August 2013

Avery arrives ... Pagan gets hit ... Barbosa on fire ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 09/01/13
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  AAA -- Tacoma 4, Sacramento 0  -- Box Who was that guy? Why, yes, it was Blake Beavan: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Maybe it was "blind-squirrel-nut" theory, but the Rainiers needed it (even though their much-depleted roster couldn't keep them in the playoff race down the stretch). And Xavier Avery arrived from Baltimore, played center field, and drew a walk. Journeyman Leury Bonilla homered.   AA -- Huntsville 5, Jackson 3  -- Box It's quite unusual for a pitcher to really well at High Desert and then struggle in Jackson, particularly if he'd had a promising head start the year before.  So... Read More
Blow-by-blow, innings 1-2
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/13
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. Pregame Zduriencik did something wonderful before the game.  He told Taijuan that he would be making three (3) starts absolutely no matter what, which was great.  And then Z carefully assured Taijuan that the Mariners were going to --- > "throw the first one out."  This was much better. This gave Taijuan a "definition of success" that he could easily meet ... in game one, his definition of success was apparently to get his name right on the pregame autographs.  He visibly relaxed into the game. More on Taijuan's makeup later, but MegaProps to Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge.  Give them... Read More
Innings 3-5, his debut against Houston
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/13
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. Inning 3 Taijuan had enjoyed the Popup-to-SS results he'd gotten off his cutter in the 2nd.  Sure enough, hard cutters get blonks in triple-decker stadiums too! He now used a Danny Farquhar (or Danny Haren!) pitch sequence on the leadoff guy: Cutter Fastball Cutter  Fastball Cutter Fastball  Repeat as necessary.  Jamey Wright made a career out of launching this "Snake Tongue" L/R attack with 86 cutters and 90 fastballs.  With Taijuan, add 4-7 MPH. No swings and misses, but the batter looked overmatched.  This was typical of many of Taijuan's outcomes:  few swings and misses, but easy outs... Read More
Can Blash and Choi overshadow Taijuan? ... no, but they tried ... promotions for Jones and Hill ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/31/13
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  News:  Besides Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) going 5.0 IP with 0 ER in his MLB debut, of course ... Mike Morse, as expected, was traded to Baltimore.  The return was 24-year-old outfielder Xavier Avery.  I put some comments in the Shout Box about Avery.  If he's a legit center fielder, then he's not a bad pickup.  If he's a "tweener" then I don't expect much from him.  It's pretty rare for a guy to get to age 24 and the high minors, still strike out a bunch without showing much power, and make it in the majors except as a glove specialist. But we'll see. Not a lot was expected of Abraham... Read More
Come up to the lab, see what's on the slab
Posted by jemanji on 08/30/13
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. Q.  What's he been up to, the last few months? A.  Almonte was not in BaseballHQ's offseason guide, at any level, and that's saying a lot.  As May turned into June, he was WOW'ing scouts who assured us that he could succeed in the majors right then -- not something they say about a lot of people, up to and including Taijuan Walker. Since then, Almonte has hit 300-and-plenty ... actually he has hit Dr. D's favorite slash line, the Edgar 300/400/500 dance. . Q.  With Almonte's EYE, doubles profile, speed, etc., what is the MLE equivalent? A.  If you can read this this sentence without pausing... Read More
Reprint from May 28, 2013
Posted by jemanji on 08/30/13
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. During the ROOT telecast they gushed about Abraham Almonte on Monday afternoon (in May - Dr D).  They quoted a notable scout saying, "Almonte is good enough to be in Seattle right now," which is scout-speak for "Almonte could step into the lineup in Seattle and improve their team immediately." There isn't much in Almonte's statline to go off.  If you just joined us, the Mariners took him back from NYY for Shawn Kelley, and he's never been an org top-10 prospect.  He is 24 and has hit .264/.343/.391 in 8 minor league seasons, with an EYE around 0.60; we told you there wasn't much there.  It'... Read More
Taijuan Day arrives ... a good return for Sharkie, but a bad night for Lars ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/30/13
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  Happy Taijuan Day! And also likely to be Michael Morse Trade to Orioles Day, though that's still up in the air.   AAA -- Salt Lake 8, Tacoma 4  -- Box The Bees broke open a tight contest by scoring four runs in the 7th off of ... *sigh* ... Tom Wilhelmsen.  His Tacoma ERA is now 10.50. Stefen Romero (Talk40 #11) got his ninth homer of the year, and Ty Kelly raised his amazing Mariner OBP to .447 with three more hits. Mike Zunino (Talk40 #1): 0-for-3, walk   AA -- Jackson 5, Huntsville 3 -- Box Ramon Morla collected his 18th homer of the year.  He's slugging .501 (High Desert inflated), but... Read More
Historically, how much does a big debut matter?
Posted by jemanji on 08/29/13
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. Q.  If Taijuan is going to be a pitcher of Felix or Michael Pineda class, how important is it that he pitch well his first three games in the bigs? A.  What a coinkydink.  Bill James did a study on this just a couple of months ago.  It's a subscription article, but it started off thusly: ...........   Hi Bill. If you were to look historically at pitching prospects first three (or four or five) starts and separate them into prospects that went on to successful careers and those that didn't, would you see a big difference in performance between the two groups? Asked by: izzy24 Answered: 6/13/... Read More
Big shoes to fill. Especially Pineda's
Posted by jemanji on 08/29/13
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. Q.  Where is Dr. D, really, on the importance of Taijuan having great stats in MLB 2013, if he's going to have a shot at being a sensation in 2014? A.  Very unlikely he'll finish at the extremes -- super super great, or horrible.  And that would mean his debut stats wouldn't define his future all that tightly. I'm not even going to be watching for ERA, as such, though everybody else will be.... :- )  (Let Taijuan give up 5 runs tomorrow, and even if he fans 8 guys, the sabermetricians will be howling; ERA is hard to shake.)  What I'm going to be watching for is the tools, the skill set,... Read More
Our five things for the week
Posted by Spectator on 08/29/13
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  Since we're not just a baseball blog, we get to noodle about other things if folks are willing to put up with it.  Jeff's been tossing out some Seahawks and soccer stuff, and I'll be chiming in on college sports. I grew up steeped in the old Big Eight.  That was when conferences had numbers in their names that actually corresponded to the number of teams in the conference.  Weird, huh? Then I spent a lot of time attending institutions of higher learning affiliated with the ACC. Short answer: basketball, great; football, not so much. Since we are required by federal regulations, including,... Read More
Abe Almonte's altitude in August keeps rising ... same story for Austin Wilson ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/29/13
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  News: Not really news by now, but it's official -- Friday is the first Taijuan Day at the major-league level.  Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) will be the first of the Big Three to make his MLB debut.   AAA -- Salt Lake 8, Tacoma 6 [13 innings]  -- Box The Bees scored two off of Brian Moran (Talk40 #35) in the top of the 13th, then held on for the win. In the meantime, Abe's [Alliterative] Awesome August in AAA continued: Abraham Almonte (26intheMix): 3-for-5, double (his 23rd), home run (his 15th) In August: .324/.450/.562 with five homers and 23 walks in 27 games. We may see an extended... Read More
Strange Times: K-Pax ... Zunino/Sucre ... Rivers ... and ... Johermyn Chavez, RHP?
