March 2017

Pictured below: pitcher's, er, Melancon's, point of view on Miranda
Posted by jemanji on 03/31/17
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. 1,000 RUNS There was a paper airplane flown in from the bleachers with a suggestion written on it in felt-tip marker:  1,000 RUNS!  Which you might take as meaning (a) 1,000 runs or (b) best offense in baseball.  1,000 runs is a very lofty goal; only one team since 1950 has done it, that being Lofty's 1999 Indians which had Alomar, Manny and Thome in the MOTO.  Still, that team won 97 games despite a dead-on mediocre pitching staff. That 1999 Indians team didn't even have Joey Belle; what it did have was the older Travis Fryman, and Harold Baines, and Einar Diaz, holding up their ends (... Read More
boooorrrrrrrrrrinnnggggggg
Posted by jemanji on 03/31/17
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. BOB DUTTON KNOWS 6 THINGS we might have liked to know when we started this thing a month ago.  One of which is, Felix seems willing to throw pitches suited to his new incarnation.  From that reporter, at least. Jean Segura plays shortstop good.  ... Apparently 30 days ago, the consensus was that Segura had been moved off short more because he was age 26, than out of any real desire to help the ballclub.  Nope.  Segura can pick it. WIN NOW means that if you're having trouble hitting easy pitches one week out, you can go have trouble hitting easy pitches in AAA. And "If Mitch Haniger bats .... Read More
Dr. D's sound and fury signifieth nuthin
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/17
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. HISASHI IWAKUMA The Mariners spent the day not wanting to be there.  Dr. D spent the night, not wanting to type.  Ryan Rowland-Smith waved off Iwakuma's walks (and velocity) as "a low-energy situation."  Mike Zunino chuckled it off as a mechanical thing, like balance, and that Iwakuma would get it squared away. Dr. D's worry factor:  0.  Well, if Our Local NPB Star tops out at 85 on day two, then my worry factor will exceed 0.  I don't expect that it will. So as far as this morning's coffee goes, like they used to say in NFL Street, how about a Big Helpin A NOTHIN'. . CLAYTON KERSHAW... Read More
call it 80% the King's Court lives on for 2017
Posted by jemanji on 03/28/17
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. KING FELIKKKKs For 2 innings, it coulda been an Ultra Quality Start from 2015: Explosive lower half drop and drive (as Hyphen pointed out) Crisp fastball -- acceptable depth, late bite, nice location and touch Best yakker he's ever had Dry spitter had the late drop.  Not 2014 maybe but I'll go with 2015 Pitch sequences maybe not epic, but certainly TOR This comes on the heels of two other good games.  The last one?  Blowers said he was sitting behind home plate, watching Felix spin curves and spitters, and the universal agreement was "even at 90-91, he's one of the game's stoppers."  Not... Read More
and a new SSI nickname for a unique shortstop
Posted by jemanji on 03/28/17
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. HIT THAT LIKE BUTTON Dept. We sez, if you'll throw a line or two in the comments, we'll try to be as daily as possible.  That way, we both get to read baseball with our morning java.  Dr. D maybe wasn't much in the mood, but this thread is here 'cause you did hit the like button.  So, you have only yourselves to blame for the following inane shtick.  That, and we wanted to change the subject off His Heebie-Jeebie'ness. Speaking of which, we applaud the gracious attempts to be friendly.  Returning evil for kindness, Dr. D reminds that he admires said #5 pitcher.  Reminds him of Bosio, when... Read More
the Mainframe searches for signs of hope
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/17
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. WE CAN STILL BE FRIENDS, Dept. We watched the first 9 pitches, shut the TV off, and sat down to vent in this article.  So there's all kinds of chance that the following could be off track. .... AND --- > If you think Gallardo deserves a chance, and he gets nuked until he glows, it is ZERO reflection on your baseball judgment, fellow Denizen.  During the season, we ain't going to gloat and we ain't going to rub it in.  If the mushroom cloud occurs on schedule, that is.  If Game 5 is blown to the Angels by 11-0, we'll probably just let the pitching pass without comment.  It's at that point... Read More
can we get a mousepad with our utility infielder on it?
