NOISE or SONIC, 3.5.18
we are talking some serious helium here, gentlemen

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JAMES PAXTON KO'ed - NOISE    he's got a history of two things:  (a) needing time to build up to the overwhelming 97 MPH thunderbolt, and (b) needing time to find his touch for the foshball and the yakker.  When he is walking guys, falling behind, coming in 3-1 with a 93 MPH fastball that is centered and up, he's not above getting KO'ed.  Many times we've watched him search for his touch on the foshball/slashball and get it rolling with his 96 MPH fastball.

I mean, if he had 5 starts behind him and his velocity were still 92 MPH, there were noises about pain in his arm, that would be one thing.  But merely being "off" in your second Arizona start?  Noise.

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DEE GORDON DOING WELL IN CF - NOISE    there is a nice fluff piece on the Mariners' site with his fellow OF's raving about his transition.  That's peachy keen, but it doesn't mean that Gordon is taking sharp routes; it's just that they like his willingness, and his reads on the pitches are ahead of where they thought.  (There was a naive comment from one of the M's coaches that he'd have to learn how to anticipate pitch sequences; where do they think he was playing all these years?  Three positions can see the fingers the catcher puts down.)

Gordon is, where he's been.  Which is nice, but we'll see how the UZR's start adding up in April.  Point is, Jerry Dipoto thought of a verrrrrry cool way to get a leadoff CF, just as Jerry Dipoto thought of a very cool way to get a closer.  Which makes a ballgame.

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TOP 9 FREE AGENTS STILL ALIVE - SONIC  MLB Trade Rumors lists them for you, and points out that the most logical place for Jake Arrieta is .... the Angels.  When the Mainframe realized that this could happen, it became sentient with fear - you know, like Goku became Super Saiyan with anger.  Should the Angels sign Arrieta or even Lance Lynn, Dr. D is going to have a tough time not going DaddyO.  Because Shohei Ohtani is no joke.

The list suggests that Arrieta's best offer pending is ---- > three (3) years' duration, with a very large annual salary.  Wouldn't it make sense for the M's to go 4 x $22M?

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Jon Jay is also high on the list.  BaseballHQ's evaluation:  "middling," boring skills which, however, channel very synchronously into one specific output:  setting the table.  "Line drives galore, more BB than you deserve with this PX, lots of R per AB."  .281 AVG with a remarkable .353 projected OBP and no SLG at all.  He could be had fairly cheaply.

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GUILLERMO HEREDIA GETS INTO A LIVE GAME AND GOES 1 FOR 2 WITH A WALK - SONIC     Dr. D had no earthly idea he'd be functional at this point; we figured he'd be in Ryon Healy's situation at best, rehabbing in Tacoma for Opening Day.  Good on him.  Post-winter reminder:  he's one of the 5 best defensive OF's in the league, per Dipoto's internal analytics.

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DAN VOGELBACH NOW GETTING A BIT OF LOVE - NOISE    Mike Ford is a Rule 5 prospect who must be active all year, or he Star Trek-energizes back to the Yankees in a sparkle of 60's CGI.  It's kind of reassuring to see Scott Servais start to show a bit of warmth when a "Vogelbomb" wins him a ballgame against the Brew.  Makes you wonder if you're NOT going crazy.

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NICK RUMBELOW DINGED UP - SONIC    It appears that a "paper cut" wasn't the main reason he was held out of ballgames.  He'd been (very) lightly penciled in as the #8 pitcher, but you can erase whatever minor edge he had a week ago.  Which is okay for fans of Andrew Moore (whose last outing was a great one) and Dan Altavilla.

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MARC-O BLOWS AWAY BREWERS - SONIC     There's a bit of video in this My Northwest article.  If his elbow felt sturdy enough to use the cut fastball at will, which it does not, you'd be tempted to Best Bet the kid at this point; a left-hander with his grace, balance and athleticism is always going to get things figured out at some point.  Anyway, he and Andrew Moore lead the camp in strikeouts.  For Marc-O, it's 5.0 IP with a 1:8 CTL.  They have 3 hits and everything else is zeroes.  Meaning, he's been way ahead of the hitters his first two starts.

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ROB WHALEN 5 ip 4 h 0 r 0 er 1 bb 7 k - SONIC    Miranda, Moore and Povse separate themselves as the #6-7-8 starters.  Don't laugh; these days you can get into your 8-man rotation quicker than Steve Kerr does with the Warriors.  The M's last year used not 8 starters, but 17 (Chris Heston, Ryan Weber, Dillon Overton, etc etc).

Last year, Whalen fought depression based on the idea that "the crowd was closing in on me."  This is parallel to the yips in golf; maybe Mo' Dawg will comment on curing them.  My own cure begins with accepting a lower bar for success:  Hey, if I am a 75 golfer instead of a scratch golfer, that's OK.  If I am an innings eater rather than a $100M pitcher, that's OK.  In any case, Whalen right now, at the moment, seems to be loose and pitching his game.

