the team pitching staff is last in the league at 14.88. That’s 43 earned runs in 26 innings. The M’s have walked 17 and struck out just 13.

Injury Report2B Fernando Vina remains sidelined with a strained hip flexor. The clb is hoping he can get into a few games late this week… Even though Livingston is listed as today’s starter (Matt THornton was expected to take his place), he’s also expected to miss a day or two with stiff neck. Knowing Bobby, he probably sprained it looking at the hot Phoenix chicks as they drove by in their flashy cars… OF Wladimir Balentien is participating in workouts but his strained right hamstring will keep him out of games for the time being… Chris Snelling’s recovery is still ahead of schedule, but he will not be allowed to run much and is being limited to half sessions of BP and very little defensive drill action… LHP Cesar Jimenez has a mild hamstring strain, but came into today expecting to throw a bullpen session.

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6 Responses to “Finishing Touches on Prospect Reports; Thoughts on Spring Training”

  1. What’s up with the emergency start for Thornton? Interesting that they’d throw HIM in there, rather than bump Appier up a few innings…

  2. Livingston was scheduled, but came up with a stiff neck. Supposedly, it’s not serious but was enough to keep him out today.

  3. Thanks, JAC!

    Actually, I’d read the explanation for the absence of B-Liv (though I initially missed it, and I can’t believe I did with your hilarious quip about a totally legit explanation for his stiff neck).

    I was curious, though, why Thornton got the nod instead of Appier. Certainly I’m not going to read into that at all that Thornton is actually being reconsidered for the starting rotation (especially with the news about Meche).

    You and I are darn near completely on the same page. Toss away Hargrove for Rohn, get this club’s psyche (no “i”) going by winning some games (noticably absent so far — Carl Everett — Hmmm, where’s that chemistry set again…). I’m cool with Beltre at .280/25.

    I was just curious why they flip-flopped Thornton and Appier…

  4. They didn’t flip Matt and Ape. They had Appier originally scheduled for the middle innings and when Livingston was scratched just a few hours prior to the game’s first pitch, they didn’t want to interupt the rest of the pitching regimen that included at least three pitchers outside the starter.

    Putting Appier out there to start with would have changed his prep right in the middle of it (being at 11 in the morning for a 1pm game time) and offset the others pitchers’ schedules too.

    Pushing Matt into the start only changed one pitchers’ regimen and because Thornton wasn’t prepping to pitch in the game at all, he just had to warm up and treat it like a relief appearance, something he’s used to anyways.

  5. marinerswinws said

    I dunno but is anyone other than me thinking that Beltres 2 hr today was a good sign to come?

  6. It certainly puts a smile on my face after seeing who he did it against. Doesnt matter if it was at Coors or the Safe.

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