THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING
There's a bright side to everything, up to and including food riots in Banana Republics. As any 12-step counselor could tell you, the first step in correcting a problem is ... hurling a trash can through a storefront window. Or if you're more inclined to an intellectual solution, to replace guys pitching bad with guys pitching good.
Felix has a bright side to his own life. Like, $25M per year, and mob-hugs any time he steps outside his car. To work out hard for 4 months and then pull something is frustrating, no doubt. Felix is kewl and the Goddess of Proportion does not wish to seem harsh. But:
(1) The Mariners have scored 5+ runs in 11 of their last 15 games.
(2) If the Mariners had given up no more than 4 runs a game they'd be on an 11-4 streak, minimum. Sabermetric formulas establish this conclusively.
(3) Felix has given up 39 hits and 6 homers in less than three complete games' worth of innings. Rather than list helplessly on battery power as the Lights of Zetar (your garden-variety league MOTOs) approach , I'd rather haul the Enterprise into dry dock and commandeer a lesser ship with Warp 2 capability.
(4) Max Povse and a competent bullpen would give up 4 runs a game.
DR D PRESCRIBES LORAZEPAM TO BALLPLAYERS?!
Not really. Try deep breathing first. Or staring at Jamie Moyer until the fringes of placidity set in.
By "command" they don't mean location in the zone, exactly, though that's what you'll hear. They're talking about making the ball break late, making a backup slider swerve to nip the corner inside, expanding the zone just outside a guy's red area, stuff like that. Max Povse and Andrew Moore did this in Spring Training, better than anyone other than James Paxton.
Could they handle the pressure of doing this in triple-decker stadiums "with the ground rumbling under their feet" as JeDi put it? I dunno, could Chase De Jong? Dr. D is a man of great mercy; Povse and Moore would be pitching the 6th and 7th in Detroit the next couple days. It would be May before they were scheduled. May 1, 2 at the earliest.
They wouldn't throw long strings of shutouts. But I bet you they could keep it inside 19 runs a night.
MANIGER GETS "LAYERED"
(1) Sad, sad, sad. We were all wondering about the 125 runs and the Fred Lynn season. At a minimum, we won't be watching that spectacle on Wednesday. This is sad. But remember your 14-Day Cleanse principles. A Diet is not for 3 weeks. If you're going to be on it forever, what difference does it make whether you lose 1 lb. or 2 lbs this week? And if Maniger is bound for Cooperstown, what difference does a trip to the 15-day DL make? He's got 3,000 Mariner runs and RBI in his future. Who cares about the next 20.
(2) Jean Segura is (a) back and (b) hitting real good right off the bat. Maniger was super cool, but let's not forget that we replaced him with 203 base hits. I got yer Ichiro vs Haniger dilemma right here, pal.
Ben Gamel was supposedly joining the M's even before Maniger's injury. Also, Boog Powell after Maniger's injury? Boog hit 15-for-26 in the spring, and had a 12:6 EYE in Tacoma. Now, it is true that big league pitchers won't walk Boog. But he is seeing the ball super great, and they will throw him cripple strikes like they do Motter, dude.
DEFINE "NICE NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK," WOULD YOU PLEASE
For a quarter century, 25 years, we had suits who woulda said "Hey, we're spending $150M. You still get a nice night at the ballpark. Couple injuries? That's the way the cookie crumbles. You better be there when we come home." Now, for 1.1 years, we've got suits who say "Um, no. MY cookie doesn't CRUMBLE." Neither does Dr. Detecto define "nice night at the ballpark" to include four enemy home runs.
The M's will handle this aggressively. My way would probably be:
1 Paxton 2 Gallardo 3 Miranda pull 'im after 5.1 IP 4 Moore 5 Povse RP Iwakuma Smyly, Felix second half 'rentals'
LF Gamel-Motter CF Dyson (Heredia) RF Boog-Heredia
It's a team that could rack up a 114 OPS+. With Paxton in the ace hole, it needs only four SP's to throw 90's and it would be fine. Question is, who those four 4.40 ERA starters would be. Hey, isn't Dipoto supposed to be a trade kinda guy?
Take two Gamel base hits, a Zeus shutout, and call me in the morning,