Yankee$ 6, Mariners 3
Dr D can feel the love


INPUT/OUTPUT:  Didn't see the game.  As a Spurs fan, there were higher priorities.

CRUNCH:  SSI woulda DVR-scanned the Mariners too, but a "bottom line" peek at the MLB scores forewarned us.


INPUT/OUTPUT:  the Yankee$ sweep three.  They go from .500 to +3, while we go from +5 to +2.  Balmer also goes to +3.

CRUNCH:  :: shrug ::  It would be a lot of fun if a huge pack of teams loped along together, all through the summer.  And a huge Spalding Sandwich blocked shot for the "purists" who feel it their responsibility to groan every time the playoffs get bigger.  Had you rather just NL vs AL, like in 1922?  What would be your objection to that, if any?

More seriously, James tried to set up a framework, to figure out "the number of meaningful games played in a baseball season," depending on the number of playoff teams.  It's complex and defies a dogmatic answer.

What Dr. D knows is, if there's only one Wild Card, he has mostly written off the 2014 season.  In Seattle, that second Wild Card has infused life and vitality.  In which cities do you want to add meaningful games?  Do you want to maximize tension in Boston, or maximize it for cities #4 through #9?


INPUT/OUTPUT:  Michael Saunders is out again.  For a problem that is looking chronic.

CRUNCH:  At first blush, it looks like a big hit to the M's lineup.

Let's don't get carried away about losing The Condor, though:  his .330/.360/.560 spurt the last 28 days, it still came with a 5/17 EYE ratio.  That, and watching him hit via the CF camera, causes Dr. D to doubt that he's going to hit .330/.360/.560 the rest of his career.

His OPS+ remains 110-120 in an outfield corner, so how much are you going to drop off?  Supposing Gillespie OPS's 100?

I was enjoying Saunders' performances, too.  Am just saying, it ain't like we lost Cano or Iwakuma.


INPUT/OUTPUT:  the magnificent, the glorious, the immortal Derek Jeter gets ceremonies, "seats," and various/sundry in Seattle.

CRUNCH:  Yes, because Derek Jeter has not yet received enough accolades, for playing baseball.  

And I don't notice that the Yankee$ threw Edgar a party.  Nor would they have, had he done a year-long celebration of himself.

:: shrug :: If people get off on that, great.  Seriously.  Baseball's for fun.  Derek Jeter is indeed a baseball immortal, was The Real Deal, and if people want to throw parties, who is Dr. D to complain.

I don't intend it in a mean way.  It's just that I'm not an autograph type.  On a lot of levels.  :- D


INPUT/OUTPUT:  Elias gets KO'ed.  His ERA (4.13 in Safeco) continues to lag his talent, which is no biggie.

CRUNCH:  Have we talked about rookie lefthanders before?  About Mulder's, and Gio's, and 9,000 guys' rookie seasons?  You invest two years in order to get the dividends.

A quick glance at Thursday's F/X, and the video, confirms.  Elias gave up the big blows on mistake pitches.  We don't believe in calling every HR and 2B a mistake pitch, like the radio guys do, but in this game the fingers did get bitten off when Elias stuck his fingers in the doggie's mouth.

  • HR to Ellsbury:  Behind in the count, he centered a fastball
  • 2B to Soriano:  87 MPH slider not only in, but up (a "hanging" slider)
  • Several other base hits were similar

A C.J. Wilson or Gio Gonzalez does a simply remarkable job of minimizing these kinds of pitches.  Rookie LHP's don't.  But Elias is getting there:  his changeup is more and more often thrown "dead fish," way outside to RH and dropping out of the zone, and his curve is more and more often thrown to start inside the zone and break out of it.

Rookies battle their mechanics, they don't know the hitters, it's just a real rough ride for them to reproduce the incredible precision that is manifested by a certified Cy Young contender.

