The 6-man Rotation / DL variations on the '18 "Wolf Pack"
spring training thinking may cause a server meltdown shortly


There are two nice little Lookout Landing posts that are worth your while this morning.  The first one, "Solving the logjam in the Seattle Mariners starting rotation," would Exec Sum about like this:

1) For ANY Mariners starter to "take a step forward" -- as Dipoto believes they can do -- would create more of the staple peanut butter-type youth that Dipoto has pinned your (nay, our) hopes on.  For ANY M's starter, whether it be Erasmo, Moore, Povse, Miranda, Gonzales, whoever -- to chip in 2.0, 2.5 WAR would be big, because in Dipoto's mind he's got dozens of these players.

2) This is questionable.  (Remember, we are Exec Sum'ming LL.)

3) The Mariner fan needs to remember that there is pressure on the 15-25 roster slots if the M's want a Wild Card slot.

4) The 10-day DL is what the LA Dodgers used to "navigate" a 7-man rotation in 2017 and according to, extended rest (5+ days) reduces the probability of rest by 20%.

5) Dipoto and Servais have both explicity talked about how wide-open they are to a 6-man rotation, during the season, even without using the 10-day DL to "game" the system in the M's/Dodgers' favor.

6)  The M's could combine these two ideas.

7) Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb remain quite reasonable supplements to this idea.


DR's R/X

1) If a 6-man rotation would reduce James Paxton's odds of a serious injury by 20% ... what are we waitin' for.  :: Trainer Mick accent ::

2) I like Marc-O's odds this year, like 'em a lot.  Count me as right there with Bat571 on the injury-arc bandwagon.  Leake and Erasmo are givens.  That leaves Miranda, the talented Andrew Moore and Max Povse as vying for slot #6 even if you ain't going to use the DL.



LL discusses Erasmo's cut fastball at some length.  The Mainframe sees this as quite simple.  If LH batters were previously able to lean out over the plate and take exorbatant hacks at Erasmo's low-release little 92 fastball in the past, but now he can back them up with a gloveside cutter, then it's a short conversation.  Still and all, take a look at LL's article.  They pile on with some good stuff about his deceptive release point.

Ramirez had 0.4 WAR in the last month of 2017, or 2.4 prorated, and a 7.8/2.2 CTL the second half.  He's always been able to hit the mitt, and if he now can cut down on enemy batsmen's alacrity, he's a walking Quality Start.  We'll be watching for the gloveside cutter in March.  Ramirez' days-of-rest splits are hard to decipher because he spent half the year throwing 2 IP on 3 days' rest.

Paxton on 6 days rest last year?  18 IP, 20/3/0 slash line with a 2.41 ERA.  5 days' rest?  40 IP, 46/15/4 with a 2.68 ERA.  The rest of the time, a 3.27 ERA.  < ---- that's gobbledegook because James Paxton, when right, is the personification of strike three and what we're looking for is that so-called Twenty Per Cent.

Wolf Pack Pitching, indeed.  Might wind up talking more about a pack of starters than a pack of 5th-inning reliever.

Go Marc-O,

Dr D



He had better go!  Dipoto isn't going to start him in Tacoma, he can't.  We gave up something bashingly semi-nice to get him, so Jedi can hardly cut him free right now, then look at the Main Frame, shrug his shouldners, and say "Whoops!"   So Marco is ours for opening day.  So, he had better go!

He was good at AAA last season, and WAY back in '14.  Here's to hoping you and Bat are right!


$126 mil...? Incentives could approach $150mm per Rosenthal.  Screw it, I'm a cubs fan.  Just kidding.  I'm guessing that's about the guaranteed dollars total.  Now there ought to be a bit more urgency on other teams that were in.  Whoever that might be.

Darvish isn't young enough that I thought he'd take a 1 year higher value deal.  Still hopeful, though less than doubtful, that the Ms might try to swing a deal like that with one of the 3 others.  I am breathing normally for my own safety. 


One is tempted to say, "And so it begins." But that would amount to being a negative ninny, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it? But I suspect most everybody here had the same thought.

