Hacky Sack (bottom half of the inning)



His terrifying rampage through the 2016 landscape has reached Orcish proportions.  And in a far more affable way, might we add.

Seattle blogs campaigned for six years that we deal for Seth Smith, and for the only time in $500M stadium history, the Mariners complied with the saberdweebs' wishes.  Then, he puts up a great season and we all tried to swap him out for a Quacking Bush.  Thanks for the intervention, Grizzly (?).  

Friends don't let friends put Franklin Gutierrez into a fulltime job, however noble be the fight Guti is waging against his earthly tabernacle.  Right now Seth Smith is singlehandedly morphing our outfield from "hockey mask scary" all the way over to "an aesthetic pleasure."



Jeff Sullivan made some remark to the effect that, Guti has a worse debilitating disease than any major leaguer of the last 20 years.  And Dae-Ho Lee is a 24.5-man roster, we hear.  How can you do both? with that grotesque 12-man bullpen the game mandates?  

And have you noticed the roster ossification, even a single at-bat this year, even with the wonderful game-in game-out pinch hitting?  No, you haven't.  Because Scott Servais doesn't moan and groan about his keister being insufficiently covered.  He applies himself to the task of using his specialized weapons in such a manner as to give himself -- and, more importantly, Dr. D -- the chance to enjoy a victory.

The older managers get, the more they prioritize having an answer for the media in the postgame.  Scott Servais is doing exactly the opposite, and despite having zero political capital to play with.  I'm blinkin' likin' it. 



Had to laugh when that homer went around the foul pole, taking the score from 4-3 to 6-3.  I'm here to tell you the air went out of the Big A on that one, and the air stayed out.  Every one of Martin's glory shots has come when it mattered (although perhaps not against the fastball locations that matter).  What you are seeing here is the intersection of "wild hope" and "SOMEBODY wins the lotto."

Had you noticed the similarites between Martin's hitting and Mike Zunino's?  That's not intended as a snotty remark.  The idea of Martin and the 2015 idea of Zuumball DOA are the same ideas:


Ballplayer Proj. AB AVG HR BB K BABIP OPS+
Leonydas '16 550 .200 25* 33 200 .273 73 and falling like an anvil onto Wile E. Coyote
Zunino '15 550 .174 15 30 195 not great, we'll guess 49
Zunino '13-'14 550 83


As Zunino spiralled the toilet bowl through the summer of 2015, the idea was that he might strike out twice a game, but that he was "dangerous" when he did get ahold of it.  Eventually the M's realized that at a certain Whiff Tipping Point, even the catcher has to be replaced (no word on whether a CF's glove carries him farther than a C's glove does).  A 50-60 OPS+ cancels out Nelson Cruz' 160.  Your boss specifically tells you not to do that.

The classic problem with a Carlos Peguero swing is that --- > the pitches go over his hands as he uppercuts like that.  Even 93 MPH above the waist becomes a fatal flaw.  If Martin has shown any answer for this, Dr. D hasn't noticed it; neither have the pitchers gleefully racking up the Strike Threes.  

Admittedly, Leonys hit a high fastball for his homer on Sunday, albeit one that was:

  • Centered
  • 90 MPH (minus velocity these days for a RHP)
  • "Elevated," as opposed to "high"
  • and Shoemaker had gone exactly the same stomach-high eye level four (4) pitches in a row

So it wasn't exactly 94 MPH in the up-in sector.  But hey.  It was a high fastball and it was the ballgame.  Dr. D isn't giving the runs back.

All that said, we're rooting for Leonys, of course.  We do feel compelled to point out that the Mariners are currently in possession of no backup center fielder ... one other thing.  ESPN HR Tracker gives his average HR velocity at 109.0 MPH.  :- O  If you were wondering about whether he REALLY has the ability to vaporize a baseball, don't.  That's one thing he's got taken care of.



Each ball we saw hit to him, in LA, he smothered nervously.  Then he hopped up and set his feet mechanically.  Then he raised his arm and threw.  I get the ball, I raise my arm, I throw.  Not real pretty.  ... we don't say he can't run a middling result as a defensive shortstop, but this is the blog where you get the truth.  :: smiles innocently ::

Dr. D gets asked what he would do.  Well, one time he got asked that.  

Here's one thing he would do - he would go get Ketel Marte, if Marte were at all available.  Good hitter probably, great hitter possibly, 3 WAR divided by $0.5M projectably.  Three weeks into the 2016 season, Ketel Marte has done exactly zero to dissuade GM Detecto from his choice of young shortstop.  Love this kid's ability in the batter's box.





I don't always agree with SabRMatt but when I do, it's usually about Seth Smith and Stefen Romero. I STILL see people posting about trading Smith - only now it's usually in reference to getting Romero onto the club and not bringing in a middle reliever. So let's dump the best hitting OF the club has for a AAAA hitter that *might* have figured something out. So strange, especially with Aoki presenting us with his his .260 OBP and spastic defense. 


Haven't watched but  few innings of M's baseball this year.  (Tough to do in Atlanta).

But I do have a couple of passing thoughts:

1.  I can't for the life of me understand how Aoki hits a baseball at all.  I know he does it, but don't know how.

2.  Felix still gets squeezed.  Watched the matchup against Sabathia, who got 3-4" more on each side of the plate than Felix.  This stuff is supposed to even out....so I guess it's going to even out.

3.  The Yankees should never ever ever lose a game when leading after 7.  Betances/Miller is one sick 6-out rubber stamp.

4.  The Mariners are hitting the ball pretty hard - at least on the road.

5.  Atlanta opened Turner field after the '96 Olympics.  They open a new one (closer to me) next season.  Whither Safeco???


Remember the days of Ron Davis and Goose Gossage?  Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland?  Wonder how they ever got away from that... we remember Rene Lachemann or somebody saying "the solution's simple.  Don't get into that situation against them in the 7th."


Aoki... his bat starts half the way forward, finishes half the way through, and he sort of two-hand backhand volleys them into the 100-200 foot distant greens.  Slow bat dragged through the zone.  He's the walking embodiment of "I'll take my 30% that fall in."

But yeah.  He's running a 70 OPS+ and at the moment it doesn't look like he's going far north of that.


Is it too early to re-sign Seth now? The man is consistent, and does not appear to be slowing down. The man can hit, and more importantly, he can hit in SAFECO.

Yeah, Seth will never be Ichiro in right field, but he is better than Cruz who is around for another year or so....


This guy is an undervalued asset.  Since when does a legitimate C to the Z raker come along, be completely immune to Blue Funk and sign at a reasonable price?  I thought the Robinson Canos of the world cost a quarter billion.  Pay the man his 12X4 and make the  longest tongue twister you can.  Seth Smith swims in slippery silver shekels in Seattle. 


Moj... Seth will turn 34 in September, so 4 years I believe is too long for guaranteed money.

However, since the M's have Seth on an option for next year at $7 million, I would think tossing away the option and signing for 2 years at $10 or so plus an option year or two would work fine for the 34 through 37 years.


And the Q is a fair one Counselor.  You would go ahead even with the age-37 season... perhaps based on his earning it within the first 2-3 years, or you like Bill Krueger's sentiment "he'll be able to fall out of bed and hit when he's 40" ...

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