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/17
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. DISCLAIMERS, CAVEATS AND QUID PRO QUO's, Dept. After Opening Day, the over/under on first pitching move is what.  April 8?  And if Gamel goes down, he'll be up very shortly.  Most teams have 28-man rosters; this one will have about a 32-man roster. For the players being First Pick is very important. For them, "breaking camp with the big club" is almost like a red carpet movie open, glitz and glam and hors d'oeuvres and autographs.  Wait... For you and me, we'd just as soon the Mariners come out of the gate quickly against Houston and Texas and co.  But, in the big picture, that first bus... Read More
A little change of scenery is all he needs
Posted by malcontent on 03/26/17
23 Comments

While Mariners fans have been cautiously excited about the potential for Drew Smyly and worried but hopeful for Felix Hernandez to return to his 2015 form, there has been little eagerness for the potential of Yovani Gallardo to do anything other than be replaced.  The projection systems have offered little reason for a different opinion; suggesting the reduced innings, increased home run tendency, and newfound inability to leave runners on  base as new standards rather than random fluctuations. I started like everyone else; asking, "Is this all that Seth Smith was worth?"  And so I've... Read More
now that's a creative grip. Call it the starfish?
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/17
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. WATCHABILITY Grade 65 on the scouting scale, plus to plus-plus.  Man, I really ENJOYED!! watching this guy.  Had never really focused in on him for 6 innings.  (Wait.  Has he ever thrown 6 innings on any TV set?) . FASTBALL Grade 40, minus.  Looked slow to me, and command only okay by Hisashi Iwakuma (MLB) standards, and you could see him hump up and jerk the head to throw average speed.    :- ) But we just want you to know we're paying attention, 'cause the rest of it was pretty fun to watch. . CHANGEUP Grade 60 by reputation.  He threw a couple of drop-dead gorgeous floppers on the low-... Read More
never a dull moment with JeDi
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/17
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. Q.  Is this a smart move or a dumb move? A.  The Mainframe has come to think of the 2016-17 Seattle Mariners as a state-of-the-art organization, whether you are talking about inside baseball or out.  Where they disagree with the Mainframe, we assume there is good reason.  Though that doesn't mean we would hesitate to bet our own prognosis against theirs at times ;- ) These days, a prognosis like this is just a way to organize our thinking.  It IS a baseball chat, after all . Q.  How surprising on a scale of 1-10? A.  About a 7 or an 8.  It seemed that a second lefty, behind Zip, was a given... Read More
... obey the unwritten rules, that is
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/17
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. Q.  Is it feasible to powerflush Gallardo if he gets pulped his first three starts? A.  No.  And he won't get pulped three starts in a row.  Nobody does.  There are fielders out there. . Q.  Is it "entitlement" to keep a guy in the lineup if he's making a billion dollars? A.  Nah.  In baseball they make commitments.  That's how F-500 works.  Politics are involved, and should be involved. Don't get me wrong amigos.  No way you can just trade for a guy making this much money and round-file him after four starts.  No way you DO accept him if you think that will happen. Now ... Pete Carroll, he... Read More
but Dr D wants to know where goeth the F/X
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/17
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. GRRRRrrrrrr what's this?!  No F/X data on the Wednesday Giants game?!  Off with their heads!  The F/X culprits cannot be found, you dare to whine at Us?  Off with YOUR HEAD! At least there was videotape evidence that the game occurred, and it showed: FACT 1 - Felix' curve was way down to 77-81 MPH and was killer FACT 2 - Felix' slider was 81-83 and very effective (VERY IMPORTANT THE CHANGE-SPEED GAME WAS MORE DIVERSE THAN PREVIOUS YEARS) FACT 3 - Felix' changeup/dry spitter was 86 and pretty decent FACT 4 - His 88-89 fastball was wild in the zone FACT 5 - His 86 fastball was very well... Read More
Heredia? Bat 'im first, or 9th
Posted by jemanji on 03/23/17
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. Several reasonable groks on this move.  Dr. D's?  The Mainframe simply comes down on the side of --- > Vogelbach played himself out of a job.  He did not look Zen from the Mainframe's camera lens, and did not look rewardable from this so-called "Productive Plate Appearance" handbill on the M's wall. Vogelbach looked VERY confused at the plate to me.  For what it's worth. ... Benefit 1:  cost savings on Vogelbach per the Super Two* strategy.  G moshes off this to warn us that Tyler O'Neill might also "suddenly" be ready for the Bright Lights, Big City about the time they can be promoted... Read More
