March 2018

Hmm. There's got to be SOME way to beat Kluber. Lemme think a minute
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/18
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. Diderot sez, New Felix?  Maybe it's just faulty memory, but when he left the game, this is the first time I can remember Felix's body language and expression saying, 'Yeah...OK.  I'm done.  I'm good with this.' Typically it always seems to me he's either mad because he doesn't think he should come out...or fiercely proud of what he's accomplished--the looks are kind of similar. But if his demeanor last night indicates that he's altered his expectations of who he now is and what he can do...I think that would be good sign.  . No, I think that's a good observation.  Not just faulty memory.  ... Read More
Like the politicians who lose these days, Dr. D will NOT "shut up and go away"
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/18
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. And they got the computer right?  I'm curious.  How many of you guys had the 128K Mac in 1984?  HEH ... Another Life-Is-Sports light bulb today in Hey Bill: The question about the causes for the decline of offense from 1963-68 reminded me of something: Recently I read two different articles of 1968 moaning about the lack of hitting, both of which blamed expansion. Both writers said (with supporting quotes from a manager, a coach or a GM) that expansion had brought a lot of Triple-A hitters into the major leagues and thus allowed pitchers to dominate. No kidding: The exact same line of... Read More
For the best game recap ...
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/18
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. .... for the best game recaps, take off and cruise the 'net.  For the Crunch on why the game played out 2-1, check SSI's posts and comments threads.  This morning Dr. D can only heat the pot up, for others, though; the Denizens will have to fill the pot with the potatoes.  Got other stuff goin' on.  So just the whitest parts of the chicken breast to start: . EDWIN DIAZ As Bill Krueger pointed out, the day will come when Eddie can go 0-1 with a fastball on the black.  When that day comes, it's lights out.  That'll do for us too.  When Diaz can routinely paint an 0-1 advantage, we'll relish a... Read More
It's easier than you think
Posted by jemanji on 03/29/18
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. What's not easy, is to poach enough series to total 90 wins.    :- ) . VEGAS ODDS If the M's can poach game 1, then they probably WILL take the series, of course:  even if the Indians had a full 2:1 shot of winning each game after -- and very few MLB games feature 2:1 odds -- they'd still only have a 44% chance of coming from behind to take a series.  The team that wins game 1 is the favorite to win ANY 3-game Major League series.  Even if the #1 team played the #30 team and botched Game One, they could expect to lose the series, playing it out from that position. Unfortunately for the M's... Read More
No disagreement with Doc's assessment, but one...
Posted by SABR Matt on 03/28/18
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I'm going to lead off this post by agreeing with Doc 100% so he'll forgive me for ranting a bit later. :) The entire Mariner blog-o-sphere is up in arms over Scott Servais' obvious lukewarm reception of Dan Vogelbach. They should be. It makes no sense from a pure baseball perspective or from a clubhouse chemistry perspective or even from a tactical perspective to roster him and then have your manager say "well we'll give him a quick look and hope he stays hot." He couldn't possibly have done anything else to show he belongs than he did this spring and, even with his ungainly girth and clumsy... Read More
And a link the kids downstairs can run over to Scott's office if they're feeling gutsy
Posted by jemanji on 03/28/18
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. ICHIRO Is fretting about losing his eyesight, runs the narrative, but ... ah ... that means from 20/12 to 20/18, not to 20/60 youse mooks.  (Actually mook.)  It's not like he's Ricky Vaughn out there! Tuesday he looked good:  swing totally vintage, seemed to see the ball out of the pitcher's hand well, had a line-drive single to RF off a LHP that carried too far and took the RF's glove off, a BB, a K on three "hurry the game up" strikes and a popup.  Took one ball off the wall and zipped it back in, hitting the cutoff man in the stomach. He's only had 10 AB's with a 2:5 EYE -- plus a few... Read More
hmmmmm now what does my SLG have to be, to get in there
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/18
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. I asked G-Money if 'Bach's truncated followthough, and blurry-fast launch reminded him of AD.  ... and somehow, some way he found this drop-dead gorgeous vid of Mr. Mariner. Cindy and I were sitting in the 3rd deck, a section all to ourselves, when Alvin Davis arrived and it was the same thing:  7 2B, 7 HR in the first 50 AB's against stunned AL pitchers and his mama had told him it is better to die at childbirth, boy, then to swing at a pitch outside the strike zone. We were talking (on Slack) about Bach abandoning his sand-wedge for a 1-iron and .... the Lookout Landing theory about the... Read More
