February 2018

The wolves starts to look more pack-intensive
Posted by jemanji on 02/28/18
Posted to blog
26 Comments

. James Paxton took his first start in the style of the men who already have their three Cy Youngs on the shelf.  He sat a few MPH below norm, put up a few zeroes incident-free, and sounded like Anatoly Karpov as a technician: "Right now it's about finding my rhythm," he said. "I threw all my pitches today, which was good. I had a hard time getting inside to righties, which is kind of my bread and butter. Because I was leaving early, my hand was getting on the side of the ball a little, and it was sailing on me. . If they go to a 6-man rotation "at times," along with the days off, let's see [... Read More
Matty likes his command pretty well. So does the 'Frame
Posted by jemanji on 02/27/18
Posted to blog
14 Comments

. Quite the deluge of comments on Marc-O, every one of which was erudite and interesting.  The 'Frame gets stuck, makes strange sounds, and smokes slightly trying to process them all at once... . Wishhiker sez, I was just looking back to see effects and movement of previous slider usage and Brooks only really had useful 2014 data because he didn't use it much in MLB since then.  Well he wasn't in MLB much since then until last year when he wasn't using it. 1 The Curve and Splitter are around 8-11 inch horizontal movement different from his other pitches. 2 In 2014 he used CB+SPL about 11.33%... Read More
with a bit of shtick on Monday's 9-9 tie.
Posted by jemanji on 02/27/18
Posted to blog
12 Comments

. (1) Robinson Cano believes that he's going to get better with age.  Times link here.  Cool quote excerpt, perhaps a bit ambitious, but the spirit is clear:   “I don’t want to hit .280 with 23 home runs,” said Cano, citing his numbers from last season. “I want to be the best in the game. I want to be the best player.” Cano's idea is that he understands the game better, and feels as young as ever.  Dr's Diagnosis:  it's obviously not unusual for a Hall of Famer to play well through age 37, and Cano's "only" 35.  Edgar Martinez was a somewhat similar hitter, and easily ripped enemy pitching to... Read More
the hourglass drifts ever-further as the staredowns continue
Posted by jemanji on 02/27/18
Posted to blog
8 Comments

. Seven of the top 20 free agents this winter are unsigned as we get deeper into spring training.  Here's an excellent primer from MLB Trade Rumors, including polls as to which of the top 5 players are most likely to be looking for teams at season opener: Greg Holland - 32% Mike Moustakas - 30% Jake Arrieta - 24% Lance Lynn - 7% Alex Cobb - 6% ... Matty has been shouting from the rooftops that the M's need to grab Lynn or Cobb.  They seem to have already received offers in the 3 x $14MM range.  Per MLB Trade Rumors, most teams would prefer the pitchers come down off those stances a little bit... Read More
the first eye-opening performance of camp strikes the field
Posted by jemanji on 02/26/18
Posted to blog
10 Comments

. We accidentally posted a Miranda / Moore / Gordon piece under the ALL domain.  If your bookmark takes you to the baseball.seattlesportsinsider.com domain first thing every day, as it obviously should, you might have missed that one.  Just click the ALL button up top to remedy my error for me. ... You know how it is with spring training games.  They don't mean nearly as much as we wish they did.  But!  If Andrew Moore pitches tomorrow, you still want to know whether his outing HELPed him or HURT him. In that spirit, let's go crib note style, keepin' it loose.  Here then, choose ye from among... Read More
with 2 questions very tough to answer
Posted by jemanji on 02/26/18
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. Dave Fleming has a super readable post up at BJOL, in front of the paywall I'm pretty sure, that suggests the Angels should release Albert Pujols.  In the article, Fleming points out that last season, Pujols had a 78 OPS+ and was therefore the 4th-worst player ever to collect 100 RBI. In the comments, one of the readers points out that Pujols may be much older than 38.  Last year, he had an OBP of .286 and a SLG of .386.  Obviously, his "contributions" on base and defensively are less than nothing.  Can you allow such a player 550 AB's at first base and DH? It's always a shame when you have... Read More
Yogi Berra, preparing to take a pot roast out of the oven
Posted by jemanji on 02/24/18
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. Casey Stengel, running the 1950's Yankee juggernaut, used to cornpone to the press "It's a big game.  I gotta have m'man behind the plate."  Of course Yogi Berra along with Johnny Bench and, later, a handful of others (Fisk, IRod, Carter, Piazza, maybe Torre) was one of the 60-WAR catchers who played for dynasties.  I've often wondered what the correlation would be, if you could measure it properly:  what does a Johnny Bench do for a talented team. .... The "noise" today - spacing out on where I found it - that [Mike Zunino has a completely new demeanor in the pitchers' meetings.]   That... Read More
the good "noise" keeps rollin' in the first couple days ;- )
Posted by jemanji on 02/23/18
Posted to blog
4 Comments

