March 2016

Posted by jemanji on 03/31/16
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. Vidal Nuno has been named the M's "lefty setup man," which kind of sets the tone for our entire bullpen experience.  You can't say we are horrified, but certainly we grok as cartoon dizzy with spiral eyes.   To be fair, a cost-cutting bullpen is to be expected when you've feasted on $4M catchers and first basemen ... hold it.  :: he stops short :: Our bullpen isn't all that cheap, is it.  Ah well.  Take it out of the M's $117M profit last year. ... where were we.  ... that nobody ELSE has a lefty setup man standing 5'10" tall with an 89 fastball, 85 slider and four pitches.  If you have to... Read More
you're in my plans, kid, you're in my plans. Not the ML plans, admittedly
Posted by jemanji on 03/31/16
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. On March 31st, Scott Servais called Donn Roach THE surprise of spring training.  Of course, this followed Dr. D's own such pronouncement on Mar. 24th and followed Jerry DiPoto's desperate last-second deal to get Roach off the roster.  "We go by track records, not by spring training," they said on Mar. 1.  They weren't kidding. And there was an SSI Denizen or six who wanted to know, on Mar. 16th, why Donn Roach wasn't on the Mainframe radar yet.  But do not distract us with naive questions.  We've got our "Tomorrow's News Today" time warp up to six days here. .... There are groundballers and... Read More
Truth or Consequences ... for the Orcs, that is
Posted by jemanji on 03/31/16
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. Do NOT google "sports illustrated" in front of your wife unless you're prepared to talk fast.  That's point A. Point B:  Bob Dutton on Twitter pointed out this super-fun Sports Illustrated article.  It's from rival scouts.  Rival scouts of the Mariners or of the Seahawks?! ... Lineup & Defense There's a lot here to be excited about.... When you sign the type of contract Robinson Cano did, I don't care who you are: The pressure still applies. This guy is one of the best second basemen in baseball, so I expect him to bounce back and have a good year. As long as Nelson Cruz is batting... Read More
any room in that pen for the league's best cut fastball?
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/16
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. Q.  The general consensus is grokking Vincent to be a decentish middle reliever who may be fading.  Is Dr. D bullish or bearish, relative to this consensus? A.  Fairly bullish. Compared to a big name 8th-inning reliever, such as Joaquin Benoit, Darren O'Day or any of the Royals' closers, Nick Vincent is very "meh," yes.  He throws an 89-91 fastball, a little cutter, looks kind of blocky ... not a very 'sexy' bullpen add. But!  Compared to any reasonable MIDDLE reliever, say Mayckol Gauipe or Blake Parker, then Nick Vincent is standing on a perch looking down.  Vincent is a high-quality... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/16
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. Klat has an upgraded chat room v3.0 almost ready for launch.  Which is a little confusing to Dr. D, because the upgraded chat room v2.0 is already slick.  jemanji is in there now, as of 3:02 pm, in case anybody wants to say Hi, or wants to hold Dr. D "accountable" the way the Libyans held Khadafi accountable, or wants to tell us all who the Vincent PTBNL is. v3.0 will be mobile friendly, we unnerstan', meaning that we can sit in the 3rd deck during games and kibitz Taijuan's pitch selection.  For now, I'll probably have a second window open while writing (or, preferably, reading!) SSI.  And... Read More
Cano and Cruz will be pleased with the adulation toDAY
Posted by jemanji on 03/28/16
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. The Mainframe has grokked an amazing thing.  Are you sitting down?   It has found that a baseball fan's subconscious mind is affected by the world into which he was born.  American schizophrenics hear voices that are dark, scary, and threatening.  Kenyans hear voices that are playful and innocent (yes, really).  In related news, Mariners fans believe that Ketel Marte will hit .191 this year, that Dae-Ho Lee has three weeks to "live" (in MLB lingo) and that James Paxton is a mental "midget."   Dr. D can blame the fans for none of this.  We do not choose the voices in our heads.  Hot mustard... Read More
