Sweeping up the Scraps
hurting the ball club? NEVAH

.

Q.  We know Dr. D loves his summary stats.

Pax is 2-1, 3.40 heading into May (the M's being 5-3 in his starts) and we have talked about how he spent 50% of 2017 pitching out of rhythm.  You see how he gains momentum as he strings healthy starts?

3.40 would be plenty to finish top 10 in the league, but of course it's headed way South from here.  His slash line is 12.7 / 3.6 / 0.9.  Funny thing is, while he's in stride like this you almost feel he could sustain that line.  It would be comparable to Chris Sale last year, 12.9 / 1.8 / 1.0 which gave him --- > 7.7 WAR.

Pax is at 1.3 WAR so far, which pro-rates to "only" 5.2 WAR; it's an interesting puzzle for somebody like SABRMatt, why the discrepancy between Paxton's '18 WAR and Sale's '17 WAR.

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PLAYOFFS

[BOS/NYY loser] 25-10      wow

LAA 21-14

Sea 20-14    -0.5

Tor  19-17    -2.5

Everybody else .500 or worse, probly way worse

MORAL OF THE STORY:  This horse race is jelling.  In two weeks, the Angels and Mariners could have put everybody else away and staged a 2-team race for the right to play [Bos or NYY].  If that's what the 2018 baseball season becomes, it's All. Right. with Me.

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VARIOUS AND SUNDRY

Gonzales is more a Mainframe favorite now than he was a month ago, in case you're interested.  His season slash line is 9.9 / 1.6 / 1.0.

...

Felix is settling in to repeat his 2017 slash line, a nice 8 strikeouts but a horrific 1.8 home runs to go with his 3-4 walks.  His offspeed stuff is terrif, but they catch up to several slowballs per game.  ... there is a way to pitch well with this arsenal, but Felix just flat isn't having any of it.  Dipoto and Servais have been trying to teach him how to succeed as an Innings Eater, how to nibble with that slowball and how to defend himself against the scouting reports.  He Just. Won't. Do It.

Not that Dr. D is angry.  Just so you know what's goin' on.

...

It now becomes clear, what was the concept behind Wade LeBlanc.  He's a stoploss, and Dipoto's trust in his Rainiers SP's is zilch.  ... He could be right, y'know.

...

Zuumball's oblique is batting .185 with a .500 SLG.  Heh!   Even if his oblique is going to mess up his timing for a couple of months, there's nothing wrong with two homers a week, nor with a 100 OPS+.  There was quite reasonable fear that he'd wobble through a Grade 2 or 3 oblique strain all season, but here he is behind home plate, directing traffic and even pitching in nicely with the 170 PX.

There's also nothing wrong with an OPS+ between 122 and 131, which is something we could say about the players at 1B, 2B, LF, and DH.  It's the guy in RF who maintains the silly OPS+ at 167.

The problem remains the RF, Ben Gamel, who continues to worry the Mainframe.  Two good things here:  (A) the Mariners are supremely confident, which counts for something, and (B) the alternative is batting .286/.422/.486.

BABVA,

Dr D

Comments

1
tjm's picture

I don't think Felix REFUSES to pitch that way. I think that he so far is UNABLE to. He just can't control his fastball. This isn't new. He never could. Used to be because the ball moved too much. Now it's just lack of knowing how to do it. I think this will come buit we have to be aware that for his entire life he just threw the ball in the general direction of homeplate and watched it dance to wherever it ended up.  Can't dance no more so it's a new skill he has to acquire.

He's basically got Iwakuma's stuff now and we know Iwakuma only succeeds with pin-point control.  Until Felixs get the same, it's gonna be a rough road.

2
GregfromSpokane's picture

My personal take on Felix is that he's lost his speed differential. His two-seamer, cutter, and change-up don't vary

enough in speed or sight line. Hitters are zoning in belt high and down. The royal curve is his only pitch that he

has that varies in speed and sight lines. Used to use fastball up contrasted with the changeup down. As velocity

went down on the fastball and he fell in love with the two-seamer,  his pitches became easier to track. Not enough

difference. Pitch Fx can't even tell which pitch he's throwing. I'd like to see him go up with the fastball and maybe

slow down the change.

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