Taylor Halperin's Mid-Season Report: Annotated
Taylor Halperin of Pro Ball NW gave the mid-season report for the Seattle Mariners on ESPN.com. Since he seems to do this full time, and since I'm mostly a movie guy, not a baseball guy, I should pause, long and hard, before criticizing any or all of his synopsis. Unfortunately it's the Internet so here we go. His column with my annotations...
Seattle Mariners (43-48, -18)
What needs to be fixed or accomplished in the second half?
The M's aren't really gunning for a playoff berth this year, but a poor showing by Texas has allowed for a tight AL West race. If this team wants to contend, the front office needs to do something about manager Eric Wedge's affinity for the hapless Carlos Peguero, who has arguably the worst plate discipline in the majors.
We have an offense that's last in the majors in every conceivable category and you blame ... big Carlos Peguero? That's like pinning Watergate on little Don Segretti. Yes, Peguero is hitting .199 with the ninth-most at-bats on the team, but two guys with more at-bats (Franklin Gutierrez and Chone Figgins) actually have worse batting averages. More importantly, Peguero is tied for the third-most homeruns on the team. As for “...who has arguably the worst plate discipline in the majors,” you should really stop using “arguably.”
Top item on shopping list?
GM Jack Zduriencik would love to nab a left fielder with some pop, and he might be willing to deal Michael Saunders in a package for a veteran such as Ryan Ludwick or Luke Scott. Hunter Pence would look awfully svelte patrolling Safeco's left field, though he would command a big return.
GM Jack Zduriencik would love to nab Ryan Braun, too, but it ain't gonna happen. And might be willing to deal Michael Saunders? In 45 games, at the age of 24, dude had an OPS of .471, then got sent down. Who's gonna want him? Better question: Do we really want a Luke Scott? 33 years old with a .305 OBP? Your advice seems to indicate a chance in hell, but since we're in the 30-30-30-30 club, I don't think we have that chance.
Player to watch.
Ichiro, who's hitting significantly worse than ever before, needs to heat up if the M's have any hope of contending into September. Time will tell if the uniquely effervescent outfielder will break out of his slump — or if his career is quickly winding down.
“Time will tell”? Didn't Garry Trudeau mock that journalistic phrase 30 years ago? But, yes, Ichiro, with the best batting average among regular players on the team, does need to heat up. On the other hand, if he doesn't, it makes the argument about whether we should re-sign him after 2012 so much easier...
-- Taylor Halperin, Pro Ball NW
Apologies. — Erik.