Dan Wilson commercial: the ole Jamie Moyer changeup
Posted by jemanji on 03/27/18
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. THE MARINER HOF:  HEREIN LIES A TALE You kids probably think that Jamie Moyer threw ERA's of 2.18.  He did not.  He pitched his game as perfectly as it can possibly be pitched, and THAT one you can believe.  He hit the mitt with his 88-MPH fastball as often as any pitcher hit it who ever lived; he had a wipeout David Wells bloop 11-to-5 curve, and he had a fadeaway changeup that is one of the best changeups baseball has ever seen. He had it all.  And he delivered it perfectly, with tremendous braininess and strategy. But here's the thing.  A pitcher of that template, of the Tommy John... Read More
wouldn't it be FUNNY
Posted by jemanji on 03/26/18
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. DAN VOGELBACH'S HERE! The M's site proclaims the victory we all craved, "Prospect Daniel Vogelbach on Mariners Roster."  How does the Mainframe process this?  In other words, what is jemanji's own pickles-and-aiki baseball take on this situation? There are several ways this will develop: 1) He won't play for ten days, get 3 PA's or something, and will get sent back down.  This depends on Scott Servais' prejudices about 'Bach's visually unkempt baserunning and defense.  Call this 40%. 2) After three weeks, given a fair shot, he'll obviously be outplaying Healy and his PT will slowly drift... Read More
Opening Day Ruminations and Why I Want the King on the Mound
Posted by rick82 on 03/25/18
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Hey Denizens! Doc has been wondering why I've gone AWOL, bless his heart. So, here I go and offer an opposing view regarding Felix and Opening Day. Now, I have absolutely no argument with Jemanji, who I consider my sensei in all things Mariner (did I spell that right?). This alternative serves to offer a heart perspective to the contrary. I want Felix on the mound, mostly for personal reasons.  Over the past year I have been working on something I have wanted to do for a long time: write a book on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. I have completed my task, outside of the editing, and have pre-... Read More
*I* get Opening Day! Me! It's MINE!
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/18
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. Two more games till they count!  We are undefeated, untied, unscored upon.... and we got Ichiro!  And if all that were not baseball-beauty enough, we've got Mike Scioscia calling this dismal Shohei Ohtani game "a great outing."  Those guys down there in LA are taking on some water 'neath decks.  Check their ERA's after you sort by K's. Anyway, here's how the Cubs game looked, short and to the crux of the matter: .... FELIX HERNANDEZ.  The question was, how much "bounceback life" did he have after a couple of light seasons' innings.  The answer was, in this game a certain amount, not as... Read More
only one flaw in the entire performance: none of it counted. :: sob ::
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/18
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. DEE GORDON - where do we start.  The entire Mariner offense was the X's and O's you draw up on the chalkboard, the events you are trying to cause to occur during play, but which never happen that way. Gordon is our centerfielder, leave us not forget.  Anybody remember when we wanted to bid on Michael Bourn and Denard Span and stuff like that?  Anyway.  Gordon starts the game with a leadoff walk :- ) and then draws several throws over to first.  On the first throw home (IIRC) the catcher threw an absolutely perfect pop-and-fire to the bag ... too late for the headfirst Gordon. Next play,... Read More
Robby offers a glance into the game from field level. The O looks ok to Dr D
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/18
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. PREAMBLE The sabermetrics tables on Fangraphs, of which my faves (for hitters) include EYE (K/BB), BABIP, WAR, UZR, OSwing%, ZSwing%, among others, and the Mighty StatCast Crew including Average Exit Velocity and Average Launch Angle, are valuable stats and capture, probably, 80-90% of what we need to know about what's happening on the field. I'll wager that almost all Denizens can sense, intuitively, that algebra cannot complex ALL of what is happening in a super-complex world.  As a chess junkie, I know that math CAN capture all of what is happening -- in a super-ultra-simplified game... Read More
back in the 90s, BP studied "synergy" once. Haven't seen anything since
Posted by jemanji on 03/23/18
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. Brent Stecker has made a habit out of publishing good reads, Mariners-wise, and I enjoyed this one tho'ly.   In it, Robinson Cano talks about contending, what it takes to go to war big-time, against dreadful opponents who put the foil on and expect you to do the same .... Robby's point starts with this: “I always say this: for you to win, you have to have a real leadoff and a second-hole hitter,” Cano told Danny, Dave and Moore, bringing up Seattle’s leadoff man Dee Gordon and No. 2 hitter Jean Segura. “You got Dee and you got Segura, a guy who can go gap to gap. … When I was in New York, I... Read More
concise lil article from FG lays it out for yer
