Cool Groks, 4.22.17



Bob Dutton reports that Leonydas' job is now fair game for outfielders who play good.  We doubt that the Denizens will storm the gates, either here or downtown, against this concept.

Remember it well, young man:  Stars & Scrubs allows you to swap out broken parts.  Of which the Mariners will find they were mistaken about a great. many. things.  As was Dr. D, but that's why he plays Stars & Scrubs too.

Other fungibles:  Danny Valencia at a 36 OPS, Ariel Miranda (more their idea than mine, judging by Rizzs' tone in the first inning), and most of the bullpen.  



The M's are right around .500 Pythag and we're in the first three weeks.  According to Billy Beane we got five more weeks before we have to start SEEKING our missing pieces.  

... the bullpen will shake out, and the offense is already around 100; the real decisions are in the rotation.  Here's to their getting made quick.  So far I like the M's track record of slamming gears quick.



Here was our Mar. 1 first-take on Chase de Jong.  Whatever it was then, make it better after Saturday.  Those were some kewl changeups and 12-6ers.  Dr. D never tires of comparing this kind of pitcher to Brian Holman ...

Wouldn't that be something if Jerry Dipoto was ahead of the SSI curve on some starting pitcher or other.  The kid does need to start selling some 2-strike changeups outside the zone, though.



Quick reminder than in any one baseball game, the BIGGEST SINGLE factor is luck.  That is, unless the hits are 9:2 or something.  Killed me to see Taylor Motter get his pitch, blast it, and the ball hang up a bit in the gap.

Whether a hitter gets a 12-degree or 14-degree launch angle, that's luck, just like Voros McCracken's BABIP is luck.  These guys can't hit gnats with razor swords.  Where the bat makes contact on the ball is always partly luck.  It's cliche, but we're 19 games in.  If the M's were 55-54 that would be fine too, except maybe for the Astros.  :- /



Super nice to see Iwakuma's noodle arm tend more towards al dente.  His Brooks was fine.  His K:BB is most certainly not.  Nor are his diving zone numbers, such as his whiff rate and first strike rate.

I ain't letting go of Taro's (and now IceX's) RP idea until somebody does it to him.  Probably the A's, right?



Is anybody starting to think of Mitch Haniger as a poor man's Mike Trout rather than a poor man's Jason Heyward?

It looks like the M's sport 5 valid stars in their lineup, with 4 scrubs, and you gotta be able to figure something outta that.  The Red Sox always do.



Dr D




I'm trying to give this team a lot of rope...they're ridiculously talented...yet...their pitching is frighteningly bad right now. They're going to be forced to make a mid-season trade for a real SP and make a lot of other painful changes sooner, rather than later.


It's good to see Heredia getting in more often.  He's making his own case even more every day.

Every day I watch Valencia put a stop to one rally or more it reinforces my thought that his failures are the most damning to the team.  An every day first baseman with a .443 OPS who's the new guy?  I mean, if he had a history with the team I'd get it but, NO MORE!  69 PA of futility.   Watching 2 rallies today end with weak popouts was the last straw.  It's easy to see the difference a hitter coming through either time would have had on the outcome of that game.  And every game he's been in.  A decent hitting 1b might have swung 3 or 4 of these losses around.  I'm not blaming him but I'm not patiently waiting anymore.  A .400 OPS at C and .300 at CF says we especially can't afford Valencia flailing away. 

I believe Gordon was all over De Jong immediately upon news of his arrival.  Of course Dipoto picked him before the deal went through, just recalling an immediate, strong, positive opinion from the site.

Haniger always reminded me more of a Trout type than a Heyward type.  I didn't expect as much as soon though. 


The post that is linked in the OP above is mostly his take.  Normally if Gordon grabs 4-5 meatballs and sez "watch THAT one" you can, watch that one.


mean what I hope it sounds like and not the negative alternative.  I guess there's also the "traded" possibility.  Hmmmmm indeed. 


You beat me G.  I was just going to post that.  1:05 game for the M's tomorrow.  The early pull would allow Vogs time to load up and fly out!!  I like it lots!  


