He'd been pitching pretty well...then he gets splattered like he's nothing but a cockroach in a NY apartment. 6 runs...why?
For 2 innings, it coulda been an Ultra Quality Start from 2015:
- Explosive lower half drop and drive (as Hyphen pointed out)
- Crisp fastball -- acceptable depth, late bite, nice location and touch
- Best yakker he's ever had
- Dry spitter had the late drop. Not 2014 maybe but I'll go with 2015
- Pitch sequences maybe not epic, but certainly TOR
This comes on the heels of two other good games. The last one? Blowers said he was sitting behind home plate, watching Felix spin curves and spitters, and the universal agreement was "even at 90-91, he's one of the game's stoppers." Not that it's the gospel truth that Felix will remain a Cy contender, but --- > Dr. D has always believed that with Felix' offspeed stuff, he'll figure SOMEthing out.
The game before that (check me) was the WBC.
The homer today. Zuumball set the mitt for an Iwakuma ladder fastball, 1 ball over the top of the zone. Felix threw it 6" lower than that. Which makes it a BP fastball. "Takes practice," Krueger said. But if and when Felix gets the ladder fastball playing off his 12-6 curve, that will be a fresh new set of weapons for him. He's just too used to living at the kneecaps the last 10 years.
But in 2 innings today, he had 4 strikeouts, all of them completely legit. The batters were worse than him, they deserved to strike out, and they did strike out.
Dr's Prognosis: Don't count up the Cy votes yet, but! Felix has shown exactly what we were hoping to see. On my roto draft board, he's around the #15, #16 starter in the AL, something like that. Really good bet for close to 200 quality innings. James has him #29 in both leagues. And, tip o' the kelly to Sherminator who relayed the importance of Felix' stuff after the USA game.
The King's Court, by the way, is one of the few organic fan fests that baseball has. Don't forget to savor it. Another year of K! K! K! might actually mean another six years of it. It's about career transition.
Maybe it's not a done deal, but things look WAY WAY better than they did right before the WBC game. Or so sez the Mainframe.
1 SEGURA, 2 HANIGER
They tried it today, the batting lineup, and myriad debating ensued.
Debating WHAT? It's a no-brainer. Dr. D is already counting his 2-run 1st-inning chickens. MWAHAHAHAHHA oh and by the way, this is the kinda situation where you can get the 100 runs from the top guys and the 100-and-plenty RBI's from the middle guys.
Well, or that's what we are dreaming of for Opening Day. Have got a workout routine going and the short-term goal is to have the workout calendar looking perfect as I settle in to watch the first game. Man? When you got a goal like that, life's good.
BOOMSTICK IN RF
With 4, maybe 5 center fielders on the ballclub and Cruz a -5, -10 right fielder, you'd think it would be Edgar Time for the Boom. But ... little tip. It is easier to play sports good, when you're sweating. Maintaining the FEEL of being a combo DH/OF is a nice psychological edge. Also, with Cruz in RF you've got the late-game speed substitutions off the bench.
That said, Greg Johns' mailbag sez
I expect the big man to play significantly less outfield than he did last year, when he started 48 games in right. He actually hit much better when just DHing last year than in the field, reversing his earlier career results. With Danny Valencia holding the full-time first base job now, the Mariners don't have any other real DH option and the outfield defense is much better with Mitch Haniger and Dyson at the corners. Plus, keeping Cruz healthy and having his bat in the lineup is priority No. 1.
Wasn't at all nicked by the homer he gave up to a lefty batter. Kiekhefer fills the zone with sidearm LOOGY strikes. He's fine in the role, it sez here. Whether the 40-man roster is fine too, that's another subject. The luxury of Kiekhefer would require a move. As we all know, Jerry Dipoto does not like to make moves.
At Lookout Landing some commenter suggested Mark Lowe, Ross Detweiler and Jon Niese. No idea whether those are the best 8th-inning arms available.
If you couldn't come up with an Instant 8th Inning Lockdown guy I'd just use Scribner or somebody, until a pitcher steps up. If you trade for somebody as good as Vincent, what's the point? And furthermore, the reason Casey Fien is here, is because he was comfortable in the 8th for Minnesota. He's got like 250 career holds.
