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March 2015

and here Dr. D thought it was his year
Posted by jemanji on 03/31/15
Posted to blog

. Shout Box clamoring for apologetics.  As y'know, we live to serve.  We DID see the beatings before last.  We DID see the lame excuses after the most recent beatings.  We did NOT see the most recent games, Feelix' "tired quadth" game and Pax-done's game today.  We saw everything else, back to and including the first 1999 ST game in which Feeblix' cap kept leaping off, calling penalties due to excessive 'Fro.   So, obviously, SSI is more qualified than any source on earth to give you The Straight Dope (TM). .... Bill James was asked on TV, last week, why Justin Verlander isn't in the top 15... Read More
With my annotations FWIW
Posted by Spectator on 03/31/15
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Fangraphs finally came out with its 2015 Mariners prospect rankings, and I was going to input it into my database anyway, so I'll share. [Other rankings are in brackets as follows: Baseball America - MLB.com - John Sickles ("O" means the "others" list) - Baseball Prospectus] [The latter only has a top 10 available.] *** First, they rank current MLB players 27 and under.  The most valuable?  Kyle Seager.  And then Mike Zunino at No. 2, just ahead of Taijuan Walker. Sometimes we forget about Zunino's offensive potential, but it wasn't that long ago that he was matching offensive numbers in the... Read More
Dr. D's stomach does a slow roll to the left
Posted by jemanji on 03/29/15
Posted to blog

. J.A. Happ has many ways to do one thing. Some of you good buddies wouldn'a seen the little sequence on TV.  They showed a split frame of J.A. Happ's two different changeup grips -- one a classic circle change, the other a splitfinger change.  The two pitches aren't meant to result in different pitches, not meant to fool the hitter in any way.  You know, like a two-seam fastball would run armside to give a different look.  He just does it to dink around. Blowers and Krueger were kinda like, "that's different."  Hardly ever saw a pitcher do that before. In Japan you call something "different... Read More
Boy, it must really stink to be Kris
Posted by jemanji on 03/29/15
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. Cubs 3B Kris Bryant was the #2 overall pick in 2013, behind pitcher Mark Appel.  Last year he slugged .702 in AA and then .619 in AAA.  This spring, he has 9 homers in 14 spring training games. If you're familiar at all with the glamor prospects in the game, and familiar at all with baseball's rules on year-7 free agency, you know why Bryant will be sent down to AAA for a few weeks. There has been discussion around the 'net:  are there any ethical issues that bear here?  Personally it bothers me, vaguely, that Kris Bryant is one of the Cubs' best 25 players, that he has earned a spot on the... Read More
Steriods mess with the fabric of the game, which is its primary lifeline
Posted by Spectator on 03/28/15
Posted to blog

Baseball is not "popular" in the way football is.  What's the second most-watched sport after the NFL? College football.  Anyone ever seen a crowd of more than 100 at a high school baseball game?  Anyone seen a minor-league or indy team sell tickets without "family fun" and fireworks and assorted stunts? Baseball still "works" because it is engrained into the fabric of American life.  It is the summer game. Consider horse racing. No one gives one whit about horse racing outside of the events that have the tradition and are tied to a certain time of year.  Baseball is the Kentucky Derby that... Read More
Question Authority, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/15

. Q.  How disgusting, eh.  And here we thought this was a good lad. A.  As y'know, Dr. D is a "dove" on steroid use.   But in the defense of The Man And His Hammer, we will allow that our society has voted to outlaw (anabolic) steroids used with this intent.  And we'll allow that our BASEBALL society has decided to protect non-users. I don't have (that much of a) problem with Rollins' suspension, if that's what the players have agreed to.  I do have a problem with moral outrage against users.  A big one. . Q.  James argues that steroids are not nearly as unhealthy as the propaganda makes them... Read More
Chuck Noll: Fear is what you feel when you don't know what yer doing
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/15
Posted to blog