. Malcontent threw a couple of jumbo-sized, garden-fresh potatoes in the pot by noticing Gordon's power add last September.  He sez, Hey Doc!  Did you notice Dee changed his batting stance in September?  The results seem to be much better contact(he ran an .800 OPS without walking).  I'd love to get your thoughts on whether it's a long term improvement that might presage a new offensive level. Before (August 20th) After (September 30th) He clearly has a wider stance, and it seems like his shoulders line up a little different, but this is far from anything I'm good at.  He certainly looks... Read More
although video image shortly to be offered also
Posted by jemanji on 02/23/18
Posted to blog
5 Comments

. NOISE Everything from March is "noise," distracting at best and misleading at worst.  Well, at times it can be helpful; if a player's component skill set is completely different, maybe.  Or a pitcher adds a pitch.  Or an injured guy is jumping up and down like a jumping bean.  Or, specifically, if Marc-O Gonzales' changeup is clocking 79 MPH instead of 85 MPH. Henceforth Dr. D offers his tongue-in-cheek reaction to the noise we've gotten the last coupla days. . FELIX Matty sez, ...well, I want to join you and have hope, so I'll just call attention to the comments from Felix after his last... Read More
let's tick them off on our fingers
Posted by jemanji on 02/23/18
Posted to blog
22 Comments

. PREREQ 101 There are many, many, MANY baseball players who can play very, VERY well for 300 AB's, Capt. Lassard.  Jarrod Dyson is one of those guys who is a role player who pro-rates to 3.0 WAR.  Pro-rate@  But many is the role players cannot handle the heat and the burden of the scout/video day, or at least who can't stay healthy over the course of 162 full games.  Hence the fact that we bloggers were guessing at 2/$21M for Dyson in Seattle, while GM's smiled and sobered us to the reality of his 2/$7.5M in Arizona. Dyson did look like 3.0 WAR full season when he was in KC, and a-l-l of us... Read More
well, depending on whether you consider Wolf Packing good
Posted by jemanji on 02/18/18
Posted to blog
27 Comments

. Erasmo Martinez has been shut down for two weeks with a lat strain.  As Matt reminds us, this can be worse than advertised, maybe much worse.  As the mainframe reminds us, this is not an explosion of his rotator cuff.  "Things happen" sez Scott Servais.  So, Dr. D's main interpretation here is that Marc-O will get a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket and will have to toss it overboard to miss the rotation. Ariel Miranda has real good life on his LH fastball and deception on his armside changeup (which I think they call a "slider" for some reason).  Here's a YouTube on which Miranda blows away many,... Read More
Centaur, indeed
Posted by jemanji on 02/17/18
Posted to blog
10 Comments

. Isabelle Minasian writes a sparkling piece on Mike Ford that starts wittily, gets witty in the middle, and finishes wittily as it fades to black.  Don't be afraid to give it a look. Isabelle characterizes Ford as a "centaur," a baseball prospect constructed with a part from this position over here and that one over there, and she gingerly comps him to John Olerud.  Meaning: 1) Inflexible first baseman 2) Very little power for a 1B 3) BB's and K's that "make you think the Fangraphs columns are make you playing tricks on your eyes" (Heh!) And there's a .gif that will convince you that Ford... Read More
When does Smaug have enough gold, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 02/17/18
Posted to blog
4 Comments