this is the thread for global Shouts, as of Thur. Mar 23
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/17
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Right now it looks like da Bums can (in effect) get their oft-rumored "Lobby Shout Box" if they go down to > Active Now > Active Conversations and click the silver bar [Comment permalink].  Two newsy shouts on it :- ) It will also often default you to the Permalink Shout Box on a new window, I think, especially if you close and open your browser.   Still workin' it, but seems to provide a functional vintage 2016 Shout Box ... .... Don't confuse 'comment Permalink' (the desired destination) with 'Lobby Shout Box' (the name of this nested article, because of its title!) - Jeff
Talking Wally Pipp, Gerald Perry and Ben Gamel
Posted by moethedog on 03/22/17
17 Comments

Let's imagine that we have a total breakdown at 1B.  Vogelbach tears a tendon stealing home and Valencia has terrible AB's through the rest of the spring training and well into April. And, of course, the M's front office is not interested in signing an available Adam Lind or trading for an available Justin Smoak.  Oh, and the Angels decide to keep Dustin Ackley. So where might we turn to, to find a 1B?  Besides, DJ Peterson, mind you. Well, how about Ben Gamel?  Oh, I know, he doesn't fit the template of a tater mashing beast or a dang near impossible to get out Carew, but there is some... Read More
do they still make those draft-day centerfolds?
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/17
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. M's 5, ORCs 8 Just offhand kibitzes without the detail descriptions.  Don't quote me.  And we assume this won't get to twenty lines, since Scribner was half of the yellow legal pad, but the tables pre-set as far of the number of rows you get. . # Event Offhand Remark 1-9 O.D. lineup 2-3-4 hitters were beastly.  Blowers:  they'll apply a lot of pressure 1st inning.  James:  1st inning is your only set inning.  Dr. D:  a star #2 hitter = pressure 1st inning SS Segura 1B, SB Comically short swing zzzzinged up the middle.  EZ stolen base.  Spoken of as a "given" to be a star SP3 Smyly hit by... Read More
SIZZLER
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/17
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. WARMUP PHASE STRETCH THOSE HAMMIES DO THOSE SUN SALUTATIONS   Thought we'd be sleeping 40 of the next 48 hours.  But then, I found out that I could fairly seamlessly do Comments from iPhone voice dictation.  Talk about a monkey toying with a watch. Question:  Does it get old, Dr. D replying to so many comments?  You want to return serve to newbies and to great ideas, but you don't want to be the 300' dude in the middle seat of the airplane row :- ) . EVAN SCRIBNER ON MARCH 21  Scribner came out for the 7th inning.  First guy was out.  Second guy, Scribner quickly fired a 1-2 count.  But!  ... Read More
quick first take on BPJ's fascinating idea
Posted by jemanji on 03/21/17
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. intro - can't get to a computer much today or tomorrow, so all apologies that I'm not thumbs-up'ing all the new bleacher bums.  Will return to that shortly, but in the meantime muchas gracias very much!  - Jeff. We were just getting a baseball-comments tsunami going and please don't let this distract.  :- )  The last 4-5 threads are really hoppin'.  Please enjoy them on Wednesday.  But for those who enjoy the "Life Is Sports" aspect to SSI: . ROHRSCHACH (INKBLOT) TEST BPJ asked us to put up a column on the Mandela Effect.  His comment was the first I'd heard about it, which is cool, because... Read More
and on Planet March 21 the visibility range is still two feet
Posted by jemanji on 03/21/17
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. The News Tribune's Bob Dutton has a fun article up about the 7 questions he had back on Feb. 20th.  Now we have a good idea of where each is going, though conclusions on few of them.  Let's follow along his 7 questions. . CAN VOGELBACH PLAY 1B? The TNT says:  'Bach is a slight favorite to make the team.  Like, 60-40, I guess.   Ryan Divish says -- he also has an info-taining piece up on the roster battles -- that 'Bach will be watched closely during April.  A scout also says, interestingly, that Danny Valencia is average or almost average defensively at 1B.  Coulda fooled me, but OK. Dr.... Read More
News Aggregator now too? Heh
Posted by jemanji on 03/21/17
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. THINK TANK as LOCAL-NEWS AGGREGATOR? Dept. KingCorran had a comment that stopped me short: . ... now I'm trimming the fat from my online reading as I prepare to move into satellite-fed internet land where the megas are costly, but pretty much every decision comes down to, "How much of this information do I not need because it's going to come up and be discussed MORE thoroughly at SSI?" . Hmmmmm.  So if you're a new commentor, and maybe thinking of tossing a 3-sentence comment potato into the stew pot now and then ... one great way to do it is to simply post a link to something we've missed... Read More
commenters, bring it. Like Paxton.
