Mariners Shake Up Roster, Now in Full Rebuilding Mode

Week 8 Recap

Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Result
5/21 Angels 12 Mariners 0 L
5/22 Angels 7 Mariners 1 L
5/23
5/24 Mariners 5 Rangers 9 L
5/25 Mariners 2 Rangers 5 L
5/26 Mariners 4 Rangers 3 W/13
  • Well, that was an eventful week. Obviously, the biggest news is the roster shake up. Gone are Jesus Montero, Dustin Ackley, Robert Andino, and Lucas Luetge. In their place, Nick Franklin, Carlos Triunfel, Jesus Sucre, and Hector Noesi have been called up from AAA-Tacoma. I’ll discuss these moves below, but the short version is, it’s about time. I definitely wasn’t rooting for their demotions, the success of the Mariners is pretty directly tied to the success of these young players. But it had gotten to a point where the level of competition and pressure in the majors was detrimental to their development. Now we get to see if Franklin has anything to offer and if Montero and Ackley are able to turn their careers around.

  • These moves signal the beginning of the point in the season where the Mariners decide who is part of the long-term future or not. After four years of rebuilding we’ve come to a critical juncture– Jack Zduriencek and crew are now fighting for their jobs. It’s no longer about competing (if it ever was), its now all about building towards the future… again… for the 10th year in a row.
  • After being swept in Cleveland, the Mariners continued their downward spiral in Los Angeles against the Angels and at home against the Rangers. We were finally able to stop our eight game skid on Sunday with an extra-innings win. 

Player Performances

One of the features I’m including is a look at the recent player performances from the past two weeks. That small of a sample size will give us some pretty extreme data points. If you want to see the methodology behind these statistics, check out this page. The two tables below are the batting and pitching data from the last two weeks (5/13 – 5/26).

