July 2017

moments that mattered
Posted by jemanji on 08/01/17
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. MOMENT 1  =  FELIX COUGHS UP 4 EARLY Bill Krueger was about as disgusted as a guy like him can get, which is not very, after Felix grooved a high slowball to Rougned Odor.  If you just joined us, Odor is a bad-ball swinger (not hitter) of Vladian proportions.  You don't have to give him many strikes, much less many teeballs.  Krueg's take on Felix' early "sloppiness" matched Dr. D's own take.  Sloppiness from Felix Hernandez, in a pennant-race showdown with Cole blinkin' Hamels, is weird on a lotttttttt of levels. When Felix trudged off the mound after 2 innings, the calculator gave the... Read More
But guess who's coming to dinner
Posted by jemanji on 08/01/17
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. MILD-DISAPPOINTMENT TIMELINE . 1.  SSI Denizens had been advised that Jerry Dipoto bolstered his rotation with Erasmo Ramirez and Marco Gonzalez.  We were prepared for nothing on July 31 and we got a big heapin' helpin' of it. 2.  We heard that Sonny Gray was traded to the New York Yankees.  For Fowler, Kaprielian and Mateo, which are roughly speaking the Yankees' #4, #8 and #12 prospects.  Doesn't sound like much, but then again there have been times our #2 prospect has been compared to somebody else's #18 prospect, so whaddoo I know. 2a.  Couldn't find much around the 'net that usefully... Read More
Dr. D remembers when finding such CF's was unpossible
Posted by jemanji on 07/29/17
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. Here was a Sully chat snippet that made Dr. D scratch his head: . Cary: Dave said in a chat that there’s no way the Mariners offer Dyson a QO. Why would that be a no brainer, if they thought he’ll be worth ~2.5 wins next year? The same thought applies to anyone with that value. Isn’t a one year deal at roughly market value either A) worth it on its own, or B) worth the upside of getting a pick? 10:04 Jeff Sullivan: Dyson doesn’t have the skillset that the market actually values at 2.5 or 3.5 wins or whatever. As a defense and baserunning player, he’s still a guy whose market value... Read More
caution: rant ahead
Posted by jemanji on 07/29/17
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. Out of no mood other than sympathy, let me say.  The worst possible place to be sucker-punched is, in the upper teeth, just under the nose, bending the nose up with everything else.  One time a fight I know of consistent of one sucker punch, an uppercut to just that area.  The victim was weeks recovering. At 95 MPH? However much you think that hurt, it hurt a lot more. .... I never, never, never understood the "machismo" of the Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens people who thought this showed toughness.  To stand 20 yards away, wind up carefully, and throw in the vicinity of another person's head -... Read More
Darth Sidious Brings his Lightsaber
Posted by mojician on 07/28/17
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Did you ever hear the tragedy of Kitt Fisto? He was a promising young squid thingy Jedi who was savagely run through by the Dark Lord of the Sith without uttering a single line of dialogue in the prequel trilogy. Observe: Kitt Gets Hammered. That's kind of how the chess rematch between Jemanji and I went.  Since SSI lacks Yoda, Anakin and Mace Windu types, it fell on me to serve the arrest warrant on the kindly old SSI Emperor.   Here's how that turned out: Mojo v. Doc game 1 7/28/2017 In this game, I was planning on castling queenside and launching a pawnstorm and everything else I had at... Read More
As #5 starters go, Dr D takes this guy all. day. long.
Posted by jemanji on 07/28/17
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. Q.  Does he start or reieve? A.  Dipoto liked his "versatility," which was what Dipoto said about Phelps.  Though Phelps' ability to start games is off the table this year. Also the Gray rumors were held to be "nonsense" from the beginning, so you Kyle Lewis sighs can breathe a sigh of heavy relief.  We seem to have 2-to-make-1 from Marc-O and Erasm-O.  Dr. D could think of a whale of a lot worse. . Q.  Where has Erasmo been these last three years in Tampa?  Has he evolved? A.  When he left, his arsenal was: √ 92-93 straight fastball, thrown into a teacup, Maddux-like mechanics, super still... Read More
Posted by Bat571 on 07/27/17
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I'm just going to list these links. Well worth your time for background on pitcher development / injury rehab. https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2017/6/13/15782420/kyle-boddy-drivelin... https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2017/6/13/15783088/kyle-boddy-drivelin... https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2017/6/13/15783536/kyle-boddy-drivelin... UCL tears are no longer an end to a career,  but so much more is going on.
