Kind of tough not to appreciate what Raul Ibanez has done all season long, as well as what Henry Blanco has contributed the few times he gets on the field.
Both guys are 41. The fact they’re still playing is special, but today, they drove in all three Seattle runs in a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. There’s this strange vibe I get in Seattle, especially in internet discussions, but occasionally when I host my radio show, about how older veterans contributing means nothing. That a team out of contention should be sitting veterans over the final two months in favor of going all-young.
That kind of stuff is silly. It’s short-sighted. And it won’t happen in real world baseball. At least, not with managers who hope to still have a job two months from now.
You don’t jettison guys making contributions to a team, be they 41, 31 or 21. You don’t make baseball decisions based on birth certificates. I know I’ve used the birth certificate line for a while now, but it bothers me when I see so many arguments being formulated based on logic that fails to extend beyond the date a player was born.
Want to know why the Mariners haven’t replaced Aaron Harang with James Paxton yet? Because they aren’t entirely sold that Paxton would be the better pitcher. You’ve seen how long it’s taken Erasmo Ramirez to adjust to being back in the majors. With Paxton on an innings limit, just like Taijuan Walker, he might run out of time to get acclimated here. And as bad as Harang got bashed around early the other day, we’ve seen him rebound and throw complete games just as quickly.
So, if you jettison Harang now and Paxton goes out and gets lit-up over three innings, the team is actually worse off than before, because at least Harang has shown you he can rebound. If Paxton is no good, you’re down a starter, one of your alleged “Big 3” is exposed and the team keeps losing. Not the best prospect if you’re running the Mariners and unsure about Paxton’s ability.
Now, let’s look at Ibanez. He’s struggled for two weeks at the plate, so naturally a few noses got out of whack on Twitter this morning when it was noted that the Mariners are sitting Dustin Ackley for now because he’s not good enough to be in the everyday lineup.
Comments | More in outfielders | Topics: henry blanco; raul ibanez; dustin ackley; michael saunders