Been traveling Doc. Currently in Boston this week for a Biology IT professionals conference. Every night this week when I go to sleep we are ahead. Until this morning I wake up check the scoreboard and shake my head. I haven't had much of a chance to watch any gamesand I miss the banter but I simply haven't been able to watch the team much yet. But I also feel like I'm watching with half an eye on an NBA game and we are five minutes into the first quarter.
Carlos Quentin moves in front of Jesus Montero because --- > his last 145 OPS+ season was 2013. Not 2009. If you're okay with Rickee Weeks, much less Jason Bay and Corey Hart and those guys, you're okay with Carlos Quentin.
Jack Z called it a "no-brainer" and said that baseball is always in flux. Meaning: you and I cannot project Carlos Quentin after 18 months off* and then 3 weeks in AAA, but Jack Z can. Or maybe he can. Kendrys Morales ... it's too soon after the pain.
Nelson Cruz hit a deep, low line drive to LF to knock in the first run. From 275 feet away, it was hit so hard that Colby Rasmus could not catch it. That's Mike Blowers' opinion, not just mine. The little muff resulting, meant no play at the plate against Austin Jackson.
Jeff Sullivan pointed out that Cruz is swinging at a MUCH higher angle this year. Sully is right. It's reflected in Cruz' weird flyball/popup ratio and it is reflected in the CF camera.
Of course, in terms of HR-per-flyball, Cruz has had a few extra homers. Then again, we don't need him to finish at 86 homers.
Along with the uppercut, Nelson is also swinging at fewer sucker pitches. He is seeing the ball GREAT. The seismo's are threatening. For them.
Remember Cruz' game-winning hit in the 11-10 Texas game? Dr. D remembers it because the shortstop didn't move to get it. Then they tell you that the ball was 119 MPH off the bat, the hardest-hit ball in the majors this year. Imagine a pitch at 119 MPH. That's what you call power index.
Cruz is on pace for 184 RBI, which is just silly. He'll get 150, tops. He does look better than he's ever been, though.
Kyle Seager has improved his EYE from 0.5 to 1.0 and he has the "out of zone swings" to prove it. He is advancing steadily.
Logan Morrison's SLG is at .171. Patience is great, and he's hitting the ball okay, but .171? That's an OPS+ of 21. He and Nelson Cruz cancel. Think about it. LoMo has wiped out everything that Nelson Cruz has done.
True that Quentin has never played 1B. Also true that lineups can permutate in a lot of ways among 14 players. And true that if Dr. D were Logan Morrison, he'd be looking over his shoulder.
Dustin Ackley knows his way around the 1B bag, you know. Reminds me of when Darin Erstad moved to first ...
edit to add, the beat writers say that Quentin is indeed targeted for 1B with the M's. Tough to see him as an everyday glove there, but platooning, hokay. also, you'd assume the M's got his signature by saying "if you show us anything in your first few weeks, we'll give you some time in the bigs."
Taijuan pitched the right way in his third start, driving the 96 fastball high through the zone to get their bats "cheating." He had a ton of K's despite having lousy offspeed stuff. Combine the "aggressive" fastball with good offspeed stuff and you're golden. Even without the offspeed stuff, the high heater is so explosive that he's fine, like in 2014.
Paxton and Iwakuma have not pitched nearly as badly as their ERA's show. Whattaya mean? Like we said, these are quick takes. But check the M's team FIP and xFIP against their team ERA. Just thought it was worth mentioning, since everybody is wide-eyed about whether those two will be good this year. They will be.
If you are one of the many "inner circle" amigos who has not been commenting lately, why is that? Just curious :- )
Happ was yanked last night after exactly 100 pitches. His velocity was perfect at pitches 90-100. Yoervis Medina came in was horse manure, as Mac would say and as Mac knew he would be, sourly complaining after the game "I had no bullpen except Rodney."
So why not 110 pitches for Happ? Baseball Prospectus came up with The Magic 100 because human beings have ten fingers and ten toes. Twenty years on, Base Ten Math Pitching Changes? That's a lousy reason to throw away a 3-2 ballgame.
