Mariner Squalls 04/25/14 + Minors

Cole_Thomas_View_Across_Frenchman-s_Bay_from_Mount_Desert_Island_After_a_Squall_1845== News, notes & navigation ==

News: Cole Gillespie is a Mariner

Compass Reading: Just don’t expect him in center field

1. As much as everyone in the universe except the guy with the pencil may wish for something different, Lloyd McClendon — as he loves to point out — has the pencil.

And McClendon’s pencil keeps writing “Almonte 8” on the first line of the card. Twenty-one consecutive times.

We like Abraham Almonte, too, and he’s a great story, but giving the most plate appearances to the guy with the least chance of making a non-random positive event occur is just not a good plan.

McClendon’s not shirking responsibility, and that’s to his credit, but a disaster that someone owns up to is still a disaster.

2.  Gillespie has only played 76 games in center in the minors, and he’s been in the minors a long time.  It’s never been his primary position as a pro.  And since he’s been in the Mariner organization: zero official games in center.

3.  McClendon obviously doesn’t see Michael Saunders or Dustin Ackley as center fielders either, so if someone is going to supplant Almonte in-house, it will be James Jones, Xavier Avery or Endy Chavez, and I don’t disagree that there’s not a ton of offensive promise there, either, though they can’t really be worse than Almonte.

I don’t think they view injury-prone Julio Morban as a center fielder anymore.

So maybe next in line is fast-rising mini-speedball Aaron Barbosa, and you read about him here first.  And here second.

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Jeff Clarke has some of his usual insight re Gillespie at SeattleSportsInsider.com.

SoDo Mojo and Lookout Landing have some additional Gillespie commentary.

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News: Jabari Blash getting noticed

Compass Reading: It won’t be the last time

Anders Jorstad at Lookout Landing has a nice piece on Blash, accurately pointing out how he’s not just another Carlos Peguero.

In this space, we’ve always said that you need to get the “slugger who walks” — the ones who don’t are “random moon shot” guys.  C-Peg and Miguel Olivo are the latter.

Now that Blash is putting it all together, his first 50 games at AA are kind of mind-boggling (6.1% HR rate; 19.6% BB rate).  Yes, people will toss out some “Giancarlo Stanton, but not really” kind-of phrases, as someone does in the comments.  I have, too.  Go for it.

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News: Bob Dutton speculates

Compass Reading: And it’s good stuff

The Tacoma News-Tribune reporter says the Mariners never stopped looking for a bat, but made “baseball-evaluation decisions” (as opposed to acting out of  financial constraints) not to offer more dollars to Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales.  That makes solid sense to me.

Dutton’s a former Kansas City guy, and he says if the Royals fall out of contention they will look to off-load Billy Butler.  Sure, another basepath-clogger, but he’d be a much-needed RH impact bat that Gillespie and fellow ex-Beaver Stefen Romero aren’t likely to be.

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Daily Prospect-palooza

  • Tacoma had to fly to Las Vegas to avoid a rainout, but it didn’t avoid a blowout, falling to the 51’s 11-4.
  • Rafael Montero, frequently speculated as possible return in a Nick Franklin-to-Mets deal, got the win for Vegas with this line:  6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
  • And speaking of guys named Montero, Jesus Montero returned from paternity leave with a home run (off the other Montero; Rafael, that is, not the baby) and a single.  Only three walks in his first 14 games, but Mr. Zero Expectations is at an otherwise-encouraging .283/.328/.604.
  • For Jackson, Jamal Austin got just his third home run in 1409 minor-league plate appearances.
  • And Mickey Wiswall, who missed all of 2013, got his first homer since 2012.  He had 21 dingers for the high-flying 2012 High Desert team featuring Brad Miller, Morban, Romero, Jones and others.
  • And one of the guys from that team is now in an opposing Rancho Cucamonga Quakes uniform: Steven Proscia, who homered to help the Quakes overcome this year’s Maverick team.  The “other Jabari” [Jabari Henry] got his third homer for the Mavericks.

 

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