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The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby D-Trains on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:13 am

I subcribe to this but I will post about an article a month if I find it interesting............

Projecting the Mariners’ 25-man roster


By Corey Brock Feb 5, 2019 34
I told a friend last week that I was attempting to project what the Mariners’ roster will look like when the regular season begins in March.

He laughed at me. And, to be honest, that was probably an appropriate response.

The truth is, as we sit here on Feb. 5, a week before pitchers and catchers are set to report to Arizona for spring training, this shouldn’t be that difficult an exercise. But even after months of tinkering with the roster — all in the name of a much-publicized rebuild — general manager Jerry Dipoto likely has a few more moves up his sleeve before the team steps on its charter to Tokyo in March. Part of this is Dipoto’s proclivity to make deals; we all know the drill there. But it also stands to reason that with baseball’s free-agent market still stuck in a deep freeze, there might be a future Mariner (or two) currently looking for work.

In other words, if there were a pencil font, I’d probably use it.

But I have belabored this long enough. Let’s take a stab at projecting the roster — with one minor caveat.

Since the Mariners will be allowed to carry a 28-man roster for their two games in Japan against the A’s — this is how Ichiro fits in for now — I felt it would be a better idea (albeit a little more difficult) to project the 25-man roster they will use once they return home to face the Red Sox at T-Mobile Park on March 28.

This, generally, will be a more representative look at what the roster should look like to start the season. Again, this is all speculative for now, and some of these names and spots are easier to peg today than others (looking at you, Edwin Encarnación, whom I still believe is going to be traded before the regular season begins). And just for kicks, we have added Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for the upcoming season (available at FanGraphs) because, well, why not?

Pitchers

Marco Gonzales (Kelley L. Cox / USA Today Sports)
In all likelihood, the Mariners will carry 13 pitchers on their roster at the outset of the season. That’s manager Scott Servais’ preference, and it makes sense because the team will play 23 games in 24 days in April and will certainly need an extra arm from time to time. Let’s take a look at who could compose the staff.

Marco Gonzales (starter): The final numbers are a bit deceiving, but Gonzales had a breakout season for Seattle in 2018. He posted a 3.6 fWAR per FanGraphs, and his curveball rated as one of the best in the big leagues. He proved to be durable and capable of working through a lineup for a third time, thanks in large part to a diverse pitch mix and a bulldog mentality.

ZiPS projection: 9-9, 4.16 ERA, 95 ERA+, 1.4 WAR.

Mike Leake (starter): Leake’s calling card is his durability, and there’s a value in a guy who can consistently make 30-plus starts (Leake has done it the last seven seasons). His peripherals aren’t too exciting (10 hits allowed per nine innings), and he doesn’t miss bats, but he doesn’t walk anyone, either.

ZiPS projection: 9-9, 4.30 ERA, 92 ERA+, 1.4 WAR.

Yusei Kikuchi (starter): The 27-year-old free agent signed with Seattle last month and will be eased into his first full season pitching in the big leagues thanks to a unique development program designed to protect his workload and ensure he’s still a productive member of the rotation when the team believes it will be competitive again in mid-2020. The slider is a legitimate weapon against righties and lefties, and his fastball has life on it. It will be interesting to see how he fares in 2019.

ZiPS projection: 9-8, 4.05 ERA, 101 ERA+, 1.9 WAR.

Wade LeBlanc (starter): LeBlanc might be one of the most interesting players on the roster. He enjoyed a career rebirth last season at age 34 after being added in the final week of spring training and gave the team 162 productive innings. This past winter, he even graduated from the University of Alabama. What a year!

ZiPS projection: 8-8, 4.58 ERA, 89 ERA+, 0.9 WAR.

Félix Hernández (starter): Hernández will go to Arizona with the chance to win a spot in the starting rotation in what will surely be his final season with the team (he’s owed $27 million this season). He’s not — and I repeat, not — a candidate for the bullpen. It’s rotation or bust for the former King Félix, who saw his peripherals continue to head the wrong direction in 2018. His ERA+ mark of 73 was easily the lowest of his career.