In the MAINFRAME's mind, if not in Jerry Dipoto's, Rob Whalen is a clear #8-9 with Povse, based on a delicious slider-diveball and a willingness to toss three (3) pitches quite unpredictably at the enemy batsmen.  Dr. D is madly in love with Whalen's "slider", if not with his fastball command.  He's getting SwStk after SwStk with it.  So, eyes slideways on Rob Whalen.

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Enjoy,

Dr D

Blog: 

Comments

1

This year, you're either out of what may be the best buyers market ever to hit July or you're going to bust past that soft cap.  In order to get back under next year(if that was the desire)  The money from Cruz, Rzep, Phelps etc. ($26 million or so) would basically be partially spent already in that effort.  And you're probably even more definitely out of next year's FA class.

Then there's the need to trade either Marco or Erasmo unless one is in the bullpen or on the DL.  That's not a reason not to improve the rotation, just trying to see all the effects. 

Right now I'd say next October they'll be around $40-45 million under the cap For 2019 (guessing at arb raises) with likely needing a penner and a DH.  Probably there will be at least something else.  If a starter were acquired in July who's still in Arbitration years, one of the top FA could potentially still fit.  I'm waiting to see who actually gets to FA before getting too worried, but...Would Dipoto go there?  Now that there's finally ownership that actually might...Well, Cano, but you know what I mean.  Should anyone even want anyone who might be there if the dollars are back toward the top end for those guys?

Making or not making moves based on that reminds me of Ohtani though.  Someone's probably going to have a horrible off-season next year because they planned on someone they're not going to get.  Let that not be us. 

If it's a roll the dice kind of year then Arrietta was always the FA SP to go for because if he breaks right (keeps his unorthodox throwing motion under control) he's got the upside of clearing 5 WAR without much surprise.  Who's worries wouldn't fade once Arrietta was inked?  Maybe he fails his physical with LA and Sea swoops.  I still think that Dipoto might be gun shy from the Smyly experience though.  He found 3 baskets to put eggs in later the same year.  Symbolic of the fear?

The 5-9 SP have all looked worthy of continued watching to me.  Marco, Miranda, Moore, Povse and Whalen is who I've got.  May have an order for them next time through.  Figuring 'Mo (Ramirez) is 4 unless still rehabbing.  Rumbelow looks like top 3 in swing competition or back end of Tacomas rotation (#10 starter with 1 or 2 in Sea BP), the way I see things. 

Heredia got 2 PA the day before and sits at 1-2 with 3 BB total.  Servais said somewhere that he plans to keep him off the field another week.

I'm personally buying the Dee-fense shtick a bit more.  Maybe because I always wanted to believe and all the noises have been right.  But LF Flo saying "I think he's going to be one of the best center fielders in baseball." isn't even close to light praise.  First step and routes make sense as concerns, Bishop knocks one down "Anytime you get an athlete of that caliber, to be able to watch his first step, I mean, it's really just unmatched."  These are good defensive outfielders, but I guess it could be more noise than notation.  I mean it's not Ibanez or Cruz marveling at how good he looks on defense.  Saying he's got baseball IQ is one of those that maybe means little to the affect on actual skills. It makes sense in the details I've seen and heard that he's already decent to  pretty good at everything except routes which the little I've seen hadn't looked so good.  I just want to be able to see more of the baseball they're playing...

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He just looks so quiet at the plate and has that discerning eye, I just can't see how he won't hit MLB throwers.  

There had been some discussion about his getting some COF time.  We haven't seen that.  Plans may have changed, it still may occur later in ST, or the non-game time OF reps looked particularly ugly. 

But if he gets in a game at RF, then you can bet that we are seeking every reason to keep him. 

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Balkyboy's picture

Lookout Landing provided a link to a recent Fangraphs article by David Laurila about Marco Gonzales, his changeup, and the progress he has made with it this year (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/marco-gonzales-on-health-and-changeups/).  Quote:  "“I feel I have a lot of control over the speeds on my changeup. More than I did last year, for sure. It’s something I’ve worked on a lot."

Also Shannon Drayer noted on her site that Gonzales threw his cutter 7-8 times in the last outing.

BTW, love you guys and soaking up all your amazing baseball acumen but I've been posting here, however infrequently, for what 6 years and am still 'Not Verified'.

 

 

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He talks about having control of his change-up speeds, but he still used to throw the thing about 4 miles slower in 2015 than he ever did in 2017

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Balkyboy's picture

Thanks.  I just registered/joined.  Maybe I never did that before.

10

   Though I still had to approve your comment.  Perhaps your info has to be approved by the supervisors.  Thanks amigo.

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