For Dan but not for Dan.  You can wait on the toast to turn back to soft bread but it won't.  Valencia is toast.  Maybe Vogue should have been left down awhile longer


Mariner's currently have 13 arms up.  Wouldn't surprise me if one of those guys goes down to clear space for Vogs.  


Heston up, Vogelbach up, DeJong down, Martin DFA.

have to say I'm surprised at the Martin power flush in April considering his clubhouse status. But holy cow has he been bad.

have gone to three of the OAK games, and I think his botched groundball in CF on Thursday may have ticked Jerry off.


I am amazed on the DFA of Martin (although I agree on the botched grounder).

Basically this is a Dipoto failure.  There was a market for Martin all winter, and we could have seen decent return in a swap.

Now we will get cents on the dollar, if we get anything.  And we're saying that one season of Dyson is better than 2 of Martin.  I'm not sure of that all. Nor am I sure that one season of Valencia is worth two of Martin.

If Vogs hits there isn't really a Valencia role, anyway.

And then there was the Martin lovefest in ST.  

Maybe Jerry has some sort of trade in the works?  It wouldn't surprise me if we might get a RP for him.   More spaghetti for the Dipoto spaghetti bullpen experiment.

Right now, Valencia becomes our 4th OF. mAlthough Motter will see plenty of LF when Segura returns.  

I have probably been the biggest wet blanket on SSI when it comes to Martin.  I was very consistent that his 1st half of '16 was an outlier effort.   But he's still a LH bat + glove CF, and that alone brings value.

Gamel is next man up in the OF, and I like that lots.  I could almost  see Valencia going elsewhere and Gamel getting the call.

Oh...basically the Dipoto experiment with two sub .700 glovey guys in CF/LF has collapsed.  I will applaud him for figuring that out in less than 20 games.  Always thought it was doomed, however. 

If Heston is coming up, he's ocoming up to start, soon.  Dejong just threw 4 innings of 1-hit ball.  So you demote him?  Heston last pitched on the 19th.  He got beat up (8 hits in 5 innings), but that would make him ready tomorrow. , or today in an emergency.

Moore was scheduled to go tomorrow,, just send him a ticket!

Weirdness. Weirdness.  


Having to DFA him now is just silly. Deciding you can't even use him as a defensive glove OF is also bizarre - might be based on Martin's reluctance to accept such a role, or the need to find a place for somebody like Motter when Segura comes back. But again, that's the price of spaghetti without options: setting your team up to have to throw a bunch of it in the trash (or lose relievers like Fry) because the roster isn't set up to accomodate the potential shake out.

If Haniger or Motter had been the ones struggling, no big deal. Their successes pushed out a vet instead.  Since I'm not a Martin fan I don't feel like it's a huge loss... but the extra expenditure of unnecessary capital doesn't make it look like DiPoto has a plan so much as a series of levers to dump roster occupants into the fiery hot lava underneath the board room table whenever they displease him.

The difference between being agile and willing to pay the price for success, and flailing in panic is a small but important one. Let's hope whatever the roster looks like in May validates DiPoto's vision of a playoff roster.  I agree with you moe, I didn't think the All-CF outfield was destined for greatness. At least Haniger is working properly, and we have Gallardo instead of Seth Smith... oh, wait no I don't like that particular swap.

Also, Kyle Seager's hip issue better not be too significant. We can't really afford another issue there.



Is that the speedy normally stud defender is gone but the "versatile" black hole has more leash.  Valencia brings what? 


Has not been proved to not work.   Pair of sub .500 has been, I'm sure anyone would have guessed.  Nobody thought Martin was this bad, he wasn't in the 2nd half last year.  July 1st he had a .758 OPS when he woke and went .240 .294 .337 .631 from that point.  Anything like that and he's still playing every day.  The .302 OPS is the reason.   There was question whether they'd be sub .700.  Dyson has been looking like he could be over .700 in the end.  CF for next year is now wide open though.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

While you are hearing lments about how popular Marteen was with other players and how his manager had such a problem in making the decision ... I do not concur that his screwing around with a ball in his territory was the straw that done broke anything.