ZiPS projection: 9-10, 4.60 ERA, 89 ERA+, 1.0 WAR.

Hunter Strickland (reliever): Strickland, who signed a one-year deal last month but is under team control for three seasons, is the likely favorite to close games since he has already done so with the Giants (14 saves in ’18). The team thinks they can help him in terms of some mechanics, and that will be something to watch this spring. He’s not Edwin Díaz and won’t pretend to be, but the team feels he can still get outs late in the game.

ZiPS projection: 4-3, 3.67 ERA, 108 ERA+, 0.6 WAR.

Shawn Armstrong (reliever): Armstrong made a nice impression late last season, posting a 1.23 ERA in 14 appearances. He has a history of missing bats during his time in the minor leagues, but that hasn’t always translated to the big leagues. There’s life on the fastball, and the team loves the high spin rate on his fastball and cutter. Armstrong could be a sleeper pick to earn some high-leverage innings in 2019.

ZiPS projection: 4-2, 3.25 ERA, 126 ERA+, 1.0 WAR.

Anthony Swarzak (reliever): Swarzak had shoulder and oblique issues last season with the Mets and will be slow coming out of the chute in spring training, though Dipoto recently indicated that he’ll be ready for Opening Day. He could be in the mix to pitch late in games for the Mariners.

ZiPS projection: 3-3, 3.86 ERA, 106 ERA+, 0.5 WAR.

Cory Gearrin (reliever): Gearrin, who signed a one-year contract last month, will turn 33 in April. He’s coming off a season where he had his highest hits-per-nine-inning rate (8.8) and his lowest strikeout-per-nine-inning rate (8.3) since 2014. He’s shown the ability to bounce back in a big way before, though: He followed a 4.28 ERA in 2016 with a 1.99 ERA the following season.

ZiPS projection: 2-2, 4.10 ERA, 97 ERA+, 0.3 WAR.

Chasen Bradford (reliever): Bradford was a pleasant surprise last season, posting a 3.69 ERA in a career-high 46 games. His success came in large part due to his heavy sinker that produced a lot of ground balls at critical junctures of games. His sinker had a 60 percent ground-ball rate and should again be a weapon for him in 2019.

ZiPS projection: 3-2, 3.90 ERA, 102 ERA+, 0.4 WAR.

Zac Rosscup (reliever): Rosscup will forever be the answer to an interesting (if not obscure) trivia question: Who last threw an immaculate inning (nine pitches, all strikes, to get three consecutive hitters out) against Seattle? It was Rosscup, who accomplished as much last season against Seattle. The lefty’s history suggests a lot of walks, though he’s done better the last two seasons in terms of command.

ZiPS projection: 1-1, 3.64 ERA, 109 ERA+, 0.4 WAR.

Dan Altavilla (reliever): Altavilla was limited to 20 2/3 innings a year ago due to a sprained UCL in his right elbow and inflammation in his right AC joint (shoulder). It was basically a lost season for a reliever the Mariners were counting on when they broke camp in March. If he’s healthy, his fastball and slider — particularly the slider — can help the Mariners in the middle part of games.

ZiPS projection: 4-4, 4.30 ERA, 95 ERA+, 0.2 WAR.

Roenis Elias (reliever): If Elias makes the team, he could play an important role in that he can spot start or work in long relief if need be. He’s also left-handed and that’s never a bad thing. If the Mariners are in a pinch for a starter, they can turn to him, though his long-term viability in that role doesn’t rate well.

ZiPS projection: 6-7, 4.60 ERA, 112 ERA+, 0.6 WAR.

Catchers

Omar Narváez (Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports)
Omar Narváez: The Mariners spun reliever Alex Colomé to the White Sox to get an offensive-minded catcher in Narváez, who has a .274/.366/.379 career slash line in just over 700 career plate appearances in the big leagues. He doesn’t offer the power his predecessor did (Mike Zunino) but is a better hitter. Where he’s come up short so far in his career is on the defensive side. But he has a strong arm and has already been working with Mariners staff to improve his framing skills.