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/17
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. "LOW-QUALITY COMMENTS" 1.  It IS as easy as one line.   The threads read better with a 1:2, 1:3 ratio of 1 Wishhiker, Sherminator essays to every 2-3 offhand one-liners.  I promise it will read better.  As it is, comments threads are like hacking through essay jungles with a machete. . 2.  Take Silentpadna and RockiesJeff as icons here.  You enjoy their short Hellos, doncha? . 3.  Have heard this for 20 years.  By 20 we mean, "twenty years."  The regulars leave nothing for the occasionals to say!  But!  YOU like it when the occasionals post, right?  So post anything.  I hate, hate, hate the... Read More
and mixing metaphors, Dr. D always loved stew as much as tokes
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/17
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. OK, 2 pm.  Is it about lunchtime? Was a little tired last night, around 4 am, but sighed and sat down to get the mornin' macchiato up last night rather than this afternoon.  Hoping to read some M's stuff rather than write it.  The Denizens graciously threw 14x chips at the dealer ... well, actually they probably were thinking more in terms of talking baseball :- ) but you know whutuhmean. We axs for some comments, amigos indulge us, and KingCorran sez . Tell you what, Doc... ...as soon as I find an original angle to share, I'll do so. =) You guys writing and commenting here make my... Read More
roster battles galore
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/17
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but before we get to the roster battles EVEN MORE ON THAT DREW SMYLY GAME IceX linked us to this Fangraphs article, warning that Drew Smyly could be up for a breakout year.  Great link IceX thank you viddy much.  Any Denizen who didn't click thru Ice's link gotta go get it right Now.  From Sullivan no less.  He is sticking to just the fa'ax, ma'am, and he calmly underlines the fact that when established pitchers gain any significant velocity, they have big seasons. Because Sullivan was confining himself to "pure sabermetrics" (MPH-vs-ERA) he didn't even touch on the key to the VENZ game,... Read More
life is pink, pink is life Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/18/17
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. On this date, that is. Yeah, were the Mariners ever "in the pink."  Used to be a saying.  Rick will know; dunno if Shermy will. . WBC-SAN Dr. D had kinda-sorta written Iwakuma off.  Well, 40% written him off coming into the season -- high IP last year -- and 50% written him off after that first, depressing, TV game.   But Bill Krueger, smiling likably as always, ticked off the points on his fingers and then concluded "I expect him to pitch at a very high level this year."  Maybe you remember how Lee "Dragon Lady" Grant hates Albert Brooks, but then Meryl Streep stops by Grant's table in the... Read More
and a tank thrown in, too
Posted by jemanji on 03/18/17
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. FELIX The Mighty Sherminator has a sparkling comment up on the WBC game.  Just watched the USA-VEN tape late night myself.  Have just a couple of thoughts to add on Felix, later in the comments.  He reminded me a little more of the 2015 King Felix (as opposed to pre-2015 Ultra King Felix or the 2016 Felix) -- I see this 2017 Felix (vs. USA, anyway) as a bankable #2, maybe more.  But see Sherm. He threw a new pitch, too:  the low-away changeup, kind of like a David Cone slider.  He'd always thrown the dry spitter right down the middle, starting at the knees and dropping below them.  At the... Read More
we been wantin' one (a Gardner) for years now
Posted by jemanji on 03/16/17
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. Amigos wondering whether Gamel's "Major League Equivalency" is cause for worry or celebration.  It's probably the latter.  As Matt points out, the default assumption is that if you took an established .286/.341/.390 major league veteran, then he could have been presumed to hit Ben Gamel's slash line in 2016.  Results vary, of course; it's just a stat, not the end of the discussion. If Gamel is as fast as they say -- and he did have 14 triples in 2015 -- then .286/.341/.390 would probably make him a factor in the American League.  That's even if he weren't 23 and developing (so that his .286... Read More
Candid photo of the inventor MARCEL hard at work
Posted by SABR Matt on 03/16/17
16 Comments