Rather, I would suggest that suggestions  were made to him by the front office and his field staff and Marteen was not prepared to go along with "the new Mariners way" (all the way in the canoe, or being tossed a life jacket in it's wake.

My guess is Marteen mouthed off to the wrong person at the wrong time.

This DFA is a siren screaming "Do we have your attention yet?".

Remember a few years back when the Orcs owned the M's home and away?

Whoops, sorry.

Dog, whatsaMotter is already the 4th outfielder, and the orange (Valencia) somehow got spoiled in transit and you are not going to see him drying out in the outfield soon .... they've already got their 4 OF.

You got your Vogelswagen, and you'll get MOORE soon enough.

I'm guessing they will keep Gamel in Tac so he can play every day.

So, today is a message that the easter egg hunt is not over.

It's about more than money.



"From what Servais was saying, it sounds like Vogelbach will be the primary 1b."

Unless that means he just gets the 70% of the games where RH starters are on the hill (which would make him "primary," which it likely means), then just what is Valencia's role right now, besides 4th OF?



And like Wish said, a placeholder for O'Malley. They don't have to make that move until they want to, and he should still get game time against lefties if they decide to keep him around.  He is the better defender. Grasping at straws here.


DFA Martin????

I think Martin is pretty bad at baseball, but...what sort of impact does this have on the clubhouse?  Not to mention De Jong goes right back down after he single-handedly saved the bullpen?  WHY?  We have four relievers sucking it up hardcore and you're booting the one guy who pitched well lately?

I know he has options and we need an arm that is fresh immediately, but...

These moves both look EXTREMELY incoherent.


Martin seems like a nice human being, and certainly an entertaining one to his teammates.  So of course there's some sadness to that.  But do you think veterans like Cano and Felix aren't also cheering internally? You either produce or you're gone--where in MLB is that not the case? 

Plus, I think this is at least as much a case of Heredia forcing his way into the lineup as Martin forcing his way off.

And hat tip to JD for turning the page on one of 'his' guys.  Maybe it should have come earlier, but this is clearly a case of prioritizing his team over his ego.  Well done.  


forced his way in last year.  This spring and his first start which was about a week into the season he only continued to get on base and started hitting more doubles.  He's never not gotten on base unless you're counting his 2nd start the day Chen nearly no-hit them.  Heredia earned more PT than he's gotten long ago. 


Keep shuffling guys around until it all clicks. If a few guys fall overboard with no return so be it. Losing Martin for nothing is no big deal to me as we gave up essentially nothing for him and IMO he had next to no trade value this past offseason. He got once last, brief opportunity to regain his form and fell flat. Motter got a brief chance and siezed it. Perhaps Heredia or Vogelbach (please Vogelbach, reward my faith soon!!!) will be the next to grab hold of some playing time with both hands. It's only a matter of time before Vogelbach figures it out at the MLB level, hopefully it's with the M's this season (today!) and not another club 2 or 3 years down the road.


Although they at least waited until he found his power stroke, for what that's worth.  The roster construction has been so strange this year.  I guess I would have understood all this confusion last year when DiPoto took over.  Might get some Motter at first if Vogelbach has a couple of O-fers and Segura gets back.


The same as Martin was provided. He looks like one of the surest bets in the minors to be a league average bat. And the upside is pretty sweet if he gets locked in.


Martin was pathetic this year. Sure it would have been nicr to drop him in the offseason to get a bit more back but 20 games is fast in MLB terms to make this kind of decision. A few years back we would have watched Martin all year. 

Dyson, who has been pretty good this year gets CF, then Haniger takes over CF next year. Hanover, Dudon, and Heredia is a good outfield and one that is currently producing. 

DeJong will be back in 10 days, no big deal. 


This year vs. career: 10 points up on fly ball %, 9 pts. up on hard contact.

Something intentional going on...or just a blip?


Him hitting a lot of balls hard into gaps that wind up outs the last couple weeks.  At least 3 of them looked like doubles until just before the glove barely got to them on very good defensive plays.  If he's intentionally putting the ball in the air I haven't heard any words from him to corroborate it.  He's definitely been stinging the ball frequently, hopefully more get past fielders in the coming weeks. 