Posted by jemanji on 03/23/18
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. Fangraphs has a nice article out.  In it, Dan Vogelbach concisely explains what his mindset is, and what his mechanical changes are, as he hits for more power (5 homers and 6 doubles in 46 AB).  Since we are getting it straight from the horse's mouth, as it were, we'll trust the information.  How is Vogelbach suddenly trashing enemy pitching to the tune of an .800+ SLG? ... 1.  Think Airball.  Vogelbach sez: “In the past, I just tried to be a good hitter — be a good hitter first and the power would come,” Vogelbach told me while perched in front of his locker at Seattle’s spring-training... Read More
Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/18
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. Mike Zunino has a in-born knack for pulling the ball in the air.   In 2017 his grounder:fly ratio was 0.70 and in 2016 it was 0.56; his pull vs oppo last year was 51% to 17%.  If he swings and makes contact, the ball is likely going in the air to the power part of the field. The Brewers noticed this, as he hit three (3) home runs against them on Wednesday, giving him and Dan Vogelbach the team lead at 5 homers.  Not that it matters, but 5 homers in 36 at bats prorates to 76 in 550 AB's. Fangraphs' card on him leads off with "BEWARE! ROTO TRAP!" having looked at his BABIP in 2017 being too... Read More
wait'll they get a' load a ME
Posted by jemanji on 03/22/18
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. David Phelps elbow ligament surgery has Scott Servais wondering whether the upside-down M has all the luck pouring out of the franchise logo.  This of course makes no more or less sense than the existence of a being named Poseidon, but that has been part of the charm of baseball over the last 100 years - the way Felix hops over the foul lines on his way back to the dugout.  Oh that Dr. D were a pitcher and could wear the number 13 ... I do not know whether many Denizens will agree with me, but I also put about as much stock in "franchise injury woes" as I do in Poseidon. To me it's not all... Read More
There are worse things than craving the role of King in the dominion, I suppose
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/18
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. Lookout Landing has a cute theory that Vogelbach's confidence can be traced to an AAA HR derby last season.  My own theories about "turning points" can be traced to 1901, where the boy prodigy GM Capablanca was getting blown out but then his opponent Corzo, Cuban champion, made a move that stunned Capa ... for its stupidity. From this point on, Capablanca saw the weaknesses in professional players, and he never looked back in his trek to superstardom (to the extent that a chess wizard can be referred to as a "superstar").  I think most pro athletes' "turning points" -- we're talking about... Read More
tough to be straight with the fans sometimes ....
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/18
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. This from Bill James in 2012: ...... ... and if Whitey Herzog got more production out of "pitchability" LHP's than most managers did, do you think that there was anything to this success beyond giving them an opportunity? Perhaps he could pick the good LHP's out of a pile because he had an ability to project intelligence, or grace and balance in their deliveries, or .... ? Asked by: jemanji Answered: 9/21/2012 Well, I vividly remember being in Herzog's office on September 26, 1978.   Gura, then almost 31 years old, pitched a 3-hitter that day to beat Seattle 4-1, making him 16-4, and... Read More
the stubborn Dr. D is not put off by 16 runs a game
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/18
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. But perhaps Jerry Dipoto is.  whooop!  Late word is that Whalen goes to AAA, as Rockies Jeff had forseen.  Dipoto's high words -- "best pitcher in camp" -- were blown sky-high by a single beating by the Indians, and they'll keep him "stretched out" until such time as they need a 9 starter.  Which will be when .... about mid-May? .... ROB WHALEN got blasted against the Indians; time after time he rolled an overhand curve up waist-high, and time after time they lined it on one hop into an OF's mitt. Don't care.  This is a guy who, the vast majority of the time, has a crackling 12-6 curve that... Read More
but, whether we pulled THIS kind of a card off the top of the deck, you'll have to wait and find out
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/18
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. So.  In the world according to Garp, er, Dr. D, St. Patrick's Day 2018 was the day on which the St. Louis Cardinals could not have the Tyler O'Neill swap back, even if they asked.  No way, no how.  Gonzales has been screaming his cafe racer past one checkpoint after another, and that was the one he blew by on Saturday. .... What's that y'say, Billy Bob? Well, lemme splain.  He wiped several hitters out with that gorgeous changeup, not that it had the -12 separaration; it didn't.  It was maybe -7, -8.  But it had the drop-dead gorgeous fade and flop, the dead-fish action, and it had the arm... Read More
I'm tellin' ya man. It's not like I ain't tryin'.
