Welcome! Login | Register

Not All Emergencies Need a 911 Call – “Sunday Political Brunch” - February 17, 2019—Not All Emergencies Need a 911 Call –…

Seahawks’ Draft Prospects – Wide Receivers—Seahawks’ Draft Prospects – Wide Receivers

Anatomy Of A GOAT: Championships, Context, And David Foster Wallace’s ‘String Theory’—Anatomy Of A GOAT: Championships, Context, And David…

Fit for Life: Til Death do us Part—Fit for Life: Til Death do us Part

Can The Alliance Of American Football Find More Success Than The XFL?—Can The Alliance Of American Football Find More…

5 Questions On NBA All-Star Weekend Answered!—5 Questions On NBA All-Star Weekend Answered!

NEW: Trump to Declare National Emergency to Get More Money for Border Wall—NEW: Trump to Declare National Emergency to Get…

Portland Ranked 4th Healthiest City in U.S.—Portland Ranked 4th Healthiest City in U.S.

The “State of the Onion Address” in Review - Sunday Political Brunch February 10, 2019—The "State of the Onion Address" in Review…

Checking In On Seattle’s Arena Situation—Checking In On Seattle’s Arena Situation


More New Friends: Meet Your New Seattle Mariners

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Although the MLB offseason has officially begun, it doesn’t exactly feel like the stove is terribly hot. Those free agents who had the qualifying offer extended to them still haven’t let their respective teams know whether or not they’ll accept them (outside of Colby Rasmus, who will return to the Houston Astros after becoming the first player to ever accept the QO). The most notable free agent to sign with a team to this point is A.J. Pierzynski (who will be back with my hometown Atlanta Braves in 2016), and we’ve only had one significant trade.

Fortunately for those of us who cover baseball in the Pacific Northwest, that swap involved the Mariners. Seattle struck a deal last Thursday with the Tampa Bay Rays, their frequent trade partner (long time no see, Nick Franklin!), that sent shortstop Brad Miller, first baseman Logan Morrison and reliever Danny Farquhar to St. Petersburg. In return, the M’s received pitchers Nathan Karns and C.J. Riefenhauser as well as outfield prospect Boog Powell.

First, let’s discuss who we’ve lost. Miller never really delivered on the flashes of brilliance he showed in 2013, a year in which he only played 76 games but hit at a nice clip, compiling a .265/.318/.418 triple slash line. 2014 hit him hard, although he in turn did not: After posting a 110 OPS+ (a stat that measures a hitter’s efficacy relative to the league average; 110 means Miller was 10 percent better at the plate than his theoretical counterpart) the year prior, that number fell to 76 in 2014. Although he rebounded nicely in 2015, he was the odd man out up the middle between Robinson Cano and Ketel Marte. Like his once and future double play partner Franklin, the kindest thing you could say about his defense is that he played better than a mannequin or a corpse. That he wasn’t considered part of new GM Jerry Dipoto’s long term plan is not surprising.

Everything I just said about Miller could easily apply to Morrison as well. Coming to the team from the mercurial Miami Marlins before the 2014 season, Logan performed better that year than the three prior, posting his first OPS+ over 100 since 2011 (111 in 99 games). However, like Miller, his second year in Seattle was less spectacular; although he hit 17 homers in 146 games, he didn’t hit much otherwise. Never a great defender in left field, his -7 DRS (how many runs a player saves/costs a team; Morrison’s -7 means he cost the Mariners seven runs over the course of 2015) at first base left a nastier taste in fans’ mouths than imagining what an actual cup of LoMo would taste like. Since the Mariners have never had trouble finding first basemen/DHs, Morrison was obviously expendable.

It’s a little surprising to see Farquhar leave town. He came to the Mariners in the Ichiro trade and promptly posted two solid campaigns, with 16 saves in 2013 and a 2.66 ERA over 71 innings in 2014. The wheels came off last year when Farquhar posted a 5.12 ERA, although FIP had him pegged a little lower at 4.60. His strikeouts per nine innings slowly decreased as well, starting with a 12.8 figure in 2013 before dropping to 10.3 and 8.5 in the following seasons. Still, for all his drawbacks, Farquhar was an under-appreciated part of a terrible bullpen. His absence will likely be felt next year.

