Mariners Insider

Rest for Ryan, a start for Triunfel vs. Oakland

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:41 am with 5 Comments »
September 29, 2012 11:41 am

After one of their worst games, the Seattle Mariners shook up their infield for the final start of the year by 14-game winner Jason Vargas, who hasn’t won since September 3.

Manager Eric Wedge will sit shortstop Brendan Ryan and play rookie Carlos Triunfel and get Franklin Gutierrez back in center field.

“I don’t think it’s a mattter of being tired, I think we have to battle mental let downs,” Wedge said. “The last couple of weeks, I haven’t been pleased with our defense. You’ve got to count one waht you count on, and that’s pitching and defense for us.”

It’s Vargas vs. Oakland right-hander Dan Straily. Here’s the lineup:

Dustin Ackley  2B
Franklin Gutierrez  CF
Kyle Seager  3B
John Jaso  DH
Justin Smoak  1B
Michael Saunders  LF
Miguel Olivo  C
Casper Wells  RF
Carlos Triunfel  SS
Jason Vargas LHP

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Five games to go: time to suck it up. The M’s are affecting the entry to the playoffs. I’d like to see them win three more, starting today. Come on Seager, get that bat going again!

  2. Glad I watched the golf. Seager and Saunders homer again, I see in the box score. Amazing how the team with something positive to play for gets the job done. The Angels can’t be happy about this one.

  3. bbnate420 says:

    For those of you that still believe we can win purely with pitching and defense:

    M’s- #1 in fielding % in MLB. #3 in the AL and #9 in MLB in ERA.

    DEAD LAST in MLB in team average, OBP, and slugging. DEAD LAST in MLB in all three in 2011. And surprise surprise, they were DEAD LAST in all three in 2010. Now that’s some great progress for ya. At least the guys doing it now are young and have a chance to improve. A few are keepers going forward. Still not nearly enough.

  4. Nate, NOBODY has said that any team, let alone the Mariners, can win with ‘purely’ pitching and defense. Obviously a decent offense is needed. What a lot of people have advocated, me among them, is that pitching and defense are less prone to slumps, and they are skills that we already have in the system. Young pitching, under team control, is relatively inexpensive. We have to be realistic and understand that Seattle’s ownership is not going to have $125M payroll.

    I understand your frustration. We haven’t had a good team in quite a while. There HAS been encouraging signs of development though, so it’s not like there is no plan moving forward, or the plan is failing, or the sky is falling, etc. The young pitching is progressing nicely. Power arms in the bullpen (and guys like Pryor and Capps are just learning how to pitch). Ackley had a terrible sophomore slump, but I’m pretty confident that he will bounce back well. Montero will be fine, hopefully Smoak can carry his adjustments over into next season, Seager and Saunders still have room to get better, and Zunino is on the way. Do we still need to add some offense? Of course, and NOBODY is disputing that. There aren’t a lot of options on the FA market though, and we don’t have the payroll to throw stupid money at guys anyway. Seattle played in the toughest division in baseball this year, and we had our moments. The young guys need to be more consistent. But, if they can keep the pitching and defense and the young guys can progress to the point that our offense is middle-of-the-pack, then we will be fine.

  5. bbnate420 says:

    Coach81, “purely” was an exaggeration. This team has not shown significant offensive progress in 3 years. Those are the numbers. You can say that they have made some strides as they are doing it with young players now. I do believe this to be true. But any major progress at this point is dependent on speculation about how young players will grow. Smoak played better at the end of last year too. Doesn’t mean it will carry over. I hope it does. It’s put up or shut up time with him IMO. No more giving him 400 ABs at the major league level to figure it out. Ackley had a very bad offensive year, and I do believe he will bounce back but this is just hope and speculation. Montero seems like he will be a good hitter. We still have to see it happen. His average and slugging % would probably spike tremendously if they could teach him to run like he’s 22 and not 75. Seager and Saunders should continue to develop but they don’t have long track records. Guti, nuff said. I think moving the fences at least 5 feet in in a few spots would help significantly as well. I already know you are not in favor of moving them.

    I agree and have already stated that we shouldn’t shop any of the big three. I also agree that we shouldn’t waste money on overrated veterans like Bilbo Baggins. I think David Wright would be a good sign if they can get him for like 4 years and 60 mil. I don’t think any other mid to big money free agents are worth it and make sense for the M’s right now. I don’t think they’re necessarily one or 2 players away from the playoffs in 2013. You never know though. They could do an Oakland if a number of young hitters develop all at the same time. I don’t think the sky is falling. I like what Z has done with the minor league talent. I think Wedge can manage. I’m most pessimistic about what ownership will do or not do. Winning should be priority #1, and I don’t think it is with this ownership.

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