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/18
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. From Hey Bill, trying to access his comprehensive understanding of the library of baseball players since (and before!) 1900: ..... Q:  Is it possible for a questionable "power hitter" to transform himself into a quality "HIT" player by simply deciding to spray the ball and be more selective at the plate?     Taylor Motter hit a handful of impressive HR's early in 2017 and then got powerflushed out of the league by pitchers who relentlessly went low-away on him.  Now he seems to be making an honest attempt to take outside pitches back up the middle.     Do many historical examples come to... Read More
the best pitcher and the best hitter in camp, respectively
Posted by jemanji on 03/16/18
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. Finally, at long last, there is noise coming out of the M's camp that Dan Vogelbach has a shot to break camp.  In this article, credit is given to him as well as to Rob Whalen.  Dipoto sez, "Vogelbach is making his case, whether Ryon Healy is ready or not, to be on our 25-man club," said Dipoto. "Whether that is sharing time at first base while Ryon's hand improves, whether it's a bat on the bench or in this case it might be helping Nelly out while Nelly recovers from his quad. "But Vogey deserves to be on this club. He has raked from day one. He has controlled the strike zone really better... Read More
Sometimes you just need ta run fast, thass all
Posted by jemanji on 03/16/18
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.  Travis Sawchik is one of my fave Fangraphs writers, and today he's got one that has earned a place in FG's "most popular" articles.  Here's the piece. Getting a few things out of the way here :- ) Gordon states a belief that we have batted around at SSI: While Gordon was reluctant to leave the infield — he’s never played anywhere else — he does believe it’s more difficult to stand out at second base defensively. “You don’t get any defensive runs saved [DRS] at second,” Gordon notes. “It’s hard to get a lot of stats at second.” . See the article for more documentation.  But Dr. D is firm in... Read More
budgeting for DL time
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/18
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. Our good buddy Diderot sez, Seems like there's a lot of whistling past the graveyard on this.  Didn't we hire some wonder woman who was supposed to put us on the cutting edge of all this? I understand why the M's announcers aren't allowed to refer to this...but I sure hope JD is talking to her.   Here's my overall concern: JD spends a whale of a lot of time assessing baseball players, and acquiring the ones he likes.  I give him no grief on this--anyone is going to have winners and losers.  He's getting his share of the winners. But there's another side of the job, and that's hiring/... Read More
catcher's POV
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/18
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. ROB WHALEN They did an extended convo with Mr. Whalen during the ballgame on Wednesday, during which they established several things worth eyes slideways: (1) The Mariners catchers claimed that Whalen's curve ball had easily the best, most deceptive break that they had seen in the M's camp.  Maybe they were talking about his power slider, which was the pitch SSI had been admiring without the benefit of F/X.  The results for both pitches: SLIDER = 16 pitches, 12 in the zone, 7 attempts to swing, 4 whuffs, 1 ball hit into play, which was an out.  (-1.05 score.) CURVE = 10 pitches, 8 in the... Read More
Is Whalen now forcing his way into the #5 starter slot?