there IS a consolation somewhere here for Dr. D
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/16
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. Shame that it didn't pan out for James Paxton this March; the M's seem to have been rooting for him, but he just hasn't gotten his act together yet.  Could be that he's adjusting to Stottlemyer's view of him as a curve ball pitcher, which could be good, like a golfer having a couple of bad rounds before his new swing jells.  Alas, the Paxton AAA scenario does have its advantages.   Such as the fact that Nate Karns doesn't have to face the idea of having a Michael Pineda rookie season and then getting powerflushed back to the minors.  Hey, in 2015 Karns had the equivalent of a 30 HR, 100 RBI... Read More
enough dogma to make your head spin
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/16
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. RockiesJeff had a crisp little comment about baseball dogma.  Care to list any of your faves, he axs?  Yeah, everything sabermetrics ever discovered... j/k Jeff. Merrill pointed out that the TNT emphasized, again, that the M's just can't afford to have their #6 starter unready to step in when needed.  Ergo, the need for 6-7 IP starts at Tacoma so the ballistic missiles can be launched on 90 seconds' notice, maxium. A nice little synchronicity there, what say?  :- )  Here we go again, with a good many baseball men arguing that the Mariners not only should, but virtually MUST, put their #6SP... Read More
What's beyond linkage? Readage, of course ...
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/16
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. Dr. D's fave reads from last week being: ... Fangraphs has a detailed interview with Nate Karns.  Lots of juicy stuff as to the way Karns looks at the game when he's on a "B" day, when he's in rhythm, and when he's hot as a firecracker.  No chance whatsoever that you will read this and fail to gain optimism on Karns. ... The Shout Box was a better read as to the 25-man roster than were the beat writers.  :- )  Notably Mo' Dawg and Grizzly.  Dr. D seriously loves the Shout Box when it gets rolling.  You guys is awesome.  Last thing I'm gonna say. ... As Tacoma Rain pointed out at the D-O-V... Read More
did you see that baby just Quiver in the air
Posted by jemanji on 03/25/16
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. LEONYDAS KING OF SPALDING Was going to say, his early-game lineout was the best swing I've seen from him this spring.  3-2 pitch, looked fastball, got fastball, stayed up the middle and scorched a 4-iron at the CF's mitt.  Only 91 MPH and center-cut, but still.  At least he didn't swing out of his shoes. Then, that became his second-best swing, after the HR.  ... really don't want to sound like I'm married to the anti-Leonydas position, but ... that one was also a 91 fastball, thigh high, slightly inside of center -- in other words the one pitch his oversized driver is forged to cold-clock... Read More
Sizzler: Steve Cishek
Posted by jemanji on 03/25/16
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. STEVE CISHEK Came into the Wednesday game and showed his 35+ save form.  With a double underline. His slider was a real Nintendo pitch, 79-81 MPH from a weird arm slot ... actually it was pretty Jeff Nelson-ish.  Also, he threw it a lot, close to a 50-50 mix.  Don't cut your fingers on it. His fastball was a good 90-92 MPH, which is excellent from a sidearmer, and he consistently painted with it.  Technically, he gets more drop on the pitch than Roach does, even.  IFF you get the above two pitches together, you've going to be Dan Quisenberry or Kent Tekulve or Brad Ziegler or... well, Steve... Read More
from SSI zero to hero in one TV inning pitched
Posted by jemanji on 03/25/16
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. Q.  So when are you going to stop riffing about March players before you've ever seen them. A.  If Dr. D ever does it again, STOP HIM.  Next March just go "Have you seen this guy yet?"  ... and of course he'll Pshaw out of it, but still. . Q.  What's your excuse? A.  The mainframe grokked only a 1-in-20 chance that Roach's actual pitches would defy his performance.  But that's like when my 20th-level D&D paladin had a save at +6 to avoid disintegration.  2-20, live.  1 in 20, die.  You can guess the dice roll. If we cannot fail those "roll 2 on a d20 to live" saves, we wither and die... Read More
