M's 12, Twins 3
You can't stop Danny Valencia, you can only hope to contain him


Q.  K-Pax gave up runs!  And how could this be?

A.  Two things ... first, Dr. D agreed with Kreuger who was spot on, attributing "the ebb and flow of pitching."  Paxton was coming off an emotional high in his first start back.  His biorhythms looked down a tadbit.  

Also, it was a case where the results were a skosh worse than the quality of the pitches deserved.  Sometimes you deserve 1-2 runs and give up 3.  Sometimes you deserve 1-2 runs and give up 0.   That's what it sez here.  ... in any case, you get a "down" game from K-Pax and he stretches his record to 5-0, 1.69.

Was pretty bummed to see that super cheap 340-foot homer break Paxton's homerless streak though :- )


Q.  What's going on with Danny Valencia?

A.  It's a cliche.  But some guys need to stay through the ball up through the middle and let the HR's happen by accident.  Valencia has gotten back to that, and WOW when he's doing that he can rake, can't he?  His season-long OPS+ is already up to where it was with Oakland last year, .280/.350/.440 for a 115-120.

But that's season-long.  Since April 25, that's 33 games, he was .352/.407/.541 and that's before the homer and walk Tuesday.  Had no idea he could play first base this well defensively, either.  He's giving us pretty much what we hoped for from Adam Lind last year.

Cool how our saber manager moved the hot guy to 2 in the lineup.  Saberdweebs talk about moving GOOD hitters up to the 1-2-3 slots.  Servais has been moving THAT WEEK'S good hitters to the 1-2 slots.  Yay.


Q.  Taylor Motter is running wild on the bases.

A.  He's 7-0 now stealing bases.  Did you catch what he said the other day ...  we know he does everything pretty well on a diamond, but he sez the part he really loves is going after pitchers and catchers on the bases.  He dives in to the base like he's coming off the top turnbuckle ... drops his elbow onto the 2B bag ... flips the hair ... what a joy, watching Taylor Motter attack on the basepaths.  Never seen anything quite like it.


Q.  Another smoooooth catch by Heredia on a line drive up against the railing.

A.  If he's a top-3, top-5 defensive glove ... this guy becomes a key club-controls resource too, doesn't he?  

He's got a su-PERB rate on fishing and Z-Swing%, that being 22% fish and a hefty 64% on strikes.  Did you know his swing-miss rate, SwStr% was only 4.4%?  Ichiro's was 5.2%.  It's hard to believe he is so early in his career.  He could hit better for all we know.

Heredia has got 1.0 WAR in about 30% of a season.  In a normal year he would be the rookie "find" of the season.  Like K-Swag said after the game, the M's have a Really. Deep. Offense.  It's fun to watch it develop.  Slap me silly if they could only get enough pitching.


Q.  Miscellany being:

A.  Felix threw 50 pitches "pain free" according to Dutton's twitter feed.  Any chance at all the M's consider replacing HWMNBN and leaving Gavigs in there?  Whattaya youse mooks think, that the M's will consider a Yovani retraction after the two Rainiers threw so desirably?

They sez Tyler O'Neill hit a glorious 4-run homer on Tuesday.  Mebbe Gordon will update us as to where Tank stands as we head into June.

Here's the tragjectory on Robinson Cano's "2 Second Death Punch," also viewable on Divish' twitter:



.... whoops!  The caption sez Boston!  We just knew the one Tuesday had a lower apex ... well, it sez 56 feet, 107 MPH.  He swatted that one.

We had a statement from Zuuumball that his new stance is for keeps and he feels different.  Here's hopin'.  He has indeed looked more comfortable and relaxed as the energy comes in.  .... Siiiigghhhhhh

We're not sure why Nelson Cruz is limping.  What difference does it make.  I didn't see the guy making our traveling squad next trip anyway.

Mitch Haniger approacheth.  I feel like tearing up the grass hysterically, 1962 Beatles style.


Q.  Standings?

A.  The M's have won 8 of 9, outscoring the enemy by 72-22.  That's +50 run differential in six percent of a season?  Heh!   They're only -2.5 behind Balmer and there's only Cleveland between us and them.

Think we can pilfer a high-scoring win during Gallardo's travails on Wednesday?  ;- )  Maybe down 5-3 in the middle innings, win it 9-7.  The Twins don't have any Johan Santana up against us, I don't spose.


Just kiddin,

Dr D




Guy's a bum. Really. Compared to the rest of the offense, who needs his 40 dingers. :)

Nah, Cruz is OK...just a tight quad that barks if he has to run hard. Happened while he was playing the outfield in Colorado...so...he won't be doing that again.



-4 balls the ump called on clear strikes within the zone

-2 more balls touching the zone

-2 more very close (Krueger, annoyed, complained once "No love for Paxton."  And why wouldn't he be getting respect?)