Pride Goeth Before Destruction Department
Posted by mojician on 07/26/17
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Hikaru Nakamura once said that the line between a great chess tournament and a horrible one is paper thin. You might be asking yourself: 1. Who is Hikaru Nakamura? 2. Why is Mojo talking about him? 3. Aren't chess koans that apply in zenlike ways to the rest of life the exclusive domain of Doc? Here are your answers:  1. Hikaru Nakamura is one of the top ten chess players in the world, and maybe the best speed chess player in the world. 2.  I was once (May of 2017) a 900 rated chess bum trying to retool my game to cut down on blunders, get my bishops and knights in better positions and... Read More
down to their final strike, M's get busy
Posted by jemanji on 07/26/17
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. GUILLERMO HEREDIA Most amusing for the Dungeon Master that just as he declared Heredia the Billy Beane Wandering Monster off the 1d8 behind his Mainframe screen ... that Heredia promptly tore the Boston delver party to shreds with his bare claws.  And cleats.  His sting attack into the short LF porch took out 70% of the Boston hit points in the first round and then --- > Heredia finished them with his gaze weapon in the 13th: √ Gamel on 1B two out √ Fister quickly worked an 0-2 or 1-2 count; you could hear the resignation in the booth √ Heredia stared at the mound and ticked pitches away... Read More
Oh! I'm sorry. That two strike curve was disgusting.
Posted by jemanji on 07/25/17
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. Sudden thought.  Does this generation call them the BoSox?  ... hm ... . Q.  Okay, the facts of the matter first.  Let's start our coffee with "hard" data. A.  Those being: √ 78 fastballs vs. only 10 foshball/cutters and 14 knuckle curves.  That's probably the highest lightning-bolt ratio of Zeus' career. √ Zeus' last 6 games against Houston and Boston:  43 IP, 0.39 ERA. √ Boston #30 in the majors for first-pitch swings.  #15 in the AL for hitting strikeouts.  A remarkable combo when you're taking deep counts. √ Paxton with 24 of 25 first-pitch fastballs.  24/25 !! √ and 20 of 24 second-... Read More
hey, who ordered a GWRBI with extra shrooms?
Posted by jemanji on 07/25/17
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. Q.  Did Servais say that was the FIRST center field homer of K-Swag's ENTIRE CAREER at Safeco? A.  He's a little guy compared to Boomstick.  Seager is really good at pulling the ball in the air when he gets his pitch.  It rather underlines the way Kyle Seager has cut a major league career like a Bansai tree, through intelligence and force of will. Despite his somewhat-low BABIP this year, his stats are floating back up towards his career norms.  He's slugging .440 on the year (in Safeco) and the SLG is .524 the last month.  There are few predictions the Mainframe makes with a 95%... Read More
Place your prospects on the table, and back away slowly
Posted by jemanji on 07/25/17
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. Q.  Would Dr. D mortgage the future for Sonny Gray? A.  He thoroughly enjoyed Zoom's impassioned plea for the M's to steer far clear of this land mine.  A convincing case-against it is, too. Unfortunately for those with a physical aversion to getting train-robbed by a horseback Billy Beane wearing a kerchief over his face, "a source with knowledge of the team's thinking" -- that would be either Dipoto himself or the medium John Edward, we suppose -- said "he is going for it these next two years," going completely in. As a general rule Dr. D is pleased to take back the best player in any... Read More
and here comes da second judge of the morning
Posted by jemanji on 07/24/17
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. Bat571 and Billy Zoom are impressively un-impressed by the Think Tank's tirade against the Tank deal.  Winning a minors argument against G-Money (and Dr. D among others) is about as easy as taking down Johnny Cochrane in open court, but ... Bat571 sez . If you look at his Brooks Baseball player card, it looks as though he was still sorting out his release point in '14. As he did, his velocity crept up. The Cardinals used him against the Dodgers and Giants in that post-season, so somebody saw something. So, we got a TJ-recovering southpaw who was considered a top prospect when his release... Read More
Here came da Judge(s) ...