ZiPS projection: .255/.334/.362, 6 home runs, 24 RBI.

David Freitas: As we sit here today, Freitas is the backup catcher, though I would not be surprised if that changed between now and Opening Day. Freitas did well in terms of handling the staff last season, but hit .215 in 106 plate appearances. I can easily see the team finding an upgrade soon via free agency or trade, especially since you don’t want to use Narváez more than 120 games or so.

ZiPS projection: .237/.295/.344, 4 home runs 24 RBI.

Infielders

Kyle Seager (Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports)
Ryon Healy: The right-handed hitting Healy got his usual home run output in his first season with the Mariners, though he only had 15 doubles and his batting average dipped to .235 in large part because he struggled for the first time in his career against left-handed pitching (hitting .213, 101 points lower than he did in 2017). He also didn’t walk much until later in the season when he took steps to be more selective with his pitches. The Mariners hope that version of Healy will show up more often than not in 2019.

ZiPS projection: .251/.290/.430, 24 home runs, 80 RBI.

Dee Gordon: A fractured big left toe in May, coupled with several other nagging injuries, significantly slowed Gordon after a torrid start in the first month of the season when he hit .309 and stole 10 bases. The Mariners think that he’ll return to his old form (or something closer to that) now that he’s healthy and not being bounced around defensively (he’ll start at second base). He will likely hit ninth in the order.

ZiPS projection: .284/.311/.355, 39 stolen bases.

Dylan Moore: At this point, Moore likely gets the nod over Kristopher Negrón for a spot on the bench. He fits the criteria for an ideal bench guy in that, first and foremost, he can play shortstop; that’s critical. He can also play first base, second, third and the outfield if need be. There’s some pop in the bat and he can run as well. Also, he went to the same high school as Bret Boone (El Dorado in Placentia, Calif.) in case that does anything for you.

ZiPS projection: .212/.282/.340, 16 stolen bases.

Tim Beckham: The addition of Beckham on a one-year deal certainly fits in with many of the moves Dipoto has made in terms of giving former high-round draft picks another chance (Beckham was the first overall pick in 2008). In the likely event that J.P. Crawford begins the year with Triple-A Tacoma, Beckham can ably handle shortstop. He just turned 29, and the Mariners think there’s more in the tank here. Crawford might well be the club’s shortstop of the future, but Beckham figures to keep the position warm until the club decides it’s Crawford’s.

ZiPS projection: .236/.291/.388, 13 home runs, 46 RBI.

Kyle Seager: We talked a lot last season about Seager’s prolonged struggles, how he was shifted against more than just about anyone on the planet and how unlucky he was (.251 BABIP). Seager went home to North Carolina this offseason to make more adjustments to put him in a better spot. We’ll find out more in spring training, but he at least figures to come to camp healthy after a nagging toe fracture bothered him more than he likely let on last year. His contract (three years, $56 million) makes him almost immoveable, so the Mariners are anxious to see whether he’ll bounce back in 2019. ZiPS (see below) thinks it can happen.

ZiPS projection: .246/.310/.427, 22 home runs, 82 RBI.

Edwin Encarnación: Am I really writing a blurb on a guy who I think won’t be on the Opening Day roster? Looks like it. It’s safe to say the club has been shopping Encarnación since the day they acquired him in December. He’ll help the team if he stays (though at a big price, $20 million). But if Seattle moves him to, say, acquire a reliever (a controllable reliever maybe?) or a compensation-round pick, they’ll likely do so. If he stays, he’ll be the designated hitter. Encarnación has hit 30 or more home runs in each of the last seven seasons, and home runs are fun.

ZiPS projection: .237/.337/.445, 26 home runs, 85 RBI.

Outfielders

Mallex Smith (Kim Klement / USA Today Sports)
Jay Bruce: Bruce was part of the deal that sent Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets. He will be 32 in April and has fashioned for himself a very nice career closing in on 20 WAR. He’s no longer the power threat who ravaged that tiny ballpark in Cincinnati early in his career, but he can still play. You’ll see him play left field, some first base and be the designated hitter on occasion. He will also be a strong influence for many of his younger teammates, which is never a bad thing.