but there's plenty of poison in the truck, b'lee DAT
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/16
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. As you can see from the paint job on the truck, sometimes the Big Bugs overrun your position.  Karns' box score Wednesday was a hideous 2.1 IP with 8 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 2 BB and 4 K.  Neverthless, the Mainframe gave him a solid B or B+ for the outing.  In fact, it was a best-case situation for Dr. D personally, since it positioned James Paxton for the starting nod and did very little to take Karns' stock down. There are times a guy pitches bad, and there are times he's a victim of circumstance.  On another day, Karns might have thrown exactly the same pitches, left after 6 IP 1 ER, and had us... Read More
magic 8 ball, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/23/16
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Thus Saith the Shout Box: . SABRMatt - Grade 3 flexor mass muscle strain in his pitching arm - Carson Smith is probably not going to come back until after the AS break...d'oh! ... Reply - MtGrizzly - 3/22/16 5:09pmWow. ... Reply - jemanji - 3/23/16 12:15amDidn't I TELL you that was a good move? ... Reply - anonymous - 3/23/16 12:36pmThe Carson Smith trade was hard to stomach. It is feeling a little bit better. ... MASSIVELY better :- ) Still not giving DiPoto a totally free pass.  11-strikeout relievers were being traded for bricks of Colombian Gold this winter and the market is only... Read More
attack speed, keptin
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/16
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LL has a(nother) great read up, this one on pitchers' velocities so far this spring.    Usually you don't want to make tons of soup off this oyster, but there are a few things that grabbed me, at least. . MIKE MONTGOMERY The data shows that Montgomery's velo is up a good bit in the pen.  On TV it hadn't looked that way too much, 'cause I thought he threw fairly hard last year .... :: hmmmmmm taps chin ::::  Less' take a look. He averaged 91.3 last year, and he's got 94.7 this year based on a very few 21 fastballs. Well, let's see.  Here are the 2015 velocity graphs.  Yeah, the 2015 Montgomery... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/16
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. Dutton relays that James Paxton did go 5 IP for Tacoma.  Fanned 8, walked one.  Including the fact that he ripped off 6 K's his first time through the lineup; you know what that looks like from the CF camera.  In the quotes, K-Pax basked in his own glory.  We'll letcha click through to Dutton for it. The thesis here is that the Mariners, annoyed a bit at Paxton's kludginess early, lowered the bar a bit for him.  Throw some strikes kid, they say in exasperation.  So he did that this time; he's got two starts left.  If he's decent-to-solid there, hopefully he goes in Game 5 and we get Nathan... Read More
the old guys don't think they need the algebra
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/16
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. Wm. F. Buckley DISCLAIMERS, CAVEATS and QUID PRO QUO's Dept. When it comes to Opening Day rosters, it's totally possible for a front office to --- lean left and then --- > zig hard right on cutdown day.  Happens all the time.  They get into the conference room and it gets down to brass tacks and they Just. Change. Their. Minds. That, and on a much more unlikely front, it could also occur that Dr. D is wrong about his guesses analyses of the situation.  Happens with very extreme rarity, but you see the section header. . PUTTING YOUR OPPONENT ON A HAND, Dept. Last week, Dr. D slid the... Read More
All night? you say that like it's a bad thing
Posted by jemanji on 03/21/16