Posted by Spectator on 08/28/13
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  AAA -- Tacoma 7, Salt Lake 1  -- Box KKKKKKK-Pax!  Just when you think James Paxton (Talk40 #3) will never quite get his marvelous stuff totally dialed in, there it is again: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K Will he always be "just about to make that big leap forward"?  Guess we'll be here to find out. And ... look who was behind the plate! Mike Zunino (Talk40 #1) ... at least for the first five innings, when he was replaced by Jesus Sucre (Watch List).  Just like old times! Zunino had a triple (yes!) and a walk. And ...   Slap those thunderstix, Korean Peninsula!  Our man Ji-Man Choi (... Read More
How do we assess lumber?
Posted by Gordon Gross on 08/28/13
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I think this is a good time to talk about synthetic vs. analytic thinking, and the way it drives data interpretation, because that seems to be the axle that we get wrapped around the most during discussions, and it might be helpful in general. Data by itself is nearly meaningless - or if not meaningless in absolute terms (gravity still matters whether or not you have enough data to interpret its effects) it cannot be put to use without reference and correlation.  If you ask me what someone is wearing and I say "green" that doesn't tell you whether that person is decked out in a parka, a thong... Read More
A magnificent seven set for fall desert duty
Posted by Spectator on 08/28/13
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  Javelina Fever commences! The team named for the hairy desert pig-like creature will feature seven Mariner prospects, all of whom will be familar to frequent visitors to this space: Hitters: Stefen Romero (Talk40 #11) Chris Taylor (Talk40 #28) Patrick Kivlehan (Talk40 #33) One of them took the slot reserved for D.J. Peterson, who was scratched due to his jaw surgery. I guess we'll never know which. *** Romero is hitting .282/.332/.432 in 93 games, almost all of which are at Tacoma.  That's plenty nice, but .150 ISO for a corner guy with a .332 OBP is not blowing folks away. Everyone except... Read More
But with popcorn in hand
Posted by jemanji on 08/28/13
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  Thirteen, quizzically, wonders why a site he thought to be (marginally) respectable should --- > show such irrationality about Kendrys Morales.  ;- )  The below questions are, of course, very fair: ........... You're sort of bringing me in at the end of the movie here: you're saying WAR undervalues RBIs, OK, got that, but why? What specific thing is wrong with the formula? What skill makes one guy a good bet to produce RBIs? Is WAR undervaluing clutch hitting, and if so, are all of these supposedly overpaid MOTO guys career clutch hitters? Is it undervaluing power? We know how well team... Read More

NFL

Posted by jemanji on 08/27/13

Outside the box, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 08/27/13
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. Q.  [Regarding $14M for Kendrys Morales in 2014]  If teams pay 4-5 mil per win in free agency, should they pay more for DH's because everyone is forced to have one?  I'm honestly curious.  A.  No, definitely not.  Nobody should pay more for a DH because other teams have a DH.   That would be an incorrect reason to pay more than $5M per 1 WAR in free agency.  But!  Perhaps the WAR formula wasn't sent from On High and perhaps it is subject to revision. . Q.  Suppose I like the WAR formula as it is.  WHEN would you pay more than $4-5M per 10 runs (1 WAR)? A.  There are some paradigms that... Read More
Proscia! Proscia! Proscia! ... plus Blash Splash! ... and Choi Joy! ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/27/13
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  Yesterday, all I could offer was a "strong hint" that Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) would spend some time with the Big Club in September. Then, of course, Jeff scooped me on my own beat (how old-school journalism-y that sounds!) with his bit on how Walker, Seattle Mariner! now looks very likely to be a reality show on the fall schedule.  Needless to say, he added plenty of the Doc schtick that you can't get from my humble reports, so read the whole thing. Meanwhile, what actually set the whole thing off was Franklin Gutierrez returning to the Big Club as a much-need RH outfielder who might be... Read More
Taijuan next? Thanks Spec
Posted by jemanji on 08/26/13
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. At the Bakery, they pull fresh news out of the convection oven:  Harang is gone, and the most likely callup is Taijuan Walker.  Baker, who speaks to Jack Zduriencik in real life as you and I and other bloggers do not, reads Zduriencik as likely to call up Taijuan now. I honestly don't know how you balance these two things...  Starting Walker's arb and FA clocks Giving Walker the chance to get settled in a big league clubhouse, and digest it over the winter ... and I don't know that anybody else has the right balance on it, either.  Certainly there is no way to solve it with an algebraic... Read More
2014 and beyond
Posted by Gordon Gross on 08/26/13
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First, let me apologize for not posting more ridiculously rambling articles recently. Finishing up my second fiction novel for release, so that's been occupying my time. Several new September additions and the post-script on the 2013 season should keep us busy looking both backwards and forwards, though. And for one of those cases, we have Justin Smoak, who's been brought up in several recent shouts. -------------------- First maxim: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Second maxim: don't crush the bird in the hand just because it's a chipper finch and not a glorious falcon. So let's... Read More
Steady hand at the tiller, mate
Posted by jemanji on 08/26/13
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. Q.  Has Kendrys Morales "regressed" since his hot streak? A.  It was so hot in July that I saw two trees fighting over a dog ... with Morales In The Zone, everybody was all like "We gotta give this guy a $14M qualifying offer!!", especially offsite.  From 7/9/13 to 8/7/13, Kendrys batted .380 with a .621 SLG, and the visual sight of that had people in XTC. Now it turns out that he can't hit .380 forever, and people are like "whooooa, check that, he's regressed."  No.  He hasn't "regressed."  Kendrys is who he is.  Saying that it is KENDRYS who has REGRESSED takes all of the responsibility... Read More
Two promotions to Clinton ... Hultzen & Maurer slated for Arizona ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/26/13
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  If you were following over the weekend, you know that D.J. Peterson had surgery related to a broken jaw incurred when he was hit by a pitch on Thursday. What you don't know (probably) is that fellow LumberKing Timmy Lopes (Talk40 #20) went on the disabled list as well with shoulder issues.   ***   So two spots to fill.   Promotion 1: Zach Shank, a 28th-round draft pick who's played mostly at second.  He's one of the "Tom McNamara Northeast College Guys" from Marist in Poughkeepsie.  He's hitting .231/.322/.360 so he didn't get the call because of his bat.  Also, don't confuse (as I have at... Read More
Eddie Lives! ... Tucson tamed by Taijuan ... Kivle-fans continue to enjoy August ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/26/13
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  AAA -- Tacoma 6, Tucson 4  -- Box While we await word of his September fate, it was time for Walker, Seattle Mariner! And Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) laid down the law down in Tucson: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K But the score got much closer when Tom Wilhelmsen came in and gave up three runs, including a two-run homer. Stefen Romero (Talk40 #11) went 3-for-5 with his eighth home run.  He's hitting .285/.335/.436. And Abraham Almonte (26intheMix) continued Abe's Awesome August in AAA with his sixth triple of the season.   AA -- Jackson 4, Chattanooga 3  -- Box A freaky finish had Chris... Read More
The Mike Marshall 33-33-33 concept doesn't preclude thinking
Posted by jemanji on 08/25/13
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. Q.  I can't believe they haven't remade this movie.  Is there a current Mariner who could pull off the Tuco role? A.  Looking up and down the 40-man ... ::taps chin::  it's a tough, tough sombrero to fill.  How about Danny Farquhar?!  Or possibly Charlie Furbush.  No, Farquhar.  Maybe Buhner could come out of retirement. . Q.  Level 201 Scan -- what was 101? A.  Level 101 was our scouting report after seeing Farquhar for the first time, 1.0 IP.  Sometimes scouts have to do this.  We'd like to think that our own 101 scan holds up pretty well ... as you know, this is SSI.  You be the judge... Read More
Can "Bad" be rehabbed?