ZiPS projection: .233/.307/.427, 19 home runs, 69 RBI.

Domingo Santana: The Mariners added Santana last month to help balance out a largely left-handed lineup. This is a guy who hit 30 homers and stole 15 bases in 2017, but who lost his starting job in Milwaukee last season after a slow start. The Mariners, however, think there’s still plenty of upside left in his game, and a fresh start in Seattle could help him return to that 2017 form. He figures to see most of the time in left field, where he was better defensively than earlier in his career.

ZiPS projection: .221/.339/.430, 22 home runs, 57 RBI.

Mitch Haniger: What else is there left to say about Haniger and the monster year that he had in 2018? The swing changes he first implemented while with the Diamondbacks really kicked in and helped him to 4.6 WAR season. He hit .330 after moving to the leadoff spot when Seattle made a change in August, though he will slide down in the order in 2019 with the addition of Mallex Smith. While Haniger turned 28 in December, there’s little to suggest regression is on the radar. Better still, he’s under club control through 2023.

ZiPS projection: .261/.339/.456, 24 home runs, 84 RBI.

Mallex Smith: Dipoto likes Smith so much that he’s now acquired him twice, though his first tenure lasted all of 77 minutes before Smith was moved to the Rays. He will now be the everyday center fielder and likely leadoff hitter in 2019. Smith’s speed afforded him 26 infield hits in 2018, and he actually led the American League in infield hit percentage. His overall BABIP was .366, which certainly leads one to think he’s headed for some regression in 2019, but Smith has an aura of excitement about him; his plus-speed and above-average defense in center field will be fun to watch. And the dude is an absolute cut-up.

ZiPS projection: .258/.325/.366, 37 stolen bases.

On the bubble
Daniel Vogelbach: This will be a telling spring for Vogelbach, who is out of minor-league options. He’s either on the team or off it. First, the good: Vogelbach has scary power. Remember that home run he hit over the Hit It Here Cafe in April? But in 146 career plate appearances in the major leagues, Vogelbach has failed to re-create the success he’s had in the minors. Some argue all he needs is a larger, sustained sample size of at-bats, but there are those who feel he’s already reached his ceiling. The truth is, his future might be tied to what the team does with Encarnación.

ZiPS projection: .248/.353/.421, 19 home runs, 65 RBI.

On the way
You can expect to see pitchers Justus Sheffield and Erik Swanson pitching in Seattle at some point, likely when Kikuchi has one of his abbreviated starts to help manage his workload. That will be a good way to acclimate two players who figure into Seattle long-term strategy.

Infielder Shed Long, who was obtained last month from the Reds, will arrive at some point in 2019 as well. The Mariners like Long’s versatility and his bat-to-ball skills. He’s a second baseman, but the club will move him around (third base, possibly some left field) to get his bat in the lineup.

I’m going to add Ichiro here as well, because barring a mishap during spring training, he’ll play in the team’s games in Japan. Don’t expect to see much of the former franchise legend afterward. Dipoto has said time and time again that the club is committed to its youth in 2019 and beyond. Ichiro turned 45 in October.
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby openup58 on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:25 am

I saw an article the other day on the internet somewhere that listed 2019 dark horse Cy Young candidates and it liste Paxton and the other was one o f our very own SP's.

Yusei Kikuchi (starter): The 27-year-old free agent signed with Seattle last month and will be eased into his first full season pitching in the big leagues thanks to a unique development program designed to protect his workload and ensure he’s still a productive member of the rotation when the team believes it will be competitive again in mid-2020. The slider is a legitimate weapon against righties and lefties, and his fastball has life on it. It will be interesting to see how he fares in 2019.

ZiPS projection: 9-8, 4.05 ERA, 101 ERA+, 1.9 WAR.