But Roenis Elias can pitch for my ball club any time.  Right now he's looking at a two-year grace period from Dr. D, should he need it.  Don' look like he will.






okdan's picture

He was a great player, sure, and "Classy." Ok. Do a little video message before the first game or whatever. But for three games we had to watch every. single. thing. get a standing ovation. Plus the gifts, plus our own dang announcers drolling all over him. (Sidenote, Sims is really starting to grate on me this year, and I've been a fan of his in years past). Like you said, where was Edgar's parade? I don't see the Yankees ever doing this for anyone else. In 15 years when Felix retires, do they give a little baggie of mound dirt to Felix along with a standing-O?
Sorry, rant over :P


We don't need to massage their ego any more than do the national media prima donas.
Me, I'd give Jeter a salute during the announcement of opening lineups for the first game of the series, during which I'd have a ball girl bring out a Bud Selig-autographed baseball in a basket lined with flowers. I'd even through in a cheap mp3 player loaded with Queen's "We Are The Champions."


I've watched two of the three Yankees games practically on mute.  I understand first-ballot HOFers don't come along very often, but this is getting out of hand.
Let's talk Mariners instead, since I won't have to hear about The Captain any more during Ms-Yankees broadcasts unless we're beating them in the playoffs.
Elias faced a veteran lineup and they did what vets do to rookies that make mistakes: punish em. I'm okay with that in the abstract.  Elias was MAD when he gave up that late homer against Tampa Bay, and he was mad when he hung that slider.  He's a fighter, and he's learning WHERE he needs to make mistakes.  If you screw up and bounce it to Zunino, no big.  If you screw up and leave it fat in the plate, that's a problem that you can get away with in AA but not against a $200 million team.
He's learning like you said, Doc - improving the database, the pitches, tweaks here and there.  His stuff is plenty good, and his control is fine.  His attitude is great, and he looks more like a #3 every day even with the speed bumps.  Which is great, because we only need him to be a #4 or 5 right now.
Remember when Jason Vargas was our #2?  Yeah... Elias has more tools to work with than Vargas, and he's learning the pitchability by leaps and bounds. And the occasional stumble, but you live with that from most pitchers, let alone rooks.
BTW, if you want some fun look at the 2010 Mariners sometime, post-Cliff-Lee, and compare them to 2014.
Jack Wilson, Chone Figgins, Moore and Rob Johnson sharing the backstop, Jose Lopez, Casey Kotchman... it was Branyan and Ichiro on offense and then a HUGE helping of nothing, while the rotation was two #4s in Vargas and Fister (pre-plateau-leap), RRS and David Pauley. This team, even with those offensive holes, is soooo much better to watch. I'm still enjoying June baseball - ain't that something?
And speaking of Zunino... 2nd in the AL in XBH from a catcher? His rate stats should be high since he's not in a job share and has a goodly percentage of at-bats, but that .180 ISO ain't shabby. Imagine what'll happen when he starts hitting more than .220 and leaves Miguel Olivo eating his dust.
Also, I remember some chuckles when I brought up that Seager was due a REALLY nice contract as perhaps the 3rd-best-slugging 3B in the league behind Cabrera and Texas-Beltre (okay, 4th behind Longoria but with Seager playing in the Safe... yeesh).  How's his .200 ISO looking with 25 more already this year?   We'd better lock that kid up...
Seager, Zunino and obviously Cano are part of our contending offense going forward.  Have to be.  If Jones can be okay and you can get some kind of average job share out of Saunders/Gillespie, there's two more positions.   Ackley is a MIF on a corner OF position, and it's not getting much better. He's got no platoon split for his career so it doesn't even help to job-share him. He should be playing 2nd base as a decent glove starter for someone. It just won't be us.
LoMo hitting more homeruns at first would be nice.  Hart back and slugging would be nice.  But we really do need another hitter (or two).  Peterson (14th homer last night) needs to be promoted shortly but any non-Choi bat assistance is probably still a year away.
Gotta get a corner OF / 1B / DH who can help, soon. The 2nd wildcard is doing us the favor of letting us dream about the playoffs, but we need more firepower. In the meantime, though, I like the fight in the club and the progress toward contending.
Just don't wanna settle for "progress" in year 11 of the rebuild...