. Charity game next Friday! . Bill James-style free association piece on society follows.  Sports Is Life.  Feel Free to skip it if you're so inclined. .... Sheryl Ring writes the Commissioner a piece of hate mail on Fangraphs.  In it, she points out a quote of his: “[d]rawing a line in the sand based on a perception that [their] market value is different than what the market is telling you your value is,” and that doing so “doesn’t make a lot of sense.” . ... and growls that this little statement amounts to nothing less than --- > a dare for the union to disband and file an anti-trust... Read More
A fine piece of analysis by Eric Longenhagen
Posted by jemanji on 02/16/18
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. In Eric Longenhangen's piece on the M's top 14 prospects ... why 14, you might ask?! ... why not, said the barkeep; maybe that's all the 40's we got ... he's got all the M's prospects at the 40-45 "FV" level.  Dr. D isn't too sure what "FV" means but he's pretty sure it would have something to do with estimated future value. (PSA:  Emilio Pagan was not in the M's top 30 last year, before being dealt for an HQ-35 starting major leaguer.  Casual discussion is one thing, security-hedging against Hawaiian ICBM warning a different thing.) On the other hand, he's got 33 prospects for the Yankees... Read More
who's to say my .380 ACP can't handle your shtick, Cleveland
Posted by jemanji on 02/16/18
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. TJM responded adroitly to my quip about the 86 wins two years ago: . . . true, but even if we get normal injury luck this year rather than that tsunami of bad juju from last summer. Then we, what, reboud to 86 wins. The problem with that plan is the Astros, Yankees and Angeles, all ahead of us, all got better. So did Toronto behind us. So will Boston once Martinez signs. We're playing for the wild card, probably the second wild card, before the season even opens. That is such a narrow opening to success.  This looks like the US mission in Afghanistan. We keep doing the same thing and expect... Read More
I like the hunger, and I like the chances to compete with Yovani Gallardo
Posted by jemanji on 02/16/18
Posted to blog
8 Comments

. Thus endeth the most boring winter in 40 years' worth of Mariner offseasons.  Can I get a witness here?   So opening Real Week has buried us all in an avalanance of Felix articles: . 1) A Times article fixated on the King's spring mantra "I'm Different."  Different ... than in his '17 and '18 injury years?  Different ... as in, I accept that I'm a quality innings eater and not a superstar?  Different... "than everybody else," in his own words.  Dr. D's guess is that this is his version of Hillary's big red plastic re-set button.  The article sez, he process to do that started at the end of... Read More
the plot thickens at 1B
Posted by jemanji on 02/16/18
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. So Ryon Healy just had surgery, and though the doctor says "4-6 weeks" the bubbly coaches expect less.  Maybe 3 weeks.  Maybe 3 days, who's ta say? That 4-6 weeks would be "until you can start playing at 100 MPH" and the 4-6 weeks, let's just say 6 weeks for giggles' sake, puts us at April 6th.  Before real work on hitting can begin for Healy. .... The silver lining for the 'Frame, and it was designed with one built in for every output, would be a (FORCED) opportunity for Dan Vogelbach.  Dr. D has been quite convinced that there is a non-baseball reason for his freezeout -- and a .372/.454... Read More
spring training thinking may cause a server meltdown shortly
Posted by jemanji on 02/09/18
Posted to blog
19 Comments

. There are two nice little Lookout Landing posts that are worth your while this morning.  The first one, "Solving the logjam in the Seattle Mariners starting rotation," would Exec Sum about like this: 1) For ANY Mariners starter to "take a step forward" -- as Dipoto believes they can do -- would create more of the staple peanut butter-type youth that Dipoto has pinned your (nay, our) hopes on.  For ANY M's starter, whether it be Erasmo, Moore, Povse, Miranda, Gonzales, whoever -- to chip in 2.0, 2.5 WAR would be big, because in Dipoto's mind he's got dozens of these players. 2) This is... Read More
One thing you can't accuse our GM of: indecision
Posted by jemanji on 02/09/18
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. Just another week or two before we get some material to hash over.  Dr. D thinks he can say without fear of contradiction that it has been a tepid offseason, this 2017-18 winter, and he thinks he can follow that up by saying it's even more so in Marinerland.  It's been a long, cold, boring winter in Seattle.  Once the game start, we can start ping-pong'ing our impressions as to whether: 1) "Wolf Pack" pitching is going to leave the Mariners ahead of the (100-year) curve on more relief pitching rather than less 2) Whether Mitch Haniger is going to become a .530-SLG'ing beast in right field 3... Read More
A LOT To Choose From
Posted by Bat571 on 02/09/18
2 Comments