. Amigos fuss and fret about "The Zone," or flow, or rhythm, or whatever the phrase du jour is.  It's not as hard as we make it.  You want to know how to slow the game down? Picture a one-on-one game of basketball with your kid brother.  You see things nice and early, right?  Whoop, there goes a 50-50 ball down the driveway ... who's going to get it?  You can tell at the speed of light whose ball it's going to be.  Yours?  An easy little step over his path and shoulder into him, scoop the ball up lefty and whirl into your offense. Or:  this one is going to be his ball?  You smile and saunter... Read More
M's 3, Cubbies 2
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/15
Posted to blog

Kyle Seager Rich doesn't look good on everybody.  It does on this guy, though.  He's relaxing into his game, "bouncing" into the box to get his weight underside like he does when he's goin' good.  ... Clearing the arms before the pitch, skipping out of the way of WP's before they're halfway to home plate. Has nothing against hitting with three men on base, each AB.  Good bet to have an UP year. . Taijuan Okay, if technical-type details are more your innerest ... He threw simply every pitch, all 81 of them, intending to throw a strike.  He succeeded in this too.  56 of the pitches were... Read More
Chippin' around, kick my brains 'round the floor
Posted by Gordon Gross on 03/25/15
Posted to blog

I just talked to Lonnie (who heads up Mariner Central) about our excitement about the upcoming year.  It being the Mariners, naturally some pessimism crept in. "Have you seen everyone picking the Ms?  We've somehow become the front-runners, and the front-runners NEVER win." I find this scenario interesting. Last Spring and even into summer, Jack's job was supposedly in jeopardy.  Our finishing sprint (no thanks to our pathetic deadline additions) got us ALMOST to the playoffs, but since then there's been this sort of groundswell for the Mariners.  Hopes and dreams are floating up, up and... Read More
Crowd the plate s'more. I mean you no harm, JennyHaydn.
Posted by jemanji on 03/25/15
Posted to blog

. Q.  Who or what is a Buvaisar Saitiev Phenomenon?   A.  I wasn't clear after reading the article.  Is Mojo saying that James Paxton is: An astronomical event of some type, very likely a gamma-ray burst? A guy who, by physical appearance, you would never guess to be capable of throwing a baseball? No longer Dr. D's adopt-a-player? A communist "dancing bear" in disguise, much like Dr. D himself is suspected of being? I'm all right with three of those slanders, most foul and vile though they be.  But when you say that James Paxton does not look like napalm at 20 yards ... this, counselor, is... Read More
Small "Sample", dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/25/15
Posted to blog

. 22 - How many baserunners + runs has J.A. Happ coughed up (8 innings) 40% or so - How many fastballs has he thrown this spring 70% or so - How many fastballs did he throw during his surge last year HARDER - is it easier or harder to master 3-4 pitches than 2 NO IDEA - Why would you trade for 2H2014 J.A. Happ and then reinvent him SSI - What blog do the Mariners fail to heed DISASTER - Where does this always lead ELIAS - Who should be encouraging Happ to continue to work on his changeup .... 2,427 - what is the average RPM of a Dominic Leone fastball #1 - Where did this rank on the M's... Read More
Some interesting differences of opinion ...
Posted by Spectator on 03/24/15
Posted to blog

We don't have the list from Fangraphs yet (M's seem to be at the end of the list), and my list will come out once we get the new site up and running, but we have four good lists from Baseball America (top 30), MLB.com (top 30), John Sickles (MinorLeagueBall.com -- top 20 + "others") and Baseball Prospectus (only a top 10). Here's a quick summary, with the ranks in order of BA - MLB.com  - Sickles - BP (remember only 10): Consensus Top 10: Alex Jackson (picture) -- 1-1-1-2 D.J. Peterson -- 2-2-2-1 Ketel Marte -- 3-3-6-3 Gabriel Guerrero -- 7-5-5-4 Edwin Diaz -- 6-7-3-5 Luiz Gohara -- 8-8-10... Read More
A statement of facts
Posted by Spectator on 03/22/15
Posted to blog

