Print and Go Back SweetSpot [Print without images]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
M's keep Sweeney, dump Garko

Ah, another late-March surprise. From Pro Ball NW:
I probably don't like Garko as much as Jon does. But the projections for him are really consistent, right around a .340 wOBA (which is pretty good). Sweeney's projections are all over the place, but average around .320-.325. That's obviously not a great difference, but ...

Well, I'm just not as optimistic about the Mariners as I'm supposed to be. I don't think they're going to win 90 games. I think 85 is a more reasonable guess, which means they'll have some competition for the division title and every dozen or two runs might be important. Like Jon, I was sort of hoping for a Garko/Kotchman platoon at first base. Or a Garko/Griffey platoon at DH. A Garko something.

According to Geoff Baker's primer, the M's are dumping Garko because:

1. they believe (rightly) that he's a lousy first baseman,
2. which means they're better off with Kotchman playing first base every day, and
3. with Jack Hannahan healthy (enough) they don't have the roster space for both Garko and Sweeney.

Left unexplained is why the M's are so wild about Sweeney. Do they think Sweeney's a better fielder than Garko? I doubt it. Do they think Sweeney's a better hitter than Garko? I doubt it. Do they think Sweeney's a better chemistry guy than Garko? Bingo.

I won't argue that chemistry doesn't matter. I will argue that there's room for only so many chemistry-based decisions, and that the M's are either right at or just over the reasonable limit.