Posted by jemanji on 07/24/17
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. Quoth DaddyO: . Didn't watch today's game, but the MLB play log shows Motter, as a pinch runner after a Cruz leadoff single, got picked off with the team trailing 6-4 in the 9th inninig. That is BRAIN-DEAD! That is inexcusable. Tee ball? Sure. But Major League Baseball? His run meant ZERO. His remaining a "live" baserunner and avoiding outs meant EVERYTHING. There was nothing to be gained by taking a long lead off first. I can only assume he didn't pay attention. Did anyone watch it? Have any insight into what happened? No wonder this team can't stay above .500. All I can say is, Motter was... Read More
the balance sheet
Posted by jemanji on 07/22/17
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. CAVEATS and QUID PRO QUO's Dept. The Mainframe would like to have this trade back.  We're not trying to grovel a paper trade victory here. . ZOOM ZOOM Dept. Billy Zoom nailed a prediction on a Cards-or-Dodgers ML ready starter for an M's outfielder.  That, amigos, is quite a call.  Bat571 seems to have been with him; check me on that because nothing against Bat but my memory is worthless.  :- ) Neither Zoom or Dipoto are selling Gonzalez as an elite prospect; Dipoto withheld his "premium prospects" exactly because he didn't get the young TOR he craved.  But Zoom is willing to chime in... Read More
pulling the string, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/22/17
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. LHP with STRAIGHT CHANGEUP You're wayyyyy too familiar with Dr. D's liking of left hand pitchers with yo-yo changeups and life on their fastballs.  In fact the only three LHP's recently who featured straight changeups with decent heat were Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and the young Johan Santana, which was why we liked the Danny Hultzen lotto ticket.  A template doesn't always pan out, but it broadens the bandwidth of success. Again, Mark Melancon explained why a straight changeup, if well sold, limits a hitter's subliminal cues on the pitch. A great change makes the batter see the pitch... Read More
the King is dead, long live the King dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/22/17
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. SIZZLER - The King! Posted his first dominant performance in approximately a time, times and half a time.  If "time" be six months to a year, that is. The more that Felix v3.0 "pitches backwards," passing offspeed pitches to set up the fastball off tackle runs, the better Dr. D likes it.  Thursday he pitched Japanese, with 28 dry spitters and 20 yakkers with 19 sliders, against only 40 fastballs.  Which he painted carefully, the picture of focus and concentration as he stepped around the Sanchez/Judge/et al pipe bombs. Blowers aptly put it, Felix doesn't have a power fastball any more but... Read More
as with Mike Montgomery, the tasty part is picking a role
Posted by jemanji on 07/20/17
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. In Spring Training this year, Fangraphs' Alex Chamberlain made Phelps one of his "Ten Fearless Predictions" or somesuch.  The prediction:  that Phelps would be a Top of Rotation (TOR) starter.  Top 60 is what he said technically; if you shuffled 60 baseball cards and dealt them out to each team, they'd get two each, so, TOR.  Phelps and Mike Montgomery were his two hunches for SP. Dipoto gave us about 25 words on Phelps :- ) a few of which were to the subject of Phelps' versatility, that he can spot start.   .... And even give you lockdowns from that #6SP role:  Here is Chamberlain's... Read More
throws a fastball, a hard cutter and a curve
Posted by jemanji on 07/20/17
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. Mainframe grok of NL short man David Phelps later in the afternoon.  'Till then we start with some of the Denizens: . SABRMatt  Don't know who they are yet...this isn't the type of asset I'd want to give anything too close to the big leagues in terms of prospects for...so...let's see who it is. But Phelps will definitely help the Mariner bullpen find some stability and take the pressure off of badly-overused options like Vincent and Pazos. Supposedly, one of the minor leaguers is a center fielder and the other three are pitchers. Dang...FOUR players for Phelps? . Ya, which is the M's... Read More
Perhaps the Astros signed a ball for posterity
Posted by jemanji on 07/19/17
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. THE LIGHTNING THIEF, Dept. Sorry.  Didn't have time to see the game.  Have to go off the video, the Brooks report, and the Think Tank Library of Infinite Wisdom.  Remember Albert Brooks and Rip Torn in Defending Your Life?  "You read NUMBERS?!"  "Yes Sir."  Thusly: Brooks Baseball sez √ HMMMmmmmmm twice in a row, zero changeups.  Three games ago, the change was a nice weapon.  Inference: Zeus' touch-and-feel has left him three shudder-inducing primary weapons. √ HHHMMmmmm 77% fastball strikes.  63% foshballs, 72% yakkers.  Must have been filling it up.  The defining characteristic of a Zeus... Read More