As Jack Webb would say, "Just the facts, Dudette!" Robinson Cano under contract til 2023. Felix under contract til 2019. Kyle Seager under contract til 2021. Not eligible for free agency til 2020: Brad Miller, James Paxton, Mike Zunino, Dominic Leone, Danny Farquhar, Roenis Elias. Not eligible for free agency til 2021: Taijuan Walker, Chris Taylor, Carson Smith. On your roster in through 2018 simply by maintaing the status quo: C: Zunino, Tyler Marlette etc. 1b/DH: Cruz, D.J. Peterson etc. 2b: Cano SS: Miller, Taylor, Ketel Marte etc. 3b: Seager OF: Ackley thru 2017 then Patrick Kivlehan,... Read More
Looks can be deceiving
Posted by mojician on 03/21/15

Yesterday, Doc scouted Taijuan Walker. He saw the mound presence, the pitchability, the tats, the velocity and the great athleticism.  Doc concluded that if Walker has improved his offspeed game, he might be better at pitching than James Paxton.  It is easy to forget about Paxton.  I like to call this the Buvaisar Saitiev phenomenon.  There is a certain type of athlete, who doesn’t look like much. He has a gentle demeanor, he is introverted, geeky, soft spoken and friendly.  He does not look imposing or mean.  He doesn’t look like anything really, except maybe an accountant. Mr. Saitiev,... Read More
A mini-retrospective on Jack's early round successes
Posted by Gordon Gross on 03/21/15
Posted to blog

It's fascinating seeing us build the Mariners brick by brick into a contender.  And one of the very shiniest bricks this Spring has got to be Taijuan. Watching Taijuan throw reminds me that there were only a couple of people who thought he was first round material when he was drafted.  He was too inconsistent.  He had a good arm when he was on but his curve and slider were all over the place.  Delivery problems... the works.  But Jack wanted to take all that amazing raw material and see if he could make a pitcher outta him - and he absolutely has. In fact, while Jack hasn't drafted a lot of... Read More
BANZAI !! … wait ...
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/15
Posted to blog

. Okay, that's four games in a row. If Dr. D did not know better, he would accuse Taijuan Walker of having a change curve that was among the best in the American League.  And a splitfinger that was 5th-year quality. The Oakland A's better hope not.  (Actually they ARE hoping not.  You saw Peter Gammons' little anecdote that the A's were praying they didn't draw Taijuan in a Wild Card game?  "And that's who they would have gotten.") . MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUF IS, dept. We always liked this thought experiment.  suppose you put Tyrus Raymond Cobb His Ownself in a camouflage body and (maybe) a... Read More
Pitchers fighting to get to the mound here
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/15
Posted to blog

. Q.  Is Austin Jackson's PX really that bad? A.  At this point, a loud foul would be nice.  And you don't expect one of those any time soon.  When you find yourself hoping for a loud foul ball, it's time to stop kidding yourself.  It's like bringing back a team HOF'er at age 41 ... if moral victories become the point?, then blink yourself awake ... If you are saber oriented:  the answer's yes.  The avante-garde stats also have eyes like saucers.  It's been quite a PX dropoff. (If you want particulars, the dropoff was from a career 1.1 times league BIP velocity / XBH results, to 0.6 of it as... Read More
Say what you like, but watch what you say Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/15
Posted to blog

. Friend-of-POTUS sez, okdan: Yesterday when the broadcast had Zduriencik in the booth, he dropped a comment about carrying 3 lefties in the pen... Hm.  Supposing that David Rollins were a given.  Would you rather have Justin Leone or Tyler Olson? Whale of a question, isn't it?  Today I'd plump for Olson.  Ask me again tomorrow, though. ....... During the same broadcast, Zduriencik clarified.  You can't just flip Erasmo to Houston and send Rollins to AAA.  The moment you drop a Rule 5 guy from your 25-man roster -- that's all year -- then 28 other teams may take him if they want.  And THEN... Read More
Hit me up with a few tips and you got it!
Posted by SABR Matt on 03/19/15

