Look at King Felix For 2017

In the last two weeks Felix Hernandez pitched a couple times down in his native Venezuela to get ready for the World Baseball Classic. He started out giving up a couple runs before settling down in his first start. For Felix that is quite common. He does that during Spring Training as well. He had food poisoning the day his second outing was supposed to happen so he pitched the next day instead. He did much better in that outing. Seattle Mariner general manager Jerry Dipoto said they were the only two outings that Felix will pitch before the WBC. The important thing is that he does look healthy and ready to go.

I know that there are those including fans are not sure whether we will see the same old King Felix again on a consistent basis. Other words we may see flashes of what we have seen. I believe that we could see the Old Felix this coming season primarily because he is a proud man and he will want to show everyone that he is back to where he once was. Most likely we will see him throwing more of his off pitches than his fast ball. He has had the best change up around so we will see more of it along with the curve ball. What Felix has had over other hard throwing pitchers in his career is able to throw at least four pitches that are each outstanding so losing some off his fastball is OK. In fact he hasn’t pitched many times at 95 miles per hour or higher the last couple seasons. His fast ball has been average around 91 miles an hour. He could still be an effective pitcher even if his fast ball is around 89 miles per hour. His changeup has always been around two miles less per hour than his fastball however I believe for Felix to be effective now his changeup would have to be more around 82 miles per hour. I think that he could be affective that way and he will be willing to do so.

To say all that though I believe the Mariners still need to go out and acquire a top starter because we can’t depend on Felix being the number one starter any longer. I still believe he can be but the Mariners can’t depend on it. Also Iwakuma is getting older. Although he had a healthy season in 2016 the Mariners can’t be sure that he will be the second starter.

James Paxton could now become the Mariners number one starter however the trouble he has had with injuries to a finger we can’t be sure of that either. Although the Mariners could go after a two or three starter in the rotation to replace TaiJuan Walker I would feel more comfortable in the Mariners to pick up a number one starter. The problem though is that the Mariners don’t have many top prospects in their farm system and those that they do are they willing to trade away. Also do they want to spend money for a number one starter in free agency? There are not many remaining out in free agency either.

Jerry Dipoto has been quiet during the holiday season however I am sure he has been talking to other teams about pitchers. So I would not be surprised to see someone acquired in the next couple weeks. Spring training starts in two and half months so need to get another starter on board. Go M’s.

 

 

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Happy Holiday’s Mariner Fans

This last week didn’t hear anything going on with the Mariners. I would be really surprised to hear about any trades this week however Jerry Dipoto can surprise us. I am sure he wants to get a good starting pitcher for Christmas. Hard to know whether he wants to give up prospects or someone on the active roster.

All depending on the pitcher there has been thoughts of trading outfielder Seth Smith. I am sure if the Mariners do a trade to an American League club it would be someone who needs a good solid left hitting bat to play outfield or DH. He has been known to be a good pinch hitter and has done a solid job at that when needed by the Mariners so a National League club could be interested in acquiring him too.

I am sure we all have an idea what we would like to see the Mariners get in their gift basket for Christmas. A solid starting right handed pitcher would be nice and to replace TaiJuan Walker.

I wish everyone who is a Mariner fan a Merry Christmas and happy holiday.

 

A Week After Winter Meetings

We haven’t heard much from Jerry Dipoto since the Winter Meetings. He mentioned that he was looking to get a third or fourth starter for the rotation. I am Ok with that though I wish he would go after a number one or two starters.

I am sure that a third or fourth starter would be easier to get for the Mariners especially with the lack of players in the Mariners farm system that he would be willing to depart with. I am sure he would not want to depart with someone like Tyler O’Neill unless a number one starter would come back in return. Of course it would take more than O’Neill to get a number one starter.

The reason that I would like a number one or two starter is that we can’t be sure that Felix will get back to where he was before he got hurt last year and then there is Iwakuma who is older now and can’t be sure if he can be injured free as well. James Paxton could rise to be a number one or two starters however we are not sure if we can count on him either because of his past experience. I truly hope that Paxton can be that number one starter. Having Felix being the solid number two at the very least would be nice. In fact having two number one starters would be great. I am sure if Felix is healthy he will be the opening day starter once again no matter who the Mariners pick up.

With the current rotation I would see Felix starting first, then Paxton followed by Iwakuma, Miranda and Karns or whoever would be the fifth starter. This way the rotation would have right, left, right, left and right.

Unless something happens this week I am sure we won’t hear anymore from Dipoto until after the holidays. I sure hope that Karns can be the pitcher that Dipoto expected when he traded for him last off-season with the Tampa Bay Rays. He could be a good fit in the bullpen if not in the starting rotation. The reason I say that he seems to do well for an inning or two. Often he didn’t make it through five innings. So he could be good being the first one coming out of the bullpen.

Anyway I am sure that Dipoto has more tricks under his sleeve and we will hear more from him far as transactions go. So everyone enjoy your holiday season. I will write again if he makes a move. Go M’s.

Mariners Return Home From Winter Meetings

The Seattle Mariners came home after spending several days in the Washington DC area at the Winter Meetings. General Manager Jerry Dipoto was hopping to return with a top notch starting pitcher instead he came back with a pitcher adding to the depth of the team. They picked up Chris Heston a starting pitcher from the San Francisco Giants. I have to admit when I first heard I said who. He spent last season primarily on the disable list. A kind of player that Dipoto likes to pick up for depth; he did pitch a no hitter for the Giants in 2015. He is only twenty-eight years old so his future may be ahead as well.