I'll keep telling myself there's no connection between this event and 2017, no direct connection between this event and all the things for the past fifteen-plus years that have become "reasons" why the M's can't make the playoffs. I will not panic. I will persevere.

Serenity now. I am a Christian, so I have little use for the Festivus of Seinfeld fame as a substitute for Christmas. BUT! Perhaps there should be a Festivus equivalent for Mariners' fans.

Been in San Antonio for two weeks now, and as Spring Training kicks off I plan to continue keeping close tabs on the Mariners and watching as many of their games live as the time difference allows. That doesn't mean that I won't keep tabs on the Astros too, only that it's possible I might become somewhat "polygamous" this season. :ducks:


'member when Mitch Haniger got a "mild oblique strain"? I 'member. Same thing here. Same potential to torpedo entire seasons



Jumping on the Astro bandwagon?  What?  Man, we dinosaurs who remember listening to Diego Segui throw out the first Mariner pitch ever have to stick together.  20 or 30 years from now, when the M's make it to a World Series (getting swept), I will be glad to let you back into the Mariner marriage, despite your polyamorous ways!


Hope all is well in San Antonio.  Keep us posted.  

And on to the Healy injury:  News is pretty cryptic, which I would take to mean that the M's fear they are dealing with a broken bone of some sort.  The silver lining here is that we may get to see a ton of Mike Ford in ST.  Well, we were likely to, anyway, but now we sort of have to.  And then there's Vogelbach.  Vogelbach has hit something like .290-.400-.480 at AAA over the past two seasons.  vR, is it more like .305-.420-.500.  Even in the PCL, that's worth noticing.   At AA/AAA last season, Ford was .270-.404-.471.  He showed no real split difference.  That's worth noting.  

B-R projects Healy to hit .280-.321-.475 in '18, a line that nearly perfectly splits his '16 and '17 seasons.  Considering that he BABIP'ed .352 in '16, I think his .319 in '17 is more sustainable.  I like Healy and I like his acquisition, but I'm bullish on Vogelbach and Ford, too.  I can live with a "minor" Healy hand injury for a while.


Keith, when it comes to baseball I am equal part dinosaur to you, but it's as if you flourished in a single period while I skirted both Jurassic and Triassic. I didn't become an M's fan until 1995 when I moved to the Seattle area at the age of 40. Prior to that I was a Dodgers fan all the way. So I guess it's easier to consider making a change than it would be for someone who saw Seguie throw the first M's pitch.

That said, I'm not at this point declaring myself an Astros-first fan. I'm still married to the Mariners, and the Astros don't have my heart, but I do hear their siren call. Do I stay faithful or do I move toward the dangerous rocks? I dunno yet. I'll go where my heart leads me. I'm sure somebody somewhere wrote a song to that effect. 

Good news about Healy IF he ends up able to play effectively without missing too much time. But man, right outta the chute when spring training starts it's like deja vu all over again.


And now this, on MLB-TR an hour after my post above:  The Mariners announced today that first baseman Ryon Healy underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his right hand and will be sidelined for four to six weeks. Depending on which end of that timeline Healy’s recovery ultimately falls, the procedure could put his Opening Day status in jeopardy. Healy underwent the procedure yesterday and is beginning rehab immediately, per the announcement.

We open ST in 8 days and our Season Opener, vs. the Indians in Safeco, is exactly 6 weeks from today.  Were Healy out for just 4 weeks and able to play real ballgames the day he comes back, then he would have 10 ST dates to get ready for Opening Day.  That might be doable.  Were he out 5 weeks, then the MLB ST opportunities drop to 5 games.  I would bet that if he's out 5 weeks, then he's on a rehab assignment when the season opens.  If he's out 6 weeks, we may be 10 games or more into the season before we see him.


I think its a Josh Hamilton sort of move for a player to not get his minor surgery for nagging injuries done in November.  We should call it knife November.  For Healy to miss ST now seems like a failure on the player and training staff.  I can just see Healy going to the cage after a four month break and saying "My hand still hurts.  I should get an MRI."  

Q1: Is there some legitimate reason to have a bone spur removed in February?  As in, do bone spurs appear suddenly or without warning?