#1 The Spurs (who I love to watch play....almost as much as I hate watching too much NBA)
#2 Morrison goes Yard and ropes a double.
#3 James Jones is (just about) a .300-.340-.400 hitter vs. RHP. He drops off against lefties, but still hits about .270. And he's learning. And he's a CF. We should run him more, BTW.
#4 Doc's point above about Saunders. He's unlikely to run Mantle-like numbers for much longer. We can survive for a bit (see Ugly below).
#5 It's Felix Day for us. It's Nick Tepesch for the other guys.
#6 I like Elias more and more, even when he's off a bit.
#7 Ty Kelly played RF again last night: Two games in a row. It won't be long (see Ugly below).
#8 I bet we see Montero at DH tonight, even against the RHP. Will be interesting.
#9 Seager had an dismal series but that means he's due to launch a bomb or two.
#1 Ackley: Not withstanding his double last night, he isn't very good and he's trending down. He doesn't do anything well enough to really deserve a LF gig. He doesn't really hit RHP and even if you include his 2nd-half last year, he's a .262-.324-.387 guy over the last year (a "good" year) who doesn't play that well in the field. Even at that "inflated" rate, he doesn't hit for average, he doesn't walk and he doesn't hit with much pop. I'm hoping it gets better. I have bet no money on that.
#2 Romero, currently.
#3 I checked with the Vegas books: The Over/Under for for "Great running/leaping catches against the OF wall, vs. the Mariners, per game" is currently at 2.1. The smart money bets the Over.
#1 Endy Chavez. My goodness his game is ugly. Coyote ugly. Do you know he hasn't walked as a Mariner yet? In '11 he had a nice 80-game run with the Rangers, other than that he hasn't been a player of even Ackley's '14 quality since when Doc, Gordon and I were young. Well, OK, since 2006!!! His last 7 MLB season OPS #'s look like this: 84-70-82-97-40-77-34. Over his last three years he a .239-.263-.306 player. My goodness he's ugly bad. If we keep him around and on the field, waiting for Saunders to return, then I feel particularly doomed. If we realize that Bloomquist can play a bit of CF (or Ackley or Gillespie) and swap Endy out for a Kelly trial run, then I don't feel so doomed. Endy must go. I mean go. Off of the 40-Man type of go.


And did it better, too.  Thanks for showin' me up. :-P
I agree with you that they are apparently prepping Kelly for a move, Oakland-style, which is great (or at the very least, a step toward improvement). We gave Endy a couple big-league paychecks but the guy is bad.  Just bad.  Get him out of there and get a guy in there who can walk and slap singles, see what happens. More guys on base is VITAL to this team. Romero can't do anything against oppo pitching or in the walk dept, so I'd bump him back down to the minors. 
The problem with Kelly is he's not on the 40-man, so we need to start making some moves.
Guys who can be removed:
- Anthony Fernandez (could also move him to the 60-day DL but I believe we'd have to bump him to the 25-man prior to doing so, so he'd get service time and cash for it.  I'm okay with that).
- Logan Bawcom
- Luetge
- Jesus Sucre probably, although as our emergency in case of injury we likely won't.
- Endy...
So we can still clear a little space this year without horrible issues. We'll need to when Paxton gets back anyway, but we've got a couple of guys we can dump to make it happen even if we entertain a Kelly-for-Endy swap.
Which we should definitely entertain...


"any non-Choi bat assistance is probably still a year away."
"Gotta get a corner OF / 1B / DH who can help, soon."
I take it from that, that despite my best efforts, you're not on the BlashWagon (for this year at least) yet.
My over/under - Choi AND Blash by the All-Star break.


Barring a trade, there has to be some 40-man adjustments.
Logan Bawcom - probably would clear given his current record (ERA=5.55; WHIP=1.85). Holding Paxton's slot.
Endy Chavez - agree with all above; nice guy, good fill-in, might not clear, not a tragedy if he didn't.
Julio Morban - occasionally an oft-injured guy gets through. I've wondered if there is a gentlemen's agreement amongst GMs to let a guy like him get outrighted to rebuild his cred. If so, he's next.
Jesus Sucre - and I've also noted backup catchers often get through waivers (staff familiarity overcomes talent?). Wouldn't be surprised to see them try it - especially if Hicks keeps hitting, which reduces the risk.
Anthony Fernandez & Danny Hultzen - There's a CBA process to go through to get him on the 60-day DL from the minor league DL that Wikipedia says is intentionally difficult. But Hultzen is already signed to a MLB contract, so I'd think they could do it for him. Otherwise, as with Morban, they might be able to "gentlemen's agreement" waiver and outright AFernandez.
Leutge - ERA=3.46; WHIP=1.54 at AAA, ERA=7.71 in majors. I'd think he'd clear, but he's LH, so who knows. One advantage to outrighting him - Gareth Morgan would see that 44 (his favorite number) is available and it would give him additional incentive to go all Harper on the minor leagues!


