September 2017

Yes! Why yes I do approve of 3 WAR from catcher!
Posted by jemanji on 09/28/17
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. Here's an article asking, Is Beckham's One Start Enough To Impress?  Plot spoiler: sure, if we were drafting midsummer roto pickups in 2009.  (Pretty sure the BABVA Boyz actually did buy in on him pretty hard as a multi-IF guy back then.) Most of us already feel embarrassed enough about buying into Taylor Motter, even Fangraphs which compared him to Brian Dozier.  But the MLB.com article does base its speculation on Beckham's Org Man persona.  Anybody here who thinks Motter can adjust back in 2018?  Anybody?  nnnnnah ... Anybody heard anything lately about Launch Angles?  Kain't cheat this... Read More
the Denizens already trudging through a very cold winter
Posted by jemanji on 09/28/17
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. What, does Kate Preusser obsessively watch baseball in slow-mo or something?  In Dr. D's circle most of the fairer gender are far more well-balanced than he is.  Anyway, this Otani article has info-taining breakdowns of Otani's mechanics, and the .gifs of his changeup and slider are tear-jerking. For all that -- the 97-102 fastball and the two to four different wipeout secondary pitches -- it's probably the rising/cutting action on his fastball that means the most in Major League Baseball.  Preusser emphasizes that too.  What, is LL trying to become a second Mainframe or what? .... Bob... Read More
Power Index, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 09/28/17
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. From Hey Bill this week: . Mike Zunino has 24 homers for Seattle this year, after being sent to the minors for about half of May because he was hitting so poorly. Do you happen to know if anyone has hit 30+ homers in an MLB season despite getting sent to the minors for performance reasons at some point in the season? Asked by: arnewcs Answered: 9/27/2017  I don't know of that happening exactly, no, and scanning the list of 30-homer seasons I don't see any prime candidates.   Rudy York in 1937 had hit only 1 home run through June 19 and didn't really become a regular until August, but... Read More
the M's look more or less like a winner for 2018
Posted by jemanji on 09/25/17
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. Mike Leake is 3-1, 2.53 in 32 Mariner innings; he's got a 7.6 strikeout, 0.6 walk, 0.3 homer rate with us.  Again we remember his sky-high grounder rate, his ankle-low BB rate and the prospect that a league change could freshen his results for at least a few trips around the league. In 2008, the Lincoln-Armstrong crew ran a squadron of MLB(TM) starting pitchers out there, all nicely paid, all Respected(TM).  Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, Carlos Silva, who else... Dickey or somebody.  Before AND after, I thought it was everything LincStrong about the Seattle Mariners in one neat little... Read More
as viewed from 60 feet, 6 inches by Mo and Pedro
Posted by jemanji on 09/25/17
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. Got to wondering what baseball people talk about when baseball isn't being played.  ... no, seriously ... if you have any suggestions on what % of this winter's non-baseball shtick ought to be, lemme know?  We do about 10 articles a week; maybe you'd throw a few potatoes in the pot on, hm.  1 per week on the Seahawks, 1 per week on Konspiracy Korners, 1 per week on random Sports Is Life stuff we've been noodling on... or not. Bill James writes on baseball and on crime; he recently said that he dreams about baseball almost every night (!!) but has never had a dream about crime.  If I've ever... Read More
ex-parrot, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 09/25/17
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. BUT FIRST ... Check the "All" domain.  Dr. D accidentally filed his "Fatal Flaw?" piece under the All subdomain, so if you visit only the Baseball domain, you missed it.  Once there's a comment to an article, I can't reassign fer yer convenience.  Sorry.   The gist was, opposing scouts and execs apparently think Jerry Dipoto shoulda known his 1-4 starters were too rissssky, Gollum, too risssssky.  This sounds dubious to Dr. D but is a fascinating systems-approach suggestion. . WHAT THEY'RE SAYIN' Yet again Monday we get a beat writer angularly telling us about the danger Servais is in.  ... Read More
Bennett himself being a special case
Posted by jemanji on 09/25/17
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. In 2016, "America Sucks"* turned out to be a loser politically.  Big league.  As a completely separate issue, it's a false statement.  Compare the USA to the Sudan, or to Indonesia, or to anyplace, and you've got a rather larger line in than line out. America has problems, huge, huge problems.  Relative to most or all other countries, America isn't a place where we should be ashamed of our flag, in my opinion. ... The party in power is praying, literally praying, that the party out of power will double and triple down on the concept that America Sucks.  They believe that if the party out of... Read More
a single thin beam shone upon the old man's eye...
