Groundhog Day: M's 2, Blue Jays 8
Have we done this for more like 100 years or more like 10,000?


You know, there was this one day when it was 78 degrees out ... I had lobster for dinner ... I won the mini-golf contest ... THAT was a good day.  Why couldn't I be reliving THAT day over and over again?

There was this one season when the Mariners scored 6 or more runs in over half of their games.  Not five times in 43 games.  Why couldn't we be reliving THAT season over and over again?

The Mariners score 2, or 3, or 4 runs over and Over and oVer and ovER again.  True, they never get shutout, because they always hit two solo home runs.  But could somebody tell us, for the love of all that is holistic, why this team can't bat around?


Robinson Cano

Early on, we just figgered "it's his slow month."  Later on, and by later on we of course mean "Friday," we realized it wasn't just a slow month.  

Later later on, we watched him to see what was up.  Okay, so by "slow month" we meant "a two-hop double play every blazing time he swings."  There y'go amig-O.  Robinson "Rally Killer" Cano.

It's odd that he his "hard hit ball" rate is just fine and dandy.  And Dr. D does not believe that his strike zone control is the basic problem.  (He's had seasons in which his EYE wasn't that great, and he is seeing the pitches fine.)

Looks from here like he just isn't putting the same smmmoooooke (not that kind of smoak!) on the ball.  What happened to 27 homers a year, amigo?  What on earth inspired you go low-carb and report at 202 pounds?  Somebody get this guy a Starbucks card, quick.


If Robinson Cano were to collapse in year 2 of a 10-year contract, it would be all but unprecedented.  Year 3, sure.  But year 2?  Get real.   Worry factor on that occurring:  like, 2%.

Note also that, if Robinson Cano were to collapse in year 2 of a 10-year contract, he would collapse to --- > 3 WAR per year, not 1 WAR per year.  (He's a middle infielder whose sheer hitting ability is a given).  That's worth about $18-20M this year, and will be worth $25M in four years.  When you buy legitimate superstars, their collapses are generally to "good" players.

Note also also that if Robinson Cano were to collapse in year 2 of a 10-year contract, he would still be a joy to have on the ballclub.  Tony Gwynn, they say, used to go 0-for-4 during a Padres 7-1 win, and grump around the clubhouse until he ruined the party.  Robby is going through the seventh circle of hellll, Jim, and is still the top guy on the dugout step to hip-crash after a teammate's homer.



You've got to admit that it's a little nervy when a marquee free agent gets into a slump.  Tough for us as M's fans, since the Mariners have never had a marquee free agent before.


But Robby has had down times in the past.  As a general rule, hitters don't go from OPS+ of 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140, 140 to ::: screech crash twisting metal :: 80 right there after one week off.  If he DID start his decline you'd expect 120 this year, then five years of 105-110, then be horse manure.


Taijuan Walker

James Paxton was asked, "Why do you guys have such a hard time getting a simple message to just throw the fastball?"  His reply, "It flies in the face of everything we've ever been taught, to change speeds."  Naturally, he was too polite to point out, "Because if you tell Jose Bautista what pitch is coming next, you're going to get your third baseman killed."

On Sunday, Taijuan had a GRRREEEAAT fastball, threw 4 no-hit innings, but then ... a single 96 MPH that missed out-and-over and Edwin Encarnacion hit the pitch into its own zip code.  Second, third time through the lineup, the rout was on.  You can tell a kid to "be aggressive" and "hit the inside corner" but if he could throw 97 into a teacup (like Michael Pineda could) then he wouldn't need any tips now would he?  Taijuan is going to miss with fastballs.  When he does miss, best that the hitters not have the catcher's signs er, sign.

Bill Gates used to knock down "suggestions" in board meetings by icily intoning "That comment is simply random."  Which many comments in such meetings are.  People are throwing spaghetti at the wall; Gates preferred actual analysis, and he preferred it to be correct analysis.

Dr. D is a gentle soul at heart, but he thinks that oftentimes the coaching strategies are random.  If 90% fastballs didn't work against AAA hitters, why would they now work against Josh Donaldson?


You might object, reasonably, "It's worked okay for Paxton."  Yes, but (1) Paxton's fastball is very unusual, (2) it's better than Taijuan's, and (3) it's only working in the short term, as a way station unto actual pitching.


