Friday, March 28, 2008

Morse Makes Team, Who Else?

I was writing about some other M's tidbits while watching the Mariners play the Cubs, but some breaking news came about so it's time to shift gears.

I had read some discussion in the Seattle Times forum about Bill Bavasi calling Mike Morse "a lock" to make the ballclub on radio, and now Shannon Drayer has confirmed it.

Bavasi probably jumped the gun a little bit, because some announcements were expected after the game, according to Seattle P-I's John Hickey.

The bench picture is starting to clear up, as Willie Bloomquist, Jaime Burke, Miguel Cairo and now Morse have all been guaranteed spots. Morse looked as if he still had a spot to earn today, going 3-for-4 with a big home run.

Whether or not Seattle chooses to carry Greg Norton or Charlton Jimerson will likely depend on reliever Brandon Morrow's status. The aforementioned forum discussion mentioned that Bavasi may have hinted that he would go with the 11-man pitching staff, though Hickey had this to say today:

One thing manager John McClaren said is that right-handed reliever Brandon
Morrow is not, repeat not, headed to the disabled list. there has been some
suggestion that Morrow, who missed two weeks mid-camp, wasn't quite ready to be
Seattle's eighth-inning guy, but the Mariners seem to think otherwise.


While Hickey and the Tribune's Ryan Divish took this to mean Morrow will be with the big club, I still think he'll start in the minors. Divish updated his post around 9 pm after seeing Morrow upset in the locker room, speculating that he was sent down. Greg Norton and Charlton Jimerson are certainly hoping Morrow isn't on the Opening Day roster, because there is no spot for either of them if Seattle goes with a 12-man pitching staff.

Now that Morse is on for sure, who makes the club if Morrow doesn't? At this point Jimerson makes more sense to me. Morse's outfield defense is pretty shotty, so he would probably be more of a spot starter while Jimerson would be a good late inning defensive replacement for Raul Ibanez or Brad Wilkerson. However, McLaren's fondness for Norton is well documented so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see him make the team, though the defense would suffer.

No news as far as the Dickey vs. Baek battle. Churchill of Prospect Insider rambles on in the comments section about Seattle trying to slip Dickey through waivers or trying to work a trade with the Twins in an attempt to justify their rumor from a couple days ago. Divish, in the aforementioned blog update, thinks that Baek will take Morrow's spot on the rotation. While I could see this happening, I think it would be foolish and pointless to carry two long relievers in the 'pen.

I'll update the bottom of this post tonight if anything else is announced, so keep checking back. I have a feeling that there will be official announcements regarding Morse and Morrow, though Dickey vs. Baek and Norton vs. Jimerson should still come down to the wire.

Update 10:20 pm PST: Ryan Divish and Geoff Baker report that Brandon Morrow has been optioned to AA West Tennessee and Jeremy Reed has been optioned to AAA Tacoma. It seemed apparent that Morrow would start in the minor leagues after having control issues since experiencing "dead arm syndrome" while in Arizona. Manager John McLaren said the team chose Tennessee because of the warmer weather.

The Reed move is no shock, as he had the slimmest chance of any outfielder to make the team. He'll return to Tacoma where he led the PCL in hits last year. There is no future for Reed in Seattle, and it appears that Bavasi is doing the nice thing and trying to trade him to a better situation, something that he is known for doing.


jp17 said...

Morrow has been optioned to AA per Baker.

Brandon said...

AA?!? Yikes...
I think we go with jimerson...and does that mean we have one other spot as well? If so, I say Baek.
I, personally, am glad to see morse on this team...anyone who can hit .300 is a welcome addition.

Anonymous said...

Brandon: Churchill of Prospect Insider popped in and added a comment to last night's posts, describing the waiver process (I think you asked for that) and he also made a very good point that McLaren doesn't typically use defensive replacements for his outfielders. Norton may have the best chance to make the team, but I still think it could go either way.

There is not an extra spot for Baek if Seattle chooses to carry Jimerson or Norton. The final roster spot will go to the winner of the Jimerson vs. Norton battle or the loser of the Dickey vs. Baek batter. I think it will be a position player.

Brandon said...

Yep..i just read Churchill's comment. I forgot Lowe made the spot for those guys..tough call really. Jimerson isn't needed with willie (who i completely forgot about) and Norton is an old guy and i've never been a fan of playing old guys. Looks like that leaves Baek if it were my choice, but i agree that it will be a position player.

Rob T. said...

The roster is set. They worked out a trade with the Twins by sending Jair Fernandez for Dickey and he will be sent to AAA. Norton made the team and Baek also made the team.

Rob T. said...

Jimerson made the team, not Norton. Norton was sent to AAA. Also Morse will be platooning with wilkerson in RF.

greyguy said...

USS Mariner reports a 5 man bench, 6 man bullpen. The bench is Burke, Morse, Bloomquist, Cairo, and Jimerson.

I'm wondering if they won't end up wishing they had a lefty to pinch hit, maybe instead of Cairo.

Brandon said...

Having a six man bullpen without Dickey is a HORRIBLE idea if you ask me. Baek has had injury problems and lowe is coming off major elbow problems. I think this is a relaly, really, REALLY big mistake.

jp17 said...

Dickey would only be 40 minutes away if Baek bombs.

Although I wanted to keep Dickey over Baek, keeping both is the better option even if it means Dickey starts the year in AAA.

zDawg said...

I am impressed with the way the M's protected Baek and Dickey. Baek will either become a stud and rise a notch, or more realistically be traded with someone else (Reed?) for a good pitcher or more realistically, a good bat.

It keeps Baek's value while letting every other team in need of a starter and/or CF that an option is available for them. Just give us a solid player.

This is the way your team should trade, by getting something of value in return.

Bavasi just might get the grasp of this running a baseball team yet!

greyguy said...

When I was a younger baseball fan, it seems to me that everyone had 5 man bullpens. When did this change to 6-7 man bullpens take place?

I don't think a smaller bullpen is a problem as long as you're willing to let people pitch for more innings and rest them inbetween.