Sorry to clutter up yer front page with a bit of unpleasant bidness. :) The good Doc recommended that I give a little stub post discussing my bid to set up some top-notch analytics for the new detectovision family of blogs (blighting the internet soon with an avalanche of commentary from a collection of the demented minds from our little den, including yours truly, once I'm ready). I have been discussing some of my plans for deep level analysis here over the recent weeks, so you'll mostly be familiar with my plan to adapt the Elo rating system to baseball match-ups and rate every player. That... Read More
What gets 0.9 runs without swinging a bat?
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/15
Posted to blog

. On March 18th, Drew Pomeranz came out spinning curve balls of David Wells quality and vintage.  Is Pomeranz going to opt for a 2.35 ERA again this year, as he did last year and as most of Billy Beane's choices usually prefer?  I dunno, but can tell you he was throwing like 2.35 ERA on Wednesday. The lad is one of the 25 to 30 major league starters who use two pitches, and as his career has gone along he's gotten even more hip to his own shtick.  The below Fangraphs table counts up his Fastballs - Curves - Changes for yer: , Now, you realize the F/X wonkiness would credit you 1% changeups... Read More
The man did single-handedly win a World Series, y'know
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/15
Posted to blog

. In modern times, say the last 30-40 years, the 1988 Dodgers were probably the best example of one great pitcher carrying an okay team to a resounding World Series victory.  At least, they're number one off the top of my own head.  To the extent it's possible for a single baseball player to will his team to the title, Orel Hershiser did it that year. Bumgarner's no slouch.  There are other such stories.  Like James says, The fabric of baseball history is written in the threads of ace starting pitchers. Would be fun to see Felix on such a stage, wouldn't it?  And maybe even more fun to watch... Read More
All those RH relievers jammed up here
Posted by Spectator on 03/18/15
Posted to blog

Final installment of the Watch List "34 More" list of prospects who didn't make the cut for the Spec66 but are worth keeping an eye on. We did outfielders first, then infielders, and finally all the pitchers who are not right-handed relievers. Why separate out RH bullpenners? Because there are about a bazillion of them, that's why. And this is after the team already dispatched Carter Capps, Stephen Pryor, Stephen Kohlscheen and Matt Brazis in trade moves with solid payoffs.  That was just scratching the surface.  There's plenty more where that came from. These are just the guys who rank... Read More
These are all the pitchers who are NOT right-handed relievers
Posted by Spectator on 03/18/15
Posted to blog

To reiterate, the Watch List is for prospects who don't make the top 66 in the organization. Using my oh-so-clever slick marketing labels, we have the Top 40 and the "26 in the Mix" that make up the Spec66, then "34 More" on the Watch List for an even 100. We did outfielders here and infielders here. For the pitchers, I had so many right-handed relievers (the Zduriencik-McNamara tap that never stops flowing ...) that I just put everyone else in the "other" category. So this group has a mixed bag of RH starters (Snow, Muhammad, Schiraldi and A. Torres), a LH starter (Fernandez), and LH... Read More
A smackdown more entertaining than the games themselves
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/15
Posted to blog

. Q.  Where was David Rollins when last sighted, and did the March 15th game change anything? A.  Rollins pounds a wicked overhand heater and has little to go with it.  You can organize your thinking if you go "the young Matt Thornton with a skosh less stuff and miles better polish." Rollins' fastball is special.  That would only make sense, 'cause you have Rule 5'ed a guy who has nothing BUT a fastball.  As compared to (say) Roenis' Elias' fastball, you've got: A good bit more length (and that's saying plenty) An "easier" velocity More strikes and command A nasty cutting action (in on... Read More
More prospects to keep an eye on ...
Posted by Spectator on 03/17/15
Posted to blog

The first Watch List (outfielders) can be found here, and now let's roll out the infielders: Guys in red were at or younger than their "MLB Track" level (on track to reach AAA by age-23).  Guys in black were older than "MLB Track" level (which does not rule them out, but makes their stats less interesting). Name Age Lvl Age Arc G PA BA OBP SLG OPS HR% BB% XBH + BB% ISO K% PSA+ Conv+ Comp Slugger > 4% Goal > 8.5% Goal > 19% Goal > .200 Goal < 20% Strong Prospect > 100 Rayder Ascanio# 18 Rk,FRk -1 56 192 0.238 0.346 0.294 0.639 0.00% 13.54% 18.23% 0.056 25.52% 79 35... Read More
Mr. NCAA getting a grip on the game?
Posted by jemanji on 03/16/15

