Marc-O, Later Innings
Dr. D issues "BUY" recommendation

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THIRD INNING

'member these are MY impressions get yer own.

Hunter Dozier took a paintball just outside.  Dr. D started worrying a bit about "nibbling."  Nibbling occurs when you are afraid, or at least tentative, about throwing a pitch inside the strike zone.

Dozer took another ball and then a mighty hack at an unhittable Marco Gonzales curve ball.  He got the best possible outcome:  he topped it.  To Kyle Seager.  Which gives you as much chance of reaching base as if you're a contemporary major leaguer bunting the shift.

Alcides Escobar was detonated on 5 ruthless pitches, paintball for 0-1, swing thru a perfectttttt changeup 0-2, hold up on a couple tease pitches, and then fan on a jam pitch.  Dr. D stopped worrying entirely about nibbling or anything else.

Some Feeb saw 91 fastball 0-1, 78 hook 1-1, 78 hook swing and miss 1-2, 84 change foul tip, routine fly to Span on a cutter above the hands.

IMPRESSION:  STOP DA FIGHT.

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FOURTH INNING

KC got a little "traffic" -- two on, one out -- when 

Hang on.  We have to digress here.  One of the first things Bill James brought to a screeching halt, was the idea that pitchers could throw double plays at will.  Bob Gibson particularly would talk about setting a guy up and then come low-in, BOOM, double play.

Nowadays we realize that very seldom does anything even vaguely like this actually occur.  But it did in this case.  A very jumpy Salvador Perez swung over a changeup, and then Marc-O took it lower -- whereupon Perez jumped out and topped an easy bouncer to Dee Gordon.  Double play, end of "traffic."

Impression:  Better not mess up those final totals tonight, keed.  Dr. D is wanting to see some killer stats.

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FIFTH INNING

As Marco was knocking them down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts -- both on deadly curve balls -- Bill Kreuger came on to give HIS impressions.  Let's check him on them.

√ Incredible game-to-game consistency after the first four starts.

√ Great first-pitch strike percentage.

√ Amazing mix:  four pitches and they are not, NOT sez Bill NOT thrown down the middle.  Every one of them is well-located.  We're not talking about a 2-pitch guy who shows two more.  We're talking 4 pitches that are weapons.

√ Curve ball is best weapon.

√ Remarkable "touch and feel" for a young pitcher.

√ Reminds him of Jimmy Key:  clean-cut, (?), ball kinda jumps out of his hand sneaky fast, EZ-breezy motion ... Gonzales is going to win 12-15 games a year for a long time.

The Mainframe's impression:  very verrry nice job there Mr. Ex-Major Leaguer (TM) Sir, especially on noticing that the curve is the real garrotte in this assassin bag.  For some reason it had taken people half a season to notice that the changeup isn't that great a pitch, but Bill Kreuger has now noticed.

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SIXTH

Two hard-hit balls, nothing dangerous, a smoked lineout and a single -- but both on changeups IN the zone.  Marc-O's changeup has to be set up or thrown to drop outside the zone; it's sort of a trick pitch that way.

I mean, not to exaggerate it.  But he can't start a game throwing 6 of 10 changeups all thigh-high.  He'll get hurt.

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SEVENTH-EIGHTH-NINTH

He tricked them here.  He came out "pitching frontwards," that is, starting hitters with a fastball first pitch.  Of course by this time his fastball was "playing up" to 93 MPH+ and they were way late on everything.  Marc-O has made a statement that --- > after a few innings, and especially late in the game, he "doesn't want them to have any idea what is coming."  The Key/Moyer/Beuhrle effect:  as the game goes along, they get inside your head.