Q2: Who did we trade to the Orcs for Healy?

Q3: Are we making long term plans around this guy?

Also, I'm all right with Daddy O rooting around with other teams, as long as he comes home to SSI for dinner.  Other teams had better be cautious about catching an RTC (Rooting Transmitted Curse) from him though.

13 it isn't a sudden bone spur. He was hampered in September by the hand issue and the Oakland training staff prescribe rest and strength work. The Mariners acquired him...did they not give him a physical? How do you miss an existing bone spur in a guy's hand during a physical? Or...if they didn't miss do they not get it dealt with right then and there?

Also...once you have bone spurs, don't they almost always come back?


It sounds like Healy was honest about the problem and was just following training staff's orders.  Maybe he's not suspect.  Sorry I said anything about Josh Hamilton. From what I Googled, bone spurs come back after some years unless the bone is replaced with a metal or plastic part.  


Dinner today was Whataburger, a San Antonio-based, family-owned burger chain that's apparently considered a Texas treasure. However, I intend to always keep a generous helping of SSI on my menu.

One simplly does not dump friends. I am blessed to have dear friendships with people in every area I have lived, the kind that when you reconnect it's like you were never apart. A few years ago on Facebook tugged at a couple of stitched threads and next thing you know I'm reconnecting with many of my friends from the church I was heavily involved in from age 8 to my early 20's. What a treat it was! 

My SSI friends cannot get rid of me so easily. :)

Re: "RTC"  that's an intriguing concept, mojician. So the problem might not be the Mariners, it might be my fandom. If that's the case, you guys should PLEAD with me to become and Astros fan. 

True story, today we were continuing our house-hunting and I can't tell you how often I have seen expensive Dallas Cowboys decoratives not just in bedrooms but in living rooms. Then this afternoon I saw one brave (insane?) homeowner who had hung a Denver Broncos flag on his front flagpole. I can't imagine the abuse he must get. People here are uber-patriotic about their state. It is not at all uncommon to see a big Lone Star as a decorative on the facade of a house. The culture here is fascinating and different from anything I've ever encountered. Oh, and the drivers carry on as if each one is convinced he DOES own the whole d**n road. If you will LET yourself be run off the road, you WILL be run off the road.


My first law job was in Clovis, New Mexico.  It is 7 miles from the Texas border and a short driving distance to Lubbock and Amarillo.  There was a true son of Texas on staff.  He and his wife were expecting their firstborn daughter.  When she went into labor, they were in New Mexico.  This guy raced them to Lubbock which is a 90 minute drive from Clovis, because he didn't want his daughter missing out on her birthright of a Texas birth certificate.  Clovis has a perfectly suitable hospital.  

They take that stuff seriously down there.  Also, if you listen to these sorts of Texans talk, they always get around to some legal theory that Texas is technically its own country.  Also, Texas drivers are very crazy.  There seems to be a lot of angry moms in minivans in Texas and New Mexico.  Neither holds a candle to Salt Lake City drivers IMO.


I am excited to see Ford get a bunch of AB's vs. MLB arms.  I suspect Dipoto is, too (to some slight degree).  The issue is forced.  Ford gets his shot. 

Vogs hit .228-.313-.333 in 57 ST AB's last season, only 3 2B's and 1 HR.  C'mon MIke Ford, hit .280+ and  geton-base at a .400 clip.  Cream 3 taters, too....and you win the kewpie doll and make the team.

Ford is extremely quiet at the plate, which I imagine helps his excellent eye:

Hmmm......didn't we once have another LHB 1B with a quiet approach, enough power and a superlative eye?  Shades of Olerud!


What you hope is Ford and/or Vogs play so well in Healy's absence, and Healy plays so well upon his return that you have some tempting trade chips that have gained in value.


Or, they know...keep the 'extra' average-hitting 1B on the roster since we haven't had one of those in, I dunno...a decade?

Isn't bat-heavy 1B one of the places you're s'posed to pull your DH AB's from?  Here in M's-ville, we got MIF Jose Vidro as our DH and were told to like it... ;-)

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