...is still dealing with a sore leg...he's not going to effectively field if he's hurting that way.
Mike Zunino has a in-born knack for pulling the ball in the air. In 2017 his grounder:fly ratio was 0.70 and in 2016 it was 0.56; his pull vs oppo last year was 51% to 17%. If he swings and makes contact, the ball is likely going in the air to the power part of the field.
The Brewers noticed this, as he hit three (3) home runs against them on Wednesday, giving him and Dan Vogelbach the team lead at 5 homers. Not that it matters, but 5 homers in 36 at bats prorates to 76 in 550 AB's.
Fangraphs' card on him leads off with "BEWARE! ROTO TRAP!" having looked at his BABIP in 2017 being too high. Alas, such is the folly of reading numbers off the page and not watching a player on the field. Mike Zunino has a legit 170 PWR and every time the ball goes in the air, the fence is going to have 99 kinds of trouble holding it.
Speaking of which, Dan Vogelbach's Herculean efforts (.391/.509/.848 over 46 AB's) took a cross-block to the ACL when Scott Servais intoned compassionlessly, "We acquired Ryon Healy to play first base every day." I mean, that is PRECISELY what he said.
Now, semantically, philosophically and otherwise there are 17 things wrong with that statement and maybe 2 things right with it. These are one-offs so we'll let you guess most of them. I'll throw in just one: Ryon Healy is not a Joey Votto-class entitlement situation. If -- WHEN -- it becomes apparent that Dan Vogelbach can blinkin' OBP .400 against right hand pitchers, and that's your response, "Well, our intentions were to play Healy and so that's what we must do" ..... well, you wouldn't win any chess games that way; we'll leave it at that.
Romine and Beckham were the DP combo Wednesday and a Brewer hit a one-hop bullet at Romine, who effortlessly glove-flicked it and then nailed Beckham in the chest with an authoritative feed. Beckham gratefully accepted the assist and then fired the Brewer out by a mile.
Both Andrew Romine and Gordon Beckham remain the same reliable, 200-AB major leaguers that they have been for years. It's a pleasure to watch them play.
Ichiro got turned around a little bit on a hot shot straight over this head. He twisted this way and that and then had to take it off the fence. Further souring the lemonade, he kicked it just a little bit and slowed his throw into the infield.
He doesn't look as comfortable in LF as he used to in RF. Contrasting all this was a beauteous play that Heredia made later in LF, effortlessly chasing down a bullet on the line. We don't say that Ichiro can't play LF, but if his contribution in LF is +0 that makes it that much harder for him to hold a 4-game-per-week job with the Mariners.
The media is now full-on nuts about Felix Hernandez starting Opening Day ... against Corey Kluber and the Indians, who are just as liable to kick his butt down the street into next week.
Is it only Dr. D who finds this "Felix on Opening Day!!!!" shtick aggravating? :- / And the threat of what might occur clubhouse-wise, should the manager correctly decide that James Paxton is the better pitcher with the superior chance of BEATING Corey Kluber, even more aggravating?
We don't say Mike Leake is a Cy Young candidate; especially in Arizona, that little downward snap on his pitches, isn't. He continues to throw these 6 IP, 4 ER starts with 10 hits, to make sure he's ready. But it's like Whalen in that it's just fun to watch the dive at the end of his throws. The Mainframe has Leake scheduled to turn in a nice year as a plus #3 starter, but don't misunderstand it; it's not confusing Mike Leake with Mike Scott. :- ) But with this offense? He could win many, many, MANY game, Commandant.
Casey Lawrence STARTS a game (?!) tomorrow or so, and he's sporting a 13:1 CTL. A start this late in March, it's pumpkin time, so let's see what he's got. .... and oh by the way Dr. D is getting confused about categories and labels here.
Altavilla's sitting on a 12:2:0 CTL in only 8 innings. They used to call that "Vintage Eck Territory," back when anybody remembered who Dennis Eckersley was. Dee Gordon has 16 hits and still has that hip torque that suggests a thirst for doubles down the line (he's got 3 homers and 3 doubles/triples for a .630 SLG). And wouldn't we love to see 200 hits out of Jean "Sudden" Segura, who is batting .424 with a .727 SLG.
That comment by Servais bugged me, too. I have a sliver of hope that he was really indirecting needling Vogs, as a sort of "I want you playing with a chip on your shoulder, son." I doubt it, since I'm not sure Servais is such a chess player, but a boy can dream.
Nothing in Zunino’s batted ball profile suggests he’s unlocked the secret to hitting the ball effectively: Statcast suggests he outperformed his batting average by 35 points, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it fall more.
Uhhh...what? Without even doing more than scrolling down the page, Zunino had the highest Line Drive Rate (+3.9 over previous high), Pull Rate(+1.6), and Hard Hit Rate (+3.6%) of his career, not to mention the highest HR/FB ratio of his career. Let's dig slightly deeper though. Zunino also had the 15th hardest average batted ball contact in the majors after 5/23 (when he returned from MiLB) of 512 players with 25 contact events. He also had the 12th Highest Pulled FB Rate and Pulled Hard Hit Rate, and 26th highest Pulled Line Drive rate among all hitters last year.
There's a real reason to believe Mike Zunino broke through, I'm fine with casual analysis and assuming some regression, but that analysis felt vindictive (especially considering losing 30 points of average would leave Z about where he was in 2016...as a top 10ish offensive catcher, not "an overrated back-end catcher in deep mixed leagues."). If you're going to be casual and not check, maybe also don't make declarative statements about player's skillsets being mirage-like.
Vogs homers again today. It is mostly a big error if you keep him up, after a rockin'-sockin' ST, and then don't use him. I liked the Healy deal when we got him and I still do. But Ryon Healy is a career .271-.304 guy vR, which includes an inflated .359 vR BABIP as a rookie. Vogs as a .380 OBP guy vR is pretty believeable. He will bonk some homers.
Healy over THAT Vogs would mean somebody didn't read Moneyball.
And wouldn't that be ironic.
It wasn't the line drive over his head that concerned me most. It was the previous fly ball down the line that inexplicably flew over his head. It looked less like he was running a route and more like he was running out school during a fire.
There was some note somewhere along the line this spring about his declining eyesight. My fear is that this is what's going on...not a leg injury or left field unfamilarity.
I feel like Heredia is already a better player in the field--and at the plate. It can all be moot until Gamel heals. And by that time we should have a clearer answer on our legend. (No snark intended--Ich IS a legend!)