Overall, he threw 71 strikes against 25 balls and how many were centered?!  First pitch was 22/30.  Other numbers:  8-5, 3.77 now.  The slash line is 7.8 / 1.8 / 0.9 so his other stats:

WAR - 2.0 #13 in the AL (so that Marco is on pace for about 4 WAR)

xFIP - 3.42, #10 in the league

FIP - 3.40, #10 in the AL

ERA - 3.77, #23

Walks - 1.79, #3 in the American League (Kluber, Manaea)

Control ratio (K/BB) - 4.35, #8 in the AL

For a few thoughts on offense, and sundry, check my second site at D-O-V.  For thoughts on tomorrow's game, we're day-to-day.  If you want to help us out, toss a potato in the pot before you ask for a bowl of hobo stew.  Hey, it's just good Depression Era etiquette :- )

Enjoy,

Dr D

Blog: 

Comments

1

I threw out two names during postgame comments after a spring training start. I said if he was gonna throw 92-94 like they were claiming, he was similar to Andy Pettitte, and if it was more like 90-92, he was similar to Key.

They never let me hear what Krueger says on MLB.TV streams, so thanks for filling me in on how the former major leaguer (TM) caught up with my analysis. :D

The funny thing about the "flame war" over those first few bad outings...at no point did I claim Marco was a bad pitcher or even that he was throwing poorly. Only that his pitch sequences started out a bit too predictable. I may have been wrong about even that claim, but I'll say that I like to call pitches before the catcher does and Marco starts I'm never right more than half the time (which was not true in those first few outings when he was being caught by backups while Zunino was on the DL)

3

Good point about Zunino. I think it was Servais after the game talking about scouting, preparation, and then being able to go out there and execute the game plan. He praised how Zunino called the game, staying aggressive without being predictable.

4

for the low price of Tyler O'Neill? Seems a stud SP like this should cost more than a scratch ticket at Joey Gallo. Gotta keep the flame war going right :) I've always been on the Marco side of the trade, much prefer my team to rack up K's on the mound than in the batter's box. That's why my dynasty fantasy teams always end up with overlooked low K prospects like Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Jose Ramirez. Soon to come Domingo Leyba, Luis Arraez, Ryan McKenna, Jonathan Arauz and Luis Rengifo. Speaking of Rengifo, the M's are going to be kicking themselves for years for trading him. Doubly so now that he's made his way to the Angels. That guy might be the most underrated prospect in MiLB. Ah well, blocked by Segura, Cano and Dee Gordon but man those low K numbers!

Anyhow Doc thanks so much for the articles I've enjoyed for what must be 15 years. I'm always here reading every article. My life is so busy now with 3 boys and building my own business that my reading time comes around midnight lying me head on the pillow on a Kindle. Not conducive to typing comments. Can't complain though, boys are healthy and love sports. So I have been able to enjoy watching them grow as athletes and citizens. And recently have begun my coaching career :) Interestingly enough no organized baseball as of yet, but my littlest guy seems to have a pretty good arm and was recruited by one of the basketball coaches to play on his team. Midway through spring flag football, where I coached 2 teams, he would come home from school each day and fire fastballs at a rebound-net in the backyard for hours. He's excited to play organized baseball next spring and I guess 8 years old isn't too late to start :) I played my only season of organized baseball at 15 and it was tough trying to get the hang of hitting when guys were throwing 80.

I'll try to stop by more often on the laptop for rambling OT posts with probably lots of errors because I'm not proofreading this! For now it's off to basketball skills drills this Saturday AM. Thanks for all you do Doc, good health to you and your family!

5

I know you don't always have time for the kinda thought-provoking post above ... hope that when you don't, you can throw in a sentence?

Or not!  LOL.

6
balkyboy's picture

 My fav to follow now.  Welcome to the MLB Marco.   You seem to be learning the league faster than they are learning you.  

7

That when Doc was getting hammered on the Marc-O flame war, and was running out of petrol, I astutely pointed out his pretty sparkly good xFIP, which everyone seemed to miss. Doc suddenly had some ammo to back up his assertions that these were pretty dang good pitches he was throwing, although the results sucked.

I had your back, Doc. 