. "CELEBRITY HOUSE MAP," Arizona Edition In spring training so far, Ackley has "beaten the house."  He has been on base more often than the pitchers have gotten him out.   Of every Mariner hitter, Ackley is having the best run. You volunteer, "this is only twenty-odd at bats."  Dr. D invites you to take three breaths and think about whether there is anyone, literally anyone reading this, one person?, to whom the "SSS" (sic) would now be a fresh add.  "SSS," in the Seattle blog-o-sphere, has about the same informational content as "this post will be typed in the English language."  Do we... Read More
Watch List Outfielders
Posted by Spectator on 03/16/15
Posted to blog

I'm going to start rolling out the prospect rankings here at SSI so as to avoid a traffic jam once we get the new platform up and running. *** The Watch List is an extension of the Spec66 (which is the Top 40 and the "26 in the Mix").  If offers "34 More" so as to even things out to a nice round 100. More comprehensive than you'd ever need, except ... In 2013, Jesus Sucre and Yoervis Medina jumped all the way from the Watch List to the majors (so maybe they should have been higher, of course -- at least Medina) (Medina was just a year removed from an ugly 1-21, 6.00 ERA season as a starter,... Read More
The evolution of Pi, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/14/15
Posted to blog

PREGAME KEYS In the 2H of 2014, Jay had happ-ened into a solution to his lifelong 4.0 walks problemo.   His idea was as brilliant as it was original:  Throw Fastballs.  As Tom Glavine once put it, "there's a reason we don't start a batter with curve balls.  Because we don't want to start the count 1-0."  This from TOM GLAVINE.  Yes, grasshopper, even those dudes on TV spin a curve and hope for the best. On the 4.0 walks ratio ... it's not so much that the extra walk or two kills you.  (It does.)  It's more so much that a 4.0 BB pitcher is throwing worse pitches on 1-1 than a Billy Beane... Read More
How to drive in a traffic jam, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/13/15
Posted to blog

. ... By having something on the audio that you would listen to anyway.  Even if you weren't in a car.  Remember Ray Charles' wit and wisdom:  you don't watch TV; you listen to it.  :- )  Traffic jam time is TV time. . In today's ballgame, Chris Taylor has another 2-for-2 going as we speak.  He hit the following up-and-in* pitch to RIGHT field for a ringing triple: . What would be the category, one long notch below "Best Bet"?  A couple of games into Taylor's career, we thought he fit the MLB game like cookie dough and ice cream.  It's spring training for us too, so leave us remember what... Read More
"How to Raise an Energetic Boy," dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/13/15