Posted by jemanji on 09/21/17
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. So this last Friday, the Mariners had things clickin on all cylinders, as much as the 2017 Mariners were going to see, and they headed into Houston to see where they stood.  For the twentieth time this year, the time came to "take one and give one" and they went into potato-bug mode. Usually Scott Servais pleads "It's hard to get a winning streak together when your rotation is bubble gum and baling wire."  Thaaaaaaat's a rather broad statement -- let's see you prove that winning streaks are associated with starting pitchers more than they are with slugging percentages -- but let us suppose... Read More
with apologies to Jim Morrison
Posted by DaddyO on 09/20/17
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One of my favorite 60's songs is a haunting track from The Doors' self-titled first album that resounded like a thunderclap in 1967. The track was entitled "The Crystal Ship," and somehow after reading this morning that the M's had lost again in their reverse-direction Wild Card "chase" my mind turned to the opening lyrics to the song, "Before you slip into unconsciousness..." (Here's a YouTube link to the track in case you're interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU1sLx1tjPY) Without further ado, here is my lyric attempt to adapt the song to the Seattle Mariners in view of another in a... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 09/19/17
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. Dan has known how to troll me since he first got here, and he hasn't lost his touch: . Hey Doc, this is completely random, but apologies as I don't have a way to reach out more directly :P I wanted to see if you had come across this Gary Kasparaov Masterclass (very high production online course) about chess. No idea how great of a specific learning experience it would be, but based on what I know about you, the cost might be worth it solely for the entertainment value. Give a watch to the trailer at least. Here's the link: https://www.masterclass.com/classes/garry-kasparov-teaches-chess .... Read More
there are no strings on meeeeee, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 09/16/17
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. A PUZZLEMENT It's not that this annoys me; it doesn't.  It baffles me.  No matter how skilled a league is at fixing a sports event, the hardcore fans of that sport are even more skilled at denying any funny business.  Shrug.  If that's what Italian soccer fans want, it's okay by me.  I just can't RELATE to it.  When I suspect a game could be fixed, I lose interest in it. You'd think some day some renegade referee would come out and write a book and tell all.  Oh, wait a minute - that happened, in the NBA.  The league makes a few noises about how the ref is a dubious character, and the fans... Read More
M's 10, stRangers 4
Posted by jemanji on 09/15/17
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. All right, so this is the baseball team you wanted to see, Jerry.  Just a leeeeeetle bit late, huh.  Let's hope not tooooo late. . WILD CARD So the M's season is coming down to one question:  can the Twinkies find it in themselves to lose 3 in a row?  Or, preferably, 5-of-6 or somesuch?   They're playing well right now, so good on them.  Then again, the Mainframe would be a lot more shrill about a 3-game deficit if there were six or seven games left - or if it were the Yankee$ we were chasing.  Three games back, 17 left, chasing a weak team, that's not too tragic.  (It's not that Dr. D... Read More
will this guy be our #3 starter or our #4 starter?
