Tuesday Morning Tazoberry
Gamel and Heredia 1-2 for awhile


Wow!  Easily the best column I ever saw from Shannon Drayer.  That's not meant as a back-handed compliment.  In fact am going to keep this post short in order to focus the Denizens over to MYNW, over to Shannon's 6-for-6 night.  The first paragraph and the last are just solid/routine, but the six paragraphs in the middle ... any one of them could have headlined some other MyNorthwest baseball page.  Way to hit the ground runnin' there amiga.


Paragraph 1, we wuz gonna say.  The last week hasn't been a hot streak only.  It's an indication of how well this team is CAPABLE of playing.  Recall that it is missing two of the best players in baseball and missing three men in its rotation.  And still it was two baseball levels above the AL.


Paragraph 2, my bad on Zuumball.  We no sooner finished saying that he'd fanned 15 of 30 trips since Tacoma, a phenomenon which [under the circumstances] was all but dismissive.  Funny thing, right after Dr. D's yap flap'd, Zuumball started slashing the ball to right-center AND ... that kind of back-wall PWR gives you a lot to work with.  If your goal is merely an 80 OPS+.  It's not often that two or three games turn around your estimation of a player.


Paragraph 3, give it up for Jerry Dipoto and Ariel Miranda.  This is looking REAL good.  The get.  The coaching.  The price.  The 2017 Mariners aren't rebuilding, as Matty has also correctly pointed out.  They do got a few old pricey guys.  But they've REBUILT ALREADY.  They got more talented cost-controlled players than you even shoot for in a rebuild.


Paragraph 4, it was interesting today at BJOL.  James leveled his Glock and shot around the corner with SABRMatt, as to this concept that a jump on the ball is equal in weight to footspeed.  Perhaps Guillermo Heredia is a bigger find than we thought.  Consider what we were willing to endure to get Leonys Martin's defense.  And this Heredia guy might be a hitter.  Tip o' the kelly to Bat571 who was heavier IN on Heredia than anybody.

(Lemme throw in something that's actually original here.  If you stop and think about it ... does Ben Gamel give you, at all, a kinda-sorta type of faster Seth Smith out there?  A skosh less power, three skoshes more speed, an "athletic outfield" version of the Seth-ster.  The extreme pro AB's with huge C the Z factor ... who's wit me on this?)


Paragraphs 5-6.  If the rotation jells, 's OK with me.

Even a good picture to go with Drayer's story.  LOL.



Dr D



The Mariners have an incredible penchant for suddenly dousing whatever pronouncements we make about them. And they do this in BOTH directions.

You watch them over months, trying to keep judgment suspended so as not to make a premature decision about their future. You finally give in.

They're in a TERRIBLE stretch that has just last TOO long. So you decide and pronounce that they are indeed TERRIBLE. Blow 'er up. This train will never make it down the track. And just when you're sure that aNOTHER GM is gonna be needed, that this one too has botched the job...

Then they start playing VERY GOOD. And you withhold judgment, but doggone the good streak goes on for ten games, and they look like they might be a juggernaut waiting to happen. You finally give in and decide to reignite your excitement about the "good ol' M's. You waver between guilt for having doubted them and convincing yourself that you never really did doubt them. 

So what's it gonna be? Are you gonna be a foo' for re-investing in Believerhood? Or are you gonna be a foo' for Believing? Pick your poison.

The M's are again flashing the sort of offense that previously this season made me salivate over the possiblities. And this after a start that made me feel like an idiot for getting excited about them. But the moment I jumped on SSI to share the excitement they proceeded to daily roll out a team that rivalled the early Mets for futility on both offense and defense. Now they are back to being Supermen.

I have become Schizo-Man. The superhero who alternates between "Dem Bums" and "Way To GO!!"

Therefore I have decided to become a monk. At least for one day. Seclude myself, detach myself, contemplate ultimate things and be done with the cares of this baseball world.

Tomorrow, of course, if the M's continue to thrash opponents and James Paxton again pitches like Sandy Koufax, I will revoke my monk-ness and return to rabid fandom.

Long live the M's. Being a fan of theirs is a sure recipe for insanity.


The King is making his first of two scheduled rehab starts today in Tacoma, and the Maniger is playing his first rehab game there as well. Maniger is slated to get four rehab games and return, Felix is supposed to make two rehab starts and return.


So with Haniger about to return, he'll take his rightful place batting 2nd in the line-up and be crushing skulls like the Viking bad boy he is. At which point the Gamel Heredia duo will get broken up. The question at that point is...is it better to hit Gamel down the order where all of his base hits can drive in runs or is it better to hit him at the top, where his on-base skills score runs?