Posted by jemanji on 08/25/13
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. Q.  Which Mariner gets the starting nod in the Lee Van Cleef role? A.  I'll go with Nick Franklin.  I'll bet he could take it places Lee would have enjoyed.  Raul Ibanez could handle it.  Like Van Cleef, Rauuul believes in acting first and talking about it later. . Q.  Maybe Farquhar is getting that "cutter" out-and-over because he's missing his spots? A.  That goes in the BAD category, yes, the command. We've slo-mo'ed it a fair amount.  Farquhar does miss the mitt a lot, and especially he misses it a lot for a closer. Between the Seattle Sounders and Manchester United there is a long,... Read More
"Good" now, as in 1966, is a woefully impotent term, but...
Posted by jemanji on 08/25/13
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. Q.  Too bad Clint wasn't around to play Batman.  Which Mariner plays the Man With No Name? A.  If Dustin Ackley were hitting .340 he'd be a no-brainer, on so many levels, but I absolutely refuse to let a man with 1 home run into the role. I'm not an Eric Wedge fan, but I've got to admit he'd survive the casting just fine.  (No jokes about Zduriencik as Tuco...) Hey, if Brad Miller can play the MLB Logo, he can put on a cloth poncho and grimace for the camera.  Wouldn't need a glove for the gun hand, either. . Q.  After 1.0 IP, SSI compared Farquahar's curve to a "righty Bedard curve."  Okay... Read More
Closers with 3 dangerous pitches include...
Posted by jemanji on 08/25/13
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. Q.  Okay, we know what he SHOULDN'T do with the slider.  He shouldn't challenge with it, overconfidently.  What SHOULD he do with it? A.  It's a 91 MPH pitch that breaks all the way over to glove side of center.  The other guy who does this is, Mariano Rivera.  Let's don't undersell that, what say. From a lefty batter's standpoint, this pitch is coming in at fastball velocity, and then it is swerving in on his hands by about a foot.  The width of 3 or 4 baseballs, anyway. Against lefties, we've seen Farquhar throw it: Up-and-in for a horrific jam pitch Down-and-in, under the hands, for a... Read More
Banner day for Teen Titan Yates ... Wilson progressing ... Zunino nears rehab assignment ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/24/13
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  News: Ryan Divish reports that D.J. Peterson will miss at least six weeks after his jaw surgery, and it may be two-step surgery.   Divish quotes Jack Zduriencik as saying: “He was scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League so we’ll have to re-evaluate that.” Divish also reports that Mike Zunino (Talk40 #1) is likely to report to Tacoma for a rehab assignment by mid-week. He's been catching bullpen sessions and taking batting practice.   AAA -- Tucson 6, Tacoma 4  -- Box The Padres got five in the 7th off of Hector Noesi and Brian Moran (Talk40 #35) to take command. Nate Tenbrink (... Read More
Only one Mariner over 1.2 WAR on the year
Posted by jemanji on 08/24/13
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. Q.  The Mariners won 5 of 9 against three of the AL's best teams.  So they would play .545 at least, if the season started tomorrow? A.  Actually the Mariners are playing a lot worse than it looks like.  For example, check this WAR table -- in the last 14 days, only three Mariners have more than 0.0 WAR (!!), and one of the three is Raul Ibanez. Check the same table, full season, and you'll see that only one Mariner has more than 1.2 WAR during the entire 2013 season.  Prorated, that means that only one Mariner position player will finish the season with even 2.0 WAR, the threshold for an... Read More
An offensive game that translates into runs on the board
Posted by jemanji on 08/24/13
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. Q.  How come Nick Franklin hit a hiccup, and Brad Miller did not? A.  Franklin started guessing, and Miller didn't. When they first came up, both were using O' Sensei's aiki advice to baseball hitters:  "Don't try to anticipate the speed of the pitch.  Allow it to arrive at its own pace, and be there to greet it."  Or, as Yogi Berra said, "How do you expect a guy to think and hit at the same time?" Both guys came up with a "see ball, hit ball" attitude.  They took a long took, and if the pitch was offspeed they were naturally in synch with it.  ... If the pitch came in hot, those awesome... Read More
After his first trip 'round the league
Posted by jemanji on 08/24/13
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. Q.  What does his defense look like, from the 3rd deck?  Be brutally honest. A.  He looks like a 1970's shortstop to me. I don't know why I think of 1970's shortstops as being Bud Harrelson and Tim Foli, those wiry-strong (white) guys who were respectable but not great.  If you actually looked it up, maybe you'd find that there are more J.J. Hardys playing today than there were then. By 1970's shortstop, I'm typecasting a man with unremarkable athleticism who is scrappy, smart, and competent...  that's what Miller looks like STANDING there, that's what he looks like moving around, sort of... Read More
Abe's awesomely alliterative August (in AAA!) does not abate ... Kiv's August is awesome too, just not alliterative ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/24/13
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  AAA -- Tucson 13, Tacoma 6  -- Box The Padres raced out to a big lead by teeing off on Andrew Carraway (Watch List) (4.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER). On the other hand, the awesomeness of Abe continued.  Abraham Almonte (26intheMix): double, single, walk, 3 RBI. Awesome Abe! in August: 22 G | 104 PA | 27 H | 5 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR | 21 BB | 14 K .329/.466/.561 Power. Speed. Patience. Low K%.  Gotta love it. Let's find him a spot on the 40-man and see what he can do in Seattle in September, all right?   AA -- Chattanooga 3, Jackson 2 [10 innings] -- Box The Generals didn't get much offense, but they... Read More
D.J. hit in the face ... Pagan's streak ends ... Pax puzzling again ... but some good stuff too ... really ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/23/13
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  News:  And it's not good.  D.J. Peterson appears to be done for the season after being hit in the face by a pitch.  He was taken to the hospital for X-rays, but we don't seem to have any more reports than that. We'll try to keep you updated. Edit to add: Update: Peterson has a fractured jaw and will undergo surgery. His 2013 is probably over.  No need to take chances.  If so, his line is: 55 G | 230 PA | 63 H | 11 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR | 20 BB | 42 K .303/.365/.553   AAA -- Tucson 9, Tacoma 6  -- Box Puzzling Pax ... again ... James Paxton (Talk40 #3): 4.2 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 1 K First... Read More
A freaky game in the desert ... low-scoring double-header for Jackson ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/22/13
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  Interestingly, the replacement for Julio Morban (Talk40 #15) (broken leg) is Chantz Mack, jumping all the way up from Everett.  The 2013 draftee was taken in the 29th round out of Miami.  He's hit .308/.401/.418 so far.  Maybe they didn't want to mess with the High Desert and Clinton lineups for the rest of the season?  I would have been curious to see Jabari Henry (26intheMix) maybe?   AAA -- Tucson 5, Tacoma 3  -- Box Blake Beavan gave up 11 hits and five earned runs in 5.0 IP, so you kind of know where this one was going. Franklin Gutierrez (that guy's still around?) had a double.   AA... Read More
