M's 6, Twinkies 4
hey, keed, any other club would have a spot for ya



We are -1.5 games back of Tampa for the last playoff spot; the Rays' elimination number is 94 for us.  Granted, we're running in a big pack and chewing mud, but we're only into the second turn.  

The kewl thing was this.  5 games ago, our Liddle Three handed a .500 record to our Spahn and Sain.  Who promptly botched the opportunity, going 0-2.  But the Liddle Three took the ball back and ... went 2-1, which hands the ball back to our ace lefties.  Awrite, feebs.  Pitch good this time.



Was leading the American League in June RBI before the game Wednesday.  Promptly swatted a three-run bomb to make it 19 RBI in 14 days.  Look, that's a quarter of an 80 RBI season in two weeks.  Whatever else occurs, Zunino has helped the club here since his callup.  He'll be voted a ring, I suspect.  ...

If you don't watch the games, and why would you if you have SSI, Zunino has gone to an Edgar stance and swing.  He's way upright, hands high, bat pointed up, as though he's trying to dislodge a panel in a 12-foot suspension ceiling.  We've said it before:  he is LIGHTNING quick to the ball.  I can't tell you where his pitch recog is, but you are not going to FIND a major league player who is shorter to the ball with more power.  Maybe Trout.  Not Cano.  Not right this second.

Brosius, the hitting coach, said Zuumball hit the Monday (?) homer 420 feet "and didn't get much of it."  The double yesterday was hit about as hard, sez they.  And there was an "out" line drive to 3B that measured 113 MPH exit velocity.  That's with a swing that is stripped down as far as you can strip it.

Hey, this is funny - check it out.  CLICK THIS LINK  The last two weeks, Zunino's batted balls are 48% hard, 48% medium, and ... 3% soft.  But it's funner to click the link.



They had a clean graphic that showed, since 2006:  1 Robinson Cano 2,119 Hits, 2 Miguel Cabrera ... Bill James used to have a stat, "Secondary Average," which counted up everything EXCEPT batting average.  Robinson Cano has produced more base hits than anybody in baseball, and they ain't empty hits.  Next best thing to actually having Edgar.



So amigos were axing, "You think Haniger will still hit 2nd?  Think he'll still be dangerous?"  We sez, oh yeah, if they like how he's swinging it he's back in there.  Mitch Haniger was no random hot streak.  This kid can play.  Fortunately he provided us both with the siiighhhhh-releasing assurance of these four games straight back off the DL:

  • Game 1 - just a BB, but looked great
  • Game 2 - 4 hits
  • Game 3 - a double
  • Game 4 - Home run and walk

Stare real hard at his game log and you tell ME whether you see a game where he wasn't on base.  But that will happen when you walk 80 times a year ...

You've got the four acknowledged stars batting 1 and 3-5.  Mitch Haniger now at 2, and if there were an expansion draft?  most of us would give up at least two of the Stars before unprotecting Haniger.  At #6 you've got Danny Valencia raking now (873 OPS since April 25).

So the "rest stop" at the bottom of the lineup:  Mike Zunino, discussed above, and 2 of our 3 role OF's Heredia RH - Gamel LH - Dyson LH.  This offense could get craizzeee.



Even Dr. D is getting alarmed here.  It's raining base hits for this kid.  And, the three he had Wednesday were versatile, adaptive... and authoritative.  Looked like Stan Musial out there in that one.   He also seems to be adapting to left field rather nicely.



Did nothing to change the Mainframe's evaluation, that he could possibly have several years as a 95-ish, 100-ish ERA starter.  If things break right.  And it's getting tougher to visualize how they wouldn't, because his game is very simple and repeatable.

Did not have his best command on Wednesday.  When he has his best command he will *strike men out* based on called, painted fastballs.  That's how you know a guy is tough out there.  He did that twice in the 4th inning or so, but didn't have swinging strike before that, that I noticed.

Still and all he did have the down-bite, had the wonderful mound presence and body language, had the two simple pitches so he couldn't get into much trouble with walks.  The game left him at 3-1, 3.41.  More Rainiers, please.



Agreed with The Suburban Guy that he had no command in the strike zone at all Tuesday.  Time and again Zunino would stick the target at low and away, and get middle up.  Stick the mitt on the hands and get the ball a foot inside, or out and over.  Time and again.

What happens when you have an 88 fastball, an 84 slider, not much else, and it's just random in the zone?  You get lit up.  Bergman has two horrific starts this year to go with a handful of very competitive starts.  Question for him becomes, "what do you do on an off day?"  You can't just punt a game in the first.