PA 1B/2B/3B/HR AVG/OBP/SLG K%/xK% BB%/xBB% HR%/xHR% SCOUT
Jesus Montero 18 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 .250 /.333 /.250 16.7/19.4 11.1/8.2 0.0/10.6
-3.0
Kelly Shoppach 24 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 .095 /.167 /.095 37.5/22.6 8.3/8.0 0.0/10.4 -8.3
Jesus Sucre 9 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 .143 /.333 /.143 11.1/19.3 22.2/8.4 0.0/11.0
1.1
Justin Smoak 39 6 / 1 / 0 / 2 .257 /.333 /.457 28.2/22.0 10.3/8.3 22.2/12.7
9.9
Kendrys Morales 55 10 / 7 / 0 / 2 .373 /.418 /.627 18.2/19.2 7.3/7.9
18.2/12.6 8.1
Dustin Ackley 42 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 .114 /.262 /.143 19.0/19.6
16.7/9.2
0.0/9.7 -2.2
Robert Andino 18 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 .250 /.333 /.250 16.7/19.4 11.1/8.2
0.0/10.6 -3.0
Brendan Ryan 45 11 / 4 / 0 / 1 .390 /.422 /.561 17.8/19.2
6.7/7.8 8.3/10.9 -3.9
Carlos Triunfel 6 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 .000 /.000 /.000 16.7/19.7
0.0/7.8 0.0/11.1 -2.5
Kyle Seager 51 5 / 5 / 0 / 2 .250 /.294 /.479 13.7/17.7 5.9/7.6
11.1/11.3 -1.0
Mike Morse 47 10 / 1 / 0 / 1 .286 /.362 /.381 17.0/18.9
10.6/8.4 8.3/10.8 0.4
Jason Bay 27 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 .217 /.333 /.261 29.6/21.6 14.8/8.6 0.0/10.3 -4.2
Raul Ibanez 40 5 / 1 / 0 / 6 .308 /.325 /.795 22.5/20.5
2.5/7.3 40.0/15.1 20.4
Endy Chavez 17 4 / 1 / 0 / 1 .353 /.353 /.588 0.0/17.6 0.0/7.5 14.3/11.5 -0.1
Michael Saunders 48 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 .109 /.146 /.152 39.3/26.1 4.2/7.4
0.0/9.5 -21.8
  • After struggling to develop any further this year, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley find themselves in AAA-Tacoma. Both of them have things to work out and the hope is that a low pressure environment will help them focus on the areas where they need to improve. I’m not a professional athlete so I have no insight into their state of mind, but if I were in their shoes, this would simultaneously increase my motivation and the pressure I put on myself. That’s not exactly the best state of mind for a young ballplayer. Again, no real insight, just speculation.
  • At the time of Ackley’s demotion, his season slash line (.205/.263/.250) had fallen below Brendan Ryan’s (.211/.268/.268). That sucks for Ackley but well done to Ryan who has been on a hot streak the last two weeks.
  • Nick Franklin has been called up to replace Ackley and will probably split time with Carlos Triunfel and Brendan Ryan around the infield. Franklin has made some real progress in AAA-Tacoma this year, cutting his K% down to 12% while maintaining his contact rate. With both Franklin and Triunfel, the Mariners are just trying to see what they’ll be able to contribute. Neither is completely ready for the majors yet (is any rookie ever completely ready?) but right now the Mariners are in “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” mode.
  • Right now, the offense is being carried by the veterans on the team (Morales, Morse, Ibanez, Bay, Ryan) with almost no contributions from the young core (Smoak excluded). That wouldn’t be such a bad position if this team was on the cusp of competition but for a rebuilding team, those aren’t the things you want to see.
IP BF K / BB ERA/FIP K%/xK% BB%/xBB% HR%/xHR% SCOUT
Felix Hernandez 16 2/3 79 25 / 5 5.94 / 2.56 31.6/26.0 6.3/7.6
25.0/14.9
-9.7
Hisashi Iwakuma 21 82 18 / 3 3.86 / 4.91 22.0/21.0 3.7/6.8 27.8/15.8
-16.5
Joe Saunders 10 1/3 53 9 / 5 8.71 / 6.58 17.0/18.8
9.4/8.3
30.0/14.6 -18.3
Brandon Maurer 9 44 8 / 6 10.00 / 4.77 18.2/19.3
13.6/8.8 14.3/11.7 -5.8
Aaron Harang 3 2/3 20 4 / 0 17.18 / 8.01 20.0/19.8
0.0/7.5 22.2/12.0
-1.5
Hector Noesi 4 1/3 18 4 / 2 0.00 / 2.64 22.2/20.1
11.1/8.2
0.0/10.6 2.9
Danny Farquhar 5 2/3 24 9 / 2 9.53 / 0.98 37.5/22.6
8.3/8.0
0.0/10.4 7.3
Yoervis Medina 5 2/3 28 6 / 7 4.76 / 4.69 21.4/20.1
25.0/9.6
0.0/10.2 -0.6
Lucas Luetge 5 2/3 28 6 / 2 7.94 / 6.63 21.4/20.1
7.1/7.9
50.0/14.9 -17.2
Oliver Perez 4 20 8 / 4 2.25 / 2.10 40.0/22.5 20.0/8.8
0.0/10.5 3.4
Carter Capps 6 2/3 23 8 / 0 1.35 / 0.70 34.8/22.1 0.0/7.4 0.0/10.4 9.0
Charlie Furbush 9 36 10 / 5 4.00 / 3.99 27.8/21.7 13.9/8.7 9.1/11.0 0.5
Tom Wilhelmsen 6 22 6 / 1 0.00 / 1.60 27.3/20.9
4.5/7.7
0.0/10.5 6.2
  • There have been a number of people calling for Aaron Harang and Brandon Maurer to be swapped out of the rotation. Neither has been particularly good this year but there are a number of problems with swapping either of them out. Harang hasn’t been completely terrible– he’s giving up a ridiculous amount of home runs– but his strikeout and walk rates are solid. He should be serviceable for the time being. It’s clear Maurer isn’t a major league ready starter right now but there is no one who is capable of replacing him in the rotation. The most likely candidates (Danny Hultzen or Erasmo Ramirez) are injured which leaves Hector Noesi or Jeremy Bonderman.   Bonderman would probably be the most likely candidate but he isn’t lighting up AAA-Tacoma (4.89 ERA). The pitching depth that was supposed to be a strength of this team has suddenly dried up.
  • In what is becoming a ritual of sorts, Lucas Luetge was swapped for Hector Noesi. This probably won’t be the last time either.

AL West Standings

Team Win-Loss Win% Games Behind
Rangers 32-18 .640
Athletics 28-23 .549 4.5
Angels 23-27 .460 9.0
Mariners 21-29 .420 11.0
Astros 14-36 .280 18.0

The Week Ahead

Date Away Team Probable Pitcher Home Team Probable Pitcher
5/27 Padres L Clayton Richard Mariners R Aaron Harang
5/28 Padres R Edinson Volquez Mariners R Brandon Maurer
5/29 Mariners L Joe Saunders Padres L Eric Stults
5/30 Mariners R Felix Hernandez Padres R Andrew Cashner
5/31 Mariners R Hisashi Iwakuma Twins R Mike Pelfrey
6/1 Mariners R Aaron Harang Twins R Kevin Correia
6/2 Mariners R Brandon Maurer Twins TBD

The Mariners play an odd home/away four game series with the San Diego Padres to start this week and then travel to Minnesota to face the Twins. Hopefully, the Mariners will play well against their next three opponents (White Sox after the Twins)– all three are pretty weak and all are in the midst of rebuilding seasons. Then again, so are we. Baseball, we don’t know what’s going to happen!

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