Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has had a busy half-season in 2017. It’s been almost like a puzzle for him as he’s moved players around, sent some down to the minor leagues, called others up, etc.
That’s the beauty of a 40-man roster. Why not take advantage?
Dipoto has a huge luxury of having Triple-A Tacoma just down the Interstate-5 corridor. Some teams do not have the luxury of on a whim, or, at least within a 24-hour period, be able to move one player from the minor leagues immediately into a starting role with the big-league squad.
A perfect example is recently announced Saturday starter Andrew Moore. For those of you who have read my columns before (Maybe five humans), you know I’ve been watching him all season long (not in a creepy way). Well, he got called up for his major-league debut and dazzled in seven innings. He got sent back to Tacoma after getting a win, and I was sad.
But only for a little bit.
Dipoto recalled him to start Monday and although he pitched well, he earned his first loss. He is now scheduled to start Saturday, but after that, who knows? He may have to go back to Tacoma – I hope not, but that’s the reality.
WHY OTHER TEAMS CAN’T ALWAYS DO THIS
The only team that comes to mind without looking up stuff (I’m gonna do that soon to give examples of the teams NOT close to their Triple-A affiliates) that has this same luxury as the Mariners is Boston – with Triple-A Pawtucket just south across the border into Rhode Island. Interstate-95 is probably a worse commute than from Seattle to Tacoma, but you get the idea.
Alright, let’s talk some logistics.
The Milwaukee Brewers have their Triple-A team in Colorado Springs. For starters, that’s a one-hour time zone difference. In Chicago, the White Sox have to deal with Charlotte, N.C. (which is basically South Carolina. I’ve been to a game in the Knights stadium and its further south than the Great Lake region should be sending players overnight). Minnesota has their Triple-A affiliate in Rochester – which is basically Canada. I remember when I went to that city and I thought I was in a different country.
The point being – some teams have logistical challenges. The Mariners do not.
There’s a Triple-A team in New Orleans which isn’t close to anyone (Maybe Atlanta or Houston?) but the Miami Marlins get stuck with them. They change their team name so much and that organization is a train wreck, but that’s a different story.
PERFECT USE OF THE 40-MAN ROSTER
The point in this geographical diatribe is that whether you are pro, or con on what Dipoto has done with the Mariners, you have to admit he’s fully using his 40-man roster to the best of his ability. It’s not easy juggling that many personalities and moving around that many pieces, but he’s doing his best.
The M’s are finally healthy, so the transactions might diminish a bit (I’m sure I just jinxed a Nelson Cruz calf injury), but why not use all the pieces you are given to ‘play’ with?
If you want to grab a guy from Tacoma for a spot start – because Yovani Gallardo is terrible or need someone to help Mike Zunino work on some stuff in the minors (Tuffy Gosewhich was still a bad idea), why not?
And it is a lot easier when both the Rainiers and the Mariners are so close to each other. You have 40 pieces to make to make it work, so you might as well use all of them to build a 25-man roster.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
- My man-crush Mitch Haniger is slumping since coming back from the oblique injury. I won’t offer to massage it for him…but he needs to get going again. His double and home run on Thursday helped!
- Ben Gamel is staying hot – I believe he just recently qualified in the minimum at-bats category to lead the league in batting average, but teammate Jean Segura is trying to prevent that. (So Rude)
- Baserunning Blunders – there have been so many. Cruz needs to learn he’s at a point in his life where a laser off the wall in center is a single. It sucks, but get over it.
I don’t know if the Dipoto style of managing is a “new age” type of thing. I don’t want to be the person responsible for coining it that way, but call-up and send down players as much as you need to. That’s what they are there for. Sidebar kudos to Sam Gaviglio – I don’t think anyone expected him to stick with the major-league club this long.
I hope you all enjoy the All-Star game festivities next week. I have my money on a home-run derby dark horse candidate in Justin Bour primarily because of the Twitter hashtag I created for him. #ServingBourDoeuvres . I assume you get it. Enjoy your weekend, and I love you all.