unfortunately not pictured below: Valencia -before- the fateful Holland pitch
Posted by jemanji on 07/17/17
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. SOX 6 ... No excuses for Andrew Moore.  He was never going to throw 100% quality starts.  And if he doesn't actively impose a sense of confusion on hitters, he is subject to getting beaten soundly about the head and shoulders.  As is Hisashi Iwakuma. We talked last week about the fact that most pulled fly balls are off 'tasty' pitches.  The first two homers off Moore were not tasty ... as such, in a vacuum.  They were executed exactly as Zuumball called them and set his mitt.  So how could a nicely-executed pitch wind up scattering the peanut hawkers?   Bill Krueger, aptly I thought, tut-... Read More
a year or two late mayhaps, Dr. D jumps on Felix' bandwagon
Posted by jemanji on 07/16/17
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. GOOD NEWS:  the SSI amigos watching the game thought Felix threw the ball well.  He is producing.  In 10 starts this year, he's got 5 clear quality starts and 3 that just missed:  5 IP and 1 ER on Saturday with a 5:0 CTL ... 5 IP and 2 ER on Opening Day with a 6:0 CTL ... 6.1 IP and 4 ER against the Marlins.  He is no longer giving us 8 IP and 1 ER but we are getting to the bullpen in good shape. . BAD NEWS:  the SSI blogger watching the first two innings thought to himself for the jillionth time, he's got to be VERY careful with that minus fastball.  Or somebody will smack it out of the... Read More
grimace vs gratitude, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/16/17
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. This "Player Handbook" entry by James would have been one of my favorites from his old Handbooks or Abstracts.  It would have been a classic with regard to any player, but in this case it gives closure to a long chapter in Seattle Mariners history.  Bill James Online still only $3 per month, a nominal fee in the literal sense.   Smoak is batting .290/.360/.560 with an 0.50 EYE and after just 89 games, Smoak's 23 homers are easily his career high.  First James' essay, then a few SSI thoughts as applied to Seattle: . Bill, speaking of what is going on with Zimmerman, what is going on with... Read More
wasn't as close as the scoreboard had it
Posted by jemanji on 07/15/17
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. TOP HALF From the MLB.com wrap on the game, here is James Shields regretting the "mistake" that led to Cano's decisive 3-run shot: . White Sox right-hander James Shields went six innings for the third time in eight starts this season, but couldn't get out of his trouble in the third. After giving up a walk and a single to lead off the inning, Shields left an 85.6-mph cutter over the heart of the plate and Cano homered to give Seattle a 3-1 lead. The Mariners added another run when Shields' fifth-inning wild pitch allowed Jean Segura to score, leaving the veteran right-hander on the hook for... Read More
About 30% of his pitches, to be candid
Posted by jemanji on 07/15/17
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. James Shields rued the moment he left an 87 MPH cutter out over the plate against Robinson Cano on Friday.  Here's a point we think is worth making very clear. The interviews might leave you with the impression that pitchers only throw one or two "meatballs" per game.  The actual percentage of pitches left middle-middle or middle-up is 22% of all major league pitches, not 2%.  Don't let them tell you that pitchers can hit their spots to within 2-4 inches each time, and that walks are tremendous flukes.  I don't know why MLB managers and pitching coaches say this after the game, "He just... Read More
Lessons learned while the grownups are busy
Posted by rick82 on 07/14/17
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I'm not sure what brings me more joy than to know that young boys are out there having fun playing baseball. I prefer sandlot ball, without adult supervision, where boys learn to cooperate, take turns, and work out the rules of fairness. They learn to think: the rules of baseball are designed to make sense, in a spirit of cooperation. If you don't know the rules, you can usually figure them out, and get a consensus based on an internal logic. And if you have to adjust them, it's for the better. Hitting a ball over the fence is a home run. But the rules could have just as easily have evolved... Read More
and an un-pack of the deal that brought this happy scenario into play
Posted by jemanji on 07/14/17
