By Patrick and Anthony
Follow the blog on twitter @PTLeary21 and @JollyRedGiant93
Patrick: Sorry I was late. A certain one of our friends (who shall remain anonymous) decided to have a ten minute conversation with a homeless man in QA Dick's about Marijuana.
Anthony: That sounds like a great conversation. I was listening to a Coptic Christian testify in some commission about the abuse the Muslim Brotherhood has inflicted on Coptics.
P:I don't even know what that means. Sounds like we both had great nights
A:Its egypt. You can say that, I also did some Green's theorem work. It was solid.
P: I don't know what that is either. I don't take math anymore.
A: Line integrals... double integrals.
P:I haven't integrated for about a year now. I don't miss it.
A:You should, never know when you need to calculate the work a function does when traveling through a vector field.
P:Yeah, wow that makes my head hurt just reading it. Can we get to the M's we disagree on please?
A:Sure, just showing the readers how I'm always right and am studying much more advanced things than you.
P:What you have in facts, I have in flowery persuasion.
A:And I have obscene levels of manipulation and stubbornness.
P:I can't argue with either of those.Who do you want to fight about first?
A:Lets do Napkin Boy.
P:By Napkin Boy, I assume you are referring to my favorite Mariner, Jason Matthew Vargas.
A:Yes sir. And Since you love him so much. You can go first.
P:Vargas is great because he shows flashes of amazing pitching. He threw a two hitter against the Phillies and out dueled Cole Hamels on father's Day. Not many pitchers can do that, only one other current Mariner can. You won't see Millwood, Beavan, Noesi, Furbush, anybody doing that. If he can limit the bad outings and avoid his late season swoon, he will be a great No. 2 starter this year. And he signed my napkin. Thoughts?
A:The reason you like him is the exact reason I hate him. Last year he had 5 starts where he did not make it 5 innings. That is 5 starts where he was ineligible for the decision. He had 11 starts where he gave up 4 or more runs. And guess what, we only won 1 of those games. He can be a solid #2 pitcher, he has his moments. He also can give up 8 runs to the blue jays. And 9 to the White Sox.
P:And 10 to the Indians. Actually, some of that was Wilhelmsen. But yeah those were bad
A:It was 7 to the Indians. He had a streak of 7 starts in July where he did not win.
P:Neither did the Mariners...
A:Its not that he swoons down the stretch, in september he went 3-1. And it should have been 4
P:He swoons in August.
A:n August he was 1-2. In July he was 1-5
P:You can't count July, because nobody won in July.
A:Why was that? He gave up 0 runs, 2,4,4,5,5 in his july starts. The M's offense cannot be expected to score that much. And that shut out was against the Padres. So it loses all value to your argument.
P:You're telling me they can't score four runs a game?
A:I'm not saying they can't I'm saying they didn't. Consistently. All year.
P:Right but that puts so much pressure on Vargas. He should be able to win games where he gives up 4 runs in 7 innings occasionally. How do you think Ivan Nova went 16-4?
A:He plays on a team with an offense.
P:Exactly! It's not Vargas' fault he struggled. It was the offense. If the offense comes back to Vargas' level, then he will be a good No. 2.
A:That expectation is really high for a team that is playing Chone Figgins, Brendan Ryan and Kyle Seager. And Vargas is our only valuable trade chip so he could be gone pretty soon.
P:I might cry. He does deserve better though. I mean, we lost a game he threw a shutout in this year.
A:Yes, against the Orioles.
P: The fucking Orioles!
P: Anyway, agree to disagree on Vargas?
A:Did we think there would be any other outcome?
P:No. But I though maybe my passionate rhetoric could sway you.
A: How long have you known me?
P: Five years.
A:And how many times have I been swayed by passionate rhetoric from you?
P:Hmmmm. I'll probably have to go with zero.
A: I would agree with you there. So now who do you want to talk about?
P: Lets fight about the Condor, Michael Saunders, next.
A:Alright, I'm going to have to pull a you. His stats aren't super great.
