At Ax Bill, they sez
Hey Bill, Jose Rijo was the first player younger than me to play in the majors ,and Jamie Moyer was the last older than me. Do you know who you're two were ?
Asked by: tbookas
Oscar Gamble and Charlie Hough, I believe.
The first 'significant' part-time Mariner younger than me was Edwin Nunez in 1983. So from 1977-1982 I was a kid looking up at the men playing baseball in the Kingdome. Then Nunez arrived, and it was downhill on a motor scooter. On a whale of a lot of levels.
The M's first two rookie stars were Alvin Davis and Mark Langston, who arrived together in 1984 like Jim Rice and Fred Lynn. Like Ruth and Gehrig. Like Aaron and Mathews. (Cindy and I were in the Kingdom the day Alvin was called up on a lark, and used that half-swing to swat a pitch into the third deck. "His head is bigger than the infield," Cindy kinda snarked as Mr. Mariner trotted around the bases.
But 1984-1990 did not feature a string of Red Sox-like pennant races. By 1986 the M's had slashed their loss total to 95 per season, though by 1992 they had regressed at 98 losses per season. Well, it was still only 15 years out of expansion. These things take time.
By 1986 the M's had a starting ballplayer almost precisely my age, a few weeks older: Danny Tartabull. He slugged .489 that year en route to 10 years as a big-time cleanup hitter ... in Kansas City. The M's thought that Tartabull was too big for his britches, too high-maintenance, and they swapped him for Scott Bankhead. THE Scott Bankhead. Anyway, it was clear that Dr. D was not a teenager any more. The Mariners were beginning to deploy players of Dr. D's age.
In 1987 the Mariners finally deployed two players that Dr. D looked 'down' at: shortstop Rey Quinones and the immortal Scott Bankhead. So that's the answer to the question TBookas asked Bill. Quinones and Bankhead 1987, that was the moment that Dr. D crested the hill of youth and began to glide down the path towards death and Sheol.
:: winning Anthony Hopkins grin :: No Mariners quips, please. But Dr. D would be interested in hearing about your own fave Mariner 'junior'.
IceX, super-poster from Japan, sez,
Is there any medicalish knowledge that could be shined on our current scenario of young guns? - See more at: http://seattlesportsinsider.com/blogs/sabermetrics/the-best-young-player...
You guys know as much as Dr. D does. It reminds of an old-fogey 1920's grandmaster who started losing to the next generation. Once he started losing, he rolled off the top of the table real quick and was out of chess. "What can I do?," he wailed. "They read my book!"
There are like 7 major variables you use to pronounce pitchers healthy from behind your monitor. SSI used them to great effect when it demanded the Mariners draft Tim Lincecum. We'll cheer you up by listing the first two ...
First of all, Lincecum was a great bet because --- > he could throw 140 pitches and then enjoy a friendly game of 400-foot long toss the next day. James Paxton, as you've noticed, throws 110-120 pitches and they come to get him and he looks at them quizzically, like, "What are you doing on the mound? Am I tipping my curve ball?" ... that's an actual outcome. You can visibly watch James Paxton throw tons of pitches with great ease.
Second: Bill James proved, a long time ago, that the more K's a pitcher has, and the harder he throws, the better a bet he is to stay healthy. That's *BET* you moron! Here's a Hey Bill from just last week, echo'ing what he's been saying for 30 years:
Hey, Bill, why don't you like groundball pitchers?
Asked by: flyingfish
There just aren't very many good ones. Most GOOD pitchers are Randy Johnson/Roger Clemens guys who throw high fastballs as their bread and butter, or else they are Move the Ball Up and Down and In and Out guys like Maddux, Kershaw, Greinke, etc. who mix their pitches up. There are very few guys who try to live on the Ground Ball and are actually good at it. . .about one a generation. Kevin Brown was really good, Tommie John late in his career, Roy Halladay.
Brandon Webb was going to be the next great groundball pitcher, but sadly, his career ended far too soon.
Asked by: Adam
They always do. That's part of the problem with ground ball pitchers; the good ones almost always get hurt after a couple of good years. Randy Jones was going to be great, but then he got hurt. Wayne Garland was going to be great, but then he got hurt. Scott Erickson was going to be great, but then he got hurt. Mark Fidrych was going to be great, but then he got hurt. Rick Langford was going to be great, but then he got hurt. Chien-Ming Wang was going to be tremendously sensationally great, but then he got hurt. They all get hurt. . .not literally ALL of them; Derek Lowe was great one year and pretty good for a long time, Halladay, Kevin Brown. Mostly they just get hurt.
The basic idea is that Erasmo Ramirez has to go all-out on his fastball at all times. Whereas James Paxton fires the ball easily, with joy, and with a couple of MPH still in the tank. Max Scherzer has commented on this, that he always (in the 8th inning) has "bullets" in reserve. A 90 MPH pitcher is throwing "bullets" every pitch.
So despite Taijuan's pinchy shoulder (since relieved some) and despite Paxton's short-rib muscle or whatever, I'll take them 100 years before I'll take Mike Montgomery.
By the way, Erasmo is 8-4, 3.83 with a 7.1 / 2.6 / 0.8 ratio in Tampa. The ratio is most comparable to (2013-15) Michael Wacha, Jake Peavy, Ervin Santana, and Chris Archer. Thanks Lloyd, Jack. Really appreciate the little grudge sagas. Roenis Elias is next, we presume?
By the way Ice! You haven't given us a prospective on Hisashi Iwakuma recently. At this moment in time, you expect how much more pitching of him?
You guys have all seen Carter Capps' hop-step and throw from the front of the mound? LOLOL! Go to the 1:40 mark on the video. His 99 MPH fastballs are effectively 105 MPH now and he's striking out 16.8 men per game. (Of course, all pitchers release the ball with their back foot DRAGGED off the rubber a good ways -- Chris Young especially -- but Capps adds the hop.)
Bill James has a great article up now, behind the paywall, one of his lightest and most entertaining.
Looks like Jesus Montero is hitting #5 tonight? Go baby :- ) The Mariners have had five good players this year: the stars, and the Logo, and Seth Smith. Montero could make it 6, taking the whole idea into 2016. Six good position players is a lot, especially by Mariner standards.
Playoff odds right now, according to Baseball Prospectus, are 2%. Talk about generous. ... no, actually, those are the odds if we're playing Strat-O-Matic. Real teams get hot, so any given tailender has better chances than the computer 'thinks.'