Mariners Cornering The Outfield Market
With the addition of Franklin Gutierrez, the Seattle Mariners now have five experienced outfielders in Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison. On any given night, the team will be able to play match ups and rotate left field, center field, right field and designated hitter with any combination of these players.
Is this the epitome of flexibility? Or is it a mess of injured and underachieving outfielders?
To make it easier, let’s break it down by position and where each has played.
LF – Saunders, Ackley, Morrison
CF – Saunders, Ackley, Gutierrez
RF – Saunders, Hart, Gutierrez
That’s enough players with experience at multiple outfield spots for the Mariners to run a different combination out every night of the week while using the odd man out at designated hitter.
There are multiple ways to view this. Which one best fits your mindset?
1. The flexibility of having so many options will allow the Mariners to rest its players with extensive injury histories which will keep them healthy over the course of a long season. In the end, each outfielder will log 120-games or so with strong overall production across the group.
2. The flexibility of having so many options will hurt this group of outfielders because each will come to the ballpark having no idea of his position or place in the batting order. Furthermore, more frequent rest days will make it more difficult for each to find his swing and maintain consistency. However, the group does benefit from a health standpoint because of a more consistent rest schedule.
3. Michael Saunders is the only outfielder of the group who remains healthy because of his experience manning all three outfield spots. Gutierrez in center field is a stretch after so many injuries and he succumbs to injury again. After multiple knee surgeries, Hart plays a poor right field and winds up hurt as well. Morrison has already proven to be a terrible left fielder and eventually breaks down as well. Dustin Ackley finds himself playing all over the place again and never settles in offensively.
Did I miss anything?
For fantasy purposes, the situation is certainly not ideal. In the Ottoneu Experts League, I was prepared to keep Corey Hart at $16. Not anymore. Not only will all three outfield spots and designated hitter see time splits, but first base is bound to be affected too. To those Justin Smoak owners waiting for an age-27 breakout after his best professional season, best of luck to you.
This is also a terrible scenario for any fantasy owner trying to implement any type of splits or match up strategy. With so many late starts and a carousel of possibilities, playing the best starting lineup on a nightly basis will require a magicians touch. Maybe there’s a fantasy owner out there who loves waiting for starting lineups to be released to make last minute changes, but I’m not one of them. Life is just too busy for that.
I’d recommend avoiding this situation like the plague and buying in once the injuries start to pop up. If Gutierrez and Morrison were to go down in June after hawking 400 plate appearances from the rest of the group, the production of a Corey Hart or Michael Saunders might be depressed enough to add an asset on the cheap.
4 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?