Gaviglio, Bergman and Moore vs MLBtm Vets
we were bound to find our 3-4 starters sometime, right? Right?

In the water-cooler chat, one cubicle to your right, Mo' Dawg wonders if we might not be better off with the 3-4 starters we gots already.


Bergman's better right now, too. He was creamed in one start, but has been nails recently, otherwise:  25 innings, 17 hits, 3 ER's. 

Gallardo is scheduled up on the 12th and Bergman the 13th, but Moore wouldn't throw until the 14th, which is Gaviglio's start.   You could move Bergman and Gaviglio up a day each...or you look to the 17th in Texas to let Moore bump Gallardo (or the 22nd at home vs. Detroit). 

Hey, I'm kind of to the point where I'm not concerned with Kuma getting back.  Smyly?  Completely off my radar right now ((If he's after the All-Star break, then he's 40+ games away).


Agreed with Moe's general sentiments as usual.  Agreed with his specific applications as usual.  Kicking the ball down the soccer field in the 2 v 1 breakaway:

1)  Christian Bergman didn't have his great change speed game last time out, but he had legit Doug Fister(TM) tri-fastball location rather than fuzzy Doug Fister tri-fastball location.  It was nassssssty.  His fourth pitch was a hard cutter/slider that was also a pretty decent weapon.

When a guy with Bergman's track record pitches so well, you blink your eyes.  And blink them some more.  And wonder if you're seeing things.  But pitchers do refine their craft, given enough time.  James' maxim was:  MOST pitchers, if they stayed healthy and in the rotation, would figure out a way to get people out.  Like Moe sez, Bergman has been authentically tough.  It's getting harder to bet against 'im, ain't it?


2) One of the Denizens pointed out that Dipoto could seek to offload Yovani Gallardo, in Wade Miley fashion (perhaps eating a reasonable $3M of the remaining deal).  It hadn't occurred to me, but that sounds right.  Some major league GM's are probably going to be thinking like Billy Zoom, that Gallardo is throwing a lot better than he's being given credit for.  And from the M's point of view, they do have a traffic jam emerging in the rotation now.

Starts to sound doable.


3) I definitely agree that Sam Gaviglio should keep Iwakuma in a circle-the-airport pattern, for several more starts, anyway.  That would apply for me, even if Iwakuma were ready, which he ain't.  At this point I for sure want to see who Sam Gaviglio is.


4) Drew Smyly IS off the radar, but I was surprised to see this:  Smyly threw a bullpen yesterday, without pain, and after a handful more bullpen sessions could throw a sim game.  So it's realistic that he could be back in a month, which is 5 starts or so.

It's tempting to "move on" from Smyly, but leave us not forget that he was a Top of Rotation (TOR) #3 starter to begin with, and that he was a Cy Young candidate in the WBC.  This dude can flat-out pitch.  He steps right into any rotation in baseball and makes it better.

The Mariners survived the DL's best shot, and in Billy Beane fashion, seem to be jelling as the season drops into Dog Days mode.


5)  Here's a very good writeup on Adam Moore from Kate Preusser.  Check it out.  It's Denizen-quality ;- )


6)  The Mariners are soft-pedalling Felix' return.  Here's a piece on it.  Sounds very much like they're wit' Mo Dawg:  if the Safeco rotation ain't broken, don't hurry too much to fix it.  Annoying for Felix, palpably.  But here in the peanut gallery we are feeling no pain.

Dr's Prognosis?  Hey, Drew Smyly and Felix Hernandez are good major league pitchers.  But here we sit wondering if we want them back.  Think about that.  Give THIS lineup some starting pitching and, mercy sakes alive, maybe it can win the pennant..



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Dr D



I'm very keen on dumping Yovani (it still hurts my 10 years ago self to write that, by the way), but here's the thing. Maybe we shouldn't stop there. I like Gaviglio and Bergman; for me, they've been the silver lining we've been looking for in all of this, and I don't want them to GO anywhere. (Okay fine, Miranda's solidification is truly the icing on the DL-horror fest cake).

That said, I also I like what Smyly has been and we need to know what Felix now is - just like we did with some of the younger guys.

Felix isn't going anywhere, not on that contract, and neither should Smyly. Let's say we ship off Gallardo AND - why not? - Iwakuma. Which of these players, after all, has the most impact for the '18-'19 teams? Do that and we're still dealing with a mini-jam, going Paxton-Felix (for the name)-Miranda-Smyly-Bergman. You've still got Gaviglio and Moore (forgot anyone else) cooling their jets in AAA, but that leaves you with a competition for the 5 slot and a fail-safe in case of meltdown/injury.

