Q. Okay, the #1, the fastball.
When I first watched the first video I thought his first two pitches were just wildly wicked forkers, but then on the 4th or 5th pitch you see his normal forker, which just completely falls off the table, without much movement armside.
He has two wicked out pitches there. They set up his located FB, because batters eventually try to lay off the low/on the black stuff, assuming it will move out of the zone.
I like that he throws his Shuuto to lefties, too.
Looking at the chart above, I wonder how many of those "splitters" that are in the top/left quadrant are really Shuuto's. There isn't much difference in speed or movement between those and the labeled Shuutos.
To me it looks like his forker just goes down, mostly, and arrives at more of a change-up pace.
Either way, he can pitch. I like the Cone comparison.
Tiant, Doc. Didn't Tiant pitch like that? Palm ball, slider, palmball, slider, palmball, fastball.
And now my attitude is, who is he heck is Millwood?
Hope we get this guy.
I hadn't thought of that.
Now that you mention it, for sure the F/X system is going to blur shuuto's and splits... good catch Moe...
I like his shuuto really well, love the forkball, love the all-around game in context as well as in MLB context ...
Looks like a 3-4 WAR pitcher to me ...
SO, I've somewhat fallen out of the NPB loop, as I stopped watching TV, but some notes on Iwakuma.
Iwakuma is definitely much more of a pitcher compared to Darvish. Cone/Mussina are good comparisons.
I would actually say that Darvish v. Iwakuma is a good debate for the next 3 years. Where Darvish has stuff, Iwakuma has a more complete game.
Darvish has been getting away with nuking the NPB because of the level of play. The NPB hitting talent decline only helped his value. He will need to adjust and learn a lot and will not be much unlike throwing in a young Verlander or David Price... And so, though I would love him on the M's, the possibility of Darvish having a long adjustment period is very high. Especially in Arlington (good for us).
Iwakuma, however, will probably be able to produce as soon as he hits the tarmac, especially in a spacious park like Safeco. I would bet on a slow start, but I think he'll comeback quickly like Sasaki. As long as he can control his stuff, I have no doubt we'd be getting our roll on the dice for a Kuroda/Old Nomo level pitcher.
Plan B . . .
Appears to be Iwakuma and . . .
dangle the young arms for a major bat? If so, whom . . .
-- Ryan Zimmerman, yes (stock up on those UVa boys!); but I don't think the Nats would do it until they have no choice
-- David Wright? I don't know if he's worth a Taijuan package anymore
-- Andre Ethier? Definitely not worth a Taijuan package, and Seth Smith, frankly, looks almost as good for a lot less
I do like the idea of getting a major player for 3b or OF instead of at positions that we've got well-covered at the moment.
Could they be lurking on Yoennis Cespedes in the same way that Iwakuma was not widely rumored until the end? I'm not sure what to think about him, but he seems like a decent bet to be something akin to an Upton ... but there's that risk of Yuni underachiement.
Folks may need to be resigned to Iwakuma, Seth Smith, Jaso and keeping the powder dry on the young arms to see what develops on the trade market. It's a steep drop from Fielder, but I do think that Smith and Jaso could add a decent amount of ballast to the batting order.
I agree with adding Zimmerman or Wright if the opportunity presents itself.
I'd be interested in prying a bat out of KC, and Gordon seems like the best option for both teams - he's got 2 years left of arb before free agency and even with the Melky Cabrera trade they still need arms in KC. But because of that trade, it might not happen. You never know with KC.
Ethier's knee, dollar cost and prospect cost makes me pause. I would have paid it before last year, but not before this year.
I'd give a LOT for Logan Morrison - and we'd have to. But that's a long-term MOTO solution, IMO.
But I'm with you, I expect that if and when Prince passes on the engraved invitation to the NW, that we'll go with an Iwakuma and Jaso offseason. Which means relying - AGAIN - on the pitching staff to carry the team.
I'd like to give them a little more offensive help with that...
Gordon or Morrison: thumbs up.
Don't see either happening, though. Missed the chance to buy cheap on Gordon. He's been a verrrrry slow-burning fuse, and I don't see KC bailing on him right when he finally explodes (.879 OPS season). All things being equal, he's local-ish (KC considers Nebraska part of its market) and, as badly as they might need pitching, it doesn't seem like a good PR move for a team that's awfully low-profile to start with. If they're ever going to shake off their mediocrity, it's gonna be with Hosmer, Moustakas, Butler and Gordon -- I think they'll keep those guys intact and hope to find arms some other way.
Morrison is a great young LH bat, and would be worth a Taijuan Walker+ package. I don't know why the Marlins would do it other than thinking he's worn out his welcome, which they say he hasn't (though I guess some think he has). The Reyes-Hanley combo (if it works) won't provide the power, and I assume they'll want both Stanton and Morrison to do that. Morrison isn't even arb-eligible until 2014.
Any thoughts on Cespedes, G? Even worth tossing around the idea as Plan B?
Justin Upton, Justin Morneau, Joey Votto ...
About a month ago, Jason mentioned Morneau and about six other surprise names (which escape me now) that are supposed to be well into the trade market.
Reds traded for a pitcher, to be sure, but that can actually mean the pressure is increased to disposition Votto elsewhere. Come at them with the Taijuan - Franklin - etc package and who knows...
Am sure there are other names that Z could deal for, but he wants to hold on to his prospects...
A creative way to become a big-hitting team...
