Angels 6 .....

Devo Swag - for all your meltdown needs.  Coming to an M's team store near you

 ...................

=== Blake Beavan ===

Dr. D throughly admired his moxie and his command.  And he caught Prince Albert with a couple of early-count changeups.  Tonight he threw the ball well, by his standards.  He executed pitches just about as well as he can execute them.

Watching batters with 53 OPS+'s pop the ball up, and watching Albert Pujols whack the ball out of the park, a sudden thought occurred.  I wonder if Blake Beavan's unusually good at catching rabbits, and unusually susceptible to being trampled by elephants.

The "here it is, hit it" 91 fastball on 2-1 leads to batted-ball outs against AAA players and against Alberto Callaspo.  Has anybody ever checked Beavan against dangerous hitters?

It's a thought.  At BJOL there has been a discussion about historical "bully" pitchers -- Don Drysdale actually did pitch unusually well against weak teams, with no pressure on, and tended to wilt against good teams, with pressure on.  I think he was 0-13 or something against Juan Marichal.

Beavan doesn't have a bully personality; he's a courageous man.  I wonder (w-o-n-d-e-r) if his "show me" attitude stands up to the scrutiny of, say, a Yankee lineup or, say, 100 starts in the majors.

One strikeout tonight.

 

=== Tom Wilhelmsen ===

Did the heavy lifting for League on Friday.  He rocked Mike Trout's world with a [12-6 Curve, 98-MPH] fastball left and right.  

This forced his plan through:  there were two out, nobody on for Prince Albert.  Capt. Insano battled gamely through to a harmless walk.  He then retired Kendrys Morales easily on an 0-1 topped groundout.

Nobody noticed that Wilhelmsen had done exactly the same thing for League in League's "save" against Texas.  Wilhelmsen fought the heart of the Texas order hammer and tongs, saving the game in the 8th inning ... then League the Titled Magic Closer crept in to face the #7, #8, and #9 hitters there.  The first batter crushed a fastball right at an outfielder, though League did retire the #8 and #9 hitters routinely with the PSI gauge down to exactly zero.

Naturally, the TV crew proclaimed League "BACK!" after that sham outing in Texas.  Dr. D looked on forlornly.  He knew better.

.

=== Brandon League ===

SSI has consistently argued that the intersection of (A) League's telegraphed pitches and (B) League's wildness gives a recipe for --- > guaranteed pain and anguish.

I'm glad to re-visit that periodically.  Things change.  Maybe this diagnosis is no longer in order?  Let's visit it again tonight.  What actually happened out there?   :: ticks list off on his fingers ::

.......

1) League came in, to face the bottom of the Angels' lineup, with the body language of a man facing an amputation.  Without whiskey.

2) League's first pitch was a telegraphed fastball, of course, and Mark Trumbo (who averages 38 walks and 161 strikeouts per season) leisurely whacked it into center for a clean single.

3) League, fighting his command all the way, walked Alberto Callaspo.  Alberto Callaspo has a 63 OPS+.

4) League made a fielding error.  Because you couldn't have pulled a needle out of his lips with a tractor.

5) League's first pitch to Erick Aybar ... OPS+ 53 ... was a telegraphed fastball whacked into center field for the game winner.

.........

Hm.  I'm going to go with "Yep."

..........

After the game, Wedge says he has no choice.  League's the closer.  There's nobody else down there.

Hesitation will make your worst nightmares Come. True.  Dr D cheerfully invites anybody to explain to him, in one-syllable words so he can understand it, how a "rissssky, Gollum, rissssky" April promotion of Steven Pryor and Carter Capps could have

RESULTED IN ANYTHING WORSE THAN THIS !!!

.

Next

.

Comments

1

Wedge may indeed not have a lot of choices. League is their only real mid-season trade chip of worth, so he may have orders to get him right. He may well have had orders to give Figgins that shot as well. Reading between the lines on his comments about this week's Figgins-Wells fiasco, he likely didn't have a choice there either.
He did choose to PH Ryan instead of Ackley in the 9th, so he's not blameless but there are factors at play in his decisions outside that day's game - whether we like it or not.