I was reticent to post on this topic, if only because Doc's shtick is far...far more fun than math formulas and how they're obtained. Doc has, however, been fishing for alternative content - I think we exhaust him by making him do most of the talking! Ultimately, I decided to post on HQ's MLEs because the way the system works is actually interesting (to an egghead...OK...I'm being liberal with the word interesting, but cut a math geek some slack :D ) An MLE (Major League Equivalency) is an attempt to project a player's likely MLB statistics would look like if you transitioned him to the big... Read More
yes, it's a poor system, saith he
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/17
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From Sickels's list: Kyle Lewis - small school bat who blew out his ACL. I looooooove this guy, but his two knocks are perceived level of competition and health.  He's also at least 3 years away IMO. Tyler O'Neill - with him it's all pitch recognition. Is he more Nelson Cruz or Carlos Peguero?  It took Cruz a few years and some PEDs to put it together.  Bodybuilding frames always carry some concern in baseball (think: Ruben Sierra destroying the middle part of his career because he lifted too much and lost flexibility).  Still a big fan of Tank, too. Nick Neidert - I like his arm, but... Read More
no, that's NOT a "halo'ed" Renaissance painting
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/17
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. They say Jim Morrison didn't like to sing "Light My Fire," primarily because he didn't think of it.  His keyboard player did.  Similarly, it is with heavy heart that Dr. D signs off on Mitch Haniger as ROY candidate.  In my demurral to Matt's Best Bet, I've got to acknowledge that his side of the proposition was ... um ... perhaps ... not as false ... as I might wish it would be. WHEW glad I got that off my chest . Haniger is slugging .806, but his OBP is only .500, so don't get too excited.  ... my earlier complaint about SABRMatt's best bet was merely that we hadn't seen him play.  Well,... Read More
Happy K-Pax Day? Why, yes, yes it was
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/17
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. K-PAX v2.0 You're going to win so much that you beg Paxton "please, can we stop winning" and he's going to tell you No.  We are going to keep winning.  The same goes for SSI rapture following said wins.  If you don't like Pro's vs Joe's embarrassment, don't watch Paxton games and certainly don't click over to SSI basking in Paxton's glory the next morning. The White Sox' run was flukish.  A solo home run on a 3-2 fastball, 95 MPH, that was not possible to hit.  Remember, Sanchez is right handed, so this mighta hit him in the thigh if he'd been crowding the plate: . . Except for that,... Read More
Finally we have found the correct incentive for Panda (and Jonez)
Posted by jemanji on 03/14/17
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. Disrespecting Mariners!  Perhaps that has been my fault! . AND HE DRAWS KUNG FU PANDA OUT!  :: crowd goes wild :: Russ (Silentpadna, from D-O-V circa 1995) can tolerate Dr. D's pessimism no longer, and at long last is moved to throw a knifehand at his tormentor.  He sez . [You're not really married to Gallardo.]  You're spending the $12M for something.  A healthy org would consider it a sunk cost if he tanks, but can also justify the investment if it indeed does have the effect of galvanizing the back end of the staff for competition. If they hit Keno on Gallardo (lottery would be young... Read More
have command, will travel
Posted by jemanji on 03/13/17
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. We've mentioned that a good AA/AAA pitcher has to have SOME thing he does EXCELLENTLY if he wants the bright lights and big city.  Cha Seung Baek kinda had four pitches and he did everything decently.  That's a good PCL pitcher.  A quality American League pitcher has a bread-and-butter weapon of SOME kind -- amazing command, or a parachute changeup, or something. Dr. D purports to list a handful! of things Andrew Moore does better than AAA pitchers do them.  But hey now, Andrew Moore is not the 19-year-old Felix Hernandez.  He's not on any top 10 prospect lists.  There has to be something... Read More
no, these are not Haniger bats. They are Baobab trees
Posted by jemanji on 03/12/17