Posted by jemanji on 09/14/17
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. The Mainframe can barely contain its admiration for Tacoma Rainier-level starting pitchers.  Dillon Overton, Christian Bergman, Chase De Jong, Sam Gaviglio, Cody Martin, Ryan Weber?  All of these pitchers are absolutely excellent!  ... in absolute terms, that is.  Also, they do everything pretty much the same, and at the same level.   One time I played a round of golf with a fringe-Tour player.  This guy looked so much like a professional!  It was hard to understand how he could play any better.  I asked why he didn't get on TV.  He said, "I'm a great golfer, Jeff, but to be on the Tour you... Read More
light bulb of the day
Posted by jemanji on 09/14/17
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. It is one thing to say, "a wise man knows his limitations."  Recently, MrJonez and I shared a few quotes to this effect on Twitter: "It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." ~ Mahatma Gandhi "The wise know too well their weakness to assume infallibility; and he who knows most knows best how little he knows." ~ Thomas Jefferson "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates My assumption is that Socrates, Gandhi and Jefferson >>> Dr. D and Mr Jonez; I don't know how you... Read More
how come the twinkies are having such an easier time a' this
Posted by jemanji on 09/14/17
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. ROYALS, RANGERS, RAYS RIPPED One of two things will occur now:  (1) the Twinkies will hit a rough spot, in which case the M's are right there.  or (2) the Twinkies will play well and be in the playoffs.  The beane count: Minny +7 LAA +3 Sea = and finish with a series vs LAA KC -1 Tex -1 Balmer -2 Tampa -3 Counting our blessings here, would be that the M's don't have to maneuver the car through a pack around the turn.  We made it back to Felix and Zeus, chasing one non-Minny team (against whom we finish up). . MIKE LEAKE Going to write a post about him later Thursday.  The Mainframe is "meh... Read More
retro Joy Of Victory And Agony Of Defeat, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 09/13/17
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. ASTROS 1, PESKY RODENT ANGELS 0 Brandon Phillips led off the ballgame with a sharp line-drive double off Justin Verlander's 95-MPH center cut, 1-1 fastball.  From there to the closer in the 9th, Verlander deliciously NO-HIT the Angels.  How sweet it is, and the Astros' rotation against us this weekend is now Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, TBA.   Lance McCullers was just scratched from a start with arm "fatigue" and if that hinders him in the playoffs, what a blow to Houston. . BALMER 2, JAYS 3 Our second-fave team in September is pretty much Toronto, from the looks of our rivals' schedule... Read More
ruh roh, Big Dog stuffed
Posted by jemanji on 09/13/17
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. BEN GAMER There was a heartening discussion on the telecast today.  We had noticed that the Mariners do not take Ben Gamel out of the lineup whatever his results.  Blowers relayed the Mariners' view that Gamel will definitely hit well in the big leagues, and "there isn't any question about that." He relayed his and the M's (reasonable) view that his slow month-or-six-weeks was due to several things, bad BABIP luck being one of them.  But also, Gamel enjoys fastballs (especially HIGH fastballs, unusual for a lefty, we might add) and the league had softened up on him.  Gamel has recently... Read More
is Marco stepping lively enough to get aboard?
Posted by jemanji on 09/13/17
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. To my eye, Marco Gonzales has been a classic "Changeup Lefty" who has been doing battle without his good changeup.  That is a hopeful take on life for him, because if he ever gets back his St. Louis changeup he's got miles of upside.  From where he's at now. Again Tuesday, he threw a Duncan Yo-Yo box full of "changeups," 23 of them against only 25 fastballs and 13 fastballs.  That's the right idea for him in the 10-year scan, a Japanese pitch mix.  But the changeup still has little velocity separation from his fastball - about 7 MPH, the equivalent of only about 4 feet worth of parachute.  ... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 09/11/17
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. WILD CARD 2 Last night was what, Erasmo Ramirez' 6th straight quality start since adding** his "keep 'em honest" cut fastball?  I can safely say it's the best I ever saw him throw the ball.  That's exciting, don't you think?  For this year and next. Shame that the M's botched a big chance.  In the first six innings they must have had 8 hard fly balls that found outfielders' mitts.  Baseball has a lot of luck in it.  Anyhow, with 19 games left: (Min +5) LAA +3 KC = Tex = Sea -1 Bal -1 Tampa -2 I was amused and delighted to see that Felix goes first this week, then Paxton, which puts Paxton... Read More
and the Maniger heads back into impact status
Posted by jemanji on 09/10/17
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. If you were to assume a Twins fade at all -- even assume they went 8-10 or something -- then in your assumption world, the Mariners would be only -1 game out of the WC2 with 20 games to play.  True, that stipulates that the Mariners don't control their own fate.  But it's hardly a stretch of the imagination for Minnesota to have a few issues.  They've got the Indians and Yankees left .. he says hopefully. Minny +6 LAA +2 Tex +1 Sea = Balmer = KC -1 TB -3 If the Twins went .500 then the M's would have to go 13-7, probably, and they'd be in a tiebreaker game.  In a lot of scenarios (well, in... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 09/09/17
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. James told the following colorful story at BJOL, which is $3 per month for the subscriber stuff and free for a lot of stuff. Immediately the guy who came to mind was Ben Gamel: . Hey Bill.     A Cub fan friend of mine was questioning Joe Maddon's use of Ben Zobrist in the cleanup spot.  Zobrist has the lowest OPS+ of any of the Cubs top 15 players in plate appearances, and has a slash of .233/.320/.379.  I suggested that Maddon has not given up on the veteran and believes he may still be a valuable asset in the playoffs.     Without necessarily getting into this decision specifically,... Read More
or competition friday, or whatever day it is