Now, let’s take a look at who we’ve gained. Karns started his career with the Washington Nationals before being traded to Tampa, ostensibly for Jose Lobaton. Between 2013-14, he pitched a total of 24 innings for those two teams in five starts, recording an unsightly 6.00 ERA and an even more worrisome 7.50 FIP. 2015 was a revelation, though – Karns pitched 147 innings of 3.67 ERA ball with 145 strikeouts. While his 1.16 home runs per nine isn’t stellar, moving from the cozy confines of Tropicana Field to an even more pitcher-friendly park in Safeco Field should help that number come down. If the Mariners don’t resign Hisashi Iwakuma, Karns will be a more than palatable number 3 starter. If Iwakuma returns, all the better.

Riefenhauser, aside from having a last name as complicated to spell correctly as Zduriencik, is something of an enigma. Although he tore through Triple-A hitters to the tune of a 1.40 ERA in 57 2/3 innings in 2014, the 5 1/3 innings he threw for the Rays that season led to a 8.44 ERA in the bigs. 2015 was a variation on the theme: Riefenhauser recorded a 2.86 ERA in 34 2/3 innings with Tampa’s farm team, yet he pitched to a 5.44 ERA in 14 2/3 innings with the major league club. As with Karns, pitching in Safeco (as well as facing AL West teams more frequently than those in the East) should provide enough of a safety net to dream on a bounceback. He’ll be a boon to the bullpen regardless.

Powell, son of the more recognizable Boog Sr., has yet to make his major league debut. A quick rundown of MLB stars whose sons also played in the majors does not portend well for the baby Boog, but he could still give the Mariners a little pop and some defensive versatility as he’s seen significant time at all three outfield spots. Never a power hitter – his career home run total in four minor league seasons is a whopping six – Powell is still competent at the plate, with a .307 lifetime batting average and nine triples across Double- and Triple-A last season. While he may not be the most tremendous defender, he can’t be worse than Mark Trumbo (fingers crossed).

Will these men succeed where their departed counterparts failed? Beats me. It’s difficult to call this addition by subtraction: While Miller and Morrison were becoming huge drags, they (and Farquhar) had seen better days with Seattle. There’s no guarantee that Karns, Riefenhauser and Powell will fare any better. I suppose that’s why they play the games instead of handing the Commissioner’s Trophy to whoever “wins” the offseason. Here’s hoping that stove gets a little hotter shortly, because this team still has a long road to contention.

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.


Related Slideshow: Oregon’s Most Devastating Sports Injuries

Here is GoLocalPDX's list of Oregon's most devastating injuries that have occured within the past 10 years.

Prev Next

Greg Oden

Sept. 2007 — Micro fracture surgery on right knee

Dec. 2009 — Fractured left patella 

Nov. 2010 — Micro fracture surgery on left knee

Dec. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on right knee

Unfortunately, Trail Blazer fans everywhere already know how drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant worked out for their team. After being be the #1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, Oden was never able to play a full season due to ongoing knee injuries. The team eventually waived him in March of 2012.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Dennis Dixon

Nov. 2007 — Torn left ACL

During the 2007 season Dixon had the Oregon Ducks as the #2 team in the country. That was until he suffered a torn ACL against Arizona State and attempted to play on it the following week against Arizona. After Dixon went down for the season the Ducks lost their remaining two regular season games. Fortunately, they were able to end their season on a high note with a victory over South Florida in the 2007 Sun Bowl.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Brandon Roy

Sept. 2008 — Cartilage removed from left knee

April 2010 — Meniscus tear in right knee

Jan. 2011 — Arthroscopic surgery on both knees

Brandon Roy is perhaps one of the most beloved Trail Blazers in the history of the franchise. After being drafted in 2006, and leading the team out of the "Jail-Blazer" era, he had to make the tough decision to retire at the young age of 28. His degenerative knees prevented Rip City from seeing their superstar ever play to his full potential.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Jacquizz Rodgers

Nov. 2008 — Grade II separation of the acromioclavicular joint

During the second to last game in 2008 Jacquizz Rodgers suffered a separated shoulder that ended his season. Unfortunately, this meant that he wasn't able to play in the Civil War, which was perhaps the biggest game of the year for the Beavers. If the Beavers had been able to defeat the Ducks they would've been able to book their tickets to play in the Rose Bowl. Instead, they went to the Sun Bowl where they defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

James Rodgers

Oct. 2009 — Torn left ACL

After participating in only 4 games during the 2009 season Rodgers went down with a torn ACL while playing against #9 Arizona. This couldn't have come at a worse time for Rodgers considering he was expected to have a breakout season. Rodgers, who was a senior at the time, was able to end his career at Oregon State as the career leader in all-purpose yards.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Joel Pryzbilla