2

That's what I say to Wedge.
Gollum? How about Wedge saying (of League), "He's my precious, my precious!!!"
I said a bad word and turned the TV off after Kendrick torched off.
And after the walk to Callaspo, but before the throw into LF (nicely handled by Baggins, right?) I said, aloud, "Man, can't maybe Iwakuma close?" I may have used a colorful set of adjectives and adverbs.
Which was after I said "What the hell did he take Wilhelmsen out for?"
He has no other options, except to close League? What you say? He also had no other options (until injury saved us) except to catch Olivo. He had no other option except to roll Figgins out there for four weeks.
C'mon! Phhhhhhhhhttttttt at that line of reasoning.
Moe

3

Sorry Griz,
League is batting-practice fodder right now. I can't see how you just roll him out there, most likely to get smashed up in the 9th, just to possible enhance his possible trade value for some nebulous-possible trade at some hazy future point.
Wedge's job is to win THIS game. Not opening day next year.
You're right about the Ryan PH, pretty weird. But of all the choices Wedge had (leave Wilhelmsen, go with Furbish, Delabar, Kelley, Iwakuma or Luetge---who hasn't given up a run this year), which one would you have thought was a worse choice than League, when the inning began.
If Z is insisting that we fuel the fire with League when the situation arises, then Z needs to defend that publically, and not let his manager swing.
Wedge almost can't use League at home for a while now. He's going to be booed, and deservedly so, as soon as he leaves the bullpen.
He'll be tight as a drum, if he isn't already.
League must command the bottom of the zone with his first pitch. He can't throw his splitter for a strike so he's throwing first pitch fastballs to almost everyone.
Trumbo, Kendrick and Izturis all went after the first pitch. He threw an intentional ball to Calhoun and Trout took a ball. Aybar bunted. Only Callaspo looked at a 1st pitch strike.
And so it goes every time he takes the mound.
He's meat until he can throw a bender for a 1st pitch strike. Proving that point with the game on the line is pretty bad strategy.
Capps? What else does he have to prove? Ditto for Pryor? The only thing that makes sense if you keep them down much longer is that they don't come up until mid-May NEXT year.
And Doc has argued for Walker now much more efficiently than I can. That's not really a bullpen issue, so I'll drop it.
But last night, Wedge had any number of choices. Saying otherwise insults us guys.
If we get a "Wedge is my guy!" public statement from Z, take it as a sign that the All-Star break remains a good over-under date.
Moe

4

And he may be starting to do it to the Mariners too. When your closer blows 3 saves in his last 5 chances to single-handedly drop you into the cellar, it hurts. It's not like his other saves have been rock-solid either.
He's already walked more guys this year than he did all of last year. If he's wild, he's useless, because he certainly doesn't strike guys out.
I understand that League's formerly-shiny ERA (aka before this week) makes it hard to take Wilhelmsen's mid-4s ERA and promote him over Brandon. But they've both given up the same percentage of runs now, and Wilhelmsen has far and away the better stuff, certainly at the moment.
We can't keep doing this with League. I understand we want him as a trade chip in July but we're trying to win games now. Right? It's not luck or chance that's causing Brandon to be hit around, it's that he cannot execute his pitches and is being legitimately beaten as the inferior pitcher.
Stephen Pryor has given up as many runs ON THE YEAR as League did last night.
Carter Capps hasn't been scored on in May, and has a 14K/0 BB line for the month.
Something's gotta give.
~G

5
benihana's picture

 

Larry LaRue ‏@LarryLaRue
Plan is to get him back closing. After that, depends upon market. RT@aaront5: @LarryLaRue is the plan to still eventually try to trade him?

Larry LaRue ‏@LarryLaRue
#Mariners say League is out as closer for now, and will close by committee for awhile. Read more: http://bit.ly/5UKq0I
 

Larry LaRue ‏@LarryLaRue
#Mariners pull closer Brandon League back, will have other pitchers work the 9th inning for now. League has blown 4 of 13 save opps

 
We all seem to get rather angry at Wedge, who ends up making the moves we wanted him to make anyway.  The clubhouse, like other fortune 500 type places, requires a certain ettiquite be followed.  Put simply: rookies need to play their way into a roll and veterans need to play themselves out.  But what have we seen this year?  Ichiro was dropped from the leadoff spot, Figgins was relegated to utility duty, Olivio's gone from playing everyday to sharing his roll with Jaso and Montero, and now, League's played himself out of the closer roll. 
Keep calm, carry on, and let's win some ball games.
- Ben.

6

That was exactly the vibe I got from his quotes last night ... that this call is made above his pay grade.  
At BJOL there's been some discussion of the Papelbon situation in Boston - a situation to which James is close, of course - and we were told that Papelbon wouldn't have been removed as closer no matter WHAT.
"We're not going to make a decision the same day of the ballgame" is straight out of the Chuck Knox playbook, too.
..........
The org wants to win worse than we do, but the "make 'em earn it" mantra has shot them in the foot on Capps and Pryor.  IMHO.