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. Geoff Baker has another interesting article on the M's payroll decisions.  He continues to press a point that we've batted around :- ) since about 1998.  This point being that player performance-per-dollar should not be calculated to three decimal places, not when you have a bigger picture that big FA contracts result in --- > bigger payroll caps that expand to dilute the impact of these contracts. It's like saying I paid $38 for Miguel Cabrera when the math projects him to be worth $32.47, so you're going to ream me out for it.  But hey!  If I sign that deal, my $260 allotment goes to $... Read More
and here's to Occam's Razor
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/16
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. Felix is a threat to have his best year.  The Mainframe logic is simple and transcends the need for eight regression charts.  True things are usually easy to convey.  This logic may be reprinted and disseminated for non-commercial purposes: . Argument Block Type Idea Premise 1 Red Pitch = 3.75 ERA Premise 2 Yellow Pitch = 2.99 ERA Premise 3 Orange Pitch = 0.89 ERA Premise 4 Pitcher said, "I will throw more orange pitches now" Conclusion Pitcher will have a lower ERA . As Ken Shih complained, "Your style is most inelegant."*  Jim Kelley grinned widely.  "But efFECTive." Dr. D, you come right... Read More
and here you thought 'mad scientist' meant 'crazy scientist'
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/16
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. KING LEONYDAS Has looked exactly like we thought he'd look.  Really bad, and worse than that, beyond hope. Ever golf with a guy who uses the 1-wood no matter how tight the trees or how distant the brook?  Who slices it OB three times a round, and three times unleashes a string of displeasantries, exactly as though it's the first time that OB ever happened to him?  Leonys could have 2 strikes on him with a man on 3rd, 1 out, for the pennant, and he would grab the 1-wood with a couple fingers off the handle. Hand-eye coordination looks iffy from here, too.  Swings way under high heat, tops 88... Read More
there is exactly one Mariner whose September does transcend his March
Posted by jemanji on 03/18/16
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. In the Karns vs Paxton thread, Billy Zoom pulls back the hammers on his side-by-side shotgun and blows Paxton off at the ankles.  Heh!  Good on him.  We'll just link you to his comment without feeling any need to rebut. Other than to say, if Billy is absolutely right about everything with Paxton, then still (1) yes.  He is an unfinished product.  Your point being?  (2) As an embryonic lefty who fights his control, Paxton has BEEN perhaps a little better than your garden-variety Anthony Vasquez. He's got 30 starts with a 7.5 strikeout ratio, a skimpy 0.7 homer rate and a 3.16 career ERA.  He... Read More
Dr. D cares not a fig whether there is even 1 other person jazzed about it
Posted by jemanji on 03/18/16
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. Jim Moore is an old-school beatwriter and he's got an excellent piece up today.  In it, he frankly admits that he personally is annoyed by the idea of giving a bullpen spot to the #6 starter. More and more, I appreciate it when a "journalist" confesses the point of view from which he is coming.  For far too long, media people have "reported" their opinion-slanted takes while trying desperately to convince us that any credentialed NYT reporter is by definition a completely blank slate.  Per this little device, you've got America drowning under a river of propaganda pieces that the readers... Read More
Let's go small ball like Golden State. 5 SS's at once, amirite?
Posted by jemanji on 03/18/16
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. When DiPoto traded Ramon Flores for Luis Sardinas, I was completely disoriented.   It says here that (Jeff King?) traded Ackley for Flores and an RP at last year's trade deadline.  In other words, Ramon Flores was not exactly a bag of balls and a Good Humor frozen treat.  Flores didn't look tremendously different, then, from what Boog Powell looks like now.  (Flores by the way is having a nice spring training as we speak, .375 OBP, competing for a starting CF job in Milwaukee.) .... So then DiPoto came in and on Nov. 16 traded Wilhelmsen and (Kivlehan) for Martin, who Texas probably would... Read More
Are there any prospects the M's can afford to trade???