So based on a article picking him to be a Cy Young candidate to another having him barley above .500 and a 4.05 era makes you really wonder what we have in him. I guess we will know once ST starts
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby D-Trains on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 am

openup58 wrote:I saw an article the other day on the internet somewhere that listed 2019 dark horse Cy Young candidates and it liste Paxton and the other was one o f our very own SP's.

Yusei Kikuchi (starter): The 27-year-old free agent signed with Seattle last month and will be eased into his first full season pitching in the big leagues thanks to a unique development program designed to protect his workload and ensure he’s still a productive member of the rotation when the team believes it will be competitive again in mid-2020. The slider is a legitimate weapon against righties and lefties, and his fastball has life on it. It will be interesting to see how he fares in 2019.

ZiPS projection: 9-8, 4.05 ERA, 101 ERA+, 1.9 WAR.


So based on a article picking him to be a Cy Young candidate to another having him barley above .500 and a 4.05 era makes you really wonder what we have in him. I guess we will know once ST starts


We won't know until about Cinco de Mayo.

dt
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby mikeyb12 on Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:03 pm

My prediction:
M's go to Japan.... 3B, 2B and LF players get injured. M's crushed in April, never recover. 88/74 season...
M's go to Japan and no injuries occur.... yay.... M's crushed in April and never recover.... 88/74 season...
SIGH...…
GO MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM'S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby Kenkokan on Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:27 pm

If Vogelbach isn't on the 25 man roster, Dipoto should be fired. Never seen one player be so mistreated.
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby Marinerjim on Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:41 am

Kenkokan wrote:If Vogelbach isn't on the 25 man roster, Dipoto should be fired. Never seen one player be so mistreated.


The guy can hit but he makes Healy look like a gold glover. His footwork sucks and his range is mediocre at best and digging balls out he flat out sucks!! He's a DH and as long as the Mariners have E5 he wont get any playing time.
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby D-Trains on Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:59 am

Marinerjim wrote:
Kenkokan wrote:If Vogelbach isn't on the 25 man roster, Dipoto should be fired. Never seen one player be so mistreated.


The guy can hit but he makes Healy look like a gold glover. His footwork sucks and his range is mediocre at best and digging balls out he flat out sucks!! He's a DH and as long as the Mariners have E5 he wont get any playing time.


He can DH and EE can play 1B. Bruce and Santana in LF.

dt
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby Kenkokan on Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:02 pm

Marinerjim wrote:
Kenkokan wrote:If Vogelbach isn't on the 25 man roster, Dipoto should be fired. Never seen one player be so mistreated.


The guy can hit but he makes Healy look like a gold glover. His footwork sucks and his range is mediocre at best and digging balls out he flat out sucks!! He's a DH and as long as the Mariners have E5 he wont get any playing time.


He really just needs the DH spot for the year so we can see just how well he can hit. For all we know, we could have Edgar 2.0 waiting in the wings. Or not, but we'll never know unless he gets an extended shot. In a rebuilding year, this is the perfect opportunity to see whether or not VB is part of our future core. Which makes the whole Encarnacion trade even worse for me, as now we have a glut of DH types unless one of them gets traded/DFAed.
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby D-Trains on Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:11 pm

Marinerjim wrote:
Kenkokan wrote:If Vogelbach isn't on the 25 man roster, Dipoto should be fired. Never seen one player be so mistreated.


The guy can hit but he makes Healy look like a gold glover. His footwork sucks and his range is mediocre at best and digging balls out he flat out sucks!! He's a DH and as long as the Mariners have E5 he wont get any playing time.


Jabba the Hut couldn't make Healy look like a gold glover.........

dt
 
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Re: The Athletic projects the M's 25 man roster

Postby mikeyb12 on Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:48 pm

Marinerjim wrote:
Kenkokan wrote:If Vogelbach isn't on the 25 man roster, Dipoto should be fired. Never seen one player be so mistreated.


The guy can hit but he makes Healy look like a gold glover. His footwork sucks and his range is mediocre at best and digging balls out he flat out sucks!! He's a DH and as long as the Mariners have E5 he wont get any playing time.


so, the guy has a few inconsistentcies and you want to throw him under the bus??? C'mon man.... :)
 
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