If this game is the start of a Gallardo re-birth, the other shuffle may be the secondary story of the day. Pitching into the 7th with a shutout against a team that had won 3 straight? That wil do, pig!

The rotation has not been strong. But more Gallardo starts like this, and something resembling the WBC Smyly due back about 1 June, and things might not be so bad. Iwakuma may be better off in the pen at this point, but choosing between DeJong, Povse, and Moore isn't a bad backup plan. Things will roll, but DiPoto has decisively indicated he will get to work to keep it on track.

My guess is that Martin clears waivers and gets to go to Tacoma to work his swing out (or even extended spring training) IFF this is performance-based only and not the result of some head-butting with the coaching staff. The incentives are all aligned to keeping him if he has the right attitude - other teams don't want the full salary, and the salary isn't so much the Ms HAVE to dump some of it in a trade. 

Valencia, I would think, has another 2-3 starts against LH pitchers before he will face oblivion. Haniger and Motter have been carrying this team, but Cano and Cruz are rapidly picking it up. With Segura back, Motter could be part of a 1B rotation as well as backing up Dyson/Heredia. That basically leaves Seager to pick it up, as always, in May, and Zunino to stop flailing at low-and-away, and things look pretty good. Not the start we hoped, but not out of it yet.


tomorrow a.m a few clean posts, nay comments threads for yer including He Who ... how did that go again?  

And the Ms gasp-inducing 3-week "punctuated equilibrium hopeful SS and RF monsters" evolution leap past rental glove specialists.... of Alarm Bells and 9-0 forfeit scores...

 also Editor's Choice out of this epic chat board style Tank (not that Tank!) ....



Before this game Gallardo was 10th among starters with 10+ IP in BABiP at .375 in spite of allowing the 159th weakest contact of 179 pitchers with 25+ balls put in play, he's allowed more than his share of flyners and 27-hoppers so far this season, and had bad luck on his hard contact before today (An .818 BABiP is 4th highest for 2017, near a 2nd place Felix Hernandez at .875).  Play with the leaderboards in Baseball Savant for an hour or 7, it's pretty mesmerizing.  Yovani has allowed impressively poor contact to this point (He's in the bottom 20% for Launch Angle, Barrel % per Batted Ball, he's allowed the 9th lowest batted ball velocity on line drives and fly balls)and gotten pretty unlucky, so I think the performance today was coming.  I don't expect the 7 strike outs to occur too often, he did feast a bit on the A's 9-Hole Right Fielder, and I think he got the better side of the coin flip tonight on batters swinging at pitches just out of the zone.  I think he's going to settle into a Tim Hudson-esque routine, around 6 K/9, just under 3 BB/9, and HR/9 under .9 with a GB% above 50%.  He's using a change up more and more, in his career, he's rarely used it in 10% his pitches in individual games, and he's eclipsed that twice this season already; it seems to be better than previous seasons.

Hanjag's picture

That post aligns with what I have been seeing from Gallardo. He doesn't look like he has been pitching donuts. I have not watched many live games but he seems to be giving up a lot of seeing eye blop singles cluster lucked. The velocity looks up and I see good action and purpose with the pitch selection.


The initial "stories" here are great but I almost always read all of the comments and appreciate them even more so at times.


Keep it up all. 








Lots of teams with sudden interest; the Spanish broadcast for Oakland was all, "whoa, he's some hot stuff." There may even be somthing of a line.

For my part I'm glad he's gone. I'm one of the guys who hates efficiency loss (harking back to earlier Doc comments) but even ruling out a Dyson extension, we've got the OF cupboard stocked. Time to move on from what bridged a gap next year but wasn't gonna be part of the Haniger-Heredia-Tank-Lewis OF of the future, especially with Gamel and Boog still laying about.

We can't waste so much time developing vets that refuse to develop, not when we have a pennant to win. Can't waste breakouts/elevations/additions from Haniger/Segura/Paxton/Motter...

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