Which is why the smart money is movin' towards a warm hug and thank you toward Mr. Bergman when Felix gets back.  (Iwakuma threw a rehab start yesterday also.)



Stepped in for Gaviglio needing 11 outs.  Slammed the door again to preserve a big win.  As Dutton points out, Diaz' early "hiccups are receding in the distance."  This is now 7 games back in the closer role for him and he's been Sugar.

Dutton also points out that it is 4 men who have been here all year:  Sugar, plus Pazos, Vincent and Zip Chin.  Those four were again the ones that closed out Wednesday's victory.  Actually this is reminding me of the old Big Red Machine:  rack up your 5, 6 runs by the fifth inning, have a no-name scrub starter avoid instant death, and then hand it over to huge battalions of relievers.



Since Felix is one game away and Iwakuma perhaps two games away ... that leaves us a few weeks before Drew Smyly is set.  That would leave Jerry Dipoto with the choice of Ariel Miranda or Yovani Gallardo.


Just sayin',

Dr D




It's like everything* breaks right for us, outside of injuries. (And at least it looks like our latest batch is primed for a quick return...)

Is this what life could have been like, if we'd had player development under Zduriencik?!


That there is no forced choice between Miranda and Iwakuma.  

Or I should say that if there is we make the right call and stick with the Cuban lefty.

And a great call on Zunino, Doc.  He does look more than a bit like Edgar, at the plate.  Hadn't really thought of it before.

BTW, our favorite Royal farm hand, Jeremy Gwinn, is being sent off the the NW wilds of Idaho Falls!  Got a text from his dad, last night and then gave him a call.  Road trip, anyone?

Idaho Falls Chukkars.  Cool name.  J. Gwinn is a chucker for the Chukkars.

RockiesJeff's picture

Chukars indeed! He should be driving there right now. I will let you know what is going on. And thanks to Bats for keeping Idaho is good shape for us!!!!!


Doc, I was thinking of this very comparison yesterday.

When Segura comes back this lineup will look a lot like The Big Red Machine, a formidably deep lineup. Gamel batting seventh will be like when a young Ken Griffey Sr. was often batting seventh. Come to think of it this year so far Gamel reminds me of a young Griffey Sr. And which player would YOU want batting eight, Cesar Geronimo or Mike Zunino-come-back-to-life? The Machine, of course, did have the greatest lineup of all time next to the '27 Yankees. But a consistent and healthy M's lineup could approach them.

The key is consistency and longevity. MLB pitchers have a way of adjusting to young hitters who break out in their first full season (we need look no further than Dustin Ackley). But Haniger and Gamel look like The Real Deal, as does Segura.


First, no, the Big Red Machine wasn't one of the greatest offenses of all time. It was a very good offense. With a 108 OPS+. There's are one or two teams like that every single season.

But just for fun, let's compare the batting orders (the positions will scramble, because our strengths lie in different areas, to a certain extent, but the batting order slots line up favorably)

Position - Red (OPS) - Mariner (OPS Proj) - WINNER
1)  Rose (132) - Segura (130) - PUSH (pretty similar hitters too)
2)  Griffey (119) - Haniger (130) - SEA (Griffey Sr. with power...LOL)
3)  Morgan (169) - Cano (135) - CIN
4)  Bench (140) - Cruz (150) - SEA
5)  Perez (124) - Seager (115) - PUSH (Seager got off to a slow start this year, but the two are very similar players)
6)  Foster (139) - Valencia (110) - CIN
7)  Concepcion (87) - Gamel/Heredia (115) - SEA
8)  Geronimo (90) - Zunino (95) - PUSH
9)  Driessen/Rettenmund/Plummer (75) - Dyson (95) - SEA

The 9 hole had a bunch of pitchers hitting for Cincy, but they let the benchies play a lot so I decided to make that comparison. That Reds team was more front-loaded than we are...we are deeper than they were...deeper and more balanced (with more power).


The '75 Reds' team OPS was pulled down by terrible performances from pitchers and benchies.  But that didn't help you when they decided to field their 8 glory regulars, such as in the 75 NLCS when they rolled their opponents without breaking a sweat.

Three INNER INNER circle HOF'ers, plus three All-Stars, plus two quality players for their regular 8.  Before free agency you didn't see that much...


Bill James made the comment about the 1975-76 Reds (esp. 1976) that it was strange to see a team finish first in EVERYTHING.  Check the Team Totals Ranks line at b-ref.com.  How does a hulking team that leads the league in homers/slug also lead the league in speed, in triples/SB's?  And in walks/precision.  And in hits/OBP.