P:No they are not.
A:Would you like me to go first?
P:Sure. Since you seem to support him.
A:I do support the condor. He has the talent to be a 4 or 5 tool player. He has displayed the skills in AAA. But when he comes to Seattle he plays like crap. Nobody can deny that. However, this year is different. He finally got a swing coach, he's shortened his stride. He's sped up his hands. He has changed his swing and so far it is paying off. He is currently playing himself onto the 25 man roster. He has shown durability, speed and some power. Plus he's Canadian and he has a cool nickname. Now you may tear him apart.
P:Well I'll be nice for a bit. The elephant in the room for me is that .149 batting average in the majors last year. That's bad even by Mariners standards. He proved to me that he could not handle being the regular center fielder. For me, I like to think that when a player steps into the batter's box, the have a chance of doing something great. Absolutely never did I ever feel that about Saunders. It wasn't a matter of if he would get out, but how it would occur.
A:15% of the time he did not though. Do you think he can turn it around this year and take advantage of his chance with Guti out?
P:He certainly has a shot to do so. I think he'll choke it away though. Just don't think he's got a good enough bat.
A:Well then that is where we disagree. What do you think about his strong Spring so far?
P:Spring doesn't count for a reason. But I'm encouraged by it. Trust me, I want him to turn it around. I just don't think he can or will.
A:Negative Nancy over here. Have some hope.
P:I'm sorry I'm down on a guy who hit .149 last year.
A: And struck out 1/3 of the time.
P:That's just the pessimist in me. God he was terrible.
A:Do you really not look at stats closely?
P: I hope he fixes it, but if he does, the M's need to cut him. And stats are great, but I like writing from pure impressions better.
P:Yupp pretty much. Who's our last fight over?
A:Wasn't Vargas your guy?
P:I have multiple guys. But for purposes of right now, Tray is my guy. That shit Tray, ain't it J?
A:You already said you wouldn't do that again
A:Lying to the readers...
P:Oops. My bad. I won't do it again after this
P:Anyway, I love Trayvon Robinson's potential. He has a really high ceiling. His power and speed make him Barry Bonds-like. But he isn't anywhere near that yet. He should be the M's future leadoff hitter, and could turn into a nice balanced center fielder. He seems to have all of the pieces to be a superstar lead off center fielder, a Curtis Granderson or Grady Sizmore type. He just needs to watch his strikeouts.
A:He has a high ceiling, that is true. He has a bunch of tools. Yay for tools. But as a hitter, it is very important to hit the baseball. That is usually the goal of hitting. Carlos Peguero hit the baseball 64% of the time he swung. Miguel Olivo hit it 66%. Jack Cust had one of 67%. Trayvon Robinson had one of 65%. You know what the difference is between Trayvon and the other three? The other three are power hitters. They are supposed to swing and miss because they swing hard and hit the ball a long way. Trayvon is not a power hitter.
P: Fair enough. But I think he could be a power hitter. He just isn't built like a contact hitter at this time. But I like his potential to drive the ball. I wouldn't want him to sacrifice that.
A:He can hit for power, but he is fast so hitting for contact is also fun and should lead him to success. The weird thing about Trayvon is, unlike Carlos and Miguel who swing at bad pitches, he doesn't. His discipline is above league average. But he doesn't make contact with strikes. Strikes are supposed to be made contact with. That's what makes them different from balls, they are easier to hit. He has had poor contact rates throughout the minor leagues and it followed him to the Majors.
P: Yeah you're right about that. I don't like that he misses so many pitches, especially the strikes that you're talking about.
A: He also strikes out way too much. Like 3/7 of the time he hit.
P: You and your stats again. But that isn't good at all. I guess I just believe that he can change.
A:I want him to succeed and all that great stuff because he then makes the M's better. But to succeed you need to be able to hit the pitches you are supposed to. And Trayvon does not do that nearly enough.
P: Fair enough. He'll change, you'll see.
A:I'll call this round won by me. Go M's.