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. TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY The Peoria Mariners started off 5-1 and we warned you, we WARNED you, that the "Mariners" :: finger quote marks :: were about to go 7-19 while the Dominican ran roughshod over the Global Series.  As a group, you doubted me.  But again Sunday, the Angels crushed the Mariners like a juice box.  Lowering the Mariners' record to 10-6, which is more or less 7-19.  Are you ever going to stop questioning us? It'll turn around.  Global baseball is contracting soon, and the Dominican Republic is merging with the Pacific Rim Mariners to form one galactic-class Real Madrid type... Read More
no, that's NOT Trout and Pujols taking on Zeus. Guess again
Posted by jemanji on 03/12/17
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. Jerry Dipoto's latest fanciful trade moved Fangraphs to protest.  Well, at least one of their commenters protested ... that his fantasy LEAGUE had never totalled 43 (?) trades in any calendar year.  Fangraphs itself said, . “We had a much more targeted list of players who we felt fit our needs,” explained Dipoto. “Last year, when I first got here, we didn’t want to start trading off, wholesale, players from the minor leagues who we didn’t know and hadn’t had a chance to evaluate. But we knew we had needs (and) we filled those needs with one-year players, like Adam Lind, Dae-Ho Lee, Nori... Read More
pleasant surprises, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/17
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. Our old friend Steve Nelson used to do a great job reminding us that --- > we get too tempted to figure "18 guys will have normal years and 7 guys will have good years."  In reality, said Steve, NOBODY is going to have the same year as last year.  Figure on as many of them going down, as going up.  Unless your team is very young. Whattaya know, this last week Bill James did some studies on that question.  He's got two studies up as to the questions, "When a team wins the pennant, how many of their guys have good years?  How many NEED to have good years?"  and related.  He set up the... Read More
I got dibs on Jean Segura having one
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/17
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. We'll remember again that James' fine study -- see the front page of Bill James Online for the article, which is probably behind the paywall -- has its limitations.  Every player is a +1 or a -1, regardless.  If James Paxton goes 25-3, 1.97 and Felix goes 15-10, 3.75, that's going to be plus one and minus one versus career norms.   Also, if Hisashi Iwakuma does a little skosh better in terms of K's, BB's, HR's, etc but only pitches 90 innings, that's a +1. But still.  It means SOMETHING when you say "the Cubs last year were +17 -8.  The Indians last year were +13.  The Royals in 2015 were +... Read More
get you some English football for a little perspective
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/17
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. Objectively speaking, Chris Heston was 12-11, 3.95 in the National League two years ago.  Objectively speaking, on Friday he was throwing a remarkable swerveball -- 89 MPH but an armside runnnn as though he gouged a huge piece out of the ball on the 3B side and then threw it with perfect backspin.  Objectively speaking, Chris Heston has always had a very high groundball rate despite a lack of much downward movement on his pitches. But what the Mainframe loved, loved, loved, was the "finish" on his pitches.  Heston is a Tim Hudson fanboy and he threw every pitch as if WILLING it to its... Read More
somethin' tells me I ain't gonna like this
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/17
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. Everybody sez, "Write what you know."  Unfortunately, the market for web content on bizarre rains of animals isn't lucrative.  So Dr. D writes what OTHER people know.  Moe sez, . Matt, has any study been done on spin rates and fly ball carry?  Golfers know, for example, that with a particular ball velocity, there is a spin rate that maximizes carry. Tour golfers go to great lengths to maximize length (with the driver) by matching spin and launch speed.  In general, the higher the launch speend the more you want to reduce spin to get greater distance.  Balls respond differently to... Read More
strangers in a strange stadium, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/17
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. Jerry Dipoto talks about pitch tunnels.  You will love this Baseball Prospectus .gif.  LOVE it, or your money back.   ... I think that by "tunnels" Dipoto is more referring to the idea of throwing a fast pitch and a slow pitch down the same tunnel, as Mark Melancon preaches.  But still. . If you didn't see it in the other article, there is a tsunami of "Groundballs Stink" momentum this spring.  Here's J.D. Martinez talking about it again.  Along the same lines, here again is Fangraphs' Travis Sawchik giving the OPS+ on fly balls as 139, and the OPS+ on grounders at 27.  Of course line... Read More