Dazzling Diaz ... also Wilson, D.J., Blash, Abe, Missaki, Koneski ... Koneski??? ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/21/13
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  I think there may be more moves that stem from Julio Morban (Talk40 #15) breaking a bone in his leg (his move to the DL hasn't been reported yet), but here are the rest of the moves that took place on Monday: Steven Proscia (26intheMix) returns to AA Jackson.  He'd lost his job there to Ji-Man Choi (Talk40 #19), who (as we reported yesterday) was bumped up to AAA Tacoma. Cameron Hobson also goes from High Desert to Jackson.  Hobson takes the spot of Roenis Elias (26intheMix), who had an emergency appendectomy. Jordy Lara moves from Clinton to High Desert to take Proscia's spot. Scott... Read More
golfclap, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 08/20/13
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. Exec Sum - What the Article Says Counselor Mojo calls our attention to this Lookout Landing article by Thirteen, claiming that it is "one of the best articles written about the Mariners all summer."  He's right.  In the article, Logan says: . JUST THE FA'AX, MA'AM 1.  Michael Saunders hit .270/.360/.560 the first six weeks of this year.  Then he has hit .270/.360/.560 since the All-Star Break.  In between, there were about two months. 2.  There have been about 180 shoulder injuries reported by Yahoo in the last 12 years.  (He counted these up by hand!) 3.  About 80 of those could be... Read More
1,000 light bulbs on Closers Getting Saves
Posted by jemanji on 08/20/13
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. In chess, after the round is over you'll see a couple of great players sitting in the skittles room analyzing their game.  There will be several dozen lesser players (such as Dr. D) standing around "rubbernecking" the action.  The "kibitzer" is the Class C player who is making suggestions.  90% of the time the "kibitzer" has no idea of how his kibitzing is being received... 10% of the time the kibitzer is a strong player, and when this is the case, now you've got a fascinating three-way dynamic between the two masters, seated, and the "editor" who is serving as a kind of reality check on... Read More
M's have a secret about Farquhar?
Posted by jemanji on 08/20/13
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. ... none of which was to say, that a manager CAN'T go against convention, risk his job, risk his relationship with the team and GM, and use a Closer to win the game in the 8th inning. Dr. D's little heart burst with admiration in 1995, as Lou Piniella used Norm Charlton in one tie game after another.  He joined the M's in July of 1995, immediately became their best relief pitcher, and you can see from his game logs how many 2.0 and 2+ inning stints he had -- even while saving games.  (Add to that the playoffs, where Charlton pitched 13+ innings in 7 appearances.)  You're talking about a... Read More
Bad fates befall Morban and Elias ... Choi moves up ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/20/13
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  Lots of news ... and unfortunately much of it bad. Edit to add: some good news.  Shannon Drayer reports that Mike Zunino is close to taking batting practice after the broken bone in his hand, and could be out on a rehab assignment soon. She also reports, as others have, that Eric Wedge will return to the clubhouse on Friday, although it's not clear whether he'll manage the games right away.   *** First, the Morbanwagon will be in the garage for a long time. Julio Morban (Talk40 #15) broke a bone in his lower leg on a slide into second base in the first inning of Jackson's second game Monday... Read More
No, it really was Noesi ... Pike has solid return ... Austin power again finally ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/20/13
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  I'm back "on vector" today.  And there's enough news to break it out to a separate post.  So I'll do so.   AAA -- Tacoma 1, Colorado Springs 0 [11 innings]   -- Box You can probably guess from the linescore that this one was in Tacoma and not Colorado Springs (where the Rainiers love to score in bunches). Yes, in fact, the Tacoma side of the pitchers' duel was Hector Noesi: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K. Reality Check: Yes, in fact, that pitching line belongs to Hector Noesi. Actually, it fits with the "Gordon Theory" that Noesi is a good pitcher so long as no one is on base. Abraham Almonte... Read More
Revised with news of Victor, Sharkie and Lars
Posted by Spectator on 08/19/13
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  I'm fleshing this out "for the record," since I know some of you catch up in batches, and maybe didn't notice that I didn't get the full recap in on Monday.   AAA -- Colorado Springs 5, Tacoma 2  -- Box Andrew Carraway (Watch List) had a decent start, but got hurt by a couple unearned runs, and didn't get much offensive help: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Tom Wilhelmsen came in for the 7th and 8th, and survived unscathed: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.   High-A -- Lancaster 9, High Desert 3 -- Box Stephen Landazuri (Talk40 #24) escaped from Lancaster, and it could have been worse: 6.0 IP... Read More
Extra mustard on C-Peg's grand salami! ... more hits for Marte ... K. Brito getting noticed ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/17/13
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  AAA -- Tacoma 5, Colorado Springs 3   -- Box Walk-Off Grand Salami Time! Not something you see every day.  The Rainiers trailed 3-0 going into the 9th.  Veteran catcher Jason Jaramillo homered off ex-Rainier Steven Hensley, who went to the Colorado organization for Aaron Harang. After Hensley gave up a double and a walk, he was yanked, but another walk loaded the bases for Carlos Peguero (Watch List). We've never viewed C-Peg as having the consistency to be much of a major-leaguer, but, boy, can he swat the baseball sometimes.  And no better time than with the bases loaded in the bottom of... Read More
14th-inning drama in Tacoma ... Zimmerman paces Pulaski ... meet Yordi Calderon ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/16/13
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  AAA -- Tacoma 9, Colorado Springs 8 [14 innings]  -- Box Gotta love games like this where you delve into sandlot stuff. You may recall that last year there was a marathon game in which journeyman utility guy Scott Savastano came to the mound and ended up as both the winning pitcher in the top of the inning and getting a game-winning homer in the bottom of the inning.  This game was kind of like that, but not that dramatic. This time it was veteran utility guy Leury Bonilla who came on to pitch in the 14th.  He got through the inning without allowing a baserunner, and also got a strikeout.... Read More
Blash splashes as Morbanwagon rolls ... Taijuan doesn't quite conquer Round Rock ... D.J. wrist again ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/16/13
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  AAA -- Round Rock 5, Tacoma 3  -- Box Was Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) really done in by ex-Mariner retreads Travis Blackley and Ryan Feierabend?  Well, yes, but it wasn't as bad for Walker as it looked: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. The Express had a four-run 6th that came on two walks, a pair of singles that the play-by-play describes as a "soft fly" and a "ground ball" -- and then a particularly ill-timed balk by reliever Jonathan Arias (Watch List). Kinda tough when your ERA is pumped up by someone else's balk. The nine strikeouts are nice, though. The Rainiers offense didn't help much,... Read More
