The difference is command. He was using 2014 pitch sequences...throwing the ball where he intended to with high regularity
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. Tough we both have that too. j/k
And rather than counter the Denizens on their general consensus that Felix was brighter, may I (at your pleasure) save that discussion for another time, and say quickly
1 FB percentage: .... 2016 46% 2017 44% last night 47% ... FB velo: 2016 90.5 2017 90.5 last night 90.3 (with concurrent secondary pitch stalking by Indians and nibbling w FB). Should see at least a slight uptick in velo if his arsenal had recovered to any major extent. That's just a real quick example of the reasons that after one start, I have Felix 2018 as Felix 2017.
2 He may BE better. He had a short ST and I love the separation on his change.
3 Diderot's insight above is critical. Though paradoxically it could mean that he was happy with his 4 K's and 0 ER, rejecting his catcher's and coach's advice to throw shorter innings (60% FB to the knees and black). Like a 18 handicapper hauling off and bashing one 300 yards down a close fairway, it could do him more harm than good.
All that said, this Felix projects to a 105-115 ERA+ for me, and if he gives us 30 starts of that I'll be one happy camper :- )
There was really only the one deep ball to LF that Safeco held and except for that there were few Barrelled balls in play, as Malcontent cross-checked on FG for us .... and that's a good lineup in Cleveland. Felix pitched like a clear 2-3 for me, and if you mooks is right and he's "freshened up," a New Felix, I'll be lovin' it.
Many of us believe there's a 120-125 ERA+ Marc-O in there somewhere and ANY team with four good starters is going to be okay.
NEWZ AND NOIZ
Two words: Mitch Haniger. Well, more words: one reason we Best Betted him was his ability to hit pitchers' pitches, right? This is not a glory hound looking for a center-cut mistake pitch and a high fly ball to the 10th row. That is not his mentality. Haniger's core identity is to be a man who earns his success, who tries to beat you in any manner that presents itself and he is my kinda ballplayer. (He's Jedi's, actually...)
We gingerly allow for .... well, for the possibility that we'll dodge a bullet on Zuumball. Here's a good read on it.
A couple of beat writers said Ichiro looked done, and it's odd to see him defensively switched out, isn't it? Like seeing Lou Gehrig pinch-hit for or something. But I thought the last few pitches of the game (for him) he started seeing the ball out of Kluber's hand better. Remember he had a real short Spring Training. His bat launch, his quickness in the box, looks vintage. I just don't know why he's stepping in the bucket (foot stride to 1B); that last K he was ON Kluber's fastball (timed well, plane good) but his bat couldn't physically reach the outside corner.
Opening your hips, pre-stride, to get a look at the release point is different from striding down the RF line. Ichiro will of course get THIS figured out, this situation in which his bat can't touch a painted FB, you can be sure of that. Dustin Ackley he ain't; a Hall of Famer, he iz. Whether he'll get everything else figured out is another question :- )
If you are a Denizen who doesn't read sabermetrics that much, good on yer. You're probably happier that way. But you might not know who Eno Sarris is; he's a super top-flight sabe who orbits the sun of baseball writing's inner circle.
Always fascinating to see such a -national- baseball analyst (analyst, not talking head) take on a Seattle Mariner topic specifically. Here he asks whether Dipoto is going overboard with his outfield D-in-Safeco theme. It's behind a paywall, but an interesting Q.
Personally I think it's a great way to (1) pluck semi-hidden runs, especially with IF shifts moving the priority to the OF in fielding, and with the M's playing not only in Safeco but also with Oakland and maybe LAA in our division.
But my question is ... :- D ... whether Sarris in his fine writing would have addressed the Pat Gillick factor. Gillick was not only super-networked, a genius talent evaluator and a man who went 4-for-4 in GM projects. (Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll have not gone even 2-for-2 in the NFL, much less 4-for-4.)
Gillick was a man with a virtuoso's creative touch and feel for putting together a ballclub, as opposed to a 25-man roster Box of Chock-a-lits. In backing his SP's and RP's with fleet outfielders while playing in an airport, Jerry Dipoto is acing the Pat Gillick quiz.
But mainly: The Question Is Moot. (Anybody remember that Jesse Jackson skit on SNL?) Haniger is our right fielder until he's an FA, and Dee Gordon is our CF for 3 years minimum. So Sarris' question reduces to the issue of whether you want to go find a MOTO hitter in left field, or stick with Gamel, Heredia and the like. And Jerry Dipoto would be flexible on that issue, we're quite sure. So is Dr. D.
You fill in the Yahtzee slots at SS, C, CF early if you can so that you have trade/FA/surprise prospect maneuverability SOMEWHERE. With limited choices each offseason, sometimes you have to take what presents itself. LF is a place where Dipoto is going to be doing that.
:: fistbump ::,
DL with strained oblique.
No offense at catcher until at least June, since, even if he comes back quickly, it takes at least six weeks to start hitting again after a strained oblique
We're off the a flying start here with ERam, Gamel, Phelps, Zunino and possibly Cruz.
Vogelbach may as well be hurt getting frozen out by Healy.
I love my M's dearly but the pain continues......... But we're still good enough to overcome the injuries and if Cruz goes down hopefully Vogelbach will get full time DH duty to strut his stuff!
If Cruz goes down it could be the opportunity Vogelbach needs. Don't get me wrong, I badly want Cruz in the lineup. But imagine if a three week Cruz absence meant we had both Cruz and Vogelbach getting regular playing time later this year, and Vogues getting an outstanding Mariners career instead of an outstanding career elsewhere. This would be a variant of the classic phrase, two steps forward one step back, with the backward step coming before the two forward ones.
Rarely have commented/posted over the years, but have been a regular reader and one of my favorite features are the ongoing chat threads. It seems these convos have largely been moved over to Slack, which is a great place for them.
I followed Gordon's link and realized that you need to be invited in order to join. What is the best way for me to go about getting that invitation? Thanks!
I did notice that the originally invitation link (https://join.slack.com/t/seattlesportsinsider/shared_invite/enQtMzIxMjAz...) that Gordon posted no longer works.
Is there a way an updated invitation link can be posted here?
Need a new link