Kuma is start to start, but we can survive him for another month til Felix is back...let Moore take DeJong's place and let's see if that helps.
WELL, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT
In James Paxton's career, Mike Trout is 2-for-20 with 10 strikeouts. That's about to get worse, much worse. But for the time being let's savor August 8, 2015. Also Pujols is 4-for-20, quickly to become 4-for-24. There's nothing to restore morale like taking D*CON to the pesky rodent Angels. I'll be there.
IT'S 26 OF 162
Last May 1, the Cleveland Indians were 10-12. The Astros were 8-17. May 1 of the previous year, the Blue Jays were in 5th place in the AL East; they went 93-69 to win it by six. The Rangers were 7-15 that year on May 1 before going 88-74 to win the division. The M's 11-15 record doesn't mean much except that they need to get their blinkin' pitching staff together behind Paxton and Sugar.
STARS, SCRUBS, and FUNGIBILITY
The M's OPS+ is already up to 107 and ... the way they combine stolen bases (#2 in league), home runs (will be #2 in league pretty soon), doubles (#1 in league) and walks (#5 in league) reminds me ever-so-slightly of my boyhood Big Red Machine. Actually they're a Haniger, a Motter, and a Heredia or Gamel away from reminding me of that quite a bit. They're at 107 right now and will probably be 112-115 in short order.
It's odd, though, the sheer number of First Pick Pitchers that have blown up in the M's faces like a joke cigar:
Chase De Jong 11.05 ERA, 6 BB 3 K per game
Casey Fien 15.00 ERA, 2BB/2K in 4.1 IP, never understood what he was doing here
Chris Heston, first time out looked vaguely Hudsonish. Now looks like a candidate for dumping into the Hudson, 22.50 ERA
Altavilla got cut?!
My man Dillon Overton with a 7.11 ERA, 13 hits in 7 IP
Evan Marshall 9.39 ERA, 4 K 5 BB what is this all about
I don't get it. They had their choice from a lot of interesting pitchers this March. Who'da thunk they'd have been garrotted en masse come April.
SIGNS OF LIFE
Dr. D is one Gallardo start away from an engraved apology (not really; he's reincarnated so it kinda doesn't count)
James Pazos really does have Arthur Rhodes stuff --- > but isn't completely out of the woods in terms of throwing strikes
Rzepczynski will help stabilize the 8th
Zych appears, miraculously, to enjoy his new bicep tendon
Nick Vincent is Vincenting along with a 10:2:0 slash line and an invisible slider
And it means a whale of a lot to have a lockdown closer, so they should jell the bullpen sooner than later. Don't take too long to sort out the rotation though kids.
Dutton says The M's "could be approaching critical mass" with Mike Zunino; Dr. D does not see this as unlikely either. He really shouldn't be twisting in the wind this badly, this time around. He's having rather too much trouble covering both the low-away slider and the hard jam pitch, and it is obviously confusing him.
It's not like he doesn't have some experience at this point. Guys like Varitek and Johnson were doing much better by the same time benchmakr.
It's up to a coach to eventually say "this guy doesn't have the ability to get to both of those pitches in the same at-bat." If so, the M's do have Ruiz and won't be the first team to suffer with defense-only catchers. But Zuumball is still young. He's got a couple of, er, months left maybe.
POVSE and MOORE
Max Povse got KO'ed in the 4th last night; here's his game log. Andrew Moore however is maintaining a crisp ERA of 1+. With a 27:6 CTL ratio in 30 innings. Kuma to the pen! Kuma to the pen! Down with 12-11 control ratios!
They attempt to complete a freakish 5-game sweep in the final game of their homestand tonight. LINK
FOR FURTHER READING
Bob Dutton has his own opinion on areas of highest fungibility index. He thinks you can pencil in Mitch Haniger as a star for years to come; we're sure the lynch mob at SSI will go nuts over that one. Dutton questions Robinson Cano, which will occur yearly for about five more years, as it did with Ichiro any time he didn't hit .350 in April.
Take six home games (two with Paxton) and call me in the morning,
Agreed 100%. I haven't been this sure a rookie isn't major league material since Anthony Vasquez. If he's still on the roster in a couple days, it's a damning indictment of the state of our minors depth.
Dave Niehaus, commenting on Zunino:
"Get out the butter and the jelly, grandma, it's TOAST TIME!!
Jeff Clement redivivus with the bat. At least he has defense, but not enough to carry his bat.
Number-2-pick-in-the-draft Zunino, singing Ray Charles' song, "Busted" :
What a cryin' shame. If he even hits .220 with 20-25 homers he elevates a good lineup to a great one. But no dice.
I've always felt that Zunino wields a bat too long and too heavy. He has to start early. He has enough natural power that a Barry Bonds type bat would allow him to be quick and still have the pop to clear the wall. Wrote about it last year, too.