If Seager is stubbornly refusing to be competent still, at that point, I would advocate hitting Heredia lead-off and Gamel fifth, with Seager sliding down to the seven hole.


I think if the open spot is 1 you keep Heredia there, if it's 2 Gamel.  But then Heredia isn't utilising his speed on the bases much and I'd like to say yet.  Maybe he just never will though.

I've been saying all along that with Heredia and Miranda (Elias before), the ceiling is more flexible because of less experience and mileage to review and extrapolate.  I don't recall Bat getting in hard on Heredia but maybe he did.  I did ask about him over a month before he signed though.  His OBP has been high everywhere he's played which I have said several times since last January. 


We had this dilemma with Michael Saunders too.  Toronto in their lineup wound up batting Saunders 1, 7, and ... very often 4th.  LOL.  Baseball-reference has the "Batting Order Position" (BOP) under Game Logs and Philly is pretty consistent about using Saunders 5-7, to drive in runs.

James used to call this "Run Element Ratio," the attempt to find out whether a player was better scoring runs or knocking them in.

Would have thought Gamel was a run scorer, but perhaps not.  He does hit the ball fairly hard.  You know another player Gamel reminds me of faintly?  Lenny Dykstra.


I'd say John Kruk with speed is also apt, if we're talking Phillies of the early 90s.

But it's not so much that his run scoring is not as good as his run producing...it's that hitting Gamel 5th gives you an inning-reboot and splits up your slow slugger types so less rallies die with GIDPs and so the pressure comes off of Seager.  Can't very well hit Seager 2 the way he's (not) hitting.


...look at us, you guys. We're talking a set Gamel-Heredia-Haniger outfield, all of them cramming into the upper part of the lineup if we can swing it. No more part-time conversation, just ride the wave and BABVA.

We have been devastated by injury. We are still hanging in there. The light is ON at the end of the tunnel. And we have a TERRIFYING lineup almost ready to unleash on any and all comers.

I like this version of Mariners' baseball. Give Segura his big contract... and then, pretty please, might we not lock JeDi up to a nice extension?


4 man rotation on the DL simultaneously, ever.   Still waiting to hear of a topper.   Of course there's questions of all of them that remain there and Paxton is no longer there.  The body of work of the 4 that were out is probably unparalleled for 4 being out simultaneously.

Just saying that's mainly why this roster isn't over .500


Here's the Shandler take on some of our shiny new things, courtesy of inflated BABIP so far (rest of season projections in parentheses):

Gamel .444 (266/323/413)

Haniger .418 (256/328/472)

Segura  ..395 (273/310/389)

Haniger and Segura are registering slightly less than league-average line drive rates, but Gamel, at 34% so far, looks highly suspect.

On the other side of the coin, Cano and Dyson should see some positive regression.  


...was .353. And no...BABIP isn't just insta-correlated with LD%...and no...LD% isn't a given to regress if it's elevated.

Gamel strikes me as a guy who is seeing the ball GREAT and is, thus, red hot. But he doesn't strike me as a guy who's going to forget how to hit and put up a pro AB. I think he's a .300 hitter when the dust settles and he gets his K rate back down to something more typical for him. But Segura is absolutely blasting the ball when healthy...he's not going to stop hitting .360 on balls in play just because that's rare. Good hitters hit that, especially if they have speed.

Likewise, Haniger, in the minors, CONSISTENTLY...even more he started hitting for power...had meteorically high BABIPs. As in...between .360 and .380. No, he won't BABIP .412, but .350 is entirely possible.


Otherwise, why be a fan?

Shandler does have Gamel winding up at .297, given his numbers to date.

Curious about your statement on LD and BABIP.  Of the top 15 in  LD% last year, nine had BABIPs north of .340.  So are you saying no absolute correlation...but some?  


For a guy that deals with statistics a lot, Shandler seems to be making a cardinal error by assuming that the BABIP results of the first third of the season will "even out". That is to say...because they were hot to start the year, they'll definitely have a cool period to balance it out.

Not how stats work.


he's not making a direct correlation.  Like you, he cooks a lot more into the projection.

Here are the notes posted as of 5/21:

n his brief time in the majors, Gamel's given us a lot to digest:

  • His current .301 BA is not legit. And to make matters worse, that .241 xBA doesn't fully represent the downside risk, as his unsustainable 34% line drive rate is part of that calculation. Without making better contact, he's in for some serious BA regression.
  • Overall, his ct% history doesn't look so hot. He's been striking out more as he's moved up each level, bottoming out at 66% so far in 131 career AB in the majors.
  • On the positive side, his power and bb% growth have been striking, especially when coupled with the elite Eye he was showing in Triple-A prior to his call-up. His career 40% fly ball rate is above average, and could improve further if some of those line drives gather a little more loft. However, his BaseballHQ.com scouting report said "he isn't known for his home run power, but he does have nice doubles power," and thus far, he's hit six doubles to two HR.
  • He has yet to steal a base in the majors, but his speed skills and minor league history suggest they'll eventually come. Maintaining a higher bb% would be helpful, too, to offset some of the BA loss in his OBP.

