Remember Oliver Perez?
That's this guy.
The Mariners have been granted an extra option on Danny Hultzen. Slap me silly, this was the first we'd even heard of The Department Of Granting Extra Options.
From a "template" point of view, SSI had always considered Hultzen a considerably better dice roll than either James Paxton or Taijuan Walker. The template here can be considered that of a "Z AXIS LEFTY," the Cole Hamels, Johann Santana, Ricky Romero type of rhythm starter with both the weapons and the moxie to stretch the strike zone back to front. Erik Bedard and Barry Zito did it with change-curves. "Rhythm" is an elusive part of the shtick; these SP's, notably Zito, are hypnotic with their dance steps. They've got some little bounce or other that winks fastball at you, and then here's the floater.
But the point is: if you can't tell, as the ball comes off the fingertips, whether a LHP is pulling the string ... you can leave your 1-iron in the bag. "We get better swings off Pedro than off him," Beane once said of Jamie Moyer.
Dr. D has seen Hultzen at Tacoma, unhealthy. That was plenty to assure that a Danny Hultzen, even vaguely healthy, would have the change-speed game to send overswinging RH Blutos back to the bench, busting their bats over their knees.
Eyes slideways. It might only be 100 innings this year, but they could be 100 USDA-choice innings.
Today, Matt Kemp gets a 50 cc "push," yet again, into trade-rumor circulation. It sez here that the nightmare 10/5 scenario is lurking in the shadows for the Dodgers, creeping them out, as is the ever-growing need for a change of scenery.
Granted, if it were Strat-O-Matic, you'd prefer to dump Ethier or Crawford "for the same money." But is it the same money, really? Or is the reality more like "If the Dodgers give you Kemp for throwins, they'll thank you to take all his salary, kind sirs." If they grant you the K-mart coupons covering the Ethier portion of his salary, they'll get back juicy spects. Juicy with a capital J.
Dr. D is very optimistic that Kemp has fixed his swing. First link: Petriello, with the setup shot. We could discuss, if y'care to, from an aiki standpoint. Hobbled by the woozy head, Dr. D will leave it at this: the locked knee was good for nothing but a 100-m sprint at 2 degrees right of second base.
Second link: Jeff Sullivan, with some .gifs and goodness about the bat release. It's all well-and-good to have a topspin finish, but some guys -- let's say, Mark McGwire -- the higher they finish, the higher their HR totals. Matt Kemp is solidly in this category. Kain't find it now, but Kemp has stated this principle directly, since his resurrection. "When my bat finishes high, you know good things are happening," or somesuch.
This point is not lost on GM's, kiddies. When last seen, Kemp was stomping on buildings, and the technical cause of this was widely disseminated. You can argue about what has been proven, or not. But Kendrys Morales, this dude is not.
Kemp needs to forget the AVG, let that part of it happen naturally, and go after his chances to let the bat fly. Seems he has figured that out. I'm buyin'. Clear out a little extra 40-man space, soften the blow to the payroll a little bit, and git you a shot at an MVP candidate to sit on the top rail with Robby. Most great teams have a little serendipity somewhere.
Gordon pointed out that LHP Edgar Olmos' K rate is all out of proportion to his velocity and his leftiness. Out of proportion in a bad way. But here's the thing: if there's one org in baseball, brandishing a longer list of bullpen reclamations than Seattle's, which one might that be, pray tell? We've got 16 different guys from the local Wild Wings who are raining bloody death on the American League.
Shandler said about Olmos, a year ago,
Big, strong RP moved into the 'pen officially in 2013 and found instant sucesss. Sat in the upper-80s in the rotation, but now throws 92-95 in relief. He pairs his FB with a mid-80's SL, both of which generate swings and misses. His all-out delievery leads to erratic CTL and CMD, but with a plus FB he should fare well in the pen.
Great. A "violent" lefty serial killer to go along with Carson Smith. Sounds crunchy to me.