March 2019

never been so happy to have AAA in Tacoma the next coupla years
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/19
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. Regarding Sheffield and Crawford, and to a lesser degree Swanson and Dunn ... HQ also had a study, "When do Top 100 Prospects Get Promoted?" Excerpting just a little bit of the study:  If a Top-100 arm finished the last season in AAA, the odds were 86% he'd be in the bigs the next season. The odds were 3-in-8 (38%) that he'd be up in the first MONTH.  The odds were 50% for the first two months, and 75% for the first HALF. MLB teams go through pitching injuries, pitching failures and it's a war of attrition.  We can figure on these dudes being up -- and being up quicker than we think.  ... Read More
this signing saved my season. At least in March :- )
Posted by jemanji on 03/16/19
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. Shannon Drayer has a piece up on Kikuchi's unusual love for the American culture, among other things.  For me that's a significant plus, that he loves American food, the way the American game is set up, and so forth.  A comfortable player is a better bet than a disoriented one. Also pleasant is the fact that Kikuchi's first MLB game will be played in Japan, where he's at home.  He has the Oakland lineup to face but in Dr. D's world, advantage is with the pitcher when both sides are unfamiliar with the other.  It will take Oakland a couple of times through the lineup just to get an eye for... Read More
the Mainframe crunches the logic of the situation
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/19
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. A WORD TO THE PROSPECT-LIST UNWISE A word to the wise ain't necessary; it's the ignoramus at SSI who needs your advice.  As you know, there are two things Dr. D couldn't care less about: 1.  The National League 2.  National prospect lists So you can just imagine how mighty Dr. D's erudition on J.P. Crawford was, before Crawford became a Mariner. As it happens, lately there has been some cause for Dr. D to review a prospect list or six, and at some point recently he realized that a certain fledgling shortstop was on everybody's top 100 NOT top 100 that's top TEN (10) lists.  Crawford was #4... Read More
.... you know the rest
Posted by jemanji on 03/15/19
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. SHOHEI OHTANI Finished with a shellshocking 181 PX last year based on 22 HR per 326 AB, a .564 SLG, and a whole bunch of vaporized baseballs. You might recall last year we did a photo montage of the swing and opined it was the hardest, torquiest swing ever swung, easily harder than Griffey's or anybody's. To me it is clear that Ohtani is the same thing as Stephen Strasburg -- if Strasburg could hit exactly like Aaron Judge. Which is a weird, weird sight.  In modern baseball, say baseball since 1947, there has never been anything remotely like Ohtani.  It's like the Cambrian Explosion or a... Read More
back page news and notes
Posted by jemanji on 03/14/19
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. YUSEI KIKUCHI If you weren't watchin' TV the other night you didn't get to hear Bill "Lefty" Krueger's conclusion having watched Kikuchi this spring.  "I think he's an All-Star caliber pitcher," sez Bill. SSI will always bet on a lefty with a hot fastball and his game together.  Supposedly Kikuchi even gets to 97, 98 at times: Kikuchi's fastball averages around 92-94 mph, and he can reach 96-98 mph at times. That's not only unusual velocity among NPB left-handers, it's also above-average for the Major Leagues. In 2018, the average fastball velocity among left-handed MLB starters was 91.4... Read More
looks like 40 saves standin' still ... er, seated ... er, Diaz still makes less
Posted by jemanji on 03/13/19
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. From a Hey Bill in 2013: Hi Bill. Have you ever done a study on the effectiveness of bringing in pinch runners late in close games to replace good hitting slow players? Do you know if it is generally worth it or not?  Asked by: izzy24 Answered: 7/19/2013 Generally speaking, it is NOT worth it.   It's like most other strategies--the bunt, the intentional walk, calling in the infield, bringing in a left-hander to face a left-hander.   All strategies like that are used much more often than they logically should be, because of the "action bias" in decision making.      Without running the... Read More
thanks Sherm
Posted by jemanji on 03/13/19
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. Thanks Sherm! - Jeff . Zunino > Mallex : 8 Mallex is cheaper than Z, under control for longer, and a better player in all MID or LO scenarios. Only in the HI does Zunino win, based on the 15% chance (1) that for one year he manages to keep his swing tight and is a .850 OPS catcher who gets a few MVP votes. Still, the odds of this happening in the next two years are terrible, and if he did it this year we still might not make the playoffs, so who cares? Also, Heredia for Fraley is hilarious. One has upside, the other has none. Pure theft. Paxton > Sheff : 5.5 If Sheff is the real deal... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 03/12/19
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. You can imagine what the Zeus trade was like for me.  LOL.  But it was actually the Edwin Diaz trade that put the kibosh on my rooting M's 2019.   That one was the one that felt like a tire blowout, 65 MPH twenty-three vehicles currently reported ... it was dumping the bullpen, that dispelled any illusions I was trying to maintain.  At first glance and at 2nd, 3rd and further glances ... Diaz?  Colome?  Segura?  What, are you going for an NBA lotto pick? But on our Trade Ratings, here is the Sugar trade doing with a 7.5 rating.  EVERYBODY loves the deal now. Diderot's wide-cast "Gentleman's... Read More
Kewl idea from SonicBOOM
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/19
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. SonicBOOM had the idea of scoring JeDi's trades.  We'll keep a running total here, update every coupla weeks, and see how things develop.  You can enter your rating in the comments below and can revise your original any time you want. It seems, no offense, that the following grades are done "in a vacuum."   Which is fine.  75 cents for three quarters, who "won" the trade?  No problem doing it that way.  If that is wrong, please correct me. Dr. D would understand the CONTEXT here to be:  what if you wanted to kick the can down the road two years for your own contention?  This is both... Read More