He sold BaseballHQ for about $1.0, $1.5MM quite a few years ago if I recall and they keep him on, probably more for name recognition.  I say "Shandler" more as a figure of speech. But not sure.

I agree with you Matty.  Would bet 10:1 that whoever is doing the BABIP adjustments is less familiar with the players than you are.

Didn't know that Haniger's BABIP's had been so good.  Could you go into that a little more, as to Haniger's LD%, BABIP% the last two years and what you see going forward?


for sure Gamel has benefitted from some balls falling in, and am not even checking the stats on that, just eyeballing.  But he's real quick down the line, hits the ball hard and low, and uses the field.  He's GOING to have a solid BABIP at minimum.


2012: .369 (SSS)
2013: .306
2014: very unlucky .270
2015: .347
2016: .366

Here are his LD%:

2012: 14
2013: 18
2014: 18
2015: 21
2016: 22

Of note, he gradually decreased other bad components and increased his BB rate while he was increasing his LD% and BABIP. For example, he popped the ball up less and less the later you go, his walk rate steadily climbed from 8% to 13%, etc.

Maybe he doesn't BABIP .350 - but he's not going to BABIP .300 either. His K rate has steadily climbed as he progresses too...he's stalking the pitches more. But that 22% is more than fine for a high average.


I'm sticking by that comparison.  He still reminds me of Clemente.  Elbows, hard swings and line drives all over the joint.  Clemente hit .270 in his sleep.

So too Segura. 

I don't know what happened in '14 and '15, but I'm discounting those Segura years totally.  Clemente hit .253 as a 20-year old and .255 at 22.  Then it was .289 and .293.  From there, over his last 13 seasons, he fell below .312 only once....all the way to .291.

Segura is a hit machine.  Like The Monkees, I'm a Believer!


And it's an illustration that AT TIMES the national pundits just haven't been paying attention.  The locals are going to know better, sometimes.

Jean Segura is a hitting star, end of story.


It's cool to see you pushing him.  

Personally I hadn't seen much -- either way -- so don't have a strong leaning.  Will be watching Smith with interest.  What kind of career-end stats / AB totals are you talking about here Moe?


Not with any predictions, just the thought that we're loaded with infield talent right now.  Got a pretty good utility guy on the DL all year and hardly anyone even mentions him. 


Dyson in CF vs. the lefty....I'm a bit disappointed.  Maybe a bit more.

Tonight was the night to get his feet wet.

I can buy Matty's "Blooquist with a better SS glove" assessment of Smith.  And if his glove is good enough, that makes him a borderline everyday player with some teams.

Bloomquist hit a .270 with a .331 OBP in his one full season in AAA Tacoma, age 24.  He had 6 HR's in 381 PA's.

Smith has hit .267-.320 in two seasons.  10 HR's in more than 600 PA's.

Bloomquist traslated his stuff into the bigs pretty well, hitting .269-.316.  Very little drop off there.

I suspect the same for Tyler Smith.  If he's got an everyday SS glove (as it appears) AND can hit .270, he'll be around for a long time.


If the glove is league average and he's OPS'ing 80 then that is comparable to who .. Escobar, Owings, Danny Santana.  Just as you say, there are teams that need such a player at SS.

If he were any better than that then of course he'd get a lot of ML at bats.

SabrBrat's picture

Upon his return, Hanger gets a free pass to the #2 hole? A question.


If he goes to rehab and the scouts think he's swinging like he did during his 180 OPS+ earlier.  They'll make a visual judgment as to whether he is back where he was.

Thanks for the comment SabrBrat!

SabrBrat's picture

Only five non pitchers, since 1900, with 1000 games, batted right, hit left.

Ricky, Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, Clean Jones and Hal Chase.


Would Alvin Davis meet that criteria, 1000G, threw R, hit L?   Bet you it's more than that.... oh, BAT right THREW left.  Sorry, LOL.

Your broad point is, it's not easy to find a lefthander who swings right.  Great thought.  Adds to Heredia's aesthetics.  :- )  I'll be enjoying that now that you pointed it out.

SabrBrat's picture

Error. Bat right, throw left :)

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