Cameron on Griffey: "It's not the fact that he was asleep"

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Greiffey closeup.jpgDave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner knows the Seattle Mariners better than anyone, and last night he completely nailed the whole Griffey sleeping in the clubhouse thing.  It’s not the nap per se; it’s what it represents:

. . . the fact that two teammates would talk to a reporter about Junior being
asleep during a game is perhaps the more telling aspect of this story.
If Griffey really commanded the respect of the entire clubhouse, and
they loved having him around, no one talks about this to a member of the
media. But they did, and that they were willing to bring this up to
someone who they had to suspect would write about it suggests that
perhaps Griffey’s influence in the clubhouse either isn’t as great as
some would suggest, or perhaps more likely, that it only matters while a
player is producing.

The kicker: no one bothered to wake Griffey up.  Cameron: “My guess is that most of them probably didn’t want him hitting in that
situation anyway, so maybe deep down, they feel like he did them a
favor.”

My response to this story yesterday was that you need to cut Griffey or urge him to retire because you simply can’t be a Major League ballplayer and sleep on the job.  Based on the comments to that post it’s quite obvious that many disagree with that sentiment and think that Griffey has earned the benefit of the doubt. Fair enough.

But he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt from his teammates. They’re totally fine with him sleeping on the job because it keeps him out of the batter’s box. And that’s far more damning for Griffey than the mere fact that he was snoozing during a ballgame.

Report: Arquimedes Caminero likely to sign with Yomiuri Giants

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 21: Arquimedes Caminero #48 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field on August 21, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Brewers won the game 7-6. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.

The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.

Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.