With Spring Training almost  here, but large numbers of MLB(tm) players unsigned, I propose a little exercise amongst the denizens. RULES: 1. Among the unsigned Free Agents with MLB-experience, pick two or three to add to the M's roster. 2. Assume Commissioner Manfred unilaterally imposes a 26-man regular-season roster, with a 25-man series roster in September, and a 13-man maximum of pitchers. Assume as well, that the Commissioner re-implements the extra man/men on the roster in April that used to exist from 1957-67, so there will be 27 men to start the season. The 27th man may be a pitcher... Read More
God's power hitter and SSI Lurker enters the Hall of Fame
Posted by rick82 on 02/09/18
6 Comments

My dear aunt and Godmother Sister Laura Michels, known by myself and and my family as Aunt Janice, has gone to heaven after a extended battle with brain tumors and complications.  http://www.gozags.com/genrel/020818aaa.html http://www.zagsonline.org/s/829/17-match/index.aspx?sid=829&gid=1&pgid=5821 Janice was one of my favorite people in the world, and served as chaplain for the Gonzaga's Mens Baseball team as well as the Girls Basketball team. She spent a number of years as a principle and teacher in Seattle area Catholic Parochial schools like St. Mary's in the Seattle Central... Read More
oh, whoops, you don't throw like that from CF do you Dr. D
Posted by jemanji on 02/06/18
Posted to blog
9 Comments

. SYMMETRY, Dept. There is a nice symmetry between these numbers:  26 and 13.  Why do they matter?  Well, they matter here because 26 represents the bases gained by Dee Gordon last year, in millions of dollars, and 13 represents what the team has to actually pay him for those bases. So, yeah, that's one good way for JeDi to spend his free agent money, by coughing up a few prospects and then using a FA buck to buy a fiver.  (Gordon was out in part of 2017, but in his full seasons of 2016 and 2015 were $25M and $39M, respectively.  I believe he led the NL in steals, all three seasons 18-16-15... Read More
come to think of it, this may be a P.R. call anyhow, eh
Posted by jemanji on 02/06/18
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. Brent Stecker has a roundtable on this. If you just joined us, the question is Felix' MLB(TM) entitlement vs. James Paxton's ability to defeat Corey Kluber in front of 45,000 fans and all the buzz of Opening Day.  The roundtable went something like this: . Mike Salk: “It’s a hard one for me, because if I were (Mariners manager) Scott Servais I would be really, really tempted to go with James Paxton. He’s the future, he’s your guy, he’s supposed to be growing into being your horse, and it would send a message to Felix Hernandez that you don’t get to run this organization anymore. Things have... Read More
this is what slugging .600 looks like
Posted by jemanji on 02/02/18
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. ZEUS Remember what we do here now.  We're not asking whether it's reasonable to expect James Paxton to make 30-ish starts.  He's got to do that for a 2018 Mariner run to happen. It was the pre-2016 arm slot change that hacked Zeus' BB rate in half ... well, they tell you it was the arm slot; the Mainframe liked the way it keeps his frontal lobe out over in front of his CG.  Anyway, I read something recently about the way Paxton -- right this second -- is having an easier time making micro-adjustments to that arm slot adjustment.  Wish I could find the argument; the tone it conveyed, the... Read More
Late for some of these free agents, that is (12 days till report)
Posted by jemanji on 02/02/18
Posted to blog
12 Comments

. This article characterizes the MLB free agents as "in a rage" and one agent's solution is to boycott spring training. . DR'S DIAGNOSIS, Dept. 98% of what we hear in November and December is "noise," but in this case there are two tectonic-sized principles colliding to produce a real supercollision of forces - unstoppable object crashes into immovable mass.  Those principles being: (1) Teams like the Dodgers and Yankees have decided, because of the luxury tax among other things like just being tired of CC Sabathia situations, not to ladle out $200M bowlfuls of soup from behind the cafeteria... Read More