SI Vault
Jeff Pearlman
October 22, 2001
SI asked major league scouts who have closely followed the playoff teams to help prepare reports on the four clubs in the League Championship Series. The scouts were promised anonymity in exchange for their candor. Here's what they revealed.
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October 22, 2001

The Scout's View

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Mark McLemore
.286, 5 HRs, 57 RBIsSo-so range and average arm at short. Good utilityman, but flawed stand-in for injured Carlos Guillen.

Not a good offensive bunch. Piniella is very loyal to OF Jay Buhner, who doesn't catch up to good fastballs anymore. OF Al Martin simply can't hit. OF Charles Gipson has plus arm and speed. C Tom Lampkin has power but isn't a good catcher. SS Ramon Vazquez a defensive replacement, nothing more. 3B Ed Sprague can hit down-and-in pitches but little else.


Freddy Garcia, RHP (18-6, 3.05 ERA)
Ace in the making but not quite there yet. Has mid-90s fastball and good changeup and curve. His focus tends to lapse. Has to be the guy to carry the Mariners.

Jamie Mover, LHP (20-6, 3.43 ERA)
Pitched very well in second half of season. Finesses hitters with terrific changeup he throws 40 or 50 times a game. Locates well and ties aggressive teams in knots.

Aaron Sele, RHP (15-5, 3.60 ERA)
Money pitch is his curveball. Gets into trouble when overusing 87-mph fastball. In [17-2] loss to Indians last Saturday he threw four curves in 35 pitches and got killed. When he doesn't have command, he's in trouble.

Paul Abbott, RHP (17-4, 4.25 ERA)
Fastball in low 90s, but best pitch is changeup. Another guy who has to have his command. Throws curveball and a little slider, but changeup is his only decent pitch.

Very good. If the starters get into the seventh, Mariners hard to beat. RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki, the closer, has dominant splitter that's hard to lay off because it looks just like fastball. LHP Arthur Rhodes, a southpaw rarity: overpowers lefties and righties with mid-90s fastball and big slurve. RHP Jeff Nelson has sweeping slider, but command not nearly as sharp as early in season. Over the last few weeks RHP Jose Paniagua slumped and lost command of fastball. LHP Norm Charlton has good splitter and can be tough on righties and lefties.

Anyone who compares this team to 1998 Yankees is nuts. Mariners were constructed for Safeco Field with pitching and defense, but do they have enough offense? Even though it scored a lot of runs during the season, this isn't a great lineup, especially if Ichiro doesn't get on base.

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