. The Think Tank has a mind of its own :- ) and right now, it seems to be on the U.S. school system.  As y'know, we live to serve.  This post addresses sensitive gender topics.  If you don't want to be exposed to 2-way debate on gender issues, click on to the next post brotha. If you do want to debate it, 'ave at me mate.  Say anything you like on SSI, especially if it happens to be the truth.  Only, say it in a civil, respectful manner.  This encourages the next guy to follow on. . "The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism." - Wole Soyinka "In the absence of criticism and... Read More
Dr's Prescription: wayyyy too much caffeine
Posted by jemanji on 03/12/15
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. THE UGLY On Intentional Talk, they bring up Matt Harvey.  Who hasn't pitched in year-and-a-half, of course.  Rose axs, "What's a successful year for him?!"  Millar goes, "32 starts.  If he gets 34, that's awesomeness.  Let's just get to 32." :: blinks ::  Why isn't he shooting for 2016 or 2017?  Do I hear 2018, just to be conservative? Ah, you say, but Hultzen had a shoulder.  Okay, let's tick off those precedents, starting with Erikkkk, Chris Carpenter, Gil Meche, and the other 9,000 of them. It's a funny thing.  You would never see this in football, where everybody pro and amateur just... Read More
For those interested in how his delivery looked Wednesday
Posted by Spectator on 03/12/15
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If you're going to do something like this, I figured it just pretty much had to have J. Geils Band.
Day late and a doller short, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/15
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No word on Richard Sherman tweets.  And Graham might have come in handy two plays ago.  But here are a few of my fave takes from off the Saints board :- ) . Evan Woodbery @TheSaintsBeatFollow#Saints CB Keenan Lewis: 'Time to take my talent somewhere else' http://bit.ly/1b0nkYi . I've been away from the webs for a few hours I thought this was satire!Rumours that Brees is unhappy, was he on team Rita? . I’m totally blown away by this!!!!!!! Might as well trade Brees! #RebuildingYear .  I'm sooooo happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy - Falcons fan ; ) . . I hate it He’s a face-of the franchise type player... Read More
Down, down and away!
Posted by Spectator on 03/11/15
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If I had remembered it, I could have blown my own horn about how I named Tyler Olson the "Pitcher of the Year So Far" last July (though I had truly forgotten).  But mojician dredged it up for me, and, thankfully, it reads pretty well.  Find it here. And I also have a new post at MarinerBrainstorm, that I can't just post here because it uses the gif. It's the first example of the MID:KAB  -- Mega-In-Depth: Key At-Bat in which we'll break down ... well ... key at-bats in a mega-in-depth way: with video, enhanced gifs, PitchF/x data and the like. First one is some March Madness from the Zag who... Read More
Where'd that come from
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/15
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. Tyler Olson G-Money sez in the Shoutz Box, . Olson Ks the side. DEFINITELY wants consideration as a full-bore reliever and not just a specialist - and that's at worst. Gotta love always grabbing a couple of these arms in every draft. If you don't know Olson, he was a nice little arm at Gonzaga, very accurate but a lefty who threw high-80s - fine as a lefty (I'm thinking when we drafted him), especially if he finds a couple mph in the pen. And with his delivery he hides the ball well, and that slider is pretty killer. A bit like Sherrill. I wouldn't have tried to start Sherrill, though, and... Read More
Hide the women and children, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/15
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. Tracer:  Bill Swift, coming off an injury, fires 15* scoreless innings for Jim Lefebvre one spring.  The beat writers marvel, "If he throws like this, can he make the rotation?"  Lefebvre's response, not a trace of irony:  "If he throws like that he's going to be in the Hall of Fame." That'll do for us too.  The Elias-Walker issue is NOT the relevant talking point after yesterday's performance.  Corey Kluber is the relevant talking point.  The rookie Michael Pineda.  The 2006 Justin Verlander.  That kind of splash, that would be the talking point. ...... Tracer:  a MLB rookie steps in... Read More
Lessons from the Bubble
Posted by Spectator on 03/09/15
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Does Murray State get in the tournament? Does it matter to baseball? Bear with me. Murray State played exactly one top-50 team (Xavier), and lost by 27.  But it tore through its low-mid-major conference (16-0 in the Ohio Valley) and went 21-1 against teams ranked 150 or lower by RPI. Then it lost in its conference tournament and now its fate is the in the hands of the committee. Here's the whole ESPN nitty-gritty. Now we have this debate every year, don't we?  (At least those of us who follow college hoop.) But consider the underlying assumption: Games against lesser competition don't matter... Read More
