March 2019

sunday santana, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/19
Posted to blog
5 Comments

. Seems like you could give everyone in Seattle an A+ for their first 5 games.  They've got six regulars SLG'ing .588 or better, and they have scored 5+ runs for five games in a row.  ... 9, 6, 12, 6, 5.  That is against 5 TOR pitchers. Sideways Stat:  Oakland SP's fired 18 shutout innings in their 2-1 series win over the Angels. We'll start at the top: . DOMINGO SANTANA Never hath a player done so much in so few gameth to convert me to the Denizenth side.  Aside from the .389/.476/1.000 slash line, he's done it is such a way as to garner attention: Spray chart all over the field, corner-to-... Read More
boy, is Dr. D ever glad to have Yusei Kikuchi rat 'bout now
Posted by jemanji on 03/30/19
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. SIZZLER - YUSEI KIKUCHI After a couple of games, it's *not* the Mainframe's assessment that Kikuchi is going to finish 2019 as a Clayton Kershaw-level star.  His slider 'remains to be seen' just a bit, his velocity is less than overwhelming and he over-challenges.  But more to the point, in two games he's thrown just 53% strikes where ML average should be 60%.   Of course that may be the weird spring training.  Blowers said Sale's first "real game" was May 15 so ... maybe that's the case here?  He's actually TOO confident, as evidenced by his jockeying with the umps early on. That said,... Read More
get outta here with that slop, kid
Posted by jemanji on 03/29/19
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. At D-O-V we have the graphix to support this post.  Pictures are a bit wonky here.  At https://drdetectovision.wordpress.com you can find the locations of the 5* back-leg specials the Mariners hit Tuesday. . Q.  Was Sale just lousy on Thursday? A.  In my opinion he had a normal game.  He was sitting 93-95 mph; his pitch mix was 32-20-31; Chris Sale is Chris Sale.  Were you expecting to come in and score 12? Visually he looked about a 4-5 on a Chris Sale scale, which is to say a Randy Johnson scale, which is to say he was a whale of a lot better than you, me, or our home team pitchahs. .... Read More
My Northwest, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/29/19
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. We've alerted you to Brent Stecker's excellence before.  He's got yet another great read up this morning.  Go hit that, then come back for Dr. D's reactions: . 1.  Mitch Haniger gets recognition this year. ... I know what he means; he has the big 32-homer, 117-RBI year that cements him as a franchise player.  I can relate.  But my reaction to baseball industrywide, with all the "Hanger is better than Harper" shtick, is that I wonder whether you can get so underrated you're overrated. If Haniger is Dwight Evans that's plenty nuff for Dr. D.  I'll take the under on his repeating 2018, by a... Read More
A Guest Post from the Pale Imitation Himself
Posted by misterjonez on 03/24/19
17 Comments

First off, I'm glad to see you back, Doc. The world needs men like you doing what you've done for as long as I've known you. We are enriched by whatever measures of your presence we're blessed to receive. In case you didn't read the by-line, this is Jonezy. I spend most of my time lurking these days as my limited internect access (and even desire to use it) dwindles more with each passing day. I miss y'all, certainly, but it's hard for me to balance my life while remaining connected so I mostly step back from online engagements that aren't business-related. Something came up in a recent... Read More
join Liam or die, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/19
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. One time David Letterman had a Top 10 list of Reasons To Acquit O.J. ... like Johnny Cochrane's silly "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," all of Letterman's reasons ryhmed.  One of them was something like "If you look at Fuhrman, it'll / make you vote for an acquit'tl." Heh.  In baseball, each year there's a major new strategy taking root -- shifting, or launch angle, or whatever.  This year, it's the "opener."  Madison Bumgarner was asked about the opener and responded something like "Try to give somebody else my first / right out of the park we'll be disbursed."  Way to put team first,... Read More
win, loss or push?
Posted by jemanji on 03/24/19
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. Q.  In my day, they used to do something real simple.  It was called "skipping a turn."  Is using a guy for one inning better? A.  The M's want to control Kikuchi's innings, and nominate the Opener strategy as their solution.  According to Dipoto, once every 5 Kikuchi starts they will use him for the first inning, and then bring in (probably) Erik Swanson or Justus Sheffield or somebody they can send back down after the game. According to Servais, once every 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 Kikuchi starts they will use him for the first inning, and then bring in (probably) Erik Swanson or Justus Sheffield... Read More
Dr. D's pals assure him of 30 dingers standin' still
Posted by jemanji on 03/23/19
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. Along with the usual shtick, POTD's and "Last Night In Seattle Mariners World," we like to mix in some pure baseball.  Saber stuff, F-500, Sports Is Life and what-have-you.  Back in April 2012 James had an interesting question and reply.  BJOL, $3 per month: . Which is the most balanced championship team in the history of major league baseball? Asked by: Ben from New York Answered: 1/31/2012 I believe that the best answer is the 1930-1931 St. Louis Cardinals, who won the pennant both years and the World Series in 1931.   In 1930, of course, you had huge, huge numbers all around the... Read More
absolutely SICK that we stole a #1 for $14m a year
Posted by jemanji on 03/21/19
Posted to blog
21 Comments

