Wednesday, June 01, 2005

After us, the deluge

So a lot happened in Mariner-ville over the long weekend. Two out of three from Lou's New Crew in Tampa and a Memorial Day night victory over the Jays. Very good pitching from Sele and Moyer.

The more interesting stuff were the transactions. Olivo goes down and Rene Rivera comes back up. I don't think that the M's see Rivera and Borders as a solution (I could be wrong) but more as temps. I think the M's hope that Olivo can fix himself in Tacoma, that Wiki comes back soon, and if not, they will acquire another veteran catcher.

I know that catcher ERA has been largely debunked, but its hard to argue with Borders results in the short-term with Sele and Moyer. Well, its actually pretty easy to argue small sample size, but Sele's two starts and Moyer's last one certainly are data points in Borders favor. But he just can't be your regular catcher, he can't.

The other big move was bringing up Morse (or as Rizzs calls him, "Morris") and DFAing Valdez. I've advocated giving Morse a shot for some time, not becuase I think he's going to be great or anything, but because the M's need offense badly and he should be a least an upgrade over Valdez/Bloomquist.

There are two concerns about Morse. First is his attitude. He is regarded as a free spirit, but also a troublemaker and he was suspended twice last year (once by the M's and once by the White Sox). But if anyone can handle him, it might be Mike Hargrove, who once turned a clubhouse with Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez into a league champion.

The second concern is his defense. By all accounts he was atrocious before this year, but in Tacoma seems to have upgraded himself to somewhere between merely bad and adequate. As always when watching defense, try and judge him not just on errors, but on plays he should have made. The question is more can he get to enough balls to not hurt the pitching staff?? Of course we have no real groundballers in the rotation, so maybe its a moo point (you know, what a cow thinks).

Of course if his defense is a problem, it might have made sense to hang onto Valdez as a defensive replacement and have dumped either Bloomquist or Dobbs. But I suppose that's a rant for another day.

So where Morse goes, are Choo, Snelling, Campillo and Leone sure to follow? Is this a quick attempt to fix the two most glaring holes in the lineup or the start of the second straight year of letting the kids play? I'm guessing the first, but the second isn't far behind.


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