M's By a Clean 3-0
Marco headed for 20 ?!

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Hannibal sez,

People calling for a #2. We got one. He cost us O'Neill.

I'm looking for a salary dump innings eater. Maybe the Twins? Odorizzi or Lynn could be an adjustment away from useful as our "#6." I'm sure there are others, but I'm saying we need not mortgage the farm for Hamels.

.

Well, there are some who would say we mortgaged the farm long ago, but ... :- ) Marco is pitching like a #2 right now, thass' fo' sho'. I think over his last 3 starts he's got 22 IP with an 0.82 ERA and a 18:2 CTL.  Krueger characterized him as "going from taking the 100 class to teaching the 400 class" since the first month of the season.

Whether it's by intelligence soaring upward (?) or guts and gumption being the key (?) or simply a few bad breaks rolling his way (per the Mainframe's insistence after games 3 and 4), Marco is now a ten-game winner, 10-5 with a 3.41 ERA that now matches his 3.47 xFIP, as the 'Frame modestly predicted it would.  This ERA puts him #12 in the AL; if he could sustain that, he'd quite obviously fit in as a #2 behind Paxton (whose own ERA is higher, at 3.49).

Brooks had Marc-O for an odd pitch mix, 20-17-18 with 27 cut fastballs into the bargain.  He was backing them off the plate constantly, and throwing backdoor cutters when behind in the count.  Blowers aptly noted that "he doesn't like to get into fastball counts and then throw a fastball."

The Times notes that Marc-O is just the 10th Mariner to win 10 before the All-Star break.  Now if he won 20, wouldn' that be somethin'?  (He's actually on pace for 17.4 - 8.7).

....

There was a picturesque moment in the game Wednesday night; we had our All-Stars Segura and Haniger on 1B and 2B, and our All-Star Cruz at the plate.  A wild pitch put them both in scoring position.  Cruz rifled a shot up the middle for 2 RBI, 55 on the year, now on pace for 96 this season.  Should be good for 100, seeing his missed time earlier.

All-Star Haniger has 18 HR and 65 RBI... TV ran a list of every Mariner who had done THAT by the All-Star break.  Of course Griffey, Edgar and ARod had.  Bone did it in 1996, the year he wound up with 44-138.  A.D. did it in 1984.  Boone in 2001 and 2003, I think.  And besides that, only Ibanez a couple of years ago.  Except for the Junior glory years, we haven't had any 30-100 men really.

Here's a Q:  do you expect Mitch Haniger to have a better career than Jay Buhner?  It would be asking a lot.

....

LL has a detailed piece on Mike Zunino's CERA.  It shows dramatically better ERA's for Zuumball, and slightly better K/BB's, for everyone except Mike Leake.  In this case I'd probably go along with the conclusion, even if it's not "definitive."

....

Closer and Mega-Closer threw two scoreless innings to celebrate the win, Closer a "scoreless" inning and Mega-Closer an "overmatch" inning.

....

Re:  the NBA, Bill James sez

Any thoughts about the way the NBA offseason is going?  If you were,commissioner would you be looking to change things in the next CBA?
Asked by: 3for3

Answered: 7/9/2018
 Glad to see LeBron with the Lakers so that he'll be irrelevant now; I was tired of him.    THey seem to be doing well in terms of remaining in the news in the off-season. 
That'll do for me too.  No LeBron fan by any stretch.  Definitely holds the NBA record for time in the fetal position on the court, and for time arguing with the refs on missed shots.

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Happy Zeus Day,

Dr D

Blog: 

Comments

1

Y'know Doc, I love you, but I'm starting to think we have diametrically opposed views on what makes a compelling player. I take Sherm, you like Wilson. I take Felix, you like Paxton. I take LeBron, you like Curry (although the only real reason I can't like Steph Curry is his unsettling grey eyes). We must just value different things. I want fire, and swagger, and the kind of "I can back it all up" cockiness that pushes people out of your way more effectively than a Beast Mode stiff arm. Give me Primetime every day of the week, baby. Sports is entertainment, and those guys are flat out fun to watch. Who cares if I'd want them as my friends? (I would love Sherm as my friend, but that's why he's a cut above the rest)

Other guys in this mold: Bryce Harper, Trevor Bauer, Josh Norman, Johnny Manziel (see, I'll admit this player family's weaknesses). Tiger Woods was like this, and he's the only person who ever made me give the slightest thought to golf. Bobby Fischer, since chess is a sport you're well acquainted with. Charlie Sheen, if we're gonna wander all the way over to Hollywood. Tupac Shakur over Biggie, even.

*side note: funnily enough, I just realized this paradigm would suggest that I should love Trump. I think the important difference there is I take politics quite seriously, whereas all of the people I've listed are entertainers. Had The Donald stuck to tv, I would've liked him just fine*

What would you say your top criteria are to really love an athlete? I'm betting humility is in there somewhere, which probably explains why all of my guys rub you the wrong way.

2

Hannibal sez,

People calling for a #2. We got one. He cost us O'Neill.

I'm looking for a salary dump innings eater. Maybe the Twins? Odorizzi or Lynn could be an adjustment away from useful as our "#6." I'm sure there are others, but I'm saying we need not mortgage the farm for Hamels.

I have what may be an unpopular suggestion for exactly that, one Jordan Zimmerman.  He still has a pretty stunning ~$60 million left on his contract, but that runs only through 2020, but with the Tigers at least that far from a playoff push, I'm sure they'd be willing to eat at least half at this point without receiving a significant return (I contrast this with the Twins and Cardinals who are still theoretically in the playoff hunt and will want more in return).

The reason for this is that Zimmerman has had a quietly productive season, achieving an ERA under 4, K Rate above 8, and walks below 2 for the first time since 2015.  He's already been hurt, but since his return, he's been quietly dominant.  With a 6-Man rotation in the second half, he could be a real option.

3

Problem is, from my POV, we need more than one of those guys heading into the playoffs (aka The Other Bonus Baseball).

That's pretty much what I expect other teams to bring at us, and I would expect any team which arrives in October with a classic set of 1-2-3-4 pitchers as their playoff rotation to be playing at a solid disadvantage, on average.

Oh, I know some teams slide the talent balance much more heavily over to the lineup than the rotation, and that a killer bullpen can balance a host of things as well. But... in the aggregate, your average playoff rotation looks like X, and ours looks to be X-Y (where Y is some positive real number less than X, which is also a positive real number. :-P).

Maybe I'm underrating the guys we have, though... ?

4

Is it necessary to mortgage the farm for him? What does he cost prospect-wise, if we just up and take his salary (for example)?

If that's too much for anyone in baseball... how much cash does Texas have to give us to have us take him off their hands for a non-prospect or two?

There's some risk with Cole. But he sure looks like a #2 away from Texas... seems our most plausible draw at a top starter without losing MiLB talent many people think we can't afford to move out. Though of course we can put a package together for the right guy, just like anyone...

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