Posted by Tacoma Rain on 03/18/16
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There has been a quite a bit of talk around here about trading for a relief or 5 the past week. Yes, one option is to trade Seth Smith... but there are other options. Moe briefly brought up the idea of trading one of the middle infielders in camp - like Chris Taylor, Luis Sardinas or...?? Well as you will see, there are PLENTY of ??? on the M's farm. In my prior post, I brought up the fact that the M's have at least 6 pretty good CF's in the system... and that was BEFORE the M's went ahead and signed Guillermo Heredia, who was just ranked in the top 30 M's prospects by John Sickels and by... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/16
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. RockiesJeff will kill me for this, but his son is tearing Junior College limb from limb and hitting 94 MPH on the gun.  If I didn't know better I'd say that his son had the ML flame-flicker still going. . Back channel, with the implicit understanding that Dr. D would not share this, Jeff linked us to a report on his son Jeremy Gwinn: Jeff & Keith, I don't want to sound like a boasting father.....but had to share the latest on my son Jeremy. Here are the latest national Junior College stats:http://njcaa.org/sports/bsb/2015-16/div1/players?pos=p&sort=pkAnd an overview: Date... Read More
hellooooooooooo in there ..... [the 'pen of course]
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/16
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. OBF sez, . Of course the Bullpen cough up 2 in the bottom o the ninth and the game ends with a tie :( :( :( :( OK, Moe, I am on board now.... Seth Smith for a reliever ANY reliever!!!! . Mo' Dawg's track record is getting pretty scary, we gotta say.  He's like 7-for-his-last-7, as is Seth Smith ... wait. /reset  Cool Papa Bell's opinions are lamentably rare on SSI.  On this one, his is that --- > he is sick and tired of 513 runs per season.  "Give 'em a chance," growled Lou Piniella after one of his bullpens blew its third save of Week One.   Cool Papa Bell would also like to see this... Read More
and Dr. D shootin' straight as an Aro with yer
Posted by jemanji on 03/16/16
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. 10 days ago, Ryan Cook and Justin De Fratus were the two guys at the head of the line.  No options, can't send 'em to Tacoma.  The M's chatter was that the M's would have other guys -- those with options left -- pitching in Tacoma for lurking purposes.  It is a very good sign that Jerry DiPoto will admit a mistake (sic) sooner rather than later and will plump for a Stefen Romero over a Justin Montero if that's what he deems beneficial to the M's won-loss record.   Oh.  Also, Evan Scribner was one of the first three in line, owing to his 9,142:1 strikeout walk ratio.  The mopup-pitcher... Read More
The "5 Guys" brand is very bankable in Seattle these days
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/16
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. jemanji:  Did you see Karns out there Sunday!  You thought he was going to be a talented young club-controls #3, huh. babakid29:  You don't think so? jemanji:  No, I think he's going to be an Opening Day starter.  Like John Lackey.  The 2005-07 version, who was one of the five best starters in the league. babvakid29:  He does resemble Lackey, doesn't he?  Same kind of tall-wrestler physique, and similar his motion.  The way he gets his large muscles into the throw, kinda gangly on the backstroke and then comes down the centerline like oiled glass.  Lackey did have a slider, though.  We're... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/16
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. Hey, seems to me that your outfield is paper-thin anyway; supposing you keep 5 OF's like they did in the good old days (like, circa 2011)? If your bullpen were Cishek-Benoit-Zych-Karns-De Fratus and Montgomery-Nino ... not only can you swap guys out to Tacoma on 8 hours' notice anyway.  The Rainiers are an "extended bullpen" as far as (say) a Tony Zych day off is concerned. But aren't THREE of these starters? don't they need 3-, 4-IP stints anyway?   So your bullpen is scuffling from a bit of overuse.  Then Taijuan Walker is behind 5-3 to Houston, and you take him out after five innings... Read More
Bench = Run prevention, flexibility or bats?