Re-imagining us past 97 wins again
Posted by jemanji on 03/11/19
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. Dr. D enjoys listening to the GM during in-game broadcasts because he feels it loosens Dipoto's tongue a bit and, if we're lucky, provides a few clues as to the M's plans.  These clues might be real or re-imagined but nobody can deny that they're fun.  ;- ) . AA ARKANSAS Asked about Kyle Lewis, Dipoto stated that Lewis is heading for AA Arkansas, along with Jake Fraley, D T-W, and one other youngster "where they'll have a chance to move together."  This, to one Denizen anyway, suggested the first substance to any "re-imagination" beyond the use of the word. If Dipoto can get a more fluid (S... Read More
We will take those RP's wherever we can GET them, Pokey
Posted by jemanji on 03/09/19
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. MARC-O Dunno what it was, Dead Arm Phase or shooter's off night or what-have-you, but this is what it looks like when a finesse starting pitcher goes out against a good lineup and doesn't have a thing.  The Cubbies didn't exactly splash the fences on Gonzales, but swing after swing sent low liners whistling into the OF grass.  Watching Marco try to pitch himself out of these bases-loaded innings was like watching your 17-year-old beagle wif no teeth, try to gum a chew toy to death.  And being scared by the squeaks every time. 1.  Gonzales' fastballs were consistently off ... by oh, six... Read More
Back page of the front section, 3+ news items with remarks
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/19
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. COMMUNITY CONSENSUS Dr. D is feeling awfully blessed this a.m. to see the hoboes back around the stew pot.  He'll take the accumulated thinkage at this site over any other in Seattle; these blokes aren't quite as sabe-literate, or connected, as a few groups 'round town BUT they are much older, wiser, have 100,000's of CF-camera pitches under the belt and they ain't afraid of math either.  You got yer Yankees analysts and chessplayers and attorneys and baseball novelists* and sea commanders and ... You got a very adult, very enlightening Think Tank morning after morning with yer Joe.  And... Read More
Cleanup hitter for sale or rent ... 100 RBI to let, fiddy cents
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/19
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EDWIN ENCARNACION This is a rare spot of disagreement between expert M's denizens so lemme jump in too, spikes sharpened and crusted with dry mud.  Dr. D is well aware that he also is targeted for $20M trade termination.  All's he's sayin' is that he's hopin' circumstances converge to hold up the trade until (at least) July. Ron Shandler (Baseball HQ) writes the best post-Jamesian player handbook, available for $10 digital download, and he sez (in essence, not literal quotation): Slow start & finish to year disguised another great season Power trend, and expected Hit trend, lookin' real... Read More
Here there be .... some fun thought experiments
Posted by jemanji on 03/08/19
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. A few years ago in Hey Bill: . You wrote once (I can't remember which book) about "signature excellence" (OK, I don't even remember if that was the term). Your gist, at least how I remember it, was that extraordinary short-term accomplishments by a player is a general predictor of excellence for that player. The classic example I remember you citing was Roger Clemens striking out 15 without walking anyone in 1984 (his rookie year). Along those lines... Are there similar markers for hitters? More specifically, what are the chances that JBJ's recent 7 game streak of 519/552/1185 means he... Read More
Yes, Dr. D is back for even more punishment
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/19
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. Dr. D started out his Mariners-shtickwriting career in 1995 with absolutely nothing, and he still has most of it.  You know how many franchises wish they were the LA Rams right now?  ... We can think of 42 of them.  Forget winning the Serious.  We are talking about HALF A CENTURY of never LOSING the Serious. And yet, the Mariners in Stevie Nicks fashion jiggled their hips, waved a gossomer silk sleeve and hand-topped a top hat .... and Dr. D was right back in again.  Siiiiighhhhh..... . YOSEI KIKUCHI and JUSTUS SHEFFIELD These are twin TOR starters who run up enemy hitters' ball-strike... Read More
Wow, Felix, good job on that heater
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/19
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. Greg Johns does his consistently nice job, giving you a primer on the M's roster in case you missed it.  Similarly, here is a graphical depth chart for 2019.   . Catcher (2): Omar Narváez and David FreitasWhat changed? Nothing yet, though this remains an area the club would like to have bolstered to help out Narvaez, who has struggled at the plate so far this spring while trying to learn a whole new staff, as well as working to improve his pitch framing and footwork. . MAINFRAME CRUNCH:  The catching defense could, we say could, become one of those hidden internal hemorrhages that suck runs... Read More
Braden Bishop a front-runner to make the squad?
Posted by jemanji on 03/07/19
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. Dr. D has an inkling for Mallex Smith, always has, which makes this Fangraphs (!) comment gratifying: . The structure of the rebuild indicates intelligent design, but chaos and entropy will play their role. Mitch Haniger (who looks like a star), Domingo Santana (who has the talent to be one), and the charismatic Mallex Smith (who may sneakily already be one) will be fun to watch while the kids grow up. . 1.  The mainframe can't go too far on Mallex because if you look at his performances closely enough it's easy to see Dee Gordon -- a good year resulting in the .360 OBP and 40 steals, but... Read More