A Slight Smile
alternatively, you could focus on a stiff front side


My adult son has a really good outside shot in basketball.  He's kind of the Steph Curry of our local YMCA-type basketball group.  On a decent night he'll go 30-for-50 from high school three point range, while being guarded by the best defender on the court.

I've spent ten years picking his brain about shooting.  You know how I am about sports method ... but I just can't do what he does.  (And at my age it is fast becoming a lost cause!)  He said something the other day that hit me in a fresh way.

He said, "Try a slight smile on your face when you shoot.  You gotta be a little bit happy to shoot well.  You can't shoot if your dog just got run over.  No way."

Which brings us to Greg Johns' article about Jean Segura and Robinson Cano.  You'll definitely enjoy it.  And there is this quote from Servais:


"As a right-handed hitter, he hit more balls to the opposite field than anybody else in the league last year," Servais said. "He uses the entire field to hit. He's got power. He brings a lot. Also the fact that he is so tight with Robbie, it's going to be neat to watch. I'm really excited to have him on board."


Hold it.  Is that true, about off-field hitting?  #1 in the NL?  Wonder if Servais is talking about total volume -- Segura led the NL in base hits -- or about percentages.  Wait, Fangraphs has those stats ... here is the table, sorted by OPPO%.  

Sure enough, Segura is way way up there, #3 in the NL behind only Howie Kendrick (.366 SLG) and DJ LeMahieu.  But the Mariners' way of measuring it may leave Segura ahead of LeMahieu.  Anyway, Segura was not just excellent at letting the ball get deep in the zone; he was the very best at it.

I like the symmetry of these ideas:

1.  Being happy

2.  Relaxing and not jumping at the ball

3.  Off-field hitting (and the .319 / .366 / .499 slash line)

But also, here is a short clip with Jerry Dipoto talking about Segura's launch angle and velocity.  Here is a September game in which Segura homered twice - to the off field.  Just for info-tainment; it's been a long time since the last baseball game :- )

Most of the time, quotes about "This season will be my best!" is just rotonoise.  Then again, I believe in positive mental state more than any saberdweeb out there.  Segura is one of baseball's most extreme "mood" cases.  The Cano-Segura connection could pay off nicely.


Dr D




Segura is the crown jewel of the off season, but we, who would have flipped our lids over Josh Hamilton five years ago, have met him with yawns and thoughts of "Hope he pans out".  

I think that we've been burned so many times by hitters that we are skeptical of any hitter that isn't projected at 30 homers or who isn't Ichiro.

Okay, the lineup is now brutal if some of that 1b and outfield stuff works out.  How much did Mike Napoli want again?


You don't find many weak hitters in that oppo list.  Of course, at 19%, Jose altuve was one of the worst oppo hitters in the league. 


It strikes me that JeDi may be betting on Segura resigning with the club when his arbitration years run out after 2018. Or maybe even a 4-5 year extension after this season, assuming he earns it. My logic is as follows.

A. We gave up a whole lot of club controlled years of Walker (and Marte) in exchange for this dude. As a two year rental, that's... iffy. Of course we're in win-now mode, of course Mitch Haniger is an SSI Next-Best-Bet, of course Walker may never leap the plateau and become a TOR superstar. But if we really want to have gotten ~commensurate value in that trade, we need Segura to hit his HI projection at least one, maybe both of his years with us.

B. JeDi is probably smart enough not to bet on that UP scenario occurring. I mean, I love how well fit Segura seems to fit this team, but the man is not going to slug .500 as a Mariner. He had 68! XBH last year, and that's got to come back to Earth, at least a little. 20 homers seems unlikely, and some of those 48 doubles/triples are going to hang up in the gap in the dastardly Safeco marine layer. He's also not gonna maintain that .353 BABIP (career .314) either.

HI would be that he does about 90% of what he did last year, say 300/365/485, but done in Safeco because he improved enough to maintain the line. Maybe a 20% chance that he spends the next couple years hauling in MVP votes, making the MOTO look like scrubs.

LO would be the 620 OPS he put up the two previous years. Probably just a 10-20% chance, but he's demonstrated that his floor is below the basement.

MID lets say 285/350/450, at SS, with baserunning, clubhouse synergy, and lineup synergy all in his favor. Which makes Segura a "minor" superstar, in the same way Seager is a "minor" superstar, or Donald Trump's Shock and Awe tactics are a “minor” innovation in American politics.

C. Here's the thing: I suspect JeDi is banking on that MID projection, and banking hard. Why? Because if Segura hits that UP projection, he's hauling in 33M a year for the Red Sox in 2019. Of course you got some sweet production, but... how much juicier would it be for Segura to hit his MID projection, be an under the radar 4-5-win player, and re-up on a deal that keeps him here, next to Robbie, for even longer? If there isn't a bidding war over him, I bet he'd be willing to stay. We’re competitive, have a fun Dominican clubhouse, and ownership that finally appears invested in winning. You'll have to pay him fairly of course, but I don't hear anyone complaining about the 100M deal Seager signed. Stars are Stars, and if trading Taijuan gets you two cheap years and four fairly compensated years of the perfect compliment to Robbie Cano, well, you make that deal.

Nellie's contract is up the same year Segura hits free agency. You slide his money into the Segura contract, let Robbie/Seager/Haniger hold down the MOTO, and laugh all the way to the bank ;-)

What do y’all think? Is this me being wishful, or does this smell like a delayed trade-and-extend situation to anyone else?


Who's the lead off man?

a) always Segura?

b) always Dyson/Gamel/whichever lefty to maintain the righty/lefty dance through the lineup?

c) Segura against lefties, Dyson against righties?


You've offered one mini-tactical decision that SHOULD be Scott Servais' and WOULD impact the result.

If Segura is really a fastball hitter, OR Dyson is, there could be synergy in letting that guy hit #2 with the first guy disrupting the pitcher from 1B ... I guess you have to be ready to pinch-hit for Dyson in the late innings anyway, so the L-R-L factor may be less important...

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