Posted by jemanji on 09/09/17
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. We asked yer, "HOW MUCH does a D-Line rotation help?" and reader Brent, rejoicing in the lack of Mariner implications in it, dumped an amazing bucket of refreshing Gatorade over his head: . When you are a 300+ pound defensive lineman, and you're basically doing a wind sprint impeded by a 300+ pound offensive lineman . He STOPS short That's what it is!  ... hey, my son played O-Line and D-Line, I've studied sports motions for years, etc etc, but it was never crystallized for me quite this way.  One of the guys IS doing a wind sprint and the other is not only taking fewer steps, but has... Read More
why do we start at Green Bay
Posted by jemanji on 09/08/17
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. Or Tell the Truth Tuesday, or whatever day it is for Pete Carroll.  Cliches can work very well, you know.  :- )  As far as the Green Bay game specifically:  if the Seahawks went 15-1 this is the likeliest -1, correct.  What a ripoff. When it comes to Sheldon Richardson and "climbing the pocket" you almost wonder whether the Seahawks were thinking about, um, this game.  Never saw any quarterback so good at single-step rush evasion.  Whatever the term is for what Aaron Rodgers does. ... Sure enjoyed the comments after my last little stub on Sheldon Richardson!  My questions to the 'xperts... Read More
the dynamic aikido sphere, in a power interpretation
Posted by jemanji on 09/08/17
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. It doesn't seem that the human body was designed to make such a wonderfully aiki motion, does it?  Your spinal cord and hips are quite a thing. Aikido is all about centrifugal motion, as are other combat sports.  An early heavyweight champ was asked why he was good; he replied "I put my hips into them punches."  One aikido sensei pointed out that spiral power zooms out to the galaxy and in to microbiology.  Still, aiki motions are mostly about grace and mobility, while the above baseball swing is more towards maximum energy.   . ACTIVE THREADS BUTTON ... is under maintenance.  We're workin... Read More
well, it seemed like an Underperformance at the time
Posted by jemanji on 09/07/17
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. We've no doubt got our share of Denizens who get this reference.  :- ) Back in 1964 there weren't many people who realized that Lennon was a thinker.  The Alfred E. Neumann-esque photo above didn't help a lot.  His little collection of poems and lyrics and whatnot came across as nonsensical or worse.  A few years on, a fairly sizable group of people began to suspect the reality, that John Lennon had a few things to say. His book had verses like this one: . “I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madolf Heatlump (who only had one).... Read More
you decide which is which
Posted by jemanji on 09/06/17
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. Do you think when the 22-year old Steve Martin sat down and logged all those painful hours, learning how to play crack banjo, that he set out planning to use the skill as ... a self-parody?  Now you know how Dr. D feels about his writing skills. ... DaddyO speaks.  Dr. D annotates after, so as not to spoil the fine bouquet.   Hey, do they use the term "postmortem" in fields other than chess?  There's a rule of polite society over the board, that after the game you go to the skittles room to discuss and analyze - win, lose, or draw.  It's easily my least-favorite rule of etiquette, any sport... Read More
Dr. D scrambles to put out the flames
Posted by jemanji on 09/06/17
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. Sherm the leader of the Rebel Alliance saith, . I figured if the Mariners play badly, I was right, and gloating ensues. If I'm wrong, everyone gets caught up in the first playoff appearance in franchise history* and forgets completely about me and my blown call, just like everyone forgets about the ump who cost Galarraga that perfect game. . Suddenly Dr. D realizes what he's done!  He forced his opponents into a winning combination!  This one at least as old as the "Benjamin Franklin Farmer's Almanac":  Plan for and expect the worst.  When it happens (or doesn't), you'll be in a normal mood... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 09/06/17
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. Sherminator uses a smile and a light touch bringing up the subject: . [with respect to my kidding about Gallardo, Sherm kids back] I'm offended sir. A man should not be judged by his worst moments. That's why we can't judge Donald Trump by his Access Hollywood blunder... or was it the time he called Mexicans "murderers and rapists"... or when he insulted that Gold Star family... or said John McCain was a loser... or Charlottesville... . We've used a few Korners to work around the edges of relatively cool political topics in 2017.  The Denizens have been simply awesome.  We tread gingerly... Read More
actually the pic ain't so funny come to think of it
Posted by jemanji on 09/06/17
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. We've had one well-respected Denizen completely write off the Mariners so far, and he beat the crowd to it by at least three days.  But remember, that was (1) three days ago and (2) coming from one of the Denizens who dared to disagree on He Who Must Not Be Named.  SO THERE If you want to join him in the early bail, you must first stipulate NO (reasonable) chance for the Mariners to make the Wild Card -- let us say less chance of the M's making the WC2 than the Seahawks going 17-2.  Because you're watching for that, right?  When it comes to "Fuhgeddaboudit" it's just not good enough to say... Read More
Please try it ONNNNNEEEE more time just onnnneee more time
Posted by jemanji on 09/06/17
3 Comments

. Dr. D was tearing the oval-top off a crisp new box of Kleenex and doing his best to scroll through his Twitter followees with the spare 20% of his brain.  Oh!, what's this ... Bill James had a quip "in reply," something like "Don't forget ineffective."  If you're not on Twitter, a 3-word Tweet means that somebody said something first.  Well, usually.  With over half of his Kleenex supply left, he clicked On James' already-amusing punch line, and scrolled up to the original Tweet.  Michael Silverman BB, who somehow crushed 5 separate rage-monster insults into 140 characters.  Go check James... Read More
2 back on the Angels, and we know about them Twinks...
