Fizzlers, going in to Opening Day
three M's who would do better not to show up in Texas



Don't get me wrong.  Putting a dubious LEFT fielder out there into center field can be fun.  But every rose has its thorn.  Also, every 1-0 loss which is caused by a misread fly ball has a downhill roll through a blackberry patch.

I counted four balls hit to Aoki, one being the blundered popup to center.  The other three of which he had "surrounded" from East, West, and North.  Dr. D is hardly a defensive purist, but it's hard to believe this is the franchise that didn't believe Michael Saunders could play CF.

Obviously, Smith Cruz and Gutierrez are CF debit card swaps that are going to be rudely declined by the home plate ump.  You're left a starting center fielder, King Leonydas, that actually has to be subbed out to Cheney if you tire of his impending 50 OPS+.  If you want to even rest Leonydas for one game against a Chris Sale, you've got a mondo extreme "bat-first" center fielder (Aoki) who is a league-average 103+ hitter.


Funny thing, though.  The other day they had a TV graphic up, the 5 best OPS's in the game last year, left hand batters against left hand pitchers.  It had Votto, Harper, Hamilton, some other guy and ... Nori Aoki.  He spotted them 15 homers apiece and still caught 'em coming around the turn.


Batter vs LHP, career AVG OBP SLG EYE ratio
Ichiro .318 .365 .418 0.58
ichiro lite (Aoki) .321 .376 .400 0.85


You probly knew that already, but it completely changed the way Dr. D felt about this lineup against AL West lefties.  All of a sudden Dr. D realizes, with a start, that we're bristling with Grade A weapons from this side of the batter's box.  Pity the fool David Price.  We will carry his head through the city on a truncheon.



Since Dae-Ho Lee made the club, we hear a torrent of (hopeful) comments to the effect that Adam Lind will get more vs. LHP at-bats than anybody thinks.  Oh!  So we'll have a 24.5 man roster in which the 0.5 player specializes against LHP's ... for 127 at-bats on the season.  Dr. D feels his stomach do a slow roll to the left as that KFC begins waging a cage match against the resident oatmeal.

Too much information?  And our wonderfully "inclusive" track record with Johjima - Petagine - Lee - Iwakuma's-first-spring is not?!



Was roughed up for two singles on Friday.  As against this, his agent had nothing to put on the other side of the ledger but 3.0 IP, 0 BB, and 4 K.  The Mainframe had a freeze and had to re-boot, because when Friday's game was inputted, it grokked

  • A slow 12-6 curve with sharp late break that locked knees.  Fister-, Sele- type yakker
  • A funky little 85 MPH changeup that batters couldn't hit whether it was located low or high (NO idea why not)
  • Hitters oddly swinging through Roach's supersinker even when it was stomach level (and when it sunk below the knees it was death on a stick)
  • 4 grounders, 0 fly balls, 4 strikeouts in 9 outs

"What would be his strikeout pitch?", we had asked.  "Yes," was the Friday reply.  Even the sinker dove so much that they swung over the top of it.  Something is weird here.  Dr. D may not yet know what it is, but he can assure you it is weird.  Get Roach out of here before he messes with our 2-lefty concept.



For the one and only Mariner who has showed us anything lately,* grok the D-O-V Mainframe.



*that's tongue in cheek, Matty.  :- )





i understand as well as the next person what a small sample size is, but roach's K rate this spring just doesn't appear normal to me for a person with his minor league transcript, spring or no spring, sample size or no small.

it was the 6 Ks in 3 innings back on the 15th that really... i mean, physically how does that happen. ok, ok, sure, i know, anything can happen in one outing, sure it can. but when you're supposed to be running a 3.3 K/9, a couple outings like that will throw your whole season off pretty fast. you'll have to start over

makes me feel like somethin's goin' on.

i have not, of course, actually seen him.



That was my thought exactly Wily Mo.

The big overhand curve provides a definite clue.  On Friday, as it crossed home plate it was dropping at a sharp angle, and it looked like he could command its location at will (the hitters had to dip their back knees to go down with it, as opposed to whaling away belt-high).  In this particular game it was a Sele curve.

The 0 walks in 20 preseason innings don't exactly argue against his game-in, game-out command, either.

When the sinker is thrown at a downward angle (from high overhand to hit the knees) it also has an impressive shape to it, like reaching your hands over a barrel to grab something behind it.  On Friday the low sinking fastball was every inch a Wang sinker.

Could be the hitters are so focused on dealing with a 'novel' shape on the fastball that they get sort of sensory-overloaded with the -12 MPH yakker.

Super impressive outing.  Of course the Colorado game leaves him with 18K in 20IP preseason and we can safely rule THAT out.  But can he pitch?  The pitcher we saw Friday night is a flippin' good bet to do so.  


I doubt Roach is really THIS good...but he seems to have leapt a plateau.  I hope he gets to play a lot this year...somehow...


Over the past 8 seasons, where he's been a real MLB'er, Adam Lind's OPS vL has been .586!  In 1000 PA's, he's hitting .213 with a 55-255 BB-K rate.

