Readage
slow news day? Not for the M's rotation

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The Tacoma News Tribune reports that it's Miley Wednesday, and probably Taijuan on Thursday.  This leaves the choice between Wade LeBlanc and Nate Karns on Friday.  DiPoto and Servais are obviously wavering about it.  I'm warming to Bat571's inkling to see what Karns would be like in the bullpen, if they're going to stick with him on the 25-man as opposed to, say, Donn Roach.

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The Times reported that Paxton "wasn't as sharp as he had been in his previous three or four outings," despite F/X and Dr. D gaining the opposite impression.  Pressed to specify, Paxton said that "there were situations where I could have thrown certain pitches or how I pitched certain guys and learn from that."  Per F/X, Paxton gave up all his hits on the fastball, so the clear implication would be to ... throw his fastball less?

Alternative view:  sometimes the balls fall in.  We report, you decide.  In the article, Servais brightly offered, "Hopefully this one doesn't set him back," implying that there's no decision to be made about his place in the rotation.

F/X gives Paxton's velocity as 97.3 MPH average, putting him #2 to Syndergaard.  Only five ML starters are out of the 94's and into 95.0 MPH or better, the fifth one being Strasburg.  Not bad considering Paxton is soft-tossing in the first three innings :- )

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Lookout Landing fairly gushed about Tyler O'Neill, D.J. Peterson and the farm system in general, saying it's time to get excited about Petersen again.  G-Money? ...

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Fangraphs has a midseason update on Potential HR/FB Rate Surgers, naming Seth Smith as a guy who is hitting his fly balls much farther than his HR results have shown.  Wasn't it just the other day he had a critical HR caught at the top of the wall?

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Mariners.com has an article about Franklin Gutierrez.  Guti looks good on the Golden Sledgehammer list, averaging 389.9 feet True Distance on his nine homers.  His shot Sunday was 119 feet high, twelve stories, traveling 399 feet, this following his 473-footer earlier in the year.

His season stats are back up to .266/.336/.516, with 9 bombs in 128 AB's, which translates to 39 homers per 550 at-bats.  Slap me silly the M's have some power this year.

Enjoy,

Dr D

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Comments

1

...I would be opposed to moving Karns to the bullpen and going with a statistically inferior rotation option.

I share your general inclination toward not wanting 9K starters to be relievers. :)  But three facts in this case convince me that LeBlanc SP is the right move for now:

1) LeBlanc is hot.  His holding a rotation spot lasts only until King Felix is healthy or until he falters even a little even if you do go with him so the risk is minimal and you might find a Moyer-class control lefty for your trouble.

2) The bullpen desperately needs 9K power arms right now...especially 9K power arms that can throw 3 innings every time Iwakuma hits pitch 75 in inning 4 (he becomes a meatball after pitch 75 in every start this year, in case you missed that trend).

3) Karns is pitching for the fantasy Houston Astros in my money league (the team I'm currently facing in my weekly match-up) and his missing a start right now would help me out a lot. :)

3

I was off to a slow start so I made three major trades and a spree of waiver wire tweaks.

Chris Tillman and Avisail Garcia for Mark Trumo and Doug Fister

Maco Estrada for Francisco Lindor

Draft cash in 2017 ($5) for Richards (who I was right about being back sooner than people at one point feared...he might be active in time for the fantasy post-season :D)

Picked up Edwin Diaz and Michael Feliz because Betances has had trouble getting into enough games lately (kept Betances, but wanted options other than Osuna for RP2 when not using Fister there to get an extra start)

Picked up Logan Morrison right when he was getting hot and just dropped him for Adam Lind right as he's getting hot. :)

Picked up Leonys Martin to fill in for injured outfielders (Choo, Gordon, J.D. Martinez) several weeks ago and he's been an admirable filler when not hurt himself.

And Archer and Kluber are both starting to pitch much better lately (Archer still gives up too many homers but his K rate is again super-high and he's giving up fewer unlucky hits)

Picked up J.J. Hardy for infield insurance, picked up Tim Lincecum on a flyer, and rode Sabathia for a while as well.

The line-up is now:

Wieters / Trumbo / Cano / Donaldson / Lindor / Choo / Gordon / Desmond / Martinez when he gets healthy, and otherwise Paulo Orlando, Joe Mauer, Lind, whoever else is currently hot filling in at UTL...A-Rod is riding my pine just in case he gets hot again.

Rotation is Kluber, Stephen Wright, James Paxton, then whoever has double starts between Iwakuma, Archer, Fister, and Lincecum (with Holland hurt...he was another depth option)

Bullpen covering two slots sometimes includes Fister if I need the extra start, and always includes Betances...RP2 when not Fister is either Feliz or Osuna, whoever is hotter, with Diaz waiting around just in case. :)

3 weekly scoring titles in four weeks...the one week where I didn't win the scoring title, the only guy to outscore me was the guy I was matched up against...otherwise I'd be 9-3 right now instead of 8-4

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