Posted by jemanji on 09/02/17
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. We're grinding along in the mud of another filthy mcnasty Orcs series.  Down 5-2, you'll come back a few, maybe they'll stick a thumb in yer eye, there are just some days when you wonder about life, love and the number 46. When SCHOOOOOM here comes that young St. Louis Cardinals pitcher you swapped for.  The feeling was not dissimilar to the clouds breaking and a megawatt Sun bathing you antiseptic of the day's grime.  Marc-O had the short-arm Sherrill fastball zinging in, zinging up, catching the corner, he attacked 18-for-26 strikes when throwing the number One.  Beautiful  attack and... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 09/02/17
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. While we baseball fans wring our hands about the lost Sonny Grays and Justin Verlanders of the big-game world, there's another sports coach in town who feels very little hesitation about adding Stars to his roster.  If you ever get frustrated about a local sports team getting just a leeeeeetle too "responsible" with its resources management, hey.  Switch internet channels and wallow in the football team across town. So you guys check me where I'm wrong.  The most common formation in the NFL is the 3-1-1, right, with three wideouts a tight end and a single back, right?  The default against... Read More
Lifetime record, 81-76 here and elsewhere
Posted by jemanji on 09/02/17
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. HOUSTON, YOU SHOULD HAVE A VISUAL Leake takes the mound and ... no surprise to the seasoned Denizen, that we'd hardly ever seen him pitch.  He was loose and jangly, like he avoids fried foods that angry up the blood.  He don' look back 'cause somethin' might be gainin' on him.  If that isn't what Satchel Paige looked like, it certainly was what Jered Weaver looked like when tossing water balloons at the So Cal homecoming party. You expected command; what you got was a sidearm slinger who believed, very acutely, in the rising of the global tides.  It didn't start off too good: LEADOFF:  2-1... Read More
Zuumball keeps his opening 1-iron in bounds
Posted by jemanji on 09/01/17
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. TICKER TAPE  √ Mariners deal for a starting pitcher who takes the slab, steps up to his 3 runs, and delivers a victory.  X's and O's, baby. √ Cleveland, who we don't play, wins their 8th and 9th in a row.  They'll tear up the Angels, Royals and Twins for us and then they'll be tired so we can very easily dispatch them late. √ Yankee$ lose.  Badly.  To Boston and Doogie.  They're feeling like the Antifa guy who kicked a tear-gas canister back at the police and took undue retribution for his efforts. √ Pesky rodent Angels storm back from 6-2 and 9-4 to tie the game 9-9 ....... Read More
BJOL #66 with a bullet :- )
Posted by jemanji on 09/01/17
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. G-MONEY SEZ . Leake is a groundball pitcher in a league with juiced baseballs giving flyball pitchers headaches, so that's useful.  Seattle has a normally-good-fielding infield, which will also help. Moving to the AL won't help him as much, but he's still better than some other options (most of which the Ms have tried already).  His hits-per-9 have ballooned in St. Louis, though.  Perhaps that's defense, perhaps juiced balls also get through the infield faster, perhaps he's just catching too much of the plate with adequate-but-not-overpowering stuff.   The Cardinals paid for a 3-WAR pitcher... Read More