. Remember that bald guy in the wheelchair who was flying Bond around in a helicopter?  "Mwahaha.  I have waited for this moment for a lonngggg time, Meester Bond.  I intend to enjoy it to the full."  You and I have one gorgeous, precious week to enjoy leading the major league standings. . YUSEI KIKUCHI - CAPT. OBVIOUS 1) The young Barry Zito used to run records like 23-5, 2.75 and it was all based on a shellshocking change curve.  Zito would reach back, come through with the fastball arm action... and the ball would just pop a parachute, drop in from 45 degrees.*  Batter after batter found... Read More
the Think Tank betting pretty long on this dude
Posted by jemanji on 03/21/19
Posted to blog
12 Comments

. Sherminator sez, Incidentally, this is Best Bet time of year isn't it? I've got one for you guys. Domingo. I don't know why it took me this long to realize I should do this, but here we are. I see absolutely no evidence to disuade me from the thought that Domingo is going to be a minor star for the Mariners this year. Let's call it >2.5 WAR this year, next year, every year.  90% confidence. Does that meet the definition of a Best Bet? Doc? Anyone? . Wow.  90% coefficient of confidence on a string of 3-WAR seasons, that's a very high bid indeed.  It would normally be plenty to land you a... Read More
a little goodwill can go a lonngggg way, it sez here
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/19
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. INVESTMENT IN NPB BRANDING These days it's hip to distinguish between a next-morning, glib-but-shallow "hot take" vs. a more well-considered piece of thinking.  A "hot take" on Ichiro's appearance leaves you aghast.  It's hard to think of another situation in which an MLB team sacrificied obvious ML performance in the interests of a "fan stunt".  Well, it made sense to Ichiro:  Dipoto said he was blown away by Ichiro's "focus" over the course of 10 months in preparing for a measly two games. A slightly better take is that the Ichiro Gambit was simple altruism, that if you get a chance to... Read More
the beach ball here would be Domingo Santana's 2019 stat line
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/19
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. From a 2013 Hey Bill: hey bill The Mariners have the worst outfield I have seen. And I saw Kevin Reimer play on the turf in the Kingdome. They have the worst defense in baseball. Have you ever seen a GM and organization change their team philosophy so quickly from high defensive metric guys like Jack Wilson, Casey Kotchman, Franklin Gutierrez, Brendan Ryan to horrible should be DH's like Mike Morse, Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay, Ackley in CF, etc? Seems self destructive to change your core philosophy in two seasons. Asked by: therevverend Answered: 8/28/2013 Well, if your Chevy breaks down... Read More
you gots one year to live, brother
Posted by jemanji on 03/20/19
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. MARC-O We left off after four innings yesterday.  Marco had been making do with a located 88+ fastball and an okay changeup, but ... like a klepto, when it got bad, Marco took something for it.  In the 5th inning he came out spinning his curve ball, and during the 5th and 6th he got his 33-33-33 game rolling in proper fashion.  The oh-so-pleasant outcome: 5th #3 Matt Chapman groundout to SS #4 Stephen Piscotty whuff swinging on a low pitch that just clipped the knees #5 Khris Davis popup to Maniger on an 0-1, up-and-in pitch ... #6 Chad Pinder bouncer to Ryon Healy 3B #7 Matt Olson 1-2 jam... Read More
discussion thread
Posted by jemanji on 03/19/19
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. M's up 9-4 in the middle of the 5th as we type this. . M's OFFENSE All Dr. D wanted for his baseball birthday? was nine hitters who would look at the wall the same way he looks at Olive Garden's potato soup.  For five innings, they definitely served up refill after refill of peppery goodness.  They being the M's, that is, not OG's cooks. To be fair, Mike Fiers looked like it was his first game of spring training.  If I recall correctly he spiked two or three pitches in the first couple innings, grooved fastballs and generally swatted at the catcher's return throws like he was his own least... Read More
never been so happy to have AAA in Tacoma the next coupla years
Posted by jemanji on 03/17/19
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog

. 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
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
4 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
7 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
2 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
5 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
3 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
8 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
4 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
1 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
8 Comments

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
Posted to blog

. 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
Posted to blog
6 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
7 Comments

. 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
Posted to blog
4 Comments

. 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