Of course, I don't know actually how heavy his bat is.....
Game used bats I'm seeing for sale are 34" 33 oz Pro Maple J104
Going back to 2012 game used by GWP was also 34" Maple but unknown weight... Hard to say when the others were used but from what I'm seeing it's at least possible he's never changed weight in pro ball.
Barry Bonds? 34" 31.6 oz - 32 oz reported that I see.
...surely Edgar would have suggested it. Edgar changed bat sizes several times in his career as his body changed...he was a serious bat size freak...carefully weighed every bat to the the fractional ounce, sanded them down if they were a shade too heavy, returned bats that couldn't be tweaked into what he called game shape...
Let's not forget who Zunino is working with. If Edgar can't find the magic mechanical fix that makes Zunino able to cover both the heat upstairs and the sucker slider, there is not a mechanical fix that can do that. Either he'll learn to accept his limitations and swing only when the pitch is in an area he's prepared for, even if it means he strikes out looking a lot, or he'll find that his vision for pitches just isn't good enough to make that happen and he'll wash out of the game. There's nothing more Edgar can do here.
He hasn't been using a 41-42 oz bat which is more like what I think Moe was thinking. Had that been the case it would make sense to me to suggest it.
Good points about Edgar though.
I ran across this during my searches:
"Ty Cobb and Joe Di Maggio both played with 42oz bats and Rogers Hornsby used a 50oz piece of lumber. George Sisler, playing for the St. Louis Browns in the 1920's, made his bat heavier by hammering Victrola needles into the barrel of his bat. In the 1950's Cincinnati Reds' Ted Kluszeski hammered tenpenny nails into his bat to make it heavier"
Good read for a overview of bats or refresher. But...Victrola needles? Now I think I've heard it all. Sisler was playing music with his bat. OK.
He thinks that many players would improve by using an Ichiro-style decelerated* swing and a 40-50 oz. bat, letting the pitcher supply the power. I believe he considers it a bit of a scout's affectation that "bat speed" is the holy grail. Remember that baseball history contains a lot of Ichiro style players.
Surely it merits thought as a last-ditch desperation attempt. Or at least to incorporate some portion of it in a terrible hitter's strategy.
Well, my lying eyes decieved me.
Something needs to change: Ms have never made the playoffs with a losing record in April. Of course, they haven't been in the playoffs for most of their history, but a slow April has not proven to be any road to success.
I have no idea if this is original or not (I have a sneaking suspicion I'm stealing this from some denizen a while back). But can we start calling the days James pitches, the "Pax Marinera"? The famous eras of peace presided over by the British and Romans hinged on one actor being so much stronger than all the others that they all knew better than to move against the superpower. This is starting to look sound eerily like the momentary tranquility instilled once every five games when Zeus takes the mound and draws us up into an age of prosperity and easy living. The pesky rodents and Orcs know better than to move against the god of lightning.
If King Felix can have a Named Day, it’s only fair that the heir to the throne should have one too.
I recognize "pax" from Greek/Latin "peace" but what was the original form of this term? Pax Romana followed by Pax Royale or somesuch?
We could go with Pax Marinera or Pax Thermotetes ...
There's probably a better word than Marinera...LOL
I'd vote for the Pax Asgarda :)
I wasn't sure what to make of "thermotetes"... so I googled it... and the first hit (well the second, the first one that wasn't in Greek) was THIS COMMENT FROM SSI. Much like Donald Trump, you now officially have the power to create news out of nothing, and I blinking love it!
As for "pax", historians love using it do describe eras. Makes them feel clever, I suppose. There's the Pax Romana, Pax Europa, Pax Britannica... we currently live in the Pax Americana.
Marinera Pax Pessulum Deus... Zeus is easier. Thunderbolt Tuesday. Flash Friday. Stormy Sunday.
I do kind of like the idea. It's the second time I've looked up a bunch of Latin for him and found nothing with a ring to it in my opinion.
"The Mariners have acquired minor-league third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean from the Reds, per an announcement from Triple-A Louisville It’s not yet known what Cincinnati will receive in return. Mejias-Brean is a 26-year-old who was taken in the eighth round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Arizona." He was a .300 hitter with a bit of pop in Rk,A & A+. Has been a bust in AA and AAA.
This is just org filler...the Rainiers are a bit thin on the infeld and it will get worse if they bring Freeman or O'Malley back to the big league level.
Maybe they were just waiting for Povse and he to break their effective tie...
...this could be a huge shot in the arm for the playoffs. If Moore comes up in a month (they're still not rushing him), you're looking at a potential playoff rotation of Felix-Paxton (seniority of course)-Smyly-Moore... with Gallardo and Iwakuma as bullpen anchors (in the more positive sense).
I guess I like Ariel more than youse guys
give him three starts there...if he still seems comfortable and handles the hitter-friendly parks in the PCL, come on down.