Posted by moethedog on 03/13/16
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Hmmmmmm.......: Here's a MiLB SS conundrum:     A. Roster guy #1 has 462 career MiLB starts at SS, with a .961 Fld% and a 4.28 Rg/9.   B. Door #2 has 262 Milb SS starts with a Fld% of .950 and a Rg/9 of 4.48. C. Dude #3 has 383 starts, .947 and 4.49. Which one is Taylor, which is Sardinas and which is O'Malley ? (Insert Jeopardy Theme Song) Times up!!  Alex, What is #1 is Shawn O'Malley, #2 is Chris Taylor and #3 is Luis Sardinas. Correct, Moe,  for $1000! Which one of those guys has 0 spring training starts at SS?   Well, that's too easy, O'Malley, of course.  But Shawn O'Malley had 53 AAA... Read More
wait for ze creme, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/12/16
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. Jerry DiPoto has taken to calling his depth chart "layered."  SSI approves of this lingo.  Layers rock.  The more layers you fold into shtreudel dough, the flakier and more tender it is out of the oven.  The more layers a samurai folds into his blade at the firepit, the more easily it slices through a machine gun.  And the more 25-man rosters you have, the less likely it is that your starting catcher will walk 21 times and strike out 132 times. Rob Brantly is well worth a 25-man roster spot.  But then, so are a lot of guys these days.  The crunch on Brantly would be . CURRENT HITTING Dr. D... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/16
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. Fun article by Jeff Sullivan on baseball dorking.  The title's a little misleading - it's about the moments in a baseball game that geek you out, not about whether you and I are nerds (of course, we Are).  We understand that OSU students self-identify as unicorns and stuff (yes, really).  But do you, the SSI denizen, self-identify as a pitcher, hitter, or fielder type of fan? Sully gives that he'd rather see a no-hit bid than a 10-8 baseball game.  Hm.  For all the time SSI spends on pitching mechanics, I'd much rather go to an "Arena Baseball" game.  Tell me that my $27 ticket is going to... Read More
Was Jase referring to Uncle Si or Dr. D?
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/16
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. WADE MILEY - FIZZLER Wade "Jase" Miley wheeled his beard out to the mound in a little hand truck Thursday.  The Mainframe went into "grok" mode, which as you and Dr. D's wife have been advised, has nothing whatever to do with "watching TV while throwing down Doritos."  With the 32 motherboards cycling, we need only one of each pitch type to forecast "Jase's" season with pinpoint accuracy. Unfortunately, having seen Miley's pitches "in rhythm" as it were, Dr. D was left wishing that his prognostications were known for less than pinpoint accuracy: . Pitch Remark Fastball Fine, except it wasn'... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/16
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. "Top half" of the inning, Opening Day in Texas, of course.  Offense.  Batters.  Today's groks being . RUNNING GAME - FIZZLER Thursday, two guys got on base early against Jon Lester.  Sardinas and O'Malley was it?  One via walk, the other via a hit ... oh yeah.  Sardinas pushed a gorgeous 70-foot bunt at the 2B, couldn'a rolled it any better. Two guys on against Jon Lester, 0 out, also known as A BEST CASE SCENARIO.  Both of them took off for 2B.  Both were thrown out, and thrown out =Easily.  This 0 on, 2 out situation failed to make the Cubs less comfortable than standard issue. We're here... Read More
I find your attempt to hit me disTURBing
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/16
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. Q.  Where did we leave this off, last September? A.  Taijuan en embryo was a fairly good #3 starter, using one pitch.  His fastball was so explosive, and so well-commanded, that it more than tipped the balance scales against his two "slow fastballs," the 89 non-slider and the 89 non-changeup.  Worse secondary stuff than that, you simply will not see on television.  Not unless your TV is located in Perth, West Austrailia. Which left SSI denizens wanting some functional offspeed, any offspeed, to launch the carnage.  ... of course there was the odd single game last year where he had one.  ... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/16
