Ah! Thought the "Opening Day" game was Sunday, with Heston going. There's a game Saturday, what, a charity game or something?, with Ariel Miranda going. Monday it would be Gallardo for Glory and then Felix on Tuesday. No, these aren't the droids you're looking for.
If you're just joining us, Jerry Dipoto acquired Ariel Miranda based on "athleticism," a quick fastball, and an out-pitch splitfinger. Didycel later proposed that by "athleticism" Jedi meant propioception, a verdict which left us all cooing in admiration. During the 2016 season, Miranda went 5-2, 3.54 and this winter got slotted Hard Six Baby. Like he'll spend a few weeks in Tacoma if need be, to back up the first man who faceplants with an arrow in his chest.
Ron Shandler would have reality thus:,
√ Cuban import debuted in 2H with intriguing Sept finish - 2.62 ERA, 0.878 WHIP over 34 IP in 6 starts
√ .190 BABIP says it won't continue
√ Overall, the odds against an extreme Flyballer finding long-term MLB success are prohibitive
Hmmmm. Is a 51-31 fly ball split looks like the sabermetric kiss of death? True enough, if you sort the 2016 Mariners' thirty-plus-long pitching staff by fly ball ratio, there sit Miranda and Scribner at the tippy-top with 0.60 ratios. Which makes sense when your "splitfinger" has a 7" vertical sail on it.
Miranda is an obvious work in progress, a moving target, so we'll have to see how many of his fly balls the M's are able to chase down. In the meantime, a patented Miranda anotated highlight reel:
=== LET'S GO TO THE VIDEO TAPE ===
Here's a rudimentary Miranda start against the Red Sox:
1 Sweeeeet curve LH-on-LH for a bases-loaded K
2 Back-door 93 MPH for a whuff
3 Pounds the knees with 95 for a frozen K
4 Nice deadfish change for a garbage swing
5 Mushy cutter still enough to GIDP Papi
6 Mushy slurve up in the zone still enough for a backwards K
7 Mushy low slurve hammered on a line for an out
All told, it looked pretty Cubano to me. I liiiiike eeeeet.
Here's another one, sans radar gun, in which our hero moves the ball up, down, in and out to butcher the Astros in September.
=== GAME LOGS ===
Hmmmmm Shandler had him as 4-1 in Sept. with a 26:9 CTL ratio and a .179 AVG against. In terms of Shandler Pure Quality Starts it was 4, 4, 4, 4, 0, 4. What's interesting is that he walked 0 or 1 batters in his last four starts and threw strike ratios of 66:15 and 60:23 in the two before that.