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. ... rather be watching the White Sox than the Astros or Cubs on Friday, that is.  Speaking as a James Paxton fan. We link, you decide.  Here is a Paxton-Shields preview worth your time.  Plot spoiler:  if there's such a thing as an AL team you'd love to start your 2H with, it's lurking nearby.  Also, here's a ICYMI reminder that K-Pax' last start saw the return of Zeus, who is now 7-3, 3.21 despite the nicks, dings and youthful travails.  He's got a FIP of 2.85 and a WAR of 2.5, so Dr. D still waits breathlessly for the 5.0 mile marker later in the year. ... Out of sight, out of mind?  Not... Read More
Dr. D rejoices at the end of "expectation management"
Posted by jemanji on 07/14/17
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. This link from the Mariners' official site is a read worth reading, if you are a Mariners fan and you read.  If not you are unlikely to be offended by SSI's presumption upon your prefences.  Dipoto again Diploys visuals that are highly to Dr. D's liking: . "I don't think you'll see us add on the position players side, but we are going to go through the course of the next few weeks and see if there is a way that we can add to our pitching staff," Dipoto said. "Whether that is in the bullpen or rotation is TBD, but we know somewhere on that 12- or 13-man staff, we have to find a way somewhere... Read More
"out of the park" Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/13/17
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. Dr. D is not the sort of chap who enjoys wordsmithing as an exercise in fault-finding.  Looking at word choice as a way to add flavor or insight?  Sure!  Give me double potatoes and give it wings.  As a grammar-police way to establish intelligence?  Go on ahead without me. But this is the rare occasion where, for some reason unknown to me, a phrase kinda gets to me.  And it does James, I guess.  The first item in his public article "A Little Too Long to Be a Tweet," May 31 2017: .              Just a little thing that bothers me.   The Royals have a promotional tie-in in which, if a Royals... Read More
Yes Please
Posted by SABR Matt on 07/12/17
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An interesting topic is emerging from the comissioner's office of late. The league has a desire to expand to 32 team. Per MLBTR: Newman also notes that Manfred continues to have interest in expanding the league, though the commissioner said expansion will not become a prominent focus until the stadium issues for both the Rays and A’s are resolved. “I know the Mayor of Montreal has been very vocal about bringing baseball back to Montreal,” said Manfred. “Charlotte’s a possibility. And I’d like to think that Mexico City or some other place in Mexico would be a possibility.” https://www.... Read More
anything he can do ..... Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/10/17
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. FIRST 2 GAMES:  PESSIMISTIC MAINFRAME You know what we mean by pessimistic.  That Moore was going to be extremely limited in terms of star power.  A quality starter, yes definitely, but with a 6 foot 6 inch ceiling on his ERA cubicle.  ... And why's that, you say? ... In Moore's first two games, his 82 slider and his 76 change curve were "basically never swung at and missed," as Brooks aptly put it.  Not only did they generate no whuffs, but what was worse, they never had batters off-balance at all that I could see. Since his fastball is very ordinary, hitters could afford -- Dr. D believed... Read More
garbage in, garbage out Dept. :: wink ::
Posted by jemanji on 07/10/17
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. QUALITY STARTS We saw some good amigo, a smart analyst, complaining about Moore's first two "quality starts," that's a junk stat.  Because 6 IP, 3 ER, who cares about a 4.50 ERA?  Refutation:  How do we count the Ways.  :: sigh :: . 1)  Since when does ERA know its feet from the roots on a tree stump.  ... Really?  A saberdweeb pointing to ERA in order to bring us up to date?  :: sigh :: . 2) 6 IP, 3 ER is a minimum.  Suppose we told you Mike Zunino was about to go on a 40-game hitting streak, right now.  Would you find this prospect to be acceptable?  "um, no, who cares - that means he'll... Read More
I'm Wit' Bill
Posted by jemanji on 07/10/17
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. An especially to-the-point Hey Bill today: . This year's trendy stats have been launch angle and exit velocity. Now, when I'm watching a game, I can tell the difference between a fly ball and a line drive, and I can tell how hard a ball is hit. I don't need Euclid to plot it out for me like I'm in math class. Can't I just appreciate the picture? Do they chart the parabola after Steph Curry swhishes a 30 footer? After Aaron Rodgers throws a bomb? No, because you can see them right in front of you.     So launch angle and exit velocity are irritating to me, plus I don't know what value I'm... Read More
with one or two exceptions, the league looks very doable
Posted by jemanji on 07/10/17
