Jack Z Makes Some Moves
It was an interesting night of baseball in Seattle Monday night as trades by both teams interrupted the flow of the game.
The Blue Jays Travis Snyder was traded during the 7th inning and had to be pulled off the field to make his way to Pittsburgh.
The Seattle Mariners were happy that they got the best start of the season from their pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma as Brandon League was unavailable due to a pending trade with the Dodgers, Steve Delabar was unavailable due to a pending trade with the Blue Jays and closer Tom Wilhelmsen was unavailable due to the fact his wife was in labor.
What they lost
Ichiro‘s career slash marks were .322/.366/.418 combined with a 10 time gold glove winner were the marks of an elite level player. However in the 95 games Ichiro played in 2012 his numbers dropped down to .261/.288/.407.
Such a drastic change was frustrating to say the least, especially from a man that looked every bit as athletic as when he began his career. But they lost the international face of their franchise, which could have drastic consequences for revenue in the future.
League was a valuable piece of the Mariners bullpen last season when he took over the closing role from the injured David Aardsma. League was even selected as an All Star in 2011.
Here in 2012 he has been a continual source of frustration. While some people have said that he was settling into a better groove since the all star break, in the past two weeks his ERA was 7.20.
The only thing the Mariners have lost statistically are the chances to blow more leads. But baseball is more than just just stats and League was the leader and calming presence in the dugout.
The bullpen has been quite strong for the M’s this season, thanks in part to League’s role.
The Mariners like good stories and Steve Delabar has a amazing real life story similar to the movie “The Rookie” staring Dennis Quaid. Delabar beat the odds and went from high school teacher to major league baseball in a few short months.
He has a dynamic and explosive fastball, but he has been leaving a lot of balls over the plate this season and given up 9 home runs in the 36 innings he has pitched this season.
He bounced back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma all season, it was surprising that he had any value at all to be honest.
What the gained
Basically nothing. The M’s picked up two prospects in exchange for the face of the franchise: D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.
Mitchell is a 25 year old right hander that has played 4 games at the major league level where he pitched 4.2 innings giving up 7 hits, 3 walks, a home run and 2 earned runs.
He has played at the AAA level for 3 season now and during that time he held an ERA of 3.77 with a WHIP of 1.35. Hardly impressive.
Farquhar is another 25 year old right handed relief pitcher with dismal numbers. He has been a part of 5 teams this season being moved between leagues and affiliates. In his 5 years in the minors he has 14-17 record with 3.03 ERA.
So he is a better option than the Mitchell, barely.
2 prospects from the Dodgers organization: Logan Bawcom and Leon Landry both of whom seem quite to have quite exciting potential.
Logan Bawcom is a 23 year old pitcher from Texas. While he has never played above the AA level his numbers are quite impressive as a reliever. At AA Chattanooga he has an ERA 2.60 over 27 games.
With a mid 90’s fastball he works for the strike out and currently is throwing 9.3 Strike outs per nine innings. Felix Hernandez strike out rate this season is 8.9/9. So that is impressive.
He still has some control issues which is quite common for a AA pitcher so his walk rate is a bit high 4.2/9 but over all an exciting prospect.
Landry is a 22 year old out fielder that was a third round pick back in 2010 that has been working at the single A level since he signed. It looks like he is probably ready to move to a higher level as his batting average is .328 with 8 home runs, 15 triples, and 26 doubles.
He has played most of his pro career in Center Field due to his speed (he has also stolen 20 bases in 80 games this season), but he is probably a better fit for left field.
The trade to the Blue Jays involving Steve Delabar brings the most exciting component of any of the Mariners mid season trades by far. For a inconsistent reliever the Mariners receive a Major League ready outfielder, Eric Thames.
Thames has struggled a bit against Major League pitching a bit, but has shown his potential at AAA the past two seasons.
At AAA Reno this year Thames has hit a .330/.407/.528.
His career fielding percentage is a bit low .975 but he may be turning things around as he has not committed any errors so far this season.