Posted by jemanji on 03/13/18
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. The M's site has a long article claiming that Ariel Miranda has, at last, come up with an arm-side slider.  If you just joined us, Miranda has spent his baseball career with three pitches: 1.  A plus 92+ fastball that breaks gloveside, as do almost all fastballs. 2.  A "splitfinger" pitch at 80 mph that breaks almost exactly the same way. 3.  a useless 84 MPH "changeup" (-0.99 runs per 100 relative to average) that also breaks gloveside, which he cannot command in the zone -- ergo, all his pitches break into a left-handed hitter Now, the Mariners claim that he's got a slider breaking in to... Read More
and another one bustin' down the the door
Posted by jemanji on 03/12/18
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. At Slack they've got a roundtable going on the current Ms' best chances to set franchise records.  One point I hadn't noticed was that Ichiro's OBP was that Bone has a higher lifetime OBP than Ichiro, .359 to .355.  Considering the homers are 34 and RBI 106 per 162 games, to Ichiro's 7 HR and 46 RBI, it's hard to imagine just how the "intangibles' get Ichiro anywhere near Buhner. Intangibles or not, Bone was a 2.5 WAR player (touching 3+ once or twice) and Ichiro racked up 5+ WAR like clockwork for 10 years.  That's because Ichiro chipped in +1.4 WAR per year defensively and on the bases.... Read More
and the pesky rodent angels get a great big helpin' a NUTHIN
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/18
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. I think if there was one thing the M's fan was looking for right now, other than a Stanton-for-Motter deal, was for Jake Arrieta to go someplace other than to the pesky rodent Anaheim Angels. Word has it that he and Philly agreed to a THREE (3) year deal at $25 mill per, which was precisely what we'd hoped Dipoto would dangle.   Quite remarkable to Dr. D that Arrieta would come all the way down to 3 years after an initial (report that he) demanded 7 years and that 6 would represent the "cave-in" on his camp's side. So, again, Dipoto insisting that he does not need free agent resources of... Read More
we'll see whether there is method in his madness
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/18
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. First, a PSA.  Remember what we do here.  :- )   We don't attempt to be Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus or even USSM.  This is by no means an attempt to codify Baseball Truth as it unravels through history. It's much more an attempt to simulate a Seattle-area Bill James Online, the attempts of an old fogey (who has seen 1,000,000 pitches +, as many of you have) to offer a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down on what seems to be happening this week.  This BEGINS a conversation which helps us enjoy a team that is most of the time (but not all of the time!) hard to enjoy. Gordon's conception of a Slack... Read More
some guys can catch 140, 145. Can Zuumball?
Posted by jemanji on 03/10/18
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. Quickly, because Dr. D is kinda tired, but the Reds game had lotsa innerestin' stuff: ... MIKE FORD laced two ringing doubles, one down the LF line the other way against the shift.  Ford's play this spring COULD add a bit of credibility to the Mariners' "threat" to start the season with him at 1B, and then to platoon him at 1B with Ryon Healy.  The point, of course, would be to get the Yankees (who have absolutely no use for him) to accept a minimal return so we can stash him in AAA. ... DAN VOGELBACH is merely 10-for-20 with 6 (!!) walks vs. 1 strikeout and on TV they were talking about a... Read More
Depends on how healthy your starters are
Posted by jemanji on 03/09/18
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. At Slack, Lampoon writes: the other day Dave Valle was remarking on the importance of bench players in a "chain is only as strong as the weakest link" sort of way. As I recall, he said there would be about 15 games in which the performance of bench players would be critical to the outcome.  Where the margin between playoffs, or not, is about 1-3 games.  When the benches play there can't be a big drop-off.  Is that a reasonable analysis? .... Bill James' approach to this would be to study all playoff teams who ever made the postseason, and to compare their benches to non-playoff teams'... Read More
But a few subtexts emerge this week
Posted by jemanji on 03/09/18
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. ROB WHALEN The Giants used Johnny Cueto and Derek Holland to lock down the M's the first 6 innings, so we're talking about a rather dreary game. As Max Povse has separated himself (in the Mainframe's motherboard, at least) Rob Whalen has separated himself as the #9 starter.  His line was 3.0 ip, 4h, 2 r, 0 er, 1:3 CTL but as you can see by the ER he deserved better. He throws his offspeed pitches with real arm action and deception, and gets a "parachute" action on them.  His fastball is only about 89, but plays way up since he throws his offspeed stuff for so many strikes. Certainly not... Read More
and a surprising 4-man bench for April?
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/18
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.  The controversial shtick seems to draw the 25-50 comments.  The postgame impressions seem to draw the nods and the scarce potatoes in the pot.  (Fun to write though!)  So we'll have to see if we can splice the two, I dunno.  Maybe we can work Oakland's anti-ICE shenanigans into the baseball shtick :- )  . DAVID PHELPS = POOR MAN's TROY PERCIVAL He got splashed Wednesday, and F/X doesn't really back the Percival idea, but watching Phelps gave you the distinct impression.  He can nail a located 95-96 fastball and come back with a big overhand yakker, which he throws with an exaggerated... Read More
something is going to have to change from this point here, or else...