The Big Red Machine's lineup seemed as irresistible, at that time, as the Warriors' lineup does now. 


The Mariners did not draft the quick-moving college starter I was hoping for in the first two rounds, but they have Gaviglio and Moore to hold down the back half of the rotation. They reinvigorated their reliever possibilities instead, and with as volatile as pens are it's always good to have a raft of guys to build that from.  There's nothing Jerry likes more than options and mix-n-matching, and the bullpen should let him amuse himself to no end with that in coming years.

But finding a couple of cheap starters who will throw a consistently-decent game and let this offense roll out there and attack will be huge.  If Felix has more gas in the tank after taking a month off and Paxton can stay healthy from here out, maybe we can find a nice kick down the back stretch and pull away from the pack.  

The Mariners have a top-5 offense (and have basically since the day Gar took over as hitting coach). He and Brosius have the bats working in fine order.  The pitching staff has been duct-taped together all year but if some clarity and consistency is coming, that's welcome news.

And yes, this means Gallardo should be working for a new employer very soon.

mabalasek's picture


I saw the chart saying that Cano is top of the hit list since 2006. What was interesting to me was Ichiro is still up on that list (number 4 or 5???). He's been a part time/bottom of the line-up hitter for like 5 years now, and he is still in the hits leaderboard for the decade. Go Ichi!!!!


Ervin Santana is new and has always been human pond scum...a coward and a poor man's bully.

Two mariners homered against him. He hit two batters. Two guesses as to which two. Despicable and pathetic.


Should the good Lord decide to stop savaging the Mariners with new injuries for just a bit here, we are scheduled to get King Felix back on the 22nd, Segura back on the 19th or 20th, and Iwakuma on the 25th...ish.

Let's read the tea leaves a bit. If the rest of the Mariner rotation stays 'on rotation', Felix' return on the 22nd would fall on Bergman's slot. He lifts right out and is the first to 'die' (see: Ball Four). Iwakuma, then, comes back on the 25th which would be Miranda's rotation slot. I'm guessing they'll give Gaviglio his start on the 24th, drop Iwakuma in on the 25th, then go to Miranda, Paxton, Felix...then decide whether Gaviglio gets that next start or Gallardo.


Did you know that 10 out of 15 AL clubs are within +/- 5 games of .500, with three teams above +5 and two teams below -5?

Did you know that only 4 NL clubs are within +/- 5 games of .500, with four teams above +5 and seven teams below -5?

I find this amusing.


Last night he had his first AAA start that would be labeled as "cruddy":  6 innings, 7 hits, 4ER's, 0 BB.s and 6 K's.  He gave up 3 runs in the  2nd (and 4 of the 7 hits, it looks like).  89 pitches, 63 strikes.

Even when he's bad, he's not far from pretty good.

Give him the big league ball!


Our entire rotation is about to come back. Unless Iwakuma turns out to be ineffective or Gaviglio turns into a pumpkin or someone else gets hurt, the rotation is full after next weekend


(hypothetically - not saying this is the case yet)

After the given (Moore) we've got Paxton, Felix, Smyly, Iwakuma, Miranda, Gaviglio, Gallardo, and Bergman. Bergman gets stashed in the minors, Gallardo gets traded. That part's easy. (I'm assuming you can't stash Gallardo successfully in AAA).

That leaves 7 options for 5 spots, with 1 'ready' guy at the lower level. We've seen the necessity to keep our options open and our rotation long, so the ideal scenario - assuming again that Moore has forced the issue - is to keep two guys more in Tacoma. This makes Gaviglio a relatively easy demotion. He's ready for next year, or the scenario where we trade 2-for-1 to open him up a spot, but he can't beat out the rest of those guys today.

Who do you pick to lose... Iwakuma, because he's not long for the team? Miranda, because he's got options? It's not Felix or Paxton, and I doubt it's Smyly once he's healthy - we pushed all-in on him, and he's going to be involved. So I think it's a Kuma-Miranda showdown in this scenario... which shows the difficulty with promoting Moore in the first place.

In that scenario, once Smyly proves his health and prowess sufficiently... I'd be hard pressed to demote Miranda if he continues dealing (last game could happen to anyone). But I also hate the idea of sending Iwakuma elsewhere... leaving just Gaviglio/Bergman in AAA. I think I want more than one option I'm excited about down there, and Bergman is back to bing just a bit of a question for me. 

All that to say... IMO if Moore comes up, either Miranda goes down or a Smyly/Iwakuma has to have had problems returning to healthy excellence. Otherwise, the Moore+Miranda rotation doesn't arrive until 2018.

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