But Nelson Cruz made a nice defensive play to reverse the outcome. A Fangraphs guy scoffed to Bill James on TV last month, "I don't even consider Nelson Cruz to be an outfielder." Exact words. You know, like putting Frank Thomas or Adam Dunn in right field. (James was, for once, visibly irritated by that statement. We know another talking head who was, too.)
We trust that you have noticed, with your own eyes, that Cruz is a perfectly decent bat-first defender.
Seth Smith led off. Loved it. Brian Downing ca. 2015 A.D.
There are two issues with Quentin:
1. Does he hit enough in 3 weeks to warrant a call up?
2. If he doesn't does he stay with the M's rather than look for other employment?
#2 is more likely than #1.
For #1 to happen Quentin has to be hitting way beyond good. Reminder: He hasn't taken a swing yet and the clock is counting. For #1 to happen the M's must have a correctly placed injury a completely collapsing LoMo or have given up on Ruggiano. OK one of those three things may well happen.
But if you bring in Quentin moving Cruz to RF Smith to LF and Ackley to 1B....well then Cruz plays OF almost every day (goodness knows you are not sitting him). Man I'm not sure I want that........not becuase he can't glove it well enough but that his bat is too valuble to play him in RF everyday. He's a big investment....stretch that investment out.
I like Quentin....used to like him more. I'm just not sure he fits us well right now.
If he hits .400-.500-.600 over the next three weeks.....well then it might not be a close call.
But if he hits no better than Guti Montero Romero or Kivlehan.......well then I'm not very sure....
I gotta agree that he's fine on defense. Not great but also not at all a liability from what I've seen. Fly balls hit to him are not adventurous in the slightest.
I agree - he's not bad out there. Better than I thought. I do hope that Lloyd gives him plenty of days of DH rest though. Hitting early is good. But hitting late is critical. We don't want him wore down come Sept.
I've been pretty busy lately. Have three little kids coaching pewee baseball (despite being a terrible baseball player) ballet stuff for another kid speech therapy stuff for a third and church duties. My wife is a teacher so she is doing continual end of year teacher stuff. I'm in a continual money crunch as I'm whipsawed between the IRS and my wife and I's student loans and local sales tax. The more you make the more they take. I'm trying to make my last payment for the 2013 tax year. Also my job is fairly busy with several new crises. Lately I've been whipsawed between very complicated subject matters.
I've had tribal sovereignty problems insurance contract problems materialman's lien problems usury problems statute of limitations for child support lien problems and interstate child support enforcement problems and post conviction relief (a type of criminal appeal) problems all within the last several weeks.
I tend to gravitate toward writing shtick at SSI when I'm not researching and writing enough at work and lately it has been the opposite. I have a good but limited capacity for study.
Also the Mariners rollercoaster of extreme highs followed by extreme lows has made me pretty queasy the last few weeks.
Still the shtick has been first rate and I've read everything that has been written.
Sorry to be AWOL despite personal stuff the shtick must go on.
I don't "mind" seeing Cruz out there but the guy I really want to see is Franklin Gutierrez.
Love love love seeing this from Seager. Hitters with anything like 1.0 K/BB ratio are rare gems these days and we have two of them in Seager and Cano.
Jeff thanks for the obvious that few want to admit. The pitch count of 100 is nothing more than an arbitrary guess at what should be nearing the limit. Pitching coaches need to know their pitchers and what is their personal limits. If he is tired heat been sick or a myriad of factors deal with that. But get a few more out of him? Obviously you may want to avoid certain hitters but other than that....formulas can have their limitations.
Cruz and the uppercut? Maybe he was reading Ted Williams on the Science of hitting? May the Splendid Splinter rub off on him!
Hope you are doing great!!!!!
Could it be that Cruz has increased his angle of attack to compensate for Safeco distances and Sound effects (as in Puget)? Whatever the cause the result is tremendous. And his fielding has been far better than advertised or expected. Hindsight being my strongest sense I sure wish we'd have picked him up last year... yeah I know.
And continuing my efforts to mind-read across great distances with no actual perceptive faculties to do so I suspect Quentin is perhaps a symbolic add. He's not the first I'd bring up to spell LoMo -- but he can sure serve to light a fire under the first base bag.