Seager family has mixed results (not in M's favor) ... more Choi Joy! ... Marte & Pagan move on up ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/15/13
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  News: You may have caught it in the box score, but after his mind-blowing, though admittedly somewhat fluke-y, hit binge (29 his in 11 games), 19-year-old switch-hitting shortstop Ketel Marte (26intheMix) was promoted from Clinton to High Desert.  Brock Hebert (26intheMix) went back down to Clinton the in exchange. And, speaking of mind-blowing, that's pretty much what Emilio Pagan had been doing, considering he had gone 20.1 IP at Pulaski without giving up a run (earned or unearned).  And only nine hits.  And only one extra-base hit (a triple).  And only five walks. He's going to Everett... Read More
Discretion is the better part of valor
Posted by jemanji on 08/14/13
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. Yesterday, we opined that while (1) Farquhar's slider was on steroids, it was still (2) definitely his worst pitch. Today, Danny Farquhar fell madly in love with his Slider/Cutter/Swerveball, doubling and tripling up with it -- and sticking his fingers in the doggie's mouth, got them bit.  Each time he was hurt, it was on a "challenge" slider thrown to a cliche'd "mistake" area. Nothing whatsoever to panic about.  Confidence is great, but confidence born in ignorance can bite you.  Farquhar's takeway is simple, if he'll take it away ... "challenge" sliders need to be thrown with a little... Read More
Nobody said it was safe out there
Posted by jemanji on 08/14/13
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. Matt Joyce:  Your Destiny Isn't Entirely In Your Hands, Kid This one wasn't fair.  Farquhar worked the count to 0-2, then threw a "tease" fastball that was way outside.  Great pitch. Joyce took a tiny little girlie-man wave at it, "blonked" it squarely, and a two-bouncer happened to two-bounce right between Miller and Franklin. Zobrist held up at 3B until the ball went through.  If the ball happens to hit an infielder, there's one out, and Farquahar is a strikeout away from saving the game. Hey, you know what?  Felix Hernandez gives up runs.  All cliches aside, that is the way the game... Read More
Upgrade at bartender?
Posted by jemanji on 08/14/13
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. Gordon had a huge FAIL this morning ... failing to put THIS POST and THIS POST on the front page, that is.  He failed; I won't. . Pitch #3:  Super-Slider G sez, I'm not really sure why you [poster X] think he throws 90-ish.  He does, but it's with his MOVING fastball, not his straight one.  He's not fooling people out there, he's brutalizing them. - See more at: http://seattlesportsinsider.com/comment/90729#comment-90729 Right, Poster X saw Farquhar's slider/cutter and figured that was his fastball.  An understandable mistake, since Farquhar throws his slider at fastball speed. As it... Read More
Gotta keep this one short
Posted by Spectator on 08/13/13
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  Family obligations today.   High-A -- High Desert 10, Rancho Cucamonga 1 -- Box In old movies there'd usually be a down-home character that would say Land o' Goshen! as an expression of amazement, since they couldn't say what they say now even in PG-13 flicks. We say it today about Stephen Landazuri (Talk40 #24), who was pitching near his hometown and was just awesome there: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K. Kevin Rivers: HR, double, single Steven Proscia (26intheMix): HR, double   AAA -- Tacoma 4, Round Rock 3 [12 innings]  -- Box Abraham Almonte (26intheMix) homered and had two singles and... Read More
from the Reallly Weeeeeird files
Posted by jemanji on 08/13/13
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. Q.  Who or what is a Danny Farquhar? A.  You wanna know the truth, tonight was the first time I saw him throw a pitch.  HEH!   In case you were wondering just how married I am to the local baseball team.  That give you a feel for it? ............. I heard something about he used to be an 89 MPH side-armer, and somebody taught him to throw overhand, and he gained velo.  ::shrug::  If true, it would explain his previous obscurity, I guess. . Q.  Is it possible for a guy with this pitch arsenal to close, over any length of time? A.  Farquhar's feature pitch is a 77 MPH two-plane slider.  Man... Read More
It's worth a simoleon
Posted by jemanji on 08/13/13
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. Q.  You said you saw this guy once - that being this once.  Any idea whether his effectiveness will hold up? A.  Here is an article that starts you out on the fact that --- > 13 K, 3 BB, 0.5 HR do not go with a 5.00 ERA.   Search baseball history and, yep, it turns out that 13/3/0.5 aren't commonly found attached to high ERA's. Sorry.  You know I can't resist.  :: winning Anthony Hopkins smile :: OK.  Thirteen strikeouts and a low walk rate lead to nice ERA's.  Stipulated.  Now as to the rest of it, where Danny is likely to go from here, you know what to do.  Click on SSI, baby! . Q.  ... Read More
They go together like steak and sprinklies
Posted by jemanji on 08/13/13
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. Phoenix Terry sez, in the Shout Box, phxterry: M's Line-Up just posted for today against Rays' RHP Archer. M's OF is Morse, Ibanez, & Ackley, with Saunders sitting. Gotta love the decisions of the M's Field Leadership -- they sit our best-defensive OFer, who is also our hottest hitting OFer at the moment, who happens to bat left handed -- so that we can watch ice-cold, 41 year-old Rauuuul flail on defense and prove something, not quite sure what. This starting OF has to be the worst defensive OF playing today in all of the major leagues, but hey, the hot bats of Morse (OPS since ASB of.... Read More
Victor is on vector to move up ... big game for little brother ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/12/13
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  AAA -- Round Rock 5, Tacoma 1  -- Box James Paxton (Talk40 #3) just can't put together a string of all-around consistent games as he did in the second half of last year.  This time it was walks: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. Still love the guy, but he's 24 and giving up 10.0 H/9 and only averaging barely over 5.0 IP per start. Also, the 17th home run for Carlos Peguero (Watch List) but no other offense for the Rainiers.   Low-A -- Clinton 7, Peoria 1 -- Box And who would be on the right vector to replace Paxton in the top five of the Spec66? Yep, 18-year-old Victor Sanchez (Talk40 #12): 7.0... Read More
Hall of Fame Awards maybe a teeeeny bit prematurely
Posted by jemanji on 08/12/13
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. Jayson Jenks with a really fun little article on Felix' chances to win the Cy Young again.  The quote from Jonathan Lucroy is worth the price of admission (um, $14.95 I think) all by itself. Lemme say good-naturedly that the Cy Young debate is pretty much for 6th-grade kids.  We mean it in a good way. When I got into roto in 1995, the first thing I noticed was that the magazine covers were dominated by headlines like JUNIOR OR UNIT?  WHO'S THE BEST #1 PICK?  ... and when you trolled the little AOL chat rooms, the drafters spent most their time wondering who would draw the 1-1 slot, and... Read More
