Rotation Free-for-All

The 6-10 starters beat the 1977 M's rotation

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So, tactically, here's what SSI is watching for in March:

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=== Jeremy Bonderman ===

Tactically, we're watching for a freshly-minted willingness to mix his pitches less predictably.

Bonderman probably has less "pitchability" than any starter in the major leagues, and he has the career ERA-xFIP to show for it.  

With his hard swerveball, and his dancing slider, he should have had a career ERA+ of 110.  Instead, it's been 90.  He's the Brandon League of starting pitchers, coming in with the same 2-0 and 3-1 pitches time after time.  He's always stubbornly refused to change .... but he's had two years away from the game, and maybe he's a listener now.

Who knows.  We're just telling you what we're watching for.

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=== Jon Garland ===

He won 10-18 games a year, racking up 200 innings per, for what, the entire decade of the '00's?  With ERA's around 105-110.   He ran Joe Saunders peripherals from stem-to-stern ... Saunders has a 103 ERA+ liftime, compared to Garland's 104.  They both get 5 strikeouts, 2+ walks, average HR rate.  Garland has been, functionally, a tall, pretty, right hand Joe Saunders.

Garland's coming off almost two years out and shoulder surgery.  Supposing he came back 100% and gave you a second Joe Saunders.  Would you want that?

Well, a 105 ERA+ isn't much for a #2 starter.  It is boring for a #3 starter.  But it's one whale of a #4 starter, and it's a championship #5 starter.

The tactical question is easy.  Is he all the way back from shoulder surgery, not only in velocity but in pinpoint location.

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=== Blake Beavan ===

Tactically:  does he now have a forkball?

Kidding.  Remember now, he's one of baseball's finest pitchers right up until the point where the ump calls strike two.  And then he can't put away a hitter if his mother's kitty cat depended on it.

A putaway pitch?  His career, never mind his 2013, will depend on it.  

It could happen.

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=== The Big Four ===

Paxton:  the front knee and the decel.  Gordon has talked about the fact that the Gio's and Kershaw's of the game are welcome to walk 4-5 men as rookies, for any organization other than the Seattle Mariners.

But even Dr. D wants to see that decel smoothed out.  Who knows - maybe it was always just the injury in the knee?

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Hultzen:  Just the release point.  

It could kick in at literally any moment.  Why?  Because he's had the release point before.  ANY GIVEN MORNING during the spring you could read in the paper, "Wow, Hultzen is throwing the stuffing out of the ball."  Or not.  If you do, then off we go.

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Taijuan:  Tactically, there's probably nothing to watch for.  I'm sure he'd finish 2013 in the top 20 in the AL in earned run average, if allowed to do so.  And I can't imagine he wouldn't do more than any other pitcher to justify the 1-year deals on Morales, Morse and Saunders.

There was some discussion at BJOL this week about HOF-qualified Davey Johnson -- he took Dwight Gooden at what, age 18-19, and said "He's one of my five best starters.  He's in there."  We all have predilections; a person's attitude toward a Taijuan Walker situation becomes a litmus test for him.  It's a good way to gauge what your predilections are.

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Erasmo:  we presume that he has to foul up royally to lose a spot.  Erasmo Ramirez is not known for fouling up royally.  Am looking forward to six most heinous years of Erasmage.

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Klat Categories: 

Comments

Great thread, Doc.

If Z is all in for '13, and if bringing in a Bonderman or Garland is all about finding a couple of cheap 40% bets and hoping one comes in, then Big Foug guys have to be part of the battle plan. Assuming that ERAM is a lock, that means that some of the Big Three must be in, at least, the 2nd wave onto the '13 beachhead. And there's a chance they will be in the first wave.

OK, so we open with Felix, Saunders, Erasmo, Iwkuma and one of Bonderman/Garland/Beavan. Beavan is a fairly safe bet to be decent but if Bonderman and Garland are each less than 40% rolls (and I think that's fair) then you still have, at best, slightly less than 2 out of 3 shot that one of them is a rotation guy on April 1st. It could be a 15% shot, something like that. That means that you have to be considering a Big Three guy, even now. Assuming that one of those three guys shines more than Beavan in Arizona. Not a longshot bet. I'll lay money on that now.

I haven't seen much indication of that from Z/Sarge, but the thought that a Big Three guy just might break camp must be there. if 2013 is all about 2013 and not 2015 then they can't really afford to not consider that. If we're only 1/2 in in April and May, you many get 20 starts out of 4's and 5's before we make a Big Three call-up. If Beavan stumbles then there could be a hole in that plan.

10 starts from a gouged Garland or Bombed Beavan or Blasted Bonderman may dig you a deep and early '13 hole.

Then the All In in '13 strategy collapses.

All In means just that Z. Make your move.

moe

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M's Watcher's picture

M's Watcher

Bonderman/Garland/Beavan may be just spaghetti for the rotation. I like giving the first two a chance to come back to the bigs, even if they end up playing for another team. The Bonderman/League reference is scary, and Garland could eat innings if healthy. Many forget that Beavan also ate innings in 2012, ~150 in Seattle and ~40 in Tacoma. I look forward to the prospects of one or more of the kids pitching great innings, not just eating innings. That's when the real fun starts.