His individual seasons have been, .542-.688-.780-.341-.639-.553-.573-.223-.575.  In '10 (the .341) he had 5 BB's and 52 K's in 145 PA's.   In '14 (.223) he hit .061.  Back in '09 he wasn't bad, for a brief bit, but more than 800 attempts since then indicate otherwise.

OK, maybe Edgar gets in his head and the light goes on and he zooms all the way to .688, pretty near his demonstrated ceiling.  Brendan Ryan's career vL split is .638, just to remind you.  

He "might" hit lefties in '16.  I'm not sure that's more likely than him whiffing away at a sub-.600 rate.  

We kept Lee for a reason that had little to do with his glove or wheels.  We will use him for that reason.


Roach was really interesting to watch Friday night. It's kind of a bummer to have to send a kid who had that kind of spring down to AAA. But I'm actually kind of glad about it. Every spring during the Z regime we saw some previously below average shock the world in March and fight for a spot on the roster. Then generally the kid was exposed in April and promptly sent down. See: Tyler Olsen in 2015, Abe Almonte 2014, Carlos Peguero 2013, etc.

I am totally on board with seeing if Roach's plateau jump are legit - in AAA first. If he keeps it up I have no doubt an opportunity will present itself in the major league pen. And I look forward to it! Depth is a great thing to have, turns out.


I'm of the opposite opinion on a guy like Roach:  What else do you want him to prove in AAA?  He's not going to walk anybody (never has except the weird '14), he's not going to K anybody (never has), and he's going to throw 2 GB's for every FB (more than twice the MLB average).  

He's not going to K 9 guys a game (as he did this spring) and he's not going a whole season w/o a BB.

But he's a pretty good arm with a silky motion and anose-dive pitch that heads for the dirt.  The proper question isn't whether he's a decent MLB reliever, but whether he's better than any of the other RH RP's we have.  Basically that boils down to Roach vs. Zych and Vincent.

Zych had a very nice run in Seattle last year and a good spring if you ignore the three homers.  Vincent has been a dang fine reliever.  Do you  move one of them for Roach?  He's picted well enough to keep....but so have they and they have a bit more big league pedigree.

But as soon as one of our RP's (besides Sribner) tweaks something, he'll be here.  Perhaps to stay.

I like the guy a lot.  Heck, he might be as good a bet as Benoit.  He'll be here.

Normally I'm all over keeping a Roach up, but if we're going with a two lefty pen....we're out of spots.  


Those are the two guys most likely to fail.

However, I disagree that there is nothing left to prove for Roach.  He has, in the past, K'ed 3.5 men per 9...this spring he showed the ability to increase that.  It would be nice to see whether he can actually K 6/9 IP in the minors...the difference in projectability between those two models is vast.


I forgot about Peralta.  He's not listed on the 25-man Mariners Roster page.


one shred of evidence that Cishek isn't the worst right-hander in the pen.

JD proved that he's happy to discard his predecessor's bullpen pieces...I wonder how long it might take to demote one of his own?

(And let's hope this dilemma never comes to pass...)


Thanks for pointing out Aoki's performance against lefties in his career.  That prompted me to take a look at how we might stack up against lefties and righties this year.  About 1/3 of our plate apearances were against lefties last year (2016 vs lefties, 4115 vs. righties), and our team WRC was 103 vs lefties and 99 vs. righties.

Starting Lineup vs Lefties: (WRC - 2015, 4 year average, best, worst)

  1. Aoki (127, 118, 150, 92)
  2. Marte (103)
  3. Cano (99, 101, 115, 78)
  4. Cruz (202, 165, 202, 121)
  5. Seager (131, 100, 131, 85)
  6. Iannetta (116, 132, 153, 91)
  7. Gutierrez (168,163, 221, 83)
  8. Lee (?)
  9. Martin (47, 53, 59, 53)

Starting Lineup vs Righties: (WRC - 2015, 4 year average, best, worst)

  1. Aoki (107, 103, 123, 88)
  2. Marte (121)
  3. Cano (126, 159, 195, 126)
  4. Cruz (141, 120, 141, 92)
  5. Lind (135, 142, 166, 114)
  6. Smith (122, 122, 133, 109)
  7. Seager (107, 126, 148, 107)
  8. Clevenger (96, 73, 96, 30) or Iannetta (65, 96, 114, 65)
  9. Martin (52, 89, 100, 52)

A couple of thoughts:

If Lee hits league average vs lefties, that doesn't look bad.  If his vs L numbers from Japan translate over like the average of other NPB'ers, he might end up in the 120+ range.  

The one black hole vs. lefties is Martin, even in his best year (WRC of 59!).  Do you go with the all hit outfield (Gutierez 168, Aoki 127, Cruz 202) vs. lefties? Risk Guti's fragile frame in center? Or put Sardinas out there?  


Divish has some Servais quotes indicating that against RH starters, Seager will bat #2 while against LH starters, Marte will bat #2. 5/6/7 will depend if Guti is playing that day or not. 

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