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. What the hey.  There were two major league teams, if not five, onsite Wednesday.  All with cameras blazing and clipboards scrawling at each player's every move.  No reason Dr. D can't publish the chicken scratch on his legal pad.   No, of course he doesn't really use a legal pad.  ... Granted, the Mainframe Cluster may grok a few dozen motherboards, a few Tb of RAM, and a coupla hundred Intel cores.  But even Dr. D's worst enemy will concede that he doesn't take baseball seriously enough to waste viewing time on notes. . RIGHT HAND LINEUP The M's spent three innings making the lefty Matt... Read More
Dr's prognosis: maybe the M's shoulda stayed in the hospital
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/16
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. If we could mosh off that "Mini Carlos Peguero" thought for just a moment? ... 1.  Dr. D hasn't seen anything to dissuade him from his impression that we are talking about a 67 OPS+ for King Leonydas.  Granted, he's only "seen anything" for like two at-bats.  But as you know, two at-bats for the Mainframe is like a Lou Gehrig career's worth for a lesser computer.  Even if those two at-bats occurred in the dead of winter. 1a.  We did upgrade mightily in the offense, from Mike Zunino's 50 OPS+ to Chris Iannetta to Steve Clevenger.  We can't just spit it all away with a 50 OPS+ in center field... Read More
Brad Miller vs Nori Aoki
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/16
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. Not pictured:  a pro athlete known for his narcissism . Sometimes you argue for two hours, and can't quite figure out what the problem is.  And then this little detail stops the show and all becomes clear.  Take two guys in court, arguing in front of the judge "THE OTHER GUY SWUNG FIRST!" and the trial goes on four days ... you can't figure out what Silentpadna was doing in the brawl in the first place, but sure enough he was there. Then one of the brawlers finally admits, as an incidental detail, "Well, I might have sat down in their booth and put my arm around his wife and said something... Read More
We will catch Houston's fly balls in the SHAAAAAADE
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/16
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. When it comes to defense in baseball?  SSI pretty much trusts whatever the clubs say.  They're the ones with the internal metrics.  Especially that Statscast stuff that puts the player onto a little bow-and-arrow target and times his travel from crack-of-bat to fly ball intersection.  I'll take that over UZR like I'll take a calculator wristwatch over a slide rule. Have ta say, though, however quickly Leonydas can get from point A to points B twenty-seven point three yards distant, it hasn't been clear from the actual outs that have resulted on the green grass of AL baseball fields.  Here's... Read More
There's baseball pepper and then there's DOCTOR pepper
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/16
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. Keeping the intrepid SSI denizen on top of things as the plots thicken ... . Joel Peralta's stock is up the first week, as Dutton's quality report notes.  He's throwin' good, while Scribner and Cook are dealing with injuries.  A month ago we wrote a mini-POTD on Peralta, which bears no adjustment at this time. Is SSI rooting for Peralta?  It roots for Stars & Scrubs, which means that it is rooting for Danny Hultzen and Nate Karns in the same bullpen, behind the Big Three (choke, cough), Tony Zych and somebody.  But man oh man, if Jerry DiPoto wanted to create "layers" to his bullpen,... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/05/16
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. Interesting TNT piece that says --- > Chris Taylor's trip North stands or falls with his ability to play a quality defensive 3B.  He's got to get the reps, man.  He's got four weeks to learn how to play a really tough position.  Bottom line is, the 25th man has to be able to play any position well on 5 minutes' notice.  All that is fine, but might Dr. D point out Kyle Seager played 161 games last year.  159 the year before that.  160 the year before. Tacoma is 30 miles south of the M's ballpark.  If Seager tweaks a hammy, you've got the entire Rainiers roster, the next night. Any... Read More
supafreak, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/04/16
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. Marc W at USS Mariner has been pickin' em up and layin' em down his last sevvral pieces.  In this one, he asks an interesting question.  What does Taijuan Walker have that Wily Peralta -- the kid who faced off against Taijuan on Friday -- does not? It's worth a few minutes' meditation before answering.  Peralta does clock in with the same 94.3 MPH velocity that Taijuan does.  He's also young.  He also throws strikes.  Marc W points to Peralta's high groundball rates and thinks of Felix Hernandez. So, it's worth a few minutes' baseball meditation.  What is the difference between a Peralta... Read More