Dec. 2009 — Ruptured right patella tendon and dislocated patella

In December of 2009 the Trail Blazers' backup center, Joel Pryzbilla, was lost for the season with a ruptured and dislocated patella. This was a huge blow to the Trailblazers' frontcourt because they had already lost Oden for the season a few weeks before. Pryzbilla was also the team's defensive anchor who provided an inside presence. "The Vanilla Gorilla" was sorely missed for the rest of the year.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropepd)
Prev Next

LaMichael James

Oct. 2011 — Dislocated right elbow

The 2011 season couldn't have started any better for LaMichael James. After the first game James became Oregon's career rushing leader, surpassing Derek Loville. During the second game he rushed for over 200 yards against Missouri State. Unfortunately, James' year was slowed by a dislocated elbow suffered against Cal. Luckily for Duck fans he was able to return to end the season.

Photo via Facebook (image cropped)
Prev Next

Nate Costa

Nov. 2010 —Torn Right ACL

After suffering a multitude of knee injuries throughout his career at Oregon Costa was forced to officially retire from football after tearing his ACL for the third time in agame against Washington. Although Costa's career was hobbled by injuries many of his teammates looked to him as their leader. Oregon's coaching staff referred to Costa as the "heart and soul" of the 2010 team that won the Rose Bowl.

Photo via Addictedtoquack (image cropped)
Prev Next

Sean Mannion

Oct. 2012 — Torn Left Meniscus

During the beginning of the 2012-2013 season, Sean Mannion was enjoying one of his best as a Beaver. Unfortunately, he tore his left meniscus against Washington State that resulted in him missing around half the season. With Mannion leading the way the Beavers had the Pac-12's fourth rated offense, averaging 459.5 yeards per game. With Mannion sidelined Cody Vaz became the starting quarterback

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Marcus Mariota

Oct. 2013 — Partial MCL Tear

Marcus Mariota is widely regarded as one of the greatest Oregon Duck quarterbacks to ever play at Autzen. Unfortunately a knee injury hobbled his sophomore season. After Mariota suffered a partial MCL tear against UCLA he conintued to play the remainder of the season. With Mariota's knee not allowing him to be as mobile as he was accustomed to teams were able to take advantage. In the weeks following the injury the Ducks suffered losses to Stanford and Arizona. Duck fans everywhere would like to know what that season woud've loked like if Mariota had stayed healthy.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

CJ McCollum

Oct. 2013 — Broken fifth Metatarsal In Left Foot

After being taken 10th overall during the 2013 NBA Draft the shooting guard out of Lehigh wasn't able to start his career the way many had hoped. After breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot the rookie wasn't able to take the court until January of 2014. Before the injury McCollum was in consideration for playing time behind Lillard. 

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Alex Morgan

Oct. 2013 — Stress reaction in talus bone

During the 2013 season Morgan suffered an injury that doctors misdiagnosed as a mildly sprained ankle. After a few additional tests were performed it turned out that Morgan had suffered a far more serious injury. She actually suffered a stress reaction in the talus bone that put her immediate future with Team USA in question. After rehabbing for 7 months Morgan was able to make a full recovery.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Bralon Addison

April 2014 — Torn left ACL

After exceeding expectations as a freshman and sophomore at the University of Oregon Addison was expecting big things from his junior year. Unfortunately, Addison suffered a torn ACL during last year's spring practice that kept him sidelined the entire year. Without Addison in the lineup the receiving core never lived up to their full potential. If he had been able to play this season the National Championship may have wielded a different outcome.

Photo via Facebook (image cropped)
Prev Next

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Dec. 2014 — Torn ACL

In preparation for the first ever college football playoffs Ekpre-Olomu ended up tearing his ACL during a routine practice. This was a huge blow to the Ducks considering Ekpre-Olomu was one of the team's better defenders. He was also one of the best corners in the country who many analysists expected to be selected as high as the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)
Prev Next

Wesley Matthews

March 2015 — Torn left achilles

Just 2 months before Matthews suffered a torn achilles he had become the Trailblazers' all-time leader in 3-point field goals made. It looked as though the Trailblazers were poised to make a deep playoff run. Things took a drastic turn when Matthews was lost for the season. With the team in a 0-2 hole against the Memphis Grizzlies it doesn't look as though they will be making it to the second round of the playoffs this year.

Photo via Wikipedia (image cropped)

Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox