SP Permutations
You've GOT options. Time to show us your stuff, JeDi


On TV, they relayed the fact that the Mariners had played "listlessly" in their 1-8 loss to Pittsburgh Wednesday.  Servais talked about it in the press, he talked about it to his veterans, and the Mariners' brain trust "fixed" the problem before it could fester.

Of course, other managers have put on scowls, crossed their arms, and told their teams to play good.  This time, though, it happened:  the M's squared off against the 47-30 Orioles and left them for 47-34.


That Wednesday game, the one the M's played "listlessly" or "languidly" or "cruddily" or "don't give a flip-pily" was a Wade Miley happenstance.  

1) The M's got two hits in the first but were denied after a double play.  Then Miley trotted out, gave up an instant can of Bleacher Bases, coughed up a single, hit a batter, and got splashed for a long double.  M's down 3-0.

2) The M's went down lamely in the second.  Strikeout, groundout, groundout.

3) Miley was back at it in the 4th inning.  Infield hit, stolen base off a lefty, tee shot nearly tore a hole through the RF wall, single, M's down 5-0.

4) M's in the 4th, strikeout, strikeout, pop foul to catcher.

Youse mooks have watched baseball.  You get the drift.  You also get the headlines lately that the M's snatched 10 L's from the jaws of victory in June.  It's all too easy to roll your eyes and take the attitude What. Is. Next.  ... hey, if DaddyO and I can do it, you sure as shootin' know Adam Lind can do it ... :- )

If the M's really want to get on a roll and take charge of in July and August, they need 4-5 starters throwing the ball well.



Thru baseball-reference.com's "Simple Ratings System" metric, the M's are the 4th-best team in the league.  (They just use run differential and strength of schedule.)  Thru Fangraphs' "Season to Date Stats Mode," the M's sit here with a 46% chance of actually playing postseason baseball, never mind playing important September games.  Thru official MLB(TM) standings, the M's are only -1.0 out of the Wild Card; we are +4 over, while the Tigers and Blue Jays are 6 over.

Hey, had you noticed.  There are a lot of strong teams this year.  There may be quite a pack of 85-88 win teams roaring into the checkered flag.



With best play, Iwakuma can hit the catcher's mitt and dominate games.  What has transpired in 2016 has not been best play.  Iwakuma can, at his best now he's age 35, hit an area the size of a basketball hoop.  Tell me the last time you saw him set up a ladder fastball that finished one baseball over the top of the strike zone?

His ERA is 4.43.  His FIP is 4.67.  His xFIP is 4.64.  He's an average pitcher.  That's all.

As is Wade Miley.  In 2016, both pitchers have been average-mediocre.



Intriguing is the gathering smoke that reports the Mariners want to add a starting pitcher in trade.  We can safely presume this does not mean --- > yet another starter whose FIP is 4.67.  Leaving us where?


SP Power Rankings Key Stat Dr. D Shtick
1 King Felix 3.7 BB per 9 love 'im anyway
2 Zeus 100 MPH I'm giving the Mariners two (2) starts to deliver Chris Sale.  MAXIMUM
3 Taijuan 3.29 ERA (best on M's) If he can push off the foot, he seems to be figuring it out
4 KKKarns 9.3 K per 9 Allllll Byyyyyy Myyyyyyy se-ee-elffff
5 LeBlanc +5.55 run value on changeup Save me a seat on the bandwagon
6 WBC-san xFIP average-mediocre
7 Miley xFIP average-mediocre
8 Okay, explain to Dr. D in one-syllable words, How you make this work?


Per the contracts, the two most ossified starters in our rotation are the two weakest and the two priciest, those being Iwakuma and Miley.  Would love to see DiPoto show the guts.  But, I mean seriously, you can DL a guy for two starts, but how do you REALLY push Miley or Iwakuma out for Rich Hill?

One way or another, we need five guys who are going out and attacking.  The permutations are endless.  Mine includes Karns; yours doesn't.  So hip me up :- )


Dr D




Doc...there's am easy way to fix the rotation and bullpen in one move.   Trade for someone good...move Iwakuma to the pen.  Iwakuma has  a 3.09 FIP for the first 75 pitches abs is then noghtmariahly bad.  Move him to fireman status...his ground balls will kill rallies very effectively. 


I actually agree. Japanese pitchers are also the easiest to move because they don't suffer from pity or self-loathing.

Just gotta get someone better than him in the rotation, because Wade Miley isn't that.


I think the M's are best served with Miley out of the rotation. I don't care if that is to the bullpen or to another team, just out of the rotation. Can't go into the second half with a 5+ ERA in the rotation when it can be avoided.

Iwakuma goes through stretches of mediocrity, but then he'll go on a tear and be the glue that holds our rotation together for a month or two. Haven't we seen that at least two seasons now?

Miley to the pen in Rollins role is no-brainer to me. There is no reason Miley couldn't pull a Rollins or Nuno in the pen.

If they're not using Karns in the rotation, sure, send Iwak to the pen if you need his rotation spot for an incoming trade. And I'd prefer Karns in AAA all stretched out to fill in for injury than being turned into a bullpen guy for good.


Did you know that the juggernaut Chicago Cubs have a rotation that HAS NOT missed a start this season?  5 guys---81 starts.  Jason Hammell, running an ERA of 3.45 and a WHIP of 1.15, is their worst starter this year.   Really.

We've started 9 different guys.

There is much to be said for a stable rotation.

Gimme Karns in the rotation.  Heck, let LeBlanc be our soft-tossing lefty instead of Miley for a while.  Miley, btw, is basically the very same pitcher this year that he's been for the past two....except that his homer rate is up from 0.9 to 1.6.  He's even walking .5 guys a game less than he has the past two seasons.  

Miley's value is in the 32 starts and the 200 innings.....not in dominating numbers. In terms of those numbers, the fall from a #5 Miley to your #7 guy isn't very far.  It might not exist at all.

In his last 8 starts, he's had 2 glittering ones (0 runs in 6 and 7 innings, respectfully).  In his other 6 he's been bombed.  Well, 30 ER's in 30.2 innings is still getting bombed, isn't it?  It can't be THAT hard to get him out of the rotation.  Is he entitled to any more grizzled veteran preference than Aoki was?

But I knd of like Matt's "Kuma to the pen" suggestion.

Right now our two best starters are named Walker and Paxton.  Isn't that the dream come true?

Felix will fix that in a bit, but finding a solidly reliable #4 in the Kuma-LeBlanc-Karns mix would be quite nice, thank you.  Karms for me.  But there is something weird about Karns' numbers, something I din't quite expect.  Let me explain:  My perception was that with two strikes he nibbles way too mcuh.  Ahead 1-2 it seems like he always gets to 3-2.  But the numbers tell otherwise:  Read on----  

To tell you the truth, we're likely only going to see him walk 1 guy per 9 less, even if he nibbles less..  2 years ago he walked 3.0/9, his "career" best.  This year it is 4.1/9.  At AAA he walked 3.8 and it was 3.3 at AA.  His strike % is down just 1% this season, so he's throwing 1 strike per game less this year than in the past.  That's it.

He isn't Maddux.

So it isn't that he's really going to start dominating and not BB'ing anybody....but that he needs to get another inning out of himself each game.  Look:  He's had 110 batters at 1-2 this season.  After getting them there their combined line is .157-.218-.265.  Uh....that's pretty good.  Where he's getting ripped is on the 1st pitch:  Guys (32 of them) are hitting .469 with the 1st pitch in play. He's had 184 guys at 0-1 with the 30 guys who put the next pitch in play hitting .467.  

Those 62 hitters have a BABIP of about .440.

I suppose every thrower has some weird count/avg./BABIP examples....but Karns' seem a bit extreme.

And of the 201 guys ge's got to 2 strikes, only 44 have got on base (17 1B's, 5 2B's, 3 HR's, 18 BB's and 1 HPB).  That's .138-.219-.215 when he's got you by the short hairs.  That'll do kid.

And here I thought he was nibbling too much at 2 strikes.

Give him the ball every 5 days....and remind him to not be too in love with the curve, as pretty as it is.  His 53% FB rate is a career low....by a wide margin:  His 36% curveball rate is a career high....by a wide margin.  Interestingly, he may be pitching off of the memory of last year. His curve's PV was +10.4 in '15.  This year his it is +2.7. He came advertised as a curvebll maestro....and he was last year.  But we need him to get into the 7 inning some.  Spiking the curve may not be helping him get there.

My 2 cents and you're getting it for free.  Likely still an overpay.

Happy 4th of July everybody.  We're watching 1776 tonight.  


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