Cheap at half the price
Posted by jemanji on 08/12/13
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. Talking Points By the time you hash out all 9,000 sub-arguments on this one, you'll arrive at a very simple bottom line.  "If Lee can be had without giving up Walker and Franklin and those guys, then Seattle should bid.  Heavily." The talking points, though, are these: Philly wants you to pay the full Free Agent salary, $25 + $25 + $27.5 the next three years... ... and they want your best 3-4 prospects as well Cliff Lee is starting to get kinda old ... ... but is not declining, not to speak of anyway, and is no more of a risk than other FA pitchers The Seattle Mariners would be great with a... Read More
Not a good day for most of the clubs, unfortuately
Posted by Spectator on 08/11/13
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  AAA -- Albuquerque 12, Tacoma 5  -- Box Can't say much about the pitching here, so ... Abraham Almonte (26intheMix) had three hits and a walk. Rich Poythress (26intheMix) got his 22nd double.   AA -- Mississippi 4, Jackson 0  -- Box Can't say much about the offense here, so ... Anthony Vasquez (The [New] Best Story of the Year So Far) turned in a complete game: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.   High-A -- Lancaster 9, High Desert 8 -- Box Home runs from Patrick Brady and Steven Proscia (26intheMix) were not enough. Patrick Kivlehan (Talk40 #33) had a double, a single and a walk. Grady... Read More
TW & TW for Tacoma ... Marte-palooza finally ends ... Missaki makes a mark ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/11/13
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  AAA -- Tacoma 7, Albuquerque 6  -- Box Not vintage Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2), but OK: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. He got dinged for a pair of homers by the Isotopes. And then on came Tom Wilhelmsen.  They said they'd have him start so that things would be more "structured," but maybe that only applied to the first game.  This time, he pitched the 7th and 8th: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. I've looked a bit closer at his stats, and he has not been hit harder this year than in prior seasons, but he's walking more and striking out fewer.  So there's reason to think the issues are more... Read More
When the wind blows in Adelanto ... [is that a folk song?] ... more guys named Tyler ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/09/13
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  High-A -- High Desert 30, Lancaster 8 -- Box At the very bottom of the box score, it says "Wind: 26 mph, out to CF." So you've got hot (86 degrees), dry ("Desert" part) air, at altitude (3,400 feet; "High" part), and a 26-mph wind blowing straight out. Maybe Jordan Shipers (26intheMix) had one of the best pitching performances of the year: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K Only three hits, and "only" two home runs. And take all the offensive stats in that context: Patrick Kivlehan (Talk40 #33): 5-for-7, HR, double Kevin Rivers: 4-for-5, HR, 2 walks Steven Proscia (26intheMix): 3-for-5, HR, 2... Read More
Stranger in a Strange Land, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 08/09/13
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. Once in a while, at BJOL, James will make a remark that pertains to "fighting spirit" (as Soviet chess called it) in baseball.  A few weeks ago, he observed that Juan Marichal had been 272-5, 0.32 in career games against playoff teams on the road, with Bert Blyleven being 2-101, 7.14. Funny thing is, when I follow up and press him a bit about "chemistry" in baseball, I usually get a stony silence.  He isn't at all friendly -- that I can tell -- towards the idea of intangibles in baseball.  "I'm in the knowledge business," he'll say, "not the baloney business," as he reminds everybody here... Read More
Just a regular HR for D.J., but rye bread + mustard for Romero & Kivlehan ... only one hit for Marte ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/08/13
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  Low-A -- Quad Cities 2, Clinton 1 -- Box OK, D.J., all I did was point out that Mike Zunino (Talk40 #1) had 13 homers in his first 40 minor-league games, and that you only had 10.  I didn't mean you had to catch up with him immediately. After 43 games: Zunino 13, D.J. Peterson 12 That's after Deeeeeej! homered for the second consecutive night.  He now has six homers for Clinton in just 14 games.  Wonder if he'll get a flavor of AA before it's all done for the year? *** Ketel Marte (26intheMix) mind-blowing hit streak watch: Hits = 1 That's the first time in the month of August that he had... Read More
LumberKing royalty: Ketel, D.J., Victor ... Leone has adventurous inning ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/07/13
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  Low-A -- Clinton 7, Quad Cities 5 -- Box I'll lead with Clinton, since that's where the action is. First, I'm sure everyone wants to know how many hits Ketel Marte (26intheMix) got. Answer = 2 Which makes for 26 hits in his last nine games.  Alas, he had his second strikeout during that period.  Still ... nine games in a row with no fewer than two hits in each game; four three-hit games and two four-hit games. Meanwhile ... Deeeeeej! Fifth Clinton home run in 13 games for D.J. Peterson, and his 11th overall in 42 games.  Plus a double and a single.  Overall: .288/.354/.558. When's the last... Read More
Marte-palooza continues unabated ... and Pagan-palooza too ... TW & Pax not so hot though ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/06/13
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  Ketel Marte (26intheMix) ... three more hits! ... yes, a truly mind-blowing streak of balls-in-play falling in ... but he's obviously got a clue up there (just one strikeout in a week).  Worth watching.   AAA -- Iowa 10, Tacoma 3  -- Box So the Rainiers sent two of the best arms in the organization to the mound Tuesday afternoon, and ended up with little to show for it. Tom Wilhelmsen: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (gave up 2 HR) James Paxton (Talk40 #3): 2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K Part of the problem was I-Cub second baseman Edgar Gonzalez, who had an all-world day: 5-for-6 with three... Read More
Marte's amazing run of hits continues ... D.J., Dario, Corey go deep ... and Bantz ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/06/13
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  News: Well-reported elsewhere by now, but Carter Capps was recalled to the Big Club to take the place of Tom Wilhelmsen, who will try to regain his form in Tacoma.  [Pre-publication update: since I didn't finish this morning, now I see that Wilhelmsen has, in fact, already pitched for Tacoma in an afternoon game.  More on that tomorrow.] If you've been watching the box scores, you may have noticed that Chance Ruffin (Watch List), who was making a reliever-to-starter conversion at Jackson, has been used out of the bullpen his last four appearances. It's the All-Star break for Everett, but... Read More
Imagine THAT