I am sure the talking that Dipoto had during the meetings the Mariners could get a top notch starter before Christmas. If not they will do so I am sure in January. What we have learned about Dipoto he will go out and try to get the player he wants.

Getting a top notch starting pitcher is really all the Mariners need to get though an outfielder who could start on a regular basis would be real nice as well. Right now the Mariners are looking to platoon in at least one of the outfield positions in either left or right but may have to in both spots.

The Mariners bullpen looks good though adding another pitcher there would be nice as well. The Mariners infield is in pretty good shape though first base is still questionable. The catching is fine though we don’t really know how Mike Zunino will do in the coming season. We know that his defense is among the best in the major leagues but we are not sure if how his hitting well be. He doesn’t have to be a great hitter just around .230 with 20 home runs would be good enough. Anything less the Mariners will have to shop for another starting catcher.

One thing we do know for sure is that Dipoto will be keeping himself busy. He has done so since he became the general manager of the Mariners a little over a year ago. It will be interesting how manager Scott Servais will do in his second year. With more athletic players the Mariners should do more running and stealing bases along with hit and run. The middle of the lineup we will see the power however the Mariners should find a way to score more runs and we can hope the pitchers can keep the other teams from scoring runs. Now we will see what happens in the weeks to come before spring training. Go M’s.

Trumbo or Rumor?

On Tuesday from the Winter Meetings we heard that the Mariners are interested in bringing back Mark Trumbo although nothing has come out via general manager Jerry Dipoto. In fact he had said that they were pretty well set in the outfield and first base. So what will the Mariners do if they sign Trumbo?

Here is some speculation on my part. Since some people figure that the Mariners may trade Trumbo after signing him this is something I am throwing out there as a rumor myself. There is a conspiracy where the Boston Red Sox want to have Trumbo but they don’t want to overpay because of the Baltimore Orioles who were reported to signing him back on Monday. Since the Red Sox are in the same division as the Orioles the Mariners sign him and then trade Trumbo to the Red Sox for Chris Sale or one of the other starting pitchers or the Mariners could trade him to Tampa Bay for Chris Archer. Since we are at it may as well throw in the Yankees.

I would not be surprised on Wednesday signing Trumbo will be old news. If the Mariners for some reason did sign him and keep him than what they do at first base; I guess they could trade Daniel Vogelbach or send him to triple A for a season. Another could be interested in Vogelbach for the Mariners to get another starting pitcher. Going real wild in my thinking the Mariners could trade Vogelbach back to the Chicago Cubs for no other than Mike Montgomery or to the White Sox for a starting pitcher. Of course that could be another thing in regards to Trumbo ship him to the White Sox. Until Dipoto says anything it is all speculation. I would rather take the money that cost for Trumbo go out and get a starting pitcher. Let’s see how crazy Wednesday and the rest of the winter meetings can be. I am sure the Mariners will have someone new on the roster before Dipoto comes back to Seattle.

Dipoto Goes To Washington

This week the winter meetings are happening in the Washington D.C. area. Mariner’s general manager Jerry Dipoto is expected to come home with a starting pitcher at the very least. Who that will be is anyone’s guess.

So far this off-season Dipoto has made six trades and has changed seventeen players. We expected that the Mariners would go after getting a shortstop to replace Marte. I don’t think that many of us would have thought that Marte would be gone himself instead of going to the minor leagues however it did make sense when the Mariners made the trade. The trade wasn’t the first made by the Mariners however it was the biggest up to this date this off-season. The Mariners sent Marte along with starting pitcher TaiJuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger and left handed reliever Zac Curtis. Segura who had a really good season last season with the Diamondbacks will be the Mariners shortstop after playing second base for the backs. Haniger may be the right handed bat platooning with Seth Smith in right field if he makes the team. In the long run he could be the key to the trade for the Mariners. At the very least Segura is another solid player in the Mariners infield. He helps them up the middle along with Mike Zunino at catcher and Leonys Martin in center field. Haniger being the right handed bat is not a sure thing he could start the season at triple A but he is expected to be a really good player and he is another athletic outfielder the Mariners have been looking for.

The Mariners may have Ben Gamel and Heredia who they acquired this year  to platoon in left field unless another outfielder is acquired before spring training happens. It looks though the Mariners have improved in the outfield and at shortstop.

First base is another story whether they have improved over Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee who are both free agents and won’t be returning next season. The Mariners traded for Daniel Vogelbach in July from the Chicago Cubs for left handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and the off-season in one of their first trades getting Danny Valencia from the Oakland Athletics. Though he will be platooning at first base with the right handed bat Valencia may play some outfield and third base when needed. How much he plays first base and the outfield will depend on the young players.

The Mariners just signed left handed relief specialist Marc Rzepczynski and right handed reliever Casey Fien as free agents. Marc as I will call him be pitching primarily against left handed hitters late in the games while Fien could start the season in triple A if he doesn’t make the team in the bullpen.

The Mariners at the end of November traded former first round pick Alex Jackson to the Atlanta Braves for two starting pitchers Robert Whalen who may start the season in Seattle or triple A and Max Povse who may start in double A. Actually Povse could be the key to that trade. He was one of the top pitchers in the Atlanta Braves system.

The Mariners have made other trades as well that we will see happens going into spring training. Who the Mariners get this week in the winter meetings will be interesting. One of the players that the Mariners got during the off-season or last year could be moved along. It will be interesting to see what Dipoto has cooking this week. Go M’s.