I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to ship guys off. (That's DiPoto's thing, after all...) But with these other guys emerging, suddenly I'm not as unwilling to move on from Hisashi as I might have been previously. Am I nuts? (It's quite possible. But if I am... are we really supposed to just demote Bergman/Gaviglio both and forget about 'em until the next emergency?)


Last 4 seasons, ERA+ has been 103, 108, 100, 96.  FIP has been about 3.90, 8.5 H/9 and 2 BB's.

That's a better than decent #4, maybe a #3. Maybe. 

Who is it?  Give up?

That's our Kuma.  Really.  After his 138 ERA+ in '13, Kuma has been not as good as we want him to be.  OK, his peripherals were better in '14...but he's hasn't been an "Ace," ever (Edit:I was a bit too flippant here.  Through large stretchs of '13-'14, Kuma did pitch like an Ace) ...and hasn't been a #2 in several seasons.  I'll be glad to have him back, but I'm not sure the pen isn't where he belongs.  Would take some Servais guts, however.


Good news on Smyly.  I would love to have him back; my "off the radar" comment wasn't pointing out that we've got better guys lurking at the back of the rotation, just that I've quit worrying about his return.  But a BP session yesterday for him is terrific.  Post-All-Star Break it is.

If I might, I'm going to toot Miranda's horn a bit, too.  8 of his last 9 starts have been of the Quality (or better) variety and he now sports a career H/9 of 7.1.  Pax's carrer # is 6.4, Kershaw's is 6.6 and Chris Sales' is 7.4.  Those three are pretty famously tough lefties, you might remember.  Oh, they K more guys and BB less   (Miranda's K rate is up 1.3 this season), but I think we're watching a REAL good pitcher get even better.  Sudden Sam McDowell, did just fine with a 7 H/9 rate and more than your average # of BB's.  His homer rate was phenominally low, .06, however.  Miranda's was 1.9 last years, is 1.3 this year.  It looks like he's walking a few more guys, but missing in the wheelhouse fewer times, too.

Miranda's 7.1 H/9 and 3.2 BB/9 looks weirdly like the 6.8 and 3.2 career numbers put up by some dude named Koufax, btw.  :)

Speaking of whom:  Sandy Koufax had his best run of seasons from '62 to '66, when his ERA+ 143, 159, 186, 160, 190.  He was 30 years old when he threw that last pitch in '66, his final year.

Clayton Kershaw is now 29, his last SEVEN seasons ('17 included) have seen ERA+ numbers of 161, 150, 194, 197, 173, 235, 185.  Koufax never did that.

Carlton never even came close, not in the same zip code, in fact.  Ditto Whitey Ford.  

Glavine?  Topped out at 168, his only season above 153, led the league only once.  

Carl Hubbell?  Had an impressive six season run of 139, 149, 193, 168, 118, 169.  Tht isn't Kershaw-esque, however.  Want to hear something weird?  Hubbell K'ed only 4.2 guys per 9.  Of course that was back in the day when hitters who K'ed were frowned upon.

Spahn?  Had single seasons (7 years apart) of 170 and 188, but never again exceeded 130 over a long LONG career.  

Lefty Carlton, you ask? Only once did he have two consecutive seasons above 150 (162, 151). Even he isn't Kershaw, not even a low-rent one.

Only when you get to Lefty Grove do you find a guy (other than Koufax) who can compare.  Grove had a seven-season run of 165, 132, 155, 149, 185, 217, 160 and then after a dismal, injury-plagued '34, he tallied 5 more seasons of 175, 189, 159, 160 and 185.  OK, that is in the Kershaw neighborhood.  Of course, that run started in '26 and ended in '39, about the time DaddyO was born.  :) 

This is all off the "Young Blood" subject, I know, but it is worth noting that Clayton Kershaw may well be the best LH pitcher in the history of the game.  At comparable ages, he's gone 134-62 with a 2.36 ERA and 3 Cy's, compared to Koufax's 165-87, 2.76, and 3 Cy's.  

Kershaw is better.

And remember (comparing ERA's) Koufax was done in '66, never pitching after the mound was lowered following the '68 season and Gibson's 1.12.  Gibson, btw, never even sniffed this level of Kershaw multi-season phenominal consistency.

Is Kershaw better than Grove?  Make your own call, but I'm pretty sure where I sit.

Of course, Randy Johnson sits in the lefty pantheon, too.  Hss best streak was ELEVEN years of 152, 193, 136, 197, 135, 184, 181, 188, 195, 110, 176!!!  Kershaw is knocking on that kind of door.

As I've pointed out, Mike Trout is on the very short list of the greatest hitters in the history of the game.  He and Kershaw are playing in the same city at the same time.

I'm betting Vin Scully just loves that.  We should, too.

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