I'm also pointing out that we've got someting pretty nice in Gaviglio. His career AAA line of 1.24 WHIP, 8.8 H/9, 2.4 BB/6.6 K/9 has translated to 1.21, 8.4, 2.5 and 5.9. He's not smoke & mirroring it, either. He stays in control, pounds the edges, and doesn't buckle. He's giving up 1.9 HR/9, but he's been a rock in 4 of his 5 starts. In those 4 starts, he's thrown 22 innings, allowing 19 hits and just 3 ER's. I've said that Gallardo was going to get lapped by Moore this season and now he's been lapped by Gaviglio, too.
Against Toronto, it was a Tale of Two Gritties. In the first three innings, Gaviglio had three problems:
- Merely GOOD command of his minus fastball
- The umpire spent his first ten blown strike calls ---> causing Dr. D to question the assumption that baseball is worthwhile.
- The Blue Jays were very, very dang-R-uss. For example Jose Bautista's line drive HR was off a 2-2 slider out on the black, like Boomstick's famous shot off Felix
So did Ga-Vig, renege (on his will to win) and get blown up for "just one bad five-run innning" in MLBtm style? No, he laid down the best harrying fire he could while backing into a 2-run, 3-IP start to the game. Will guaranTEE you that the Mariners luvved luvved luvved the way Gaviglio battled. It was the kind of thing that gets you an extra four starts in your trial, just that makeup alone, as the umpire burned him call after call against All-Stars.
Then about inning 4, Gaviglio found his real good command and LOCKED THEM DOWN. A playoff-worthy performance the second, third time through the lineup.
The Mainframe isn't at all worried to tell us "Fuhgeddaboudit" on a Rainier scrub. It wants to know what said Rainier does better than other Rainiers. Gaviglio does 3 things better:
- His command can be, usually is, major league
- The downward bite on his pitches is remarkable
- His offspeed power curve ball is better than AAA quality
Not to mention his makeup. So Gaviglio has our attention. Now, let's not get carried away: for a fastball-slider pitcher Gaviglio doesn't really throw hard enough. Not surprisingly, his strikeout rate is poor and his SwStr% is, in 20-odd innings, even worse. But that's backwards-looking. His offspeed pitch is genuinely confusing and last night he had the 6 strikeouts / 6 innings to show for it. Gaviglio is not Ryan Dempster but neither is it like his stuff is marshmallow-short.
Dr's RX = Gaviglio is a promising young rookie SP. He's got a real shot to establish himself as a 100-ERA starting pitcher.
In terms of being a DECENT+ closer, he was never a concern in any way. Except that you didn't want to risk a 2,000-Yard Stare. That was all. In terms of becoming THE BEST closer that Seattle ever saw, he wasn't much of a concern either; the only thing that was going to stop this -- in the very near term -- was an injury.
In Thursday's win, Diaz was back to tsunami status, throwing one of the best games he OR ANY OTHER PITCHER has ever thrown.
Carrera: 97-99 fastballs (with a 2-run lead, can't walk him) thusly. Jam - Jam - Ladder - paint low-away - on a 2-2 count 99 MPH challenge, popup.
Goins: 98 hi, 100 lo, 100 hi ... slider garbage swing. ANY slider was a strikeout there, but this one started top kneecaps and dropped to shins. Wham.
Pillar: 98 letters. 100 letters. 101 letters, good night. Here is the video of that last 101 MPH fastball.
Threw out a runner at home in a tie game late, and then knocked in the GWRBI. As a starting center fielder, he is solid to good - a miracle defender, chips in some with the bat, uses his legs to our advantage. He's on pace for about 3 WAR.
As part of a 4-man outfield rotation, slap me silly. And the Maniger could be back ... tomorrow! Mwahahahahaha
Dipoto swapped out Tyler Cloyd for Emilio Pagan in the 29-man roster setup that is gaining even more force around baseball. Hey, you can't bring a knife to a gunfight. Every series you select a 12th pitcher who is on fire at AAA and who is a good matchup. Go Jerry.
Mike Zunino continues to give us vertigo. Right now we're back in excitement mode. He's still red-hot: the last 7 days he's still slugging .688 with a nice 0.50 EYE. If the Mariners "lengthen their lineup" including Zuumball, there is just no telling what kind of damage they could do. Maniger, Zuumball and a heating-up Jarrod Dyson, to say nothing of Sudden Jean, and it could be arena baseball at Safeco.
Ben Gamel's numbers remain excellent -- an .890 OPS the last two weeks -- but there are lizards in the cellar. Those last two weeks he has a horrific 2:14 EYE. He remains an exciting young player, as opposed to a foregone conclusion like Maniger or a can't-miss contributor like Guillermo Heredia and his magic glove.
MIRANDA vs STROMAN
Watch for that inner-third fastball from Miranda. When he's sticking the landing on those, he's a lockdown TOR. When he's not he's still a raw version of Drew Smyly. Miranda doesn't physically look like Smyly, in appearance or mechanics, but that goes to show how much we subconsciously look for comps who resemble one another physically. Their pitches sure fly the same.
The Mariners could go above .500 tonight and then they got Zeus tomorrow. Here is Bob Dutton's preview.