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/18
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. ... or else, Mike Leake is going to spend a couple of years as an Opening Day starter in the American League.  Of course Dr. D expects something WILL change.  We're just commenting on how well this guy has been throwing the ball. .... Malcontent has been tacitly pushing for the job of "Editor" and he's two posts away from being so anointed.  After Dr. D had scoffed at the utility of a pitch the way F/X portrays it, Mal politely (as is his wont) pointed out the reality of the situation: Don't sleep on the cutter.  It generated Leake's second best whiff rate last season at a hair under 11%,... Read More
good news for 4 out of 5 slots in the M's starting rotation
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/18
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. Dr. D is becoming transfixed by this pitcher.  The original graphic above shows the movement of Leake's six pitches, all 6 of which he can throw to spots in the zone.  The F/X spin deflections are from the catcher's POV and can be found here.  There are several Dr. Strange oddities about these pitches: (1) Most changeups fade gloveside - about as much as the sinker does.  Leake's change "cuts" way back gloveside; it's the only changeup Dr. D knows of that does this.  It sinks quite well, though not uniquely*, as Iwakuma's and Felix' often do. (2) Leake's slider has a hellacious drop to it... Read More
wow, lots of reasons here for skepticism about Sosh and his ilk
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/18
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. The videos on Shohei Ohtani's pitches are wicked scary.  The kinetics on his swing are Bryce Harper-class, and then some.  That's Point A. Dr. D has been pleasantly surprised to find that there do exist Points B, C, and D.  He would still give the fillings in his teeth for Ohtani, but ... there is a counter-perspective also, and we're only too glad to run it down for yer. ..... (B) Earlier, our NPB superfan IcebreakerX had warned, Ohtani has never done both things, pitching and hitting, very well at the same time. ..... (C) The Angels grabbed Ohtani, practically free, in the knowledge that... Read More
not much way to measure "legend factor"
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/18
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. Superb discussion from the Think Tank.  When we see 24 hours as frantic as this, it's usually July 31 :- )  Denizens have jelled into several well-formed camps:  the I Like Heredia camp, the Where's Our Bench camp, there is an Ichiro camp, and a couple other camps are out there. . LAST STAND OF THE DRAGON flick gnatto phrased the problem well: Can't say I'm at all excited by this. I didnt watch the Ms or baseball between 1999 and 2008. So I missed all of Ichiros heroics and have no real connection to him. He was good in 2009 and 2010 as well I think, but my memory of 2011 and then 2012... Read More
some of us like to earn our paychecks, homie
Posted by jemanji on 03/06/18
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. For some reason the Hey Bills dried up in February.  There was a little period Feb 8-9-10 when James answered some questions, and then on Valentine's Day he answered some more ... then he went the rest of the entire month answering not a single question.  Meanwhile, he quipped on Twitter that he spends "an hour and a half a day" on it.  :- )   Also I think his last article was Feb. 8.  For a fan as rabid as Dr. D the sensation is not unlike crawling through the desert on all fours, thinking about the water you may never taste again. Usually Dr. D finds at least one Hey Bill that can be used... Read More
Baseball's Bruce Lee could be preparing to kick the M's OF up a level
Posted by jemanji on 03/05/18
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. Greg Johns makes it sound quite possible or even probable, while Jon Heyman makes it sound like a done deal.  Ben Gamel's oblique has him out for an admitted 4-6 weeks and you know what the consensus of the Denizens is on this injury. Dr. D had always thought this would be a fun solution to the M's outfield depth, provided of course that Ichiro doesn't insist on 550 AB's.  Obviously he doesn't, since he's been at 215-438 the last four (4) years. The Mainframe warns not to let Ichiro's slash line (.255/.318/.322) in 2017 fool you.  For one thing, he went .309/.398/.393 in the second half,... Read More
we are talking some serious helium here, gentlemen
Posted by jemanji on 03/04/18
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. JAMES PAXTON KO'ed - NOISE    he's got a history of two things:  (a) needing time to build up to the overwhelming 97 MPH thunderbolt, and (b) needing time to find his touch for the foshball and the yakker.  When he is walking guys, falling behind, coming in 3-1 with a 93 MPH fastball that is centered and up, he's not above getting KO'ed.  Many times we've watched him search for his touch on the foshball/slashball and get it rolling with his 96 MPH fastball. I mean, if he had 5 starts behind him and his velocity were still 92 MPH, there were noises about pain in his arm, that would be one... Read More
the Mariner point of view is ...