Send Taijuan down to get his spikeball back to knee level, and to get control of his power curve.  Get Wilhelmsen or somebody in there to doorstop until WBC-san is back.  This is a team that's supposed to be in a "contending window."

:: shaking head :: No earthly idea what happened to that spring training spikeball.  Nowadays it's just a rumor.


Token Sunshine and Rainbow Finish

Brad Miller is seeing the ball really well.  And you noticed that he is currently residing at an OPS+ that Cano would be great to finish with.  Miller-as-uberutil.  Life's good.

Chris Taylor has used that KBIZLT (keep bat in zone long time) swing of his, to bat .353/.421/.529 the last week, with 2 walks and 0 strikeouts.  He had a bad -- more "unlucky" if you get right down to it, week and a half when he came back up.  So sue him.  Chris Taylor can play for my ball club Any Time.

Last start, James Paxton was 50% of the way back to his 2014 form.  He was locating his fastball, and cracked off several tasty hooks.  Storm looming, brother.

There are worse things in life than baseball.  Also, there are worse things in baseball than 2-of-3 in Toronto.  On the other hand, there are few things worse than a creeping fear of the ... Houston Astros. Maybe omphalophobia would be worse, but I doubt it.

Bah humbug,

Dr D




Taylor is a player.  He can hit some (or more than some) and he's got pretty flashy leather.  That's the better than average SS kind of leather, not the 50 Shades of Grey kind. Or I'm not aware of it, if he does.
I would actually move Cano down to #2 in the lineup.  I know he's to seasoned/polished as a pro for such mind games to actually work.....most of the time.  But let him get the sense of being a table-setter rather than a table-clearer.  It can't hurt.  He lived at #2 for most of his Yankee existence so he knows the place well.
Walker was a victim of a bit of bad karma in the 5th inning.  An oopsey bloopsey broke up the no no and then Rya Goins Goins Gone, he of 3 previous MLB homers, hit one into the deck.  How many batting practice homers does he hit?  All the planets aligned for him on that pitch.  
The pitch to Encarnacion was basically a good pitch.  OK, it was belt high, but it was off the plate inside, as well.  It looks like it had a bunch of run on it, btw.  He's the video, notice the pitch tracker:
That's a jam pitch a whole bunch of the time.  But the Big Guy at the plate was sitting on the heater.  Henry Aaron once said all great hitters were good guess hitters.  Well, he meant that great hitters could pick a pitch, sit on it, then hurt it.  
In this situation, count at 3-2, and Walker struggling, it wasn't too hard for Encarnacion to figure out what was coming. And he's not Ryan Goins, in case you forgot.
Back to Robby Cano:   He was about as safe as a 10-year, bagillion dollar bet on a grizzled-type veteran could be. Which you pointed out, mind you.  I hate decades-long, bagillion dollar bets on grizzled vets, usually, but even I didn't hate this one. You have to have faith in Robby due to the fact that even if he has crashed and burned it will be well into '17 before the M's admit it, then what do you do?
Ackley got blazing hot and had a knock yesterday.  That means we might see him against the RHP today.  I suppose we could see Ruggiano in CF, I suppose.  I hope.  There was some talk that Jackson could get the call up for today....but it makes more sense for him to come up on Thursday, when we are home.
So we get Dustin again, I suppose.  Sigh.....
But it is Happy Roenis Day.  We have that going for us!!
And, if you have nothing to do at 1:00 today, you can always tune in to the final round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship.  Currently in 2nd place, and just 1-stroke back, is Arizona State sophomore Monica Vaughn. I've known Mo all her life, since she was a few hours old, and had her in the classroom for 4 years.  Her dad was a groomsman at my wedding, has been my golfing partner for most of the last the last 30 years or so and hunting partner for part of that. 
Back to your regularly scheduled M's thread.
Go team. 


Then definitely.  Location as such isn't his fault.  ... still goes to the issue of the hitters being able to time the pitch, no?
Cano as #2 hitter ... there may be a lot of merit in that.  Especially if his Yankee Stadium pop is fading -- which we certainly hope not, but Cano as a .300/.350/.400 second baseman isn't the worst thing in the world.
"On the nose" - would that be a kosher saying in the tee area?


She just finished 5th solo.   Even par on the day.  +1 for the tournament.  -3 was the winning score.

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