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. ALL APOLOGIES, Dept. Didn't have much of a chance to get to the shtick on Saturday night or Sunday.  But here's a comment stub amigos.  Hope that Aces Triple-Wired over the last three days will provoke a few chip-comments into the ASB pot?  :- )  Dr. D is not usually given to hyperbole, but he expects Moore to rip off the next 100-200 quality starts in a row, at a minimum.  . 1 Friday) was Zeus.  And a fourth pitch that looks like a factor.  Either Paxton is going to have to go back to struggling with his release point or they're going to have to change some rules or something. . 2 Saturday... Read More
... as it applies to July 31, of course
Posted by jemanji on 07/08/17
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. One of the things I love about Dilbert's blog is the focus on Systems vs Goals.  That, and the grandmasterly insights on weapons-grade persuasion techniques.  In the nineties we called them "power words," and even one of them could change a debate.  But Adams takes this to a whole new level. See if you can spot ;- ) the game-changing WORD in this Dipoto quote yesterday: . SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto acknowledged Friday that his team has "underperformed" over the last several weeks despite regaining many of its key injured players, but he fully believes the club is still... Read More
with a little help from his son Hercules
Posted by jemanji on 07/08/17
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. PREAMBLE.  The young TOR starter who debuted with a flash in 2013, that's K-Pax.  He throws a raging fastball for strikes, pretty much, and has 0.5 of an offspeed pitch.  Like a foshball that's off and on, or something.  He's about the #14 pitcher in the league. The lightning storm who throws 70% strikes, and whose fastball "plays up" due to a decently reliable offspeed game, that's Zeus. Coming off the DL, Paxton has gained acceleration, though not at a perfectly linear pace, naturally.  Graphs upward tend to have some zags in them.  The graph hit "Zeus" on Friday. . DESCRIPTION.  Zeus... Read More
okay then. let's complete that yellow rotation color-group?
Posted by jemanji on 07/07/17
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. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT As y'know, we live to serve. Divish says that the Mariners are watching Felix and Andrew Moore most closely as we go into the Dog Days thinking about trades.  ... Here is a quick reminder that trading for August and trading for 2018-19 is not an either-or, zero sum game.  The deal for Jean Segura was not necessarily a wild, all-in bet on 2017 just because it helped Now.  Neither would a deal for Sonny Gray be the exact moral equivalent of a mindless scream "Blast The Torpedoes Full Speed Ahead!" It is a curious and amusing trait of the Big Blogs that they love to... Read More
we're ALL day to day, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/07/17
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. Bill James Online started in 2007.  One of the first of his 600 essays in that time was called "End Game."  It was late May 2007, and the Yankees were already -14 games out with a 21-29 record; James' son asked him if they were dead.  He used that as a jumping-off point and started his public essay, . How do you know when a team is virtually eliminated? There is a point in a pennant race at which a team has not been technically eliminated, but they’re just not going to win. They’re not dead, they’re as good as dead. Twenty games out in late August. . .you’re not theoretically eliminated,... Read More
enough! comedy! jokes!
Posted by jemanji on 07/06/17
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.  MIRANDA 5 IP  5 H  6 R  6 ER  2 BB  6 K Sherminator with a cascade of interesting and accurate thoughts on the entire M's rotation at this locale.  As to Miranda he sez . -Do we expect Miranda to go 8/10, or even 6/10 lockdowns from here? Serious question. I like the guy, but I'll believe it when I see it. His ERA vs FIP last year was 3.88 to 5.25. Now it's 3.82 to 5.14. Is he the rare man who can routinely overperform his peripherals? I haven't heard a reason WHY yet, but would love to hear one. . Yes.  He's been pitching in nice luck.  No, of course Ariel Miranda is not a $200M pitcher... Read More
re-retiring 42
Posted by jemanji on 07/06/17
3 Comments

. The courage, dignity and class that Jackie Robinson showed was a big part of transforming our culture.  Bill James had an eloquent set of comments on Jackie's baseball life: . So it's the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby breaking the color barrier in MLB.  What is your take on Ben Chapman and Herb Pennock's roles in the harrassment that Robinson got that year?  Pennock was shown talking boycott,  while Chapman,  well if you saw '42' you know what I am getting at.  Was this accurate or was it telescoped?  Was Chapman esp. that bad? Asked by: Manushfan Answered: 7/6/2017... Read More
Tuesday Afternoon Tazoberry, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 07/05/17
