Reminds me of two recent examples of big time prospects having monster springs before ripping up the bigs, Kris Bryant (led cactus league in homers) and Yasiel Puig (led the cactus league in hitting). I'm pretty sure both if those guys won the ROY those years too.
BOB DUTTON KNOWS 6 THINGS we might have liked to know when we started this thing a month ago. One of which is, Felix seems willing to throw pitches suited to his new incarnation. From that reporter, at least.
Jean Segura plays shortstop good. ... Apparently 30 days ago, the consensus was that Segura had been moved off short more because he was age 26, than out of any real desire to help the ballclub. Nope. Segura can pick it.
WIN NOW means that if you're having trouble hitting easy pitches one week out, you can go have trouble hitting easy pitches in AAA.
And "If Mitch Haniger bats .260+ with 20 homers and 70+ RBI, then suddenly, that lineup is as good as any around."
OF ALL THE THINGS ANDREW KITE is most fearful of, number one is the Mariners' rotation. He doesn't specify, but he's got a "soggy" feeling about these five. Some Denizens agree. You know what we ought to do about shtick like Drew Smyly pulling up lame: we oughta "layer" the depth.
Speaking of which, right now the most likely pitcher for game 4 is ---- > Drew Smyly. That could change. Point is, Smyly hasn't been MRI'ed with a rotator cuff. The (first) MRI found nuttin'.
Wishhiker put together a list ... is this his pecking order?
We're going 1, 9, 3, 2, assuming that Evan Scribner is not available. But a lot depends on what the scouts say on a given Tweet.
ERIC MANDEL SAYS BOOMSTICK LEARNED HOW TO HIT LAST YEAR. That's not as crazy as it sounds. If players stayed physically the same, the 60-year-olds would be the best players. Cruz I guess is one guy who stays the same. So what now? He's hit 137-159-147 last year. The next number in the sequence would be 169, I think.
Also, Boomstick isn't going to demand to play in front of center fielders, according to the article.
JOHN MCGRATH HAS A GREAT TAGLINE HALFWAY DOWN and isn't stressing over Drew Smyly. Why should he? Smyly hasn't been throwing like a guy with a ligament injury, and if he's back in May, who careth.
ARIEL MIRANDA is not a fan fave at BaseballHQ, which sez "Overall, the odds against an extreme flyballer, absent an elite DOM, are prohibitive." But of course Ron never saw Dyson and Leonydas in the same outfield.
MIKE ZUNINO has emerged as the undisputed champ of Ball Four this camp. He's got 13 of them against 11 walks. Considering his EYE ratio last year was 0.28 in the 1H, and 0.34 in the 2H, anything around 0.45, even 0.50 presages a minor star. A coach was quoted, "we're excited about Mike. It gets to 2 strikes and he stays calm. He lets sliders go by. He'll work a 1-2 count to a walk."
Anecdote on TV the other day, Carlos Ruiz came up and axed Zunino what he would throw 3-2 from a certain pitcher to a certain hitter. Zuumball sez he'd go with this. Ruiz said, what about that. Zuumball replies and tells Blowers that conversation lasted all day. Juicy anecdote, if true. Story sez everybody loves Carlos Ruiz, and Dr. D been hearing this noise in March a long time. Not always, however, does he hear raves from the jobshare catcher.
Besides which, I wanna end the lineup with Zuumball and ZuuuumByYa.
Mebbe every morning we ought to print the best comment from the day before? You could vote, y'know. Here we'll go with Matty:
And I saw 1997 and 2001.
If Haniger is as good as I think he is (has a shot at an .850+ OPS), Segura is close to 2016 Segura, Dyson gets on base at a > .330 clip, and Zunino is as improved as he looks, this could get hilarious in a big hurry.
It is a dynamic team, that is for sure. Mix one part Stars & Scrubs, one part 'roids, one part Road Runner meep meep, and one part Gamel-Maniger-Vogelbach upside, and you have some skittish AL West GM's out there.
Like, "Players on XXX Watch Lists" who had spring OPS over 1.000. Wonder what the study would show.
In any case, I'd like to have another such player next year...
I'm with McGrath, Doc. Smyly looked pretty dang superb just 10 days ago, or so. I'm betting that he's a little sore and we might even DL him for a bit. If so, that might pay off, anyway; Smyly's not exactly been a workhorse over his career, so an easy-peasy April, smooooothing him back into the rotation doesn't irk me, one bit. Check out Smyly's career Splits: His best month, by a mile, is April. He's good when he's fresh. In 24 career April starts, he's allowed a .197 BA, a .607 OPS and a 4.7 K/BB rtion. Weirdly, his next two best months are August and Sept., where he runs .660 OPS's. Don't know what to make of that.
Anyway, a couple of missed starts, a couple of short stints in Tacoma....not an issue.
And I like the idea of getting #6's feet wet real early. We will certainly call on them eventually.
Miranda, Moore, Povse for me. Actually it would be Moore, Miranda Povse....but for game #5 we would likely go with Miranda and his experience. Mark my words, Moore is really good pretty soon.
BTW: In line with the great Young Frankenstein stills: One of the great exchanges in movie history:
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), looking at the castle door: "What knockers!"
Inga (Teri Garr): "Oh. Thank you, Doctor!"
Makes me laugh everytime. I'm stupid that way!
The pattern of better performance in April, and the fall that you are observing is very common. Pitchers start the year ahead of the hitters on average, and then their velocity increases throughout the year, so, when the season is ending, they wind up ahead again...but more importantly, it's well understood that cold weather is better for pitchers.
