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 level of accuracy and detail Paxton is talking about, is impressive.
It's a truism: older pitchers know more about their mechanics. They just get to know their motions better, and then (as you might imagine) they're less likely to make awkward micro-re-adjustments. Hopefully Pax has hit that point in his career at which he can throw smoothly and consistently.
Here is a vid, shot from a bevy of confusing angles, which underlines the back-foot yakker and the 97 MPH paintball. Paxton is capable of a crushing season and, healthy, he might make that look easy for us.
CRUZ at 1B?
It might seem the M's are stacked at 1B, but Sodo Mojo is not about boring thinking, and this article allows more elbow room for Dan Vogelbach and extra games at bat for Mike Zunino.
I dunno; I remember lots of discussions over the years as to whether a player COULD handle the slow, slow, SLOW des-hitter position without getting cold and dropping off in production. (You know how they "ice the kicker/shooter" with timeouts. Some guys, such as me, just play better when they're perspiring.)
Don't know whether the beat writers will EVER be done with this Edgar-as-DH chickenfeathers but it says here that --- > producing top, top quality AB's while sitting an hour in between each one? That's a skill too.
Boomstick HIT .293, with a .378 OBP (! exactly Derek Jeter's OBP) and a .556 SLG (exactly Mantle's! and Mays'! SLG) from the DH slot last year.
Is he tailing off at age 37-38? Last year from August 1 through the checkered flag, he hit .314/.402/.644. Slap me silly and call me Shirley. Five or six guys in history, most of them in the Ruth-Foxx era plus Bonds, slugged .600. But, adjusting for Safeco, Boomstick is giving us some pretty crazy cleanup power. Let's savor it while it lasts.
So the M's, with a dynamic SS, a Mt Rushmore icon at 3B, a zillionaire at 2B, are in a position to jigsaw-puzzle bat-only players at 1B. It's a luxury, but one that they've earned themselves.