I like Blash and love Choi - I think that's pretty well known. :)
But in this reply on AAA and the Ms ignoring it I'm basically not willing to make somebody like Blash (who has seen VERY little plus pitching while coming up through High Desert, then basically skipping AA) try to figure out how to hit breaking balls on a big league stage and assume that he won't simply alter his approach and wrap himself around the axle.  ALL of our hitters have done that, save Seager (who has a brilliantly-stubby, compact swing) and Jones (who is choking up for singles to save himself at the plate).  And there's still time for Jones to fall apart.
The Mariners are demonstrably terrible at big-league adjustments with their young players.  Zunino, who played at a great college program, and Miller who was the ACC Player of the Year, are swinging through everything.  Would more time to see Big-League-quality pitching (or nearly so) in the minors have helped them?  They feasted on the lower minors where the pitching wasn't as quality but their adjustment period is making me ache a little (more Miller than Zunino, who still has pop in his bat when he connects).
We rushed them, and they were as polished as could be before they hit our system.  Blash is not polished, and while MAYBE we could turn him into George Springer in the bigs where he's pounding for power while learning every day... when have the Ms done it so you would believe they could? :-)
If we have to rush somebody, I would rush Choi - but that's still 6 weeks away.  He's gotta swing first.  His lefty swing is pure, he walks a ton, he's always been playing against guys with more experience than him, he's come back from several stints away due to injury, been promoted and done fine. He has been demonstrably good at adjustments so far. I still think he should be a 2015 Spring Training option once he gets a cup of coffee in September, but he's gotta keep hitting and work off the stigma of the roid thing first.
There are bats we can trade for to fill the holes we currently have.  I'm tired of seeing us try to do everything with 5 first and second year hitters in the linuep and wondering why we can't get unit cohesion or talent-level performances out on the field of play.
The kids have done everything they can, and the upcoming ones simply aren't ready.  Promoting them like they are is just wishful thinking with a huge side of arrogance, and it keeps biting us.  Go get a veteran and let the kids on the farm grow.  We'll be better for it later. Choi should be ready for a close-up in 2015 if all goes well, maybe Blash or Taylor, Wilson and Peterson are looking like 2016 (when Pizzano and Henry are gonna try to darkhorse that OF spot from Blash) and then the teens we drafted the last couple years are looking at 2017-18.
The pipeline looks fine, but let that oil get down here - we can't run up and carry it down in a bucket. Just gotta wait and have a better plan B for offense.


Last winter I spoke of getting Justin Ruggiano, a RHB who beats up LHP pretty well and he can play in CF. We could still get him. We could get him for a 2B named Ackley, probably. Goodness knows the Cubs need a 2B. For a Samardzija deal, iincluding Ruggiano and giving up Franklin, Sanchez and Maurer might start the talking.
an another completely overlooked AAA guy is the former Ork, Dan Johnson. He may well be a neat platoon partner with Montero. Johnson has almost had no real MLB shot since '07, but he has an exceptional eye (613 AAA BB's to 575 K;s) and hits RHP pretty dang well. He's in the International League, which isn't nearly as hitter friendly as the PCL, but has hit 30, 13, 28 and 21 homers over the last 4 year...he has 14 this year. In 2010 (with some MLB AB's thrown in) he was .293-.416-.621 vs RHP. In '11 it was .254-.351-.462. In '12 .293-.429-.558. In '13 it was .257-.392-.466. In '14 it is .255-.391-.515.
He's 34, so you could probably get him from Toronto for a bag of balls. Or Smoak. :)
OK, I know we will keep Smoak around. But if we trade him, you could get a Johnson for nothing and likely not miss your guy. and you could give Choi plenty of time to grow. As a platoon guy with Montero. you could do worse.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.