So yeah, not ideal. I don't like it when guys go down like that. It's not a strain of some forearm muscles if he's out 2 months. That's just what they say so they don't have to say other, scarier things. Let's see Miranda go out of the gate on fire - not literally though, even if it is a Mariner tradition to set their season ablaze early.
Mel Brooks sometimes hits it for me, like the Alien who melodramatically does a song and dance .... Peter Sellers though ... :- )
Hey, Miranda confirmed as the replacement and, interestingly, "slides into the 4th slot." I guess we got a Big Three and then a Run Prevention model. Who counts up the unlikely snags in the OF when our 4-5 pitchers go?
And that's probably good; I'm getting excited about guys who seem they might have a longterm role in the rotation. Best to both keep them in the minors until it's time, and not leave them down a minute extra as soon as said time arrives. Bring them up neither early nor late. Eets zhat Zhehrmahn preeseezyuhn wee need...
I don't mind Miranda as a stopgap to give Moore and Povse (if he needs it?) more time to develop, same with throwing the dice on Overton. If we don't have enough options to rely on, we'll probably create more before anyone blinks too many times.
Then Miranda and Overton (and Heston) ought to be very comfortable in the majors. The more comfortable with four or five center fielders behind them. Oh, they only give you three? Still.
Mariners signed Mark Lowe on a minor league contract.
No comments from the peanut gallery?
It's cool Lowe's back. Hopefully he's good.
The deal had Lowe visibility.
as to whether Lowe or Beckham gets attention first. (Whichever one starts looking a threat.)
The Tacoma staff should still have their notes and video on how they were able to get Lowe to throw 3 MPH harder 2+ years ago... and since it worked on Paxton last year.
0.45 HR/9 CAREER @Safeco
1.39 HR/9 CAREER @All Other Stadiums
That soft Seattle air provides I nice insulation against hanging sliders I guess.
The position players have me seeing stars; I'm getting lightheaded trying to keep my expectations somewhat calm. To placate the pessimist in me, I'll focus on the starting pitching.
We cannot expect a terrible rotation; there is too much depth for that.
We cannot expect a lights-out rotation; there are too many likely variables that can go wrong, like:
- Soggy arms
- Iwakuma fails to hold off father time, loses his edge
- Felix pitches like a 4
- Yovanni gets more than 10 starts
- Paxton forgets his Essie brand clear coat nail polish on the team plane
So our range in expectation ought to be between: sub-par <----> pre goo.
That's before deadline acquisitions. I have to, once again, stress that our playoff push is going to come down to acquiring a Quintana-level star pitcher before the deadline and the question will be: What would JeDi be willing to give up to acquire said pitcher. Are you comfortable in shipping off Tank, Povse, and Lewis? What's your alternative that might be acceptable?
They haven't been notable for their reasonableness...
In principle you can always get Dr. D to throw you three glam maybes in return for one Opening Day starter ... Quintana's price is the proverbial King's Ransom. Lore has it that France demanded 1/4 of Britain's money (every nook, cranny and cubbyhole) in return for Richard...
I was down in Peoria for a few days last week. My last morning there, the position players were pretty late coming out to the fields, so I hung around the bullpen area. Zunino and Ruiz were taking turns catching balls from a pitching machine, and dumping them into a bucket. 20 or so at a time, then switching out. When Ruiz was in the crouch, Zunino was about 2 feet off to his left also in the crouch, facing him. He was giving Ruiz tips on how to drop a knee, how to leverage his wrist on a knee, in order to alleviate some pain or soreness I think. Watching the two guys, you would have thought Zunino was the grizzled vet, and Ruiz the rookie. The two are both calm as heck, and seemed to have a real professional respect for each other.
It was Zunino's 26th birthday.
And..yeah...this is going to be Zunino's breakout year I think. I haven't been this optimistic about the Mariners since 2002.
Overall I'm more excited than ever. Best offense ever might not be limited to past Mariners rosters. It may record numbers among the best ever anywhere. 1220 runs is only 7.53 runs per game. Ok, maybe nobody will be breaking that record. 1067 by the 31 Yankees, that would be 6.58+/G over 162. I'm dead serious looking at these numbers. Maybe I'm delusional too. 1000 runs seem within reach though. That's how high I am on the offense.
coming from you that's quite the kibitz, Wish! Good stuff :- )
Any pause for thought that they'll probably be hitting less homers? That they'll be needing to get their t'ousand runs a base at a time, more so than last year?
The holdovers may hit less than last year. Segura, Haniger, Zunino over Marte, Smith, Ianetta should more than make up for it. I expect similar Team HR numbers to last year with a possibility still for more. It is possible Martin hits more this year after working with Cano's and Segura's guru instead of the less I and others mostly expect. Having 6 guys over 20 HR and even 5 guys over 30? Seager, Cruz, Cano, Zunino, Maniger. Why wouldn't they clear 30?
:: golfclap ::
If Zunino is gonna be Jason Varitek, now is a good time to do that.
I just put numbers for emphasis on how many. Overton would be 1 for me right now but 2 and 3 are close, Miranda and Povse. It's more thatI want to see another start by Overton than anything.
After looking back at rotations that have made the playoffs for the Ms I have no reason to believe that these starters are not good enough. 1995 and '97 in particular, but there has never been a rotation significantly better here than what we have now anyway.