Would love to have a Wade Davis or two for the 8th, but you like the M's chances of seeing somesuch pitcher emerge by May 15. If you really are renting-a-relief-stud, don't go short. This staff already has plenty of "layering" from our point of view.
He gave up a homer in his second inning of work, then a weak grounder, followed by a line double on an 1-1 count and a homer on an 0-2 pitch, followed by a strikeout. I don't know if he was just out of gas for the day or what, but the dude has an amazing tendency to follow homers with strikeouts and hard hit balls.
Think I counted five mortar shots in that inning. Anyone of them could have caused an injury to a fan or a fielder.
From a cross-sports standpoint, now that I have watched it, I would compare it to an amateur golfer who hits a ball into the sand and then runs down and takes a quick hack to get the experience over with as soon as possible . He looked on tilt for sure.
great little catch on that HR-aftermath syndome Mal!
Why did the mariners Casio Felix at two innings this late in the spring?
They saw everything they needed to; he proved he was still riding the edge just fine, so shut it down and save it for the real games. The King may need some work in the bullpen, and timing/location tweaks for the next minor adjustment... but seasoning is not an issue.
...so far, the most he's thrown in any outing is 73. He needs to get to 100 by opening day.
Since is the last week of spring, all the staters are capped at 2-3 innings to keep fresh arms. Also, Drew Smyly just got scratched...
cue Jaws theme song.
the team doctor is calling it arm discomfort. Sounds like nothing major.
Never heard "soggy." Wouldnt use it in reference to my biceps after curl day. I am paddling desperately for the beach. Calling Max Povse ....
So yeah. Beats the stuffing out of hearing something about a ligament or tendon.
Between Kuma walking everyone today, Gallardo giving up homers 1-9 to the Padres and Smyly walking around with a soggy arm things are feeling a bit dicey. Atleast Fifi's looking regal and Pax is still Zeus. Also I think Dylan Unsworth has turned some heads this spring. No runs in 12 innings with 14 ks. Maybe he gets a nod sooner than most of the other guys (Moore, Posve, maybe even Heston).
Felix said he looked forward to winding down to 3 innings in his last start ifI remember correctly. May have been 2 or 2-3. It's been the plan that this start would be short anyway. I assume he got work on the side afterward but haven't heard anywhere specifically this time.
I haven't heard much from Mark Lowe in a couple of years, but I certainly have fond memories!
Matt, I read elsewhere that "MLB teams often scale back their starters toward the end of Spring Training, to be sure their arms are fresh for the season." (I know... sounds screwy to me, too!)
I'm not that worried about Felix's ability to get people out even as his velocity declines. For example, in the last four innings of his 2012 perfect game he threw 78 percent off-speed and obviously nobody could touch him. It's much more a question of control. His stuff moves so much that keeping it in or near the zone is the biggest issue.
Speaking of the perfect game, you can look at GIF's of every pitch in the game at off-speed.com.
Great stat. But my question is, have you emailed it to Felix?!
sudden thought. Which all-time Dodger had a fair fastball and great breaking stuff? Besides Hough ;- )
Orel, Maglie, Fernando . . . should I stop yet.
:- ). But that's one whale of a start.
so, YOUR thoughts on a second, Sutton like, decade for Felix?
Haas been why I've never subscribed to the whole "Felix is done without velocity" nonsense. I just want to ask those people "Haven't you seen his other pitches?" I have only been surprised that he's had as much trouble. I can only figure his return to dominance is anyway now for so long though. Hopefully he's almost there.
. . . body types, although not sure that matters. Some excellent hefty guys lasted forever - CC, Wells, Colon, Tiant.
I think if Feliz stays healthy there is absolutely no reason he can't pitch well for a long time. So much of his success comes from the suppleness of his hand and wrist. He can impart enormous spin without much physical effort so losing speed won't hurt him as much as it might others. His fastballs have always been his worst pitches anyway, almost from the beginning. Of course, that same spin can make the pitches uncontrollable. Look at some of those pitches on off-speed.com - it's astonishing how much trouble Jaso has holding on to the ball. It just moves so much.
Sutton was a control artist not a stuff guy. That said, I think Felix's model ought to be a guy on his own team - Kuma. If he ever throws a fastball that catches more than an inch of the plate it was a horrible mistake. Feliz will never be that fine but with his stuff he doesn't have to be if he uses the fastballs as a tease, not a weapon.