From as close to the inner circle as Saturn's rings are to the mountains of eastern Washington
Tuner. (aka Carnac)
But that was before I got surprise-evicted by a dumb landlord. Packing and finding a new place to live is taking up a lot of my time. So I watch the games while I pack and that's about what I've got time for.
Nothing can keep me from Mariners games but apparently some things can keep me from posting about em. ;-)
Go get 'em Rick!
And I'll (presume to) generalize your and Mojo's comments to --- > the older audience at SSI which is one of the things I like most about the site :- )
And if he's NOT ripping it up and needs more time what point would there be in leaving the org?
Logical post. In the dictionary definition of the word.
I've never felt so nervous about a baseball player hurting himself on defense as I do watching Cruz play D. Woop take that back. Edgar was over 20 years ago now though.
A bit of R&R for good amigos who could really use some. Thanks for the heads up there Mojo. I would wish you luck on all that stuff but realize that you don't need it....
Just curious. Random question. Do you personally read "Hey Bill" when you get a minute to surf baseball?
And Sea! Grr! won't finish at 1.0 but he's movin' forward.
When I read him so long ago that point didn't take. If you have a minute could you explain it?
And Jeff ... my son wonders how Cruz will react to a diet of high heat. Thoughts?
It's thought-provoking especially since Jack Z's comments were rather pointed at the time. "Things can change quickly in the big leagues." Now that you point it out it makes a lot of sense.
Good stuff Tuner! Like the pic of Mr. Friedrichsen (sp) too :- )
What's wrong with posting from your car? They got smartphones and space heaters with adapters.
Text your ex-landlord that he is on Seattle baseball's mud list.
His .995 OPS and .571 SLG is impressive for a guy who missed all of last season.
Pitchers are throwing lower in the zone and he's just slightly changing his swing path to put the barrel on the ball. I haven't been a Cruz fan but I sure am now he's just very impressive as a hitter and a better fielder than credited IMO.
Sadly the Ms aren't quite returning my love for them with crisp quality wins at the moment. Don't they know I'm standing in shadows under balconies and composing sonnets for my dearest Roxane? If only she would openly acknowledge my affections and feel the same before death takes me in the courtyard by the tree...
Was this a no-contract lease? Did you do something they didn't like?
Jeff I have long since given my copy of Ted Williams away so I don't want to misquote him. I don't have it memorized like Hogan's 5 Fundamentals! And I have not been able to see much of Cruz except through highlights so far. I like to make things simple especially be it a golf swing or holding a bat. I think if one focuses on an upper cut per say they are doomed as they are swinging to swing rather than to hit if that makes sense. Proper lag and plane in a swing will have solid fundamentals....then direct that to the ball. That is why Ted Williams was so consistent. He didn't simply have a Gene Littler swing but like we got to watch with someone like Edgar was able to apply those mechanics to hit the pitch. It is so hard in baseball as it is not sitting on a tee.
I will have to hunt down a copy and reread the exact words that Williams used or someone else help please! High heat? I think that Cruz would eat that alive if it were too steady. Good fundaments creates a swing to hit not create holes. Easier said than done. See left field!
Question when I watched Seth Smith come up through the Rockies here he sprayed the ball ala Todd Helton. Then he gradually started to get pull happy. How has he been thus far?
And when I went to renew the lease I told the landlord that I could do 6 months or a year but if they wanted to do 6 months that would probably work for me as my gf might be getting a job about an hour away when she gets promoted. Now mind you she might get promoted HERE and it's all up in the air but I wanted to give them the heads up so that if they wanted to spend 6 months fixing the house up for sale we could work around each other.
Instead they sold their other house denied me the ability to re-sign the lease and are kicking me out by Memorial Day so that they can move back in to MY house. All without talking to me. Found out they were having house showings of their other house on Facebook.
I've considered making life miserable for them by staying (since I have rights even in a month-to-month situation) but as long as I can find a place I'm not really inclined to be vindictive. It does suck though. I knew them as work-friends too. Friends no longer.
It's three days after your post and I just now saw it. But I still remember my heart jumping into my throat on that play. If I'm McClendon I swallow hard when I write Cruz' name into the lineup in the outfield not because of his defense but because of the risk of injury. Right now the entire M's offense is pretty much Nelson Cruz.