Now, Doc, if we see Junis this series, I really need some good news from you. I’m fighting for second place in my own keeper league and the spaghetti throwing starter corps I’ve been using all season are wilting. I’ve edged up on the QS stats (seems nobody can last 6 innings and that third tie me round anymore) but my era and ratios have taken a frightful hit. It’s time to select the keepers, and Junis was supposed to be one. Now he has me worried.

8

Plenty of guys had Marco's back.  But ... there have been so many times you've had mine, I can't count!

2nd in a keeper league?  Nice.  And am guessing you play with guys who know what they're doing.  Does your post here imply that you rostered Marco?

9
Anonymous's picture

Weird to say that the Marc-O flame war was one of my favorite times on SSI this year? Dr D doubling down over and over again. Nice pot you took home on this one, Doc. 

10

When you get a little spice into the pot, some people who take opposite sides, it can really make for a more info-taining read.  I thought the Marco "war" :- ) was one of SSI's best moments this year.

Especially *I* think so

;- )

11
Yellow Trident's picture

Love this blog and insightful community.  Keep it coming.

14

Since Doc has come back with enlightenment from his time of solitude I'm wondering if he has unlocked the deep secrets of chess.  

Do you still feel pain Doc? 

15

I'm still around 1800 in 3-minute chess, as you no doubt know, but would be glad to let you trash me again.  :- )  And when the Class-A team loses 6-5 to the MLB team that's a win for the youngsters...

16
tjm's picture

Didn't I hear one of the ROOT folks say a couple weeks ago that Marco pitched the state title game for Rocky Mountain High FOUR years in a row and won em all?  That's a confident youhng man. I've known guys who lived their whole life remembering doing that once.

19

A shame he gave up the run in the ninth, but I’m just glad that didn’t result in him getting yanked. He had, IMO, earned a CG!

21

I only heard later about the 4-year run in the Colorado State Championships, but when the kid was at Gonzaga, he was confident and mature. Came across as very cerebral, as with Moyer, but with a MUCH better FB. Now, down the road, he can pop that FB at 93 once in a while, but his other stuff continues to sharpen. He probably needs to soften up his change-up a bit, and get some drift to it, and he might be doing something to tip it, in particular. But the kid has MLB(tm) moxie in spades, yet is, like Paxton and Haniger, a genuinely NICE kid. The M's future goes way beyond Felix and Cano. I just hope Ladner, BC, helps young Paxton decide to stay in the NW, rather than go where Boros may take him.

23

Anxious to hear more from G-Money, but the relative success of the M's MiLB clubs seems to point to the Farm being a bit less barren than advertised. Certainly the RP crop seems to be developing just as the importance of bullpens, and 8-man bullpens in particular, is a Major (sic) trend. Elledge is really looking like something for next year, and Warren, Festa, et al, are getting noticed as well. Cal Raleigh may not want to join the fun, but a couple of other June draftees are already contributing. And, Lewis and White are just about daily making Modesto better. Meanwhile, Brigham and Walton actually seem to be developing as hitters; what's going on? What do others think?

25

No doubt that Marco, as well as the other key acquisition - Leake, are performing well... kudos to all, especially Dipoto.

However, with Paxton, Marco and LeBlanc all closing in fast on career highs for innings pitched in a year... there will have to be some rotation roster adjustments made soon. To do that, Dipoto is probably going to start using this farm system again... and while we all hope for the best from Erasmo and Miranda, I believe the pressure will be on from the media forcing Dipoto to use this farm as trade bait again. Whether that is just a #3 SP or if another wipeout reliever can be squeezed in is all up to Dipoto... but regardless of which or how many, I guarantee the next month will be exciting!!!!  

26

I saw via Bob Dutton that Bishop is having a heck of June for the Travelers.

Braden Bishop in June with one day to go: 23 games, 39 hits, .390/.445/.560 1.005 OPS, 8 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 11 K, SB

27
Generic Mariners Fan's picture

Second what others say about this blog. Fantastic posts and great community. Keep it coming.

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