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. Seattle Sports Insider never understood how Tom Wilhelmsen could be relieving in the first place.  Now that Baker has called for the switch back, the concept of his return to the rotation is bound to regain traction. Actually, our go-to man Geoffy clearly explains why Wilhelmsen was moved back to the pen in 2011:  (1) the Mariners were desperate for bullpen help and (2) Wilhelmsen's results in the rotation were questionable at the time. Larry Stone reports that Wilhelmsen is going back to Tacoma and that it isn't known whether it is to get stretched out as an SP. . Theory and Practice, Dept... Read More
You ain't gettin' your shampoo commercial outta the pen
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. Cases For and Against In baseball history, you could find dozens of RP-SP conversions that worked, and dozens that didn't.  Run your little "study" :- ) and you're going to wind up concluding this:  All you can do is try it, and see how it works for this guy.   (Nate Silver studies 100x of the SP-to-RP, not RP-to-SP, conversions here.  He opines, from a statistical viewpoint, that you want "wild" pitchers to walk people in the bullpen, but he isn't asking whether a guy like Wilhelmsen might find a starter's rhythm in longer stints.) . Nope Rick Aguilera was a star closer who tried the... Read More
Taijuan & Lars have short outings ... big game for Pizzano ... expected news on Montero ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/05/13
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  News: No shocker: 50-game Biogenesis suspension for Jesus Montero. Stephen Pryor had a setback and won't pitch again this year. Danny Hultzen (Talk40 #4) is expected to maybe get a few games for Tacoma at the end of the year.   AAA -- Iowa 8, Tacoma 4  -- Box Taijuan Walker (Talk40 #2) is obviously being used judiciously as the season goes along.  Sunday: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. He was victimized by Mike Olt, the one-time Ranger prospect who is now an Iowa Cub thanks to the Matt Garza trade.  Olt got a double and triple off Walker.  He won't be a division rival now at least.... Read More
Predictive?
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. Chad Young wrote an excellent article about hitters who showed early signs of "losing it" or of leaping a plateau.  He used batted-ball distance to ID five sleepers and five land mines: Player 2013 distance as of Apr 23 2012 distance Change Dexter Fowler 342 feet 279 +63 feet ! Todd Frazier 331 280 +51 Todd Helton 334 283 +51 Colby Rasmus 319 274 +45 Salvador Perez 331 285 +46         Matt Kemp 240 313 -73 Rauuulll 224 292 -68 Joey Votto 246 301 -55 Neil Walker 340 292 -48 Kendrys Morales 247 286 -39 . Independently, Dr. D had been worrying about how hard Morales was hitting the ball, and... Read More
Surging towards 2009?
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. At BJOL, they have a little thermometer stat, "hottest hitters in baseball."  Right now Mike Trout leads, at 100 degrees ... Kendrys is 5th in baseball, at 95 degrees.  I think two days ago he was leading baseball by 14 degrees over the #2 player. This stat, by the way, would actually be the basis for something useful during in-game tactical decisions ... pitchers use "hot zone" charts but do those hot zones reflect a batter's abilities this week?   Also a fan, sitting in the bleachers, might be interested to know that as Kendrys Morales steps to the plate, the thermal readings are 95... Read More
Been there, done that Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. To Dr. D's general delight, other posters have gotten interested in Sports Illustrated's article on pattern recognition in chess and sports.  It should be required reading for sabermetricians, required reading in the sense that the periodic table is required reading for a young med school student wishing to become a doctor. Let's take a simple and charming example.  The following pawn structure is referred to as a "hanging pawn" position.  Imagine this structure with a whole bunch of pieces still on the board: If BLACK does nothing, the pawns will confine his pieces to the back couple of... Read More
Plug in a quarter, collect your two hits in the basin
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. Kendrys' Basic Template:  Coin-Op HIT Machine The stock pattern here is not difficult and it's not controversial.  Inside Pitch told us going in that we were getting "fat Ichiro."  Morales has a "plus-plus" HIT tool and either (1) average, or (2) plus PWR - we don't know which. Also he's slow.  Verrrrry slow.   .... loosely in Morales' template (bigger players with 70 HIT, 50-60 PWR) are Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, maybe Billy Butler, Michael Young, maybe Derek Jeter, Pablo Sandoval ... some better than Morales, some worse.  Chris Sale is in Randy Johnson's template, but he's not as good.... Read More
Ron's prediction: Long, slow climb back up
Posted by jemanji on 08/05/13
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. Oh yeah.  What did Ron Shandler say about Kendrys, going into 2013? ..... Shed 1H rust to earn 500 plate appearances for first time in 3 years. Be aware of 2H homers per fly ball (which had been a lucky 25% - Dr D), groundball tendency (which could zap HR's - Dr D), and shadow of health issues ... ... but he gained traction and strength as 2012 season progressed. Contact % and EYE are inching back to pre-injury levels. A return to 2009 levels may be just around the corner. ...... A delightful interpretation from our point of view as M's fans.  This is exactly where Shandler's familiarity... Read More
Anticipatory pattern recognition is the key to all sports ... and chess
Posted by Spectator on 08/04/13
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  Note: I've worked on this series for so long that now there's a new issue of Sports Illustrated out, but the article in question is still online.   With exquisite timing (at least with respect to what I was meaning to write about Dominic Leone), Sports Illustrated published a major article (also a book excerpt) about how much of the mental aspect of sports performance relates to the ability to anticipate a pattern of events before they happen. In other words: it's not so much "reaction time" (the author, SI journalist David Epstein, is pretty convincing on that point) but "knowing what you... Read More
And what does it say about Michael Saunders?
Posted by Spectator on 08/04/13
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  Continuing our musing, initiated in the prior article, on the ability to elite athletes to recognize and anticipate patterns so as to react "without thinking" to game situations, as outlined in an article (available online) in a recent edition of Sports Illustrated. A key finding is, in the blink of an eye: Random chess board ==> to average Joe ==> random squares and horse heads Random chess board ==> to grandmaster ==> random squares and horse heads "Game situation" chess board ==> to average Joe ==> random squares and horse heads "Game situation" chess board ==> to... Read More
More on "chess game" vs. "random squares": this time pitchers
Posted by Spectator on 08/04/13
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  Part 3 of our series on the ability to elite athletes to recognize and anticipate patterns so as to react "without thinking" to game situations, as outlined in an article (available online) in a recent Sports Illustrated.  Part 1.  Part 2.   *** What we've learned is that hitters have 200 milliseconds to determine, based on their observation of the pitcher and the pitch (and the game situation), to decide whether, when and how to swing. And they do this by using the acquired skill of anticipatory pattern recognition, which is based on seeing tons of baseballs pitched in generally the same... Read More
Could he be the next Mo Rivera? Dare we ask?