the sun is rising... on the M's rotation, that is
Posted by jemanji on 03/09/17
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. WBC-SAN Was in a rocking chair from pitch one.  Granted, that rocking chair swayed very gently, to the tune of about 86 MPH.  But 'Kuma was in command of all four pitches, even throwing a handful of slow overhand change curves that were very effective, breaking shoulder to knee.  Jamie Moyer prime velocity is fine.  It's that extra step back from 86-88 that leaves you at 83 MPH and it's not do-able any more.  Kuma threw 86-88 leisurely, and early in the eyar. Lot of discussion lately about "command" vs "control" in the strike zone.  The command, sez they, is making the ball break WHEN you... Read More
M's 9, stRangers 0
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/17
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. MAX POVSE First look for SSI Denizens.  Two innings, easy grok.  That being, if Max Povse were to execute these pitches exactly, he would easily win 15 games in the American League.  Plus or minus two games, of course.  We never want to get outlandish here. Povse threw a nice long (94'ish) fastball.  (I'll take Brooks and the eye test, at 94, versus MLB.com's 90.  Could be wrong.)  And he threw it from 6++ feet down to the kneecaps, but that wasn't the point.  His command ... let's give GameDay's location on the three AB's from the 5th inning.  We're not even going to tell you who the... Read More
they'll sell these for millions some day
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/17
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. This winter was like survival rations on Sir Edmund's expedition to the Antarctic.  Boil and re-boil the coffee grounds until they're pure white, and then make hot water off those and call it light coffee.  Heh!  Well, Sunday the provisions boat arrived.  Let's stuff! Only saw the first three innings, but it felt like twenty glorious innings.  Whatever happened after that, please insert promptly into the comments area. . FELIX First inning.  Sick look on Felix' face as well as Dr. D's.  No gun working; depth on his fastball is a nice surprise.  His aim, isn't.  Ruiz spots the glove low-away... Read More
Konspiracies need not apply on this one
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/17
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. Hey, man.  Since Korners get 50 replies real quick and since Felix gets 4, you have only your ownselves to blame.  :- ) .... There is a scintillating comments area at my second site, Detect-O-Vision, on the question of whether Donald Trump's political successes are due to his being smart, or his being lucky, as it were.  Lampoon and Mr. Jonez especially have all sorts of thoughts that never occurred to me.  Personally I have tended to come down on the side of his being lucky.  By "lucky" I mean that he's clumsy, sloppy, but INADVERTENTLY cut from the perfect cloth to overachieve as One Man... Read More
blank chalkboard, scribble graffiti at will
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/17
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. THE RUSSIA / "WIRETAPPING" NEWS CYCLE TODAY Speaking from a COMPLETELY politically neutral viewpoint on this next bit ...  and no, the "Trump vs CNN/NYT" characterization is not partisan on my part, thank you very much.  ;- ) All three parties are open enough at this point as to their running feud.  They hashtag each other. Here, get oriented with this little Dilbert cartoon first.  We're not commenting on whether Trump is right or not; we're commenting on the AMAZING fact that Trump's tweets have worked so often. Saturday and Sunday were the first days in which I thought that the... Read More
the king is dead. long live the king
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/17
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. In Jeff Sullivan's Fangraphs chat on Friday, somebody lobbed in a question about the three most interesting March stories.  Incisively, Sullivan pointed out that Felix is one of his three because "he has something to prove" and, you can fill in your own details as to why that's more interesting than Tyler Motter having something to prove also.  That pitchers go through career transitions at the 2,000 IP mark, we knew.  That some of them fail, and that some of them do great, we also knew.  What we did not know, was specifically how he would attempt this.  Fortunately, Dr. D says modestly,... Read More
