IceX linked us to this Fangraphs article, warning that Drew Smyly could be up for a breakout year. Great link IceX thank you viddy much. Any Denizen who didn't click thru Ice's link gotta go get it right Now. From Sullivan no less. He is sticking to just the fa'ax, ma'am, and he calmly underlines the fact that when established pitchers gain any significant velocity, they have big seasons.
Because Sullivan was confining himself to "pure sabermetrics" (MPH-vs-ERA) he didn't even touch on the key to the VENZ game, though Sullivan would have been well aware of it. Dr. D's big thing was that Smyly threw pitches in on the hands of righties. And that Smyly threw the fastball with purpose at knees and shoulders, changing the eye level (which he doesn't even really need to do, given his curve). And the attack-rhythm thing.
In any case, here's the takeaway for SSI Denizens: --- >the fact that Smyly has (so far in 2017) had extra panache on the ball across his starts, and that it is ON HIS CUTTER TOO, well, that --- > MUCHLY increases the chance of 2017 rainbows and ponies. Rick (who promptly roto-swapped for Smyly following the VENZ game) should almost as thrilled at this news as he was at the original VENZ performance.
Here's an amusing link in which some guy flatly announces that the M's rotation will scuttle their playoff hopes :- ) "come the regular season, the rotation's flaws will show ... and likely be too much to overcome." LOL. It could happen, but that's hardly a nuanced read on the M's 1-9 starters this week.
HEREDIA VS GAMEL
Sounds as if the M's are leaning hard towards one of them for the Opening Day roster. Which? My son got the new Switch video game platform, which has a Quick Draw on it. In the first few tries, he and dad "tied" (shot each other daid) based on timing to 1/1000 of a second. Hilarious.
That's where I am on Ben Gamel -- who's 80% of the way to a Best Bet -- and Guillermo Heredia. If I had to draft one of them in roto for 2017 (or appoint one to the M's roster) I would perish from starvation like the donkey between two haystacks. First time we ever remember being .50000 - .50000 on two players like that.
On cue the other day, Matty and I were musing about Gamel's defense when some Giant hit a rocket against the wall and (1) Gamel took a bit of a funky route back, per Matt's emphasis, but then (2) made a terrific play adjusting while crashing into the wall.
But here's where Jerry Dipoto reassures Dr. D greatly. As of this moment, he considers all 5 of the M's OF's (including Haniger) to be legitimate CENTER fielders. In which case we'll smylingly re-assert that you can plan on Gamel playing considerably better glove than some hypothetical drone left fielder. :: fistbump ::
This would apply to Heredia too, naturally. Which, given Heredia's EYE, makes him also something of an interesting "right hand Brett Gardner" player pair. They're not a perfect match, but you've got to acknowledge the D-specialization and the possibility of batting second in the lineup.
WHAT'S THE MOTTER WITH A THIRD LEFTY IN THE OUTFIELD, ANYWAY
OK, if you super pressed us about it ... as a player it seems Heredia could use a few more AB's adjusting to the U.S. than Gamel would need. But rebalancing the .50000 vs .50000 scales is that the M's could use a righty. Matt Moore against an OF of lefties? You don't want automatic outs from your bat slots. Doesn't help that much to sub Gamel in, against the Chris Sales of the world. As a completely separate issue, you don't really want Gamel's 100-AB trial to come mostly LH-on-LH.
:: shrug ::
That RH/LH factor may be reduced because Boomstick wants 40 games in RF. Or maybe it's reduced by Taylor Motter inching into the pole position for backup SS. He takes Jose Bautista swings against lefties and they just started a plan to get Motter spring games in the OF and 1B.
... if they brought Motter with them to Seattle, then because of Motter's scary K rate in the minors, I'd give him a 60-70% chance of failure... as a fulltime shortstop. As a right hand role player, asked to hit LHP decently? Not so much.
LEONYDAS KING OF SPALDING -vs- JARROD DYSON ?
My question had been about Leonydas sitting if there were 3 OF's better than him. In the above Bob Dutton article both Dipoto and Servais emphasize that Martin's got to hit to keep Dyson out of a CF jobshare (and therefore Heredia/Gamel in left or Boomstick in RF).
Music. to. my. ears.
DEPTH CHART: RZEPCZYNSKI - MIRANDA-PAZOS EVEN - OTHERS STILL IN IT
A third interesting roster update: the M's might or might not keep a second lefty. Huh! Would also be sweet music from Dr. D's balcony. He sees the huge flotillas of RP speedboats as mostly an affectation, though that is probably just his age and bias showing.
Some bullpens have needed NO left handers. Why you would HAVE to have TWO ... :: cringe ::
But the point is, there are several dynamic #25-30 roster players you would hate to see shoved to the side.
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
The biggest reason that Dr. D will be now pushing himself for nightly posts is to get up nice and early, let's say what the world calls "lunchtime," and read YOUR fresh thoughts (news, realizations, whatever) that day. If you're wondering whether to throw a line in: Please Do. You'd be toking the dealer. :- )