Beast Mode Activate, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/15
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. . Is the below not a crazy piece of art? . ome Seahawks (and other) art at enfu.com. Cheers, Dr D
Bright Lights, Big City dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/15
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. I saw some stat, on Baseball Prospectus a few years ago, that said 88% of all PCL innings are thrown by  Pitchers who recently performed in the AL or NL, or Pitchers who will very shortly perform in the AL or NL Some pretty sharp baseball analysts believe that there can be no such thing as a AAAA Quad-A player (able to maul AAA but useless in MLB), because the bottom 30% of major leaguers overlap with the top 20% of AAA players.   By "pretty sharp baseball analysts" we mean "Bill James in particular, and lots of other people in general."  The idea is quite reasonable.  And we could all... Read More
Somebody's going to fight alligators this year. The Angels, mebbe?
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/15
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. If you, for some reason, badly want to understand Roenis Elias? then we can recommend a single article to yer.  Here y'go amig -O. Elias has ... wait, had.  At last sight.  Three strikeout pitches A baseball fearlessness that comes only after "fighting alligators for survival" A strong taste for throwing the ball at, errrr in to, batters A calm spiritual center Ten wins at the major league level, in his rookie season What Roenis Elias did not have, at last sight, was Any ability to throw his curve without telegraphing it Any ability to avoid a Brandon League-magnitude predictability... Read More
The Spikeball is Ours and You Can't Have It
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/15
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. When we left our hero last season, he had a dizzying number of ways in which to attack hitters -- especially "fastball, fastball, fastball, waste pitch, waste pitch, fastball."  SSI declared his offspeed game rudimentary.  Lloyd McClendon demurred, gushing enthusiastically "I told the kid, I've had a gutful of horse manure and hype.  It's time to get me some outs." 2014 hitters sat dead blinkin' red on every single Walker pitch, which is why his groan-inducing curves and changeups had pitch values anywhere from +1.00 to +7.00.  This wasn't because they were good pitches; it was because the... Read More
Two ML-ready thumpers Enter, one man Leaves
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/15
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. The screen name "Spectator" is becoming a bit of a joke.  The "Participant" or "Partaker" or "Protagonist" or whatever he is continues to embarrass Dr. D with ever-more-bubbly elevations of the shtick. Partaker terms these, feebly, "Enhanced GIFs" of D.J. and Taijuan.  Enhanced?  Get that out of the paint.  Wonderful GIFs?  Maybe.  Stunning GIFs?  No question.  Riveting GIFs?  Okay.  Enhanced?  Does Felix have an enhanced changeup?  'ts a backhand compliment. . . The "Tee Mobile" color adds to the fun.  And the emphasis is clear:  The camera man could get Capt. Kirk to step behind Spock,... Read More
Not RIP, just another pause on the uptick
Posted by Gordon Gross on 03/06/15
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Stop me if you've heard this one before.  One of the Ms best international hitters has his career slowed by a series of injuries, putting in doubt his ability to fulfill all that promise. Before it was a blond Aussie with talent for days, but who happened to be made of glass.  He tantalized and wowed, but was never able to make the impact we envisioned for him. Alas, poor Snelling.  We knew him well.  He ended his injury riddled career leaving a string of broken dreams in his wake, with the following line: .301/.395/.454 You know what Choi's line is thus far? .304/ .407/ .492 And it's not... Read More
Our football dude Kivlehan literally powders the ball + Cruz too
Posted by Spectator on 03/06/15
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Here are two Enhanced GIFs from the Thursday game.  Both Nelson Cruz and Patrick Kivlehan pummel poor pitches left out in the comfort zone: Ian Kennedy's hanging curve and a Shawn Kelley offering with no movement. Kivlehan actually makes a little cloud of dust from the impact.  Rutgers wasn't in the Big Ten when he played football there, but we can still have fun with the idea. Find them here.
The future, glimpsed now?
Posted by Gordon Gross on 03/05/15
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Nothing like having two draws at the same, quality player, y'know?  Kivlehan and Peterson are basically synonyms for each other in our system. - Right-handed - nominally a 3B - moving to another corner for full-time duty - hits .300, with about 60 points of patience so far - no displayed weakness vs. same-handed-pitching - very important for righties - slated for AAA this Spring - top-6 org prospect The latter may not be true for everyone w/r/t Kivlehan... but it probably should be.  His actual age is not his experiential age - Kivlehan is doing fine on his age timeline, and he has plenty... Read More
