M's triumph 2-1, may never taste the dust of defeat again
Dr. D basks in the M's glory



HQ -- only $15 digital download at BaseballHQ.com -- sez,

Missed 14 weeks to two different injuries (oblique, shoulder). In resulting short sample, control slipped but FpK history gives hope for recovery. While he appeared to hold Dom gains, SwK drop suggests 2017's surprise breakout is likely an outlier. Skills and age make him a fairly average bullpen arm.


In other words, he had good excuses for 2018, as pitchers often do.  BUT on the other hand don't take his star-making 2017 -- 10.6 strikeouts, 2+ walks -- as the gospel either.

At the M's site you get a good look at his nice-lookin' change-slider, very good arm action, and then 42 different camera angles on Dee Gordon scooping up a ground ball.

Leaving us where?  The two previous years, 2015-16, he'd racked up 8K's per nine innings and stayed at 2+ BB.  Then the star year.  Then the injury year.


Swarzak throws a 55-45 mix of sliders and fastballs, going to 93 on the fastballs.  The slider's his money pitch, with the arm action looking plus.  So yeah, sounds like the profile of an MLB(TM) average-solid pitcher so far.  The man did string three long years' worth of performance and scored an $8M per year contract.

If you ever figger this 'pen out YOU let US know... odd thing though, it's kind of the anti-Mariner bullpen.  Everything they try [invert it now] WORKS.



One year Dr. D played his BABVA kids into a pretty tough league and decided to experiment with this principle:  TAKE EVERYBODY WHO WAS REALLY GREAT TWO YEARS AGO, AND FELL OFF LAST YEAR.

My reasoning:  fans are fickle.  That's the Moneyball we'll use.

As we recall it worked very well.  We figured there would be scads of Jay Bruces out there, 32 homers and 94 RBI their normal level of performance, who slipped on the ice in 2018 and then got blown off, dismissed, by the kindsa fans who spend their winters arguing "Harper or Machado?"

Let's see if we can count up the 2019 Mariners who were big TWO years ago and forgotten LAST year:


1) Jay Bruce - 29 and 36 homers with 176 RBI in 2016-17; out half the year last year

2) Dee Gordon - .308, 60 SB's two years ago.  Long forgotten BABVA target on draft day

3) Ryon Healy* - sort of repeated his 2017, that and his positional woes costing him some luster with the sabes

4) Domingo Santana - 30 jacks, 85 ribbies two years ago.  Pushed out of a starting job last year.  Bingo

5) Edwin Encarnacion* - Batting EYE dropped off a lot at age 35, but LEADS the majors in homers since 2012 (that's LEADS).  Didn't even drop off in homers last year.

6) Yusei Kikuchi* - Had his Bob Gibson 1+ ERA season .... TWO years ago.

7) Anthony Swarzak and half the bullpen

8) Tim Beckham


Bruce, Gordon, Beckham, and Santana would have been huge draft-day heists.  So that is fully half the lineup scored due to the 2-year principle.  The other three guys, not counting the bullpen as a "guy," mighta fallen quite a bit also.  You think Jerry is becoming a two-years-ago man, lookin' past the camoflage of a snakebitten last season?  :- )

Well.  It is Workin'.  Rat now.



The only 3-win pitcher in baseball.

There's only ONE other 2-win pitcher in the AL, that being Mike Fiers.  Beaten by Marco on Opening Day.

Sitting at 3-0, 3.20 with a 5.03 / 1.37 / 0.92 slash line thus far.  One plus walks; needs to get the K's up of course and will do so.  For whatever reason his curve has been very ineffective, 7+ runs per 100, and it has actually looked that bad.  The fastball and cutter have raked in nice profits and the change has been hit a little.  Batters sitting back on their heels against him?



You know how you hadda be there for some jokes?  ... that was true of the joke of 'Bach's early-game double.  WHAT a TEE shot.  Low, low liner the RF raced over and .... it carried carried carried.  Looked soo sweet.

Then the GWHR ... that one looked like you hadda be watching on TV :- ) 

Lessee, where does that leave his stats after the early slow start ... .286/.500/.857 with a 2:3 EYE in 10 plate appearances.  Anybody else in favor of giving the 1B-DH-LF guys a little restage?


Dr D




At this point, I almost would like to see them make a settlement with EE and give him his release. The rest of the team seems to be on a huge high and he just seems to be lah-de-dah*. Let Vogs feed off his teammates and let's see where it takes us. Swarzak's and Bruce's comments are interesting; this is Dee's and Jay's team, it would appear - not a mention of EE.

*I realize there's a lot to be said for keeping an even keel with a 162 game season, but there's also bonding and team chemistry being formed, and it doesn't seem to include him, unless I'm missing something. He's got 5 hits, with 1 XBH, a HR, and 5 walks in 28 PAs, with 8 TBs. I know, SSS and all that, but that's 20 HRs in a 600 PA season - not the 40 of his track record. And 8 Total Bases - Dee Gordon has 10, and Mallex Smith has 11. Vogs now has 6 in 10 PAs. Beckham has 23, Santana and Healy (!) have 21, and Haniger has 17. Three guys have 3 HRs, and 2 others have 2; EE has the one. If this keeps up - let the kids play and see if the O's or the last-place (!! ;-)) Red Sox want to take him.


So now he starts to hit and act like he's enjoying his teammates. OK. But Vogs has 3 XBH with 10 TB and knocks in six, four of those thanks to those in front of him. So I'm wrong. Still think his trade clears up some issues.


Looking at the replay, it's funny that Trout went back after it and the ball cleared the fence before Trout hit the warning track. A missile.


I have no complaint if the whole dang lineup comes alive! 

Seems to me we have 4-5 veterans, who probably did not figure into Jerry's long-term plan at the beginning of the year, who are playing well enough to elicit trade interest from other teams: Bruce (5 HRs in 9-10 games), Beckham (AL PotW), Leake (2-0), Leblanc (2-0), and possibly EE, who today looks like EE of old. Do we agree that the highest and best use of all these vets is to cultivate them for trading for prospects, at the opportune time? Do we wait to see whether Crawford starts to hit, before we liquidate Beckham? Do we wait to see whether Justis Sheffield can throw strikes (5 BBs today, in his PCL opener) before we hand over our wily veteran SPs for fodder for the WV Power? Any reason fto hang onto Bruce and EE? (Yes, if we're playing for the playoffs in 2019; no, if we're sticking to Jerry's avowed 2020/21 timetable.) 

(I'm reasonably happy also to put Dee Gordon and Kyle Seager on the block- just don't expect, at this point, that either of them generates the kind of "knock our sox off" offer that would prompt us to trade in April.) 


For those of you who remain ardent followers of our minor league franchises- and, those of you who have become such, ion anticip[ating this "season of destitution"-

HOO WUDDA THUNK ITT?! The one remaining 4-0 M's minor league team- not the Rainiers, with their star pitching lifted from the Yanquis- not the Travs, with their all=milb outfleid of Lewis and Fraley and DTW- not the Power of Kelenic and Rodruguez and Gilbert- it's the Nuts, with their no-name pitching staff and who-knows" lineup! They came back today from a 9-0 deficit to vanquish the despised Lancaster Jethawks, 10-9. Hooray!

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