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.


Jeff Clarke has some of his usual insight re Gillespie at

SoDo Mojo and Lookout Landing have some additional Gillespie commentary.


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.


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.


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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