Posted by Spectator on 08/04/13
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  All this [Parts 1, 2 and 3] has been leading up to what I had been meaning to write about Dominic Leone (Talk40 #25), in response to a comment from "part-time" (which is now more than a week old):   The one thing I remember most when Leone was drafted is Tim Chalberg's comment 'Dominic Leone, RHP, Clemson - Some scout must see a potential adjustment that could make Leone a better fit in pro ball than college. I don't see much in the numbers that excites me. Grade: F'. Prospect Insider now ranks him as the number 19 prospect in the Mariners as of mid-season. No one else even has him on the... Read More
Blash Splash 17! for Jackson! ... Fear the Zokan. Fear the Pagan. ... escpecially the Pagan ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/04/13
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  News:  The Twin-Jabari Attack at High Desert didn't last long.  Veteran Joseph Dunigan promoted from Jackson to Tacoma, and Jabari Blash (Watch List) to Jackson.  And it didn't take long ...    AAA -- Tacoma 5, Iowa 0  -- Box Ben Broussard has left the building.  Repeat: Ben Broussard has left the building. Six shutout innings from Hector Noesi?  Could the two things be related? Carter Capps also delivered 2.0 IP of shutout ball, with three strikeouts.  After seven AAA appearances, his ERA is 1.64, his WHIP is 0.91.  His BB/9 is 3.3 and K/9 is 7.4. Carlos Peguero (Watch List) had three hits... Read More
Stuff headed up, Execution less so
Posted by jemanji on 08/03/13
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. BaseballHQ, Dept. (A) Coming into 2013, Ron Shandler predicted E-Ram for a sky-high Base Performance Value of 85 - meaning that Ron expected about the same component skills from him as from Lincecum, Fister, Sanchez, and Matt Moore.  In Ron's view, Ramirez' "calling-card" skill is the super-low BB rate. (B) SSI has explored this idea from ninety different angles -- what kinds of pitchers run 1+ walk rates, and where do they go, what things do they do, what people do they meet.  The current MLB pitchers similar to Ramirez are Doug Fister, Kris Medlen and Hisashi Iwakuma. (C) Ramirez is a 1+... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 08/03/13

Dr. D jumps on the Sounder bandwagon REAL quick
Posted by jemanji on 08/03/13
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. In Dr. D's humble guess-timation, Clint Dempsey is the greatest American soccer player who ever lived.  He's 30, in his prime, and suddenly he is playing for your Seattle Sounders.  "Fuutball," anybody?   With this signing, you are talking about a shot heard 'round the world.  It's more of a "popgun" sound, but make no mistake - for the MLS in America to land a fish of Dempsey's size is a game-changer.  For the Sounders and for American soccer, at least. There are very fine soccer blogs peppering the NW landscape.  SSI won't be able to much speak to fans who are ex-college players... Read More
Victor stays on vector ... should we care that Montero is heating up? ... Barbosa on the radar ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/03/13
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  AAA -- Omaha 9, Tacoma 3  -- Box Dare we find it intriguing that Jesus Montero is hitting .263/.364/.474 in his last 10 games?  Probably not.  But there it is. Of course, I have to keep up my online mock-feud with The Artist Formerly (and still) Known as He For Whom We Coughed Up Shin-Soo Choo.  Ben Broussard had a single and two walks. And Royals prospect Danny Duffy shut down the Rainiers for 5.0 IP with 9 K, while Andrew Carraway (Watch List) did not similarly shut down the Storm Chasers (3.2 IP, 6 ER).   AA -- Mobile 5, Jackson 1  -- Box Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley did an even... Read More
5 card draws, 2 Moraleses and Rauullls
Posted by jemanji on 08/02/13
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. Fascinating debate in the Kendrys Morales This Winter? thread.  Gotta love the think tank.  One of my favorite posters leads off the game with a Brad Miller-type hack at the first pitch: ........... The M's 2013 opening day roster had too many 1B-DH types, lacked speed, and had 2 main RH hitters that were very injury prone (Morse & Gutierrez). Hopefully GMZ has learned from his mistakes and doesn't repeat them. IMO, having Smoak, Rauuuul, Morse, and Morales all on the 2014 roster would be a repeat of last year's mistakes -- too many 1B-DH types and too slow.  ........... An impressive... Read More
Taking a sharp pencil to the ACKLEY CF situation
Posted by jemanji on 08/02/13
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. On July 19, 2013, the Seattle Mariners started both Dustin Ackley and Raul Ibanez in the outfield against the Cubs.  They gave up 7 runs, but scored 10, and won. On July 9, 2013, the M's started Ackley and Ibanez against the Red Sox, and gave up 11 runs.  They lost, 8-11. How's this OF config working for them? . Defense ... vs Offense ... vs Roster Config.  THREE Subjects, Not Two Hm.  I wasn't biased either way when I started typing, but at first glance, the 1B/DH answer looked like kind of a no-brainer to me.  The center field defense was kind of kludgy there for a few weeks.  On the... Read More
Puzzling Pax returns (darn!) ... D.J. & the Tank both get three-baggers ... was "D.J. & the Tank" an '80s cop show? ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/01/13
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  AAA -- Omaha 4, Tacoma 2  -- Box Just when we thought "Puzzling Pax" might be taking an extended leave, he's baaaaaack. 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K And, of course, he had to be victimized by He For Whom We Coughed Up Shin-Soo Choo, sometime-musician, sometime-ballplayer Ben Broussard, who got a two-run single in the 1st. On offense, Jesus Montero had a double and two walks, as Biogenesis continues to loom.   AA -- Jackson 5, Huntsville 2  -- Box Another double and two walks for our man Ji-Man Choi (Talk40 #19).  You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him, as they say.... Read More
Choi Joy & Goon Goodness ... but Broussard keeps Mariner-dom singing the blues ... etc.
Posted by Spectator on 08/01/13
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  AAA -- Omaha 8, Tacoma 0  -- Box Despite the fact that most of the glamour Royals prospects have moved on (not unlike Tacoma), Omaha has been the hottest team in the Pacific Coast League, going 10-3 since July 20. And (ugh) He For Whom We Coughed Up Shin-Soo Choo Ben Broussard has been a big part of it.  After a bit of research, it turns out that Broussard just returned to baseball this year after spending a few years as a full-time musician.   No word on whether he ever played in a place where Tom Wilhelmsen was tending bar. In case you haven't noticed, there's not much Rainier... Read More