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. The MINOR point is that --- > Yes.  it's very frustrating to wait this long for the Mariners to get hot.  Your feelings are hurt and they Should be hurt.  This has been a forlorn experience to date.  The M's are -3 below .500 and need a little run to +3 before they can talk Wild Card again. The MAJOR point is that baseball is much more fun than weeding your garden in 85-degree heat.  Baseball is like ... um, PIZZA!, yeah, that's the ticket, it's like pizza in that when it's bad, it's still pretty good.  Bill James once said, "a ballplayer making a million dollars and wanting more is... Read More
very nearly into Best Bet territory here
Posted by jemanji on 07/04/17
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. Suburbs Guy pointed out that Andrew Moore is only the 3rd Mariner to post two 7 IP quality starts in his first two games.  Moore is going to be consistently good, as opposed to terrifying.  But there is a place in the game for the Rick Porcellos, Mike Leakes, J.A. Happs and .. Hisashi Iwakumas.  Pitchers who will post 20 quality starts a year, even if they aren't in the top 10 Cy voting.  Much MORE is there a place for Hisashi Iwakuma if he's making the league minimum... Four things we admired in Andrew Moore's 8 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K performance on Monday night: ... 1)  He stays ahead in the... Read More
a fresh-canvas second half stretches out before us
Posted by jemanji on 07/03/17
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. Here is the mlb.com recap on the M's signing of two hot Latin prospects.  The M's announced the contracts like the moment the signing period opened, so you do the math.  Julio Rodriguez has been praised as having a "loose trigger" and a liking for 3-iron shots to all areas of the ballpark, as well as an "everyday right fielder" D-skillset.  I'd be curious to know where G-Money would slot the 18-year-old among the M's current prospects. Here is a YouTube of Rodriguez on a luxurious (Caribbean?) baseball field.  The swing at 0.35 is worth a look. They say the same things about SS Juan... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 07/03/17
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. K-PAX 6.1 ip 2h 1r 1 er 2 bb 3 k Took a perfect game into the sixth ... with his Grade C stuff.  On my scouting clipboard, at least.  Starting about the 4th-5th it was his Grade B stuff. He did not have the 97-99 fastball at his disposal.  He was unable to hit both sides of the plate, putting the fear of Zeus (or at least of the training room!) into the batters.  His offspeed stuff was moving but it was anybody's guess whether it would hit the zone, much less the low part of the zone.  He had no fosh. ... What did he have?  He had what James Paxton has every time, before he throws the first... Read More
life .. is ... baseball .. is ... life
Posted by jemanji on 07/01/17
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. BASEBALL SAVANT If you haven't noodled around at 'Savant, they've got lots of inneresting leaderboards based on StatCast.  For example, you can find a player's "expected batting average" based on exit velocity and launch angle, which comes very verrrrry close to a real normalization. There is "expected slugging average," xOPS+ (actually xWOBA) and lots of stuff. The bottom line is that if you re-racked the first half and gave Kyle Seager the same kinds of batted balls, his stats would be a lot better.  As would - this may surprise you - Taylor Motter's, which is probably why Scott Servais... Read More
We REJECT the challenge. Because Nolasco IS no challenge.
Posted by jemanji on 07/01/17
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. RICKY NOLASCO Has been pitching cruddy.  Think "Angels' version of He Who Must Not Be Named."  He'll come at you -- only 2+ walks per game -- but you can come right back at him.  23 homers coughed up in 90 innings.  We're guessing he usually suffers only one bad inning per start...  make it count, boys. . SAM GAVIGLIO It came out recently that Gaviglio had been a "Bad Actor" in the minor leagues.  He also pitched in a dreary template, a 90 fastball / 83 slider two pitch template.  The combination of the two explains the fact that he was not invited to major league camp. But within dreary... Read More
turning the page on that one, sez Sosh
Posted by jemanji on 07/01/17
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. ARIEL MIRANDA In the 27th start of his career, opted for "Ah, who cares" mode.  Many times you saw him stepping back into his rock, practically at the same time as Zunino put the sign down.  His body language, his first-pitch strikes, and his 2-hit shutout all spoke for his extreme ATTACK mode. Now, if you're going to encourage your talented rookie to just grab the ball and huck it -- and the M's should do this with Miranda -- then you're going to have to console him when he gives up two-three homers now and again.  Drew Smyly his ownself gave up 5 or more runs how many times last season?  ... Read More