Dave’s Free Play, Friday 5/24/13

  • May 24, 2013

Short MLB card on Thursday produced a split, but a small profit in the process as both plays were underdogs. Three straight black ink nights currently, which is hardly spectacular, but it also beats the alternative.

You can get my Friday card for $50, or try a full week for $250 by clicking on the tab to the right of the page. For longer term information along with guarantees, please email me directly at cokin@cox.net.


So I might not have to eat crow after all regarding an opinion on a trade that I offered back when it took place. The deal in question was the swap between the Yankees and Mariners with Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda as the centerpieces. I stated that I like the deal for the Yankees.  That viewpoint was based on a couple of factors. One was that Pineda had been pretty impressive with Seattle in spite of his inexperience, and I liked him moving forward. There were some reservations, not the least of which was his extreme fly ball tendency and that short right field porch at Yankee Stadium. Plus one never knows how a player will respond to the pressure that comes with pitching in the glare of the Big Apple spotlight. But I really liked Pineda’s stuff and figured he’d have a good chance to succeed with the Yankees.

On the flip side, I’ve never been especially high on Jesus Montero. My thoughts on him then were that he might hit some, but would never evolve into a solid backstop. I thought then, and probably always will feel that trading a potential front of the rotation pitcher for a guy who profiles best as a DH is a bad deal.

I got mostly crushed for this trade assessment, and when Pineda showed up way out of shape in training camp and then subsequently got hurt…well, the I told you so gang was out in full force. All I could do was admit that I might have gotten this one wrong.

Now one year later, I’m pulling out the Lee Corso “not so fast, my friend” card. Pineda has recovered from the labrum surgery and his shoulder is structurally sound. He was clocked at 93 in a recent extended spring game and is going to start his minor league rehab shortly. There’s a real possibility he’ll be pitching in the Bronx by right around the All-Star break. The fact he’s already approaching the mid-90’s is a huge positive. There’s still a long way to go, but there’s also now a real sense of optimism regarding Pineda.

As for Montero, he got optioned to AAA yesterday. Montero is not hitting his weight, and I’ve now got lots of company on the he’s not a big league catcher bandwagon.

Time will tell on this one. Maybe Pineda flames out and never again approaches what we saw from him as a rookie. Maybe Montero figures things out and becomes a productive big leaguer. But I’m still sticking to my guns on this one and I’m really hoping I end up being the one who gets to do a little crowing when the final scores are tallied.




Joe Saunders is never going to be confused with Felix Hernandez as the ace of the Seattle staff. The lefty did manage to make an All-Star team while with the Angels, but in truth Saunders has never been much more than a mid-rotation or lower innings eater. That said, for whatever reason, this guy is the absolute nuts at Safeco Field.

Saunders now has 13 career starts at this site. He’s 9-0 with a 1.72 ERA. The WHIP is a cool 1.08. Contrast those numbers with the ones Saunders has registered everywhere else, and you have arrived at a genuine moment of utter bafflement. Okay, the park is favorable to lefties who give up fly balls. But to this extent? Nope. It’s just one of those really weird stat lines that will appear every now and then. Rather than try and figure out what the hell is going on, my sentiments are to just play along until it runs its course.

The bad news is that the Rangers already own one win this season dueling Saunders at Safeco. That had nothing to do with the veteran southpaw, as he surrendered just one one unearned run in his seven frames that night. Texas got to the Seattle bullpen and eventually won a 3-1 decision. But they sure didn’t have much success against Saunders.

Justin Grimm has been adequate for the Rangers, and obviously this Texas team is better at everything than the Mariners. If you ignore the Saunders Safeco stats, you’re looking at what appears to be a bargain price on the Rangers. But when you include those Saunders numbers, taking a small plus price tag with the Mariners doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. I’ll go along for the ride by opting for home dog Seattle tonight.