Free idea exchange, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/05/15
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. If yer haven't caved yet, to spend the $3 to get Aristotle's baseball stylings, this article "Ain't Gonna Study WAR No More" should do it. James groans that the argument "WAR = Ultimate Truth" feels to him like the 1970's, when he argued that pitcher W-L records were flawed.  People would nod towards his argument and then come up with 9,000 reasons that couldn't possibly be true.  This phenomenon re-occurs, with grim reconstructive precision, in the firestorm of 119 comments to his article. . Ain't Gonna Argue WAR No More, dept. What was so controversial about his article?  He proved,... Read More
Another new thing I've been working on
Posted by Spectator on 03/05/15
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MarinerBrainstorm will be subsumed into the new DOV2, which we are told will be emerging soon, under a new umbrella to be called "DiamondCrunch." But until then, I've put a post there using one of the new techniques I've been working on, which is an "enhanced" GIF highlighting the ball and bat in each frame. There's one of D.J. Peterson's homer and one of Taijuan Walker's strikeout of Matt Kemp. Find them here.
Speed blogging ...
Posted by Spectator on 03/03/15
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With the intrasquad game rained out, there wasn't much notable, but I went back a couple of days for some worthy stuff. MARINERS CRUNCH National writer Jonah Keri has the M's No. 3 in all of baseball and No. 1 in the AL He counts down "The 30" -- so you have to go a long way down to find the M's (that's good) Stone on Ackley and the non-platoon platoon He's not putting on a Willem DeFoe agonizing death scene anyway MLB.com on Ackley Lloyd will give him extra spring at-bats to try to get him rolling earlier in the season Divish on Carson Smith (couple days old) Who's been comparing Smith... Read More
"We don't hang division flags. We hang Championship flags," dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/15
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. 1 Lloyd McClendon reacts to the word "platoon" like he just stepped in somethin' brown and unpleasant.  But that's what he's going to do in LF and RF.  What gives with the affectation? In Earl On Strategy, he walked us through his pregame lineup meditations.  Earl would consider LH vs RHP, but he would also think about: Patient hitter vs. wild young SP Fielding, esp. behind a flyball starter Whether a given RH hitter was 2-for-23 against a left hand starter A bunch of stuff like that.  High ball hitters vs groundball pitchers, speed in a big park, etc When McClendon veers off the word "... Read More
Cancelled Intersquad Game Reveals Secrets of Universe
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/15
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. If you just joined us, Innersquad Games are the slop end of the stick for vets like Seager and Cano.  There's a looooong way to go until Opening Day.  Truth is, there's too far to go.  Spring Training is about 30% longer than it probably needs to be.  Remember the NFL strike some years back, when they trained for about 4 days before firing the official games back up?! So the first coupla March games seem useless ... unless you're a kid trying to make the squad.  Then, a first-game placement of #3 in the order can mean a lot.  That very first practice game can be kind of a big deal, as far... Read More
Experimenting ...
Posted by Spectator on 03/02/15
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This is an experiment. If I can get to where I can whip out something like this in a half hour or so, then I'll try to do it frequently as part of the DOV2 family of networks. MARINERS CRUNCH Divish on Austin Jackson There's no good reason why Jackson shouldn't bounce back; but if he doesn't? Rugi/Jones platoon? Let's hope not. Dutton tweet: Intrasquad game likely scrapped due to rain It never rains in Southern Arizona; but it pours, man it pours Dutton on shortstop battle Includes Miller hair update! Drayer: Taijuan gets ball first Plus other news & notes Lookout Landing on Happ... Read More
The love of a repeatable motion doth constrain us
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/15
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. Q.  "Compelling / Fringe"?  Do you have an, um, exact estimate of Rollins' worth for the small crowd at SSI?  Make it seriously funny. A.  Carson Cistulli, who is more than all right by Dr. D, entered "David Rollins" several times on his lists of compelling fringe prospects.  Here is one of his columns, and it's got a nice .gif of Rollins' delivery.  The camera does happen to lingers past our delivery, well into the flight of the ball.  So you can also savor the blowdown steerike three that ensues. . Q.  The M's have now drafted Rollins three times that we know about.  He compels them, eh?... Read More