+0 strikes called outside the zone


You're absolutely right.  It was a super tight zone for Paxton and the Twinkies knew it, swinging at very few fastballs that weren't right there.


...what do you even DO with Tyler O'Neill when he's ready?

(I mean, probably you bring him up and ease him in over Dyson. But still... what a question to get to ask?! Actually, what I want to know is... if we get to the point where we can SPARE a Dyson-esque player, what kind of picthing does JeDi bring in with an asset like that on the table?)


into a pitcher.  That's what I'd do.  Several suggested similar before the collection of injuries but when it was obvious Maniger was O'Neill ++.



Well, we do need a top starter. If we can get something ridiculous for O'Neill, now's the time. I kinda prefer Kyle Lewis myself.


We like the guys we got.  Shop Tank.  But what are you mooks going to do when he turns out to be 2 notches better than Gamel ...

If he heats up in June-July, I would think you could headline Tank and bundle him with other goodies to get a high-impact rotation guy, if you could add the salary.  With this ownership, wouldn't put it past them.


Reverse engineer the Pineda/Montero trade, who's the top stud SP prospect who balances the O'Neill scales? I used to have an idea about that sort of thing, back in the SportSpot 20 team keeper league days... but it's been a while!


The White Sox Lucas Giolito is 1 above him in MLB top 100.  They might be a fit.   I'd be looking at the top 100 still and figuring who might be a better fit but my break is over. 


I agree...and I can't believe I'm saying that.  Nobody has beat the Tank drum more loudly than I.

But Haniger is what we dreamed Tank would become.  And we're not devoid of pretty good OF's, otherwise. 

I'm bundling him and looking staff or bullpen help.

When Haniger gets here...maybe by the weekend, then there is an interesting series of questions out there, one's about which OF plays when.

Assuming Haniger steps in and is everyday, then you have to pick and choose, platoon and swap, Dyson, Gamel and Heredia.

B-R has Dyson and Heredia both at +1 (edit) dWAR for the season and Gamel at -0.4.  That last number does not pass the Moe Eye Test.  No way he's a minus defender in RF.  Uh uh.

I think Dipoto has a bit of a man crush on Dyson, as well.

Gamel is hitting .895 vR and .673 vL.  Heredia is hitting .877 vL and .659 vR.  Dyson is at .687 vR and .440 vL.  He. Can. Not. Hit. Lefties.

Gamel's vR line is .340-.427-.466 and Heredia's vL line is .340-.407-.467.  Clearly those numbers will regress toward a lower mean....but those guys hit the split advantage well, regardless.  You could platoon the two of them in LF, which seems natural...but you're stuck with Dyson's atrocious bat vs. LHP.  You do get the glove, however. 

Were it me, I'm doing what KC did:  Dyson becomes my 4th OF.  You can utilize his thefty abilities, late game, that way...and his glove, too.  You rest Heredia vs. especially tough RHP's and Gamel vs. the Kershaw's. 

But I'm not sure it will shake out that way. 


I wonder what accounts for b-ref's obviously broken number there.

very cool 'put on Heredia and Gamel as jobshare partners.  Going forward they look surefire as 400-AB men at least.  

Remember when Billy Beane used to have wave upon wave of 3-war type Scrubs?  That merits a separate article no?   He'd have Cust and Byrnes and Kotsay and Kielce and Sweeney and Johnson and literally 8 guys like that at the same time.  Dipoto is very definitely achieving similar.


Says Dyson is 1.4, Heredia is 1.9 and Gamel is 1.0 (lower due to weaker defensive metrics).

The hitters have combined for 10 WAR according to BREF (that includes their defense) and the pitchers have combined for 4.1 WAR. Notably, though, that 4.1 WAR value balloons to 6.2 when you look only at the players currently on the roster. That is to say...we deleted a whole lot of bad chum from the bucket.


Oooops guys, I was referring to their dWAR at BR.  This line was not enough to make it evident:  "No way he's a minus defender in RF.  Uh uh."

I will go back and clarify.

Bad Moe!


needs to be cut back some at least.  I love having the speed in the lineup, it's my favorite tool.  But a CF platoon has been a preference of almost everyone, maybe everyone here for well over a month.

I'd trade Gamel instead of O'Neill if that works better.  Heredia and Haniger are still the main keepers to me for the outfield. 


If Boog = Gamel, going down the line.  And if you get comething really tasty in return

I am not sure.

The beauty in a Heredia-Gamel-Haniger setup is that they are incredibly cheap for 4 years.  Oh, and pretty good.  Kind of a Lopes-Cey-Garvey type of thing, except 35 33 eyars later, and in the OF.

But for the right offer, I would trade Cruz.  So I can't say no, off hand, to a Gamel trade.

And I really like the guy. Really really.

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