Thursday, August 09, 2007

A high point, a Lowe point

The Mariners would be in the playoffs if the season started today. Hurray!

Obviously, the Mariners have done many things right this season. Behind the scenes, however, they've made some puzzling player/personnel moves. Picking up John Parrish would appear to be one of them.

He's a 29 year-old lefty, set to join a bullpen replete with left-handers already: Sherrill, Rowland-Smith (whose name evokes memories of Mr. Miagi's line, "What are you - some kind of girl?") and O'Flaherty. As has been mentioned already, he's coming off the dreaded Tommy John surgery, and has a few fairly good peripherals: 3.52 ERA since the All Star break, .236 B.A. against vs. right-handed hitters, .270 vs. lefties, .252 overall. He has a few pretty bad ones, too: 36/33 K/BB ratio and an overall ERA of 5.40. He seems all right in a shrug-your-shoulders-and-go-meh kind of way - a probable 6th or 7th man in your seven-man bullpen. But it begs the question: why?

The M's have more lefties in the pen than probably every other team in Major League baseball history now. They are the Hunt brothers of MLB, cornering the market on a scarce commodity. Meanwhile, Mark Lowe and his 95 mph fastball gets sent back to Tacoma. Lowe's fastball, had it been utilized sufficiently to strengthen into a 97-98 mph fastball like last year, would have fit like a glove in the setup man role, freeing up Brandon Morrow for more important duty. Speaking of duty, that's what starting pitcher Horacio Ramirez looked like tonight, giving up seven earned runs and five walks in five innings of work. Had the M's heeded my advice (and I'm sure Bavasi furtively peruses this blog daily) and sent Brandon Morrow down to work on converting into a starter, we would be well on our way to seeing the end of Ramirez' reign of terribleness.

It's remarkable that a team run as poorly as Bavasi has orchestrated this year (and, as painfully documented, previous seasons) somehow still sits in the wild card lead and is a mere 2.5 games out of first. He reminds me of Don Knotts' Mr. Furley on Three's Company, who somehow managed to get the girl anyway every few seasons despite the ridiculous bungling. Let's see if Bavasi can bungle the Mariners to the dance this year or not.


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