7

My guess is that a demotion from closer wouldn't actually hurt League's trade value that much.
It says here that with Gil Meche, there were about 15 teams that realized if he changed his pitch mix and tweaked his mechanics, they'd have a big sleeper.
I think in this case there are about 25 teams that realize that Brandon League is a pitch-selection change away from being a big time closer.  Probably they have his mechanics spied out, too.
The guy throws 97, has a Sasaki split and he's five days away from being a star.  I tell ya, that's how teams will see him.  I'm tellin' ya :- )

9

Happens all the time ... we rant and rave about Figgy and a week later, the MLB(TM) code allows them to pull the trigger on the obvious...
Don' sweat it Ben... they know that our role is to pound our spoons and that their role is to turn the ship according to the star charts... this is a baseball chat, not an audit filing...

11

The same rational that assumes there will be a market for Figgins just as soon as he has a 2 'fer 3 game, so we keep him and not Wells.

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Shoutbox

Chat: 7/6/15 2:07pm
Interests: Fish International (190272)
Seattle Mariners talk
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-07-07 19:26

Walker looking good tonight. Or maybe Iwakuma just looked that bad yesterday...

2015-07-07 17:07

I really wish they had given some thought to what Trumbo can't do before they traded for him.

2015-07-07 16:28

One other thing I agree with walker is continuing to watch those pitch counts. Lloyd was making sure of that and hopefully passed it along in his absence.

2015-07-07 15:14

I really hope something was learned by the M's coaching staff, or at least by Taijuan that trying to blow fastball after fastball by these guys will not work. Tai's fastball is very good, but Victor put a real good pitch by Kuma into the seats last night too. Walker must mix it up. I have some faith the Walker will not groove too many change-ups in the middle of the plate, but if these Tigers are not on edge... this will be another short night for a starter, and there is less available pitchers in the pen tonight.

2015-07-07 15:04

My feeling is that the M's have batters, but they won't be worth a bean. My theory... The M's on the position player side are extremely weakness-based. They focus A LOT on what a player can't do, especially in the media and to the point that their staff have ice creams thrown at them. Whether it's defense or strike zone control, the M's will sit on what they feel needs to be fixed instead of just winding up players and letting them go. Now, it works with players like Seager who love to grind, but the moment you hit a Smoak (teeth grinder), Montero (#International genius), Saunders (toolsy, but uncoordinated) or Ackley (the top collegiate bat EVAR), it all goes flat. Have you guys noticed that Smoak has an 850+ OPS with the Blue Jays in limited play? The Mariners NEVER get that from their role players, let alone their starters.

2015-07-07 14:39

It's sad to be able to list all those quality guys and look at this team's record. Question is...who the heck is the future batters in #Seattle.

2015-07-07 14:24

Reliving the past: espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/50811/mariners-bullpen-best-in-majors

2015-07-07 14:20

Walker has the most upside. Paxton the highest percentage chance of hitting his ceiling. #Montgomery the lowest stop-loss. I would build around King Felix, Walker, Paxton and #Montgomery.

2015-07-07 14:19

Now we got AFernandez and Hultzen coming back, and Gohara learning to pitch with a revised motion. Talk about LHers-R-us! Walker, Diaz and Missaki will have to come through to maintain some balance! I think Walker is growing with each inning he pitches. It'll be interesting to see how he handles #Detroit with all the really experienced hitters like Kinsler, VMart, JDMart, et al.

2015-07-07 13:58

Then heck, you got a guy like walker going tonight 5-0 in his last starts with a 1.67 era. I just dunno if I trust him as much as I do the other 2 right now..

2015-07-07 13:54

I'd like to think #Montgomery and Paxton have a hell of a shot to both be real special

2015-07-07 13:52

Who's the future for Mariner's pitchers?

2015-07-07 06:16

Tacoma is correct...Zunino calls a good game guys...if he's calling a bad one, it's because the pitchers can't throw other pitches.

2015-07-07 03:03

Just woke up and saw results of last night game. Yikes, glad I passed out early. Iwakuma still has way to go.

2015-07-06 23:39

First it was Gutierrez, now Cano. How and what is in #Seattle's water?

2015-07-06 22:11

Why not have Taylor bat for Miller??? Is Jewitt even managing?

2015-07-06 22:05

Our new RP's did really well tonight. Sigh....and now with Jones gone and no Montero, there is no early way to add a RHB to help LoMo vL. Sigh......

2015-07-06 22:01

Ditto, what Tacoma said.