as to the argument that he's a DH:
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/17
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. FIRST HALF OF POST Craazzzzzy how many subplots we get to watch this year.  Neh? . SECOND HALF OF POST Fangraphs has a fresh KATOH article up bragging that the system called Edwin Diaz last year, and that it's calling Dan Vogelbach this year.  Chris Mitchell wrote it, and in a really fun format.  Dig in, amigo.   Mitchell allows the scouts equal time to demur on each Katoh Heroh.  In 'Bach's case, they simply laugh him off the field at first base.  That's all, next subject.  And though Denizens might assume this to be overstated, in Vogelbach's situation there was a -35 runs performance... Read More
you gotta have a catcher. else there'd be a lot of balls to the backstop
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/17
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. It's been at least three days since we promo'ed the Founding Father, and I'm getting jittery.  Hence . There was a quirky little piece the other day in the New York Times called "Baseball's Too Slow. Here's How to Fix It." Some absurd suggestions, but many authors (it was a joint piece) picked up on the commercial breaks, the pitching changes, batters stepping outside the box, the visits to the mound, etc. Victor Mather, one of the authors, had a great quote: "Vigilant and rigorous eradication of nonbaseball will give us the same dose of baseball in far less time." I really liked that line... Read More
a roster crammed full of epic talent... and that's just the bench
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/17
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. FIZZLER:  CACTUS LEAGUE PENNANT RACE Seattle's 5-1 record is stained by a rotation appearance from He Who Must Not Be Named.  Even worse, they're about to be 7-and-16 in two weeks, because the World is helping itself to huge Arcade Claw servings of Mariners. Ah, well, at least Hisashi Iwakuma still loves us.  Ask not what you can do for your country, Hisashi, ask rather what you can do for Dr. D.  May he pitch a great many more seasons for us. . SIZZLER:  GUILLERMO HEREDIA Bat571's pet center fielder has seven hits in twelve at-bats, which, easy for you to say from your mother's basement... Read More
somebody taught this kid a pretty good delivery
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/17
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. Rockies* coach, Great First Name and All-Around Nice Guy Jeff Gwinn sent along an update on his son, who many of us have been following since high school: . Distinguished Gentlemen and Esteemed Columnists of Baseball (even politics) Extraordinaire, Just wanted you to know that Jeremy is going to leave on Thursday morning to drive to AZ for the Royals'  Minor League Camp for Spring Training. This ought to be a great experience and so different than being  there during the summer when few people were there. He has no idea of what the next step will be. I will  let you know what is going on.... Read More
Layering, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/01/17
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. G-Moneyball sez, . Mariners are playing the Replace Iwakuma Game for next season, and that's fine.  They'll have to replace Gallardo this season to because that guy looks like french toast.  Gotta have a lot of stop-gap arms if this season is playoffs or bust as it should be with the core sans Seager aging out. Gotta have enough material for a mid-season upgrade too, and the farm is trash especially once Moore and O'Neill get here. Taking a draw at having another arm that can start lighting it up isn't a bad plan. De Jong is one of those accurate 4-pitch righties who just got people out... Read More
attack mode, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/01/17
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. In the Hey Bill section at BJOL, some 'net rat had browsed through the ten-year archives and come up with juicy.  Always worked for me.  It's a new book if you haven't read it, no? In 2008 John Dewan had pointed out that MLB hitters do much, MUCH better in the first three pitches of an at-bat than they do on pitches 4-20.  Kidding about the twenty.  Not kidding about the much.  Dewan gives .301/.317/.467 as the average hitter in a short at-bat compared to .223/.352/.348 in a long one.  Logically it would seem to be even more true ten years on, when the risk of a strikeout is ever-greater.  ... Read More