James recently published his article "Teams On Paper," by which he identified (among other things) baseball's most overperforming teams...
One such, the 1977 White Sox. They punted fielding and put four DH's on the field. I remember them torturing the Mariners with 8-hit innings :- ) ... Richie Zisk, Chet Lemon, Oscar Gamble, Ralph Garr etc...
Putting Wells in CF, Carp in LF, buying a DH, putting Mark Reynolds at 3B, that kind of thing ... you can always fix your offense if you reallllllly want to ...
I believe the Manny in LF or Reyndolds at 3B types of decisions should be no-brainers for this team.
When you have great pitching you don't need great defenders. Personally, I think that the major flaw in Z's initial roster construction was that he doubled down on the defense and as a result the gains were marginal and not nearlly enough to offset the subsequent loss in offense.
If Z had added a bunch of great defenders to a squad with bad pitching I think the moves would have worked much better.
However, with a team that's gonna run a rotation of Felix, Pineda, Vargas, Iwakuma and Hultzen - you don't need defenders. You need bats.
Cespedes is Cuban. I intensely dislike Cuban hitters with VERY few exceptions. The attitudes, the approach at the plate, the lack of fire...
I understand taking a risk on Cuban pitchers, but I'd stay away from investing in Cuban hitters. IMO, even if he worked out he's not likely to be a true masher, and unless he can stay in CF...
I dunno man. Not my kind of bet.
As for Gordon or Morrison...you'll pay. You'll really pay if you want them - they are NOT gonna be bargain gets by any means (though with KC you might swindle them anyway).
But Morrison and Guillen are gonna start a forest fire's worth of friction, especially if Hanley is throwing gas on the fire. And Gordon is 3 months away from a potential "not signing an extension" availability at the trade deadline. Maybe he'll sign that extension with the Royals, but if not then they've got to trade him before he's a FA, and most likely with a year or more left on his deal so they get more than with a 3 month rental.
Neither guy is being pushed by his team, but IMO both are available. We may view the price as too high, as we did with Upton last offseason, but we have the talent to pull off the deal.
Whether we want to spend it is another matter. Somebody make Prince sign with us so I don't have to worry about it.
SABR Matt: Saunders and his -25 runs defensive and .210 average?2 hours 58 min ago
moethedog: Not Lagares for me. I would rater we go with Saunders out there.3 hours 45 min ago
JDDub: Lagares wouldn't be CF perfection but he would be an upgrade, wouldn't cost a ton and could stick around for 5 years. The Padres are rumored to have been sniffing around Ackley, maybe the M's have an interest in Reymond Fuentes to go along with Tyson Ross :)5 hours 1 min ago
SABR Matt: not good enough defensively to play center anymore...don't think he helps us5 hours 1 min ago
mojician: What about real Ichiro?5 hours 13 min ago
SABR Matt: Itoi I've heard called a destitute man's Ichiro. If he can field and slap .250, he can play for me...I rely on the Japanese experts to tell me if he can do that.5 hours 57 min ago
Grumpy: Actually, now that I've seen the GiFs, Lagares looks awesome. Even without elite range, he'd be a blast to watch!6 hours 8 min ago
Didycel: Another guy on my radar, Yoshio Itoi, 32 year-old Lefthanded CFer coming out of Japan whom should be posted this year.6 hours 14 min ago
SABR Matt: hm. That...is not what I wanted. I want a super-rangy guy like old-Guti or Carlos Gomez.6 hours 25 min ago
Grumpy: Lagares sounds interesting, but that's not the kind of defense we need. We need range to cover for the bat first guys.6 hours 29 min ago
Didycel: Interesting article written by Jeff Sullivan on Lagares. BLUF: His defensive value comes from good, not great range and speed and VERY aggressive positioning, allowing him to gun down a lot of guys most CFers would not. it's his Arm ratings from positioning, not his range, that bump up his UZR. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/juan-lagares-assassin-of-runners/6 hours 33 min ago
SABR Matt: we can't send Miller out yet...need him at short.6 hours 35 min ago
Didycel: Matt, the Mets have SP Noah Syndergaard. He could help as early as mid 2014 or be used in flip. Not sure the Mets would trade him for Franklin though, or vice versa for that matter. I'm pretty certain the M's wouldn't send Miller out for anything the Mets would part with.6 hours 38 min ago
SABR Matt: Jays trying to acquire Billy Butler...which would make Adam Lind expendable. Anyone interested?6 hours 41 min ago
SABR Matt: I can tolerate a mediocre bat hitting 9th if it plays awesome defense and is surrounded by good bats. The Mariners now have some pretty good bats. Get me a fielder in center to hold together are scary corner outfielders and stop this -80 run disaster we had in 2013.6 hours 45 min ago
JDDub: Matt, Juan Legares is the defensive CF add you've been asking for. Not sure what an even trade would be. They must have a bullpen arm we could us to add in.7 hours 2 min ago
mojician: JD Dub: Yeah Parker lists largest in bunch at 6'5'' 230 lbs and he played productive ball until he was 40! Winfield is listed at 6'6" and 220 lb and he played forever too. Good catch.7 hours 5 min ago
Grumpy: Stanton really is young for all those injuries.7 hours 6 min ago
SABR Matt: Legares? David Wright?7 hours 16 min ago
SABR Matt: Mets interested in Nick Franklin or Brad Miller to fill their SS hole. Who do they have that we could actually use?7 hours 17 min ago