2015-07-06 21:55

I'd complain about the consistent fastballs IF the relievers in the game actually could control other pitches... but since BOTH Guaipe and Rollins are no where near finished MLB ready pitchers, I'm not sure what else Zunino can call. The main problem is having those two guys in the game against such a hot hitting team at all... let alone with the game still possibly in the balance.

2015-07-06 21:49

What does it take for the Safeco crowd to boo the home team? Evidently the vaunted pitching staff giving up 12 hits and 9 runs in two innings won't do it.

2015-07-06 21:43

By all means, keep featuring the FB. The Tigers will be happy to keep hitting them.

2015-07-06 21:42

Matt... I'm with ya. WHY would Jewitt use his worst 2 relievers first? Is this the soft landing you want for Guaipe or Rollins? These are the guys LEAST prepared for this Tigers team.

2015-07-06 21:32

This is how a team with an offense plays...without their best hitter. Punishing mistakes.

2015-07-06 21:15

Sheesh. The tigers are stalking the FB so Zunino...keeps calling for the FB.

2015-07-06 21:13

This is pathetic.

2015-07-06 21:07

I'm curious...why the fark would you use your speculative last reliever in a one run game??

2015-07-06 20:55

I'm curious, don't the mariners have a nutritionist on staff to help Robbie find an alternative diet? If his energy level is impacting him as much as it seems, check ask a vegan marathoner how to sustain energy without red meat.

2015-07-06 20:34

Iwakuma looks downright terrible tonight. Not just the homers...pitches look flat and lifeless.

2015-07-06 20:18

Iwakuma has given up 8 HR in 20.1 innings.

2015-07-06 16:15

Ya I saw that about Cano.. said he changed whole diet.. sometimes he only eats a meal.a.day..and he doesn't have as much energy. It's showing Cano..it IS showing

2015-07-06 16:10

@TNT_Mariners: LHP Danny Hultzen to throw simulated game Wednesday in #Arizona.

2015-07-06 16:10

@TNT_Mariners: LHP Danny Hultzen to throw simulated game Wednesday in #Arizona.

2015-07-06 14:45

Now I see it farther below. Must have been something going on behind the scenes.

2015-07-06 14:11

Cannot find my shout post where I linked to the Seattle Times article revealing that Cano says he has been suffering from stomach ailments that have affected his performance since August, 2014. http://www.seattleti...

2015-07-06 14:07

Starting a conversation...

2015-07-06 13:21

This, at least, has a clear explanation. Ankylosing Spondylitis it isn't. Thank goodness. But UGH...we need to fire our caterer to the clubhouse.

2015-07-06 13:15

This (in addition to his grandfather's death) could help explain his loss of focus on the basepaths.

2015-07-06 13:15

Cano suffering from stomach disorder and fatigue since last August? Uh, oh.http://www.seattleti...

2015-07-06 12:19

No...I don't think the Mariners will trade Happ...I think they might QO him.

2015-07-06 12:09

Happ is a pending free agent, so I expect he'll go by the deadline.

2015-07-06 11:40

No way Happ gets traded until after Kuma has at least 3 solid starts in a row.
I would love to see him traded sooner so whomever we get may be able to help us this year, but this is the Mariners.

2015-07-06 11:14

I expect Happ to get traded soon, and then Elias will be back up.

2015-07-06 11:02

Wow, #Wellington Castillo has been a real beast for #Arizona. Sporting an .874 OPS in 74 PAs. That trade doesn't look so good right now.

2015-07-06 09:02

Agreed. Elias will be a starter in the league eventually..and sooner rather than later I feel.

2015-07-06 08:46

seriously...why is #Fish a tag

2015-07-06 08:45

Elias is a work in progress...nothing wrong with letting him go down to AAA and keep working on that dead #Fish change of his until he masters it.

2015-07-06 08:44

glad to see sanity returned to the all-star voting just in time - Omar Infante as the starter would have caused me to refuse to even watch the game out of protest. As would Kendrys Morales over Nellie Cruz.

2015-07-06 08:31

Got to give it up to Elias for the most part. Rough last few games but he filled in pretty well.

2015-07-06 08:20

So Iwaukuma is replacing Elias and #Montgomery gets to stay up...I like the bravery in that call. JaHapp (pronounced juh-HAPP) stays for now as well...Paxton probably won't be back until September if he comes back at all this year...he has to rehab and he just now started throwing...and we all know he is a bad pitcher until he pitches his way into the groove...no hurry. So get used to Felix/Kuma/#Montgomery/Walker/Happ

2015-07-06 07:52

Iwakuna back after two month hiatus. Happy for his return and hope it goes well. He was missed certainly

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