... it's just a little farther, Nate
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/16
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. In the last 15 years, 2001-15, there have been fifteen American League pitchers who struck out 8+ men per game as rookie starters.  So, one a year.  Whether the league needs it or not, it gets one of these rookies every season. . Rook SP Year K per 9 IP Went on to do what? Francisco Liriano 2006 11.0 Was going to be Johan Santana+ before DL (Yu Darvish) 2012 10.4 exceed Iwakuma's salary Gio Gonzalez 2009 9.7 3-5 WAR last six years in a row (Masahiro Tanaka) 2014 9.3 exceed Iwakuma's salary Lance McCullers, HOU 2015 9.2 ... Matt Moore 2012 9.2 Make Trump money after 9 IP Colin McHugh, HOU... Read More
go with Rizzs or Drayer? decisions, decisions
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/16
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. Jim Carrey's on-screen son asked him, "Is it true that if you make a face, your face can get stuck that way?"  Carrey was truthful.  "Some people make a handsome living that way." SSI makes a handsome living Reading Between the Lines, as do SSI's readers.  Between the 9,000 of us we can usually figure out that when Rick Rizzs gives us a March 3 eulogy for Chris Taylor, he's tipping his bosses' pitches.  Talented young kid like Taylor needs a full season's worth of swings, don'cha know.  Read:  hit .450 in Arizona or go back and Re Establish Val Ue, keed. That may be true.  Dr. D is not... Read More
it's a little late to talk, after you've already done it
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/16
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. I thought this was going to be a MATCHUP!?  It's a MIS Match!  >:- [ Let's see, by my count there are 32 preseason games on this sked rat cheer.  Counting the one Wild Card game in which Felix at last does anything to earn his $27M per, that means that the 200th game of 2016 will be the last one before the ALCS.  200, man.  That's a lot of baseball, especially putting on our blog pants one leg at a time every morning. But if the M's get practice reps, why shouldn't we?  The Times embedded 7 minutes' (!) worth of video from the game, which include twelve batted balls > 100 MPH (by the... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/16
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. A year ago today, James said . Seriously, I wonder if you could say what's not to be impressed about a current active NFL player (John Urschel) publishing a paper like that, although I have to admit that my own impressment is somewhat limited by not having any idea what cascadic multigrid algorithms and Fiedler vectors and graph Laplacians are. Asked by: MarisFan61 Answered: 3/24/2015 One shouldn't be impressed by things that are done to impress you. A single mother raising three kids and keeping them all on the path toward successful lives is impressive. A football player publishing... Read More
... as take any grokkables out of Mar. 2 news
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/16
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. Nuthin' against the beat writers.  They'll sell papers to anybody with six quarters to spare.  But it doesn't make Dr. D's job any easier.  :: draws heavy sigh ::  Recent articles: . Robinson Cano likes it that Chase Utley isn't allowed to take his knee out this year.  The SSI reader who seeks info-tainment in this piece has Dr. D's blessing to try.  One takeaway:  the "phantom tag" of the base now gets overturned on replay.  Huh.  I liked it the old way.  "I coulda touched it; I just didn't want to sacrifice my meniscus to the umps." But.  That'll make it a different game to watch.  Kind... Read More
Long ways to truck yet
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/16
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. HOORAY FOR THE TIMES! paid for by Newspaper Lives Matter . M's add Efren Navarro.  Does this mean that the 'loser' of the Dae-Ho Lee / Jesus Montero staredown ain't gonna be around long? . Hey!  The Times had coverage of a baseball game!  I din't know they played today!  REALLY hooray for the Times, boys.  And 6-0 M's in the sixth.  Chris Iannetta hit the first of what will be many, many homers.  Franklin Gutierrez hit another in what has been a long, long string of homers.  James Paxton tossed 2 scoreless but his K-B ratio was only 19-15.  Must be the umps can't call 3-foot curve balls the... Read More