2

zzdawg's picture

zzdawg

My hunch is two that will come through are Beavan and Smoak. Both get no love, but both are still young. Smoak worked out hard this offseason and I have this feeling he will break out. Beavan will never be a #2, but if these changes work in making his flat fastball not so flat, he could easily be a #3. Or a nice piece in a blockbuster trade. A successful Beavan, another starter and 2 good bullpen pitchers are a great place to start for a megabat trade with a few years of team control.

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Gordon GrossNot just a win, but a climbing-out-of-the-grave, walk-off win, AND a day off to process and BREATHE. If the hitters can come back afterward and hit, maybe we've got something. If we'd lost a sweep to the 'Stros after being swept by the Marlins and losing the last three to Texas, I would have started shoveling dirt. Maybe after the weekend we'll get out the shovels again, but right now it sure feels like life in the season. C'mon boys, win another on Friday.9 min 31 sec ago
DaddyOWhat the M's do in the aftermath of this big win may determine the course of this season. Admittedly the win was only against the Astros, sometimes all it takes is a spark to fire up a struggling team. I wouldn't go so far as to predict it, but I can hope.43 min 16 sec ago
moethedogAlmonte report (because I can't resist): Last 13 games: 11-56 w/ 21 K's and 0 BB's. Oh, Blash with a single and two more BB's today. Got to give Young props for gutting it up today, too.45 min 5 sec ago
JDDubInteresting rick! Seager is one of our purest hitters and it was only a matter of time before he busted out. Hit another just foul the other day. Coming into the game 10BB was good, 17K a bit high. He's still not into his prime and maybe some day soon he'll replicate some of his minor league numbers like 300/400/500.49 min 12 sec ago
SpectatorI was thinking during the 11-pitch AB that maybe it could be the turning point of the whole season. Let's hope.59 min 42 sec ago
rick82But I absolutely loved the Seager at bat on the first homer. What a manly at bat that was: fouling off pitch after pitch until he got one to drive.1 hour 12 min ago
rick82Divish was on the radio today or yesterday saying that Seager's swing looked a little too long and complicated lately, and suggested it could be because he was overused last season, not getting rest, and started compensating for his dwindling power. He did some lower trunk strengthening work in the offseason to help with this season, but that when players get tired (or injured) and overcompensate, they fall into bad habits (could this be Miggy's problem as well). It would be interesting to have a breakdown of Seager's swing, from, say last week, and today.1 hour 14 min ago
JDDubI'd wait on that G! Our starting pitching is scary deep. Maurer looked so promising the other day. ERam, Young and Elias can do enough to give us a chance most nights. We HAVE to keep juggling these hitters around until something clicks.1 hour 34 min ago
Gordon GrossI look forward to writing that one, JD. Let's absolutely see if I can bore some people to tears writing about exciting baseball for once. If we'd lost this game I was gonna post a big Draft piece just to stick a fork in this year, but now I think I'll wait a bit longer. Hopefully after our upcoming 9 game winning streak the draft piece will be anticipatory instead of dirge-y.1 hour 39 min ago
rick82Good to see Cano, Hart, and Seager put an end to this losing streak. They are our most accomplished hitters and needed to step up and make a statement.1 hour 43 min ago
JDDubI'm going to save my money for the sequel, the rise of Z and the turnaround after he was left for dead. It all started when he FINALLY admitted defeat and swapped Smoak out of the lineup. The emergence of Brandon Maurer and overdue tryout for JJ in CF got the wheels rolling smoothly again. As spring turned to summer Paxton, Walker, Peterson, Choi and Elias led a wild run rivaling the exhilarating summer of 95.1 hour 46 min ago
moethedogFly out, ground out, K, K! Almonte is broken. But atta boy Seags! Prove me wrong...I would have sat your rear today.1 hour 47 min ago
rick82Yes, JDDub, you'll find it in the footnote section of Gordon's exhaustive look at the fall of the Zduriencik Empire, a three volume set...but your's at the low low price of $9.95 per month. But wait, call today and he'll throw in an easy reading Children's version, with no scary pictures of Chone Figgins or Joe Saunders - just cuddly cute ducks enjoying a tax subsidized natural environment.1 hour 53 min ago
JDDubYes I remember the Fields situation well. Directed to Rick :)1 hour 56 min ago
Gordon GrossHey, my feed finally caught up to you guys. M'S WIN! My pink elephant jinx worked. FINALLY. Thank you Seager. So much. Might have changed the season there. Seager with a 5 RBI game and a walk-off to take the hephalump-sized monkey off the Ms back before the off day.2 hours 1 min ago
rick82Yes! One of Z's moves pays off for us! Way to call it, Padna!2 hours 1 min ago
Gordon GrossI really hate the Ms getting my hopes up this way. Also, JDDub, the reason Fields is one of Zs failures is not that he drafted him (Bavasi did that) but that he signed him, instead of getting the draft slot back in the 2009 draft. We could have had Mike Trout with that pick. THAT's the Fields tragedy.2 hours 3 min ago
SABR Mattwow. just wow.2 hours 4 min ago
rick82OMG! Who are these guys, and where on earth have you been?2 hours 5 min ago
okdanATTA BABY, SEAGER!2 hours 5 min ago