Posted by jemanji on 03/04/18
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. Meg Rowley looks at each of the 197 ejections that occurred last year, and writes them up using a Listverse-caliber sense of color and inventiveness.  Probably the most sheer fun we've had reading baseball since the Royals lifted the cup ... wait, who won last year?  The Astros pulled it out, right?  And is it a crsytal bowl or a real "pennant" or what do you get... That's way off topic.  Rowley starts with Buck Showalter and the lines we draw between Some Talking, A Lot of Talking, I Kept Talking, and so forth: But they don’t stay at Some Talking. The lousy trick of Some Talking is that it... Read More
the ultimate baseball face, comin' right at ya
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/18
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. There was a sequence in the middle of the game, about the 5th, that captivated Dr. D's feeble attention.  The game had the starters in, and it was tied 2-2. Blake Parker was on the mound, ferocious and hectic and max-effort the way Parker always is, and the Angels' announcers were on and on about what a find.  Will close, probably.  Ferociously Parker mowed down ... two deep minor leaguers. With 2 out and 0 on, Parker ferociously came after Dee Gordon.  Gordon took a swing back, an arm swing, but one with acceleration and intent.  He got the bat head out, and the ball sizzled down the 1B... Read More
hold up, blue, can'cha see I'm relaxing here
Posted by jemanji on 03/03/18
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. During the Angels' broadcast yesterday, Robinson Cano posted an attention-grabbing public service announcement.  An Angels' caster asked him when he was going to be ready to move over to 1B or DH.  I signed a 10-year contract TO PLAY SECOND BASE, Cano informed us all. At SSI we had been wondering whether the transition would begin this year in spots, and that was before Dee Gordon came over from the NL.  Cano has six (6) more years on his Seattle deal, and he's 35 now.  The thought of Cano playing 2B next year was already rather alarming, and here we are talking about Cano at second six... Read More
Baseball Dynamics, Climate Change, and Ballparks, oh my.
Posted by SABR Matt on 03/02/18
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Justin Verlander, no doubt annoyed that his home run rate has increased along with the rest of baseball, tweeted a fascinating graph. It shows that, given the same exit velocity and launch angle, the probability of hitting a home run increased significantly in 2017 compared to 2014, and it did so for every conceivable vector (except low line drive homers).The guy reaction is to return the discussion of the homer spike to questions about changes in the ball. And, indeed, there have been changes to the ball. One study by the nerds at 538 found, for example, that the average baseball was half an... Read More
a refurbished changeup has Dr. D swoooooning
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/18
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. Keeping up with the Mariners is hard.  Especially if they televise the games during ... lessee, what did they used to call it ... oh! yeah, "Work Hours."  And at this point, the performances and technique changes are ---- > not nothing.  Dr. D works hard so you don't have to. . MIKE LEAKE Take a Japanese baseball star on the video, hit 2x fast forward, and you've got the idea. Leake effortlessly toyed with the Royals, "pitching backwards" with a new changeup, a slider-curve that moved up and down the velo scale, and the ability to throw either to spots.  Dr. D was particularly taken when... Read More
Twin Leadoff Hitters ... a few thoughts on the matter
Posted by jemanji on 03/02/18
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. TWIN .50-CAL LEADOFF HITTERS.  EITHER/OR DEPT Growing up with the Big Red Machine, it wasn't like you thought Pete Rose and Ken Griffey Sr. were going to get on base 1-2 to start the game ... well, not every time.  The feeling you had was that ONE of them was on, and then you had the 3-4-5 with a man on base. First inning, Dee Gordon pushed a bunt for a hit down the 3B line... whoop, juuuuuust foul.  They wound up getting him out.  But then Jean Segura drew a walk on 4 pitches and there y'go, amig-O, a rally started.  Either/or, just like Rose and Griffey.  I think I'm going to cry. The... Read More
the Mighty SSI Think Tank gears up for the Mariner tsunami coming
Posted by jemanji on 03/01/18
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. (1) Thanks for setting up that site, amigos. (2) KLAT continues to prioritize SSI for the coming season and forwards all of your suggestions to the top for review. (3) They offer this link and ask whether it is useful for the Slack Chat type purpose:  http://seattlesportsinsider.com/klatchat.php#sthash.ylJ4zVG4.DYSkXm21.dpbs (4) You guys know how hopeless I am with new tech.  It took me 3 months to get comfortable with Twitter :- )  .... but ... once I get the hang of something I do use it relentlessly. I will 100% jump in with you guys on Slack Chat, no questions asked, since it is... Read More